Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Digital Business Transformation – The new Reality

Three years ago, I was interviewed by an international company about the future of Digital Business Transformation. The main question was "is this a new consultancy hype or should we take it more seriously?".

Since that moment, there has not been a single month without new digital initiatives from companies within but also outside their traditional markets.

We all know the example of UBER, but what about Shell moving aggressively to alternative wind/sun based energy. Can you imaging what the impact for traditional energy companies will be? And what about Philip Morris moving to an alternative for cigarettes and Total starting a joint venture to move from oil based plastics to Bioplastics.

I hear you thinking; yes but these are the giants far away from my normal day-to-day business.

Forget it!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How data-driven is your marketing department?

Marketing has evolved from creative newspaper, magazine and billboard advertising, to processes that are designed to drive customer engagement and accelerate business growth. With all the data at their hands nowadays, what is necessary to become a data-driven organisation?
"Ultimately, a data-driven marketing organisation learns to use data analytics as part of all marketing campaigns; from setting-up your campaign to post-campaign review. Within a data-driven organisation, information can move freely, is consistent across all channels and decision makers at all levels use data to better serve their customers." (source: Forbes Insight Report) 
So what does this mean and how can your organisation use data analytics to create data-driven marketing campaigns? 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Migrate those C4C Business Roles

Everyone that has ever worked with business roles in C4C knows how time consuming it can be to create business roles, especially if they have many access restrictions on business fields and extension fields. For that reason SAP offers the possibility to migrate business roles via standard migration templates. For some time already I tried to figure out how that would work exactly and I found it not so straight forward. Recently I have figured it out and would like to share the procedure here with you.

Preparing the migration templates

It all starts with preparing the migration templates, that you can download from the Business Configuration area. I found the templates for business roles not always so much self-explanatory. So therefor I will share my findings of filling in the template here.

First of all I found that you can only successfully import the business role if you have entered a value in the ERP/ CRM indicator on the 'general' tab of the migration templates. You have only two values, either ERP (1) or CRM (0). Even if you are importing the business roles via migration templates, without any link to a CRM On Premise system or ERP system, this is still a mandatory field. So instead of entering a 0 or 1, I entered an X. That works. When executing the migration you then need to make sure to choose the communication with SAP Business Suite (even though in reality there is no communication). But without this information, the import simulation will throw an error.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Consuming SAP OData services from AngularJS and / or Node.js

In this blog I will give some examples on how to consume SAP OData services (e.g. from SAP Netweaver Gateway or SAP Cloud For Customer) using AngularJS or Node.js. By now most of us SAP developers know how this works when we are developing an SAP Fiori application using ODataModel, but things change when you have to call SAP OData services from different clients or server side runtimes. Two examples of these are AngularJS (a popular, very powerful JavaScript client-side framework) and Node.js (a server side JavaScript framework). Especially handling the CSRF token that SAP uses for OData services can be tricky at times. This blog will show you some examples on how to do read and write/modify/delete requests using AngularJS and Node.js.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Building a Fiori application on SAP Netweaver

2017 is about to start, and all we hear at SAP TechEd is HANA, Big Data, UX design and Fiori.
All great, all nice, but how can we benefit from all these innovations quickly without the big investments of moving to S/4HANA, HCP, IoT and HANA analysis.

What if we want to leverage the Fiori user interface to create a ‘delightful user experience’, with our current backend.

All you need is a SAP Netweaver stack with SAP Gateway (standard component in recent SAP netweaver releases), a HCP (Web IDE) account, this 3 step tutorial and some development skills.

Let’s take a look.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Email campaign automation in C4C

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could create campaigns, send outbound emails, track and analyse customer click behaviour and define automated follow up actions to trigger your account managers, all from one single system? If this sounds as the perfect scenario for you, setting up the extended marketing functions in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer is the way to go, in this blog I will explain how to do this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

No explanation needed

In our projects we sometimes stumble upon little features (often undocumented) that have immediate value for SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer end users. In this blog I would like to share one of these features.

Explanation texts

A few releases ago SAP introduced the use of explanatory texts. These texts can be created and used to give a short explanation within screens regarding the specific functionality. Users who are unsure about the actions they need do to in a specific process are assisted by these explanation texts.

