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The Activity Management ES bundle service-enables the Activity Management functionality of SAP CRM.

The enterprise services in this ES bundle allow users to read, create, and follow up on activities in SAP CRM using familiar third-party applications such as groupware programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes, and marketing applications.


The services in this bundle support the following activity types: appointments, tasks, email, and interactions, which can be used to document interactions such as meetings and phone calls.

Activities are critical to customer relationship management business processes. This ES bundle is designed to make updating important information about activities seamless and easy in whatever application the user is engaged with at the time. Updating an appointment in groupware can propagate the change to SAP CRM; assigning a task to a user in SAP CRM can result in emailing the task to that person, whether or not they are a CRM user. When the user completes the task, SAP CRM receives notification that the task was completed. Given how busy everyone is, these kinds of seamless updates are a business requirement.

Without enterprise services, integrating other applications with CRM was a costly and time-consuming process that could only be done on a case-by-case basis. This bundle, however, provides the business objects and related enterprise services eliminate the need for custom integration while enabling SAP customers to experience significant cost savings, greatly improved operational efficiency, and increased organizational flexibility.

Activity Management
(click to enlarge)


Some examples of the functionality supported by the Activity Management ES bundle include:

  • Sending data from marketing campaign software to SAP CRM. For example, storing information about marketing campaigns in customer records and assigning follow up tasks to salespeople, transferring this data from the marketing campaign management software to SAP CRM
  • Updating calendar events in SAP CRM based on changes made in a third-party groupware or calendaring system
  • Integrating specialized software systems that support particular industries. For example, in the life sciences industry, doctors can only be given a certain number of samples of medication. Using services in this bundle, this information can be propagated from the pharma software to SAP CRM.
  • Support for one-click cross-navigation from third-party applications to SAP CRM objects

The Activity Management ES bundle also shares enterprise services with the Campaign Management and Opportunity Management ES bundles as well as other sales-related bundles in order to facilitate a higher degree of standardized interconnectivity between all sales, customer, and marketing tools. The net result is a more fully integrated customer and sales management system for SAP customers.

In all, the Activity Management ES bundle leverages enterprise SOA through communications between SAP CRM and third-party applications such as groupware, marketing applications, and other relevant third-party software using enterprise services.

Audience

This bundle is applicable to all industries where professionals are using activities to plan and/or record customer interactions. Roles include salespeople, marketing professional, customer service professionals, Channel partners, and others who perform activities related to customers.

For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.


How to Use This ES Bundle

SAP CRM provides a centralized resource where every aspect of the customer relationship can be stored, managed and made visible across the enterprise.

The Activity Management functionality contained within SAP CRM is an integral component of CRM because activities are used in all of the major CRM building blocks such as marketing, sales, and customer service in order to support proper execution of campaigns, effective action planning, and opportunity development.

In particular, activities are used inside the corporation to plan, support, and document customer-related processes as well as in conjunction with outside entities in order to facilitate collaboration with partners and customers. Essentially, activities expand the CRM ecosystem in order to allow end-to-end communication to promote knowledge and data sharing as well as process management.

The net result is that activity management helps sales and other customer-related professionals to:

  • Better organize themselves in order to improve customer engagement by allowing proper management of all customer-related interactions
  • Make all customer driven information pertaining to planned, ongoing and completed business processes transparent to colleagues, reporting tools, and management levels.

However, when looking at the SAP CRM customer landscape, it is not one homogenous system, but a series of homegrown and specialized systems and applications. And given the specialized nature of these applications, not to mention user familiarity with them, it is not hard to see that many SAP customers maintain a high degree of loyalty to them.

Therefore, in order to increase the ability of organizations to better manage activities and activity-related information requires providing an efficient and cost effective means of integrating the Activity Management functionality of SAP CRM with the tools commonly used by SAP CRM customers to support numerous sales and related processes.

The Activity Management ES bundle provides enterprise services and business objects needed to support seamless integration between SAP CRM and the many third-party applications that exist in the customer relationship ecosystem.

