For the first episode of the inaugural “SRM and MDM” series, I like to share a good news: SRM-MDM Catalog v2.0 is made available today (actually on August 20th 2007) to all SAP customers (SRM, ERP) running procurement scenarios.
This means any customer who has the right license of SRM or ERP willing to upgrade to SRM-MDM Catalog v2.0 can do it today. The software is available for download on the SAP Service Marketplace: http://service.sap.com/swdc then browse to Download / Installations and Upgrades / Entry by Application Group / Installations and Upgrades / SAP Application Components / SAP SRM Catalog / SRM-MDM CATALOG / SRM-MDM CATALOG 2.0
Before you download the software, you may wish to learn what’s new in it and which issues it could solve. But as the Zip file is 678 Mb big, I would suggest to launch the download process anyway and read the rest of this post in the meantime….
There are so many good reasons to adopt SRM-MDM Catalog v2.0 that I run the risk to turn this post into a boring marketing white paper. So I’ll just focus on the top 10 reasons:
10- Robust Netweaver MDM Core: v2.0 SP1 relies on MDM 5.5 SP5, which has been proven to be robust and stable
9- Easy migration from v1.0 made possible by a built-in repository converter: check for more details on the dedicated Component Upgrade Guide located on http://service.sap.com/instguides / Installations and Upgrade Guides / SAP Business Suite Applications / SAP SRM / Using SAP SRM Server 6.0. By the way, at the same location, find a number of very interesting documents such as the functional documentation or the business scenario description.
8- Support of relationships between catalog items: Bill of Materials, Sales Kits, Substitutes and Related Items can be modeled now. This is an important step in the direction of direct material management and support of more advanced procurement processes. The concept is to bundle items together, either as parent – children (for BOM and kits) or as siblings (for substitutes and related items). The spectrum of different variants proposed covers the most important business use cases found in procurement scenarios.
7- End-User interface has been upgraded: not only to support the additional functionalities, but also to propose better usability in the search experience.
6- All in one screen: the initial page of the search engine user interface has been divided in 3 parts: Control panel with folders and keyword search / category browsing with a pick list / results with found items. The results of the search (ie: the list of items) are now displayed on the first screen. No need of an additional click now.
5- New Context display of search results: in addition to the traditional list of items in a form of a table, a new display is possible. Items are presented with an image on the left side and selected fields listed next to it.
4- More flexible configuration of the user interface: many changes to support more flexibility have been implemented. As an example, the Open Catalog Interface mapping can be configured per user now, as opposed to per repository in v1.0
3- Shopping Lists: Each user logging to the search engine can create, edit and share shopping lists. A shopping list is a static list of items which are purchased on a regular basis. Using shopping list avoids repetitive search for the items again and again. On a side note, shopping lists are stored in the MDM server as masks, so that a content manager may create them on behalf of the end-users.
2- Catalog Exploring mode for search purpose only: End-user has the possibility to search and browse the catalog but will not be able to order any items.
1- Roadmap of functionalities to be delivered soon: With the v2.0 SP2 planned for the end of the year (mid December), we will deliver a couple of additional functionalities that I am sure you will like a lot:
– Connectivity to electronic forms: it will be possible to call an external electronic form by clicking on an item in the catalog (using the OCI). For example, by clicking on the item “business card”, an e-form to configure that business card will be called. Once the user has completed the requested input fields on the e-form, the necessary information are sent back to the SRM-MDM Catalog shopping cart preview.
– Web-based approval cockpit: most of the workflow functions enabled on the MDM Data Manager will be put on a light web-based user interface. Approvers and power-users will not need to have the MDM Data Manager installed on their desktop anymore. They will be able to make decisions (approve, reject) online, just by using their internet Browser.
There will be more again coming up on the SP2 and with SP3 later next year. We will have the opportunity to discuss with more details.
With that, I like to end this first episode of the “SRM and MDM” saga. As always, I like to receive your feedback and suggestions.
The SRM team wishes you a successful implementation of SRM-MDM Catalog v2.0. As we speak, there are 12 customers live with SRM-MDM Catalog. If we can count 20 by the end of the year, I will earn a full bonus. So thanks a lot for your support J
All the best