Wednesday, December 3, 2014

SAP Cloud for Customer: Workflow made Easy

This week’s blog has a bit of a confusing title, normally you wouldn’t expect the words SAP, Workflow and Easy in the same sentence. But when you add Cloud for Customer into the mix it suddenly makes sense, in this blog I will explain why. 

Coming from a SAP CRM on premise background every time a customer mentioned something about workflow most CRM consultants went screaming out of the building and the SAP Workflow consultants came in to configure and develop workflow specific functionality... Ok, that’s not entirely true but you need specific experience with workflow to be able to translate customer requirements into a fully functional workflow scenario. 


In SAP Cloud for Customer all workflow related configuration can be done without any workflow experience, you’re just a few clicks away from a fully functioning workflow scenario. The workflow configuration options are available from the administrator work center via the link “Workflow rules”. Another workflow based item is the “approval process” in which you can configure an approval process for campaigns, opportunities and sales quotes, we will focus in this blog on the Workflow rules but configuring the approval workflow is also a piece of cake. 

So let’s go ahead and create a simple workflow scenario. We’re going to send an email to the marketing responsible employee of a Lead, conditions on which the email should be send are:
  • the qualification of the Lead should be Hot
  • the lead should be linked to a campaign

Step 1

Creating a workflow scenario is a 5 step process. In the first step you have to select the business object for which you would like to create the workflow, all main objects are available to choose from like Account, Lead, Opportunity, Visit etc.  We choose Sales Lead, the workflow conditions should be checked each time the document is saved (other option is to only check at creation of the document):

Step 2

In the condition tab you configure under which conditions the workflow should be triggered. You can use different conditions groups, if at least one condition group applies (OR) the overall condition applies. A nice feature here is that you can use field values before and after the user has changed the lead. In our case we use this condition setup to check whether the lead Qualification before the save is not already equal to Hot because in that case the email will be send every time a Hot lead is saved.

Step 3

In step 3 you define the actions. Depending on the object you have the option of creating a Task, send an Email, perform an automatic escalation or Update a field. This last feature is a nice one because it will allow you, based on your conditions to update a field in the lead (e.g. when Campaign ID is registered update the field Source with value “Campaign”). The option to perform an automatic escalation is available for the objects Tickets and Incidents, so you are able to escalate a ticket when it’s passed the due date. 

In our case we’re going to send an email. So we select “E-mail” as the rule type. You can define the subject of the email and use variables in there. These variables should be formatted like “#variable#”, you basically have all fields from the object available for which you are creating the workflow. In our case we would like to add the ID of the lead in the subject so we add “Hot lead – ID #ID#” as the subject. You can use a html email template which you have stored locally to send the email, also in the template you’re able to use variables. You have to do a simple mapping linking the variable and the object field together (see picture below).

Some objects in SAP Cloud for Customer are enabled for direct navigation. Unfortunately the Sales Lead is not (yet) enabled for this but the Opportunity for example is. By following the direct link navigation specific guidelines in the master guide you can for example add a link to your email template which will allow for direct navigation to the object in SAP Cloud for Customer from the email, you have to make sure that the variable at the end of the URL is populated with the object id but you can do this in the same way as the other variables in the email template (using the brackets). Example of the link for direct navigation to an Opportunity is:

Last part of the action configuration is the recipient determination. You can set this up in a flexible way by adding a determination rule which reads the object for the employee(s) to send the email to. You can also add employees who should always receive the email independent of their registration in the object itself, for example the marketing manager of your organization. We only would like to send an email to the marketing responsible registered in the Sales Lead so we add this in the determination.

Step 4/5

In the fourth step you need to activate the workflow and that’s basically it, in step 5 you see a summary of your configuration. So it’s only a few clicks and you have put together a workflow scenario. 


Let’s test it and create a Sales Lead which applies with the conditions that we’ve set. I've registered myself als the Marketing Responsible.

After saving this Sales Lead the email is send from SAP Cloud for Customer and received in outlook. In the email the variables are populated with the values from the Sales Lead.


I started this blog with the somewhat blunt statement that Workflow and SAP put together couldn’t be easy. This blog proves otherwise, in just a few clicks you have a basic workflow scenario available and you do not have to be a (workflow) consultant to do so. I’m the first to admit that workflow in SAP on premise consists of a whole lot more compared to the more basic functions available in SAP Cloud for Customer. But also these basic functions couldn’t always be easily implemented in a SAP on premise installation. Bringing these options available in SAP Cloud for Customer makes sure that frequently used workflow scenarios can be implemented in a quick and easy way.