The Client based Groupware Integration package was introduced in CRM 2006s2/2007 with very positive feedback from the customer base as now it is possible to allow the users much more control over what is going on between their groupware system and the SAP CRM system.
This little Plug-In that gets installed locally to alows client-side integration does not need any server component that would require constant admin monitoring but instead works using SICF over HTTPS only. This makes it possible to run this scenario with much decentralized with low TCO and much benefit for individual CRM users.
In the meantime we have received first feedback from you, both positive and negative. So we have put a plan in place to address some of the requirements in both CRM 7.0 and the Enhancement Pack 1 (EHP1).
Today I would like to talk about one enhancement that in available for customers using MS Outlook as of CRM 7.0 based on customer feedback.
Users reported that they want to do more of their collaborative work in MS Outlook. Therefore we have introduced support for these user cases:
- create contact in MS Outlook and assign to exesting Account in SAP CRM
- create appointment or task assigned to account/contact and a related CRM record like lead or opportunity.
- use one-click-actions to cross navigate from the Outlook item to the corresponding CRM objects.
Create Contact and assign to account.
When creating a new contact or editing an existing one in Outlook, data coming from both the CRM account and CRM contact tables is made editable in a combined view.
In MS Outlook the user now can open the assignment popup for linking the new contact to a specific account. The assignment is getting save with the record in MS Outlook and with the next replication the new contact associated to the account would be replicated to the CRM System as new contact available in the accounts contact list.
Create Appointment and assign to account and existing lead.
The appointment (or task) use case is similar. The assignment popup allows to search for accounts, contacts and reference objects to establish the assignment. Especially the reference object is perfect to include collaboration aspects in the sales process while not leaving MS Outlook.
The assignment popup has two modes.
In case the user is offline it will show the data that are linked to the Outlook item. no cross navigation or editing is enabled.
In edit mode the system is online connected to the CRM server and allows the search operation against the backend as well as cross navigation.
For doing a search the user hits the corresponding link (e.g. find CRM Reference Document) which opens a field for the search parameter.
The link “Details” shown later allows to user start the CRM UI and lead the corresponding CRM object.
Search results personalization
Users can personalize the columns shown in the results list of the search in the local settings screen they are familiar with for other settings as well. This empowers all users to define how they want to see the result list individually.
allows to link MS Outlook item to CRM objects when being online
view related object information when offline or online
use cross navigation when online
support MS Outlook only
supported objects in Outlook are appointment, tasks and contacts
This development was the first step in the direction of tying CRM Sales process feature and groupware collaboration scenarios closer together.