Further, the ability to easily integrate a wide array of third-party applications provides SAP customers with a significant degree of flexibility as they make decisions to upgrade or add new systems or change out remote devices and etc. Essentially, the software or device being used, for example, to collect store shelf information and then relay that information to the SAP CRM backend will be supported by the enterprise services in this bundle as the company upgrades or even replaces either the application or devices.

A Look at the Business Objects in Activity Management

The generic Activity business object is used to search for activities of all types. SAP CRM supports multiple types of activities:

  • Tasks
  • Email
  • Interaction (such as a meeting minute or phone call)
  • Appointment

These activity types each have their own business object:

  • Tasks: Business object Activity Task
  • Email: Business object Email Activity
  • Interaction: Business object Interaction Activity
  • Appointment: Business object Appointment Activity

Use Cases for Activity Management

The following sections explore five use cases for the Activity Management ES bundle. Each is intended to provide concrete examples for the types of functions the bundle supports and shows how different outcomes can be achieved by using the enterprise services in different combinations.

While these use cases demonstrate a few ways the bundle can be used, they are designed to highlight the flexibility and reusability of the business objects and enterprise service operations so as to impart a clearer understanding of how they can be deployed in the customer's business environment.

This wiki is also the space for readers to share knowledge and collaborate with others that are implementing the Activity Management ES bundle.

Use Case 1: Creating or Changing Appointments in Groupware

Users may use their SAP CRM calendar or may use their calendar in their groupware or calendaring application. This use case presupposes that an integration has been performed to propagate new appointments or changes to existing appointments to SAP CRM using an enterprise service.

To begin, the user creates an appointment in the groupware system by typing in a subject, a description, and by giving the appointment a specific CRM-related category. Saving the appointment in the groupware system invokes the Create Appointment Activity enterprise service, which replicates the data to SAP CRM.

When the user makes a change to an appointment in the groupware application, saving the change invokes the Change Appointment Activity enterprise service to replicate the change to the CRM system.

The following table summarizes these steps and the associated enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: While in the groupware or calendaring application, the user enters information for a new appointment.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The user saves the appointment, and the groupware application sends the new appointment to SAP CRM.

Create Appointment Activity

Step 3: The user makes changes to an appointment in the groupware application.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 4: The user saves the changes to the appointment, and the groupware application replicates to the change to SAP CRM.

Change Appointment Activity

Use Case 2: Completing a Task in Groupware

An SAP CRM user may want a number of people to perform follow up tasks on her behalf, such as sending out a product sample or promotional video, have a product manager call the customer to answer a technical question, and so on.

The user can create these tasks in SAP CRM and assign them to a specific employee using their email address. When she saves the task in SAP CRM, the tasks are forwarded to the groupware application via email.

In this case, the recipient does not use the CRM system (such as a service engineer) and as part of this person's normal workflow he routinely accesses the groupware application to check for open tasks. By doing this, the user is able to see that he has one or more new tasks that require his attention.

The user then performs the required task and notes it as complete in the groupware application by clicking an icon or link. The groupware application (which has been modified to invoke this service) then invokes the Complete Activity Task enterprise service in order to send information to SAP CRM, indicating that the task has been completed.

The following table summarizes these steps and associated enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: A CRM user creates a task and links it to a specific email address of a non-CRM user.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The task is replicated in the groupware application of the selected user.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 3: The user opens the groupware task list as part of normal workflow and selects one from the list.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 4: The user completes the task.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 5: The user checks off the task as complete in the groupware application.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 6: The groupware application propagates this information to SAP CRM.

