January 1, 2021

Procurement IS : parameterization, customization, what a confusion!

By Patrick Chabannes

What is behind the terms used to describe how Source-to-Pay solutions are implemented? Let’s try to define them and show you the points of attention to contribute to the success of the digitization of your business processes.

Source-to-Pay customization should be considered as a specific development.

When parameterization tends to logically designate the configuration modalities accessible to the Platform Administrators, customization is often only accessible to the editor or its partners. The former will guarantee you to remain in the standard mode of operation, the latter will open up the possibilities of functional adaptation to your constraints thanks to a blurred boundary with the specific development.
Successfully customizing your S2P Platform requires a team of administrators with a good level of expertise, documentation, user test scenarios, load tests and an acceptance phase for each release upgrade.

The role matrix, the sensitive point of your Source-to-Pay solution

The role matrix, which is a sensitive issue, must be examined in detail to ensure that the roles of the standard personae are appropriate for your organization. Isn’t it amazing that some world-class vendors don’t have a Category Manager role in their Supplier Management module?
Standard configuration capabilities will be limited to the roles defined in the standard processes. Any additional roles will bring you into the customization realm.

Analysts’ blind spot: transporting configurations between Test and Production environments

Source-to-Pay is available with a minimum of two environments, Production and Test. The first one, guaranteed by a Service Level Agreement, is open to all your users and the second one is only open to Platform Administrators to test new settings or features of new versions.
How are Test environment configurations switched to Production and vice versa?
Transport mechanisms are very, very uneven from one Source-To-Pay Platform to another…. and even for world-class vendors. The discomfort may still pass if you stay within the standard solution but if you customize…

Integration of your Procurement IS: settings or customizations?

The editors focus their efforts on business functionalities leaving the crucial point of integration to the customers via standard outgoing web services.

  • File loading is a manual interface that must offer a set of configurable input data consistency checks.
  • The SSO, single sign on, SAML V2 compatible, should only be a service to be opened, ready to be consumed by your identification systems with an optional assistance.
  • The outgoing Source-to-Pay webservices calls generally work well, the incoming ones are on the other hand the subject of animated discussions. In all cases, they must be documented and available for all business objects (PO, Receive, Supplier card…) in determined flow states. The cost, on the editor side, is then marginal.
  • Connectors to CSR, legal, risk, etc. data sources are often custom-made and therefore customized. Only a functional documentation and a marginal cost will confirm a standard.

Find out what is out of the standard, these custos or overlayers, these by design and additional fields to either change your process or set up the appropriate administration and support organization.

Lectori salutem, Patrick Chabannes
“The mind likes what confirms its knowledge better than what contradicts it.” Gaston Bachelard.