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Contract data synchronization in SAP CLM

The purpose of this blog is to provide an overview of the data synchronization feature for legal contract documents authored in SAP CLM. The SAP Contract Lifecycle Management solution allows contract managers to use standard templates and clause libraries to author legal contract documents using Microsoft Word. A legal contract document between a buyer and a supplier dictates the terms and conditions, validity periods, product details etc. It is the contractually binding document between the two parties and can be considered as a combination of unstructured data (i.e. Clause text in MS word) and structured data (business terms, validity period etc. from the master agreement). A master agreement is a meta-data object in SAP Sourcing that contains all the structured data related to the contract and enables contract managers to analyze, audit and measure any other related activity against the original goals of the business deal. It is important from an organization’s perspective that all meta-data related changes in the contract document are always in sync with the structured data in the master agreement.

With SAP CLM 7.0, contract managers can leverage the data synchronization feature to ensure that changes made to the contract document are correctly reflected back in the master agreement. CLM leverages the standard Microsoft ‘Content Control’ capability in MS Word. Content Controls are individual controls (elements) in MS word that can be customized such that they can provide instructional text for the end users. Examples of content control are date picker, text, drop-down list etc. Please refer to the following link to get more details on Content Controls
In the following sections, I shall provide details around the system settings and process that shall allow users to utilize the data synchronization feature in CLM

System settings and pre-requisites:
Data synchronization feature requires the following:

1. Contract documents must be authored in SAP CLM using Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010. The feature does not work with contract documents authored in any of the prior MS word versions (Word 2003).

2. Set System Property ‘contractgen’ to ‘TRUE’

3. Enable ‘Content control’ for the contract generation variable which is desired to be synchronized with the data in the master agreement. In the fig below, the ‘End Date’ variable created in the variable library is enabled for content control. So any changes to the ‘End date’ field in the contract document will result in the End date field on the master agreement to be synchronized with the new value.

4. Ensure that the Contract Document template is enabled for generation of contracts using Microsoft Word 2007 with content controls. This is set-up using the two flags on the Contract document template, highlighted in the fig below.

With the above settings done, contract document collaborators who make changes to the contract (In this example, the ‘End date’) and upload a new version of the document to CLM can be certain that the Expiration (End) date field on the master agreement will reflect the changed date in the contract.

In a procurement contract scenario, buyer users can synchronize data changes automatically with the master agreement on uploading new version of a contract document. For contract changes made by the supplier, buyer users can use the ‘Synchronize Data with Agreement’ action on the contract document. Screenshots below show how a change to the ‘Effective date’ field on the contract document can be synchronized back with the corresponding field on the master agreement

1. The fig below shows a master agreement with Effective date set to 10/6/10

2. Supplier user changes the Effective date on the contract from 10/6/10 to 10/8/10. In doing so he uses the Date picker content control in MS Word.

3. After the supplier user uploads the new version of contract with the changed date to CLM, buyer user uses the ‘Synchronize Data with Agreement’ feature to synchronize the Effective dates between the contract and master agreement

4. After synchronization, master agreement effective date is changed to 10/8/10

I hope this blog was helpful to understand the data synchronization feature in SAP CLM. This feature is available as of SAP CLM On-Demand release Wave 7 and On-Premise release version 7.0.
Thanks and stay tuned for more blogs on upcoming features in SAP Sourcing and CLM.

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  • The flag “Replace with Content Control” does not appear here in my variables. I’m using CLM 7.0. Is there any configuration that has to be made in order to get this option on the screen?