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Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to SAP Sourcing 9.0 / CLM 9.0

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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

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    • Good blog!

      For CLM5.1 to CLM 9.0 . anyone aware of in-terms of technical migration steps? what need to be pre-requisite or what need to preserved when exporting the data source of CLM5.1 and import data into target system CLM 9.0.

      i am not asking installation configuration .



  • Hi Dave, like always, you come up with the crisp version of the graffiti which makes a heavy impact, some-one asks you, whats the need to upgrade, just reading your blog overview in 10 minutes, can make that important informed decision on the ROI and value of the upgrade.

    In particular out of the top 10 functionality, i am a big fan of the contract hierarchies , will do a great deal of good for many customers that i have engaged in the past seeking this feature

    browser support is the next big thing for the flexibility in choosing the UI of choice

    I am a big fan of chrome, but most of my SRM applications behave erratically on chrome, so this becomes like something from the wish list coming true for me.

    Lastly, I was working with the Jason and his architects when Digital Signatures with Echo sign in the cloud was a POC, we made it successful via a partner solution for SAP Sourcing 5.1 / CLM 2.0, its nostalgic to see it bundled inside the offering now.

    All in all, thanks for bringing out thought leadership content like this to the install base



    • I appreciate your in-depth comments, Tridip.  And it’s good to know that you are a big fan of contract hierarchies.  I should give you a few tips about this topic.  The new Contract Hierarchy essentially allows you to link master agreements together in a multi-level parent-child relationship.  There is really no data inheritance or cross-agreement validation; essentially the master agreements are independent with the exception of the parent-child link.  This allows different master agreements in a hierarchy to be flexible, for example they can have different currencies, eliminating a major limitation with the old master/sub-agreement model.  But also keep in mind two things: 1) the Contract Hierarchies work best in new implementations, since there are no out-of-the-box migration from the old hierarchy (the old hierarchy will still work, with the old limitations), and 2) the existing reports will work, but you may want to create a new custom report/query to roll-up data in a hierarchy.

      • Hi David,

        thanks for providing solid technical clarity on how these pieces would work in different technical scenarios.

        Would have loved to see an exclusive blog on the Contract hierarchies piece, or may be embed some snap-shots of how this looks for something more than the existing Contract Hierarchy that we are aware of, am sure many customers would love to see an exclusive blog on this topic.

        It was also great to know, how the major limitation was tackled and what’s provided to counter that.

        1) New green-field implementations are always fun, though we have a legacy contracts database to tether with, we still have the flexibility to craft the migration strategy and am sure that the multi-level relationships will enhance the Contract visibility, Call-offs and other KPI’s associated.

        2) Version 7 brought a paradigm shift for legacy contract migration, I still remember, how we struggled with the imports in version 5.1 and below, where we had to align the mass-upload template and building a JAR along with it to point to the attachment blobs

        All in all, I really look forward to an exclusive blog on the Contract Hierarchy feature with Screen-shots for few scenarios to get the feel of the solution/feature



  • A special thanks to Erik Rahm who pointed out a major benefit with the new 9.0 Contract Hierarchies: the ability to use different currencies on contracts in a hierarchy.  The blog above has been edited to include this important benefit.  Thanks, Erik!