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In February 2013 SAP Global Purchasing Organization, Ariba and SAP IT started the project SAP runs Ariba. One of the four work streams was to implement Purchase Order and Invoice automation using the Ariba Supplier Network (ASN) in order to simplify our PO & Invoicing processes and landscape, to create more transparency and to reduce manual work and process cycle time.

The Ariba Supplier Network enables SAP to electronically send Purchase Orders in a standardized way to suppliers registered in the ASN and to receive standardized invoices back from these suppliers through the ASN. These are then directly posted in SAP’s ERP system without Accounts Payables involvement. Using Vendor Invoice Management AddOn solution by OpenText, a SAP Partner Solution, for SAP ERP Invoice inbound handling, SAP’s Accounts Payables team has additional tools and workflows in case of monitoring and error handling.

The integration between SAP’s ERP system and the ASN is implemented using the SAP Process Integration and the Ariba NW Adapter, which is applied on the SAP PI. The integration was accelerated using SAP RDS SAP Business Suite Integration with Ariba Network.

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Suppliers can register to the ASN and either work on the ASN directly, displaying their purchase orders and creating invoices, or they can integrate their ERP systems with the ASN, forwarding purchase orders automatically in a standardized way to their own ERP system and sending invoices back from their ERP system to the ASN.

Within three months, we managed to set up the landscape, establish the integration and enable the first suppliers on the ASN. Each week further suppliers are added and the number of purchasing documents exchanged through the Ariba Supplier Network has increased significantly since
the go-live. Numerous invoices have been posted electronically in SAP’s ERP system without involvement from Account Payables what speeds up transactions due to less manual work and process cycle time.

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