Understanding divisions and organizations
Mapping real world entities to technical concepts is one of the key factors for successful software products. It is therefore quite interesting to see how the Siebel design team faced the challenge of bringing the complex hierarchical relationships of large corporations into the Siebel data model.
Early in the analysis phase of a Siebel CRM implementation project, the divisional or departmental hierarchy of the customer is analyzed and documented. The typical diagram type to document the divisions of a company is an organization chart. The following is the organization chart for an example company:
The Sales, Service, and Marketing divisions are subordinate to the Headquarter division. The Sales department has subdivisions, which define the territories (North and South) that the sales force operates in.
Setting up divisions
Once the divisional hierarchy of a company is documented, it must be translated to Siebel administrative data. An administrator uses the Administration – Group screen, Internal Divisions view—shown in the following screenshot—to enter and manage the division information:
This view allows administrators to enter and maintain information about a company’s divisions. The example company visible in the screenshot (Vision Corporation) is part of the Siebel sample database and has four subordinate divisions.
In order to create a new divisional hierarchy, we can follow the steps in the task list below:
- Log in to the Siebel application using an administrative user account.
- Navigate to the Administration – Group screen, Internal Divisions view.
- Create a new record for the top-level division first.
- Enter address and other information if required.
- Save the division record.
- Create a new division for each subordinate division and use the Parent Division field to select the appropriate parent division.
- Use the explorer applet to verify that the divisional hierarchy represents the organization chart.
The following screenshot shows the explorer applet in the Internal Divisions view after the entry of the data from the example organization chart:
In order to distinguish the example company from other divisions in the database, the acronym “AHA ” was used.
From an administrative perspective, we must be aware of the fact that organizational changes might occur frequently. These changes can include one department becoming subordinate of another, or other departments being detached from the hierarchy in order to become separate companies. Siebel administrators must be informed of these changes in order to be able to adjust the division data in a timely manner.
In your demonstration environment, use the instructions in the above section to create a division hierarchy. You might want to use the example or create your own divisions.
Setting up organizations
When a division or an entire partner company wants to use the Siebel CRM infrastructure, this is typically accompanied by the requirement to associate data with the division or partner company in order to provide data security.
Siebel administrators can declare a division as an organization. This is done by simply checking the Organization Flag of a division. However, this change cannot be undone. Once the division is flagged as an organization and the record is saved, the flag becomes read only, as shown in the following screenshot:
We can decide which divisions within the organization chart should be flagged as organizations depending on the data security requirements defined by the project team. The result is typically a second hierarchy of organizations within the division hierarchy. Once an organization is created, Siebel data such as customer accounts, service requests, and so on can be associated with the organization. The following diagram shows how the divisions named Headquarter and Sales have been flagged as organizations. They are now part of the organization hierarchy.
By default, each new organization becomes subordinate to the “Default Organization”, which the position of the Siebel Administrator (SADMIN) is assigned to. If data security policies mandate, we must set the Parent Organization field to an empty value in the Organizations view of the Administration – Group screen.
Even if a division cannot be associated to Siebel data, employees who have a position within that division are automatically associated with the nearest organization that can be located upwards in the division hierarchy.
In the above example, an employee who has a position in the AHA Sales North division will be associated with the Sales organization. The following screenshot shows the AHA Sales North division (note that the Organization Flag is unchecked) in the Internal Divisions view:
The Organization Name field displays the name of the nearest organization (AHA Sales) above the AHA Sales North division. Employees who are associated with a position in the AHA Sales North division will automatically be associated with the AHA Sales organization. They will therefore be able to see data associated with the AHA Sales organization and each record they create will be automatically associated with the AHA Sales organization.
Similar to divisions, organizations cannot be deleted. When organizational changes require it, a Siebel administrator must detach the non-existing organization or division from all parent records by emptying the parent division field and change the name to indicate the state of the organization or division. For example, the name can be prefixed with “NOT USED” to indicate that the division or organization no longer exists. Furthermore, records that are associated with an organization that no longer exists must be re-assigned to other organizations. This is typically achieved by using the Siebel Assignment Manager.
Mark at least one of the sample divisions you created earlier as an organization by setting the Organization Flag and saving the record.