Discuss business intelligence, integration, compliance and a host of other SAP-related topics – implementation, best practices and resources to negotiate the world of SAP better!

November 24, 2016

Empower HR with knowledge-driven and cloud-based solutions

Posted on behalf of of Marco Dias - Associate Partner, Infosys Consulting and Ines Corte-Real - Principal, Infosys Consulting

Everything is moving faster these days - the demand for speedy service, instant responses and quicker deliveries. I am not surprised that there is so much buzz around becoming agile. Agile processes help businesses develop and execute new strategies rapidly and effectively. 

Business agility, however, is not limited to processes, systems and software. The most important, and often the most neglected, criterion is people. People run the processes, systems and software that make a company agile. So, to begin with, enterprises need to find the right talent for the right job. In my opinion, if enterprises are to stay ahead of the curve, they must first focus on optimizing their internal resources - their employees - and prepare them to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

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November 23, 2016

Cloud HR solutions: Merging technology with HR

Posted on behalf of of Marco Dias - Associate Partner, Infosys Consulting and Ines Corte-Real - Principal, Infosys Consulting

In our previous blog, we had spoken about HR best practices that can help HR act as a business driver. In this blog, we discuss about what an enterprise needs to do to revamp its HR function. 

To keep pace with rapid change, human resource (HR) departments are witnessing a significant shift in priorities. Thanks to the influx of new technology trends such as cloud, social and mobile, HR needs to be aware of how users behave and stay on top of the latest trends in the market. For instance, user delight through better user experience and next-gen self service are the new passwords to ensuring higher adoption. Taps have replaced clicks as mobile devices - not desktops or laptops - emerge as the platform of choice for dynamic talent capture through video and social channels. 



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November 22, 2016

Breathing skill into enterprise human resources

Posted on behalf of of Marco Dias - Associate Partner, Infosys Consulting and Ines Corte-Real - Principal, Infosys Consulting

Business environments today are in a state of constant churn. Social, mobile and digital technologies are disrupting traditional models while extreme automation dulls the hitherto sharp business edge of most enterprises. In their scramble to become more agile, nimble and responsive, businesses want to re-invent themselves by re-defining how they work and what sets them apart.

As enterprises race against time, discussing the concept of best practices and how they impart value may appear to be an academic exercise. I believe nothing could be farther from the truth as the value of an authentic best practice comes from its ability to deliver proven outcomes. 

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May 25, 2016

An Innovative E-Commerce Experience with SAP HANA

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most challenging in the world. Just ask any pharma or biotech executive the costs and time involved in critical research & development tasks. But when a large pharmaceutical firm started to experience a slower pricing engine and delayed inventory status, the company's leaders knew that these were issues they could address proactively with Information Technology.

The pharma firm worked with Infosys to implement SAP HANA. Ramesh J. Chougule, AVP - Partner - Business Consulting, Infosys, told the packed crowd at the SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 break-out session that implementing SAP HANA was a way to turn around what was a growing customer dissatisfaction. But there was something different about this session than any of the others at the conference. Mr. Chougule of Infosys said that he would be discussing a proof-of-concept case; in other words, Infosys had not yet completed the implementation.

Discussing a proof-of-concept case study is fairly rare at conferences in which the client tends not to want to discuss details of the issues the company faced until the implementation is signed, sealed, and delivered. But the pharma firm was so pleased with what Infosys proposed that they decided to talk about it in this fascinating break-out session. That's because the proposed implementation showed that SAP HANA would help stem the loss of revenue from inefficiencies and improve annual performance to 5,000 percent from 50 percent.

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May 23, 2016

Infosys Moves to Real-Time Business with SAP and Hitachi Data Systems

Want to know one of the largest deployments of SAP Business Solutions powered by SAP HANA? Talk to Infosys. We worked with Hitachi Data Systems to run the suite on the global electronics company's converged platform. Yes, it's true. We not only have an 18-year relationship with SAP as an implementation partner, but we're also a satisfied client.

It's important for potential adopters of SAP HANA to know that when you work with Infosys as a lead integrator and implementation partner on your digital journey, you're working with a global company that decided to adopt SAP HANA for its own operations. The seamless aspects of SAP HANA come in handy at Infosys, which has 194,000+ employees around the world. We have 600,000 invoices running through our SAP ecosystem alone. Our Web site has 6 million hits each day. With 30,000 new hires each year, Infosys doesn't see our workload diminishing. We're all about being able to scale up.

