Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The IS-U house / Business Partner

The IS-U House is a famous picture among IS-U Consultants as it depicts a real house and how it is modeled in IS-U as IS-U Master Data.
Here is the IS-U House.

As you can see real life objects has been modeled as IS-U Master Data.
Connection Object = building
Premise = Apartment
Device Location = The location where a device is installed (e.g. Hall, Basement)
Meters = Meters
Installation = this is an object without real life correspondence and it is used for billing purposes
Contract = a contract for a specific type of utility
Contract Account = grouping of one or more contracts under the same umbrella for financial transactions
Business Partner = the customer

Let’s see what kind of data are stored at each master data level.

Business Partner
A business partner can have multiple roles within the SAP IS-U:
- Contract partner
- Installer
- Prospect
- Contact person

At the Business Partner Level we can store the following data:
- Name
- Address
- Legal Form
- Group
- Search Term

- Standard addresses
- P.O Box addresses
- Other addresses

- Telephone
- Fax
- Extension
- Internet
- E-mail

Payment Transaction
- Bank
- Bank Account

Biller Direct

- Hierarchical
- Equal
- Connected

Additional Data
- Status
- Identification Number
- Register entry

Monday, September 08, 2008

Free e-book: How to write your SAP Consultant CV

I have wrote an e-book on how to write your SAP Consultant CV. If you want to receive a free copy you must subsctibe to my SAP Blog feed. You can subscribe either by email or if you are using a reader you can subscribe in that reader.
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Sunday, September 07, 2008



I get a lot of IS-U questions and I'll use this post to start group them in some way.


1) Can we use Payment scheme with DPC back billing ?

A: As far as I know you can use DPC with Budgetbilling ( I guess with payments plans as well because they are a type of budgetbilling) starting with version 4.7.2

2) In DPC should estimate consumption during billing ? If yes, then what is the advantage?

A: If you estimate the consumption durring billing then you will not have any Meter Reading Result in the system (no entry in EABL, EABLG table). The system is estimating a consumption and then based on the consumption it is determining a reading. If you need to print estimated readings on your invoice that would lead to inconcistencies from one billing perioad to another. The advantage is that you do not store the Meter Reading Result in the database.

3) Is UTILIT98 starting a workflow!
Yes it is starting an workflow. Actually it is triggering the event BillingEvent01 of BILLDOCAUT business object. Then you can link your workflow to this event. You can use it to send alerts or to start a business process as an action to a billing result.

Friday, September 05, 2008

SAP Solution Manager 7.0

Today I was browing the SAP Portal and I found out some cool Ramp up Knowleadge Transfer documents for SAP Solution Manager.
For the ones who don't know yer, SAP Solution Manager is a product used to drive an SAP implementation project or to support an already implemented SAP Solution.
This is what SAP has to say about Solution Manager on it's Portal:
"Managing your entire SAP solution landscape is a challenging task, but SAP has the answer: the SAP Solution Manager.

The SAP Solution Manager is a platform that provides the integrated content, tools, and methodologies that you need to implement, support, operate and monitor your enterprise's solutions from SAP.
With SAP Solution Manager, companies can minimize risk and increase the reliability of their IT solutions.
SAP Solution Manager helps reduce TCO throughout the solution life cycle.
SAP Solution Manager helps companies manage their core business processes and link business processes to the underlying IT infrastructure.
SAP Solution Manager supports both SAP and non-SAP software and helps companies get more from their existing IT investments.
Current release of the SAP Solution Manager is: SAP Solution Manager 7.0, SP15. "

I haven't yet been in a project where the Soltution Manager would be used as a implementation tool but I cant wait to land such a project. Until that time I can go through almost 40 hours of SAP Solution online training.

Here is a pic of all the topics covered:

Here is the link:

Of couse you need to have a user with the right authorization on SAP Portal to access it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

SAP IS-U Overview II

SAP R/3 and IS-U can be implemented under the SAP IS-U Client or in different clients.

Implementing SAP IS-U and SAP R/3 in the same client:

This is the best solution as the interfaces between SAP R/3 and SAP IS-U is native. IS-U practically extend some of the R/3 functionalities.


- an IS-U device is a serial number of a device category. In R/3 a device category is a material in the Logistics Material Master.

- FI-CA posts closed reconciliation keys in the General Ledger.

- a device location and connection object is a functional location in PM

- a work management order is a PM order.

Implementing SAP IS-U in a different client than SAP R/3:

This is a solution suitable for large implementations with large number of customers. The interfaces are kept at minimum.

For example:

FI-CA posts reconciliation keys in the local General Ledger. Then the posting in the local General Ledger needs to be transferred in the R/3 General Ledger using an interface usually ALE.

The utility company buys new meters. This are managed in SAP R/3 from the logistic and accounting point of view: purchase order, goods receipt and invoice. But in the same time a interface (manual / automatic) needs to be established to make the meters available in IS-U for the device installation process.

There could be other examples as well but these are the ones are most common.

IS-U and R/3 Integration.

Let’s see the integration of IS-U and R/3 in depth detail.

As I already told you, the IS-U is sometimes extending existing R/3 functionalities to cover the need of the utility business. But of course other functionalities were newly developed.

Device Management is fully integrated with the PM and MM and AM modules. A device (e.g.: meter, transformer) is a serial number of a device category and in the same time a piece of equipment. The device category is defined as a material in the material master.

Work Management is fully integrated with MM, SD, PM/CS and Controlling modules. Here the utility company can implement a broad range of billed or non-billed services offered to the customers. For example a work management order is an extension of a PM/CS order and can be linked to IS-U objects such as Business Partner, Contract Account, Connection Object.

Billing & Invoicing is fully integrated with SD. For example we can implement a process where some services are billed in SD and Invoiced in IS-U.

Contract Accounts is fully integrated with Financial Accounting. CA is a sub-ledger of General Ledger.

IS-U and external applications integration.

IS-U can be integrated with external applications such as: GIS, SCADA, External Billing Systems, Automatic Meter Reading Systems, other CRM Systems.

IS-U in deregulation markets.

IS-U has evolved along with the utility market. In the last 10 years the European market but other markets as well has adopted a new business model. That is the unbundling of a classic utility company into: generation, transmission, distribution and supply. The unbundled utility market had several stages such as:

- accounting unbundling – the utility company would present different P&L accounts for Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Supply

- informational unbundling – accounting unbundling + the prevention of sales (supply) users to access the distribution data of customers supplied by other supplier

- legal unbundling – splitting of the utility company in separated legal entities responsible with generation, transmission, distribution and supply.

The deregulation market model leaded to a lots of changed in a utility company processes. The most important change was about the data exchange process between the utility companies. Because a customer has the right to change it’s utility supplier lead to a process called “Change of Supplier” where the suppliers and distributor need to exchange data about that customer such as: Billing Tariffs, Meter Readings, Unpaid bills.

In order to support such processes SAP developed a new module for this called SAP IDE which supports the following processes:

Change of supplier

Billing of Distribution Services to Supplier

Sending Meter Readings to Distributor / Supplier

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

SAP IS-U Billing Job in Poland and Estonia

Ecrm Consulting requires a Team of Consultants for 2 Greenfield CC&B Formally SPL (Cordaptix) for projects in Poland and Estonia. We require consultants with excellent working knowledge of Billing Project Ideally CC&B (Cordaptix) who have excellent functional Architectural skills in Billing. The project is length is approximately 18 Months. Please send your updated resume; We are willing to wait for the correct consultants to become available.

Please contact Andrew Mickel at andrew.mickel at ecrm-euro dot com.

Andrew Mickel
CRM, Oracle, BI Specialist EMEA
ERP, eCM & CRM Business Development
eCRM Euro
Part of the Euro Group Managed Service.
2 / 2 Burnets Close, 156 High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1QU


(Tel: +44(0)131 550 1150 - (Mob: +44 (0) 7595360893 - ÊFax: +44 (0) 131 550 1165 -

SAP IS-U Overview I

Overview of SAP IS-U CCS modules

The IS-U CCS is a Industry Solution from SAP which address the needs of a customer oriented utility company. In the next pages we’ll refer to SAP for Utilities Industry Solution simply as IS-U or CCS.

IS-U comprises the following modules:

Master Data and Basic Functions
Customer Services
Work Management
Device Management
Billing & Invocing
Energy Data Management
Contract Accounts

A complete SAP for Utilities solution should also contain the following SAP products:
CRM – Customer Relationship Management
BW – Business Warehouse.

The CRM solution is design to cover all the marketing, customer acquisition, sales and customer services processes of a utility company. It is fully integrated with the IS-U: CRM works as a front end (contracts, customer services, market campaigns and IS-U as a backend (billing, payment processing, work management, etc). For example when using a CRM as a front end system, a contact created in CRM is replicated automatically in IS-U where the necessary master data is created automatically using Master Data Templates.

The Business Warehouse solution is used for reporting. Is comes with a Business Content which already contains a lot of predefined Info Cubs and reports.

Where can IS-U be implemented?
The traditional value chain in the energy industry is:
Generation, transmission, Distribution, Supply and Customer Services and Billing.
The IS-U has been successfully implemented and design for the Distribution, Supply and Customer Services and Billing. However IS-U (mostly EDM) has been implemented in Transmission companies as well. Of course with a few/a lot of developments depending on which of the business processes were covered in IS-U.

Typical landscape for a SAP for Utility Solution

World's SAP IS-U implementations

Here is how the IS-U implementations are spread out in the world.