Integrated Communication Interface

Purpose

The Integrated Communication Interface (ICI) supports the integration of non-SAP communication products with SAP components that use communication services. The ICI is intended in particular for scenarios involving multiple communication channels such as telephony, e-mail, and chat, but it can also be used in single-channel scenarios. It enables activities such as an agent accepting an inbound phone call, an agent deflecting an inbound chat request, or a supervisor monitoring queues. The ICI is only one of several components required to implement communication scenarios of this kind.

An example scenario is the integration of communication management software systems with the interaction center (IC), specifically the IC WebClient and IC manager dashboard, provided by mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM). For illustration purposes, this example is used throughout this documentation.

The graphic below represents a simplified view of such an example scenario without detailing the interfaces. The scenario is made up of functionality from three distinct sources – application component, technology component, and external (non-SAP) component.

Implementation Considerations

You can connect multiple communication products in parallel to SAP using the ICI.

Multichannel management (that is, the synchronization and serialization of incoming communications) is not part of this SAP functionality.

Technology

The ICI is based on Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which are non-proprietary, Web-oriented, open interface technologies. HTTP is used at transport level.

You can run this communication scenario using one of the following options:

With regard to the options below, the IC WebClient runs only with the non-Java option. The communication management software simulator (CMSS) runs only with the Java option. If you want to demonstrate and test the ICI using the CMSS, you need to install the Java option.

·        Java option, that is, partly on a Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) server

For more information, see the J2EE Engine documentation in the SAP Web Application Server documentation.

?     Non-Java option, that is, completely in the ABAP stack of the SAP Web Application Server

Testing

For test purposes, you can simulate external communication management software using the CMSS, which is delivered with the Java option of the ICI. The CMSS has its own user interface to simplify simulation.

Certification

A certification process is implemented to verify the connectivity of external communication products with SAP using the ICI. An external product does not have to support the ICI in full. Partial certification is possible to enable the connection of single-channel communication products, such as telephony products.

Integration

The system architecture required to connect the interaction center with external communication management software using the ICI is made up of several components.

The system architecture of the interaction center example scenario in a live environment is shown below:

Live System Architecture

System Architecture Legend

ICI 

Integrated Communication Interface

BCB

Business Communication Broker

BSPs

Business Server Pages

SAM

Simplified ABAP Messaging

ICI-Specific Components

The BCB, BCB API, and SOAP dispatcher components enable the ICI. The messages passed between the application component and the external component are passed via the ICI. For the Java option, the BCB administration component provides a user interface to facilitate customizing. For the non-Java option, customizing is via transaction CRMM_BCB_ADM.

Application-Specific Components

The application-specific components are linked to the ICI-specific components via the Business Communication Broker Application Programming Interface (BCB API). This is the API for application customizing.

In the interaction center example scenario, the application consists of the IC WebClient, which provides an ABAP-based user interface for interaction center agents. For more information, see the documentation for the IC WebClient, which you can find on the SAP Help Portal under mySAP Customer Relationship Management.

The IC server sends actions to the communication management software via the ICI-specific components and receives events back from the communication management software also via the ICI-specific components. The actions might include agent logon, initiate outbound phone call, or remove chat line from chat session. The events might include new inbound phone call, or new posting in chat session.

External Components

These are non-SAP communication systems. In this scenario, the external product is communication management software, which is a multichannel communication product. This is responsible for merging requests from different media, routing requests to specific agents or agent groups, queuing requests, signaling inbound requests to the IC, and so on. The external products communicate with SAP via the ICI using SOAP and XML.

Features

Many application components use external communication services. Integrating an external communication product with an application component using the ICI can provide:

·        Integration of multiple communication channels such as phone, e-mail, fax, pager, and chat

·        Active reporting of new, changed, or completed phone calls, e-mails, or chat sessions (known generically as items)

·        Monitoring and statistics

Constraints

Multichannel management (that is, the synchronization and serialization of incoming communications) is not part of this SAP functionality.

The ICI is a server-to-server interface. It does not support direct communication between the SAP client and the external communication product.

Activities

Installation

Java Option Only

The ICI is delivered and installed as an integral part of the J2EE Engine, meaning that, after you have installed the J2EE Engine, no further steps are necessary to install the ICI. For more information, see Installing the ICI.

Non-Java Option Only

The ICI is delivered and installed as an integral part of the SAP ABAP Basis, meaning that no separate installation of the ICI is necessary.

Customizing

Java Option Only

Customizing is via the BCB administration user interface. You can access BCB administration at http://<hostname>:<port>/bcb. This gives you access to all functions, including the CMSS user interface.

Once you have made the customizing settings, the implementation is complete. No further action is required.

The ICI supports Monitoring and GRMG Heartbeat.

For more information about customizing, see Customizing the ICI.

Non-Java Option Only

Customizing is via transaction CRMM_BCB_ADM.

Testing/Troubleshooting

Java Option Only

You can use the CMSS to test the ICI without connecting to live communication management software. For more information, see Demonstrating and Testing the ICI Using the CMSS.

You can activate ICI traces in the Visual Administrator of the J2EE Engine.

Non-Java Option Only

You can activate ICI traces using transaction CRM_ICI_TRACE.