Complete Activity Task

Use Case 3: Replicate a New Appointment from CRM to Groupware and Add a Customer Fact Sheet

In SAP CRM, lots of details about customers and accounts are available. This isn't true in the groupware software. To provide employees with information about customers while they are in the groupware calendar, this use case replicates the appointment from SAP CRM to the groupware calendar but also creates and attaches a customer fact sheet to the groupware calendar entry.
To begin the process of replicating a new appointment and an attached customer fact sheet to a groupware application the user first opens the calendar in SAP CRM.
The user clicks on a date and time in the calendar to open the appointment screen. The user then types in a description and details about the appointment and saves the appointment.
The system then automatically pulls basic data from the account master file and other backend systems such as those in ERP, and put the information into a PDF document, which is then attached to the activity as a file attachment.
The groupware calendar, using a plug-in, calls the Read Appointment Activity enterprise service operation on a regular basis. In this way, the information is pulled from SAP CRM into the groupware application.

 

Entering an appointment in CRM (click to enlarge)

 

Entering appointment details (click to enlarge)

The following table summarizes these steps and the associated enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: The user opens the calendar in SAP CRM.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The user clicks on a date and time in the calendar to open the appointment screen.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 3: The user adds the relevant information, which includes the
primary contact and primary account.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 4: The user selects "save with account fact sheet attached,"
which automatically pulls basic data from the account master file and other backend systems to create an account fact sheet as a PDF document.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 5: The PDF document is automatically attached to the activity file as an attachment.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 6: The groupware application via a plug-in reads the appointment and propagates it to its calendar.

Read Appointment Activity

Step 7: The user can see the appointment in the groupware calendar and click on the PDF for details about the account.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Use Case 4: Mass Generate CRM Activities from a Third-Party Marketing Campaign Tool

In this scenario, a user or group of users creates activities in the third-party campaign management tool and pushes them to the SAP CRM system as tasks for further processing.

Marketing campaigns are often large and complex activities that require quite a bit of specialized functionality from the applications that support them. Companies often use third-party campaign management applications (such as Epiphany) or develop such applications themselves tailored to their industry, corporate culture, processes, or target clientele in order to support running complex campaigns.

This means that integrating these applications and processes with CRM systems and related processes can represent a significant pain point as these companies seek a smooth and seamless interplay of information between the marketing application, CRM system, and related third-party groupware applications.

For example, communication with CRM is important so that sales representatives or other employees that are not distinctly part of a specific marketing campaign can be aware of activities they may be asked to complete or participate in to support the campaign. It is also important that these people receive relevant information in order to optimize their execution of the activity as well as be informed should a client or account they have a relationship with be touched by or in some way affected by the marketing campaign. For example, when customers are targeted by email, the sales rep should be able to see a copy of the email sent to the customer from SAP CRM.

Defining the Campaign

To start, the marketing department defines the campaign in the third-party campaign management application. This task may take some time to complete as plans are made, budgets are developed, and focus groups held to get feedback about the campaign.

Campaign Step 1: Send Out Email

In this scenario the first step of the campaign is to generate a large number of outbound emails. These emails are not only sent to clients, but recorded in each customer's interaction history by having the campaign management tool invoke the Create Email Activity enterprise service.

Campaign Step 2: Salespeople Follow Up on Emails

Follow up tasks for the sales force and other relevant roles can then be created in bulk in the campaign management tool. Essentially, the email can be thought of as the first customer touch, which is then to be followed up by a more personal touch such as a telephone call from a sales representative. In this case, it is preferable to use sales representatives who have some form of relationship with a specific group of target customers such as prior sales, knowledge of the specific business or industry, shared geographic location, and so on.

Once created in the campaign management tool, the campaign management tool replicates these sales tasks to SAP CRM system using the Create Activity Task enterprise service.

The salesperson may complete the tasks in SAP CRM or in their groupware application (see use case 2).

The groupware application periodically pulls in tasks by invoking the Read Activity Task enterprise service operation. Once the task is completed, the sales representative notes that it is complete in the groupware application. This invokes the enterprise service Complete Activity Task, which updates SAP CRM with information that the task has been completed.

Campaign Analytics

The campaign management tool can periodically check on the results of the campaign. Are the salespeople following up as requested? Marketing managers can find out by invoking the Find Activity by Basic Data enterprise service operation. They can view the status of particular tasks by selecting them from the list, which invokes the Read Activity Task service operation.

