In this article, we delve into preparing for your SAP Ariba Contracts Deployment. The key is to identify your goal before you start preparing for deployment. Our in-house experts on contracts explains: “There is a range of complexity in contract deployment, from simply utilizing the tool as a contract repository only; as a repository with basic approvals and negotiations; or as a repository with full contract creation and contract authoring. Setting a realistic schedule for your deployment will depend what level of complexity you need the contract system to be and how well-prepared you are for the level you choose.”
In part two of our series on Pre-Deployment Readiness, we discussed five steps to prepare for a SAP Ariba Sourcing Deployment. The first four steps were merely to prepare you for the fifth, which was: Clarify your ultimate goals. In this article, we’ll delve into preparing for your SAP Ariba Contract Management Deployment. However, in this case, you want to identify your goal before you start preparing for deployment.
There is a range of complexity in deploying the Ariba contract management module. Choices include:
Setting a realistic schedule for your Ariba contract management deployment will depend what level of complexity you need the contract system to be and how well-prepared you are for the level you choose.
Contract repository only: Global visibility of contracts, reporting, compliance notifications, system permission restriction abilities, E-signature usage ability, amendment tracking.
Contract repository with basic approvals and negotiations: All of the above, plus: system tracking of negotiations, reviews and approvals, internal system amendments notification and creation.
Contract repository with contract creation and contract authoring: All of the above, plus: internal system building of agreement, clause library usage for all authored agreements, internal system amendments notification and creation with clause library usage for all authored agreements.
It’s very important to understand, prior to the consultants coming in, whether you intend to use the authoring functionality. There are a lot of things you can do if you choose NOT to go with authoring, such as maintain standards, send contract documents for review and negotiation, use redlines, and the other functions noted above.
What you can’t do are see clause-level changes, add or substitute clauses from the Clause Library, approve clause usage, changes or deletions, report on clause usage and changes.
The bottom line is this: If the authoring features are critical to your goals, you need to know that very early on to set a realistic project schedule. It also makes the prework of understanding and analyzing contracts and getting pre-approved clause alternatives even more important before the consulting partner comes on site.
Once you have determined which level of Ariba contract management is appropriate for your needs, there are three areas where it’s important to be prepared in advance to avoid project delays.
As with sourcing, identifying the key stakeholders in the contracts deployment process is crucial.
There needs to be a basic understanding of exactly what content will be in the system and how you want it to be formatted.
If you’ve determined that you want the full suite of features, i.e. a repository with contract creation and full authoring, here are some additional areas you’ll want to prepare.
One important thing to consider when choosing the right contracts deployment partner is to determine if they have an available consultant who is not just an Ariba expert, but also a contracts expert. This person can give you higher-level advice on things like common content, advise on where content is lacking, or suggest better cases for preferred and alternate fallback clauses.
That type of experience can make your Ariba contract management deployment more efficient and cost effective, as well as setting you up for long-term success.