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Author's profile photo Andy Rubinson

Update on Web assistant for SAP Ariba Solutions

With over 700 hits on my original blog post from July 2021, I thought it would be good to share the latest progress and plans on introducing Web Assistant from SAP Enable Now into SAP Ariba solutions as we kicked off 2022 with our first release on February 18th. Please note that we did have some shifts in timing since the July post, so please refer to this post for our latest plans (still subject to change). For anyone not familiar, standard content describes Web assistant content that SAP includes with our software for all end users to help guide them in using our applications. Custom content provides the ability for SAP Enable Now licensed customers to add in their own content and modify the standard content to provide organization-specific guidance to their users.

I’m happy to report that we added standard Web assistant content into the following solutions in our November 2021 release:

  • SAP Ariba Direct Spend Sourcing
  • SAP Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance – Supplier search page

Standard content was also introduced for our February 2022 release for:

  • SAP Ariba Contracts – New user interface for enhanced contract line item management (please note this will only be for this component and not the entire SAP Ariba Contracts solution) More details can be found here.
  • SAP Ariba Commerce Automation within Ariba Network. Demo available here.

Looking ahead to our May 2022 (2205) and August 2022 (2208) releases, we look forward to adding Web Assistant to 4 more solution areas:

  • May
    • Invoice Status Portal in Ariba Network – standard content
    • Guided buying capability – standard and custom content. We’re currently doing an Early Adopter Care program. If interested in participating, please review program information and complete and submit the questionnaire as described here.
  • August
    • SAP Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance
      • Supplier Search page – custom content (standard content was released in Nov 2021, as noted above)
      • Supplier 360 pages – standard and custom content

Below is a table summarizing where we have currently released Web assistant or plan to through August.

Solution Standard Content Custom Content
SAP Ariba Sourcing – guided sourcing capability Checkmark button Checkmark button
Ariba Network – Trading Partner Collaboration Checkmark button
Ariba Network – Supplier Portal Checkmark button
SAP Ariba Direct Spend Sourcing Checkmark button Checkmark button
Ariba Network – Early Payment/Discounting Checkmark button
SAP Ariba Contracts – New user interface for enhanced contract line item management Checkmark button  
Ariba Network – Commerce Automation Checkmark button  
Guided buying capability Planned May ’22 Planned May ’22
Ariba Network – Invoice Status Portal Planned May ’22
SAP Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance –
Supplier Search
Checkmark button Planned Aug’22
SAP Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance –
Supplier 360
Planned Aug ’22 Planned Aug’22

We have also introduced learning content to many of the Web assistant standard content implementations, with more content being added over time, so be sure to check the latest listings, found here. Unlike guided tours that take users through the live system to demonstrate select processes, this learning content uses screenshots to guide users through a simulation of processes. The learning content can be accessed via the graduation cap icon as shown in the example below. (Click image to enlarge.) You will also find a Learning Center button that will take users to the repository of all related trainings available for the solution. In this case, the topic is how to create sourcing events.

Learning%20content%20in%20Web%20assistant

Learning content in guided sourcing Web assistant

In addition to developing in-app help, the SAP Ariba User Assistance team continues to enrich the comprehensive product documentation with each release. Whereas in-app help focuses on the page the user is on, providing tips and guidance in context so users can quickly complete their tasks, the product documentation provides comprehensive and detailed information. In-app help topics conveniently provide links to related documentation on the SAP Help Portal, so users can easily get more information when needed. This two-pronged approach to providing help ensures that users find the right information, at the right time, in the right context.

Additionally, Web assistant provides a link to documentation on the SAP Help portal. To quickly find information on any SAP Ariba product, you can start with the Quick reference to SAP Ariba product documentation. It lists SAP Ariba product documentation based on audience, functional area, or product. It describes the different types of audiences and functional areas, so users can quickly zero in on the docs they need. Lastly, if you want to explore new features, you can go to What’s new in SAP Ariba, which is cumulative and lists all features released since the 2008 (August 2020) release.

I would love to hear from people who have been able to take advantage of Web assistant within SAP Ariba solutions and interested in getting your feedback on how you like it, how you’ve used it for custom content, and things you’d like to see added or improved upon by adding a comment below. Have questions? Please post to the Q&A area or connect directly with me here – Andy Rubinson .

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      7 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Jesse Bernal
      Jesse Bernal

      Great update! Thanks for keeping SAP Enable Now in your priorities!

      Author's profile photo Francois Xavier Botta
      Francois Xavier Botta

      Thanks a lot for this update. Very useful.

      Is there any plan to introduce Custom content in ARIBA network suplier portal (commerce automation) ? I know this is a complex topic technically as a supplier in Ariba network can be linked to several buyers but this would be a huge help for the buyer to be able to push our specific explanation to suppliers about our processes and terminology. The added value behind it would be huge !

      Author's profile photo Andy Rubinson
      Andy Rubinson
      Blog Post Author

      Francois Xavier Botta  - Great question. This is definitely a topic I am hoping to address in the future. Because Ariba Network does not have customer-specific realms, like our other modules do, there are some technical hurdles to introducing custom content. The Ariba Network product team has been focusing on introducing the standard content across a number of areas in the network, as shown in the blog, but I will continue to advocate for custom content and be sure to share any updates if we're able to get this onto our road map. Thanks so much for the feedback!

      Author's profile photo Francois Xavier Botta
      Francois Xavier Botta

      And Thanks Andy for the clarification. If you need some feedback from us about such a feature (brainstorming or co-innovation) don't hesitate to contact me.

      Author's profile photo Bertrand GABRIEL
      Bertrand GABRIEL

      Hi Andy Rubinson

      Thanks for this update. We (and our clients) are eagerly awaiting embedded SAP Enable Now capabilities for Ariba downstream.

      Can you please confirm the release of the Web Assistant for Guided Buying is still planned for May release ? Some of our clients are still using historical Ariba buying UI and not planning to change before a while. Any plan there ?

      Thanks and looking forward hearing from you.

      Bertrand / ACXIAS

      Author's profile photo Andy Rubinson
      Andy Rubinson
      Blog Post Author

      Bertrand GABRIEL - Yes, we are on target for May to have Web assistant available in guided buying and currently running the Early Adopter Care (EAC) program mentioned in the blog.

      There are no plans to add Web assistant to SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing at this time, but will be sure to provide updates on any new plans in the future. @

      Thanks,

      Andy

      Author's profile photo Bertrand Gabriel
      Bertrand Gabriel

      Thanks Andy for clarifying.

      Can we consider setting up ourselves (as SAP Partner) for our client the Web Assistant for Buying & Invoicing ? Our clients are considering alternate non SAP Digital Adoption Platforms solutions.

      Would SAP support us in this objective ?