To create an explanation text follow these simple steps:
  1. Log on as administrator to C4C in the HTML5 client
  2. Go to Adapt-->Edit Master Layout
  3. Select a tab (facet)
  4. Click on the + icon (3rd from the right.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Great IoT opportunities with SAP and LoRa

In our blog on Internet of Things (IoT) and big data of Wednesday, September 14, 2016, Pieter described IoT as a popular term for an ecosystem of machines, sensors, chips, vehicles, servers etc exchanging information. The information sent from these machines is all gathered, and depending on the defined processes, can lead to an automatic action. E.g. ‘The container is moved > Update the shipment document’. IoT data is not only used for specific actionable events, but also exist for research and analysis reasons.

The digital mouse and rat trap case

In a co-creation project together with Dimo Systems, Acorel showed the strength of the SAP solutions and the Lora network. The Dutch start-up Dimo Systems brings mouse and rat traps on the market that are connected to the Internet of Things. Xignal is the name of these digital traps and they are equipped with sensors that send a notification as soon as an unwelcome rodent is caught. Pest control is a labor intensive activity. In addition, by law many companies (e.g. food processing industry or medical sector) have to prove that their facility is free of rodents.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer - Rule your Cloud!

“When field X has value 1, than field Y should become visible and mandatory”... a question that C4C consultants or administrators didn't like to hear! Simply because it was or not possible or it was a hell of a, time spending, job to meet these requests through creating page lay-outs. One of the new C4C functionalities in the 1611 release, called Model Rule Property, enables Key-Users to fulfill these much heard requests in a simple way!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

PowerUp Hybris Commerce with Cloud for Customer

Your company has an excellent SAP Hybris Commerce solution to serve customers on the internet.

The sales and service department also like to make use of this channel to serve customers. The solution is to combine the power of SAP Hybris Commerce with the capabilities of SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. SAP delivers a ready-to-use integration between these solutions, combining the best of both.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer – Get more out of your reports by counting multiple unique values

Being able to count the unique records of different fields in your Cloud for Customer reports greatly enhances the usability of a single report for making complex selections and showing multiple results in one overview.

The use of Key-Figures in Data Sources in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C) is an effective way to display values in your reports. The Key-Figure “Counter” is a Key-Figure that is available by default in all Data Sources and counts all rows in the Data Source. For specific calculations and other selections it can be important to count all unique values instead of all rows. To accomplish this, you can use Exception Aggregation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sales is just a marriage

You know the feeling?
That feeling that you meet someone for the first time and instantly you’re in love? Those butterflies in your stomach?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Service Request Templates Solution for C4C

The service solution of SAP C4C is growing rapidly with every release. An often requested piece of functionality, Service Ticket Templates, is however currently not yet available in the standard. Service Templates are often used to speed up the process of order entry by automating tasks that occur frequently. You can think of a standard list of spare parts for a specific broken machine or setting default values in your tickets based on the Categorization. So let's take a look at how can we improve the efficiency of our service department.
In last weeks blog, we have told you about actions in C4C. In this blog we will show how it can be used to create the template solution that so many customers require.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Being Actionable with C4C Business Object Actions

When you perform custom development on C4C you will usually:
  • Extend standard Business Objects or
  • Create completely new Business Objects with their own properties
In these situations you create additional logic by implementing event handlers for events, such as BeforeSave or AfterModify. These event handlers execute your additional logic during the life cycle of an object.

However: C4C has another way of adding logic: Business Object Actions (or Actions). In this blog I will explain what Business Object Actions are. I will also share two powerful ways I've recently used Actions.

What are Business Object Actions?

I haven't found a clear defintion for Business Object Actions in the reference documentation. Luckily, for a developer it's very intuitive: Think of a Business Object as a class or object, and of an Action as a method of that class or object. If you have a custom Business Object of type 'Car', it might have actions like 'Drive' or 'Refuel' that replenishes the amount of fuel in your car instance.

These actions actually have a lot in common with the Post Processing Framework actions as you might know them from SAP CRM On premise.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What is a Customer Journey Map and how can this be supported by SAP tooling?

As a company to be able to survive in this competitive world, it has to decide which strategy it will focus on. In general there are 3 strategies:

Operational excellence

This strategy aims to accomplish cost leadership. Here the main focus centres on automating manufacturing processes and work procedures in order to streamline operations and reduce cost. The strategy lends itself to high-volume, transaction-oriented and standardized production that has little need for much differentiation.

