Krones AG

Successful interconnection of the new contact center with the SAP CRM system of Krones

International mechanical engineering company opts for the Voxtron Communication Center. The ability to interconnect the contact center with the SAP CRM system was central to the decision.

In early 2014, Krones AG instructed IP Dynamics to renovate its existing contact center system. Importantly for Krones, its contact center solution must also allow a highly efficient search for experts and specialists within the group. This is needed for a wealth of reasons – for example for operation, servicing and maintenance of the complex production lines of Krones AG’s customers worldwide. Besides meeting conventional requirements, therefore, the customer call center also needed to offer additional features.

In particular, the need to interconnect the contact center solution with Krones’ SAP system and enable integrative processing of all incidents arising (interaction records) presented the greatest challenge for productive delivery of the new solution.

IP Dynamics developed an integrated architecture for all requirements based on the “Voxtron Communication Center” – a multi-channel solution offering high levels of flexibility while preserving all standard interfaces and using the certified Integrated Communication Interface (ICI) for interaction with the SAP system.

The architectural design includes a multi-client solution which can efficiently implement the special features of Krones AG’s business units for each client.

Cooperation at a high technical level

The first phase of the overall project involved a careful analysis of the current situation. Qualified workshops were held and the results were finalised based on iterative evaluation and adjustment. The target architecture was then developed. Besides the known requirements, it also incorporated new capabilities for the functional areas of the Voxtron Communication Center. The results were documented in several jointly agreed requirements specifications. It is important to note that the thorough analysis and detailed description in these documents were instrumental in enabling scheduled implementation later in the project. Employees at Krones and IP Dynamics cooperated at a high technical level. All issues were discussed in detail. At project management level, too, the key objective from the outset was to ensure a coordinated implementation strategy that could be executed as planned. Any problematic situations arising were always discussed openly with the aim of achieving an appropriate, effective solution.

Once the order to implement the solutions described in the performance specifications was placed, the necessary system components were prepared at Krones’ locations throughout the world. In addition to the group‘s head office in Neutraubling and its German plants, Krones also has establishments on other continents such as Franklin in the USA, Sao Paulo in Brazil and Bangalore in India. Besides communication with local contact persons, other challenges involved the different time zones and ensuring purposeful analysis of monitoring and statistics.

Voxtron system configuration with three clients

The first client (Service Desk) went live in April 2015. This was preceded by a pilot phase, in which Krones employees and the system received direct, on-site support from IPD employees over a period of several days. The smooth launch was followed by a period of adjustment and fine-tuning for the client. This included monitoring elements and routing-related precision adjustments.

The second client (the Lifecycle Service Centre in the USA) went live in July 2015. Experience gained from the rollout of the first client was drawn on for the launch of the LCS Center in the USA. All preparations and the “go-live” were handled remotely. All required documents were produced in English and after just a few consultations to clarify certain matters, the Krones Communication Center in the USA was full operational.

The most complex client (Service Line, SL) went live in May 2016 following an intensive preparatory phase. It resulted in the system being interconnected with Krones’ SAP CRM system via uniform interfaces (ICI, RFC) and based on additional developments by IP Dynamics. Among other things, a compact user interface (KCC-Krones Communication Center, see Fig. 1) was developed for SL employees containing all information needed to ensure efficient working practices. In addition to status information, the interface also maps membership of organizational units. Calls can be individually forwarded or forwarded to a group or other roles.

To ensure successful interaction with the lead SAP system, IP Dynamics implemented extensive development and programming requirements while retaining the standard interface definitions. This created complex challenges, in terms of specialist knowledge and fast implementation, as regards cooperation with maihiro GmbH, Krones’ CRM consultancy company and long-standing SAP services provider, and the department at Krones which supplies the platform. Explicitly assigning an employee with extensive relevant experience enabled IP Dynamics to achieve high-level interaction with the SAP CRM system.

Individual requirements successfully implemented

Since being commissioned, the entire system has operated without any major problems. Additional application scenarios such as chat and e-mail routing have also been implemented and activated promptly at Krones. IP Dynamics provides 24-hour second and third level support under a service contract. IP Dynamics will also support the planned upgrade of Krones’ CRM system as regards interconnection with the Voxtron system.

Both IP Dynamics and Krones consider the project a success – not least because of the high lev-el of mutual trust between the companies.