Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Automatic task generation via workflow management in SAP Hybris C4C

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer can help customers to bring more structure in their processes. Using workflow management for all objects, from accounts to opportunities, you can automatically create important tasks for users to follow-up. This functionality is relatively new and was heard as a common request at a lot of our customers! Workflows embraces the flexibility and adaptability of your Cloud for Customer solution to meet your business requirements, especially now since automatic task creation is possible! How to achieve this and what is the impact of workflows on your C4C system?


Since one of the latest quarterly releases of SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer workflow configuration involves creating workflow rules that can trigger automatic creation of tasks as addition to e-mail messages, notifications, field updates and actions for business objects. The ability to create tasks based on workflow rules triggers users to actively follow-up on the processes that the organization defines as important. Besides that the relative time off-set functionality has a huge potential in changing the way customers use C4C. Instead of being reactive and base decisions on reports it helps all users to become more pro-active and forward acting which leads to better actions, revenues and happier customers.

A business requirement that we see a lot is that for a quote or ticket within a certain category and where hasn’t been any update since an X amount of days a follow-up should be created.  Workflow management in C4C is a perfect solution for these kinds of requirements. The task will be created upon meeting the conditions and is always related to the specific business object and/or customer. Another common business case is that based on date fields that are maintained on account level the account manager/sales rep should do follow-up, for example to do a credit check.

Task generated via workflowmanagement to support sales process.

In order to configure workflow rules navigate go to Administrator Workcenter and select Workflow Rules. Administrators can create workflows in 4 easy steps.

1. Select a business object and specify the timing:
All the relevant business objects are supported. Based on our experience we the purpose of task creation mainly used for accounts and transactional objects. The standard solution supports the following business objects for workflow.

Task creation workflow types are often scheduled, since there is the need to refine the workflow based on events like Business Object Change or on a Custom Date field. Select the event and specify the relative time like On, After or Before and fill the time offset.
Create workflow with timing "scheduled" for the desired business object.

2. Specify Conditions if any: 
Define which conditions should trigger the workflow rule. The conditions can be based on standard fields, extension fields, field value change, etc.

3. Select an Action:
Previously you only had the options: field update, action, e-mail, messaging and notification here. However since one of the latest releases the standard solution supports the creation of tasks.
In the task itself the link to the related object can be found and placeholders can be used in the subject of the task. With these placeholders extra information can be provided.
Select action "Activity Task" and use placeholders in the subject for additional information.

4. Complete and activate the workflow:

Always test scheduled workflows, for example with a time off set of some minutes. Check the workflow rule log in order to see if the workflow is executed. If not something, probably in the conditions isn’t set correctly.

Workflow management tips

Workflow management and especially the creation of tasks can help users by supporting them in planning and executing their follow-ups on sales and services processes. However it is know that workflow rules impact the system performance. Therefore always keep these helpful tips in your mind:

  1. All workflows except scheduled workflows run synchronously and therefore can impact the loading time of the affected business objects.
  2. Workflow times affects all business users that are using the affected business object.
  3. “Schedule” your workflow because this option will asynchronously run the rules. A time off set of 10 seconds is already sufficient. For the most use cases we’ve seen a “scheduled” option is possible!
  4. Make sure to monitor and check the workflow logs in order to see if the workflow rules are reliable and don’t fail.
  5. For routing (of tickets, leads, opportunities) it is better to use the routing rules capabilities in C4C than workflow rules.
  6. Create a single workflow with multiple conditions instead of having multiple rules active which have the same outcome.
  7. In case of complex workflows with a lot of conditions / checks it can be better to use SDK/PDI solutions.
  8. Longer saving times occur when the workflow rule needs to create an email activity.
  9. Try to avoid the use of custom business object actions which trigger a web service call within a workflow rule.
Use workflow log / rule log to monitor your workflow execution.