At one of the most well-received presentations at SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 event, Jitendra Sangharajka, Vice President, Infosys, joined Gregory Smith, VP - SAP Field Alliances, Hitachi Data Systems Corp., to talk about how Infosys is also a customer of SAP. That's a side to Infosys that people sometimes forget. But it places us in an even better position when other global corporations come to us for advice and guidance on implementing SAP HANA. We've been there!

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May 20, 2016

Capital Group Supercharges Mission-Critical Solutions with SAP HANA

Another day, another well attended session on how Infosys helped a client with its digital journey on HANA. In this case, the client is Capital Group, which experienced, among everything else on an exciting journey, a highly automated assessment by Infosys. This assessment was just the first step towards a robust and successful journey to the SAP HANA platform.

Harald Reiter, Associate Partner - Business Consulting, Infosys, told the crowd that Infosys knows full well how precious time can be to a global firm - especially Capital Group, the privately held home of American Funds with $1.4 trillion under management. Because Capital Group serves institutional and individual investors around the world, its journey to SAP HANA had to be as seamless as possible. That concern was what made Infosys and its highly automated assessment process one of the elements of the collaboration with Capital Group so fruitful.

Mr. Reiter was joined by Nitin Rastogi, Manager, GBS IT, Capital Group. Mr. Rastogi reminded the crowd that the assessment phase in any platform migration is important, especially when that enterprise had not yet moved to HANA. Capital Group's migration started a little over a year ago. What were the drivers and opportunities by moving to HANA? First, the asset management firm was lucky to have an end-of-life platform on its hands and took that as an opportunity to move to something entirely new. Future-proofing was also important. So was the fact that Capital Group had accumulated plenty of self-described "technical debt" and wanted to simplify its technology infrastructure. Doing so would reduce costs and rid the company of its technical debt, according to Mr. Rastogi.

One of the many reasons the Infosys/Capital Group partnership worked so well is that both parties understood why the migration needed to take place, what value it would create, and how to use the assessment phase to get a clear picture of what was ahead of them. Infosys helped Capital Group with the big picture. As the two companies worked together toward a migration to SAP HANA, they figured out what more the firm needed along the way and customized those solutions.

Mr. Reiter said that his team first begins with a standardized assessment package and then customizes it for each client because each entity starts the journey differently. Sometimes the assessment goes directly into an RFP, he said. But many times clients use the assessment to make their business case. That is, they worked collaboratively with Infosys to create output. The magic is that either way, according to Mr. Reiter, Infosys can perform the assessment in a highly automated manner leveraging Panaya. "We did the assessment in three weeks in an agile fashion so we had a review session every two to three days" said Mr. Reiter. "We always give recommendations, but ultimately the client decides how to move forward."

Capital Group praised the assessment for being so accurate. For the upgrade, Infosys used Panaya's CloudQualitySuite, a Cloud-based solution that's part of the assessment cost. It runs and looks at your configuration. Then it does a simulation of your migration. Panaya's tools tell you what issues you can expect, pinpoint what needs to be tested, with zero-risk being main driver to use such automated technology. Panaya's insights also compares your assessment to thousands of previous ones. So you can find things in common. It also estimates the number of objects that need to change and actually fixes them during migration - automatically, of course.

Key drivers during the Capital Group migration included architecture and landscape, target platform and version, risk appetite, testing guidelines, in-flight projects and competing initiatives, and costs. "We needed everything to be working when employees come to work on Monday morning," said Mr. Rastogi.

The migration took six months from start to finish. Infosys performed six migrations in all, which was an aggressive timeline. Think about it: Each migration within Capital Group took just one month. Part of the successful and rapid timeline was that Infosys focused on the cutover. "We had to make it flawless," said Mr. Reiter. "We started with three different start-time options and narrowed them down to one. We also had a cutover weekend simulation. During the actual cutover, we had an analysis tool in place to measure the risk of not making the estimated downtime."

Infosys used the text messaging application WhatsApp to let all stakeholders know how the cutover what going. Using that easy-to-use messaging app kept everyone at Capital Group informed and engaged.

Advice? Mr. Rastogi said to always, always focus on testing. "That's the most important part," he said. "Having tools to help with all aspects of testing was great."

