List of frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to Key Topic: SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector (MCF):
Where can I find technical details about how to install and configure MCF?
Read the Administrator’s Guide (which has been updated frequently based on feedback received from MCF implementation projects). You can download its newest version from SAP Help Portal (https://help.sap.com/umc, last update: March 2016). It comprises both installation and configuration information.
For details about MCF sizing there is a dedicated Sizing Guide available on SAP Service Marketplace (quicklink: sizing) under Sizing > Sizing Guidelines > Industries.
Do I need to upgrade to the newest enhancement package (EhP) to install MCF?
No. MCF comprises three (non-modifying) add-ons:
UMCERP01 – to be installed on top of SAP ERP (IS-U 6.0 EhP4 or higher)
UMCCRM01 – to be installed on top of SAP CRM (CRM 7.0 EhP0 or higher)
UMCCUI501 – to be installed on top of SAP Gateway
(see Administrator Guide – link under the answer to the previous question) for details.
Consequently, most utility companies running SAP ERP (IS-U) and/or CRM can install MCF on top of their existing system landscape without a need to upgrade.
Can I install MCF if I am running IS-U only (without SAP CRM)?
Yes. In this case, you would only install two add-ons (UMCERP01 and UMCCUI501, see reply to the previous question). OData services for business partner, contract account, business partner contact, and move-in/out processes accessing the IS-U system directly and available since MCF 1.0 SP02/SP03 make it much easier for “IS-U only” customers to implement MCF. See SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector: Setting up Responsive UI templates for IS-U only scenario for adjustments to the UI template delivered by SAP.
Is MCF available in a specific language?
As of now (Feb 2017), MCF is available in 11 languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Japanese, Hungarian, Russian, Slovak and Ukrainian). See the Product Availability Matrix on SAP Support Portal (PAM, http://support.sap.com/pam) for an always up-to-date list.
(Background: Following SAP’s language strategy, new products are delivered in those languages that are most used by the target customers. Translation into further languages will be added on demand – if there is sufficient need in the respective markets. Contact your local SAP account executive if you request translation into an additional language.)
How is MCF different from UCES ?
SAP Utility Customer e-Services (UCES) has been released to customers more than 10 years ago, allowing utility companies to use the Internet as an additional communication and service channel to their end-consumer. While UCES is still being maintained as part of SAP ERP for many more years (as part of SAP ERP/IS-U), SAP is not planning to deliver further enhancements in this area. Other benefits of MCF compared to UCES are
Multi-channel approach: you can use OData services delivered MCF to build end-consumer apps (self-services) running on any device (mobile, desktop, social media ..) through one single interface;
MCF seamlessly integrates with SAP CRM for Utilities, while UCES integrates with IS-U only.
Is it correct that SAP ships new web application templates with MCF?
Yes, SAP ships two attractive and easy-to-use web application templates (built with SAP UI5) as part of MCF (see e.g. SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities SP03 offering a brand new responsive UI out-of-the-box, is now available ). Typically customers or partners would need to enhance them for productive use in the implementation project – in order to adopt them to their specific customer-service processes and corporate branding.
Where can I learn more about the native mobile app that comes with MCF?
The official name of the native mobile app bundled with MCF is SAP Self-Services for Utilities. To get a first impression about it, watch a short YouTube video (40 seconds), or read the blog SAP Self-Service for Utilities (SAP SSU) 1.0 mobile app for Android and Apple is now available.
For more technical information and configuration, there is a separate chapter 5 Configuration of SAP Self-Service for Utilities Mobile App within the MCF Admin Guide (see the very first question above). For source code download and prerequisites, see SAP Note 2165708.
Where can I find details about the user management concept in MCF?
Please read the SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector: User Management Overview blog.It also comprises an FAQ dedicated to user management topics.
Where can learn more about how to enhance OData services delivered with MCF?
Read our blogs on Key Topic: SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector, section Technical Info – OData enhancement, especially:
Does MCF offer channel/customer interaction analytics?
MCF acts as the central the hub through which all the communication between consumer apps and the back-end system is orchestrated. It collects detailed information on the customer usage of the services including the business context of the interaction. An OData service allows querying the system for this information which can be subsequently analyzed (e.g. using a BW/BI tool) to come up with business insights like: web usage vs. mobile usage, top 5 most used services online, target group of most dedicated mobile app users. Utilities can use these insights to fine tune their multichannel customer engagement strategy.
In addition to that, you can enable the customer apps to track customer interaction, for example, what is the user clicking, how much time user spending on a certain title, how many clicks the user does to complete a transaction. This information could be collected and analyzed to further understand the user behaviour on different channel apps and refine the app design.
See also dedicated blogs SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities: Analytics and SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector: How to Use Web and Channel Analytics to Improve Your Web Application for more details.
Does MCF support offline mode (i.e. is it possible to run self-services based on MCF during downtime periods of corresponding back-end system)?
Right now, there is no out-of-the-box solution available to fulfill this requirement. Offline access capabilities typically require some secondary storage location (e.g. back-up system) available during such downtime periods, at least for read-only mode. As a more simple solution, some utilities using MCF are also sending a predefined message to the customer informing them about the downtime (and its planned duration), and asking them to check again later.
Does MCF support B2B scenarios (e.g. customer self-services for commercial&industrial (C&I) customers, housing societies)?
Primarily, MCF has been designed and built according to the requirements of a B2C scenario, to offer customer self-services for residential and small C&I customers. However, you can certainly re-use many OData services available with MCF to build web or mobile applications covering B2B scenarios. It highly depends on the specific B2B use cases to what extend additional OData services and UI development are required to cover them.
Since requirements for B2B scenarios are very different across utilities from various countries, SAP is currently not planning to offer a standard solution for this in MCF. Contact SAP Custom Development or your implementation partner if you are interested in such an offering.
What does the MCF license include?
The MCF license already includes underlying components, namely SAP Gateway and SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) Consumer edition with certain restrictions. MCF licensing itself is based on active users, see SAP Software Use Rights for details. Please get in touch with your SAP Account Executive for more detailed license information including terms and conditions.