I culled the following list of CRM project questions from our series of past articles. These questions have proven useful in past projects, and hopefully they can inspire any of you out there who are involved with SAP CRM upgrades or implementations:
Impact on departments and users
What is the financial impact of the project?
How will the project affect the customer management team?
How will the project affect the IT team?
How will the project affect the marketing team?
How will the project affect the sales team?
How will the project affect the order processing team?
Have business users sat in on demos of proposed CRM systems?
What temporary and permanent staffing requirements will the project require?
Will you use organizational change management as part of the project?
What are your plans for increasing user adoption of the new CRM system?
Addressing business needs
What kind of business scenarios does the business side want to address with the CRM system?
Does the CRM software allow you to meet and expand your core business needs?
What are the functional gaps in the CRM software compared to your core business needs?
Could business requirements change during the course of the project?
How will you keep executives informed about the project's progress?
What specific, measurable goals do you want to achieve with the project?
Do you have a long-range roadmap that outlines the functionality you want to implement?
What are the real-time capabilities of the CRM system?
What hardware and software licenses does the project require?
What training needs will users require before the project goes live?
What training needs will users require after the project goes live?
What new developments or releases does the vendor have on the horizon for the CRM software?
Have you developed a system map that outlines the architecture for the potential CRM system?
Will the project require enhancements to the user interface?
Are there technical integration challenges to implementing the CRM system?
Will you need to synchronize master data between a legacy system and the new CRM system?
Will the implementation follow a big bang approach or follow phases?
Have you considered beginning the project with a smaller pilot program?
You probably know the frustration of not moving in a traffic jam or being stuck in flight delays at the airport. Talk about inefficiency.
The concept is not all that different for data flow in SAP CRM. SAP CRM middleware exchanges certain types of data between SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) and SAP CRM, and middleware performance issues can occur during an initial data load or due to mass changes in the system.
“If resource allocation is not managed properly during an initial load, processing of queues can occupy the system resources and eventually bring down the system, not allowing users to log in,” according to Kuppuswamy.
One tip he suggests is to define a remote function call (RFC) server group in both the source and target systems, allocate resources to it, and assign this RFC server group to the queue scheduler.
This ensures queues are processed only through the resources allocated to the RFC server group and are not spread across the system.
Maintain the allocation of resources using transaction RZ12 (see the figure below). Resources can also be allocated from more than one application server. Usually if more application servers are present, it is a good practice to use more of those resources and use fewer resources from the central instance.
RFC Server group resource allocation
Explanations of each parameter shown in the figure can be found in SAP Note 74141. These parameters should be fine-tuned based on load type. For instance, during an initial load when there are fewer users accessing the system, middleware can use most of the work processes. During an ongoing delta load, the resources should be well balanced between the middleware and online users.
In this case, I loosely think of an RFC acting as a traffic officer moving vehicles through a busy street so that a bottleneck doesn’t occur.
I was happy I got to stop by two Jump Starts about creating web shops using SAP CRM Web Channel and introducing folks to the features of SAP CRM Interaction Center.
During the Interaction Center session -- led by skippers John Burton of SAP and Renee Wilhelm of SAP Labs – the audience took a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour through the ins and outs of the module.
Meanwhile, Patrick Hey and his colleagues from SYCOR GmbH presented a unique, all-day Jump Start that showed attendees how to create an online e-commerce web store from the ground up.
Now, let me explain my clues:
Two giant screens were used by SYCOR so that attendees could simultaneously follow the presenters’ slides and technical configurations
Sometimes SAP CRM must take a stretch assignment to get what you need out of it. A good case in point is a marketing mail form, for which you may want to create new fields for customer data.
In a new CRM Expert article, Sandeep Parameswaran, senior consultant at ecenta America, explains how you can define a personalized file structure and create an output file with customer data from a marketing campaign. You can then export this customized file to a third-party system that contacts your business partners.
As detailed in “How to Perform Campaign File Export Using Personalized Mail Forms,” the first step is to customize the file export variant. Start by following menu path Customer Relationship Management > Marketing > Marketing Planning and Campaign Management > Campaign Execution > Define File Export Variants. In this activity, you define variants for file export in campaign execution (see the figure below).
“File export variants determine the format of the file, the format parameters, and whether the file is assigned to the campaign,” Parameswaran writes.
In the figure, the Assignment column defines where the output file goes. In this field, you choose whether the file is assigned to the campaign.
“If you choose Assign as Attachment from the drop-down menu, the file uploads to the content management application and displays in the assignment block attachments,” Parameswaran says. “If you choose No Assignment from the drop-down menu, the file writes to the logical directory MARKETING_FILESon the application server.”