Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Customer onDemand - Part 1

Implementation and Business Configuration

In 2011 SAP introduced a new product in their line of CRM business applications called SAP Sales onDemand. Sales onDemand is a Cloud solution hosted by SAP. Basically it is a Salesforce Automation tool with basis functionalities, also available on mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad.

Since its first introduction it has rapidly evolved in an almost complete CRM application offering a wide range of Marketing, Sales and Service capabilities that easily can withstand other CRM cloud solution competitors. It offers an out of the box integration with SAP ERP and SAP CRM 7.0. Since it is far more than just a sales tool, the name has changed accordingly from SAP Sales on Demand to SAP Customer onDemand. SAP is continually improving SAP Customer onDemand. For this year alone, two more releases or waves are planned with new and enhanced functionalities.

SAP Customer onDemand on your PC or on mobile devices such as the iPad

Acorel recently signed a partnership with SAP to further drive and promote SAP Customer onDemand. As a result we are fortunate enough to have a close look at the inner workings of SAP Customer onDemand (CoD).

This blog is the first in a total of three blogs where we will have a look under the hood of what drives SAP Customer onDemand. In part 1 I will explain the implementation project. In the second part I will show you how to set up your organization and users in CoD. In part 3 we have a closer look at the enhancement possibilities such as adding fields, tabs, changing layouts etcetera.
If you haven’t seen SAP Customer onDemand in real life yet, I advise you to have a look at some excellent videos on YouTube* or even better, sign up here for a free demo trial version.

*search for SAP Sales onDemand since the name Customer onDemand was only recently adopted

Implementation steps

When your organization has purchased CoD you will receive a url from SAP which gives you access to your CoD system which is actually your space on a SAP server, better known as a “Tenant”. Separately SAP provides you with an initial user and password. The first thing you need to do is set up a user for an Administrator and deactivate the initial user.

Next SAP will assist you with the on boarding process. Basically this involves determining the scope of the project in Marketing, Sales and Service terms, such as integrating your ERP or CRM system and other facets. The Scope determination is all done in the CoD application by ticking the relevant boxes. The below image illustrates the scoping steps.

Scoping the project in Customer onDemand

When this exercise is completed, you review the results and change the scoping details if needed. When you reach a final scope, two documents are created. An executive summary and a detailed scope which form the basis for the implementation.

When the final scope is determined the realization of the project can start. The realization has five phases;
  1. Prepare
  2. Finetune
  3. Integrate and Extend
  4. Test
  5. Go-Live

As the next image shows, every project phase has a set of activities to complete.

The activities are dependent on the selected scope in the scoping phase. Via hyperlinks you get detailed information in the online CoD Library.


The Prepare phase contains all of the preliminary activities you need to carry out to get your company ready to use the solution productively. The activities in this phase are mainly related to project management and include reviewing the project plan, confirming that scoping has been completed, and transferring knowledge to key users. You can also create your own activities manually and add them to the activity list.


The Fine-Tune phase organizes all mandatory configuration activities that you need to complete in a logical sequence. It allows you to tailor the solution to your specific needs before going live by checking predefined settings and entering additional settings for your selected scope. You can also add optional configuration activities to the activity list.

The Fine-tune activities are dependent upon the project scope. It includes setting up the organization model. This is set up manually or can be migrated with the provided template and migration tool.
The configuration activities are the “Customizing” activities to configure the solution. For example there are standard Activity categories but you can add you own Z-Categories.

Integrate and Extend

The Integrate and Extend phase allows you to transfer the configured solution to the company to start using it productively. You do this by integrating with third party applications that already operate in your company and move your basic, master, and transaction data from your legacy system(s) to your new solution. You also decide what form, report, and user interface extensions you require to meet your company's specific needs.

SAP provides a very cool feature for customers to migrate data from their legacy systems into CoD. You can download the migration templates from CoD, fill the templates with your legacy data and use the inherent migration tool to upload and convert the data.


The Test phase contains activities that allow you to define test scenarios and guides, verify that your core business processes are running as desired, and transfer knowledge to end users before your solution goes live.
  1. Prepare integration tests
  2. Transfer knowledge to key users
  3. Perform Integration Tests
  4. Finalize integration tests
  5. Confirm Milestone: Go-Live readiness Acceptance

Go Live

The Go Live phase includes the final activities that must be completed to enable the solution to be used productively in the company. Typical activities include preparing and performing cutover, setting up internal support teams, and confirming that you are ready to go live. At the end of this phase, all mandatory and outstanding configuration issues are resolved, legacy data is migrated to the production system, knowledge transfer is complete, and the project is signed off and closed.
  1. Prepare Cutover
  2. Set Up Internal IT Support Teams
  3. Assign Contact to Contact Type
  4. Perform Cutover
  5. Confirm Go Live
  6. Close Project
Depending on the scope and further integration options, a Customer onDemand project typically takes 4-5 weeks to implement or 8-10 weeks with ERP/CRM integration.
What strikes me most is the clear and easy configuration and set up of CoD. The added benefit for customers is a limited implementation time. Coupled with self-learning modules, a data migration tool and test scripts accessible from CoD, your can rapidly transform your company to a customer centric organization.

We at Acorel are in the middle of the first SAP Customer on Demand projects in The Netherlands and getting to know the insides and outs.  If you have any questions regarding this topic please post them on this blog and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Next week I will dive a little deeper in the organizational set up and user management in SAP Customer onDemand.