The SAP Ariba 2022 Q3 Release on 8-19-22 included 101 new features plus 2 mandatory updates. You can read about the mandatory upstream update here.

The focus of this particular release seems to be communication and efficiency. Many of the updates allow buyers and suppliers to be able to track their own orders, confirmations, or invoices, so when they have questions they don’t have to call, email, message, text or otherwise engage Procurement, AP or an admin, which frees up those employees for more value-added tasks, rather than just answering questions.

These are the downstream features that our consultants think will be the most useful to most users from the Ariba 2022 Q3 release.

Here are the top upstream features of the Q3 release.

Just FYI:

Many of the Q3 updates require customer configuration. That means your Ariba administrator, whether in-house or as outside support, will need to configure and activate that update, it will not turn on automatically.

Read more about the 3 different configurations and what they require.

Top Downstream Feature Updates of the SAP Ariba 2022 Q3 Release

#1Our Favorite Downstream Feature Update for Clients

Product: Buying, Buying & Invoicing
Feature Name: Improved navigation for search results in guided buying
ID: GB-5215
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: Before this update, the only search option in Guided Buying was a little search bar at the top. When you typed whatever you were looking for, anything related to that item would populate. You might end up with 17 hits from catalogs, 10 hits from previous orders, and 3 from the stock room. That’s a lot to wade through to find a widget in a catalog.

This adds filtering options that allow you to narrow down what you want to look for and where you want to search. Do you want to look for your part in a catalog? Are you looking for a minority supplier? Do you want to search the spot buy marketplace? Now you can do that.

#2 – Our Favorite Downstream Feature Update for Consultants

Product: Buying and Invoicing, Cloud Integration Gateway (CIG), Invoice Management, Business Network
Feature Name: Invoice Status Portal
ID: NP-29917
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature:

Historically, when suppliers have questions regarding the status of the invoices they’ve sent to their customers it’s been the accounts payable department’s job to take those emails, phone calls, or letters that come in and do the research to answer the supplier. All of that takes a lot of time.

This update allows the status to be seen on the portal so they can look up that information for themselves. That enables the AP staff to use their time more productively doing other value-added tasks. We love this for our clients because they will save so much time answering supplier inquiries. We recommend that they configure it to take full advantage of the automation and transparency Ariba is offering. Since they no longer need a separate portal, time can be saved in IT, AP, Procurement and with end users.

#3

Product: Ariba Network
Feature Name: Prevent Duplicate Orders
ID: CSC-25252
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: This change is intended for buyers and it does exactly what the description says it does: prevents duplicate orders. Right now, it’s easy to place a duplicate order because a buyer might specify versioning but the supplier doesn’t capture that.  They buyer may use replacement numbers for change orders and the supplier is unaware, or maybe the user tries to change a catalog order they just placed, but a new order gets created.  and the supplier sees these as new orders. That means confusion and phone calls between supplier and buyer to straighten it out, which is a lot of extra work.  Not to mention all the work to resolve duplicate shipments, duplicate invoices and returns.

This change means that if all of the following information in a new order is the same as in an existing order, the new order is rejected as a duplicate. That prevents duplicate orders being sent to your connected supplier.

#4

Product: Buying, Buying & Invoicing
SAP’s Feature Name: Comments are now mandatory when denying approval
ID: GB-16549
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: This is another time saver because it prevents a user from having to follow up to find out why an order they placed was denied.

Before this, a particular approver could deny an order with no explanation. That would often lead to the buyer, wondering why the heck their order never arrived, calling the help desk to ask for the status of their order, and then their boss (or whoever) to find out why it was denied. The cancellation status and reason why will now be included in the comments.

The denier can also communicate how the person who placed the order can obtain the items in another way, if applicable.

#5

Product: API, Buying, Buying and Invoicing, Invoice Management, SAP Ariba Developer Portal
SAP’s Feature Name: Ability to retrieve requisition history data using the Operational Reporting API for Procurement
ID: PLCS-2848
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: When someone places an order and someone else makes changes to it, the original, the person who placed the order usually can’t see why or what changes were made. That can be frustrating because it’s natural for people to want to know who touched their stuff and why. Before this, they would have to go to an admin who will have to do a lot of clicks to bring up all of the changes.

Now, the user can go into the system and create a report that shows all of the history of the changes made to requisitions. This is especially useful for audit purposes. It’s another time saver for the admins and will be very helpful for whoever is managing the system and for the users that have these questions.

Mandatory Downstream Feature Update

Product: Buying, Buying and Invoicing
SAP’s Feature Name: Support for supplier diversity information in non-catalog purchases
ID: GB-9570
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature:

This was optional in Ariba’s 2022 Q2 release, but now it’s mandatory and will be an automatic upgrade.

Companies have been supporting diverse suppliers for a very long time, but it can be difficult to know to what extent they support and promote diversity.

This feature helps you promote diverse and socially responsible suppliers by displaying diversity labels, like “Hispanic owned” or “independently owned”, in the supplier’s information. When users are creating non-catalog requests, for example, they can quickly identify which suppliers that are classified as diverse or are designated as socially responsible.

If you want to further promote diversity through procurement, you can create a diversity program. Suppliers in your diversity program are branded with your diversity logo, and a description of your program is included in the supplier’s details.

See our top picks from SAP Ariba's 2022 Q1 update.See our top picks from SAP Ariba's 2022 Q2 update.

Not sure which updates your company can benefit from? One of our most popular Ariba Managed Support (AMS) services is proactively monitoring Ariba updates. Visit our AMS page for more details

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