Have you ever wished communication and collaboration in your ERP (enterprise resource planning) software system could be better? Well, your prayers have been answered with the new Live Collaboration feature in SAP Business One!
SAP Business One version 9.2 Patch Level 6 introduces the new Live Collaboration tool, which allows you to communicate with your colleagues directly within your system. Right now, you probably communicate via text messages, emails, WhatsApp, or face-to-face.
So... What's the fuss?
We've spoken extensively about the importance of data digitisation in your business, and the danger of being paralysed by scattered systems. So you can probably understand our concerns about communication records being lost in between different communication platforms.
By communicating directly in SAP Business One, you can easily send links to relevant customer records, and keep your message history in one place for future reference or in case of dispute.
Alright, how do I activate Live Collaboration?
To activate this feature, you must install Job Service during your upgrade to patch level 6, and ensure that the Live Collaboration feature is enabled.
Navigate to Administration 🡲 System Intialization 🡲 General Settings, and click on the Services tab.
Search for the "Enable Live Collaboration" checkbox and ensure that it is ticked.
It's as simple as that!
Using Live Collaboration - Why?
Perhaps you're wondering when Live Collaboration may come in handy. Picture this scenario: your sales representative has a repeat customer who has reviewed a sales quotation and is willing to make a big purchase at year end, but only if they receive a 10% discount.
Unfortunately, he requires approval before he can issue discounts above 5%. To get approval for the discount, he decides to send a message via Live Collaboration.
Using Live Collaboration - How?
To proceed, your sales representative updates the sales quotation with the 10% discount as agreed. The amended sales quotation will be shown as [pending] until approval is given.
He then needs to send his manager a message to let him know that approval is needed for the discount on a specific sales quotation in order to clinch the deal.
To open the Live Collaboration window, click on the Live Collaboration icon on your toolbar. Enter your search term in the search bar and double click on the name of the person you are searching for (in this case, your sales representative's manager) to display the conversation window.
To further streamline internal communication, your sales representative decides to include your accountant so that she is aware of the situation. To do this, click on the plus sign icon in your Live Collaboration window. Enter your search term into the window that appear, and click the Ok button after you have selected all of the people you want included in the conversation.
You can even create a group name for this conversation, for easier reference in future.
We can embed a link to the sales quotation in question directly into the conversation by selecting the open sales quotation window and clicking the "send to conversation" button in your toolbar.
We can also add a link to the customer's business partner master data so that the manager can view any other pipeline opportunities for that customer before evaluating the sales quotation and making a decision.
Simply click the "Share BO" button in the Live Collaboration window and select an item from the list (in this case, business partner master data). Enter a search term in the "Find" search bar, or scroll down until you find the relevant business partner and press "Choose" to insert the link into your message draft.
Reading messages in Live Collaboration
Logging in to SAP Business One, the message icon in the Live Collaboration Users list will flash if someone has left a message for you. Clicking on it will bring up the conversations window, where you can read the message and respond.
By doing this, the manager in our scenario can click the links included to view the sales quotation and business partner referred to. They then have the information they need to make a decision, and approve or reject the sales quotation, before responding to the sales representative to let him know action has been taken.
We hope you find our guide on the Live Collaboration tool in SAP Business One useful!
For more information on how SAP Business One can help you, please contact us!