In SAP S/4HANA, Business Partner(BP) is the leading object and single-entry point to maintain Customer and Supplier (formerly known as Vendor) master data. It is thereby also a mandatory step for an ERP customer upgrading to S/4HANA, to synchronize their Customer and Vendor Masterdata to Business Partners. To achieve this synchronization, Customer Vendor Integration (CVI) customizing settings must be active in the system, besides satisfying BP masterdata checks in the existing Customer and Vendor records.
Prior to this, Business Partner Synchronization for ERP customers involved execution of multiple standalone reports/transactions, implementing several OSS Notes, spread across multiple application components. This process was perceived as complex and resulted in high efforts invested by customers/consultants as part of BP/CVI conversion projects.
To address the above for ERP/ECC Customers, SAP has delivered a standard centralized guided Cockpit, that would have seamless integration to all the required process components, in the intended sequence. This would enable customer/consultant community to perform CVI Synchronization in a hassle-free manner, assisted by a cognitive Cockpit, and get a holistic view of end-to-end conversion process.
For an ECC system, the CVI Cockpit can be launched via transaction code CVI_COCKPIT.
The following demonstrates the current structure of the CVI Cockpit, with 4 Stages and its related Tasks:
Overall CVI Cockpit <Status> <Info>
Master Data Consistency
Activation/Deactivation of Interfaces
Block Maintenance Transactions
Real Load Activities
Post Load Activities
Activation/Deactivation of Interfaces
Release Maintenance Transactions
Read Me: This is the first Stage of CVI Cockpit. Users can get information about various pre-requisite OSS notes and help documentations, related to CVI migration processes.
Preparation: This is the second Stage of CVI Cockpit. The Tasks in this stage performs necessary business checks (functional and customizing) in the Customer and Vendor Masterdata required for CVI synchronization process to Business Partner data model. This stage also gives a provision to customize the checks which user may intend to suppress in a test or sandbox system.
CVI Load: This is the third stage of CVI Cockpit. It has a total of 8 tasks divided into three sections - Pre-Load Activities, Real Load Activities, and Post Load Activities. These tasks perform the main synchronization activities that creates BP Masterdata in system, for all the customer and vendor records.
Upgrade Preparation: This is the fourth and currently the last Stage of CVI Cockpit. The tasks in this stage mainly enables post-processing of records in the BP synchronization cockpit (to handle customer/vendor records that may have been parallelly created, as typically seen during course of a conversion project) This stage also helps to check the consistency of the BPs created.
In context of Business Partner – CVI Synchronization, after successful completion of this step, typically user can proceed for system upgrade to S/4HANA.
The CVI Cockpit mainly comprises of three levels –
Overall CVI Cockpit
Four Stages under the cockpit
Individual Tasks under each Stage
The overall CVI Cockpit, all the Stages and their respective Tasks have a status associated to them.
All the Tasks of the CVI Cockpit requires manual maintenance of statuses. There are three statuses - Red, Green and Yellow. Upon the first launch of the CVI Cockpit, all the statuses are defaulted (greyed out).
Based on the status of the Tasks, the status of the corresponding Stage is automatically determined.
Stage status is Red, if one or more of its Tasks are set to red
Stage status is Green, only if all its Tasks are set to green
Stage status is Yellow, if one or more of its Tasks are set to yellow
Unlike the Tasks and Stages, the Overall CVI Cockpit can have only two valid statuses- Red and Green, indicating Ready and Not Ready respectively.
The overall CVI Cockpit status becomes Green (Ready), only upon meeting the BOTH the below conditions:
All the Stages are Green (confirmed)
There should be no un-synchronized customer or vendor records (to BP) in the system
At all other times, when neither or none of the above conditions are met, the overall CVI Cockpit Status stays Red.
Next Steps - This button will provide information on the activities after Customer/ Vendor to BP synchronization. It is only enabled when the overall CVI Cockpit status is Green and remains disabled, otherwise. At any given point of time, click of the display detail button (as shown above) will give the real-time total count of un-synchronized customer and vendor records.
Activities & Functions
The positioning of all the Stages and its related Tasks are already done in the intended logical sequence. For Stages, the sequence is Left to right. For Tasks, the sequence is Top to Bottom.
Across the CVI Cockpit stages, there are 2 types of Tasks - Executable and Non-executable. The non-executable Tasks are active both in Display and Edit Mode. User is expected to perform the following actions to operate through the cockpit stages.
Click on Edit to activate the Tasks.
Click on Execute button to launch individual Tasks.
Click on the Information button to know more about respective Tasks.
Click on the Status Lights to maintain the status of the task.
During execution of a Task, user is mandatorily required maintain a Task Status by selecting one of the below Status, along with comments.
User also needs to enter a mandatory comment in the Comment field. Last Executed By field indicates the last person who handled the Task.
Precaution: One can achieve Stage status as Green, even with task statuses 04 - 'Skip Step (Project Decision)' and 06 - 'OK with Reservation'. In such cases, user is expected to ensure completion of the concerned task before proceeding to next stage, in order to attain system consistency.
Click on the Change Log button to get the change history of all the Tasks in the current stage.
Screen and Status controls
Users may require noting the below screen behaviors while making changes to the various tasks across the stages of CVI Cockpit.
In the middle of a task, if user exits the CVI Cockpit program, then the task will not get automatically saved. User is required to press SAVE to persist the data. Also, multiple concurrent users executing the Cockpit simultaneously is not supported presently.
If user tries to edit a confirmed stage, system will reset the all the tasks of subsequent stages.
The current stage (the one being modified) will retain all the task statuses, and the status of the current stage will be re-determined based on the modified task status.
All subsequent stages and it tasks will reset.
If user wants to edit subsequent stages, the edit option for the stages will be available based on below actions-
If all the task statuses of the current stage are set to Green, then edit option is enabled in the immediate next stage. Edit option does not activate in the further subsequent stages.
If any task status of the current stage is not set to Green, then edit option is disabled in the immediate next stage and remains disabled in any subsequent stages thereafter as well.
Currently Out of Scope
The current version of CVI Cockpit specifically takes care of BP Synchronization for Customer and Vendor Master Data only. The following data sets are currently out of executable scope:
Contact Person Objects
CRM Integration Scenarios
Below are some of the advantages of the new CVI cockpit -
Gives a standard guidance with a Structured & Sequential application cockpit
Interactive Steps for the user to maintain activity status across phases
Provides a Flexible Sequence Control to navigate across stages as per synchronization stage
System based messaging for the Cockpit’s overall status, over a manually driven one
Users can also track the steps and change history via Status Logging under each stage
Provides a very user-friendly documentation, helping end-users operate the Cockpit
This new development from SAP aims at enabling the ERP customer community to perform CVI Synchronization seamlessly and independently. The standard availability of the CVI Cockpit comes with SAP ECC EHP8 SP13 - SAP_APPL 618 release, however it would also be made available in the lower releases (until SAP_APPL 600), as well.
Although the given solution is primarily developed for ERP/ECC customers, a similar Cockpit is also planned to be made available in the SAP S/4HANA landscape. This would focus on the business customizing checks being performed in the reverse direction - BP to Customer/Supplier, alongside various consistency checks for the BPs in SAP S/4HANA.
Stay tuned and watch this space for more development updates.