Getting to know SAP Business Network for Procurement Buyer Account

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between a test and production account for SAP Business Network Buyer Account

SAP Business Network for Procurement Buyer Account: Test and Production Realm

The SAP Business Network Buyer Account is your Company’s representative account on SAP Business Network, and therefore the account administration plays a pivotal role in ensuring that transactions flow seamlessly and without manual intervention. As a result, you will achieve a faster Order-to-Settle cycle and maximize your intended business benefits in the Supply Chain.

The Buyer Account on SAP Business Network for Procurement is independent of other SAP Ariba modules and has a separate login page and login credentials. To access the Buyer Account, type into your web browser SAP Business Network Buyer (ariba.com) and login with your credentials.

It is important to remember that your internal Procurement and Accounting system is the primary source of truth for documents. This is where they are created and maintained. It is not possible to create or modify Purchase Orders and Invoices directly on the Buyer Account.

SAP Business Network for Procurement

Home Page

After logging in, the home page provides you with general navigation:

  • The tabs on the header level provide direct access to subject-related activities via dropdowns.
  • The tiles below the header level provide a first overview of transactional activities. The displayed tiles can be customized by the user.
  • The widgets give a high-level overview of the overall transactional performance based on Supplier Enablement or transactional activities on SAP Business Network. The selection of widgets can be customized by the users.

Keep in mind:

  • User views depend on individually assigned roles and permissions.
  • Independent of the Buyer project architecture, standard account features and functionalities will be visible, even if not used.

Below is a picture of the Home Page. Each element is numbered on the picture with a corresponding explanation under the picture.

  1. Supplier Chain Monitor – This tab provides access to transaction alerts. Technical requirement: Supply Chain Collaboration is included in the Buyer project architecture.
  2. Discovery – This tab provides a Search Option for new Suppliers, who already have an active Supplier Account on SAP Business Network.
  3. Workbench – The transaction workbench is a highly personalized view for the Buyer-user with options to add, remove and re-arrange tiles as well as configure their work list to have a combined view of a complete Supplier transaction.
  4. Orders – The tab includes a list of documents sent from Buyer organizations to Suppliers: Purchase Order, Order Inquiries, Requisitions and Request for Quotation. Each sub-option provides visibility and filtering options of documents sent to Suppliers.
  5. Fulfillment - The tab lists documents sent back to the Buyer through the network: Order Confirmation, Service Sheets, Time and Expense Sheets, Ship Notices, Goods Receipts and Sales Orders. Each sub-option provides visibility and filtering options of documents received from Suppliers.
  6. Invoices – The tab lists documents sent back to the Buyer through the network: Invoices, Unassigned Invoices and Timestamp Verification.
  7. Payments - The tab lists payment related documents: Scheduled Payments, Scheduled Payments Files, Payment Batches and Remittances. Technical requirement: Payment and Discounting is included in the buyer project architecture.
  8. Catalogs – This tab provides visibility of Supplier uploaded Catalogs. The list contains Supplier name, catalog name and upload date. The catalog content itself is not accessible. Technical requirement: SAP Ariba Buying solution is included in the Buyer project architecture.
  9. Supplier Enablement – when clicking on that tab, a dropdown menu provides multiple sub-tasks and views related to Supplier data and enablement activities, such as: Management of Supplier data, trading relationships, tracking of Supplier Enablement status, customization of Supplier communication templates (Trading Relationship Request, Interactive Purchase Order, etc.) and maintenance of the Buyer contact details.
  10. Reports – Summary of remaining tabs which have not been viewed previously. Such as: Reports – Option to select between Reports (Supplier data and transactional reports) and Analytics.
  11. User Icon – Account settings can be found under the user icon. The user icon provides information about your account (User role, ANID, etc.). The account administrator is provided with the option to "Switch to Test" or "Switch to Production" within the same Buyer Account.
  12. Trading Partner Search – The Trading Partner Search functionality provides Buyer-users with a more efficient way to discover Suppliers with an active Supplier Account. The search for Trading Partners (= Suppliers) can be conducted by keyword, company name, product category or service location. On the search results page, users can further filter results, click on a Trading Partner profile, or contact the Trading Partner.