The following table summarizes these steps and the associated enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: The marketing campaign is defined in the third-party application.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 2: A target customer group is assigned to the campaign in the third-party application.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 3: The marketing campaign tool executes on the campaign (in this example, generating bulk emails).

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 4: The marketing campaign tool copies the outbound emails to each customer's interaction history in SAP CRM.

Create Email Activity

Step 5: Marketing managers create follow up tasks for the sales force in the third-party application and replicate them to SAP CRM.

Create Activity Task

Step 6: Salespeople can complete their tasks in SAP CRM, in which case skip to step 9) or in the groupware application

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 7: The groupware application reads in the tasks.

Read Activity Task

Step 8: Salespeople mark the task as complete in the groupware application.

Complete Activity Task

Step 9: The task results are retrieved by the marketing campaign tool for analytics and follow up campaign steps.

Find Activity by Basic Data

Step 10: Marketing staff reviews the status of particular tasks

Read Activity Task

Use Case 5: Cross Navigation Capabilities from Third-Party Application to CRM Objects

In this scenario, a user is able to open an appointment in a third-party groupware tool and navigate to the SAP CRM user interface with one click.

This type of cross navigation means that a user in Microsoft Outlook sees an appointment with a link in the body text (such as a URL) or the customer account ID has a hyperlink. The user clicks on the link and automatically opens the relevant information in SAP CRM

Previously, in order to see the revenue, for example, of an account related to an appointment being viewed in Microsoft Outlook the user would have to open the CRM system, remember the account name and number, log in, search for the correct customer and the specific information being sought. This could be a rather cumbersome process for sales representatives who need to move quickly through a number of appointments and activities.

This scenario also demonstrates how the Activity Management ES bundle is able to share and reuse enterprise services and their related business objects contained in other ES bundles.

To start, an appointment is created in SAP CRM. Replicating the appointment to the groupware application with the account ID is done automatically on periodic basis by the groupware application. The groupware application pulls in the appointment by invoking the Read Appointment Activity enterprise service operation.

The groupware user is then able to open the appointment and see, for example, that there is an account name with a hyperlink in the body text.

Clicking on the link will begin the cross navigation and invoke the Read Business Partner by Basic Data enterprise service, which is reused by a number of ES bundles, including the Account and Contact Management ES bundle. SAP CRM then opens the overview page for the specific account.

If the user clicks on a contact link for the appointment, the application will invoke the Read Business Partner Contact Person enterprise service, which is also part of the Account and Contact Management ES bundle. Should the user click on a link to the sales opportunity for the appointment, the Read Opportunity enterprise service is invoked, which is part of the Opportunity Management ES bundle. For each, the related page is opened in the SAP CRM user interface.

This pattern can be duplicated for other links in the appointment held in the groupware application in order to navigate to information held in the CRM system.

The following table summarizes these steps and the related enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: A salesperson creates an appointment is created and saved in SAP CRM.

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The groupware application reads in appointments periodically, replicating the data to its calendar.

Read Appointment Activity

Step 3: The user opens the appointment in the groupware application. Once open, the user can see an account name, a contact name, and a sales opportunity with a hyperlink. The user might click on any of these links (as described in the following steps, which need not be sequential).

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 4: By clicking on the link for the account, SAP CRM displays relevant information about the account.

Read Business Partner by Basic Data

Step 5: In the groupware application, the user clicks on the link for the contact, and SAP CRM displays information for that contact.

Read Business Partner Contact Person

Step 6: In the groupware application, the user clicks on the sales opportunity. SAP CRM displays information about that sales opportunity.

Read Opportunity

Future Directions

Future additions to the Activity Management ES bundle may include a Delete Appointment/Task/Email/Interaction Log Activity enterprise service. There is also the possibility of adding a Find Activity in Archive enterprise service to allow searches in activity archives.

System Requirements

Related ES Bundles

  • Request for Registration Processing
  • Investigative Case Management
  • Campaign Management
  • Customer Communication
  • Opportunity Management
  • Account and Contact Management

End-to-end Processes Where This ES Bundle Is Used

  1. Guest

    We are working with Create Activity Task in CRM 7.0 SP5 and giving a relationshipID as shown below. It giving an exception saying releationshipid has more chaacters and as such truncation.When we donot give relationshipid it is working correctly.We tried in our system and also in ES,same result.I am giving 36 charcters  which is normal but it throws exception.

    request 

     <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <SOAP-ENV:Envelope xmlns:SOAP-ENV="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/" xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <SOAP-ENV:Body> <yq1:ActivityTaskCRMCreateRequest_sync xmlns:yq1="http://sap.com/xi/CRM/SE"> <MessageHeader> <UUID>77070ccd-3a32-41d6-a77d-3015686ffcab</UUID> </MessageHeader> <ActivityTask> <ID xmlns:pns="http://sap.com/xi/CRM/Global2">2000</ID> <ActivityTaskAdministrationHeader> <ActivityTaskHeaderReferences> <ActivityTaskHeaderPredecessorReferences> <RelationshipID xmlns:pns= "http://sap.com/xi/CRM/Global2">b9910a53-9dd5-6d4b-9a9f-b1909989e568</RelationshipID> </ActivityTaskHeaderPredecessorReferences> </ActivityTaskHeaderReferences> </ActivityTaskAdministrationHeader> </ActivityTask> </yq1:ActivityTaskCRMCreateRequest_sync> </SOAP-ENV:Body> </SOAP-ENV:Envelope> This is the response ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <soap-env:Envelope xmlns:soap-env="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/"> <soap-env:Header/> <soap-env:Body> <soap-env:Fault> <faultcode>soap-env:Client</faultcode> <faultstring xml:lang="en">Exception CX_PROXY_INBOUND_APP_ERROR occurred (program: CL_WS_PROXY_RUNTIME_INBOUND===CP, include: CL_WS_PROXY_RUNTIME_INBOUND===CM002, line: 56).</faultstring> <detail> <n0:StandardMessageFault xmlns:n0="http://sap.com/xi/CRM/Global2" xmlns:prx="urn:sap.com:proxy:HU4:/1SAI/TASABB257F25E3A309DA94A:701:2008/06/06"> <standard> <faultText>Proxy Class (generated)</faultText> <faultDetail> <severity>error</severity> <text>Cannot convert value of element: RelationshipID Data loss occurred when converting b9910a53-9dd5-6</text> <id>001(BL)</id> </faultDetail> </standard> </n0:StandardMessageFault> </detail> </soap-env:Fault> </soap-env:Body> </soap-env:Envelope> Edited by: Manish Singh on Feb 14, 2010 6:15 PM Edited by:

  2. No matter what I do with the MessageHeader, or any UUID in the request envelope, I always get this SOAP fault:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <soap-env:Envelope xmlns:soap-env="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/">
      <soap-env:Header/>
      <soap-env:Body>
        <soap-env:Fault>
          <faultcode>soap-env:Client</faultcode>
          <faultstring xml:lang="en">Exception CX_PROXY_INBOUND_APP_ERROR occurred (program: CL_WS_PROXY_RUNTIME_INBOUND===CP, include: CL_WS_PROXY_RUNTIME_INBOUND===CM002, line: 90).</faultstring>
          <detail>
            <n0:StandardMessageFault xmlns:n0="http://sap.com/xi/CRM/Global2" xmlns:prx="urn:sap.com:proxy:IMK:/1SAI/TASABB257F25E3A309DA94A:701:2009/02/10">
              <standard>
                <faultText>Proxy Class (generated)</faultText>
                <faultDetail>
                  <severity>error</severity>
                  <text>Invalid MessageHeader/UUID:                       Serious processing error requires fault handling</text>
                  <id>001(BL)</id>
                </faultDetail>
              </standard>
            </n0:StandardMessageFault>
          </detail>
        </soap-env:Fault>
      </soap-env:Body>
    </soap-env:Envelope>

    Has anyone successfully used the create activity service? The read one appears to work fine.