Back-end automation in SAP is the prerequisite for end-to-end digitized purchasing processes, but only a front-end integration into the SAP Launchpad brings the decisive step towards a better user experience: On the one hand, the single sign-on procedure improves user-friendliness, as users no longer have to log on to both systems separately. On the other hand, the app approach makes work easier by breaking down complex tasks into manageable individual sub-processes.
FUTURA Apps are at the heart of FUTURA Business Services. They work with both S/4HANA and SAP ECC 6.0 (from EHP 8) and also allow more purchasing variants than SAP Ariba Sourcing does. These can be stored and called up in the SAP Launchpad – which therefore becomes the central purchasing and procurement hub. All tenders can be processed from SAP directly via the FUTURA Cloud.
The FUTURA Business Services describe individual functional areas of FUTURA Cloud that can be easily activated. Various FUTURA apps are available for sourcing management, enabling the selection of requirements from various SAP procurement sources (e.g., purchase requisitions, material masters, contracts, etc.) and the simultaneous transfer of these requirements into tenders for materials and services. This includes complex Services and GAEB XML formats with the item category “Service”, which constitute the added value and are the unique feature of FUTURA Cloud.
Suppliers are connected via the FUTURA Supplier Portal both strategically and operationally, regardless of which purchasing, and procurement process is used. Suppliers use it to maintain their company data and obtain qualifications, calculate their quotations, confirm orders and submit their service entries – for example, planned services via a one-off order or unplanned services via a call-off and a contract.
The FUTURA Supplier Portal supports the full range of quotation processing: from materials or simple services to multi-level service specifications as well as the special features of Germany’s central GAEB format for service procurement.
Like the entire FUTURA Cloud Platform, the FUTURA Supplier Portal is “made and hosted in Germany” – ensuring that data is managed and stored in compliance with the GDPR.
The integrated FUTURA Procurement Network brings purchasers and suppliers together, enabling seamless purchasing processes. Purchasers as well as registered suppliers and service providers will benefit from the further development towards a B2B network: In the future, suppliers will be able to present themselves to other FUTURA customers in the FUTURA procurement Network, which will allow purchasers to expand their purchasing market.
And the added value: Companies with a need for services in their procurement portfolio can continue to process construction and services based on multi-level bills of quantities (GAEB-item lists) via FUTURA® Cloud, which is not possible via SAP Ariba Sourcing and the Fiori Apps in conjunction with S/4 HANA.
The interaction between SAP S/4HANA and the SAP cloud solutions Ariba Sourcing and Ariba Network unexpectedly poses a few obstacles. In the standard integration, price requests go to Ariba Network – while tenders are handled by Ariba Sourcing. Without these two cloud solutions, the only way to communicate with suppliers via SAP S/4HANA is by e-mail or the analogous way by mail.
Using the FUTURA Apps, which you call up from your SAP Launchpad, you search, for example, for purchase requisitions to be put out to tender, assign suppliers from the FUTURA Network, start the tender and wait for the suppliers’ quotations. This not only sounds simple, it really is. No jumping between systems or tedious searching for purchase requisitions in SAP.
If you also want to tender encrypted or unencrypted material or even material contracts – this is also possible via a FUTURA app. You track the tenders, communicate and negotiate with the suppliers. In the end, you create purchase orders and/or contracts directly in SAP via the FUTURA App.
It’s not just a matter of ensuring a good user experience – the data quality must also be good. SAP or SAP Launchpad is not only the central purchasing and procurement hub, but also the digital core. This means that all purchasing and procurement data must also be available in SAP. In particular, the handling of Complex Services is a distinguishing feature of FUTURA. Not only can these be processed via FUTURA Apps in the SAP Launchpad, but purchase orders and contracts of the item type “Service” and multi-level service specifications are also created in SAP.