One of the key responsibilities of SAP Globalization Services is to ensure SAP products help our customers comply with local regulations in different countries. Typical examples of functionality that is highly localized are tax calculation, statutory reporting and payroll.
In the past few years, new regulations have arisen due to the digitalization of the public administration and tax authorities, demanding the transmission of electronic documents with transactional information in real time. Even though there are clear similarities across countries, the detailed specifications are country specific, and we have a limited time (between 6 and 12 months) between the moment the legislation is published and the date where customers must comply with them.
Under these conditions, it is extremely important to validate our solution design with customers as early as possible and to receive and incorporate feedback throughout the development phase. This was also the case as we started to extend the eDocuments solution to support the compliance e-invoicing scenario for Colombia in the end of 2016.
Working together with the SAP Customer Engagement Initiative we could bring to the customer teams in Bogota two key experts based outside the country and the local product manager. With support of the local team we met three different customers and had the opportunity to discuss the solution design and the roadmap with each of them. In addition to the specific requirements for Colombia, we also validated the solution approach and the importance of using a common framework across countries for our customers. This face to face alignment was key for a successful collaboration and further exchanges during the development process.
The learnings were not only useful for the Colombian solution, but also for further Digital Compliance scenarios built during the past year. This includes the scenario to support a new legal requirement for real time VAT reporting (“SII”) for Spain. By the end of 2017, the solution had been adopted by more than 700 customers.