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We, the SAP Sourcing team is very pleased to announce, that we are now ready with the new and upcoming SAP Sourcing/CLM 10.0 release for our On Premise customers. As noted in the previous blog by Anne McClelland, Release 10 is almost ready for release to customer, with Ramp Up (another blog with further details on Ramp Up is also upcoming) planned for very early in Q2 of 2014, and general availability set for Q4 of 2014. Release 10 will also have a full maintenance cycle, with end maintenance slated for December 31, 2018.

To stay within our legal guidelines, I should also point out that all of this blog’s content is subject to the disclaimer at the bottom of this blog.

Ok, now that we have gone over the release schedule, let’s dive into the main course, and the exciting world of SAP Sourcing/CLM Release 10.

SAP Sourcing / SAP CLM 10.0 Theme

SAP Sourcing / SAP CLM 10.0 is based on the strong SAP philosophy of Customer-Driven Innovation and Enhancements, and this will remain our guiding principle moving forward for all our upcoming releases. The other major themes our 10.0 release is predicated on are:

  • Improved User Experience
  • Open Connectivity
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Let’s now look at each area that has been enhanced and improved for this release:

Cross-Solution Enhancements (Usability)

Recents and Favorites feature on the Supplier Side. Beginning with Wave 8 (Release 9.0 for On-Premise), SAP Sourcing / SAP CLM introduced Recents and Favorites on the buyer side. This feature provides a clean, quick way to pull up key documents, while removing clicks and providing a more intuitive navigation. This proved to be such a success for the end users that SAP has now added this ability for the supplier-side users.

"Add" button dropdown selector. When adding an RFx Question or an Agreement Performance, the user must first pick a type, e.g., a yes-no question type ("Type" first, "Add" second). But picking the type first and then clicking Add is counter-intuitive; the user typically wants to add, and then indicate what he wants to add ("Add" first, "Type" second). The "Add" UI now has a dropdown to make it easier and more intuitive.

New Edit button on the Attachments window and Discussion window.  One source of user confusion is when a user clicks down into a window, and then cannot perform his desired action because he is not in Edit mode. Instead of forcing the user to close up the window and navigate back out, click Edit, and navigate back down, the Edit button is now available in the lower-level  Attachments window and Discussions window. This goes across all documents that have this capability, namely Projects, RFx documents, Auctions, Master Agreements, and User-Defined Objects.

Image file in My Settings. The system allows you to include a picture of yourself in My Settings. This enhancement was made in preparation for potential mobile applications that will be integrated with SAP Sourcing / SAP CLM.

Access the Discussion report from documents. Having the Discussion report available from within documents makes it easier for users with access rights to see and export all of the topics and messages associated with one document. Filter capabilities make it even more useful to find specific messages, dates, and authors.

Provide number of records returned and displayed per page.  Providing the number of records being displayed helps the users manage their search results records. This is available in all List pages, Collection pages, Query lists, Reports, and pickers.

Back button positioned more intuitively. Users have previously missed the application "Back" button because of its position at the extreme far right side. The application "Back" button is now positioned at a location that is more likely to be seen by the user, is more consistent with other "Back" button locations, and is alongside the breadcrumbs to visually group the navigation actions together.

iPad Compatibility. While it is not expected that users will use the iPad exclusively, there are many advantages to being able to review approvals, run reports or refer to specific documents via the iPad.  A new workbench has been introduced specifically designed for the iPad to make it easy for users to navigate to those tasks that will be most likely done on an iPad. But be aware that there are some limitations with the iPad, namely: Flash is not supported (dashboards and Attach File requires Flash, and therefore cannot be run on the iPad), tooltips are not available, and Excel downloads cannot be edited.

Print Supplier Registration Page. Once suppliers have registered with SAP Sourcing/SAP CLM, they wanted a way to print and have a record of their supplier registration for auditing and verification purposes, and a print functionality is now provided to get a clean printed document.

Increased availability of Auto-Complete functionality. Auto-complete functionality enables users to have fields populated in with significantly fewer clicks. Auto complete or type-ahead functionality is available in various areas of the application, and the availability of this functionality within the application has been expanded even more.

Expanded Browser Support. Internet Explorer version 10 is also now inherently supported along with various versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, as explained in this blog.

Strategic Sourcing Enhancements

Save Auctions without Commencing. Buyers cannot make interim saves while creating an Auction, so they have no other option but to completely define the auction. Save functionality has been added to Auctions so that auctions can be created carefully, without the fear of kicking off a half-completed auction, or having to start fresh each time.

RFx line item Offers Report for export. A new report is now available to show RFx line item Offers, which can be exported to Excel.  This is helpful for offline analysis.

Buyer option to hide currency exchange rates from suppliers. The enhancement controls whether the currency exchange rate information is exposed to the supplier in order to better maximize response efficiency.

Buyer option to import currency exchange rates. Buyers now have the ability to import exchange rates when creating an RFx. This allows users can now use Exchange index rates from common sources easily to provide consistency.

Enhanced information for suppliers of existence of line item groups. When line item groups are used in an RFx, it is sometimes easy for the supplier to miss seeing all the line items across all line item groups. The system has been enhanced to improve user experience by ensuring that the supplier is aware of line items that may be "hidden" in other line item groups.

Display descriptions for attributes in Formula Editor. Descriptions for the Line Item Specifications, Supplier Entered Attributes, and Formula descriptions will now be displayed in the Formula Editor to provide a clearer view of the attributes in use.

