Get a Single View of the Customer by Linking Customer Master Duplicates in SAP CRM

  • by Abhishek Srivastava, Senior Consultant, SAP Package Technologies, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • November 30, 2011
When your SAP CRM system has to account for a customer master that has duplicates, an approach based on linking master data records can provide you with a single view of this data. For example, Customer XYZ exists in the system as XYZ1 and XYZ2, and transactions or installed base products are scattered between the two accounts. You can customize this approach to help meet your various business scenarios. This article describes one such scenario, involving an implementation at a high-tech enterprise.
Key Concept
Customer master data is the data needed to conduct business with a customer. It includes basic information such as addresses and contact information, as well as payment and shipping terms. It also governs how transactions are posted to customer accounts and how data relating to the customer can be processed.

A common challenge faced by SAP CRM users is that the master record for customers or accounts is contained in business systems external to SAP CRM (e.g., SAP ERP Central Component [SAP ECC], third-party tools, or data files), as shown in Figure 1. These systems might be linked to many other external business systems in the landscape, which in turn can create duplicate records. SAP CRM may have duplicates in the customer master for any of the following reasons:

  • Master Data Management (MDM) is not implemented or might not be implemented properly at the source of the customer master
  • There is limited or no data cleansing mechanism at the data source
  • The business is not willing to modify existing records because of the risks and time commitment involved
  • The business is not willing to commit resources to cleansing the data of external source systems
  • There is a lack of customer data governance that would keep records in sync over multiple platforms

I describe a process for identifying, linking, and displaying duplicate customer records in a single view in SAP CRM. This demonstrated approach can overcome those issues related to customer master duplicates if data cleansing is not a feasible solution.

This solution was implemented effectively and was well received by users at a major high-tech industry client, which had amassed several years’ worth of duplicates. It was unwilling to spend the time and resources on the massive MDM project that would be required to eliminate the duplicates. Instead, the company wanted an efficient, usable solution to the issue. The solution is designed to provide a single window view at the presentation layer of customers, their transactions, and products.

Abhishek Srivastava

Abhishek Srivastava is senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting, India, in the areas of SAP CRM and SAP ECC. He has more than six years of SAP CRM and technical consulting experience. Abhishek has SAP CRM implementation experience in SAP CRM 4.0, 5.0, 5.2, 6.0, and 7.0.

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