The challenge of Service Management in SAP

There is a range of SAP products available where it’s not always clear which product fulfils which function within the service management process. Some products overlap in functionality, making it difficult to see beforehand what the right fit is. Additionally, the names of SAP products sometimes change, while the underlying functionality remains the same. This also makes it challenging for companies to make the right choice.



At Ideo, we see ourselves not only as an SAP software implementation partner but also as advisors in business processes and experts in the service management market. We closely monitor the service management market, with special attention to SAP products. Therefore, we can assist you in mapping out the different products with their distinctive functionalities and differences to make the right choice.


The service management process

When looking at the entire service management process, the following steps are often recognizable:

  1. The process starts with a trigger. This can be a phone call, email, or form in a portal from customers. We’re also accustomed to being able to send a message via social media when we need service. This process can also be asset or maintenance-driven, where the trigger may come from the device itself (IoT) or a maintenance plan.
  2. After the trigger, intake occurs. During intake, the trigger is transformed into an order. A quotation is prepared, the right materials are ordered, permits are requested, warranties are prepared, and the order is prepared for execution.
  3. Once the intake is done, the order is scheduled. Scheduling ensures that the order (either manually or automatically) reaches a suitable and available resource. Additionally, this may mean optimizing the scheduling of other orders to ensure efficient routes.
  4. Once the order is scheduled, it is then executed by the technician. The technician is provided with relevant information and assisted in logging the correct data, including work done, materials used, time spent, and any expenses incurred.
  5. After execution, the entered data undergoes control and validation. This ensures the accuracy of the data, allowing for invoicing and financial processing.
  6. Dashboarding is possible on data from work preparation, scheduling, operation, invoicing, as well as other financial KPIs. This is crucial for monitoring the service organization as a whole and providing insight into where adjustments need to be made.


The described process is visually explained in the figure below:


Service management in SAP

To support the service management process, SAP has various products in its portfolio. Let’s highlight a few:


1. SAP (CX) Service Cloud

SAP CX Service Cloud helps companies deliver fast and personalized customer service, increasing the efficiency of the service organization. The software connects customer contacts from various channels into one solution for a consistent service experience across all contact channels. The employee’s desktop provides service personnel with a single view of customers and access to the right knowledge and information to improve customer engagement and first-contact resolution. Meanwhile, the ticket and case management system helps service teams efficiently resolve customer tickets, and intelligent technologies can automate ticket categorization. Service teams are supported with solution recommendations and sentiment analysis. SAP CX Service Cloud can play a role, especially in the trigger and intake steps of the service management process. SAP Service Cloud was previously known as SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C).


2. SAP S/4 Service

SAP S/4 Service helps companies manage their customer relationships and supports the setup and operation of presales, service order management, and customer interaction functions and processes. As SAP S/4 Service is an add-on to SAP S/4 HANA, the features represent extensions to the SAP S/4 HANA feature portfolio, which are seamlessly integrated into existing SAP S/4 HANA functionalities such as logistics flows. SAP S/4 Service is the new service backend and thus the natural successor to SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and SAP Customer Service (CS). SAP S/4 Service can play a role in all steps of the service management process. We see that the focus in an integrated scenario usually lies on the trigger, intake, and control & invoicing steps. SAP S/4 Service was previously known as Customer Management. In the service process, it is also possible to use SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and the “classic” SAP CS.


3. SAP Field Service Management

SAP Field Service Management supports customers in the entire service management process. Through the self-service portal, notifications can be created, viewed, and customer appointments can be made. With the planning board, orders can be prepared and then manually, semi-automatically, or fully automatically scheduled. With the crowd workforce module, it is even possible to outsource work to resources outside your employee pool. The FSM Mobile application supports the technician in the field online and offline with the right information and sends back the relevant data such as materials used, time spent, and expenses. He is supported with smart forms. In the time and material logbook, this data can be approved, and the reporting module contains reports for various operational KPIs. SAP Field Service Management can thus play a role in all steps of the service management process. When working within an integrated scenario with a SAP backend system such as SAP S/4 Service or SAP EAM, we see that especially the planning and mobile execution steps are often


4. SAP Service & Asset Manager

The SAP Service & Asset Manager is a persona-driven mobile application for field employees. There are personas for various roles such as service technician, maintenance technician, supervisor, and warehouse worker. With the mobile application, work orders, notifications, condition assessments, quality checks, material consumption, time bookings, and error analyses can be managed. The SAP Service & Asset Manager is the natural successor to the SAP Asset Manager. The license of the SAP Service & Asset Manager is shared with that of SAP Field Service Management. Additionally, there are direct integrations between both products possible. Hence, it may be interesting to adopt both products. The SAP Service & Asset Manager primarily plays a role in the mobile execution step of the service management process.


5. SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud is an all-in-one Cloud product for reporting and predictions based on data from SAP. The product includes reports for business intelligence (BI), planning, and predictive analyses. SAP Analytics Cloud provides a unified and secure Cloud experience that helps companies make data-driven decisions. SAP Analytics Cloud mainly plays a role in the dashboarding step of the service management process and can complement the embedded analytics in SAP S/4 HANA and SAP FSM.

Of course, the service management process has more intersections than shown in the figure above. This article mainly focuses on the primary service management process. Sales processes, contract management, inventory management, HR flows, and extensive invoicing processes are all related to this service management process. Functions related to these are available within the described products, as well as in other SAP products.


Want to learn more?

Are you looking for which SAP service management solution best fits your business process? Or would you like to know more about the products in this article? Feel free to contact Ideo. Our team is happy to assist you further.