SAP has introduced a renewed concept for contract management in SRM 7.0: Central Contract Management. At first sight there doesn’t seem to have changed too much. For instance, just like in SRM 5 contracts can be distributed to the desired backend(s). Also contracts can be created to be called off upon in SRM purchase orders in the Extended Classic scenario. However, there definitively are some subjects that are worth taking a closer look at.

What does Central Contract Management deliver more than Global Outline Agreements?

By far the most important enhancement compared to Global Outline Agreements is the ability to use an aggregated contract for procurment in you entire landscape in the form of a Central Contract. This means that one single Central Contract can be distributed to multiple backends and can be used as a source of supply in SRM itself. It offers the ideal functionality to directly get a full overview of the global usage of the Central Contract. That’s because all call-offs are confirmed back to the Central Contract, regardless the origin of the call-off.

Distribution, call-off confirmation and real time checks via SOA Enterprise Services.

Central Contract Management uses standard SOA Enterprise Services for communication from and toward the different backends. SAP PI is actually not mandatory here, because the set of services can also be used via Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM). For all maintenance tasks standard SAP webservice tools are available. Even though Central Contracts can still be distributed via iDocs, in that case classic Out,ine Agreements are created in the backend. The real time SRM Pricing Check also only works via webservices. With the use of a Badi implementation an older bakcend system can easily be connected to SRM Central Contract Management. Therefor a diverse landscape does not have to be a limitation.

Central Contract in SAP ECC Ehp4 and up.

The distribution of an SRM Central Contract results in a Central Contract in ECC. The biggest difference with an Outline Agreement is the extra “layer” of the Central Contract. Still Outline Agreements are created, but they are now bundled in one Central Contract (if it originates from one SRM Central Contract). In standard configuration the contract number is identical of that of SRM. For the call-off creation for a Central Contract there are new fields added to directly link the call-off to the SRM Central Contract and the Contract item. Also a new search help is delivered to search based on the Outline Agreement number and/or the Central Contract number.

Migration from Global Outline Agreement to Central Contracts.

During an upgrade of SRM 7/ECC6 Ehp4 it is necessary to convert already created and distributed Global Outline Agreements in SRM and ECC to Central Contracts. This can easily be done by using a conversion report in ECC and an ugrade report in ECC and SRM. That way all Outline Agreements in ECC will be converted to Central Contracts, without the loss of aggregated data. Thanks to these programs you are a lot more flexible while implementing Central Contracts, especially in heterogeneous landscapes.

Display Global Outline Agreement in SAP ECC:

Display Central Contract in SAP ECC: