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This blog is a continuation of my 2019 blog and I will keep the same format. My manifold interactions with our ecosystem during the past months provided positive feedback about this high-level outlook with respect to our yearly efforts and helped many of you to remain informed and connected with this area.

Before sharing a 2020 outlook, let me summarize some highlights related to the continuing increase of adoption and usage by our customers during 2019 with selected localization KPIs

  • Number of total accounting documents posted: above 700 Million (+46%)

  • Number of productive companies with set of books per country: more than 7500 (+38%)

  • Number of countries purchasing: 80 (20 of them localized by SAP)

  • Percentage of customers from non-localized countries: 25%

  • First partner country versions posted in SAP App Center: Thailand by Netizen, Colombia, and Peru by Seidor

These KPIs above are in line with several others disclosed by Rainer Zinow on his regular year-end review video.  Within the Localization KPIs, I can only underline his words: “with Business ByDesign we are exactly on the right track where we wanted to be in the public cloud world”.

Now, I would like to start the Localization 2020 outlook by sharing the graphic including countries. As more partners are leveraging ByD technology in their own country version, selling and implementing locally, by the mid of the year (Q3) the overall number of countries available have increased from 57 to 64. You find also regular updates in the Globalization world maps on sap.com

Let me highlight a few but important milestones related to new localization areas planned in 2020:

  • Deliver Korea General Available as SAP country localization. Expected by 2008 release.

  • New language -traditional Chinese- to be added to our current 12 languages. Expected by 2008 release

  • New XSLT file for XML transformation for business objects like e-invoice for customer, supplier, or payment(planned per roadmap).

  • Single point of access for country documentation into help.sap.com. To our countries’ content we will include globalization features by country (e.g. EMEA). Israel is being selected as our pilot country for this important documentation improvement.

  • Integration of our partner ecosystem innovation into SAP roadmap (e.g. countries or features)

In the following section, I ll point out some areas of localization investment effort

  1. Regular maintenance and legal change management for our delivered country versions

Details on country versions and localization features are updated in every release. Check the latest release updates and the globalization capabilities at sap.com (EuropeAsia-Pacific-JapanAmericas and Africa and Middle East)

For additional details of release-specific country features, go to the “What’s new” section at the Help portal. Upcoming legal changes impacting SAP ByD countries as identified by our Localization Product Managers (LPMs) can be accessed in our Legal Change Notification for ByD

Next, I summarize some of my favorite examples from our release “What’s new documentation”. I am updating this section on a quarterly basis.

 Release 2011 highlights:

  • Spain: Form 111
    Form 111 is an official withholding tax form for Spain with periodicity varying from monthly to quarterly depending on the company and is now available in SAP Business ByDesign

  • India: Electronic Invoicing – Legal Approval Run
    Invoice Reference Numbers and Signed QR Code can now be updated in bulk for all government mandated documents for India E-invoicing (Video).

  • Japan: Exclusion of SIVs from Summary Invoices
    Customers will now be able to apply TEKIKAKU SEIKYUSHO (New Qualified Invoice method), where Supplier invoices will not be included in Monthly Invoices / Summary Invoices, when Tax recalculation is scoped (Video).

  • Israel: Improvements in SHAAM functionalityTax Returns

  • Israel SHAAM functionality is improved with new validations on Withholding Tax Income Type and Shaam Group.

Release 2008 highlights:

  • South Korea made Generally Available: South Korea country has been made generally available for user selection from Business Configuration in SAP Business ByDesign (Blog)

  • Mexico: Enhancement of Selection Parameters for E-Accounting report
    Two new fields are introduced in the form of Customer ID and Supplier ID. So foreign customers and  suppliers can be uniquely identified.(Video).

  • Italy: Warning for Wrong Combination of Tax code
    In Italy, it’s legally required that VAT relevant numbers should be in sequence.To prevent the choice of a wrong and inconsistent combinations  of tax code and supplier/Customer, now system will show warning message for inconsistent combinations (Video).

  • India: Legal change for TCS
    In India as per recent law change, From 1st Oct 2020 onwards, TCS will be applicable for all the goods after the total transaction with a supplier exceeds 50L.

  • Japan: Net Tax Difference Zero Posting from Summary Invoice
    It is now possible that a monthly invoice can now post a product tax correction in case the net tax difference is zero (Video).

