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P2P and invoice processing move to the public cloud

The "GROW with SAP" program promotes the shift of business processes to the S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition. Suitable solutions for this are offered by the xSuite Group
Dina Haack, xSuite Group
31 May 2023
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

One platform for all procure-to-pay processes

Printing out orders and sending them in paper form, scanning incoming order confirmations and entering them manually in the system - anyone who works in purchasing knows that you have to leave SAP again and again in the course of a procurement process. Cloud-based portals are one way out. SAP is also relying on the cloud. To get more customers to use it, SAP has launched its "GROW with SAP" program. It is intended to encourage medium-sized companies and new customers to use the S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition. Solutions such as the xSuite Business Partner Portal are available for this purpose.

The portal is a central platform through which purchasing, accounting, and suppliers can exchange all procurement-related data and documents in the procure-to-pay (P2P) process. It was developed on the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). P2P means linking digital procurement processes with digital invoicing processes. This includes requisitions, purchase orders, order confirmations, delivery bills and incoming invoices. So if the linked work steps run digitally throughout, there is enormous potential for increasing efficiency. 

Ordering and invoicing processes run in the portal

Even with the xSuite supplier portal, purchasing continues to work in its SAP environment. But he can actively manage his supplier relationships instead of just processing purchase requisitions. The purchase order is generated as usual in SAP and automatically provided to the supplier in the portal. The supplier can then generate all subsequent documents directly in the portal and transfer them back to Purchasing: Order confirmations, shipping notifications, invoices and credit notes. Communication and document transmission are therefore bidirectional.

Alternatively, the supplier can upload documents and data in the portal; in both cases, the purchaser's SAP system automatically adopts them. All information and documents are available for processing directly in SAP for purchasing and accounting. For those involved in the purchasing process, this eliminates the need for printouts and dispatch. The entire P2P process is faster and sources of errors such as media discontinuities - e.g. digitizing paper documents - are bypassed. 

Not only does xSuite Group provide a supplier portal in the cloud, but it also offers its software for incoming invoice processing in SAP via BTP. This is the actual domain of the manufacturer. Its solution supports companies in e-invoicing, fetches incoming XML invoices, reads their contents and automatically transfers the relevant information to the appropriate fields in the ERP system. The invoice processing supports all common invoice formats on the market and the integration of e-invoice portals including PEPPOL. 

For upstream and downstream steps such as document reading, archive and workflow automation with S/4HANA Cloud, the xSuite Group is developing further offerings. The software manufacturer's main focus is on bringing cloud-first even further to the fore as the operating model of the future. The strategy is working: 80 percent of new customers last year opted for cloud solutions or a subscription model instead of the classic license purchase.

The product policy of the Ahrensburg-based manufacturer goes hand in hand with SAP's strategy of moving midmarket and new customers in the direction of S/4HANA in the public cloud - in line with the "GROW with SAP" program. Against this background, the SAP Business Technology Platform gains even greater relevance. It is the preferred way to connect extensions and add-ons to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, such as an incoming invoice workflow or a supplier portal.  

Public cloud gains acceptance

The cloud is the new normal, even for business processes. According to the Bitkom Digital Office Index 2022, 60 percent of companies in Germany already use a cloud-based ECM solution, 38 percent of them in the public cloud. This has now gained significantly in image, for a very pragmatic reason: public cloud mostly means software-as-a-service. This means that administrative effort is shifted externally, which is a convenient fallback in view of the shortage of skilled workers. 

SAP S/4HANA Cloud and the SAP Business Technology Platform stand for the highest level of standardization. This also means simplification and acceleration. SAP promises that "GROW with SAP" will enable customers to go live in just four weeks. One month from the state in which orders were still printed out to the automated P2P process with the xSuite supplier portal - purchasing departments can rejoice.

Dina Haack, xSuite Group

Dina Haack has been at home in the B2B software industry for more than ten years. She is responsible for marketing at the globally active xSuite Group in Ahrensburg. Thematically, she focuses on SAP-integrated business processes and forward-looking e-invoices. She has long since found her way to the cloud. Since February 2022, Dina Haack has been chair of Bitkom's Digital Office Services & Cloud working group.

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