It's Alive — SAP SRM 7.0 in Depth (Part 1)

Curious about SAP SRM 7.0? Read our latest Spend Matters Perspective: Beyond Requisitioning: Getting Past the Downstream Limitations of ERP Procurement Applications -- Identifying Savings and Working Capital Management Opportunities that SAP SRM, Oracle and other ERP Providers Alone Do Not Enable

SAP SRM 7.0 is finally alive and is generally available on a global basis. But does its availability signal the beginning of the end for best of breed providers in the SAP-installed base within the Global 2000? At this stage, I'd argue it will certainly create more competition and headaches for the likes of Ariba and others, but it's not game over yet. However, SAP has indeed upped the ante from what they had on offer before. In this multi-part series on SAP SRM 7.0, I'll explore a number of enhancements that SAP has made to their SRM product, as well as provide perspective on what it means for SAP customers considering either a switch to SAP SRM or upgrading to 7.0

In this first post on SRM 7.0, we'll start with the marketing spin. SAP's marketing spin that is. At Sapphire, SAP provided their latest solutions marketing presentation on SRM 7.0, keeping much of the positioning they used to market the original ramp-up release. To wit, SRM 7.0 enhancements roughly fall into three pillars, in SAP-speak: procurement excellence, services procurement and foundational investments. Of these, perhaps the most noticeable difference for those who have used an earlier version of SRM, is what SAP describes as a single consolidated view of all P2P activity and one view for all purchase orders and queries.

Among other enhancements, once you dig below the surface, SAP touts its new comprehensive services access and management area as well as a new unified work center and power list. There are hundreds of other small features and functional enhancements, many of which I'll profile and discuss in my own analysis of 7.0 enhancements starting tomorrow. But what interests me most about what SAP is claiming around SRM 7.0 is not how they position or spin its benefits (don't believe anything an ERP provider tells you in this regard, not because they're dishonest, but because they often severely under-market themselves when it comes to positioning what customers care about). Rather, what is more interesting from an SAP claims perspective is what they're talking about relative to the ramp-up program and how it went.

SAP told attendees at a full afternoon procurement break-out session at Sapphire that "over 60 customers entered the ramp-up program for SRM 7.0" last year and that "just under 10" went live as part of the ramp-up program. In other words, a number of companies started to try out the ramp-up code but only a minority of ramp-up participants deployed it in a user-facing environment (even in a limited capacity). SAP claims that during the ramp-up, at least one customer was involved in using and testing the application's capabilities for the following processes: Catalog content management, Operational contract management, Sourcing with RFX, Self-Service procurement classic, Self-Service procurement extended classic, Service procurement Classic, Supplier evaluation, Spend Analysis, Sourcing with LIVE auction, and Supplier qualification.
not been able locate reference for deployed who will speak on-the-record but talked users about it off record. and clear="none" from these sap does appear have released product that supports range even if ramp-up program brought handful expected challenges. as with all i would urge caution to any organization considering an srm deployment unless they can obtain a number despite general availability of the application.

Check back for Parts 2 and 3 of this series later this week and next when I'll talk more about the specific enhancements of SRM 7.0 and how they compare to previous versions and targeted best of breed vendor capabilities (e.g., services procurement, supplier management, etc.). I'll also offer some history behind 7.0 and why certain features/enhancements ultimately made it into the release while others did not. In Part 4 of this series next week I'll offer some candid thoughts on how SRM 7.0 stacks up to competitors in general (including Ariba, Ketera, Oracle, Basware, ePlus and others). And in Part 5, I'll provide some context around other SRM 7.0 considerations (e.g., installed vs. on-demand, upgrade / back-end requirements, etc.) Stay tuned. There's a lot of ground to cover.

Appetite whet to learn more about SAP SRM 7.0 and downstream invoice automation and payables capabilities? Read our latest Spend Matters Perspective: Beyond Requisitioning: Getting Past the Downstream Limitations of ERP Procurement Applications -- Identifying Savings and Working Capital Management Opportunities that SAP SRM, Oracle and other ERP Providers Alone Do Not Enable

Jason Busch

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