Friday, June 9, 2017

SAP C4C Implementation - Technical Accomplishments to Date

Following up on our recent post about implementing SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer—which as we understand it is the first SAP C4C implementation at a utility company in the United States—we now have several new use cases running:
  • Customer/Contract Account Search
  • Utility Financial view/360 view
  • Create a new contract account in C4C with synchronous update to ECC/CCS
  • Create an installment plan in C4C with synchronous update to ECC/CCS
We have a total of 72 “iFlows” activated in C4C. An iFlow is a set of instructions to map the ECC to C4C, and the other way around, using SOAP messaging. Here’s an illustrative example of an iFlow:

Of these 72 iFlows, 37 are IS-U-specific: they integrate the ECC-CCS billing module to C4C. The HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) middleware has to be tested for each iFlow to determine if the webservice or IDoc is able to get through from sender to receiver. We’re working closely with SAP Support on HCI, URL address assignments, port assignments, and HTTP/HTTPS and SOAMANAGER issues that arise.

We also have 33 “Communication Arrangements” activated in C4C. A Communication Arrangement is a composition of one or more iFlows that collectively complete a business process between the ERP and C4C. They also define the inbound and outbound communication protocols.

We have replicated 150 customers in C4C from ECC. Replication is used to load the master data into the C4C running on an in-memory HANA database on the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP). This enables faster searching and fewer calls to the ECC to reduce I/O traffic on the on-premises ERP.  We will ramp up the number of replications in test once the iFlows are proven to be error-free.

Beyond these technical accomplishments, we start functional testing next week with the utility company’s call center team. After presenting some of the screens for customer searches, bill/balance analysis, and call/task/notification functions, the feedback we’re hearing is that the SAP Cloud for Customer user experience is excellent! The ability to customize screens to the user’s liking is very robust. Based on our experience so far, we expect that the learning curve for C4C will be a lot shorter than it is for CIC0 in classic SAP CCS.

Check back here later this summer for further updates on our SAP C4C implementation at the utility company.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (SAP C4C) Implementation at a Utility Company

To serve its water, gas, and electric customers, one of HPC America’s utility company clients had historically utilized decentralized call centers across its service territory. To improve customer service and operational efficiency, the utility designed a new centralized call center responsible for triaging customer inquiries, addressing billing questions, and dispatching support requests to district offices.

To achieve this transformation, HPC recommended SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C), an SAP SaaS offering that integrates with the SAP Customer Care & Billing (CR&B) utility vertical solution already in production at our client. SAP C4C leverages the SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI), a cloud-based middleware between the ECC and C4C running on the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering.

We're now working with the utility company to roll out SAP C4C to Customer Service Representatives and district office field planners. SAP C4C will provide a 360-degree financial picture of customer accounts, track customer interactions, and integrate with the utility’s existing telephony software for Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

By utilizing SAP’s cloud solutions, this utility company will not only be able to achieve its customer service objectives but also realize significant cost savings, faster implementation, and greater long-term security.

Monday, June 5, 2017

SAP Business Warehouse Improves Reporting at Utility Company

A regional utility company with SAP ECC and SAP Business Warehouse licenses wanted to extend its reporting capabilities beyond monthly financials for the board. One of the utility’s General Managers recognized that its homegrown network of Microsoft Access databases and Excel spreadsheets was inherently error-prone and resulted in many versions of the truth throughout the organization.

The Customer Accounts Receivable team presented the perfect business case. It relied on disparate data sources and time-consuming manual processes to collect and analyze customers’ account data, causing significant delays to complete monthly reports. A/R reporting also suffered from formula errors and missing information, due to extensive data manipulation outside of the SAP ERP.

Learn how HPC America and the utility company leveraged SAP Business Warehouse to cut A/R reporting time from three weeks to just three hours; eliminated databases and spreadsheets outside the SAP book of record; and improved data integrity and established one version of the truth for A/R reporting. Read the complete utility company case study about SAP BW reporting.