SAP Ariba’s 2022 Q2 Release: Most Useful Downstream Features

SAP Ariba’s 2022 Q2 Release included 83 new features and there is a lot to love in the downstream updates: improvements to the mobile app, more convenience features in buying & Invoicing, and enhanced accessibility to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level AA. These are the downstream features that our consultants think will be the most useful to most users.

Two important notes:

  1. Many of the updates highlighted here require customer configuration. That means your Ariba administrator, whether in-house or as outside support, will need to configure and activate that update.
  2. Two of the updates are mandatory and they will effect e-signature abilities. It’s important to be aware of what’s required to keep your access to Adobe Sign and DocuSign.

Top Downstream Feature Updates of SAP Ariba’s 2022 Q2 Release

1. Self-service transfer of ownership

Product: Buying, Buying & Invoicing
ID: GB-18843
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: At the moment, only the Ariba administrator can transfer ownership. So, what often happens is that if a buyer (or other Ariba user) leaves their position and the Ariba admin isn’t notified, that buyer’s tasks become stuck in the queue and it can result in delays and other confusion. We have worked with large clients where this happens several times a day, which can require a lot of administrative time.

This feature allows that buyer to reassign their Ariba tasks without going through an administrator. We recommend that this become automatic as part of the exit or transfer checklist for all employees that use Ariba.

2. Enhanced warnings for force order and force cancel

Product: Buying, Buying & Invoicing
ID: CP-19268
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: This feature enhances the warnings that are displayed when users perform the force order or the force cancel action.

The reason this is great for customers is because previously, if a task was stuck, someone often just clicked on “force cancel” or “force order” or “force pay” or whatever the task was they wanted completed without investigating WHY the task was stuck. This “forcing” of these tasks, however, can result in broken connections that stay broken for years and can result in serious disruptions to the system. This update requires more actions, such as the user consulting an administrator before forcing tasks.

3. SAP Business Network Supplier mobile app 7.2.0

Product: Ariba Network, SAP Business Network Supplier
ID: SV-1110
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: This is a huge upgrade for suppliers. Before, they were not able to switch to a linked account on the mobile app and had to log into each specific account separately, which was challenging.

Now they’re able to log in just once and get access not to all of their linked accounts, which is a big time-saver and much more convenient.

4. Support for copying requisitions and line items in the SAP Ariba Procurement mobile app

Product: Buying, Buying & Invoicing
ID: BMA-3478
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: This is another convenience upgrade to the mobile app, but this one is for buyers.

People that are on their apps frequently and need to buy or replenish something can now easily do so wherever they are, whether it be in a meeting or on the dock. With this upgrade, they can go onto their mobile app and do a copy of an existing requisition. Before this, if they were out of their office and discovered they needed something, they had to make a mental note and deal with it later. Now they can quickly buy similar or frequently purchased items from wherever they are. This is a particularly timely feature with some of the current logistics issues in the supply chain.

5. Support for importing Purchase Contracts from SAP S/4HANA Cloud

Product: Buying, Buying & Invoicing
ID: SINV-12789
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: As a consultant, I consider this a great update because I often deal with this issue. The current integration support for ERP is done through CSV, which is a flat file that comes through and gets uploaded and downloaded. This upgrade enables the integration of contract compliance. Contract compliance is important because that’s where rules and other guidelines and procedures for ordering and invoicing, pricing, units, etc.

Now, instead of doing it through a file, the customers can update the operational contract through S/4HANA and push through the contract compliance. It’s a much better integration than having to use a file to do this. And it’s cloud-based, which is equally important because, as we noted in our Most Useful Upstream Features of Ariba’s 2022 Q2 Release post, there is an emphasis on cloud-based upgrades in this feature release, because of this looming deadline: If you have a current SAP ERP system you’re going to have to migrate to S/4HANA prior to the end of the standard support contract in 2027. Many of the updates in Q2 introduce improvements to this integration.

6. Improved functionality for managing customization projects and customizing quality notifications

Product: SAP Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration
ID: CSC-27210
Integration: Automatically On

What we like about this feature: Right now, customers depend on the Ariba Network team to perform customization to quality pages.

By having this improved functionality, the network of supply chain people has a better notification system based upon whatever the quality parameters are for that stage of the supply chain. That ensures they’re meeting the quality requirements before they ship to that next location. This allows the customer to manage that better and have more customizations.

7. Give select users permission to modify attachments in approved requisitions

Product: Buying, Buying & Invoicing
ID: GB-16678
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: If you’ve configured Guided Buying to prevent users from deleting attachments on approved requisitions, you can now give a select group of users the ability to modify attachments. Previously, you could give this capability to all users or prevent all users from using it. This offers more customization and convenience. If an attachment is removed, it’s recorded in the history section of the requisition.

8. Improved accessibility for non-catalog screens

Product: Buying, Buying & Invoicing
ID: GB-15866
Integration: Customer Configured

What we like about this feature: Accessibility is a product standard. Users with disabilities will be able to navigate guided buying screens more easily thanks to this upgrade.

Previously, guided buying met Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 level AA accessibility requirements. SAP Ariba continues to enhance the accessibility of guided buying for non-catalog screens, with the goal of eventually reaching adherence with the WCAG 2.1. Guided buying now meets WCAG 2.1 level AA accessibility requirements on the pages that are widely used for non-catalog purchases.

Jump to the most useful upstream features of Ariba’s 2022 Q2 Release

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