New Development Project for PLM/PS in 2020

SAP customer connection screenshot

SAP announced this week a new CEI project for the PLM and Project Systems area.

The announcement is here:  Blog: YOU’RE INVITED: SAP Customer Connection Kickoff for ERP PLM 2020



What is the Customer Engagement Initiative?  We’ve already written about it in detail in the following blog: SAP’s CEI Program and New Developments for Project Systems (PS).

Basically, CEI is SAP’s way to interact with customers and partners on new development initiatives.  They don’t do it for every topic area, solution, or module but there is almost ‘something here for everyone’ in my opinion.  SAP uses PLM as an umbrella for their development of 3 separate topic areas: Product Lifecycle Data Management, Recipe Development and Quality Management, and most importantly, Portfolio & Project Management and Project System.  The CEI page for each of these topic areas is listed below:

ERP PLM 2020 – Portfolio & Project Management and Project System

ERP PLM 2020 – Product Lifecycle Data Management

ERP PLM 2020 – Recipe Development and Quality Management


Important Items

First, the kickoff call is on October 15, 2019.  Head over to the blogs and get yourself registered!  Then you can start submitted improvement requests.

The other important date is January 23rd, 2020.  That’s when SAP will stop accepting new improvement requests so that they can focus on analyzing them and figuring out which ones to proceed with.


Why Should I Care?

As briefly covered in our earlier blog, the CEI program is a way for customers to influence and directly communicate with the SAP Development teams.  New development requests (now called Improvements) can be submitted, voted on, and then rolled out.  The majority of these can be done on the current SAP releases too, so there is no expensive upgrade to worry about.  You can view more information on this over at the Influence and Adopt page on  It gives an overview of the program, why it’s important, the benefits and has some videos as well.

Here is a quick overview of how the program works:

An example of a SAP project review template.

Here is the selection criteria that SAP uses to evaluate the submitted improvements. Obviously, the more you can align the request with these criteria, the better chance that you’ll get SAP to develop it as part of the program.

An example of a Venn diagram illustrating the relationship between SAP and PS.

Lastly, the below images shows the path that SAP takes for each of the submitted improvements. SAP doesn’t accept all of them but that is usually communicated early on in the program.

An example of a SAP business process diagram in the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) domain.