Implementing SAP and Coupa at the Same Time: A Case Approach (Background)

In recent years, it would be committing corporate career suicide for a CPO or IT leader to implement an entirely new ERP system and a third-party e-procurement toolset at the same time. But times change – as do implementation technology risks.

One organization Spend Matters recently spoke with as a decade-long user of Oracle iProcurement – and then (around 18 months prior to this writing) decided that a technology refresh with an expanded set of capabilities was needed. The organization primarily shortlisted its options to SAP, Oracle, Ariba and Coupa. Oracle Fusion didn’t seem to have sufficient integration across modules at the time, and other providers didn’t seem powerful enough.

The company ultimately selected SAP, buying all SAP core modules. Plans originally called for SAP SRM, but this turned out not to meet the organization’s needs (it was not considered advanced enough, and not the right technology for them). The company also thought highly of the Ariba solution, and even considered
it to have more features in areas relative to Coupa, but ultimately the UI and ease of use proved insufficien. In addition, the ease of engagement with Coupa appeared higher.

The company selected Coupa as the P2P front-end with back-end integration from SAP. The organization decided strongly against customization of any kind – even so far as not wanting to tweak anything in the web UI.

The company uses SAP’s CLM – not Coupa – and then integrates this with Coupa catalogs. The vision was always to drive spend under management by guiding users to preferred suppliers – with an initial load of 80 such catalogs created for go-live, and another 100 added since. The company’s converted punch-out catalogs work “flawlessly” today.

But how did the launch go? Stay tuned as our reporting continues.

This post is based on a case study in the Spend Matters white paper: Cloud P2P Deployment: A How-To Guide to SAP and ERP Integration with eProcurement and Beyond (free download). It is authored by Xavier Olivera, director of P2P research, Jason Busch, founder and managing director, and Thomas Kase, vice president of research.

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