What are Products and Assets?

A user Payel Mitra asked me interesting questions, which forced me to think and come up with an answer. The Questions were

  1. What is the difference between Sales Order and Service Order in Siebel terminology?
  2. What is the difference between an Asset and Product in Order management terminology?

As you can see it is not an objective type question and the answer depends on the perception of an particular individual answering it. That is why I thought of sharing my answer with you guys and see if you can collective explanation answering this question in a whole from Siebel perspective.

So, before jumping on to the answer. I would like to give an disclaimer that the explanation provided below are my own views and should be used at your personal risk.

The answer to the first question is relatively simple.


What is the difference between Sales Order and Service Order in Siebel terminology?

  • A Sales Order is created when you sell a product to customer. By product here we mean a tangible product such as a Laptop, Mobile Handsets, Desktops etc.
  • A Service Order on the other hand can be created in one of the two scenarios
    • If you are offering your service as a product for example in case mobile connections we purchase a pack of 50 free SMS then a service order will be created.
    • In case if a product is returned due to some reason, and you replace this with new product or service the existing product through RMA. In the this case a Service Order is created

Now comes the second and debatable question:

What is the difference between an Asset and Product in Order management terminology?

Product: Product has different meaning depending on the context in which is it used. In Siebel terminology we can that, “Something offered by company to the customers for a price is called an Product”. It can be something tangible (laptops, cameras, iPods etc) or something intangible (Service as a product for example Warranty, Maintenance etc) .

Asset: A product when shipped to the customer is converted into an Asset, not all products get converted into Assets. You can also track products as an Asset which means that you create an Asset and tie product to it (usually done when you offer Services as Products). So, in short an Asset is always tied to a product or converted from a product.

Just for reference the complete cycle that happens is

Opportunity –> Quote –> Contract (Agreement) –> Order –> Asset.

I know this is a very simple explanation but I have deliberately done that and I would like to hear your version of the answer and see if we can add something to the above explanation.

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