Today’s Key SAP CRM Testing Challenges (and How to Overcome Them)
A flawed CRM application cannot perform as expected. It fails to manage customer relationships efficiently and can even impair the existing long-standing relationships with customers.
Since the advent of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, organizations have immensely benefitted from the easy tracking mechanisms, improved data management, and other advanced features that CRMs have to offer.
Due to such features, the growth trajectory of the CRM market has been phenomenal. Moreover, this market is also forecasted to grow in size from one billion US dollars to 43.5 billion US dollars from 2019 to 2024.
SAP CRM: An overview
The SAP CRM is a key component of the SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) business suite. It is used to collect, organize, analyze and manage a company’s customer-related information. SAP CRM also helps in boosting productivity in the customer-focused business areas, including marketing, service and sales.
Besides enhancing customer interactions across multiple platforms like website, mobile, social media, etc., CRM analytics assesses all data points to help companies with knowledgeable insights into their decision-making process.
Make SAP CRM work for you
CRM software applications are designed to help businesses establish long-term customer relationships. SAP CRM, an integral component of the SAP business suite, also works in a similar way.
However, to get the desired outcome from CRM applications, businesses must ensure that their CRM application is error-free. A flawed CRM application cannot perform as expected. It fails to manage customer relationships efficiently and can even impair the existing long-standing relationships with customers.
Conducting comprehensive software tests on CRM applications is a proven way of ensuring that the software application is without defects. So, like every other CRM technology, even the SAP CRM needs to go through a rigorous software quality assurance process.
However, performing quality assurance on an SAP CRM application has its own set of challenges. Whether it’s pertaining to the evaluation of its complex interface, assessment of the errors in CRM analytics, or verifying and validating the long response times, it is common for businesses to encounter several challenges in every step of the SAP CRM testing process.
Before figuring out how to overcome these challenges, we should get a brief idea about SAP CRM.
SAP CRM challenges
Due to its crucial role in customer support, CRM software has incredibly high stakes for any company. So, the challenges that QA testers confront while testing the software need to be resolved quickly. Some of the predominant challenges include:
1. Setting up a test plan
For an SAP CRM application to function efficiently, its specific workflow-related features need to be tested. This includes verifying the smooth coordination between the inbound and outbound channel management.
The first challenge in SAP CRM testing that quality engineers encounter is curating test plans for such complex workflow-related functionalities. However, the major challenge here begins while setting up a customized testing environment for every stage of the STLC.
The first step to overcome these challenges is to properly design the functional and usability testing requirements in the form of user stories. The next important step is to involve representatives from every CRM group while designing the requirements specification.
Once these conditions are correctly fulfilled, a suitable testing environment can be set up.
2. Forming a QA team
Software quality engineering no longer follows the traditional Waterfall framework. Instead, new QA frameworks such as Agile and DevOps, along with the best practices of CI/CD, have permeated into every process of software quality and technology assurance. In fact, even in the SAP CRM testing process, QA teams have adopted either or both the methodologies in the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC).
In order to have efficiently functioning frameworks, businesses need to have the right combination of experienced resources, which is a great challenge.
Businesses must form a team depending on the strengths of each member. For example, while using the Agile Scrum framework, you need to identify the right people for the positions of the Scrum master and the product owner. Additionally, you also need to make sure that these people are not only well-versed with these specific frameworks but also conversant with SAP CRM features.
As for the test engineers, it is important to ensure that they are highly specialized in each stage of the methodology as well as well-adept with the respective functionality of SAP CRM.
Additionally, while forming a team, organizations must keep in mind the project’s time frame – whether it’s a short-term or a long-term project.
3. Identifying testing frameworks (tools)
SAP systems are a blend of both modern and legacy technologies. As a result, not every QA testing tool is able to support SAP CRM protocols. It is also the reason such tools cannot provide desired results during an SAP CRM testing process.
So, the challenge here is to identify specific testing methods that blend in with every version of the SAP system.
For a flawless SAP CRM testing process, you need to make sure to match the suitable and relevant testing tools to the respective testing stages. For example, a functional testing tool has different requirements than a performance testing tool, so distinct software testing tools need to be selected for separate testing stages.
4. Mitigation of cost
There are many factors that contribute to the high expenditure involved during SAP CRM testing:
- Owing to complexities and to ensure an improved user experience, the number of test cases is usually high.
- Additionally, setting up a test environment for SAP CRM testing can be quite costly.
- In the case of continuous testing, regression testing after every update is also expensive.
Trying to mitigate costs that are incurred during the quality engineering process is one of the major challenges.
In general, QA testing costs can be minimized by adopting new testing frameworks such as Agile and DevOps. However, without a specialized set of technical expertise and ample software QA experience, mitigating costs can be difficult.
Therefore, seeking the guidance of professional quality engineering service providers is the best way to handle and reduce your software testing expenses.
5. Minimizing the number of missed defects.
Ideally, SAP CRM testing should be reporting zero missed defects. But practically, a defect-free software is a utopia.
Businesses usually differentiate the defects based on their severity, such as very critical, critical, major, minor, trivial, etc. However, doing such segregations can be difficult because it must consider the user experience, performance, future updates and many other factors.
Having a proper feedback mechanism within the SAP CRM at every stage of the STLC can be quite beneficial. Furthermore, while doing a beta test, choosing a diverse set of users and subsequently encouraging them to report defects in the SAP CRM software can really serve the purpose here.
6. Degree of automation
Just like every other domain, automation has taken the quality engineering and business assurance sectors by storm. However, barring a few exceptional companies, it’s not possible for enterprises to fully automate their QA processes.
For such companies, deciding on the degree of automation is one of the biggest challenges.
Usually, the repetitive processes which have a pre-defined set of linear steps are chosen to be automated. Nonetheless, software testing has become a different ball game altogether with the advent of AI and ML. So, the degree of automation depends on what amount of AI and ML has been adopted by the company.
It’s a fact that AI-enabled software testing not just reduces the cost, but also shortens the STLC. However, not every company possesses the resources to undertake AI-powered SAP CRM automated testing at a large scale. It is in this regard that highly experienced software testing service providers come into the picture to ensure you can maximize the considerable benefits of AI-powered testing tools.
Most enterprises have invested big in SAP CRM software applications to revamp their customer relationships. So, SAP CRM testing is critical to them. While these are some of the most common challenges, businesses encounter many more obstacles while starting this CRM testing process.
To stir away from any such risk wherein your customer interaction takes a backseat, it is preferable to ensure your SAP CRM testing is done skillfully by experienced quality engineering experts. This is important not just to make sure your SAP CRM is working flawlessly, but also to gain all the significant advantages that an optimized and well-performing system can give you – and your customers.
Speak to an expert at Qualitest and we’ll help you solve your SAP CRM testing challenges.