Post-Deployment Support Framework Update for SAP Ariba Customers

On November 14, 2022, a significant change to the post deployment support framework at SAP Ariba was put into place. Field configurations have been removed from the traditional product support model at SAP Ariba and placed into the purview of the SAP Ariba shared services team.

On November 14, 2022, a significant change to the post-deployment support framework at SAP Ariba was put into place.

Field configurations have been removed from the traditional product support model at SAP Ariba and placed into the purview of the SAP Ariba shared services team.

[Of note, any Support Cases opened before November 14, 2022, will be finished out via the previous process.]

Field customizations will now need to be purchased in packs of five from the SAP Store. Your purchase will trigger the Ariba Services team to reach out and coordinate the customization requirement gathering and implementation.

Impacted customizations include (but are not limited to):

  • New Fields + their customization
  • Customizing existing out-of-the box and previously deployed custom fields
  • Examples of customizations:
    • Character Limits
    • Process Flows
    • Visibility, Editability, Validity, Relation, and Defaulting Conditions

[Of note, some customization requests will still be supported by Product Support – label changes, help tip changes, translations, export file settings, and location/placement of fields. These will still be supported until they are fully self-serviceable in the SAP Ariba Intelligent Configuration Manager (ICM).]

Effective immediately, these types of requests should no longer be submitted via SAP Ariba Connect. Any requests that are presented in that manner will be closed and you will be directed to the documentation for this new process.

Context for this Change

SAP Ariba’s sale of new custom fields in minimum quantity packaging has been in place for years. The combination of post-deployment support with the field packages is new and our understanding of the framework is evolving.

The utilization of the Shared Services team to implement these requests will result in a more formalized “mini-project” style of engagement. This may include brief kickoff and requirements gathering sessions, updated documentation deliverables from SAP Ariba, and testing requirements prior to deployment.

Again, these activities were historically typical for net new fields, but previously uncommon for updates to customizations.

Our Advice

Before you purchase any packages from the SAP Store, we recommend that you coordinate with your Services AE, or failing that, send a message to the Ask Services mailbox to begin the process and ensure your needs are clearly identified, would be solved by this purchase, and not covered by an existing element of your agreements or any previous purchases with SAP.

Of note, we understand SAP’s position to be that most initial deployment agreements for custom fields will not allow for post go-live customization. Additionally, customization packages purchased have a 6-month expiration on their usage. These new parameters, along with a lack of a self-service option, create a situation where process changes and configuration/customization updates must be carefully and creatively considered.

The Custom Field Package item in the SAP Store is not publicly searchable; it must be accessed directly by the link above, and we believe that is because there is an element of human review necessary to minimize unneeded package purchases.

What to Expect

Upon moving forward into the implementation of these new or changed fields, we delved deeper into the terms and conditions of the package, revealing a potentially lengthy timeline for implementation – up to 4 weeks to assemble a team and an estimated duration of 8 weeks to deliver the services.

CCP Global would expect, however, with clear requirements provided and depending on complexity, that the implementation and testing would happen much quicker than the estimated 8 weeks identified.

SAP’s team will involve a Project Manager (PM), a Functional Lead, and a Technical Lead. Depending on scope, these roles may be staffed by a single resource or multiple resources. You, as the customer are expected to provide a PM to be the point of contact, a business resource to confirm decisions, Subject Matter Experts (SME) from your business to diversify input and issue resolution, and end users nominated to facilitate testing. As with SAP, you may elect to install one or more people to handle one or multiple roles.

There are minimal pre-requisites before starting services – you need a valid subscription to the affected SAP Ariba module(s), and you must allow access to your test and production systems.

In addition to the pre-requisites, there are some other limitations, assumptions, and exclusions you may need to be aware of – the implementation is for a single language only – English – unless otherwise agreed. Services are only performed during normal working hours. Services are delivered remotely. SAP Ariba will not provide any Organizational Change Management (OCM), training content, training delivery (though they will provide Knowledge Transfer), integration activities, data validation/migration activities, or make updates to existing reports/print forms.

How can CCP Global help?

As with other SAP policy updates, CCP Global can review your master service agreement and current scope of work to help you understand the best way to adapt to the changes. We can act as a knowledgeable liaison or part of your project team to work with the SAP Ariba services team to accurately confirm the need for purchased fields/customizations and any subsequent requirement gathering and testing activities.

Day-to-day management of policy changes and interaction with SAP Ariba support/services is a core offering in our SAP Ariba Managed Support (AMS) packages here at CCP Global. If identifying, requesting, tracking, and executing changes like these are too cumbersome for your organization, request a no cost, 1-hour consultation call with our team to discuss how CCP Global can help you get the most out of your investment!

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