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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.

January 12, 2016

The S/4 Moment of Truth

A few days back, I had the S/4 moment of truth. S/4HANA revealed first hand ! Coming out of the exclusive Partner Enablement Workshop at SAP Walldorf has left me excited about what lies ahead. A series of conversations with the makers of the next generation enterprise solutions gave an exquisite insider perspective on where not only SAP but also the entire ecosystem around is moving and moving briskly.


It is evident that SAP must have taken strategic, radical and bold decisions while making S/4 Enterprise Management as the new product. A few key ones starkly visible - HANA is a must. Converge in the Core. Invest in User Interface. Cloud First. Instead of just be ready for the future, rather create the future. In this blog would like to articulate these briefly.


Firstly, going forward HANA platform is a must for all the innovations from SAP. Levering the Power of HANA, all the new improvements are being designed and developed in the Appliance model of homogenous database and application. This is the foundation of making S/4HANA lighter in terms of data model, data footprint; capable to perform OLAP apart from OLTP in real-time and capable to talk to the Digital World of Big Data, IoT, and off course, everything faster !


Call it  Super ERP, the new Digital Core not only covers classic ERP processes but also offers more functionalities that were so far available only in the satellite SAP products or in the Industry Solution versions of the vanilla ERP - SRM, BI, SCM and DIMP IS to name a few. One of the benefits of this move for customers is to run erstwhile extended processes within one system and reduce investment on multiple SAP solutions. BI for ERP processes is an example of such low hanging fruit. Operational as well as Management reporting and Analytics based on the SAP ERP processes can be in the same system real time and thus obviates the need of a separate BW box.


You can now relieve your personal memory from the series of transaction codes. Fiori Apps can take care of it. A long time due area of making SAP system interface truly user-friendly is now addressed well by SAP with the out of the box Fiori apps that work on PCs, Tablets and mobiles alike.  Each process area will now have transactional and analytical apps classified as per business roles. Sales Order cockpit a great example of innovation with Fiori. Instead of looking at Incomplete Order, Open Deliveries and Sales Invoices not posted to accounting yet with over 5 transaction codes, here comes a single window of the process flow with suggested next steps per line item.


Now Cloud is overtaking the ground. A completely new product space for and from SAP, we now have S/4HANA Cloud Edition with distinct functionality scope as ready-to-run suite. All the custom extensions and bespoke applications SAP now recommends to do on HANA Cloud platform with seamless connectivity to the On-Premise S/4HANA Edition. Also a key to make cloud first, all the new innovations/ improved and new functionalities with come to Cloud edition first on a quarterly basis compared to annual for On Premise edition.


Well, there are lot more interesting and must-do aspects of this journey of transforming the globally spread-out ERP landscape into the next generation S/4HANA Enterprise Management. It calls for many more blogs and interactions ranging from business value to cutover planning. Surely as a decision maker or a system user or a Consultant or as any integral part of the SAP ecosystem, you have your own view and questions. Happy to answer anything that makes your journey easier.

July 27, 2015

Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 3 (Final)

Example of a Roadmap for an existing SAP HCM On-premise customer

Current Customer Background

XYZ divides its services into three service portfolios; Infrastructure, Applications, and Business Process Outsourcing. Infrastructure services includes maintaining the operation of part or all of a client's computer and communications infrastructure, such as networks, mainframes, "midrange" and Web servers, desktops and Laptops, and printers. Applications services involves the developing, integrating, and/or maintaining of applications software for clients. Business process outsourcing includes performing a business function for a client, like payroll, call centers, insurance claims processing, and so forth.

Continue reading " Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 3 (Final) " »

July 20, 2015

Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 2

In order for HR to truly deliver on the promise of being "business partners," it needs to tell the story of business scenarios that are predicted to happen in the future, across all levels of the organization, which they do not already know about, and then provide recommendations on how to fix or exploit those scenarios.

Continue reading " Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 2 " »

May 26, 2014

SAP HANA: what to expect

Over the past few years, companies are investing in HANA to get better performance and better information availability. Perception of BW inflexibility in getting information, when one compares it to a SQL or Access database is well established. So, HANA was the panacea for the cure - bring data to HANA, and you can get all the information you want.

Continue reading " SAP HANA: what to expect " »

August 6, 2013

Should SAP Build MDM with SAP HANA ?

 

MDM (Meter Data Management ) and SAP HANA are the frequently heard buzzwords when working in Utility industry. Recently I thought of a question on why should Utility company opt/buy both MDM and SAP HANA ? Though the two products results in different outputs, huge data storage and processing is common in both the products. Why should Utility pay for 2 different products for storage of huge data which is commonly used as input to get different results ? Can SAP build functionalities of MDM in HANA in future which will reduce the cost and maintenance of one product.

