What to do, when you need a new feature in a SAP solution ?
As an SAP customer, you may face a missing functionality and need a new feature at any stage in your customer lifecycle.
This blog outlines a comprehensive set of rules for all SAP customers regarding identifying missing functionalities and raising new feature requests. Following these guidelines ensures that your business needs are addressed most effectively and resource-efficiently, for both “business critical” and “not urgent” new feature requests.
Understanding New Features Requests vs. Product Bugs
It is essential to distinguish between new feature requests and product bugs. understanding the difference between a new feature request and a product bug is a crucial starting point for you to get the best outcome.
A new feature request is when a customer requests a new functionality to be added to the SAP product to meet his business needs. It is related to a business need not currently supported by the SAP solution
A product bug refers to an error in the product that is not behaving as expected based on the official product information and release notes.
In the case of a product bug, the first step for a customer is to log an incident and describe the issue. This will help SAP better understand the customer’s needs and take appropriate action. See (*) to find solution-specific links
In the case of a new feature request, do not log an incident, but follow the below guidelines.
Understanding SAP’s Strategy of the Intelligent Sustainable Enterprise on the SAP Business Technology Platform.
SAP’s Product Strategy is based on the concept of providing lean modular applications around a clean core. It is essential to understand the role of the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and how customers and partners can develop their business needs by keeping customization, process optimization, and salient specific needs in mind. SAP Build is made for all the customers to experience and understand the development of new apps. Find out how you can develop your own business needs and optimize your business process. Contact your BTP Customer Success Partner on your use case to learn more.
Evaluating the Criticality of the new feature request for Your Business
It is important to evaluate the criticality of a new feature request for a customer’s business. A new feature request can be categorized as not urgent, like an improvement idea, or urgent because it has a business critical impact. Often a highly crucial issue comes with heavy time and cost: hence, evaluation becomes necessary!
“Not urgent” new feature requests add value to the customer’s business operations, but are not business critical on short term.
A customer logs “not urgent” new feature requests on the SAP Continuous Influence Channel: see (**) for solution-specific links. SAP evaluates these requests, and the accepted requests are usually reflected after 2-3 releases in the product roadmap, which could be understood as a typical time to fulfillment. SAP publishes an update twice a year on which requests are accepted.
“Urgent/business critical” new feature requests immediately impact the customer’s business operations and have unacceptable business impacts such as financial and/or operational impact or legal requirements. These cases should be tackled promptly. Customers have three options here:
- Ask guidance from SAP. SAP Customer Success Partners are always there to address your critical business needs. SAP wants to help businesses get the right feedback and recommendations to make an informed decision in line with SAP’s Product Strategy. Contact your Customer Success Partner to order the relevant service. The SAP service teams will validate as well if the new feature fits in the product roadmap.
- Develop the missing functionality on the SAP Business Technology Platform (see above)
- Ask guidance from certified SAP partners
The power of self-learning
Our experience shows that a high number of raised new feature requests are available in standard, already planned on the roadmap, or supported by known workarounds or partner solutions. The below self-service platforms are by far the most accessible, sustainable, and practical option for all our customers:
- Check SAP Communities : see (***) for solution-specific Communities
- Check the available SAP product information and enablement materials: SAP Help Portal
- Check the SAP product roadmap: maybe your business need is already planned for a future release: roadmap
- Check existing partner apps: SAP Store
- Try our Free SAP Training
Customers have multiple channels through which they can influence the SAP product roadmap. They can participate in the beta-testing of new products or releases or actively participate in “Early Adoption” programs… You may find an overview of the influence channels here. Not all programs are relevant for every solution: see (****) for SAP solution-specific links)
In conclusion, customers need to understand the difference between bugs and new feature requests, evaluate the criticality of the new feature request, and take advantage of the various channels to influence the SAP product roadmap. At SAP, we value every relationship, which is precisely why we try to smoothen the knowledge base that connects you with us!
(*)Incidents: link for SAP Procurement and Business Network Solutions,
(***)SAP Communities: SAP Community for Intelligent Spend Management
(****)Influence Programs: link for HXM-solutions;
Please find a One Pager with a short summary of the topic here.