Capital Group also benefited from just how seamlessly Infosys helped implement SAP ERP and SAP Business Warehouse applications as part of its journey. Today, at the end of the initial phase of a three-part digital journey, to say that Capital Group's mission-critical solutions are now super-charged would be putting it mildly.

May 19, 2016

Sapphire Blog: Building Business Value with SAP S/4HANA

Every business that wants to succeed in the 21st century needs to have a solid digital core. So I was fascinated by the gathering of different industry executives at the session dedicated to building business value with SAP S/4HANA at this week's Sapphire Now conference. Kiran Gole, Principal - Business Services Information Systems - SAP Practice, Infosys, was joined by technology leaders from SAP, New York Life Insurance Co., Karma Automotive, and CEITEC (a Brazilian-sponsored technology company), all of whom talked about how they re-imagined their business models and improved consumer engagement by leveraging a new, digital core.

You must be wondering: How do you re-imagine your company's position in an industry as traditional as the automotive arena?  Well, automakers deal with suppliers. Lots of them. The largest, Tier 1 suppliers, can practically build cars themselves. If your auto business can operate in real-time with other suppliers and the manufacturers themselves, then you are at a tremendous advantage. One of the panelists, Ketan Gohil of Karma Automotive, said the company went through ups and downs in years past but in 2014 taken over and renamed Karma. But then something even bigger happened: the company's digital transformation. "We wanted to make a robust and scalable finance platform, but also make it simple," Mr. Gohil said about adopting the S/4HANA business platform.

It's been exactly one year since SAP unveiled S/4HANA. A company spokesman said that there are now more than 180 customers running the robust finance platform. Kiran Gole of Infosys told the standing room-only crowd that every five or six years Infosys goes through new journey when SAP unveils a big new product like S/4HANA. Infosys, both a customer and partner of SAP, explored lots of possibilities when it was deciding to upgrade its finance platform, according to Mr. Gole. They experienced some complex landscapes but to their satisfaction discovered that SAP had embedded everything into one landscape. From a holistic point of view, said Mr. Gole, S/4HANA really brought business value into the organization. Doing so wasn't merely a migration, but a new formation, he said.

Infosys went from contract to go-live in just five months, according to Mr. Gole. "In the first part of our journey, there were lots of learnings," he said. "It's a single landscape and not just about simple financial solutions." Mr. Gole told the crowd that it took Infosys much shorter than expected to implement S/4HANA because of its simple and seamless nature.

At Karma Automotive, Ketan Gohil said that after the company's acquisition in 2014, they went through lots of "what if?" scenarios. The IT team wondered what platform the newly merged company should use. Sometimes the decisions were difficult to reconcile, he said. But now everything at Karma Automotive is integrated. "Now we are able to do any kind of business analysis and planning because we moved to S/4. We can easily integrate apps out of the box, so that's another migration reason," he said.

Another panelist, Ray Carney of New York Life Insurance Co., said they wanted to transform the roles of their finance professionals. The insurance company also needed to streamline operations and get consistency and transparency. "People can do their jobs better when they work on a streamlined platform," Carney said. The insurance company has also experienced faster processing and better output in reporting, which allows its finance professionals to perform their jobs better. People are rethinking how they do things, according to Carney, and really working to re-engineer their day-to-day jobs.

May 15, 2016

Case Study: Global E-Commerce Platform Boosts Sales for Becton, Dickinson and Company

Date: May 19, Thursday | Time: 11:00 - 11:20 EDT
Location: PS601 | Session ID: ES34593

Join speakers Don Chaney, IT E-Business Manager, BD Life Sciences, and Nitin Saini, Delivery Manager, Infosys

Becton, Dickinson & Co., one of the world's leading medical supply companies, realized that its traditional business-to-business (B2B) commerce platform, largely unchanged since the company's founding in 1897, could be as rich and colorful as a current-day business-to-consumer (B2C) experience. Why couldn't its main consumers - mostly healthcare institutions, scientific researchers, clinical laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies - experience the same sort of shopping features that a customer on a major e-commerce Web site enjoy? Rich features like Inventory visibility, real-time inventory status, convenient service, self-service, Reorder and order history.

