Ariba releases four primary updates per year that are meant to improve the user experience. These quarterly releases happen in February (Q1), May (Q2), August (Q3) and November (Q4). Within those four releases are dozens, sometimes as many as a hundred or more, feature updates. Here's an overview of how the Ariba releases work.
Automatically On: you don’t have to do anything; the system will update itself automatically. However, if you’re not aware that it’s become available, you might not know to find it and use it.
Customer Configured: This requires that your Ariba administrator, whether in-house or as outside support, will need to configure and activate that update. It will not turn on automatically. CCP Global proactively monitors and updates our clients’ Ariba system as part of our robust SAP Ariba Application Managed Support program.
Contact SAP Ariba Support to Enable: As this implies, the customer will need to contact Ariba support to take advantage of this upgraded feature.
The latter category is the most critical. That’s because people often don’t realize that the desired feature isn’t automatically configured or enabled and that your DSC will have to file a Support Request with Ariba (SR) to have it enabled even before it can be utilized or configured. In the time frame directly following a release, Ariba support is busy, so it’s best to get in queue as soon as possible.
Not all quarterly releases include a feature that require Ariba support, in fact, the 2022 Q1 release does not. However, going forward those are the features you want to give top priority to.
Q1 releases are normally the most significant releases in terms of functionality, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
The biggest challenge with quarterly releases is usually just the sheer number of features and functionalities deployed. Some may be simply product hardening, but many others are key improvements and new functionality. As we noted, there can be more than 100; there’s rarely fewer than 60.
And, once you find the most useful ones for your company, there’s the question of configuring and activating the changes. Sometimes that’s simple, sometimes it’s more complex.
Each quarter CCP Global’s upstream and downstream leads pore over the early release documents from SAP to indentify the most useful features for the most companies of that release. Sometimes the release is one that’s great for the client, sometimes it’s one that helps the consultants.
Sometimes the top features are huge policy changes, or game changing updates for other reasons. Other times there are just a lot of tweaks that improve the user experience. Which is great because when it’s easy to use, that means people will use it, which is what gives you the maximum value from your Ariba procurement system.
We’re the experts on that.