On the journey to a perfect support experience, one important milestone is to simplify and streamline the end-to-end incident creation and management process.

SAP users can now access the Incident, Schedule an Expert, and Expert Chat support channels via the “Report an Incident” single entry point, easily choosing their preferred support channel without having to navigate through different support channel tiles.

John Bowley, product owner of the SAP ONE Support Launchpad Incident Management in the Support Experience Process and Innovation Office of SAP UK, describes the unified support experience and many other key features users can benefit from, as well as what’s coming next.

Q: The last 12 months have seen many improvements and enhancements around SAP’s incident creation and incident management process. With the latest releases in September 2020, your team has been focusing on the “unified support experience.” What is behind this latest improvement? How does this affect the customer support experience?

A: For our incident creation and incident management, the unified support experience means that our customers start their interaction with SAP support in one place and can easily transition to different support channels depending on their support needs. You simply describe your issue and the available support channels will be highlighted for you automatically.

The most obvious benefit is that customers no longer have to choose their support channel upfront, only to discover the support channel is not available. The customer can simply decide among support channels Incident, Schedule an Expert, and Expert Chat, making it a more seamless and efficient way. If one communication channel doesn’t suit them, customers can choose an alternative.

How does this work for the incident management process?

With our efforts to improve the user experience and create a unified support experience, customers now benefit from an enhanced incident management. One example of this is the redesigned incident list via the new “Manage Incidents” tile in the SAP ONE Support Launchpad. It allows users to easily search, view, edit, or confirm their incidents. It’s also possible to customize the filtering and search options to save your own personalized views. The user-centric redesign of incident edit layout provides an intuitive workflow for customers to interact with SAP more efficiently.

When it comes to simplification of the process and accessibility, what benefits can customers experience?

Let me explain this with our simplified incident categorization functionality. Simplified incident categorization helps you to find the correct incident category and product expert to get an issue resolved faster. The new, product-based incident categorization will automatically be taking the system and product you’ve selected into consideration. This process is enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) technology to recommend the most relevant product function category for your issue.

Can you share other examples of new features and functionalities recently launched as part of the simplification and optimization?

There are quite a few key features. For one, customers can now update their contact details in real time during the incident creation to help ensure SAP support can reach them effectively. They have also the possibility to automatically analyze logs files as they update their incident, which is a feature that resulted from our surveys with customers and SAP Mentors.

Another nice feature is the automated alerting of any SAP Cloud service outage automatically on system selection. You have the option to request a subscription to updates as the status of the outage changes. This allows for easily tracking the outage until resolution.

The recommended help solutions are now triggered on product selection, just like in different consumer applications and apps in your private life.

Last but not least I need to mention the support assistant, which offers a guided logging experience formulated on decision trees to narrow down an issue and collect all the relevant information for troubleshooting. We will even recommend the right component for your issue.

Has SAP achieved its goals for the optimized incident management and creation? Or will there be more to come — and what would that be?

We have achieved many goals with the key features being released approximately every six weeks over the last 12 to 18 months. The intent was not to overwhelm our customers with a big-bang effect, but to steadily validate each feature tailored to customer needs. Shaping the support experience has always been a customer-centric initiative.

That said, there are some additional enhancements in the pipeline around increasing the transparency of the status of an incident throughout its life cycle. We are currently prototyping a visual indicator to highlight at which point in the resolution an issue resides, with an estimated time to resolution.

Our key goals are almost achieved, but there is always room for improvement, especially with leveraging the opportunity to embed AI and newer technologies as we strive to achieve the perfect support experience for our customers.