SAP CRM has a few internet components which enhance the customer Interaction. Prominent among them is the Internet Sales. Though not a pure CRM Capability it opens up the Internal enterprise data for the customers. B2B and B2C are the 2 main scenarios with Sales and Service as the functionalities. It is about setting up a website which helps customers to log in and perform Order Entry, Request for Quotation, place an enquiry and self service. This involves some XML and java specialization.
ASAP(Accelerated SAP) is the De facto methodology that SAP Implementations follow. It has these 5 phases Project Preparation, Business Blueprint, Realization, Final Preparation and Go Live and Support. The highlight is that the Blueprint is frozen before the realization i.e the actual Configuration starts. This holds good for a standalone ERP or CRM implementation for the Internal Users. A customer facing Internet sales or service project runs on multiple tracks like SAP CRM Configuration along with the seamless Integration with THE R3, Java Development and Deployment, XCM Configuration and necessary ABAP Development. In this scenario the alpha, beta release methodology is more relevant than the ASAP Methodology.
The challenges here are three fold
Usability: Easy to Use for the End Users( The easier it is for the user the complex it is for the consultant)
No Disruption in the ERP Ecosystem( Balance the historical process ‘before’ and the new process ‘after’)
Balance of work and sharing of responsibility between Java and ABAP ( What in java and What in ABAP)
Considering these issues my strategy would be
1)Build up the website with a flow till the backend
2)Give a Demo to the business users and take feedback
3)Go back to the add the needed features to the website. Repeat Step 2 till the Final Demo
4)Release for test customers as a Beta Release, Iron out the edges and then a complete Release
The challenges become magnified in case of a B2C scenario which will be discussed in another post.