Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why integrating SAP BCM with SAP CRM offers great benefits to your Customer Service

Today’s telecommunications world

THE buzzword in today’s telecommunications world is “Communication Enabled Business Processes (CEBP)” - integrating your communication systems with your business applications.

In the traditional communications world, companies used to invest in different solutions for communications, business process applications and IT-systems. They would have a solution for telephony (office and mobile), a solution for contact center and a solution for IT systems - completely separate from business applications.
Today's challenges of distributed teams (across geographies and functions), distributed know-how (across the organization and in different time-zones) and multiple communication channels (telephony/ email and chat) have raised the important question how to efficiently and effectively execute and manage your business processes.

This is where CEBPs become important.Today’s blog is about the integration of SAP BCM with SAP CRM. SAP BCM can be integrated with all CRM business roles, being the SAP CRM Interaction Center, SAP Sales, SAP Marketing and SAP Service role. With this integrated solution, SAP offers a complete end-to-end contact center communications and business process solution, making it a true CEBP solution.

What is SAP BCM?

SAP BCM is an all software, Voice-over-IP, Single Desktop, Contact Center solution and enables your contact center to communicate with your customers via multiple channels, like phone, email, chat and SMS. Because it is a single desktop solution, using either the BCM desktop (when used standalone) or e.g. SAP CRM (when integrated with CRM) there is no more need to toggle between different systems when handling communications with your customers.

Because SAP BCM is an all-software solution, it natively integrates with SAP CRM, SAP ERP and Business by Design. This means there is no need for third party adapters or CTI middleware/ connectors. This offers you both cost advantages and the advantage of having to deal with only one vendor, who has all the responsibility. Besides this, SAP BCM uses open standards and open interfaces, which makes it possible to seamlessly integrate with 3rd party PBX-es and SIP devices and 3rd party applications.

SAP BCM is an IP based solution which means, that your phone calls no longer make use of a separate telephony network, but make use of the existing data network instead, as is the case with your SAP ERP and/or SAP CRM system. This makes the integration with business applications and your relevant business processes very easy. Also this makes it possible to connect your customer with available subjects area experts in the back office, regardless of their location (also mobile).

SAP BCM makes use of one single routing logic, Intelligent Unified Multi-Channel Contact Routing. This means that the email routing logic for example is the same as telephony routing logic. When you compare this to other CTI solutions you see for example that they could have a certain routing logic for their telephony but use Outlook rules for example to route their emails.

What does SAP BCM offer?

SAP BCM offers out-of-the box solutions for your Inbound Contact Center (e.g. your Customer Service), your Outbound Contact Center (e.g. outbound calling for marketing campaigns) your Extended Contact Center (backoffice)/ Experts (who you might need to be able to reach mobile whilst working in the field) and for Automated Services (/IVR) (e.g. self-service options for routing inquiries like status updates of a service order). Let me list some of the out-of-the-box capabilities that are delivered by SAP BCM:
  • Voice/ Telephony and conferencing
  • Intelligent Unified Multi-Channel Contact Routing
  • Voicemail and Messaging Services
  • Presence and Directory Services
  • Call recording
  • Communication-Enabled Business Processes
  • Online Monitoring, Reporting and Analysis
  • Consolidated Administration, Management and Control
  • Softphones, IP Deskphones and Mobile Clients
  • Enterprise Application Integration with Open Interfaces

What are the benefits of SAP BCM integrated with CRM?

I can list quite a few benefits of SAP BCM here, like reduced time to answer, reduced time to skills (intelligent routing), reduced time to resolution, reduced operational costs etc. But being a SAP CRM implementation partner, we are of course mostly interested in the specific benefits of the seamless integration with SAP CRM. I will therefor elaborate on these benefits below.

The biggest, overall advantage of SAP BCM integrated with SAP CRM is that it integrates Communications and Events with Business Processes, which makes it a true CEBP solution. Let me list the most important benefits below:
SAP BCM softphone functionality is integrated with the Interaction Center toolbar; there is no more need for physical phones. You can accept phone calls, emails and chats immediately from the CRM User Interface. From the same screen there is also functionality for dialing out, transferring calls and starting a conference for example.

One Single Agent Desktop; the contact center agent can handle all communications (email, chat, fax, phone calls, call backs) and access all customer information through one single user interface, so no more need to toggle between different systems and user interfaces. In the scenario for example where an existing customer makes a phone call to your contact center, the customer will be recognized (based on the phone number maintained for this customer in CRM or based on for example the customer number given in the IVR). The contact center agent will see with the incoming phone call already the customer details (in case existing customer is recognized), his/ her phone number details (CAD or Call Attached Data) and the path the customer went through in the IVR.

