The channel letter is back! Check out the Note 1573981 - A channel is missing in EHP1. There are correction instructions for CRM 7.0 and 7.0 EhP1. It was hard work to get SAP there and I'm still fighting some problem that I have with the SmartForms.
In the moment I'm managing the upgrade project from SAP CRM 5.0 using PC-UI to SAP CRM 7.0 with the CRM WebUI. We support our sales and marketing department with this CRM Processes:
We have a CRM 7.0 including the Support Package Stack 6 running as a Sandbox System. Here I'm checking if all the current business processes are still supported.
10 days ago I've discovered that SAP had stopped to support the channel letter in CRM 2007 (6.0). I've raised the SAP Support Message 881232/2010 to get a clarification. Unfortunately my observations where proved right. There is no support for the channel letter anymore.
Our current process for trade fair invitations
Since our CRM 4.0 implementation 5 years ago we do also use the Campaign Management. It allows the channel mail (printed letter) where a Mail Form generated in the SAP GUI transaction CRMD_EMAIL could be inserted. We used this possibility to send out a letter with a complimentary ticket for the light + building trade fair. The next image visualizes the campaign automation that we setup to do this:
When the Campaign is started we've sent out 5942 E-Mails and 12872 Letters. The E-Mails contained a personalized link that pointed to the survey. If our customer flagged the checkbox "Send me a complimentary ticket" then the process "Letter Voucher" was triggered and in total 1139 letters where printed in our advertising material warehouse. The person working there had only to pickup the letter from the printer, get the ticket and put that into an envelope.
This was possible by specefying the Campaing Element "Letter Voucher" with the Communicaiton Medium "Mail with activity creation", the Mail Form Letter and a Print Profile as you can see in the next screen shot:
This process was triggered by the Survey that was evaluated according to the following rules:
Status with SAP CRM 2007 (6.0) and 7.0
According to the Upgrade Master Guide SAP CRM 7.0 SR1 (Page 38) SAP CRM has now the following restriction: "Letter is no longer supported as a direct channel; sending letters should be performed via export channel."
With that our campaign automation process which is successfully used since 5 years will fail when we execute our planned SAP CRM 7.0 upgrade! The provided workaround isn't a real alternative. The suggestion is to use the export channel. So I had to:
Create the export
Open that in Excel
Create a Mail Merge in Word
Print the Letters using Word
That would lead to a much higher manual, costly, error prone process.
As it seems that the SMARTFORMS based functionality can't be used anymore due to architectural changes SAP had to provide a replacement solution based on Adobe Forms.