Continue reading " Should SAP Build MDM with SAP HANA ? " »

May 29, 2013

Honey I Shrunk the Batch Window: SAP HANA and the IS-U Batch

Batch window is an important time frame for a utility's meter to cash daily processing in a SAP IS-Utilities system. This is the time when some of the real business processes of the utility are being executed. Batch window usually starts late in the evening and finishes early in the morning.

Continue reading " Honey I Shrunk the Batch Window: SAP HANA and the IS-U Batch " »

May 6, 2013

SAPPHIRE NOW 2013: What to expect?

By Adam Zeckel

Principal - Business Consulting; Energy, Communications and Services Unit, Infosys

As SAPPHIRE approaches, I've started to think about what has changed since this time last year. In May 2012, HANA was a hot topic in Orlando. The Infosys HANA COE had been up and running for nearly a year and my experience had been limited to just a few clients. By that time, however, we had laid the groundwork for value based discussions for BW on HANA focused on adding value for the business and reducing IT costs. We had created a demonstration on our internal system to showcase one business scenario for HANA. Many of our clients were talking about HANA. Some had started POCs and others were planning on start dates in 2013. One of our premier clients presented their journey to date implementing BW on HANA in the Database & Technology Theater at Sapphire.

Continue reading " SAPPHIRE NOW 2013: What to expect? " »

April 17, 2013

HANA: Yes, No or Never! - Part 1

By Kishor Gummaraju

Client Partner, Head - BI Strategic Focus Area, Retail, CPG, Logistics & Life Sciences, Infosys

For all our customers on SAP, the house is clearly divided into 3 parts.
• One that says "We need HANA now! Or else we will miss the buss". This set believes that HANA is the cure for all the data ills of the past and it will magically solve for all past sins.
• The other that pragmatically asks "What is the business use case?" These are the rationalists who have realized that technology for the sake of technology does not make sense. They do not want an IT based business case, they want a Business Scenario based business case.
• The third is the business who says "What HANA? Forget it, add that money to my Trade Promotion Budget!"

Continue reading " HANA: Yes, No or Never! - Part 1 " »

March 7, 2013

Delivering the promise of reduced TCO from HANA implementations

By Nitin Vilas Kulkarni

Industry Principal, Retail, CPG, Logistics and Life Sciences Unit, Infosys

While SAP HANA has gained market traction, one key apprehension organizations have is around the cost of ownership.  This comes due to the following

• One of the promises of HANA is data compression and eliminating of layers.  While this is largely true, it has been found that for complex scenarios, layers cannot be fully eliminated. Also, compression ratio varies based on original database compression as well as old database. Thus, significant compression is not guaranteed for many organizations.
• The agility and promise of reduced development cost are not fully realized due to multiple challenges associated with adoption of cutting edge technology.
• HANA license is very expensive and especially when one owns enterprise license this cost is quite significant.

Continue reading " Delivering the promise of reduced TCO from HANA implementations " »

February 27, 2013

BW on HANA TCO - Part 2

By Adam Zeckel

Principal - Business Consulting; Energy, Communications and Services Unit, Infosys

In Part 1, I explored the cost components relative for potential IT cost savings by moving to Business Warehouse (BW) on HANA. In this part I will expand on the three major cost categories: labor, software, and hardware.

Labor

The first significant piece of savings comes from labor. With BW on HANA, there are fewer developed objects due to streamlined architecture and faster load times during development, testing, and deployment.

Estimates from SAP and several existing customers show that this adds up to a 20% reduction in effort required to develop and maintain the data warehouse on an annual basis. Because many of these efforts include contracted workers, that savings is easily converted to the bottom line.

Continue reading " BW on HANA TCO - Part 2 " »

May 10, 2012

How In-memory solutions will revolutionize the way BI solutions are designed and built?

Guest Post by

Nitin Vilas Kulkarni, Principal Consultant, Retail, CPG, Logistics and Life Sciences, Infosys

With memory prices coming down steeply, in-memory solutions are becoming more affordable. Gartner expects that by 2014, 30% of analytic applications will use in-memory functions to add scale and computational speed. We are already witnessing solutions and appliances like SAP HANA generating significant interest. As in-memory solutions become main stream, I think we need to re-visit fundamentals of data warehouse design and development to leverage power of these solutions.

Continue reading " How In-memory solutions will revolutionize the way BI solutions are designed and built? " »

April 19, 2012

BI of the future: Are you thinking about it today - Part 1

By Nitin Vilas Kulkarni

Today, there is an unprecedented focus on Business Intelligence and it is on the top of investment list for CIOs. While there is no need to emphasize need for BI solutions and its criticality to organizations, it is important to have right investments in place to ensure value from investments.  Before we delve into what are the key components of future BI solutions and platform, let's see today's key challenges in BI.

Continue reading " BI of the future: Are you thinking about it today - Part 1 " »

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