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Dear Friends,

Hope you are doing very well SAPing, yes I am saying SAPing (Exploring SAP solutions in all the ways!!!)

I came across one of the useful functionality of SAP.

It will be the value addition in client’s business which i think is the prime motive of any SAP consultant.

In this blog I am trying to throw some lights on “Digital Signature – It’s concept, it’s benefits, advantages and usages.

But with this blog I want to open the all curious SAP minds across globe to have more brainstorming on this with scenarios where we can use this concept, where somebody already executed it, the advantage, the limitations…..

Let us explore ….

DIGITAL SIGNATURE

1. Introduction & Overview –

This is the age of “Compliance” and its Regulations.

Every SAP Users in almost every Industry has some type of Regulations and that It’s SAP System should sync with.

From Sarbanes-Oxley to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) all institutes suggested the ‘Compliance’ & ‘Regulation’.

In recent years, Regulatory bodies have enforced Compliance and Regulation guidelines related to ‘Digital Signature’.

The most significant guidelines issued by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that Electronic Signature executed on electronic records are as equivalent as handwritten signature executed on Paper. These regulations directed to have most possible use of Electronic Technology with compactable with Compliance in the area of public health protection.

If we implement ‘Digital Signature’ properly we can achieve these all compliance with improving company’s workflow – Aligning of Business Processes, Document Handling Efficiency – Reduce Paper Work, Processing Time.

SAP included this functionality in almost all relevant areas – Quality Management, Document Management System, Engineering Change Management etc. This Functionality ensures that the user validating own identity to process the Electronics Data.

2. What it is? /How it woks? Concept

‘Digital Signature’ is equivalent to handwritten signature. The ‘Digital Signature’ ensures that – The signed Transaction only be carried out by user with special authorization.

In this case – User identification is unique and forgery proof and can not be falsified.

On signing it will display – Name of the signor, Date and Time when the Signature was executed and action associated with signature like Review, Approval Etc.

‘Digital Signature’ is applied to all scenarios like Close Loop System (With in same ERP platform) and Open Loop System too – In case system is open to outsider Partners and Customers.In this way ‘Digital Signature’ functionality meet the requirements in closed loop system.

It also supported if system is open to partners and customers – in this SAP integrate with external security products. This is particularly required where Information exchanges beyond one’s system. It involves two key – The Document is signed by Private Key and Signature verified by Public Key. The Private Key can be stored on a Computer or on a Smart Card.

3. Observation –

Also it involves the facility of audit Trail – To prevent unauthorized use of password and/or identification code by early detection of any attempt made by unauthorized person and action will be taken in the form of Express mail sent to Security Department.

It has same functionality as of Standard SAP – User Locked in case of too many failed attempt, failed attempt in audit log, Express mail sent to Security department or concerned person.

SAP Customers found it challenging to prove that the User who logged into their system was the same recorded the particular results. This often happened many SAP Users shares common PC and leave it logged-on to SAP like one’s user account. With Digital Signature user need to enter the combination that is know to user only. So the ‘Digital Signature’ proves to the Business and Regulatory authorities that Authorized person is entering the results.

Many SAP Customers used Third-Party Products to deal with their ‘Digital Signature’ functionality. Now SAP Version 4.6C onwards support Digital Signature authentication via SAP User ID and Password without need of any Third-Party system.

4. Conclusion –


As non-compliance leads to fines and cost in million of dollars.Digital Signature functionality will definitely reduced that lost with more align business.

Almost all the companies mostly – Pharmaceutical Producers, Medical Device makers and Food Related Companies can be benefited by this standard functionality.

I hope this will help you.

Keep Blogging!!! Keep Sharing!!!

Thank You.

Regards,

Rahul Gujarathi

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