If you ever considered upgrading from an old release of SAP Sourcing or SAP CLM, there is no better time than now. The recently released SAP Sourcing 9.0 / SAP CLM 9.0 offers many compelling features to provide you with more value, expanded functionality, robust integration, and a much improved user experience.
SAP Sourcing/CLM 9.0, released in October 2012, represents the culmination of two years of development. The previous On-Premise release of SAP Sourcing/CLM was 7.0 in Sep 2010 (there was no On-Premise SAP Sourcing release 8.0). Since 7.0, there have been two On-Demand releases of SAP Sourcing/CLM–Waves 8 in March 2011 and Wave 9 in March 2012 (On-Demand Wave 9 is functionally equivalent to On-Premise Release 9.0). Upgrading from SAP Sourcing/CLM 7.0 to 9.0 essentially gets you two releases worth of new features.
Why upgrade to SAP Sourcing/CLM 9.0? Here are my top 10 reasons to upgrade:
- SAP Sourcing Release 5.1 / SAP CLM 2.0 is going out of maintenance on 12/31/2012. Maintenance for SAP Sourcing 9.0 goes through 12/31/2015, so upgrading would not only deliver many new features, but would essentially extend maintenance by three additional years. Note that older versions of SAP Sourcing, such as release 5.0 (CLM 1.0) or 4.4, have already gone out of maintenance.
- High quality software. On-Premise SAP Sourcing/CLM 9.0 shares the same code base as On-Demand Wave 9. There are over 40 active On-Demand customers that have upgraded to Wave 9 since March 2012, extensively running the software in primarily live, production environments. At the same time, the On-Premise release 9.0 had been in Ramp-Up from March to October 2012, with 12 customers testing the system during that time frame. Combined with a battery of in-house tests, SAP Sourcing/CLM 9.0 is the most fully tested version ever released.
- SRM integration. New in 9.0 is the ability to push an SAP Sourcing/CLM Master Agreement into SRM as an SRM Central Contract. The existing SRM Central Contract distribution feature means that SAP Sourcing/CLM can now link to multiple backend ERP system via SRM, using SRM as an integration hub. SAP Sourcing/CLM contracts can be easily “operationalized” through this integration.
- Digital signatures. After finalizing the negotiations of a contract, Sourcing/CLM 9.0 now allows business partners to sign electronically, via an out-of-the-box integration with Echosign. This fast, secure, and easy to use (including ability to sign through a mobile device) feature facilitates the contract closure process
- Contract hierarchies. Prior to 9.0, contract hierarchies were limited to two levels, and all contracts in the hierarchy must have the same currency. With 9.0, unlimited levels of contracts can be linked together in a parent-child relationship. Customers who would like to model for example global, country, region, and local contracts in a related hierarchy can now take advantage of this new feature in 9.0. In addition, a major benefit with the 9.0 contract hierachies is that you are not limited to one currency, e.g. a parent and a child contract can have different currencies to better model global and local contract scenarios.
- Formula support in CLM. Buyers can create custom formulas to compute contract costs and/or prices. Fields in a formula can include any of the standard fields in a line item (quantity, price, date, etc.), as well as contract-specific fields such as line item specifications and supplier entered attributes. The fields can be added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided in a mathematical equation. Conditional statements such as If-then-else can also be used. This gives the buyer immense flexibility in computing the value of a contract.
- Edit open RFx. In prior releases, very limited fields of an RFx can be changed once the RFx is in the Open for Response phase. One of the reasons this was so is that there are complexities that arise if a buyer changes an Open RFx while suppliers are in the middle of editing a response, or have already submitted final responses. In 9.0, the system is smart enough to detect the status of current and submitted response, and handles these situation appropriately (e.g. by broadcast messages to relevant suppliers or helping the buyer communicate a future change). A number of fields can then be edited, and these edits are logged to provide clear visibility of the changes to the supplier.
- Usability. Through continual engagement with customer end users, SAP has tuned the User Interface to make it more intuitive, reduce clicks, maximize use of screen real estate, and provide more flexibility. There are many, many changes there were done in this area. Just to list a few: the “bread-crumb” navigation, freely sizeable Detailed screen, Recents and Favorites, Dashboards, WYSIWYG page customization, and more expansive help.
- Browser Support. SAP Sourcing/CLM 9.0 supports Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Recent browser studies show that Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer are the most popular browsers today, covering 97% of all browser use, according to http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp.
- Workflow delegation/substitutes. Similar to out-of-office capabilities in email programs, SAP Sourcing/CLM 9.0 allows the current approver to delegate workflow items (contract approvals, supplier registration, and project approval). Delegations can actually be “chained” so that person A delegates to person B, and person B delegates to person C.
The above is just a sampling of the many advantages and new features in 9.0. For more information, please refer to this link . For more information on upgrading, please contact your SAP Account Executive, or contact me (David Wong, SAP Sourcing Product Management) at email@example.com.