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.