SAP Business ByDesign Release unlocks the Intelligent Enterprise for Small and Midsize Businesses

SAP Business ByDesign is cloud-based ERP software for mid-market businesses, enabling them to scale and compete without the complexity of a full-blown ERP system. It delivers pre-built processes for everything from finance, project management and sales to product management and purchasing on a single, unified solution which is quick to implement and easy to configure.

The SAP Business ByDesign product is updated quarterly, bringing new features and functions that can be adopted by its user base. With the new 1808 release, SAP Business ByDesign improves data security, streamlines the order-to-cash processes and allows better financial control. Customer-driven enhancements have been incorporated in almost all of the SAP ByDesign modules including Analytics, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and the Supply Chain, Supplier Relationship, Project, and Financial Management areas.

The Key Improvements

Built-in Analytics

Analytics capabilities have been enhanced by improving the integration between Business ByDesign and SAP Analytics Cloud, with its built-in processes and reporting, contributing to SAP’s declared goal for this release of ‘unlocking the intelligent enterprise for SMBs’.

Specifically, the use of dates in analytics has been developed to allow users to add dates to data sources and sort and filter reports using these dates. The ability to use dates in calculations, i.e. the difference between two dates in days, allows development of better reporting involving numbers of days, such as lead time analysis. Dates can also be grouped together in weekly, monthly or quarterly groups, allowing a hierarchy of reporting drill-down, for example Year -> Quarter -> Month -> Week -> Day.

Useful enhancements have also been made to the user interface for charts, allowing titles to be customised and values to be added to bar or line charts, reducing the need for printed reports. Key users can now adapt overview pages to publish the layout to all users meaning dashboards and other content can be pushed to all users of given workcentres, this has been long awaited by many.

In addition, improvements to the provision of OData services mean that you can now quickly create an OData URL automatically, whereas in the past this had to be manually built up using the desired filters; this will see OData services being set up more quickly and efficiently.

Of massive benefit will be the ability to add missing standard fields to data sources. In the past we were stuck with the fields provided, with this release it is now possible to adapt the data source to add in missing standard fields.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) improvements

Improvements to the CRM module have been driven by customer demand, firstly to improve the linking of orders and customer contracts and secondly to speed up packing and shipping activities.

Warehouse staff are now able to add cost data to shipping lists for carriers for insurance calculations and to add data to invoices to be included with shipped goods. The addition of a ‘non-billable’ flag for service items will enhance the handling of these items. This all adds up to speedier workflow management through the packing and shipping processes.

Minor changes to marketing consent also improve GDPR compliance in marketing communications.

Supply Chain Management

Product counts can now be scheduled automatically, for instance for high value items. Stock control and supply planning are more automated and new data sources are supported for the Inventory Balance Report. Customer-specific data such as country of origin, can now be added to all the documents in the supply chain workflow.

Supplier Relationship Management

Workflow has been improved in this area by adding the ability to amend in-flight Purchase Orders, removing the need to cancel and re-issue the PO. Price lists can also be maintained in multiple languages.

Project Management

Holidays are now displayed in Gantt charts with shaded bars to represent them as non-working days and Gantt charts can also be personalised by adding or removing fields. The recording of expenses has been improved and Project Stock Orders can now be cancelled and downloaded to Excel.

Financial Management

Developments include the creation of Direct Debit Mandates via a web service, for instance when using a web shop. External Payments, again used in a web shop environment, can now be confirmed by uploading Clearing House and Bank Statements to Business ByDesign. Revenue recognition has been improved when customers cancel contracts and IFIRS 15/ ASC 606 reporting has been enhanced to include standalone selling price and processing of deviating tax parties.

Cross-topics

UI improvements are also included in this release; most notable is the ability to adapt tables, which was previously only possible in personalisation mode. This enables key users to apply beneficial changes to tables and worklists which can then be shared with all users.

Better Integration with SAP Products

The use of a unified middleware strategy, based on SAP’s Cloud Platform Integration and related iFlows means that integration between Business ByDesign and other SAP products should be easier. Process flows through an organisation will bring data with them from the different products. Although some data fields will be customer-specific, most will be common and data transformation needs will reduce.

Summary

The enhancements and new features delivered in Release 1808 improve existing processes and bring more enterprise features to the SMBs who use Business ByDesign. This will continue with future releases in November 2018 and throughout 2019. The roadmap planned for the product will enable Business ByDesign customers to grow their business without having to change their ERP software.

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