A strategy of operational excellence is ideal for markets where customers value cost over choice, which is often the case for mature, commoditized markets where cost leadership provides a vehicle for continued growth. Leaders in the area of operational excellence are strongly centralized, with strong organizational discipline and a standardized, rule-based operation.

Product leadership

Product leadership as a competitive strategy aims to build a culture that is continuously bringing superior products to market. Here product leaders achieve premium market prices thanks to the experience they create for their customers.

Customer intimacy

The strategy of Customer Intimacy focuses on offering a unique range of customer services that allows for the personalization of service and the customization of products to meet differing customer needs. Often companies who pursue this strategy bundle services and products into a “solution” designed specifically for the individual customer. Customer-centric companies tend to have a decentralized organization which allows them to learn and change quickly according to customers’ needs. The focus of the organization is on optimizing the customer “life time value” instead of on the turnover of one single transaction.

Although it is possible to combine two strategies, it’s advised to have a main focus on only one strategy. When the main focus is set on Customer Intimacy, the goal of the organization is to build a long-term relationship with its customers. A lot of time and effort is invested to gain knowledge about their (potential) customers, to set up a customer database and to deliver tailor made products and services. One way of gaining customer insight is to create a Customer Journey Map.

This blog will explain what a Customer Journey Map means and how it can improve your organizational goal to create happy customers (read: Ambassadors) and keep the customer retention high. Finally, a mapping will be done between the different phases of the Customer Journey Map and the solutions offered by SAP.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How Internet of Things and Big Data accelerate the need for Digital Transformation

It might seem like a quick round of buzzword-bingo, so let’s keep it simple.

Internet of Things.
A popular term for an ecosystem of machines, sensors, chips, vehicles, servers etc exchanging information.

Big data.
The ability to gather high volumes of data and do something useful with it. One step further, have machines do something with it.

Digital Transformation.
Adoption of ‘new’ digitally fueled processes allowing a competitive advantage.

So we have machines (not just computers and servers, but also cars, washing machines, mobile phones, security gates, trucks, camera’s, boats, warehouses etc) and these machines all communicate. Mostly, they will give status updates such as ‘ok/nok’, ‘open/closed’, ‘on/off’, ‘broken/service’. This can be a continuous status update, a frequent status update, on request or on event.
In case of sensors, this could be temperature, humidity, contact to water, movement, location etc.

This is not really new, but there is still work to be done.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Marketing attributes on the move!

Marketing attributes are a flexible way to enrich customer data with information which is not a part of the master data or transactional data. The information in the marketing attributes can be used to create customer profiles and to segment customers to target them for marketing purposes.
Marketing attributes are grouped in attribute sets.

In this blog we assume that you are already familiar with setting up marketing attributes and attribute sets but you run into an issue when you want to reorganize your existing attributes in other attribute sets. Once a marketing attribute is in use it’s not that easy to move a marketing attribute from one attribute set to another attribute set.

But no worries there is a solution.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer - Deep link URL Navigation

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (SAP C4C) allows you to create workflows that can trigger a field update, send a notification, perform an action, send a text messaging or send an email. In this blog I will explain how to create an email with a deep link URL.
Sending an email could be useful to inform SAP C4C users when, for example, a new opportunity or task is created. To help the SAP C4C user to navigate from the email to the related opportunity or task in C4C, it is possible to add link directly to the related object.

Let’s see how this can be done.

First go to the Workflow Rules in the Application and User Management work center of SAP C4C.

Step 1: Create a new workflow.

Create a new workflow for the business object you required and define the timing (create on save, every update or scheduled). In my example I use the object Opportunity and the workflow should be triggered on Create only.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

How lead nurturing improves conversion

In our previous blog on SAP Hybris Marketing, we discussed the art of contextual marketing, the ability to get the perfect fit message in front of your audience at the right time and place.
Now that your audience knows what you have to offer, and you have their attention, it is time for the next phase. How do we get from arousing interest to a sale?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The added value of a Solution Architect in an Agile environment

In my former project I worked as a Solution Architect in an agile environment. The environment existed of the migration of a European SAP landscape into a global SAP landscape, the roll-out of the SAP solution to new countries, the integration of non-SAP solutions into the SAP landscape and process and system optimization projects. And this was all done simultaneously and by several scrum teams working on different locations around the globe. 

