Spend Management Blogs by SAP
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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Here are the 4 areas of new features out of my quick count of 64 new SAP Ariba features and 27 SAP Business Network features that I thought were really interesting in the August 19, 2023 (2308 Procurement and 2308 Business Network) release for SAP Ariba.

  1. SAP Ariba Category Management [CAT-3503] - IMHO, this solution deservers its own blog post.  The ability to now much more robustly manage categories, set and track progress against corporate initiatives, and to have all of that capability natively integrated with the other source to pay modules is really just beautiful.  I remember managing any number of corporate initiatives and trying to manage progress on spreadsheets and not being aware of multiple sourcing activities that were directly related to the savings or strategic opportunities.  There aren't too many features that release that make me want to go back to my old job, but this really made me pause.  Here is a link to an updated demo page that includes datasheets, FAQs, etc.

  2. Two features are improving the integration between SAP Ariba Contracts and other modules

    • SAP Fieldglass [SC-16976] - this is a really cool feature to better integrate Statements of Work (SOWs) between SAP Fieldglass and SAP Arba Contracts by creating a SOW in SAP Fieldglass when a contract is published for purchasing in SAP Ariba Contracts.

    • iCertis [SC-19434] - this integration from Guided Sourcing lets you automatically create the contract detail in iCertis as the result of a Guided Sourcing award.  In the past, this would have only allowed you to create a contract in SAP Ariba Contracts - but there is still integration to keep the solutions synchronized.

  3. Recommended Alternatives for Non-Catalog Items [GB-23280] The Non-Catalog Request page and line item forms can now display the recommended alternatives carousel, which encourages users to buy catalog items instead of non-catalog items.  This function really plays on the idea that your business users will do whatever is the easiest for them.  So if they are looking to buy a non-catalog item the solution will suggest to them alternatives that are more in line with the corporate partnerships and strategy - sort of like how SAP Concur calls out your selected airline isn't the best option for the company in this situation.  Here is a link to a demonstration as well.

  4. New Widgets for Procurement Collaboration:  I really appreciate the flexibility and transparency the SAP Business Network widgets give to both buyers and to suppliers.  Collectively, we tend to think of how to help our buyers but these features for suppliers encourage more engagement on the network and helps our suppliers build stronger and healthier relationships. Here are two good ones:

    • Change Order Rate Benchmarking Widget [BNA-1037]
      The Change order rate benchmarking widget allows suppliers to compare their customers’ change order rate performance against the aggregate performance of the network.  So if a supplier sees you with a high amount of churn, they can take steps to engage on improved forecasting to help every reduce cost, resources, and time.  Win Win.

    • Invoice Exception Rate Benchmarking Widget [BNA-199]
      The Invoice Exception Rate Benchmarking Widget allows suppliers to compare their customers’ invoice exception rate performance against the aggregate performance of the network.  This will help provide more encouragement and transparency to those suppliers that need to improve their invoice quality and support their customer's process improvement objectives.

As well one features is becoming mandatory as part of the 2308 release:

  • Supplier List Page Enhancements Enabled for Everyone [ARI-20543]
    Supplier List Page Enhancements is changing from a self-service optional parameter to enabled on for everyone in 2308 GA. The feature will be enabled on with no option to disable it. It will no longer be a customer configured feature using a self-service parameter.

The other release readiness information has moved around a bit but I like this new consolidated view of the release content including replays that spans the current and historic releases.