There are two examples of Master Data in SAP CC. The Subscriber Account and the Provider Contract. Before creating a Provider Contract, you must create at least one Subscriber Account. This is a prerequisite.
A Subscriber Account contains prepaid balances (accounts) and external accounts which are debited when the customer consumes services or credited when he makes refills. Refills here means credit recharge or credit top-ups for prepaid services. A Provider Contract is a long-term agreement between a service provider and a customer based on specific terms. In the SAP CC however, the Provider Contract functions like a container that links the Subscriber Account, his/her phone number and the Charge Plan which the Subscriber Account is subscribing to.
The diagram below shows the dynamics between the Provider Contract, Subscriber Account and the Charge Plan.
Don’t worry if you feel the diagram is difficult to digest. The next chapter will explain to you step by step how to create a Subscriber Account and the Provide Contract as well as the linkage between them and the linkage made to the Charge Plan. But first, feast your eyes on the lengthy theory below. In will make more sense in due course.
How an account is debited or credited?
- A Subscriber Account is linked to the Charging Plan (defined in a Charge) through a mapping located in a Charge Plan within the Provider Contract.
- When a customer activates a new Charge, an Account Assignment step populates the references that enable identification of which account will be debited.
- When a customer uses a service, the pricing process calculates corresponding fees while the charging process defines which prepaid or external accounts will be debited. (when a customer account is debited, it means that the account is being charge)
Subscriber Account: Account Type
Monetary balance with associated empty limit
Expiration schedule: active, blocked, locked, closed
Alerts on amount or on expiration events
Account type: currency, account receivable or payable to control online transaction consistency
Account references: Client / partner and Service Provider
Subscriber Account: Prepaid Accounts
- Prepaid accounts contain a monetary counter associated with a currency.
- Funds are placed in the account before the service begins, and then the charges linked to the services consumed by the client are debited as necessary in real-time.
- The balance of an account is defined by a minimum value (empty limit).
- Depending on service providers’ requirements, the empty limit is usually close to 0 and must not be less than zero; however, if overspending is authorized for specific usage, the empty limit is ignored, and usage can be debited from the account even though the balance of the account is less than 0.
- Crediting a fee to a prepaid account consists in increasing the amount of its balance. Conversely, debiting a fee consists in decreasing the amount of its balance.
- Empty limit: It is the minimum value of a balance ensuring that the account is sufficiently funded to pay or to reserve money. When empty limit is reached, usage/events are rejected.
- Alerts: Prepaid account balances can be connected to expiration and amount alerts. An alert is a notification sent to a dedicated system when prepaid account balance is less than or equal to a value.
- Refills: Prepaid accounts can be credited through refill plans
Subscriber Account: Prepaid Account States
- Active: The prepaid account can be debited until the empty limit is reached. It can be refilled. If overspending is authorized, debiting is possible. You can block, lock or close an active prepaid account.
- Blocked: The prepaid account cannot be debited (only free usage is accepted). It can however be refilled. If overspending is authorized, debiting is possible. You can reactivate, lock or close a blocked prepaid account.
- Locked: The prepaid account cannot be debited (free usage is not accepted). Refills and overruns are authorized. If overspending is authorized, debiting is possible. You can reactivate, block or close a locked prepaid account.
- Closed: The prepaid account cannot be debited. Refills and overruns are forbidden. Once closed, you cannot change a prepaid account any more.
- An expiration schedule allows you to schedule the states of a prepaid account.
Subscriber Account: External Account
- An external account is a reference to an account managed outside Convergent Charging.
- SAP Convergent Charging checks the compatibility between account types and transactions in real time:
- Payable: An account payable is an account by which a service provider owes a partner money (and sends settlement reports to the partner)
- Receivable: An account receivable is the customer account
Subscriber Account: Creation
In an integration end-to-end scenario with SAP Offer-to-Cash, subscriber accounts are replicated from business partners.
In a standalone scenario with SAP CC, you can create subscriber accounts directly using the Core Tool.
