Recently I was looking at possibilities to downsize the SAP system landscape necessary to implement the requirements of a customer. Usually a system landscape for a utilities company consists at least of a SAP CRM, a SAP IS-U and a SAP BW as well as a number of third party solutions (e.g. for output management). For this particular customer the goal was to reduce the SAP system landscape to only a SAP IS-U, if possible.
One of the customer service processes I struggled with was inbound email handling. The requirement was to process email directly in the system. I a system landscape including a SAP CRM system inbound email processing is usually performed using the E-Mail Response Management System (ERMS). For ERMS large amount of documents exists on SCN (cf. ERMS Configuration Guides and Documentation). However, regarding email handling in CIC0 I couldn’t find anything on SCN.
In this (rather short) blog I summarize the necessary steps for configuring inbound email handling in CIC0 in SAP IS-U.
On of the first things I usually do when trying to setup a particular functionality is a search in SPRO. While the search for “E-Mail” return quite a few results in SPRO, none of them is related to inbound email handling in CIC0. My next try was to browse through the “Customer Service” section in the “SAP for Utilties” customizing area. There I found an entry “Define Processes for Inbound Documents”.
The documentation of this entry states the following:
The inbound documents enables you to receive all documents, E-mails and faxes sent to company’s service addresses, and pass them on to the Customer Interaction Center (CIC) for processing.
The business object workflow start for inbound documents (CCPRECEIVE) automatically receives all inbound messages. For each inbound E-mail it starts a workflow that acts as the container in which the document is processed. SAP provides the standard workflow WS20500144 which automatically answers the sender’s mail with a confirmation of receipt. It then attempts to determine the relevant business partner by means of the sender’s E-mail address.
This sounded exactly like the functionality I was looking for (Why email is not mentioned in the short text of this entry is beyond me). Even functionality for automated responses as well as identification of the business partner is already available.
The nice thing about the “Define Processes for Inbound Documents” is that the documentation in SPRO is really good. It basically contains all the necessary configuration information. In detail those steps are:
- Maintain the workflow settings
- Define processes for inbound documents.
- Configure SAP Connect settings (SCOT)
Maintaining the workflow settings
SAP delivers a example workflow WS20500144 that provides the functionality mentioned above. Furthermore, SAP recommands to:
use your own workflows to process E-mails to be sent to different addresses. The text for the automatic confirmation mail is stored as a task description of the workflow step for send the automatic reply.
For the purpose of testing the functionality I simply used the delivered example workflow. Consequently, I assigned the tasks in task group TG20500002 to the relevant agents.
Define processes for inbound documents
The last configuration step is to create an inbound email configuration in the SPRO item “Define processes for inbound documents”. The following screenshot show the example configuration I created.
Configuring SAP Connect setting
The final step is the configuration of the SAP Connect settings in SCOT. Numerous post about the general setup of SAP Connect exist on SCN (e.g. in the Updated ERMS Configuration Guide). I therefore won’t repeat the necessary steps for the basic setup here. The important configuration step is the configuration of the inbound distribution. For the inbound email address (in this example test-ifd@…) the inbound email configuration created in the previous step is selected (see screenshots below).
Testing inbound emails in CIC0
With the initial setup in place it is now possible to test the email integration in the CIC0. Sending an email to the email address that is connected to SAP Is-U now results in the creation of a work item in the workflow inbox (see screenshot below). Furthermore an auto-response email is send to the sender of the email.
Executing the work item start the business partner identification. In the example below the sender email address is only associated to one business partner in SAP IS-U. Therefore, this business partner is identified. If the email would be related to different business partners the agent would have to chose the correct one from the search result list.
Using the display document button on the right of the screen it is possible to open a new window to display the email text and respond to the email.