When IT representatives of Becton, Dickinson spoke with consultants at Infosys, they came to agree that SAP's robust Hybris B2B platform would be just what the doctor ordered. The company was soon leveraging a platform that could do it all, including mimicking the rich experience of a consumer in a shopping mall. SAP Hybris had modules that boasted features like out-of-the-box approval workflow and user management. But Infosys consultants also introduced Becton, Dickinson to the full scope of what SAP Hybris could do for their organization. This meant leveraging the full capability of SAP Hybris 5.1 with PIM, WCMS, B2B Store, and a full array of mobile features. In short, Infosys introduced the company to SAP Hybris features that indeed mimicked B2C shopping journeys by extending B2C features.


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May 12, 2016

Case Study: Lessons Learned from Coke One North America's Hybrid SAP SuccessFactors Deployment

If you've ever wondered how to take all of the subtleties of your organization's human resources practices and consolidate them into one convenient, Cloud-based solution, then be sure to attend the May 17th SAPPHIRE NOW campus presentation in PS602 at 11 a.m. on "Lessons Learned from Coke One North America's Hybrid SAP SuccessFactors Deployment." The event will be hosted by Sandeep Dubey, Principal Consultant from Infosys and Chuck Moses, Sr. Group Manager, IT from Coke One North America.

Coke One North America is a conglomeration of Coca-Cola bottlers across the North American continent. The end goal of the project was to ensure that each of the bottlers adhered to a standard process with minimal deviations from standards. Such processes should be fairly similar whether they were based in, say, central Florida or in the heart of the Rockies. Performance Management, for instance, whether en masse or one special employee at a time, could be consolidated into an easy-to-use system that keeps all parts of the company in tandem.

That's because Infosys, through its HCM Practice, offered convenient end-to-end implementation and support services that made it seamless to put a single, overarching SAP SuccessFactors solution into place. Of course, it's not always easy to take a large organization with many subsidiaries running separate HR solutions for Performance Management, Corporate Learning, and Recruitment and wind them up all into one, streamlined solution.

Be sure to come to this valuable session. Plus, we invite you to visit our booth in the exhibition hall afterwards. You can talk directly with the session's host, Sandeep Dubey of Infosys, and learn about the important of having an experienced integrator. He might also tell you about how vital it is to have the ability to push back on localizations. Our mantra: Think Standard!

May 11, 2016

External Payroll Integration solution - Achievements and benefits

Posted on behalf of Krishnakumar Ramamoorthy, Technology Architect, Infosys

In this blog series, we looked at the Acme Company and its integration challenges in Part 1, Acme's future goals and study of client situations in Part 2. In this part, let's look at achievements, benefits delivered and lessons learnt.

Achievements

By leveraging the Infosys IMPACT framework that combines Infosys' project management methodology with SuccessFactors SAP Launch Methodology, Infosys implemented a strategic solution for:
- SuccessFactors Employee Central within fixed time frames of 14 weeks.
- 14 weeks includes: Design, Implement, Testing, Data Migration, Language Translation, Production Cutover, and Post Go-Live Support for Pilot and Rollout
- Employee Central Integration with Third Party External Systems using Dell Boomi cloud integration platform has been delivered for 17 countries.
- Germany Go-live is in process.
- Switzerland Roll-out is being planned.

Benefits Delivered
 
Some of the key benefits delivered  by this integration include:
- Better visibility and control of Employee data at the HQ level.
- Employee Central acts as Regional HR system of record.
- Employee Data Integration with Payroll System is carried out via Automated Batch Jobs.
- No manual intervention by the Client Team during Payroll Processing.
- All Systems will be in Sync and there is no Risk associated with some employees are not getting paid on time due to non-availability of required data.

Lessons Learnt
 
Some of the key lessons learned by Infosys integration team include:
- Understand data flow between different Service Provider Systems / Potential implications to business processes.
- Use a vendor recommended Cloud Integration Architecture.
- Identify interface-compatible data integration methods via Webservice, SFTP etc.
- Use Generic Integration Architecture to reduce significant reduction in integration implementation time and cost.
- Resources with deep on premise knowledge of Personnel Administration, Benefits, Time, and Payroll can help to devise solutions.
- Lack of buy-in for this change, particularly from local HR managers. Coupling with regional workshop, we made extra effort involving key members to the project at an early stage to build the ownership towards the change.

Looking forward for your comments on this payroll integration blog series. I invite you to visit Infosys booth #410 at Sapphire Now and meet Infosys SuccessFactors experts who can definitely help you out with designing and implementing the best payroll integration solution for your company.

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