When I asked some stakeholders in this project what the added value was of the Solution Architect in an agile environment they gave me some very interesting answers I would like to share with you. 
It shows the role of the architect has changed from an independent, strategic, ivory tower role into an agile, holistic, integral part of the scrum team role.
And it clearly shows the added value a Solution Architect can bring to your project or organisation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Every complaint is an opportunity

Every CRM minded person knows complaints are excellent opportunities to engage your customers even more. To exploit these opportunities to its fullest potential a good registration is a key success factor. And that's the point where C4C comes into play.

Looking at the common Order-to-Cash process, it is important to relate complaints to documents from this process. For example, if a customer complaints about an incorrect invoice, this invoice should be the starting point of the complaint process and therefore linked to the complaint. Unfortunately, in standard C4C complaint processing functionality it is only possible to relate a complaint to an ECC Sales Order. Besides this, the process in standard C4C starts from the order search in C4C. Above requirements were critical for several of our customers and therefore we realized them in C4C with some enhancements. In this blog the process in C4C related to complaint processing on ECC orders, invoices and deliveries is explained as well as the activities you have to perform in different systems to realize a mature complaint management process. For this the scenario of a customer complaint about an invoice is used.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

CPQ solutions integrated with SAP Hybris C4C (and SAP ECC)

As product and service portfolios grow with many companies, it becomes increasingly difficult to correctly price products in quotes and to identify up- and cross selling opportunities. As a result, sales reps require more time to find the correct information, which leads to longer lead time to create a correct quote. Configuring a quote is a time consuming task to do right, and a new breed of solutions now aims at closing this gap. The solutions are called Configure, Price, Quote or CPQ solutions. These solutions aim at increasing the average deal size, accelerate the sales cycle in a workflow leveraged process.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Integrating one SAP Cloud for Customer system to multiple ECC systems

In this blog, my colleague has described how to integrate from multiple back end systems to one C4C System. That’s clear.

Now what if Accounts should be replicated from C4C to two ECC Systems?

Above scenario is possible with combination of a Custom field on C4C and SDK Enhancement Option implementation(BADI). More info on C4C BADI here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Implementing a BaDI in C4C

When implementing SAP C4C we strive for maximal use of standard processes and limit the amount of custom development. However we do sometimes need to alter the flow just a little bit. Fortunately SAP has given us some enhancement spots for adding our own business logic.
In this blog I will demonstrate the step for implementing a BaDI or Enhancement Spot in C4C for the following use-case. My Customer wishes to change the default recipient of an email from a ticket based on the ticket type. So for customer created tickets this should be the Customer Contact, SAP Standard process, but for more internal tickets (that are customer oriented) the recipient should be the ticket owner.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Creating QR Codes from ABAP

Recently I've been investigating the technical possibilities of generating and using QR codes in an SAP Netweaver (or CRM On Premise) context. I've learned a few useful things along the way, and I would like to share them here.

What are QR codes again?

QR Codes have been around for quite some time and I think almost everbody has seen at least one QR Code in the last few years. A QR code is basically a two-dimensional barcode that can contain a small amount of information, Typically this will be an identifying number, a url or a small amount of text. The meaning of the content depends on who scans it. A typical generic QR Code app on your smartform will probably assume that you are scanning a url and want to visit that url. In other scneario's you might have a coupon that gives you a discount.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Trade Promotion Management in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer

What exactly is trade promotion management? The term ‘trade’ refers to the relation between manufacturer and retailer, accordingly trade promotion refers to marketing activities taking place between these parties. In fact, trade promotion is a marketing technique aimed at increasing demand for certain products in retail stores based on incentives such as special pricing, value added bonuses and volume discount.

Trade promotions can offer various benefits to businesses; they can be used to acquire brand awareness, customer loyalty, customer retention and an increased revenue. Furthermore, trade promotions can increase a product’s purchasing figures and enlarge a product’s market segment penetration. Moreover, trade promotions can be used to improve distribution of a company’s products at retailers and strengthen the relationship with those retailers. Finally, one of the benefits of trade promotions is also that they can be utilized to introduce new products into retail stores.

From the 1505 release of SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (from now on: SAP C4C) onwards, Trade Promotion Management is part of the solution. While the functionality in that release merely considered replication of promotions from SAP CRM on premise to SAP C4C, a lot has happened since then. Nowadays it is possible to create and maintain promotions in SAP C4C, which paves the road for promotions related scenarios in SAP C4C only. In this blog I will start with the basic setup, followed by a scenario showing how promotions can be used to support your day-to-day sales activities.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Not only results count!