Notifications to all the supplier contacts for RFx and Auctions. Notifications for RFx, or Supplier which were restricted to the primary supplier contact, can now be sent to all the supplier contacts, based on a simple setting to ensure notifications are not missed in case of primary contact unavailability

Contract Management Enhancements

New Contract Generation Service.Contract Authoring (also known as Contract Generation) is a key SAP CLM functionality to automatically create legal contract documents in the CLM repository through the use of pre-created clauses, sections, and templates. This process has been streamlined to reduce TCO and support the DOCX format introduced with Microsoft Office 2007 and higher. A separate server is no longer required to perform contract generation. Note that while this is a 10.0 enhancement (possibly to be released in a support pack), this feature is also being implemented into service packs for releases 7.0 and 9.0.

Clause Section Break flag. Clauses that have the section break feature turned on will enforce a MS Word Section break immediately before it. The new section within the contract document can then have its own unique header and footer format as it was defined within that clause.

Perpetual Terms Checkbox enabled. Previously, ERP integrated Master Agreement Document Types were prevented from turning on the Perpetual Term checkbox. Now, if you use the Master Agreement/Sub-Agreement structure, you can define the MA as perpetual and still setup your Sub-Agreements with start and end dates.
Integrated and Non-Integrated in Same Hierarchical Family. Previously, Master Agreements that were part of the same n-level hierarchy family had to all be from doc_types that had Integration System Type enabled (SRM or ERP) or all had Integration System Type disabled (None). Now, Master Agreement hierarchy families can have Integrated and Non-Integrated Master Agreement documents within the same hierarchy family. When creating a child agreement from a parent MA, users can select doc_types with any of the 3 Integration System Types:  None, ERP or SRM. Similarly, when linking an existing Master Agreement with another Master Agreement into a parent/child relationship, the pick-list of Master Agreements will include MAs that were created using doc_types with Integrated System Types of None, ERP or SRM.

Cross-Solution Enhancements (Platform)

Ability to Share a Saved Search with other colleagues, and globally. The Save Search capability was introduced in release 7.0. The enhancement to this is the ability to share the Saved Search with other selected (or all) users.

Wizard Driven Visual Workflow Editor. An extremely functional visual workflow editor is now available as part of the SAP Sourcing/ SAP CLM application will now be made available. This functionality would allow the entire workflow process to be easily defined with in the application and thus eliminating the need to use any 3rd party tool, thus reducing TCO.

Implementation of SAP Virus Scan Interface (VSI).  Provides integration with McAfee, Clam AV, Bowbridge, and other antivirus products.

Support for Symantec Protection Engine for Cloud Services version 7, and ICAP Protocol. Support for the new version of Symantec Protection Engine (version 7) is now available, and along with it SAP Sourcing/ SAP CLM will now also support the ICAP protocol, and thus reducing the TCO for our customers.

Web Services Framework .  With 10.0, SAP Sourcing will deliver the first set of the new Web Services Framework features. This will support RESTful architectural style of web services, allow runtime enablement of web services, support OAuth authentication and authorization protocol, and allow custom script and query-based web services. This means that customers, partners, and consultants can design and develop their own specific custom web services using custom scripts and standard or custom queries.

Scripting Supportability Tools. New Standard Logging Information is now available in INFO mode. There will be no need to turn on DEBUG to get all the pertinent script execution information, such as start/end time, execution duration, etc. in the logs. Additionally, a new report is also being made available to display document-related active scripts for easy determination of the classes and hooks (contexts) that are in play. The report will provide details of the sequence of script execution relative to document lifecycle, and also navigate through related subordinate objects and scripts associated with them.

System-Oriented Application Authorization Report. A report is now available to view all the authorizations and access privileges that a user or a group has been provided. All this authorization information can now be easily accessed and exported by an Administrator from one neat report rather than navigating through multiple security settings.

Database support. SAP Sourcing/SAP CLM will now also support DB2 version 10.5 to ensure our customers can use newer versions of the database to take advantage of better features and also to ensure landscape harmonization.

Integration Enhancements

Support set of ERP item categories (Item Type) in integrated documents. New standard item types that are supported in the RFx include Consignment, Subcontracting, and Material Unknown. New standard item types that are supported in Agreements include Consignment, Subcontracting, Material Unknown, and Material Group.  Custom item types are also supported.

That provides a very high-level description of the features that will be available with SAP Sourcing/SAP CLM Release 10. This probably is not going to satisfy your appetite and so we in Product Management, will be providing detailed blogs, and other content which should amplify this functionality and offer you a much deeper look. So please keep your antennae up and watch this space for more on Release 10 features!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions.

Legal Disclaimer:

The information in this document is confidential and proprietary to SAP and may not be disclosed without the permission of SAP. This presentation is not subject to your license agreement or any other service or subscription agreement with SAP.  SAP has no obligation to pursue any course of business outlined in this document or any related presentation, or to develop or release any functionality mentioned therein. This document, or any related presentation and SAP's strategy and possible future developments, products and or platforms directions and functionality are all subject to change and may be changed by SAP at any time for any reason without notice. The information on this document is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality.  This document is provided without a warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.  This document is for informational purposes and may not be incorporated into a contract. SAP assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this document, except if such damages were caused by SAP intentionally or grossly negligent.

All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates, and they should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions