Ariba 2022 Q4 Release: Best Downstream Features

This feature update includes 89 new features. On the downstream side, the biggest takeaway for us is in the number of updates and improvements to buying and invoicing and the SAP Business network, adding features that make them simpler to use and a better value for everyone. These are the downstream features that our consultants think will be the most useful to most users from the Ariba 2022 Q3 release.

Configuring Ariba Updates

Many of the Ariba 2022 Q4 release 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. You can read more about the three types of configurations here.

CCP Global proactively monitors and updates our clients’ Ariba system as part of our robust SAP Ariba Application Managed Support program.

The 8 Best Downstream Feature Updates of the SAP Ariba 2022 Q4 Release

1. Support for receiving goods in guided buying in the 2NV and 3EN integration scenarios for SAP S/4HANA

Product(s): Buying, Buying and Invoicing, Cloud Integration Gateway
ID: GB-21653
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: It’s always been easy in Guided Buying to do some things but inputting the receipt of partial shipments was not one of them. Now while easily posting the proper receipts in Guided Buying it also ensures the receiving status is properly sent to SAP S/4Hana.

End users benefit from a consistent Guided Buying experience when buying and receiving goods.

2. Supplier self-service to convert account type into standard account

Product(s): SAP Business Network
ID: PAY-9197
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: Suppliers no longer have to contact SAP support services to convert from an enterprise to a standard account.

As anyone familiar with SAP Business Network (formerly the Ariba Network) knows, Enterprise accounts cost money; Standard accounts are free.

Previously, if you wanted to switch from an Enterprise account to a Standard account, you had to contact SAP Ariba support. Since that is not a technical issue, it generally was not a priority for the support team and it could take weeks or months to get that change made.

Now we can do this for our clients without having to wait, which is a great convenience for us and for them.

3. Enhancements to currency precision and rounding of money fields

Product(s): Buying, Buying and Invoicing, Catalog, Invoice Management
ID: CP-12912
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: Companies often have to negotiate prices that are rounded to the thousandth of a penny for certain categories and even in particular countries. Because the currency precision has been limited, many companies end up settling at the end of the year due to the rounding up or rounding down.

This is a particularly sticky issue in the oil and gas industry and even the paper industry where you’re measuring the smallest of measurements — those decimals are important.

There were some special conversions you could do in the Ariba Network, but in this case it says the currencies of different countries have different decimal precisions. With this feature, buyers can define currency-specific decimal precisions allowed for amounts in transactions and set a single decimal precision for prices that applies to all currencies.

The bottom line is that this means a lot of headaches are going away for accounts payable and buyers managing a true-up each year with their suppliers.

4. Improved accessibility for on-behalf-of screens

Product(s): Buying, Buying and Invoicing
ID: GB-18180
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: SAP Ariba continues to enhance the accessibility of guided buying for on-behalf-of buying screens. Guided buying meets WCAG 2.1 level AA accessibility requirements on the following pages:

  • Request on behalf of
  • Request by company code
  • Request by purchasing unit
  • Request by plant

Users can use Ctrl + Shift + O to stop on-behalf-of buying.

The level AA requirements contain more checkpoints to help disabled users access applications, for example and a couple of example are:

  • Arrow keys can now control menus, tab lists, and buying carousels, which makes it easier to operate.
  • Screen readers can now read more information for UI components, such as item count for menus and tab lists.

5. Allow supplier administrator users to select all permissions when creating supplier roles

Product(s): SAP Business Network
ID: NS-14271
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: If you’re a buyer or supplier logging into the SAP Business Network you have to grant people access. To create their access, you have to click on one role at a time, but if there are 30 or 40 people this can be time-consuming.

This update lets you do an “apply all” so the administrator can quickly assign all of the roles, which is a great time-saver.

6. Trading relationship requests for standard accounts

Product(s): SAP Business Network
ID: NS-15904
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: On the Business Network buyers can now send trading relationship requests to unregistered suppliers that allows them to register with just a standard account on the network.

One of the biggest hurdles to supplier adoption is the fact that an Enterprise account costs money. This allows the buyer to send a supplier a Standard Trading Relationship Request so they don’t have to pay. This will, hopefully, encourage the supplier to accept and agree to conduct business on Ariba.

We have helped clients overcome these supplier adoption issues in both straightforward and creative ways for years. However, at the recent Spend Connect Live conference we attended in October, one of the big issues we heard about was the problem of getting suppliers to agree to transact business over the Business Network; hopefully this will help solve that.

7. Support for account assignment categories A (asset), F (order), and N (network) in the 2NV and 3EN integration scenarios

Product(s): Buying, Buying and Invoicing
ID: GB-11384
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: Finally, it’s possible, in the Guided Buying Capability with SAP Ariba Buying (2NV) integration scenario and the Guided Buying for Central Procurement with SAP Ariba Buying (3EN) integration scenario, this feature supports setting the account assignment category to A (asset) and F (order) in guided buying requests that are sent to SAP S/4HANA or SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

  • If the account assignment category is set to F (Order) for a line item, the internal order is sent.
  • If the account assignment category is set to N (Network) for a line item, the network and activity number are sent.

8. SAP Ariba Contracts integration with Icertis Contract Intelligence for SAP Ariba solutions

Product(s): Icertis Contract Intelligence platform, Ariba Contracts, Ariba Strategic Sourcing Suite, Ariba connector for Icertis, Source-to-Contract Suite
ID: SC-16239
Integration: Customer configured

What we like about this feature: The enhanced Icertis/SAP integration of their contracts modules was the big news at last month’s Spend Connect Live conference in Dallas. It’s also one of our picks in our roundup of the Top Upstream Features of the SAP Ariba Q4 release.

We discussed the upstream applications of this update there, but it’s going to be beneficial from the ordering side as well. This allows everything to come over and they do a few clicks and your contract is done.

It’s much simpler than the current process which requires a lot of customized work and a lot of clicks. It just makes it easier for people to conduct business on the Ariba side once that contract is fed over from Icertis.

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