It’s Not What You Do, But How You Do It. And: “C'est le ton qui fait la musique”.

When working in a project, it is not just the result that counts, the road to the result has big influence on the success of the business objectives. Project- and change management are key players in defining this road.

The project approach highly affects the process, final result and business goals.

Project goal versus project result

Each organization sets it's objectives. In order to achieve these objectives, sometimes preconditions are required. To fulfill such preconditions, projects are appointed. Projects hardly ever serve business goals directly, but function as enablers or preconditions for the business. Projects deliver results. The project outcome – result - enables the business objectives.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Technical solution not always needed...

Even after many years working with SAP CRM on Premise, I'm sometimes asking myself why something is not working as expected (or at least not as we thought should be logical). And while we like to build technical solutions to solve these, it is sometimes easier (not forgetting cheaper as well) to accept the issue once analysed - if there are no actual business implications or customer inconvenience, and just continue with more important business topics.

Let’s take a recent example I encountered at a project, where we have a nice CRM on-premise system linked to an ECC back-end. One of the processes implemented in our environment is consignment, with consignment fill-up for putting goods on stock at customers location, and consignment issue when the customer tells us he how much and when he took goods from the consignment stock.

So far - all proven, standard SAP. Below picture from the SAP documentation nicely visualizes the consignment fill-up and consignment issue.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Implementing a Call-Me-Back scenario in ERMS

Successfully processing emails in ERMS can be a complex exercise.
Of course, depending on your requirements, ERMS can be implemented simple, or more complex.
ERMS basically consists of a few automated steps.

1. Receiving the email
2. A workflow
3. A set of ‘Factgathering services’
4. An ERMS Rule Policy
5. A set of ‘Action Handling services’

When you get the hang of the logic in ERMS, basically everything is possible. It actually turns out to be quite a powerful platform, where the cherry is the combination of the Factgathering services, Action handling services and the Rule Policy.
In my specific requirement I wanted to create an outbound call in a call list if certain requirements in the content of the email were met.

To cut thing short… if a certain field in the webform was filled with ‘Call Me Back’, I needed to create an outbound call in a call list.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Enhancement Packs and the search for disruptions

Every now and then SAP releases an Enhancement Pack for your CRM system and besides enjoying all new enhancements you are faced with the challenge of finding possible disruptions. Tools exists for checking and adjusting modifications (transactions SE95, SPDD and SPAU) and for the WebUI enhancements (WCF_CC and WCF_RT_COMP). In addition you can use the Code Inspector (SCI) to scan all the custom developments for warnings and errors. And then? Is that all you can do before starting testing?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector

This weeks’ blog gives you a quick preview on a product that acts as an extension of SAP CRM and IS-U. It is called SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector. To say it in other words; a self-service scenario for utilities.

What is it exactly?

SAP MCF for Utilities and Public Sector is a solution for utility companies to provide self service to their customers via various channels (web, phone, tablet and social media).
The tool is based on SAP NetWeaver Gateway which uses predefined OData-services connected to SAP CRM and SAP ERP/ IS-U. Although the product is not new; the first version was released for customers in 2014, the need for more simple ways to serve customers and to reduce inbound calls has become bigger.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer - 1605 Release

Developments in SAP Hybris C4C are going fast. As a matter of fact, the Cloud solution is evolving at warp speed. Every quarter a new release is being pushed to all users meaning that all system tenants are being upgraded. At the beginning of this month (7th of May 2016) the system was upgraded to the anticipated solution version 1605.01.0016, another milestone in the C4C history.

Why was this a milestone? First of all, as of release 1605 the product name officially changed to SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. And second, this release was filled again with tons of new features, goodies and bug fixes which potentially could turn many C4C users into happy campers.

In this edition of our weekly blog I will elaborate on a selection of interesting new features and changes that are worthwhile to take a closer look at. I will highlight features that have been released for the Cloud for Sales and Cloud for Service solution.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Adding a formatted free text to your pdf forms in SAP Cloud for Customer

Since the 1511 release it is possible to define your own formatted text field as an extension to basically any object in SAP Cloud for Customer and add this field to your PDF form templates. Relatively simple in concept, but it provides the flexibility to add (formatted) free text to the generated output for all transactional- and master data objects in C4C that did not have the option before.

This blog shows how it can be done for the tickets in SAP C4C. Generating a PDF summary for a ticket has always lacked the option to add a formatted free text or note, but with this extension mechanism we can add a free text to the ticket and have it included in the PDF summary. This upgrades this ticket summary to a potential letter or any other kind of output that can be sent to your customers in a well formatted way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dynamic variable replacement in a standard text

In today’s blog I would like to share a code example about how to dynamically replace text variables in a Standard (SO10) text. Every time I have to use text while I’m programming I want to make this text maintainable so I do not have to hardcode this text. When this text is not hardcoded it’s also easier to make changes to the text by someone else then the developer who created the logic.

For this blog I created the following text containing the variables LV_COMPANY, LV_DATE, LV_CITY and LV_MEDIUM. By the end of the blog we would have an elegant way to replace variables in a SO10 text.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Next level ABAP Development: Creating efficient code

The technical innovations in the SAP world are following each other in rapid succession. It should therefore not come as a surprise that even our trusty ABAP language is not left untouched. A lot of new cool features have been introduced in the ABAP 7.40 release which has been around for quite some time now and with the upcoming 7.50 release even more ammunition can be added to your ABAP arsenal. Being an ABAP developer myself I find it important to keep track of these innovations so that I can benefit from the new possibilities they give me and allow me to create more efficient code in the process. In this blog I will first give you some practical examples of the new possibilities in the ABAP 7.40 release which I use daily and make my life as an ABAP developer a lot easier. In the second part I will dive deeper into some of the new features of the ABAP 7.50 release and give some practical examples of how they can be applied.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Excel is king, SAP C4C his queen!

As one of the account managers of Acorel I use SAP Cloud for Customer frequently in my day-to-day work. I keep track of my leads, opportunities, make sure that all customer information is up-to-date and plan my appointments (in combination with MS Outlook). We even have some cool dashboards and reports that give a more aggregated view on e.g. the pipeline. Sounds great hey ;) Ok, ok, I might be a bit biased but I strongly believe C4C is a great tool that makes my sales life easier.

In this blog I would like to point out that some of my favorite features aren't 100% SAP Cloud for Customer… say what?! Yup, it’s the Microsoft Excel plug-in I want to share some information and use-case about. One of my managers in the beginning of my career told me once “Excel is king” and I think a lot of people will still agree; it’s flexible, fast and easy to use for a sales rep like me ;)
Well, if “Excel is king”, I think you will agree with me, after reading this blog, that “C4C is his queen”.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Agile/Scrum in SAP implementation projects

More and more organizations are moving away from waterfall and start using Agile/Scrum. In practice, however, you often hear they are actually ‘scrum-buts’: they tweak the method to their own unique situation and according to some people therefore not using its full potential. I just finished a project where we did full-scrum, so let me share my experience so it can help you in making your own decisions.

Sprint length

Let’s start with the sprint length. The length you choose has a big influence on the whole scrum experience. Usually scrum proponents prefer a shorter one because as a team you learn quicker as there are more frequent retrospectives and more importantly you are forced to work with smaller stories, which contributes to a steeper learning curve and makes it easier and less risky to write and size follow-up stories.

Scrum skeptics usually prefer a longer length because it enables them to work more in a waterfall way and they think it’s more efficient. They feel the overhead of the scrum ceremonies is much larger when the sprint length is short. Although officially this is not true, because their duration depend on the sprint length, in practice this is absolutely my experience. In longer sprints it’s easier to combine stories in one demo which makes both preparation and presentation time shorter. But also grooming and sprint planning takes longer: we lost quite some time in discussions to cut larger stories into smaller pieces and agreeing on the scope of each. The shorter the sprints are, the more often you need to do this.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Using the BOL in BAdIs... Or not?

Developing custom programs from scratch is one thing, creating modifications within SAP CRM is something totally different. Within a system like SAP CRM you need to know how things work, what options you have to achieve a specific goal etc.

In this blog I want to share my experience on working with BOL/GenIL and some of the BAdI's I have implemented, and I hope to get some more insights/tricks from you readers as well. ;-)

If you are not familiar with BAdI's, Check here for more information.

