In today's highly competitive business environment, the focus of top companies is increasing on its most valuable assets – customers. Thus, the companies require a suitable software solution to cater to its customers which is user-friendly, easily customizable, fully integrated, and can be implemented flexibly.
Customer Relationship Management is a business strategy for optimizing customer interactions. It helps in understanding your customers, their needs and requirements.
SAP Business Suite is a suite of business applications that enable your company to handle total value chain across the business and its partners.
SAP CRM is a part of SAP business suite. It can implement customized business processes, integrate to other SAP and non-SAP systems, help achieve CRM strategies.
SAP CRM can help an organization to stay connected to customers. This way organization can achieve customer expectations with the types of services and products that he or she actually needs.
It also helps to achieve 'Single face to customer', which means the customer get regular & actual information independent of channel through which the he or she is contacting your company.
SAP CRM Overview
As a part of SAP Business Suite, SAP provides solutions which are flexible and open, and which support applications, databases, hardware platforms, & operating systems from most of the major vendors.
Following SAP solutions are the constituents of SAP Business Suite:
- SAP CRM – Customer Relationship Management
- SAP PLM – Product Lifecycle Management
- SAP SCM – Supply Chain Management
- SAP SRM –Supplier Relationship Management
- SAP ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning
SAP Business Suite is based on SAP NetWeaver .NetWeaver provides the development and runtime environment for SAP applications and is used for the custom development and integration with other applications and systems.
SAP CRM is embedded in the business environment of the SAP Business Suite.
Features of SAP CRM
- It is a part of SAP Business Suite to manage customer relationship.
- It supports all customer-focused business areas such as marketing, sales and service.
- It is implemented for different customer interaction channels, such as Interaction Centre, Internet, and Mobile clients (hand-held devices like laptop, mobile, etc.).
- CRM Analytics, a component of SAP CRM, enables your organization to gather all relevant information about various key factors such as a customer and analyze this knowledgebase to incorporate insights into operational processes and strategic decision-making.
SAP CRM Marketing
- SAP CRM has provided extensive marketing functionalities
- It automates the marketing planning, campaign execution, & measurement of the marketing effort.
- SAP CRM unites the following key functions related to marketing on a user-friendly and configurable interface:
- Marketing Planning,
- Campaign Management,
- Lead Management,
- Market Analytics,
- Customer Segmentation.
SAP CRM Sales
- SAP CRM is developed for handling customer contact anytime, anywhere.
- The companies can choose one or more of these SAP CRM Sales implementation:
- Enterprise Sales,
- E-Selling and
- Field Sales.
- SAP CRM sales support the sales force of your business to be time efficient & effective in working.
- It provides information which leads an insight into action, & maintains focus on productive activity.
- Thus, SAP CRM Sales helps the sales force of your business to secure customers, and then to develop and maintain beneficial relationship with them.
- SAP CRM also provides aspect of sales forecasting and analytics that helps your business to collect historical & predictive information.
- It includes territory and account management which can be used to optimize & increase the effectiveness of your sales organization.
- It also includes Opportunity and pipeline management processes which provide maximum visibility in to the potential sales, sales processes, & methodologies which can lead to standardization of the company-specific best practices.
- It also provides seamless order to cash processes that enable your sales organization to manage the customer demands most effectively.
Thus, SAP CRM Sales have a lot of features like dedicated interactions, seamless integration, insightful information, always accessible, and is user-friendly.
SAP CRM Service
- All aspects related to the processing of the service order supported by SAP CRM service starts with responding to customer's initial inquiry till the confirmation & billing of the service provided to the customer.
- SAP CRM service also provides your organization with quotation creation & processing, creation of service order and assignment to field service representative.
SAP CRM Channels
SAP CRM provides implementations for different channels within your business such as Internet, telephony, field sales, and partners which leads to the optimization of your customer interactions. For all the different channels supported, SAP CRM provides your employee with an intuitive and user-friendly interface to carry out their daily work.
SAP CRM enables customers to implement different customer-specific requirements and industry-specific processes. For interaction with these implementations customers have different interaction channels offered by SAP CRM:
- Back-office: This is Role based web access. For each relevant task in the service, sales and marketing it represents the single point of entry. All relevant systems are assigned to a Business Role which is assigned to employees. Thus, an employee can get all the relevant systems into a single UI.
- Field Service or Offline-User: SAP CRM offers several field applications for field service representatives which they can access anywhere, anytime. These applications are developed for handheld devices.
- Interaction Center: SAP CRM provides the customer care employees with an interface which is comprehensively integrated with different communication channels like phone and E-mails. Also, it includes various features with which the employee can use while in communication with the customer for making note or working on the transaction itself.
- WebChannel Management: with this SAP CRM enables E-service, E-commerce, and E-marketing platform. These platforms are to provide personalized, reliable and convenient service to the target customers 24x7x365. This enables end customers to access & research data and with that as per requirement purchase services or products anytime, anywhere.
