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Part 2 of 3 – Leveraging existing investments 

 

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.

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4 Comments

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  1. Muthu Ranganathan
    Ramesh,

    This is a great blog to highlight the value of existing sap investment, to get the necessary results through analytical and performance management solution.

    Also the fact that this solution can work on top of hetrogeneous including SRM solutions like Ariba are key points that our customers should see value.

    This blog series is very valueable to educate our customers, partners and internal sap on the value of such solutions.

    Truly a good value of an application vs. just a tool.

    Keep the innovations coming, and thanks for this great product

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    1. Sunder Ramesh Post author
      Muthu,

      You raise a very important point about hetrogeneous SRM solutions. With the Related Applications feature in SAP Spend Performance Management, customers can configure navigation to ANY transactional applications while retaining the context. For example if the user is looking at Supplier Spend report and user now wants to look at contracts for a particular supplier, this is possible with the “in-context” navigation. Perhaps, this is a good topic for another blog.

      Thanks again and keep the good ideas coming so that we can keep innovating further.

      Regards,
      Ramesh

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  2. Madhankumar BB
    Hello Ramesh,

    This is good blog.

    In my point of view, there is still a long way to go for SAP SPM.

    It lacks visualization capabilities, i mean with SPM it is not possible to build scenarios for more effective decision making.

    Though it data can be integrated from multiple hetrogenous systems. It is good in spend data mashups from the information from internal systems, i would like to know whether it can combine applicaitons and data sets the different external sources like D&B.

    You brought about a good point in linkage between Spend analysis and E-Sourcing.
    It would be more beneficial if the outcome of the results from spend analysis are to building strategic development of the procurement function and then to actual sourcing.

    From contract management point of view, it SPM can be useful tool to check the complaince with the contract.

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    1. Sunder Ramesh Post author
      Hi Madhankumar – I am not sure if you have tried all features within Spend Performance Management application. An example of what scenarios you like to build will be very helpful to understand your comment.

      Yes, data can be integrated from external sources today. We provide flexible dimensions in master data that can be used to upload data from external sources like D&B. We already provide capabilities to upload supplier risk information that can be effectively used to analyse spend in the context of the supplier risks. Please check this blog for more on this topic.

      http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/cs/blank/view/wlg/20326%3fx-t%3dblank.view

      With regards to strategic development of procurement functions, it depends what you like to do. Right now integrations are possible to applications that support such functions. Spend Performance Management will surface those opportunities.

      Good feedback.

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