The first problem I ran into was with the following requirement:
"When saving a specific business transaction in the WebClient we want to make sure that field Y is filled".
The first solution for this requirement was created within the configuration making field Y mandatory. After some testing we found out that despite the field being mandatory, when navigating to another view and we clicked the End button the business transaction would still be saved.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Start using the ERP Cockpit in SAP Cloud for Customer

Customers frequently require insight in ECC information like Sales Orders, Deliveries, and Billing Documents etc. directly from SAP Cloud for Customer. SAP C4C provides the following functionalities;
  • ECC Search
  • Account 360 for recent orders
  • ERP Customer Factsheet offers a PDF factsheet without the need for a VPN connection
  • ERP Cockpit
The configuration for the ERP Cockpit is fast and easy and provides a standard Customer Cockpit that can be personalized by the user. Further customization of the ERP Cockpit is also possible, but requires custom coding on the customer cockpit functionality in SAP ECC.

Although the ERP Cockpit can be opened on a tablet, the ERP Cockpit is not optimized for touch navigation. Also a VPN connection is needed to access an ERP system in general. The ERP Cockpit is aimed at the (internal) Sales employee to quickly navigate to customer sales documents from SAP C4C.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Telephony Integration in SAP Cloud for Customer

In the past I have done an accreditation on the integration of SAP BCM (the previous name of SAP's Contact Center solution) and SAP CRM onPremise. The past two years I have been working as a C4C consultant and obviously became interested in the possibilities of integrating C4C with SAP Contact Center. When one of my customers requested details about the integration possibilities between SAP BCM and C4C, I investigated the possibilities, which I would like to share here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Benefits Of Integrating Social Media In Cloud For Service - Twitter Integration.

SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) consists of three pillars:
  • SAP Cloud for Sales
  • SAP Cloud for Service
  • SAP Cloud for Social Engagement
In this blog we will highlight the benefits of using Social Engagement in relation with SAP Cloud for Service. Whereas the areas of Sales and Service are extensively discussed and reviewed the Social Engagement part is not that known by the C4C user community. The blog will consists of two parts where part 1 will describe the advantages of Cloud for Social Engagement whereas part 2 will focus on setting up the integration between Twitter and SAP C4C.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How to show on premise data in C4C using SAP HANA Cloud Integration

One of the most requested developments within SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) is extending screens with data from other resources.
This blog will be a step by step guide to display data from an on premise system in C4C via HANA Cloud Integration (HCI).

Developments can be split up in 3 different categories, i.e.: ECC, HCI and C4C. I will mainly focus on the C4C side, but will show some screenshots of the other developments as well.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SAP Cloud for Customer - Out of the Box integration

Integration of customer focussed systems such as SAP Cloud for Customer is no longer limited to only SAP ECC. Customers are asking for integration with social media and a variety of other tools and platforms, SAP C4C offers many of these integration capabilities, some of them out of the box. This blog provides an overview of the platforms and tools C4C integrates with and shows how easy it is to realize an integration using a mashup web service.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What's in store for the February release of SAP Cloud for Customer?

SAP updates its Cloud for Customer system four times a year and we have just had the first one of 2016.
I would like to share with you an extract of the fully detailed scope document for the highlights of new and improved functionalities of this release.
I am taking you on a trip through the different areas of interest: sales, service and overall.


Sales area independent relationships

As of the February release you can maintain sales area dependent relationships. This means that, when creating a relationship between two accounts, you can add your own defined sales area. During partner determination on your transactions, sales area data is taken into account. When you are running an integrated scenario with SAP ECC, this data is also replicated.
You need to activate sales area dependency for each relationship type in your system configuration.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

SAP reveals new components of its digital platform at the SAP Hybris Summit 2016

Nowadays a lot of companies are trying to build-up their digital platform because the market is changing. Customers are digitally connected and demand a high level of service with a real (digital) customer experience. Competitors are entering the market with new business models made possible by the speed of innovations. Companies are looking for new ways to get in touch with the customer and want to be distinctive, creating magic moments, to stay ahead of their competitors. So, its all about knowing your customer, thoroughly. Companies want to become digital masters and don’t want to be digitally disrupted.

