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26/03/2020
Solution

OpenPromos® Corporate Correspondence (OPCC) now also for SAP Fiori®

The 20+ years of company history behind PROMOS consult have seen the development of numerous revolutionary products that have radically changed the lives of SAP® users. To this very day, the comprehensive product portfolio is constantly being improved and expanded. The first in-house development that went beyond the pure SAP® standard was the correspondence interface OpenPromos® Corporate Correspondence. It arrived with a bang in our customers’ offices, revolutionising their daily work processes. The product has been continuously optimised up to the present.
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There are a variety of reasons for such changes to a solution. A reworking of the design, for instance, can serve to increase usability. The addition of a new feature can optimise general functionality. Some changes, though, are urgently required in order to ensure smooth operations due to changing business parameters. One such necessary change resulted from the conversion to S/4HANA® and the accompanying use of the web interfaces in Fiori®. While in the old SAP® ERP world Microsoft® Word may have been directly embedded in SAP® through OPCC, this is no longer possible due to the nature of the new web technology. This called for adjustments to the proven tool for use in Fiori®. Conversion to S/4HANA® should not only provide customers with a database; they should additionally be able to take full advantage of the new system’s potential. To set our customers up for success here, PROMOS naturally offers all products in the new S/4HANA® environment in executable form. Imagine: you buy yourself an ultramodern designer kitchen with every imaginable technical refinement – from sous vide oven to espresso machine – only to notice after everything is installed that your pots and pans are incompatible with your new high-end induction stove. Unacceptable, right? PROMOS came to the same conclusion. Working with their usual nothing-is-impossible attitude, our developers saw tinkering with OPCC in this context as more of an exciting challenge than a vexing state of affairs.


Why Office integration is so valuable for employees


Correspondence with customers is a huge aspect of daily work for a majority of employees in a real estate company. This frequently consists of standard letters such as authorisations or residential property inspections, which can all be done using uniform templates. And what could be simpler than using the familiar tools from Microsoft® Word to create these and subsequently edit them? Especially considering how cumbersome document creation can be in the SAP® standard. With OpenPromos® Corporate Correspondence, templates for any imaginable situation can be generated in the familiar Microsoft® Word environment in SAP® and adjusted to fit the company’s corporate design. The user can choose from a range of stored templates in SAP® as needed. Upon selection of the respective contract, the placeholders in the letter are automatically filled with the relevant data. This is especially useful and time-saving when it comes to form letters. If the letter requires additional manual editing, this can also be done using the Microsoft® Word interface. Over the past few years, the correspondence interface has been expanded with other important features. A letter can now not only be directly printed and archived from within OPCC, but also sent by e-mail. Furthermore, an edited document can first be temporarily stored prior to sending if this is called for by the relevant work process. Against the backdrop of internationalisation occurring in many real estate companies, multilingual capability also counts as an important milestone in the application’s history. On the whole, OPCC, which marries the word processor most widely used in German companies with the omnipresent SAP®, is a guarantee for reduced workloads, time savings and high spirits in the everyday working life of real estate managers. While this worked regardless of release version in every SAP® system up to now, the marriage between the two systems has now been newly defined and redesigned.

Informationstechnologie und Immobilien (IT&I) Ausgabe Nr. 28 / Oktober 2019

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SAP® in Word instead of Word in SAP® – Renewing the marriage vows


In SAP Fiori®, the working world of the user is defined by tiles with information processed in aggregate form in a web interface. The user receives all the content relevant for them personally in a single glance. Clicking on the entry tile takes users to the classic OPCC world. Here they can create new templates with appropriate placeholders or generate letters using existing templates. Unlike in prior versions, all letters are now first shown in PDF format in SAP®. Users can thus already view a preview of the document. When they switch into the editing mode, the document is automatically downloaded and opened in Microsoft® Word. Further communication with SAP® takes place there through an integrated Fiori® app in a side panel (Figure 1). This can be used to integrate new variables into the templates, for instance. A useful search function helps locate the required placeholders, which significantly speeds things up compared to earlier versions. Once the user has finished editing the template and saved the document, it is automatically stored in SAP®. For the subsequent generation of a print version, a selection window opens where the user can choose the desired real estate contract from which the data should be fed. Depending on whether the user would like to make additional manual changes to the letter, the document is then either opened in Word for processing or simply displayed as a PDF. The printing, archiving, and temporary storage within an easysquare workflow process or sending by e-mail all take place in the same familiar manner as in the old environment.

Microsoft Word Integration in OPCC mit SAP Fiori

Figure 1: The document called up is opened in Microsoft® Word. Communication with SAP® is controlled via an integrated Fiori® app.

Does it get any better?


OPCC also allows users to manually add information in certain placeholders when generating correspondence. A typical example of this is the formulation of a subject line. A pop-up window used to open for every variable where such entries could be made. Now all fields needing to be filled out manually are gathered on a single screen in SAP Fiori® (Figure 2). This means that correction of a single entry no longer requires the whole process to be cut off and restarted.

OpenPromos Corporate Correspondence in SAP Fiori

Figure 2: The new solution streamlines the filling of manual-entry placeholders on a single screen.

A further advantage is the changed file type. Documents are now generated in the DOCX format rather than the old RTF format. This will be especially useful for signature processes, since existing signatures stored as image files can now be integrated with far less technical effort.


In summary, users will definitely continue to benefit from the advantages of the application: Letters can be created in the popular Microsoft® Word interface without any special programming knowledge. All the features established over the years remain available. Users additionally benefit from newly implemented handling and data processing improvements.

Author:

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Christoph Bauer

Director Software Development

PROMOS consult

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