On the “first” day of Sapphire 2008 the procurement topic was introduced by a joint presentation of Paige Leidig from SAP Solution Marketing and Scott Meckert from the Cocal Cola Company Paige focused on the upcoming release of SRM 7.0, the Road Map and the new releases of E-Sourcing and CLM, whereas Scott discussed the succesful deployment of SRM and E-Sourcing at Coca Cola.
The presentation was well attended and we saw quite some activity on the pods throughout the day. Mike Jud provides some more insight on the activities around ASUG and the showfloor. Mike also provides some impressions in pictures. Please take the opportunity to visit his Blog
On the process side it became clear that Supplier Relationship Management and Materials Management will grow even closer together with the upcoming releases of SRM 7.0 and ECC 6.0 EHP 4. The idea in particular is to leverage the strength of each solution and deliver the best in class integrated procurement solution by 2009. The 2008 release focuses on a central contract management, sourcing enablement, complex services and the so called Procurement cross topics. The latter focuses in particular on unifying common purchasing roles (operative and strategic) and offering access to ERP and SRM business objects in one screen. A cross search for purchasing documents will be also possible, enabling an improved workplace for purchasing related activities.
The central contract management is one of the key topics for the 2008 release. Finally a central contract repository across SRM and ERP allows the utilization of the contract hierarchies, discounts across hierarchies and versioning during the source of supply determination in ERP.
The business benefit is obvious. Terms and conditions agreed upon in a global environment break down to local purchasing actions can be tracked and implemented during execution. On the sourcing side RFX processes can now be started directly out of ERP. Information stored in SRM like status information can also be retrieved directly from ERP.
On the technology side SRM 7.0 builds upon SRM 6.0 and takes advantage of the Webdynpro UI technology introduced with SRM 6.0. Many Usability improvements triggered by customers in the 6.0 Ramp-up up program have been implemented in the 7.0 release. Enterprise services are utilized for many of the new features. The ESA architecture supports the interface development between the solutions and allows a seamless integration. In summary the new business suite release facilitates a joint deployment of ERP and SRM and takes full advantage of the integration via enterprise services and a common UI, while streamlining business processes and creating the foundation for future enhancements.