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It is rightly said “Time is money”, and who would appreciate it better than enterprises.  Time management is a very crucial activity for any business to run effectively so that the right time is allocated to the core activities. In business every second counts. SAP C4C tries to ensure same by providing Standard Business Processes with high performance capabilities. This blog further explains one of the important feature of SAP C4C which helps business to save time and speed up the business processes.

Approval of document via email is one of the most useful but hidden feature of SAP C4C. This feature not only improves the overall performance and also enhances the customer experience. In standard scenario, whenever any document is submitted for approval, it triggers an email notification to approver to approve the same. The email notification sent to approver to approve the document contains very limited information along with that, it contains the logon links for C4C. Every time approver needs to login to C4C system to approve or reject a particular document, login to a C4C system to approve or reject a document is a very time consuming process.

SAP C4C offers a very useful feature which helps the user to experience the quick approvals via emails only , and login to C4C system is no longer required. In this scenario, email sent to approver contains more information and also one document is attached having all details (if configurations are made in C4C, will explain about this in next blog), email also contains two extra links for “Approve” and “Send back for resubmission”.


How it works

To activate this functionality setup of SSL certificates is required. Email notification sent to approver contains two links one for "Approve" and other for "Send it back to resubmission". By clicking any of the link user can send a reply email to address " , before user sends reply it needs to first digitally sign that particular email and certificates for user also needs to be maintained in C4C system, so that C4C system can authenticate the user every time before doing any modifications in the system. The whole process contains few steps mentioned as below :-


The first step is to make sure that emails are properly triggering to approver. Whenever any document is submitted for approval an automatic notification needs to trigger to approver. To make trigger email notifications, below scoping needs to maintain.

Administrator can setup setting to subscribe email notification for all users at a scoping level itself by following below path communication and information support-> Business process management -> Business task management.

Check the question highlighted in the below screenshot.

Once the above configuration is done user is able to subscribe/unsubscribe the email notifications for a particular kind of documents from notification view (check highlighted button in below screenshot).

To activate the functionality to approve via email, a secure connection needs to be setup between user’s email account and C4C system using SSL certificates. There are lots of companies that provide SSL certificates likes Entrust, Comodo, Symantec etc. You can use any provider to get these certificates. Comodo provides free trial certificates as well. Once you subscribe for email certificates from comodo you will receive one email that contains links, once you click on the install link email certificates will automatically installed in browser under certificates section and we need to download those certificates to our local machine for further usage explained in next steps. The SSL certificates contains personal security certificate and public security certificate and third is Personal information exchange certificate (used to upload in email client ).

Next Step is to install “personal information exchange” certificate in outlook email account. This helps the user to send reply with signed emails to C4C for approval and rejection of a particular document.

This certificate can be downloaded from browser from certificates manager section. (Below screenshot shows how to download certificate from Mozilla FireFox).

In outlook account this certificate needs to install in trust center under Email Security.

If certificate is installed properly then below highlighted buttons became activated in outlook to sign the emails. Now user can send signed emails.

Now we need to setup email certificate in C4C at user level. We need to select particular user for which we need to configure personal email certificate under administrator tab-> general settings->business user. Once the user is selected, click on manage certificate button.

You can also download  personal certificate from browser as  mentioned in the below screenshot.

Now click on “Upload S/MIME Certificate” to upload the certificate into C4C.

Next step is to upload public or generic certificates in C4C. This certificate need to be upload in two places :-

First at Administrator->common task -> Edit certificate trust list.

Second at Administrator->common task -> Configure S/MIME. In this step, need to upload generic certificate under incoming emails. Upload CA certificate ( i.e. generic certificate ) against email account This is the email address to which email is sent when user approve or reject any particular document.

In Configure S/MIME certificates, under tab activate S/MIME check “encypt outgoing” E-mails and “Signing Outgoing  E-mails”.

Now we are done with configurations to setup certificates for approval of documents directly via email.

Once the email got trigger to business user for approval then that email body contains “Approve” and “Send back for Revision” links as mentioned in the first screenshot of this blog. When user clicks on "Approve" or "Send back for revision” link then Email reply window will open, do not make any change in subject and body of the email as  this is standard text used by C4C, then digitally sign the email using sign button highlighted in the below screenshot. 

Once C4C system receives the email, it will confirm the user by comparing digital signatures and then it will automatically approve the required document.

Thanks & Regards,

Harnish Sharma.