To create a subscriber account, we need:
- List of prepaid accounts and external accounts owned by the customer
- Account by default
- Subscriber id and catalogue owner
- Additional information
- List of the provider contracts
- A Provider Contract is a long-term agreement between a service provider and a customer based on specific terms. Those terms, have been negotiated beforehand to define how and when the customer will be charged :
– To have access to goods / services
– To consume these goods / services
- A provider contract can be updated at any time, based on :
– On customer request
– On customer consumption
– On provider request
- In SAP CC 3.0, the creation of Provider Contracts is designed to be handled by a provisioning system (e.g. SAP CRM)
- It is possible to create these contracts with SAP Web-services or by SAP CC Core Tool directly. (in the next tutorial, we create it using Core Tool)
To create a Provider Contract, we need the following:
- A Subscriber Account (at least one)
- One or several Charge Plans to subscribe to
- One Refill Plan to subscribe to (Optional)
- Contract effective date
- SAP CRM Product that references the Charge Plan (via cross catalog mapping) (Consume To Cash Deployment only)
- Parameters required by Charge Plans (Account Assignment, Technical Data, Shared Counter etc)
- User Technical data. i.e. what is going to identify the user when they consume a service (e.g. phone number)
Subscriber Account Creation:
Create a Subscriber Account. This will represent a customer. File->New->Subscriber account
Name the Subscriber account [T01] Subscriber Account 1.
Add a prepaid account and an external account. Give each account a name [T01] Prepaid 1, [T01] Postpaid 1.
Save the Subscriber Account in the Database.
The Subscriber Account definition in SAP CC merely contains the Subscriber ‘Account1’ and the Contracting Service Provider ‘T01’.
You may wonder, where is the rest of the customer information such as customer name, address and payment data. These customer information are kept in the SAP CRM as shown below.
Provider Contract Creation:
Let’s create a Provider Contract for a new Subscriber of a Family Mobile Plan. The plan will feature the ability to share allowances across members in the family.
First we need to create a Counter to implement the ability to share allowances (minutes used) across multiple users. Here we add a Counter to the CounterDictionary. This enables counter sharing between different Charge Plan activations. (The term Charge Plan Activation refers to the activity where we add one or more Charge Plan to the Provider Contract).
The diagram below shows the scenario that we will complete in this chapter.
Select Tools->Counter Dictionary->Edit
Add a new counter call [T01] Shared minutes and click Save.
In the Catalog for T01, right click on [T01]Mobile Call Plan, select ‘Open as Copy’. We need to modify the Charge Plan in order to take the new Counter into account.
Change the Name to ‘[T01]Mobile Call Plan (2)’.
At the Charge Plan Counters tab, add [T01]Shared minutes with Visibility External.
Select the ‘[T01]Mobile Usage Charge’ node. There is a persistent counter called ‘Minutes used’ configured inside the Charge. This Persistent Counter value is updated by the Duration property that comes from the user property of the CIC. We need to link it with the counter [T01]Shared minutes.
Click on the definition tab of the CP. Set the Charge Plan to ‘Released’.
Save the charge plan in the Database.
Finally we can create the Provider Contract.
To create the Provider Contract select File->New->Provider Contract.
Search your Subscriber Account and click ‘OK’.
Give the name as ‘Contract 1’.
Add in the ‘[T01] Mobile Charge Plan (2)’ 2 times. Each time edit the name of it to User 1 then User 2.
Click on the ‘Counters’ tab ,set each counter status to ‘Shared’ and set the Namespace to ‘[T01]’.
On each Charge Plan activation, select the Technical Data tab and provide a phone number for each user.
On each Charge Plan activation, select the Account Assignments tab and provide select the External Account of your Subscriber Account.
On each Charge Plan activation, select the the Parameters tab, update the initial Value of the Plan Type ID (CP) to ‘X’. In previous chapter, the Plan Type ID (CP) was used to store either the value of ‘Standard’ or ‘Power User’.
Verify the new Provider Contract.
Save the new Provider Contract in the Database.