In the earlier Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 1 – User Experience) of this series of posting I discussed the basic tenets behind the design of Spend Performance Management application. If you have invested in SAP Spend Performance Management or intend to implement this application, you will find some valuable pointers in this series of postings. In the previous post, I covered the first tenet – User Experience. We will look at another important design principle that goes to the core of the product. We will see how the application fits perfectly into the current landscape and customers can leverage investments they have made in other areas to extend their value by using this application.
SAP Spend Performance Management is designed to be an integral part of the customer’s existing landscape where much of the investments have been made over the years. This could be investments in ERP, BW, SAP Portal, E-Sourcing etc. Here, we will explore how the application can be deployed in the existing landscape and customers can benefit from the investments they have already made.
•1. Leveraging ERP investments
Source of procurement data procurement data that needs to be analyzed is often generated in ERP or SRM applications. SAP has released extractor starter kits that will allow customers to jumpstart the data extraction needs. Data extracted using these extractors can be directly imported into SPM application for further analysis. Procurement data is often fragmented across multiple source systems. This application is designed to take that into account and build upon that (with additional data enrichment) to provide a unified view across the systems. These transaction systems could be in different releases. The extractor starter kits are available for ERP 4.6c, 4.7 , ECC 5.0, ECC 6.0 SRM 5.0 and SRM 6.0. For more information on the extractor starter kits I encourage you to read the Extractor FAQ by Rajesh Prabhu for more information.
•2. Integrating Spend Performance Management in existing BW landscape
The BI Content delivered as part of Spend Performance Management application is dependent on the standard BI Content delivered by SAP. Content delivered as part of the application conforms to the SAP standards. Customers familiar with BI Content can easily manage the install and activation of SPM specific content. For the sake of simplicity and reducing install steps, the BI Content comes with an activation program that customers can use to activate content that is specific to Spend Performance Management (if the customers donot want to go through the manual activation process from transaction RSA1). In addition to this customers can configure their ERP systems to transfer data directly to BW by creating standard BW data sources in the SAP source systems. The skills and knowledge currently available to administer the ABAP and BW systems can be directly leveraged in the implementation of Spend Performance Management product. For more information on this topic please look at the Extractor FAQ.
•3. Leveraging the existing SAP portal setup
The application comes with pre-delivered portal content that can be deployed on an existing SAP portal. When users are assigned a particular role, they get access to a Spend Performance Management work center. If the portal landscape already has connectivity setup to the backend the BW system, the same connection can be leveraged for setup of the application. For further information on the setup of SAP Portal for Spend Performance Management, refer to the install and configuration guides on Service Marketplace.
•4. E-Sourcing integration
Customers who have already made investments in SAP E-Sourcing application can derive extra benefit by turning the powerful insights gained in Spend Performance Management into direct actions in a transactional application like E-Sourcing. For example if the analysis of Supplier Spend by Item shows that entire spend for an item is going to a single supplier, that means that the price may not be competitive and increases risks to business. In this event users can directly launch RFx in SAP E-Sourcing. This is possible because Spend Performance Management application is delivered with a pre-built integration to SAP E-Sourcing.
In the next and the last part of this series of postings we will look at how the product was designed to deliver “Rapid Value realization”. We will gain some insights on how customers can use the pre-delivered content to rapidly identify savings and rationalization opportunities.