Welcome to the SAP Business ByDesign blog. Each month I would like to provide you with this short blog, addressing some key areas. In this blog I will touch on:
- Industry/topical update
- Key features of SAP Business ByDesign
- Key Issues that users may face
Topical update – Keeping your software up-to-date
Why should you keep software up-to-date?
Software upgrades and security updates are a vital part of business for two main reasons. Firstly, from a security aspect, to ensure that any security updates are applied, resulting in software that is safe from attack. Software companies spend a lot of time and money on security updates to combat the threat of online attacks, these must be applied in order to protect your data as much as possible.
Secondly, from a functional perspective; as the world around us changes, so does the software that supports this. Software vendors are constantly developing software to improve the offering; addressing more and more needs of their clients.
At SAP, developers are constantly working on enhancing the products for the benefit of their customers. This means that in every upgrade and release there are functionality enhancements that can really benefit you as a business. SAP has a wish list where customers can request enhancements and these will be incorporated depending on demand – this means that you can influence the future of your product.
What are the consequences of not regularly upgrading software?
Depending upon how many upgrades have been missed it could be a very costly exercise, if not impossible, to follow a standard upgrade route. It also means that your business is not benefiting from the advancements that have been made, advancements which may very well improve your business processes.
Why do some businesses omit upgrading?
The main reasons are around cost and downtime. In a typical on premise situation or hosted (rather than SaaS) environment, upgrading could incur a cost and depending on the software used, could result in downtime. It is sometimes viewed as a costly headache, but with the right partner, it can be made easier than you may think.
How can Cloud SAP assist in this process?
With SAP Business ByDesign being a true SaaS Cloud-based solution you are always on the latest version of the software. Upgrades and updates are all included in your monthly subscription fee. In terms of the process, businesses are given a two-week testing window prior to their environment being upgraded. Because of the way in which any customisations are handled, any upgrade will not affect this customisation, ensuring business continuity without the headache of re-coding any customisations.
Businesses are also provided with a list of new features ahead of the upgrade and, working with your Edenhouse Account Director, training can be arranged for this new functionality should you require it.
Supplier Invoice OCR
How many supplier invoices do you post each week? Are they mainly from purchase orders which then have to be matched with delivery notes prior to posting the invoice? What manual degree of tolerance do you have around price variations? How long does this process take?
Just a few questions to ponder while I tell you about the standard functionality available within SAP Business ByDesign which is available 'Out-Of-The-Box'. This allows you to scan in your supplier invoices and the system automatically uploads these invoices into the system. SAP Business ByDesign then performs a 3-way matching process and if everything is correct, the invoice is posted to the ledgers without any human interaction.
On top of this, you can build in certain tolerances, such as, if the invoice is within 2% total value of the original purchase order, it will automatically get posted. Conversely, any that don’t meet the specific criteria will appear in an exceptions screen and a user can then decide how they are handled. For example, an invoice received with a 5% difference will show up as an exception.
The great time-saving advantage of this is if you have an approval process at the purchase order stage, once it is approved, there may not be any other “touch points” from a system perspective until that invoice gets to the payment stage of the process, removing all of that manual requirement typically associated with this process.
Key Issue – Remote accessibility and synchronisation issues
Quite often in situations with remote workers, they face a couple of issues. System accessibility and a lack of functionality over the traditional access method.
Because SAP Business ByDesign is cloud-based, accessed via a web browser, every user is a remote user and so providing users have an internet connection they can connect to the system. If the remote user has a laptop or PC, they can connect with full functionality and there are no issues around synchronisation because they are accessing the system directly.
If that remote worker is using a mobile device or tablet, providing that has a web browser, they can also access the full functionality however in order to make this more practical, SAP has created a suite of mobile applications to allow interaction with the system for their key functions and responsibilities.
Thanks yet again for taking the time to read this and if you have any areas that you would like to see covered here, then please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can also read part one of my blog here.
Written by; Gareth Lewis, SAP Business ByDesign Pre-sales Consultant