SAP CRM 7.0 EHP1 (& 2) is beyond doubt the greatest item to come in the CRM product line from SAP. I’m so amazed at the technical improvements done as well as the plethora of options it provides for customizing and making life easier.
The question is – are clients really aware of this immense potential? Are consultants really doing their homework to understand all the new features and be knowledgeable to derive profitable solutions out of it? When I go through the SDN forum questions etc, why do I get the feeling that the Web UI is still not being leveraged to its true potential to play its role in business cases. Is it just me or am I really wrong?
Here area couple of screenshots which shows the access of the BSP Component workbench directly from the Web UI. This is purely just for the configuration, but depicts very well the extent to which SAP has gone forth to bring easiness into the user’s life regarding commonly done actions.
Every business case has a different set of requirements; and more often it is such that the core functionalites are mapped with SAP. But when this is done, are the end users given any thought? Rather than going for custom solutons to configure the kind of display, limit the visibility, replicate data etc, is it first checked what can be achieved using the various features of the CRM Web UI, its security/role configurable options, the new easy edit features brought about that can make transaction entry, searches, tagging etc so easy to perform.
Going through the new release notes for EHP1 in the SAP support portal can make any consultant go ‘Wow!’ over the innovations brought about in the UI.
Will the ability to import custom CSS files completely take away the concept of using an Adobe Flex User Interface ? Already the UI is pretty customizable regarding the skins, colours, images … and now the custom CSS too. Flex is something really cool from a design standpoint as it is a fully custom build, ability to throw in all animations and images etc etc. But for any business ready to go with the CRM UI, they should do a good effort analysis on the options of using a custom built Flex solution vs customizing the UI with an equally (or less) possible glitzy features (but a more stable and standard framework). The reason I would preferably go for the CRM UI is simple – SAP provides a very good Web UI framework comprising of the BSPs, BOL, GenIL etc, which makes custom development (if required) very easy. Plus the new features in the UI makes navigations, actions etc really simple. And the level of customizations possible is just limited to your imagination (ok not going over-board here, but still, as long we know what the UI is capable of handling, and we stick to the best practices, a stable solution is awaiting on the horizon). Now if there is no CRM involved, its a different case altogether.
The point here is, a lot more effort needs to go before we decide to re-invent the wheel.