SAP Hybris Summit

From Monday February 15th until Wednesday February 17th Acorel visited the SAP Hybris Summit in Munich, Germany. At the moment the SAP Hybris Summit is the main SAP event in the area of Customer Engagement and Commerce. Important leaders like Carsten Thoma, President & General Manager SAP Hybris, Brian Walker, Chief Strategy Officer SAP Hybris and Pascal Matzke, VP Research Director Forrester and interesting customer stories from Asics, Samsung, T-Systems, Alfa Laval, Arco, Trek Bikes, Office Depot, Tata Steel showed customers and partners the direction and new solutions towards the SAP Hybris digital platform.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Using an AngularJS / Bootstrap template in an SAP HCP HTML5 application

As you probably know, SAP provides SAPUI5 as the framework for building HTML5 applications on HCP. Out of the box the SAP WebIDE provides you with a lot of stuff to quickly create applications built with SAPUI5. In some cases however, SAPUI5 might not be the best framework for the application that you're building. This blog describes why you might want to use a different framework and how you can use a template built with this framework (AngularJS in this case) in the SAP WebIDE and run it on HCP.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Quick implementation of Hybris integrated with SAP

Do you also want to have a SAP Hybris commerce webshop? Do you also think that this is complex and expensive ? Read this blog to find out how to quickly implement a SAP Hybris webshop in your company!

The story of SAP and E-Commerce

SAP has always delivered an easy to build e-commerce webshop connected to the SAP backend system. It started with the Online Store (1996 - 2003). This was replaced by SAP Internet Sales (2002 - 2010) and later by SAP Web Channel Experience Management. As from 2013 SAP bought Hybris which is the leading solution for commerce.

The main advantages of the previous SAP solutions were:
  • Easy to implement and easy to configure
  • Out-of-the-box working B2C and B2B webshop
  • Out-of-the-box integration with SAP ERP and SAP CRM

The main disadvantages of the previous SAP solutions were:
  • Not flexible (limited number of functionality)
  • Not state-of-the-art technology 
  • Poor performance
  • Only working with SAP backend system

Now SAP Hybris solves the disadvantages and with the Acorel approach keeps the advantages.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Customer Master Data integration with SAP Cloud for Customer and ECC

Integration with your SAP ECC backend is one of the standard features of SAP C4C. The Integration options are flexible but this also requires you to make decisions on how you want the integration to work. One of the things you need to decide is how you want to cope with updates of your customer master data.

Some subjects to consider are:
  • Do you want to allow changes in SAP C4C to update your customer data in SAP ECC? 
  • Do you want to allow users to convert Prospects into Customers in SAP C4C which in turn creates an account in SAP ECC? 
  • Do you want to keep the creation of Customers in SAP ECC limited to you Master Data Management team? 

The level of data that you want users to update is also important. For instance, will you allow the creation of new contact persons and relationships in SAP C4C and should they be sent to ECC?

In most of our projects we see that Prospects are allowed to be created and updated in SAP C4C, but Customer master data is not (excluding for instance the creation of new Contact Persons and Relationships). Changes in Customer master data, and creation of new customers, need to go via the Master Data Management team who in turn create/update the data in SAP ECC.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

7 tips to quickly install SAP Hybris Commerce Suite on your PC

SAP Hybris Commerce Suite is the omni-channel commerce solution from SAP Hybris. It offers a consistent shopping experience accross channels like web or call center and can be integrated with SAP ERP or CRM.

You would like to install the SAP Hybris Commerce Suite locally on your PC for a customer demonstration or to familiarize yourself with the SAP Hybris Commerce functionality? You don’t want to spend time on solving installation issues? Follow the 7 tips to quickly install the SAP Hybris Commerce Suite on your PC and get started!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Field Service Management in Cloud for Customer 1602

Every new release of SAP's Cloud for Customer brings a lot of new functionality. At the moment one of the focus points of SAP is bringing the full Field Service functionality to C4C.
In this blog we will take a closer look at the capabilities of C4C release 1602 with a specific focus on the Field Service functionality. Which functionalities are available, and what will the (near) future bring.

Process Overview

Within C4C the service process can start with selling a service contract via the quotation flow. The contract will be the place holder for the SLA that is agreed with the customer and will initiate the billing.
A customer is able to connect to its supplier via multiple channels in case of a break down.  A ticket is created for this customer by the customer support team.
When this ticket requires work we enter the area of field service management. This process includes the planning, execution and confirmation of service demands. The objects used for this proces wil be handled in the rest of this blog.
This blog does not focus on the Ticketing part itself, since this is already covered in many other blogs.