Release 2005 highlights:

  • Expense Reporting – Finland, 24 hr rule through Generic Country Version
    The 24 hour calculation rule for per diems in Finland expense reports has now been enabled through generic country version

  • South Korea. Responsible Person Enhancements on Electronic Tax Invoices
    Users can now maintain Responsible Department and Responsible person details for both Company Tax arrangement and Corporate/ Private Customer Accounts under Tax data. This data will be consumed and displayed in E-tax invoice form, excel  and UI Video).

  • Introduction of Self-Invoice for ERS invoice
    For Israel/Israeli companies document type self-invoice has been enabled for ERS invoice to have a unique and consecutive numbering for each year. This is to be correspondingly reported in monthly VAT file (PCN874) (Video).

  • Spain: Aggregation Tax Returns. To handle large volumes of data for processing periodic VAT returns, tax return aggregation is now enabled for the Modelo 303 return.

  • Customer Language Adaptation Tool. It is enhanced to allow analytical report texts to be processed in addition to the existing text type categories like UI, code, and message texts

Release 2002 highlights:

  1. Electronic invoice: You can now maintain an XSLT file for XML transformation in the Business Configurationwork center, etc.

  2. Switzerland: QR Bill Processing for Customer Invoice. This new type of a payment slip is called QR-bill. The new bills will contain all the payment information in the QR code and can be scanned digitally.

  3. South Korea: Electronic Tax Invoice Run: Posting Date From/To. This criterion retrieves the customer invoices with posting dates within the given range, irrespective of dates not being start or end of a month

  4. Israel Print Forms: SAP has now enabled standard print forms

  5. United Kingdom: The Brexit transition period will end on December 31, 2020. During the transition period, the transactions between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) continues to operate as intra-community sales and purchases.  Impact due to Brexit updated 27.1.2020

  6. Mexico: Electronic Accounting - Intercompany Bank Transfers. You can create a bank-to-bank transfers using the New Bank-to-Bank Transfer common task in the Liquidity Management work center.

Below the slide about localization highlights from our public roadmap (version April 2020). If you want to get additional details, let me know as I may facilitate any answer to you.

   2. Go-To-Market: countries

As in the past few years, we remain very selective on which new countries should be offered as standard country on ByD.Similar to our General Availability for Israel approach in 2019, this year we will offer a general available for South Korea - expected by 2008 release.

In addition, we have analyzed with the Market Unit how to facilitate the go-to-market for Taiwan, a tax basic country category. Taiwan is the fastest growing market in ByD ever since the first customer signed in 2017. Thus, by August (release 2008) selected customers will have the option to enable traditional Chinese as new language and with 2011 release any customer. Now, we provide a total of 13 SAP ByD languages to our ecosystem.

SAP now offers basic tax content for Gambia.Request for a new country not available in the system, will be supported by request.

In summary, any new country request will be carefully analyzed as part of our product strategy. For the same, SAP localization experts regularly support partner driven localization. Therefore, we offer enablement material related to the localization toolkit and our SDK. Our maturity allows non-localized countries to take advantage of best-practices from the existing partner ecosystem and their experience.

 3. Partner and enablement 

  1. I would like to introduce the value of the Customer Influence Portal, especially in the Globalization section for partner and customer requirements. JJust adding some sample topics such as meals per diem for Nordic countries, documentation translation into Korean or maintain master data on Arabic. . With the recent SAP Business ByDesign release 2002 we've been able to deliver six improvement requests which can be found in the What's New information for 2002

2. In the openSAP course for the Cloud Application Studio (for SAP ByD), you find units explaining the Localization Toolkit. Watch the demo in units 3 and 4 (week 5) to get insight into the use case of creating new country and tax content, among others.

3. Language Adaptation Tool (LAT): After being released to market in 2019, the LAT team gathered some customer usage feedback and executed on certain of these suggestions:

  • improvement in functionality like the new Search Translations screen enabling you to search for specific text element translations

  • performance

  • rework the excel upload/download functionality.

The FAQ document provides more information about LAT. I encourage users to keep the dialogue with us on this strategic language tool.

4. There is a new section in “what’s new in API’s”. This section consolidates changes related to Public Solution Model Changes, Web Services, Standard OData Services, B2B & 3rd Party A2A messages. For instance, PSM Write Release of Employee Bank Details or Purchase Order PSM Release.

To summarize, the localization area continues to support our customer growth. The customer testimonial of SEF in France, shares the importance of relationships with their subsidiaries which grew due to the ease of interconnecting, and human error was reduced.

Additional information: