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Success in today’s dynamic business environment means making decisions quickly and moving with agility and speed to seize opportunities. The early feedback of cutting-edge software gives companies the technology and tools to improve and streamline business processes – and beat the competition to the punch.

SAP Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI) is a remarkable initiative that shows how we invest in our customer engagement and why customer feedback is so important to us.

CEI enables SAP’s customers or partners to get early insights into SAP’s product developments and to work directly with developers to define and shape future product directions. Customers can start right away by registering for one of our new projects.

How does this kind of engagement work and what’s in it for our customers? Let’s take a closer look at a past project so you can see for yourself.

Showcase: Situation Handling

SAP S/4HANA situation handling - Automatically alert business users in case of urgent issues is a great example of a CEI project that garnered a lot of attention. From the US to New Zealand, more than 80 customers and partners across the globe registered for it.

If you’re not familiar with Situation Handling, it’s a framework in SAP S/4HANA that speeds up the resolution of business issues, such as expiring contracts and exceeding budgets, by detecting them automatically, informing the user responsible, and proposing follow-up actions.

The Situation Handling team chose to use the CEI platform to engage directly with customers and partners to learn about their experiences with the framework and to identify improvements for their product.

The project leads, the Situation Handling product manager, and the product owner, supported the participants enabling standard Situation Handling use cases in SAP S/4HANA. Along the way, they collected feedback about the business value of these scenarios and the configuration process.

How did customers and partners benefit from participating in the CEI?

They were shown best practices by SAP experts and had the opportunity to see firsthand how they could increase the level of intelligence and achieve better business outcomes with Situation Handling in SAP S/4HANA. Moreover, by sharing their feedback with SAP they had the chance to influence future requirements and establish a communication channel with the Situation Handling team post-CEI.

The project was divided in 3 parts: project kick-off, individual discussions, and project closure.

The project kick-off started in September 2021 and included the initial call and a deep dive session. While the initial call focused on the project scope, planned activities and legal framework, the deep dive session offered further insight into the features and functions of Situation Handling and the configuration of standard use cases.

The individual discussions started with those who had decided to actively participate in the CEI after the project kick-off. From October 2021 to February 2022, participants identified a couple of Situation Handling use cases delivered by SAP that they wanted to discuss in detail. The project leads had several individual interactions with the participants to make the best of the configuration of their chosen scenarios and took note of the input that was provided during these five months.

The project was officially closed in March 2022. In the closing call, the project leads discussed the general results of the engagement with the participants and shared further details about their vision for Situation Handling.

Overall, Situation Handling was perceived by the CEI participants as a valuable tool that proactively informs users about important situations that require attention. It’s easy to set up and use, and the templates delivered by SAP are helpful in quickly getting started with the framework.

The monitoring capabilities of Situation Handling were also highlighted as beneficial for tracking the life cycle of situations over time and seeing options for improvement. As one of our customers pointed out:
“Situation Handling is a proactive monitoring tool that can save effort and increase revenue”.

In addition to smaller requirements, the most requested one was the wish for further flexibility to create custom situation templates and enhance standard ones.

The feedback was extremely valuable as it reinforced that we were on the right track with the next iteration, which was already in the works. The extended framework of Situation Handling was delivered with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2202 and SAP S/4HANA 2021 FPS02, allowing customers to create their own Situation Handling use cases and transport them between systems.


Next steps

Our customer’s engagement doesn’t have to stop at project closure. Customers (and sometimes partners) can always stay in touch with their project leads and keep track of the latest innovations and planned events through SAP’s official platforms, such as the SAP Community.

As for Situation Handling, the team is back for another CEI round — this time focusing on the extended framework. Check out this engagement opportunity on SAP Influence Portal. Customers can register to participate and configure their first custom Situation Handling use case in SAP S/4HANA until March 10.

With the first Cycle of the SAP Customer Engagement Initiative, we have a big topic list for customers to choose from – where do they want to give feedback to SAP.


More information:

SAP Customer Engagement Initiative:

Situation Handling:

Customer and End User Acquisition Panel