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SAP support for country-specific legal requirements

Just wondering if anyone could clarify how does SAP support work for the country-specific legal requirements. I'm sure in every country some new laws come to life regularly that affect the SAP customers and their ERP systems.

Case in point - on July 1st Mexican authority SAT decided to ask businesses to send them some XML files with some GL account information ('Anexo 24' - see the announcement in Spanish here). The deadline for the first file submission is October 2014.

This clearly affects every single SAP customer in the whole Mexico, as well as potentially many North America customers who have manufacturing facilities there. So would it be reasonable to expect SAP to come up with some standard solution? XML file extraction doesn't seem to be incredibly complex to me (although I might be off).

Another question - how would the customers know that SAP is aware of new laws and is taking some action? Could there be an announcement posted somewhere? There is a website for SAP Latin Americabut the latest announcement there is from June and nothing else is on the home page except for the HANA ads. (My Spanish is limited to "dos cervezas por favor", sorry if I missed something.)

In absence of such communication, naturally, the only option the individual customers have is to send a message to SAP. And that's where SAP replies with a copy/paste text (we got the same exact response as another SCN member here):

Feel free to maintain this incident opened, but contact us in the next three weeks, then we will be able to confirm if this legal requirement will be supported by SAP.

I'm confused - "IF"?! This is a legal requirement, there is no "if" for the business. Let's see if I got it right - we wait for 3 weeks, then SAP decides "nah, not gonna support that" (by the way, why is it on the customers to contact support again?) and every SAP customer in the whole country will have to scramble their own resources or pay for consulting (on top of SAP maintenance fees) to deliver the same exact set of programs on their own in under 2 months?

It could've been just an unfortunate choice of verbiage by Global Support, but I'm curious - is this really how the support for legal requirements supposed to work?

Thank you.

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4 Answers

  • Best Answer
    May 01, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    We were late to the party on this and just began looking at it in the November-December 2014 timeframe. We applied all the notes available at that time but as the deadline was extended slightly, our users did not look at it until recently. Of course, now we find that a myriad of additional notes were issued and the solution is still not finalized.

    We have been trying to follow the saga in the long thread here on SCN regarding all the hard work users like you have done in trying to help SAP along with this process. So I must concur with your assessment and observations about the process here. Quote from my seasoned in-house programmer who had the unfortunate task of deciphering and applying all the notes: "SAP should be ashamed of themselves on this one. I've never seen such sloppy work."

    Clearly I understand that SAP cannot be staffed with developers to handle new requirements for everywhere in the world, but there are legions of ABAP programmers around the globe these days who clearly would love to help. Crazy thought, but why not assemble a project team in cases like this, just like those of us in the business do? The team could be made up of inside and outside resources. People who are responsible for digging in and truly understanding the objective and delivering a workable solution. Instead, we are forced to conduct our own research among our peers and piece together a solution which doesn't even run properly without applying a complicated nexus of sister notes. From my following of the other thread, it appears as though the process in this case has been to wait for engaged users like you to raise issues, then they assign someone to fix and issue yet another note. There is the standard disclaimer that it's better to apply notes for these types of things in a support pack rather than individually, but clearly that wouldn't help in this case since there are still notes being issued.

    I've been using SAP for more than 17 years now, so I understand how things work. Unglamorous problems like this don't make money for SAP and therefore resources are directed toward other areas. I get that. But we all use the ERP solution for core aspects of our business ... things which we are LEGALLY required to do. It's all part of the solution and needs to be supported in a responsible manner.

    Sorry for the rant. Thanks for listening. 😊

    Michele

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    • I only saw Bill McDermott's keynote today, and the opening speech was about trust. Partnership. On how it didn't matter what the copy machine could do because it was all about trust in the person selling it. I would say providing quality support is critical to this trust (and also providing a good product roadmap, which was the focus of the keynote).

  • Jul 10, 2014 at 04:34 PM

    Hi Jelena,

    There is a way to be notified of legal change notifications in the SAP Support Portal. Information on how to define your filters and sign up for notifications can be found here:

    Important SAP Notes - Help | SAP Support Portal

    Is this what you are looking for?

    Thanks,

    Kristen

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    • Hi Jelena,

      My pleasure as always!

      The legal change notifications also cover announcements, but I do understand where you are coming from on this, and will bring it up in our next team call to see if we can add this info somewhere.

      Not sure on the if either. Would you happen to have an incident number you could PM me?

      Cheers,

      Kristen

  • Aug 04, 2014 at 09:31 PM

    Hi Jelena,

    Having been part of the SAP Globalization Services in Brazil, I understand a little bit of that process.

    A few comments:

    1) Localization of SAP solutions to country-specific regulation is under the responsibility of an area called Globalization Services. You can find more info about what they do here:

    http://service.sap.com/globalization

    2) Typically, those country-specific requirements are discussed in much details on the local ASUG chapters (at least that's how we did it in Brazil). That's why it's usually hard to find material in English, but I'd say that your local IT/Biz people in Mexico should be regulars in their local ASUG meetings, specially if they have a specific chapter to discuss Localization matters.

    3) I found out this note with more specifics about "SAT Anexo 24".

    http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/2041490

    Apparently SAP is still analyzing it.

    Suggestion if you want to speed the analysis up: reach out to your commercial contact in SAP.

    4) Regarding your statement about the time it takes for the analysis & delivery to take place.

    As an SAP customer, you have all the right to complain about the service level you're getting, it's just that, having been on the other side of the table, I know some facts that sometimes may be taken for granted. For example, SAP do not have infinite maintenance resources. I do understand that all customers pay maintenance and need to have their demands addressed, but SAP does not have a bench of developers available for whenever a new demand appears. If there is a new demand, they need to estimate the efforts and accommodate it into the development resource planning.

    5) From a legal perspective, there is a difference between Legal Change and New Legal Requirement. The latter, if differing too much from the initial purpose of the acquired software, might not necessarily be required by the Software provider to be fulfilled within the maintenance scope. I'm not saying that it's the case for this Mexican requirement, I'm just saying there is this possibility, generally.

    My personal recommendation: get your local Mexico people to be closer to the SAP Mexico team. They are usually responsible to publish information about such local requirements and the SAP release plan.

    Hope that helps.

    Best,

    Henrique.

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    • I'm sure they have, and that's why I suggested for your local Mexican colleagues to be closer to SAP Mexico in that aspect (through ASUG Mexico or directly). Usually that's the best practice to avoid these last-minute escalations, which are painful to everyone.

      Best,

      Henrique.

  • Nov 07, 2014 at 09:23 PM

    Fast forward 3 months later - SAP issued the much anticipated note 2050349... and it just does not work. There are short dumps, FM is called with missing parameter, the requirements are not met, you name it (the whole list is here). Forget OOP, I'd settle for a program that doesn't cause a short dump. If only there were any Mentors inside SAP that actually knew something about programming and testing that could teach their colleagues a few things. 😉 Sigh...

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    • Former Member

      HI ,Jelena:

      After apply the notes I meet the same dump😔.

      I wonder you will still wait for solution or do this by yourself . the deadline is Jan.1 2015,I don't think time is enough ...

      Bs

      Vic Peng