“We didn’t have time for a learning curve, we had to be successful right away”, said Valter, a seasoned SAP procurement consultant on a customer project in Europe. This March, he and his colleagues helped the SAP customer go live with the Ariba Network. “It was our first Ariba Network integration project with an SAP procurement customer, but thanks to the clear guidance of the rapid-deployment solution, we were able to get it right the first time”. The customer wanted to automate its purchase order and invoice processes via the Ariba Network with hundreds of suppliers, a simplification that would help them save hundred thousands of euros annually. With a successful go-live in March, the company is well on its way to accomplishing exactly that – thanks to enhancing their existing SAP ERP installation with the capabilities that cloud solutions from Ariba provides.

Today, it’s easier than ever to integrate Ariba with SAP ERP. Over the past two years, SAP has provided enhanced capabilities to directly connect Ariba with SAP ERP via the SAP Add-On, along with more integration options including a growing ability to utilize SAP HANA Cloud Integration.  Additionally, free project tools and packaged best practices from SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions have advanced as well, incorporating customer feedback on the scope and design by working with customers through user group influence input as well as SAP’s Customer Engagement Initiative. During interactive sessions with customer and partners who have Feedback Agreements in place with SAP, companies are able to help steer our future development of both core product capabilities and with the packaged integration scenarios we provide for free.

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Where to find the free and downloadable content for prescribed and guided Ariba integration scenarios:

For companies that wish to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ and compare their planned integration with prescribed best-practices for multiple middleware options, RDS solutions can be downloaded at no additional cost by SAP customers and Partners from the SAP Service Marketplace http://service.sap.com/rds. Just navigate to “Cloud", then "Supplier” and find solutions for SAP ERP integration with either the Ariba Network, or with the Ariba Procure-to-Pay cloud application.

New and improved, the latest versions of the RDS solutions, released on April and May 2015, help project teams overcome integration hurdles by means of tested and true configuration guides, security settings, accelerators, and scripts for technical connectivity. The prescribed integration scenarios cover the integration of common purchasing documents with direct or with mediated connectivity, to suit their current middleware strategy. Optionally, customers subscribed to Ariba Collaborative Finance can integrate with Ariba Discount Management guided by the RDS, and realize even more savings.

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How can your project benefit?

  1. Define & refine your scope faster: Gain a better understanding between IT, procurement professionals, and your professional SAP implementation service provider. By using prescribed, predefined process flows, you can more quickly narrow down on your common vs. unique requirements and provide more transparency to team members and stakeholders.
  2. Establish the ‘plumbing” between Ariba and SAP: Activate the integration between SAP and Ariba for standard procurement documents, data and processes to get started, using a sample “vendor”.
  3. Accelerated integration testing & troubleshooting: Test the integration with defined test use cases and then coordinate with the Ariba Supplier Onboarding team to extend the integration suppliers in your SAP ERP system.
  4. Flexibility: A company’s’ SAP Center of Excellence (COE) can download and the RDS packaged content directly and use it in their project, or work take advantage of expert service designed to match the RDS scope from either SAP or partners.
  5. Overall reduction of time, cost and efforts:  In an ongoing survey on the use of packaged SAP Best Practices and Rapid Deployment Solutions conducted by SAP’s Scale, Enablement and Transformation Team, over 750 package downloaders from SAP customers, partners and SAP Consulting shared their insight on the benefit and value that projects gain by leveraging packaged solutions when SAP solutions.  While 48% of the responses focused on the use of SAP ERP packages, 62% survey participants leveraged innovation packages like cloud integration, SAP HANA and user experience, indicating that depending on how well the predefined scope matches your own projects requirements, packaged templates can reduce costs and efforts.

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Interested in learning more?

Go to http://service.sap.com/rds and choose Cloud, then Supplier to learn more.

Additionally, let us know if you’d like to learn about how to use our packages, and if you’d like to participate in our ongoing package development.  We are currently running a SAP Customer Engagement Initiative to gather further SAP customer input, which is published via SAP user groups such as ASUG and DSAG, and also via the "Influence SAP" site.  With further releases planned for the later half of this year, your input might shape our scope soon.