Use Python to Develop Custom Interactive Voice Response Functionalities for SAP Business Communications Management

  • by Steven Trinh Xuan Dung , Senior Consultant, ecenta APA Ltd.
  • March 2, 2012
Learn some fundamental techniques for developing custom interactive voice response (IVR) functionalities and see example solutions to three common IVR enhancements when using SAP Business Communications Management.
Key Concept
Interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that allows a computer and telephony systems to interact with humans through voice and dual-tone multi-frequency input. Today, IVR is the first level of communication between customers and most call centers. A well-designed IVR system not only provides a good customer experience, but also reduces interaction time, effectively reducing costs and increasing the service level of call centers.

SAP Business Communications Management (SAP BCM) is an advanced communication solution for multichannel contact centers and contact-intensive, multisite organizations. It replaces traditional hardware-based communication systems with a software-based IP telephony solution that can help make internal interactions (within the organizations) and external interactions (between internal staff and external customers and partners) more effective.

In SAP BCM, the IVR Administrator is the standard tool for designing Interactive Voice Response (IVR) applications to use within the SAP BCM system. The IVR Administrator provides various states (activities), such as PLAY, MENU, GET DIGITS, RECORD, and FORWARD, that cover the majority of functionalities needed in a call center.

However, there are functionalities you need that you cannot create with the IVR Administrator. Because SAP BCM was not originally built on the traditional SAP programming platforms — Java and ABAP — companies that use SAP BCM often find it difficult to develop additional functionalities. This article provides a framework for and some tips on how to implement IVR enhancements in SAP BCM using Python coding. The solutions outlined below require SAP BCM 6.0 or higher integrated with SAP CRM. They also require Python 2.4 or above.

Steven Trinh Xuan Dung

Steven Trinh Xuan Dung is a senior consultant at ecenta APA Ltd, Singapore, and has four years of experience in SAP CRM and other SAP products, with a focus on Services and CTI. With a technical and functional background, he has contributed to many successful SAP projects worldwide.

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