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Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 1 – User Experience)

Part 1 of 3 – Exploring the User Experience  

SAP has now delivered multiple releases of Spend Performance Management solution since its first generally available release in 2008. Each release was geared to solve specific business pain points for analyzing their procurement spend across Suppliers, Business Units, Geographies and many more dimensions. Customers have gained insights on their procurement process, identified key savings opportunities, consolidate spend to fewer suppliers and manage the risks associated with suppliers that directly impact the business. Various customers of SAP Spend Performance Management have provided valuable feedback on numerous business problems that can be addressed by the solution. This has been the key foundation for new features that have been delivered in each release. What are the key benefits that customers can realize from the latest release of SAP Spend Performance Management? How can IT and Business both benefit from this application by scaling this solution to many users? This series of articles will explore some of the business benefits users can derive from the solution.


            The key tenets of SAP Spend Performance Management can be described around the following fundamental areas:


 1.      Simplicity in User Experience

An intuitive Flex based UI that embraces Web 2.0 concept of user centric design so that business users can derive the value from the application with very little training and can discover opportunities very quickly.


 2.      Leverage existing investments

Extractor starter kits that jumpstart complex data extraction process from any major SAP ERP release. Customers can deploy in existing SAP BW landscape. Customers can configure integrations to their transactional applications that lead to insight-to-action.


 3.      Rapid business value realization

Pre-delivered content that will allow customers to quickly identify inefficiencies in procurement, identify savings opportunities, price variances, supplier risks and many other valuable insights with pre-delivered reports and dashboards.


Let’s now look at how customers can extend the value of the application in each of these areas to extend the value of the application to the business. In this first of the three part posting, we will discover how users can quickly discover opportunities with the intuitive UI .Here we discover some simple features that will allow business users to analyze data quickly on a regular basis. In the subsequent parts of the postings we will explore other areas mentioned above.



Simplicity in User Experience 

Sorting through data with the focus to make key decisions can often lead the business users to analyze data in different contexts. The application has a very intuitive UI that will allow the slice and dice of data based on different dimensions and measures. During this process it will be important for users to have shortcuts, bookmark information and define favorites that can be accessed quickly during ad-hoc analysis. As part of this analysis, here are some simple ways in which users can quickly get to the information that is most relevant to them:


1.   Bookmark favorite reports (Favorites/Add to Favorite)

Users can bookmark most often used reports to avoid browsing the content. Users can organize their favorites the same way they do in any Internet browser.


2.      Quick filter with dimension favorites

Business users can define their set of dimension values if they are responsible to analyze information for a particular set of suppliers, cost centers or geography. By defining the favorite dimension members, users can quickly filter the data in reports based on the dimension values.


SPM Favorite



3.      Quick filter using “Select this value”

This option on the dimension member context menu, allows users to quickly filter based on the dimension member that show up in the report.


4.      Locking filter values

While using filters, users can lock the filter values in a report. By doing this, the application will automatically filter data, based on the lock, when the user opens the subsequent reports.


SPM Lock Filter


5.      Searching content instead of browse

Search option in the application allows the users to get to specific content based on the name of report/dashbord or user information.


SPM Search Content


6.      Collaborative decision making

Users can share content (reports/dashboards) in Spend Performance Management application with other users. Once a report is shared, users can collaborate by writing comments (Navigation:  More Actions/Comments) specific to the information presented in the report. This can be a very effective tool for collaborative decision making process. The discussion trail can maintain the system of record for decision making process.


SPM Comments


Users can also collaborate with other users by sending emails (Navigation : More Actions/E-Mail) while in the context of a report or dashboard. Options are available to send the report as PDF attachments or links that will lead the recipient directly to the report.


SPM Email


The next part of this series will cover the topic “Leverage existing Investments”. Here we will discuss some of the ways customers can leverage their existing investments in ERP, SRM, E-Sourcing to augment the value from SAP Spend Performance Management.

 Stay tuned for some more information ..

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  • Ramesh

    Thanks for sharing on spend. Your points are spot on, the User interface navigation is the greatest highlight for the business user


    • Thanks Muthu for your feedback. We are looking to continuously improve the User Experience. Any feedback from you and other users of Spend Performance Management to enhance this user experience is welcome and much appreciated.


  • Hi Sundar,

    I am looking to implement SPM soon and was going through your blog which is very informative. However I could not find any information about the “Extractor starter kits” you mentioned in your blog here. All standard documentation on help website talk about ‘Flat file extracts’ only- see excerpt below. Can you kindly clarify where I can find the ECC extractor kits information. Many Thanks in advance!

    SAP BusinessObjects Spend Performance Management loads spend-relevant data from heterogeneous data sources via flat file extracts, and cleanses and
    normalizes the data. “