Wednesday, March 21, 2018

SAP S/4 HANA for Customer Management: First Release

Last month (28th of February 2018) SAP released the first version of SAP S4HANA for Customer Management. SAP S/4HANA for customer management is an add-on for SAP S/4HANA. It is a solution for managing your customer relationships and offers the set up and operation of functions and processes in the areas of service order management and customer interaction.

A part of the current service functionalities available in SAP CRM On-Premise are now integrated into S/4HANA. More sales and service features will be supported in subsequent versions. The first release has specific focus on service functionality. Why is that? The current S/4HANA offering does not support a customer service scenario. Furthermore, it’s clear marketing processes are not part of this offering at all and should be covered in other tools like Hybris Marketing.

Architecture

If we have a closer look at the architecture we see the technique for the user interface is still (like in SAP CRM) the webclient UI (including BOL/GENIL) and not SAP UI5. To have the same look and feel across S4HANA for end-users a new UI theme is designed. This “Belize” theme is a SAP Fiori look-a-like.

Architecture

Also, a consolidation and harmonization of master data objects, datamodel and engines took place. Well known functions like CRM Middleware, CRM pricing, Java Stack and TREX are eliminated since SAP S4HANA for Customer Management add-on it deployed on the S4HANA system. This simplifies your landscapes.


Service Overview User Interface

Service and Interaction center


Like said the focus, besides harmonization and consolidation of master data objects and database model, is on service due to the lack of service functionality in S4HANA. Delivered service functions are Service Request, Quote, Order and Confirmations. Those are supported by the basic functions which we know from SAP CRM like partner processing, actions, date management, categorization, rule modeler, alert management etc.
Another function which is already available is the Interaction Center. This makes it possible for your service agents to communicate with your customers using various communication channels and to handle inbound, as well as outbound contacts. All relevant account information is available to them which allow them to handle phone calls, emails, chats, business transaction etc.
Available functions of the Interaction center in the first release:
  • Business transactions                                        
  • Communication channel
  • Account Identification/account factsheet 
  • Interaction record/history
  • Agent inbox 
  • Alerts and messages
  • ERMS


Interaction center User Interface


Industry Solution
Together with the above also the first industry solution is deployed: Utilities. This allows utility companies to use the service capabilities in the interaction center. Interaction center agents can use the interaction center to search and manage the utilities master data as well as to carry out the specific utilities industry processes such as meter reading, bill correction, move-in / out, financial inquiries etc.

Roadmap
SAP also communicated some kind of a road map. The next release, 1809, will cover more service functionality and also the first (pre) sales functions. The second release of S4HANA for customer management is planned for October 4, 2018. What still is missing in the current version and the below roadmap are migration tools for custom code and data (master and transactional data). In my opinion crucial tools to switch from your current SAP CRM system to SAP S4HANA for Customer Management.


Roadmap



The first release of SAP S4HANA for Customer Management is a more or less a simplified version of SAP CRM embedded into SAP S4HANA. It’s an add-on on top of S4HANA, which means that S4HANA for customer management tables will be part of the S/4HANA database scheme. This results in a simplified system landscape which you can run at a lower total cost of ownership. The current available functionality is limited but this will change in the near future.