Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SAP Customer Connection update

The benefits of the SAP Customer Connection initiative have been mentioned a few times before in our blogs (in 2013 and 2014). 

Since last mentioning in our blog, SAP has realized another 150+ new features for the CRM on premise solution. And the 2017 cycle  is already running at full speed - votes have been collected, scoping is done - on April 1 their 2017 development track starts for this year’s chosen improvements.

For those not familiar with this initiative, in short: SAP customers can request new features, these can be voted upon by all other customers. SAP regularly evaluates the requests, and realizes every year a lot of these , spread over all SAP areas (SAP ECC, SAP CRM on premise etc).

Each of the improvements was raised by users really in need for a solution for an issue they had, which explains why there is quite some variation in the improvement requests and solutions. 

Project pages

If you want to know more details about the project: for each calendar year, a separate project page is setup, which guides you through the requests raised, the comments by SAP and the final Project Results page, e.g. for 20152016 and 2017 (OSS user ID required)

The full overview (downloadable as Excel file) can be reached from the Projects Results tab, with links to the request details and the SAP Note describing how to implement this feature. Nearly all of the released improvements are added to the regular support pack releases. Usually they need activation via the enhancement switch framework, the new features normally do not show up by default.

To give you an impression, I found quite some topics which trigger some memories of previous projects where I had to tell the client ‘this is the way SAP designed it’ … Good to see things have changed in the meantime.

It also might be a good moment to start thinking about when your CRM system was updated for the last time - if you see several usable improvements it might be interesting to update your CRM system to the latest Enhancement Package and/or support package level; EHP4 is already available since February 2016, with Support pack 05 released early this year – the list of improvements could give your business helpful input for an upgrade business case.

Personal top-5

My personal top-5 of improvements on topics that I heard my clients grumble about:

Editing attachments

Several years back one could a an MS Word attachment in the WebUI by directly clicking on the document. For technical reasons SAP needed to revert a cumbersome check-in/check-out procedure. I'm really happy to see it is now possible again to directly open for editing an attachment in Microsoft Word edit mode. 


Creating folders in the Attachment assignment block. 

Drag and Drop

Users can now drag and drop one or more documents into the attachments section in the interaction center, instead of uploading files using the ‘New’ button. Also drag & drop into a (sub)folder within the block is supported. 

Fast change of orders

If your business uses the Lean Order model ( LORD scenario), this is a nice improvement for your users... within ECC many users like the 'Fast Change' feature where you select multiple order lines within an ECC order, and change e.g. reason for rejection or delivery date at once for all these item lines.  Within the CRM WebUI this was not supported. If your business is using the LORD scenario, this feature is also available for your users when they create orders in CRM WebUI.

Service confirmation closure triggers service order closure

This improvement might be useful for your business, however depending on your process flow. If a service order has followup service confirmation, it is now possible to have the service order itself being closed automatically when the final confirmation is received.