- PCM – Partner Channel Management: This interface is provided to support collaboration with resellers, dealers, agents etc. It combines the Web Channel Management with regular CRM to provide a complete solution for partner management.
Overview of SAP CRM Architecture
The SAP CRM solution incorporates the CRM components along with the SAP ERP, SAP SCM and SAP BI components. SAP CRM contains a central CRM system with access through various channels and a connection to other systems.
Following are the fully-integrated connections offered as SAP CRM Solution:
- SAP CRM System which provides corresponding software components of SAP CRM solution as a central CRM server.
- SAP ERP System which provides all the ERP functionalities can be integrated with SAP CRM system as a back-end system. The data exchange between these connected systems can be configured and implemented with the help of CRM Middleware.
- SAP BI provides functionalities for detailed statistical and analysis functions. It can be integrated with the SAP CRM in order to use its features for the SAP CRM reporting and analysis function.
- For demand planning solution and global Available-to-Promise (ATP) check SAP CRM system can be integrated with the SAP SCM system. For example:
- For a Sales Order entered through any of the implemented UIs, check on delivery needs to be performed.
- For this, Available-to-Promise (ATP) checks are implemented on connected SAP SCM system.
- At runtime CRM system connects to SAP SCM to verify if it is possible to deliver items requested on time.
- SAP NetWeaver Portal provides integrated access to all systems.
The SAP CRM channels architecture includes:
- Internet applications:
- Internet Sales
- Internet Customer Self-Service
- Internet Pricing Configurator
- Mobile applications:
- Mobile Sales
- Mobile Service
- Interaction center
- The Internet software components of SAP CRM solution are J2EE technology based (which is open, non-SAP platform). These are provided as a ready-to-run solution with the shipped, standard template. Also, these applications can be further adjusted in order to meet customer-specific requirements. For these Internet applications, necessary CRM data needs to be maintained and set up with in the CRM system.
- SAP CRM solutions offers Internet Sales software component which presents published catalogs to the end user who can use them to configure and purchase the product.
- It also offers Internet Self-Service software component where end users can request for a particular service.
- The Internet Pricing & Configurator (IPC) component is another J2EE based web application for product configuration and pricing data.
- The Interaction Centre is provided with tools and features required while in communication with the end customer.
- Various communication channels are supported by the Interaction Centre such as fax, e-mail, telephone and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
- Interaction Centre is linked with the CRM WebClient and thus an employee in contact with the customer can make notes, trigger e-mails, create activities, and work upon the business transactions like service order, etc.
- Interaction Centre connects to different communication channels using a Communication Management System, which can be SAP Business Communication Manager (BCM) or a third party product.
- In order to strengthen IC WebClient multichannel options in the Interaction Centre, Integrated Communication Interface (ICI) is used.
- SAP CRM Mobile Sales and Mobile Service components help a company's mobile field sales and service representatives.
- Depending upon the area of responsibility, users have access to all the relevant data in their device.
- These devices connect briefly to the central CRM servers for the synchronization of the data. This data transfer occurs through the SAP CRM Middleware.
- SAP Mobile Application Studio can be used in order to customize these mobile applications.
Introduction to CRM WebClient User Interface
SAP CRM User Interface started with SAPGUI, and its growth has resulted in SAP CRM Web Client User Interface. CRM Web Client user interface is an enhanced version of the IC Web Client UI. Also, it is business role based UI; therefore, the content which will be visible to the user logged-in depends upon the business roles assigned to the user. This results in a simpler UI for the user, who will be able to access and process only those tasks which are relevant for him or her. With this, the Sales representative who is not concerned with the marketing process will only be able to access and work the Sales related process as per the authorizations assigned.
CRM Web Client UI is component based software, which presents the CRM UI to the user in L-Shape. It contains Header in the top row and Navigation Bar on the left side, this constitutes the L-Shape. The remaining space on the CRM Web UI page is called Work Area. The Header area contains predefined system link like Log Off hyperlink.
Following are the components of the Header area:
- System Links
- Saved Searches
- Work Area Title
The position of the Header Area is fixed and cannot be changed. Navigation Bar contains links to various applications that are assigned to the logged-in user. The content of the Work Area gets updated with user action on the links available in Header area, Navigation bar or within the work area itself. The views are displayed in the CRM Web UI as Assignment Blocks. There are separate pages offered as implementation of the SAP CRM Web UI:
- Home page
- Worklist page
- E-Mail inbox
- Work Center
- Advanced Search Page
- Overview Page
- Assignment blocks
User can navigate between these pages using the links available in navigation bar, work centre or hyperlinks available in the search pages, applications or business transactions.
- As soon as a user logs in, he or she will be able to see the Home page.
- Further navigation to other pages or specific application can be accomplished with the navigation links in the Navigation Bar or in the work center.
- For example, user can access the below Work Centre for Account Management from the link available in the navigation bar:
- User can navigate to the below Account search using the link in the work center or using the Account Search link available in the second level of navigation bar: