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If you followed the series of blogs about Business Process Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager (e.g. about how to monitor an  Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Order to Cash, Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Procure to Pay, Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Stock Transport Order replenishment process or Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Manufacturing scenario), then you will have noticed that the focus was very much on SAP ERP. But as I already mentioned 2 years ago in my blog Functional Scope of Business Process Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager the Business Process Monitoring also supports SAP SCM, SAP CRM, SAP SRM, SAP EWM and SAP BW. Now in this blog I want to take the chance and outline a little bit on how you would typically monitor some Sales process within an SAP CRM scenario.

Business Process Monitoring for SAP CRM Sales

Business Process Monitoring (BPMon), as part of Solution Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager means the proactive and process oriented monitoring of the most important or critical business processes including the observation of all technical and business application specific functions that are required for a steady and stable flow of the business processes.

One of the most critical business processes for customers is often a sales process (especially Order to Cash). While many customers execute this kind of process solely in SAP ERP, there are also many customers where the process actually starts in SAP CRM. A typical sales scenario with SAP CRM and SAP ERP looks as follows:

The most typical sales process the Order to Cash starts with the creation of a Sales Order and ends with the collection of cash which should be reflected in settling a corresponding open item in the Accounts Receivable (see also the previous blog Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Order to Cash). But in order to win the customer there might be several preceding steps before you actually create a sales order and these preceding steps can be either conducted directly in SAP ERP (to some degree) or in our case these steps are conducted in SAP CRM. So some sales person returned from a trade fair or you started some marketing campaign and you identified some prospects or customers who expressed some interest in your products then you can create a Lead (business transaction category BUS2000108) within SAP CRM. If the customer shows more than just interest and you see some recognized possibility for sales then you can create an Opportunity  (business transaction category BUS2000111). An opportunity can also be created based on a Lead in status "hot". Another document that might be created during the sales process is an Inquiry (business transaction category BUS2000115) which represents a request for quotation. The Quotation itself (also business transaction category BUS2000115) is an offer by a sales area to a customer for delivery of goods services according to fixed terms. The offer is legally binding for a certain period of time. If the customer agrees to the terms then you would finally create the Sales Order (also business transaction category BUS2000115) which is the basis for all further processing (in SAP ERP, like creating deliveries and invoices).

Actually as the sales order (and all other mentioned documents) in SAP CRM requires a lot of information (especially about the different business partners involved) it might happen that not all required fields are immediately filled-out by the corresponding sales employee. Hence the sales order (or other document) might be saved but only with errors. For further processing it is of utmost importance that all errors are resolved beforehand. As the Logistic Execution takes place in SAP ERP the sales order needs to be replicated from SAP CRM to SAP ERP. This happens via BDocs. In order to deliver sales orders in a timely manner to the customer it is important to check that all sales orders are replicated in a timely manner as well. For this reason it should be checked if sales orders in SAP CRM remain in status “to be distributed” for a longer time than expected. Also the BDoc flow should be monitored continuously. If the sales order is replicated in SAP ERP and/or document changes are made directly in SAP ERP then updated information is sent back to SAP ERP. For this reason it should be checked if no “error in distribution“ occurred.

Further process steps that are then executed in SAP ERP were already described in a previous blog about Business Process Monitoring for a typical Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Order to Cash process.

Within such a Sales process there are of course many things that could be monitored and Business Process Monitoring provides many technical and business application specific monitors for this purpose, which come out-of-the-box and can be adjusted to the customer needs, e.g. by entering data for sales organizations. Probably the most important key figures on SAP CRM side are the following:

  • # Sales Documents saved with errors
    Business Risk: If a document is saved with errors then this typcially means that some (e.g. business partner) information is missing. Depending on the infomration that is missing it might not be possible to further process the document and hence the whole sales process might be unnecessarily delayed.
  • # Sales Documents 'to be distributed'
    Business Risk: This key figure represents which should be automatically replicated in a connected SAP ERP system in order to trigger the subsequent logistics process as soon as possible. Once the replication is performed successfully the status 'to be distributed' is deleted. Hence if you find sales documents in status 'to be distributed' (for quite some time) it might represent a delay in your sales process.
  • # erroneous BDocs
    Business Risk: Erroneous BDocs represent problems in your interface between SAP ERP and SAP CRM. Every erroneous BDoc represents a possible inconsistency between the two systems. Additionally, like the previously described key figures, it might indicate some delay in the sales process. Remark: Of course you can also monitor BDocs in order to avoid synchronization errors between mobile clients and the SAP CRM backend.
  • # Sales Documents with 'error in distribution'
    Business Risk: This key figure represents the number of sales documents where the replication to the corresponding SAP ERP system was actually not successfully performed. Another reason why your sales process might be delayed very early on and cannot be further processed in SAP ERP.

Remark on 12.02.2013: Meanwhile a new  ST-A/PI 01Q was shipped which contains more enhanced capabilities for evaluating exceptions in the SAP CRM area. The blog New key figures: Analyzing/monitoring exceptions in CRM Sales or Service documents, Business Activit... describes this next generation of key figures that can significantly simplify and speed-up the root cause analysis for erroneous CRM documents.

Example Setup of Business Process Monitoring

As an example we want to configure a measurement for erroneous sales orders. Before you start setting up any key figures for CRM Sales you should ensure that

  1. ST-A/PI 01M* or higher is implemented on your SAP CRM system
  2. SAP note 1573121 - ST-A/PI 01M SP1/01N: Performance improvements for CRM TBIs is implemented on your SAP CRM system

First step in setting up monitoring for this key figure will be to model the CRM Sales process in the SAP Solution Manager system. How to model business processes in SAP Solution Manager is out of the scope here. Having modeled the business process, you can assign key figures to every business process step. In this example, we select the business process CRM Sales, choose process step Create Sales Order, select the Monitoring Type Application Monitor, then select the Monitoring Object CRM Sales Documents. You can then provide some more speaking name like Erroneous Sales Orders in our case.

In the next step you select Key Figure Sales documents 'Error' and define the Monitoring Schedule, i.e. how often you select this key figure and save. Best Practice is once per day.

Next, you have to configure the key figure itself and fill-out some select options. You have to select at least the Business Transaction Category, in our case BUS2000115 for sales orders. For performance reasons you should always set the flag for Expect high backlog (after applying the above mentioned SAP note 1573121) as only then the select is started on the relatively small table CRMD_ORDERADM_H. Otherwise the select starts either on table CRM_JEST or CRMD_ORDER_INDEX which are typically very large tables. Also for performance reasons it is highly recommended to specify the field Younger than y days. In our example only documents which were posted within the last 90 days are then considered for the measurement. Working with the Younger than y days field also ensures that you are only looking at documents which should be still in use for daily operations and you exclude old legacy data from the selection. If you also want to clean-up old data, then you should look at the previous blog New functionality "Business Process Analytics" - how to improve your business processes .

After you finalized your configuration you generate and activate the new settings.

Then once a measurement is returned you can logon to the SAP Solution Manager and drill-down to the measurement and finally jump from the SAP Solution Manager to the detailed document list residing in SAP CRM.

Frequently Asked Questions about Business Process Monitoring are answered under

The following blogs (in chronological order) provide further details about Business Process Monitoring functionalities within the SAP Solution Manager.