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.
To accelerate the implementation of  SAP MCF, it is delivered with  SAPUI5-templates. These can be  used as a user interface and modified to fit the company needs.


Who is it for?


Water supply companies, electricity / gas suppliers, grid companies and other public service companies.


Functionality


The next figure shows the processes that are included in SAP MCF (SP05 – November 2015).




 
In March of this year SAP has released SP06 which also includes Agent Co-Browsing. With this functionality, it is possible for a customer service agent to login to the customers view of the application. This way, the agent can support the customer helping him navigate through the application, or perform actions on his behalf.
Multichannel foundation can be installed on IS-U standalone, however in that case not all functionality will be available.
The following explained details are regarding a fully functional SAP CRM / IS-U scenario.


How does it work?


Multi-channel foundation consists of a set of self-service scenarios. The scenarios are delivered as a SAPUI5-template which is hosted on SAP Netweaver Gateway. This user interface can be accessed through a web browser or SAPUI5 container. It communicates with the SAP Gateway using the OData protocol. The SAP Gateway dispatches the calls to specific back end systems. To support the scenarios, additional services are added on both SAP CRM and IS-U by installing two add-ons.



Steps for installing SAP Multichannel Foundation


The following steps are needed to use the pre-delivered template. First make sure you meet the following prerequisites:

  •  SAP IS-U  > 6.EhP4  +  add-on UMCERP01 installed
  •  SAP CRM  > 7.0EhP0  +  add-on UMCCRM01 installed
  •  SAP Gateway + add-on UMCCUI501 installed
SAP Gateway
  • Define SAP IS-U and CRM in SAP Gateway as a RFC-destination and setup  system aliases
  • Create roles, service and reference users
  • Setup B2C user management
SAP IS-U and CRM
 
  • Register all relevant services in IS-U and CRM in SICF
  • Create roles, service and reference users
  • Assign to users to services
  • Activate all relevant services, for security reasons every service is delivered inactive
  • To make sure that customizing fits the purpose, activate additional BC-sets

SAP advices to tailor MCF to your company’s needs. So to extend the standard delivered model Eclipse (Luna or Mars) is used as developments environment to . To find out how to develop on SAP NetWeaver Gateway, go to https://tools.hana.ondemand.com/ 


Visualization Data model


After installing the above components, including Eclipse it is possible to make a graphical representation of the data model of MCF.  I tried this only on the local CRM Gateway to bypass the use of a central Gateway Hub. To achieve this, first make sure that the service is published in transaction /IWFND/MAINT_SERVICE. After that, make sure that the service can be tested via SICF. To make the data model of MCF in CRM visible, import the following service in the OData modeler add-on in Eclipse; the service looks like this:

  
http://<host>:<port>/sap/opu/odata/sap/crm_utilities_umc/$metadata
 

It should result in a data model like this (big) , which gives you an overview of all entities relevant for MCF.

 
 
 
 


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