Let CRM Do The Work For You
Jennifer Millard
By Jennifer Millard

In today's competitive market, organisations want to improve customer satisfaction and generate increased revenue, while achieving greater operational efficiency. Process automation provides a means to achieve these ends, particularly in businesses with high volumes of customer contact. SAP CRM contains a number of tools that enable process automation and part-automation, including two methods based on modularised services; the Email Response Management System (ERMS) and Intent Driven Interactions (IDI).

Process automation can improve customer satisfaction and generate increased revenue, while achieving greater operational efficiency.


Both of these tools use rule modelling to map the required business logic. Both ERMS and IDI come with standard SAP services for gathering information and performing actions, as well as other utilities. It is also possible to provide alerts to the logged in agent through IDI.

ERMS and IDI are different 'contexts' or flavours of the same service manager framework. The main difference between ERMS and IDI is the scenario in which each is used, and the triggers that bring them into action.



ERMS can help organisations by automatically processing emails received from customers. A customer record can be identified from the sender email address and an interaction automatically created for that customer. By responding automatically using intelligent email templates with embedded customer details and possible issue resolutions, a customer service request may be processed entirely without requiring manual intervention.

ERMS is triggered by a specific event called "mailreceived", which triggers SAP workflow when an email is received by the CRM mail client. Fact gathering services are used to gather information from the email such as the sender address, receiver address, and the email subject. Actions available as standard include routing and automatic acknowledgements, for example to intelligently route an email to a particular team based on the intended recipient, or by identifying keywords in the email content.



IDI can help organisations by suggesting service resolutions based on the categorisation of a customer issue, or promoting predefined up-selling and cross-selling based on products and services that the customer is buying.

IDI can be triggered by one of a number of events which are available throughout CRM as SAP standard. For example, confirming a customer can be used to trigger an IDI rule, such as prompting the agent to update the customer contact details. Additional IDI triggers can be added as required to complement the standard SAP ones.


The main difference between the context of ERMS and IDI is that ERMS operates in the background with an inbound email being the trigger, whereas IDI operates in a user session with the trigger coming from the agent’s behaviour. Because of this difference, the IDI functionality is primarily linked to what the user is currently doing; who is the selected customer and what is the nature of the contact?



Both ERMS and IDI can be used to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of processing customer contacts, by automating or part-automating key business processes. Cost to serve can be greatly reduced, and both sales and customer satisfaction can be increased. Both ERMS and IDI are delivered as part of SAP standard and can be enabled for relatively low cost measured against the potential return on investment.

Jennifer Millard
By Jennifer Millard

Jennifer is AgilityWorks' resident Growth Hacker, working tirelessly with each business unit to bring you the latest and greatest technology and software innovations on the market. In her free time Jennifer is a keen cyclist, although she seems to spend more time falling off the bike than riding it.

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