When confirming the customer, immediately the contact center agent then sees the previous interactions with this customer. From the same screen you can now navigate e.g. to the account overview, to the knowledge database, to leads or opportunities, sales orders etcetera. So the contact center agent has all relevant customer information at hand, from one single screen. Also CRM can be configured to automatically navigate to any open issues or tickets the identified customer is having. All the above will lead to an immediate increase of your contact center agent productivity and customer satisfaction.

Multi-Channel Integration in IC WebClient; the contact center agent can access telephony, email and chat from one single user interface. Depending on the queue the contact center agent is assigned to, his availability and prioritization, phone calls, emails and chats can be pushed to his CRM desktop, allowing the contact center agent to handle multiple communications at once.

Multiple customer interactions; with EhP1 simultaneous contacts (email/ call and chat) will be possible, which makes it possible for agents to handle multiple customer interactions at the same time. The different open interactions will show in different tabs within the WebUI. This means a contact center agent can handle calls while at the same time working on an answer to an email. Or for example handling multiple chat sessions at the same time.

SAP BCM Presence Integration with SAP CRM and SAP CRM instant messaging (IM) session using SAP BCM routing capabilities; when discussing e.g. a lead with the customer, the contact center agent can decide that the employee responsible for this lead should further handle this call. From the assignment block ‘parties involved’ you can find the employee responsible and see his/ her presence in SAP BCM. If the employee responsible is present, you can put your customer on hold in SAP CRM and immediately start up an Instant Message (IM) with the employee responsible and discuss with him/ her whether or not you can transfer the call to him/ her…all from the same SAP CRM screen. This ease and efficiency in collaboration with your colleagues will encourage people to collaborate.


SAP CRM context transfer over IM session or call transfer /consultation; in the above screen print you can see the possibility to send context. This means that with the collaboration, before or during, you can send the business context of your call. This way the employee responsible you are transferring the call to receives the business context with accepting the call, being for example the data on the activity clipboard, recent interactions and general data. This context can be flexibly chosen.
ERMS advantages; with the integration of SAP BCM and SAP CRM you can make use of the strong capabilities of SAP BCM’s email routing and SAP CRM’s ERMS. When the customer sends an email to the contact center, the email will be retrieved by SAP CRM from the email server and analyzed first. Based on your configured ERMS rules, ERMS can then decide to forward this email to an agent that is present in BCM (instead of sending it to a team’s inbox for example). ERMS thus sends the routing request to BCM. BCM then, with its unified routing engine, routes the email to the available agent that has the right skills. This way ERMS makes sure your email handling becomes far more efficient and SAP BCM increases the throughput and optimizes the blending of channels.

Outbound Campaigns Integration; with this integration you make it possible to let your contact center agents join a marketing campaign that has been created in CRM and make outbound calls for this marketing campaign out of SAP CRM, following a script if necessary. Once the campaign is planned and created entirely in SAP CRM, the calling list has to be imported in SAP BCM. The campaign administrator then needs to assign agents to the campaign in SAP BCM and start the outbound campaign. The assigned agents then need to sign in to the campaign in SAP BCM CDT. From that moment on the agents will receive campaign calls in the SAP CRM Interaction Center.

Important to mention here is that in the case of outbound campaigns, the contact center agent thus needs access both to the SAP BCM CDT and SAP CRM. However in all other cases, there is no need for the contact center agent to manually access the SAP BCM CDT. Everything can be done from the SAP CRM User Interface. Of course presence in SAP BCM is always necessary, but the SAP BCM CDT can be started in the background without the contact center agent even noticing or having anything to do here. Ready statuses and availability can be maintained in SAP CRM and will automatically be updated in SAP BCM.


SAP has a rapid-deployment solution available for a fast deployment of SAP BCM. This RDS however has a limited scope and includes only services for inbound contact centers, does not include skill based routing and includes voice only (so no multi-channel licenses). For more information on the SAP BCM RDS, please have a look at

As you know, Acorel is THE expert in SAP CRM and has the expertise and experience to implement SAP CRM solutions, in this context most importantly the SAP Customer Interaction Center solution, and to integrate SAP CRM with SAP BCM, either via the Acorel implementation service for SAP BCM Rapid Deployment Solution or via regular implementation methods for the complete SAP BCM license scope. For more information, please visit our website at