The Enterprise Software World is changing his face by new modern/lightweight UIs. In SAP Software we see that already with the hundreds of available Fiori Apps, the Simple Finance module and the next generation ERP software S/4HANA. The new software supports the trend to be able to do the job independent from the location and from the device which is used. It is not important anymore that the user needs to be in the office to be able to process e.g. some approval requests and he can use his own smartphone/tablet/notebook in case of “Bring Your Own Device”. Of course this change is not only valid (and necessary) for well-known industries like Banking and Logistics. It is also required for the Reinsurance industry.
In the following chapters I will show an Approval Requests Fiori application for FS-RI accounts. Different FS-RI customers work with approval workflows in their business units to steer the release of FS-RI accounts. Whereas the limits and limit types to be checked are different from customer to customer the general goal is always the same. But also the limitation regarding the usage of the approval workflows is the same for all customers at the moment . The users are bound to their office workplace, because they can use the approval workflow just via the SAP Business Workplace or maybe the Universal Worklist. Think about the situation where a manager or head of department has to approve an urgent payment request, but he cannot do it, because he is the whole day in meetings. He cannot access the approval request because he has no access to his PC. With the FS-RI Account Approval Requests Fiori Application he is able to do the approval on his smartphone or tablet during his meetings.
FS-RI Account Approval Requests Fiori Application
Before jumping into the details, a quick overview for what the FS-RI Account Approval Requests Fiori Application can be used and how it is integrated into the release process of an FS-RI account.
Whenever an FS-RI account is released, by default the FS-RI loss payment and loss reserve payment limits (tolerance groups) are checked. In case the user does not have the necessary limits the release process aborts and the user needs to contact a person with enough limits to release the account. At that point, the FS-RI Account Approval Requests Fiori Application and the underlying approval workflow comes into the place. With the integration into the standard FS-RI account release process the user with not enough limits just needs to make a decision to which person the approval request has to be sent, instead of doing this manually by mail or phone (of course this manual decision can also be replaced by an automated decision). The chosen approver then sees the Account Approval Request in the Fiori application and can do an approval, a rejection or a forward to another person. In case an approval is done and the approvers limits are ok, the FS-RI account is released. A rejection triggers that the approval workflow is closed without the release of the account.
As described, in the current version the application just checks the FS-RI limits for loss and loss reserve payments. But in more sophisticated cases it is easily possible to check further limits (like for Incurreds, Incurred Changes) and to support combined limits. With combined limits I mean scenarios where a person A has a limit of 100.000,00 EUR and a person B has a limit of another 100.000,00 EUR. In case an FS-RI account with a loss payment of 150.000,00 EUR has to be approved, person A cannot approve the request because of a to small limit of 100.000,00 EUR. But with a combined limit the additional limit of person B can be taken into account. So both persons have together a limit of 200.000,00 EUR and can approve the FS-RI account with a loss payment of 150.000,00 EUR.
All the enhancements on the backend and frontend side are possible due to the usage of the standard extension concepts of ABAP (for the OData layer) and SAPUI5 (for the frontend).
SAP Fiori Launchpad
As every Fiori application the FS-RI Account Approval Requests Fiori application can be easily integrated into the SAP Fiori Launchpad. Beside the OnPremise SAP Fiori Launchpad, also the SAP Fiori Launchpad in the Cloud is supported. In that case the application code resources are stored as HTML5 application on the HANA Cloud Platform and the data is retrieved via a secure connection from the OnPremise backend system via the SAP HANA Cloud Connector. Another supported scenario is to integrate the application into the SAP Fiori Launchpad framework page on a SAP Enterprise Portal.
SAP Fiori Client
For the mobile access of the application on a smartphone or tablet the SAP Fiori Client can be used. The SAP Fiori Client is a hybrid application available for Windows 8.1/10, Windows Phone 8.1, Android and iOS. It gives access to the Fiori applications the user is able to access with an improved performance (compared to calling the SAP Fiori Launchpad only in the mobile device browser).
In case it is necessary to have the FS-RI Account Approval Requests Fiori application as “native” application available it would be easily possible to create a hybrid application out of the Fiori application.
Following features are supported by the FS-RI Account Approval Requests Fiori Application and the underlying approval workflow.
- Integration into standard FS-RI account release process. Approval workflow is started in case the user has not enough limits to release the account.
- In case a FS-RI account is part of a running approval request, all modification operations on that account (e.g. delete account, change postings, calculate account, …) are avoided.
- The Fiori Application gives an overview of all approval requests assigned to a specific approver. Beside the most important information of an account, also information like account balance and posting details are available.
- Within the application, the following operations can be executed:
- Approve: An approval request can be approved. In case the limits of the approving user are enough the application triggers the release of the FS-RI account. If the limits of the approver are not enough too, he is asked to forward the account to another approver.
- Reject: An approval request can be rejected because of any reason at any time.
- Forward: An approval request can be forwarded to another person for the approval. This can be necessary in case the original requested approver has no time to proceed the request or if his limits are also not enough.
- For all three operations (approve/reject/forward) the user has the option to add an optional comment to document why an approval is given, why the approval request is rejected or why it is forwarded. Within the Fiori application the different steps with their comments can be seen. This documentation functionality is also necessary for some audit related requirements.
- On the SAP Fiori Launchpad Tile for the FS-RI Account Approval Requests application the number of open approval requests is displayed. So the user do not need to enter the application to see how many approval requests he needs to process.
- Traffic light information for approval requests: By default green means that the approval request is assigned less than 24 hours to the user, orange means >= 24 hours but < 48 hours and red means >= 48 hours.
Start Approval Request within FS-RI
In case a FS-RI account is released within the FS-RI accounting transaction (same for loss transaction) and the users limits are not enough the approval workflow is triggered. The user has to select an approver to which the approval request is assigned. An optional comment can be added to give the approver more information about the request. After confirming the entered values, the approval workflow is finally started and the FS-RI account is locked against modifications as long as the approval workflow is running.
Explore Approval Request
After the approval workflow is started and the approver starts the FS-RI Account Approval Requests Fiori application he sees the new approval request.
Within the list of approval requests that one can be found affecting the account for which the approval workflow was started before. On the first tab, some general information about the account can be found.
On the second tab, the approval workflow steps (timeline) can be seen. For that example, it can be seen that my test user gave his approval to release the account by starting the approval workflow.
On the third tab, some details regarding the postings of the account can be seen. If necessary the postings can be sorted within the application by the user. By the way, the amount displayed on the left side (beside the account number) is the balance of the account (all postings aggregated considering the factor of the corresponding entry codes).
On the fourth and last tab, the balance of the key figures for Premium, Premium Reserve, Loss Payment and Loss Payment Reserve are displayed in a graphical way.
In case of an approval (with enough limits) or rejection the user is able to enter an optional comment to document the approval or rejection.
In case of a forward or (approval without enough limits) the user has to select the next approver and can enter an optional comment.
The next approver is then able to see the comment and the previous assignees in the timeline tab.
App impressions in smartphone mode
The previous screenshots showed the application how it looks like on a desktop or on a tablet. Following screenshots should give an impression how it looks on a smartphone cause of the responsive design.
Finally I hope I could give an impression how Fiori applications can also improve the internal processes of Reinsurance business. In case the system landscape is in place it is very easy to rollout this and many more applications for productive usage.
In case there are any remarks or ideas for other Fiori applications, please add a comment to this post.