Production vs. Test

The test Buyer Account can be used during the following phases:

  • Systems Integration Testing (SIT).
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  • Supplier Enablement.

The Buyer Account exists in a production and non-production environment (often referred to as a production and test account).

Each account has a globally unique ANID (Ariba Network ID) account number. The test Buyer Account ANID is the same as the production one, only with an added "-T" at the end. For example, if a Buyer Account ANID in production is AN0123456789, then Buyer Account ANID in test is AN0123456789-T.

Test and Production Buyer Account settings, listing of any Supplier data and transactional documents are not automatically synchronized between both environments. Both accounts are owned and maintained by the Buyer organization.

Test Environment

The Network Buyer Account in the test environment is used for any testing, where documents are sent through SAP Business Network. That includes document testing during the deployment phase and any other business-related testing, before moving to production.

During the Supplier Enablement, the Buyer organization is using the environment to test Supplier provided Catalogs and/or Supplier end-to-end ERP Integration connection, when in scope. To execute the required task, the Supplier needs to confirm the Trading Relationship additionally in the test environment.

To ensure accurate transactions, the Buyer needs to first define, test, and validate the following account configuration:

  • Buyer Company Profile and Logo.
  • Default Transaction rules.
  • Country-based Invoice rules (if in scope).
  • Supplier Groups rules-based business requirements (if in scope).

Additional testing can include:

  • Interactive Purchase Order process.
  • Troubleshooting of Supplier Catalog and/or Integration.
  • New features and functions, prior to enabling them in the production Buyer Account.
  • Any changes to Buyer project architecture after the first Business Go Live (example: addition of further SAP Ariba solutions, addition of Buyer ERP endpoints, connection to country governmental sites for invoicing, etc.)
Note

Important: The Network test Buyer Account configuration should always reflect the production Buyer Account settings. The Buyer organization is responsible for maintaining oversight over the account configuration and tracking relevant business changes.

All User access to the Buyer Account test is owned, defined, and managed by the Buyer Account Administrator.

Production Environment

Note

All User access to the Buyer Account test is owned, defined, and managed by the Buyer Account Administrator .

The production Buyer Account plays an important role in the management of Supplier data used for document exchange on SAP Business Network and potential transactional troubleshooting. It is the primary environment where the Supplier and Buyer Account connection is established once the Trading Relationship Request (TRR) is accepted by the Supplier. In addition to SAP Ariba procurement application, the Buyer Account is mainly used for:

  • Managing Supplier Enablement activities and status of Trading Relationships
  • Troubleshooting transactional documents by leveraging the document’s History tab
  • Reviewing Supplier Profile Data and managing of Supplier Master Data
  • Pulling Ad-Hoc Reports, such as Supplier Enablement, Contact Information, Transactional Data, etc.

Prior to your first Business Go Live, the Buyer is to configure the Buyer Account settings according to the previously signed-off test Buyer Account settings. This process is called "Cutover" and is usually conducted within a month before the first Go Live date.

Any changes to the account settings executed after first Go Live need to be reviewed and tested in the Buyer Account test environment first, before replicating them in the production environment. This is a crucial step to prevent potential document failure and to avoid any unplanned negative impact on already transacting Suppliers (including Supplier Catalog and Integration connections).

Below, a list of Buyer Account configurations to be completed prior first Business Go Live:

  • Buyer Company Profile and Logo.
  • Buyer Contact Details.
  • Document templates (depending on your Supplier Enablement methodology, which will be explained in more detail later).
  • Default Transaction rules.
  • Country-based Invoice rules (if in scope).
  • Supplier Groups rules-based business requirements (if in scope).
  • User access.

All User access to Buyer Account production is owned, defined, and managed by the Buyer Account Administrator.

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