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!

Main

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 14, 2015

Infosys is a Gold sponsor of SuccessConnect 2015

SuccessConnect is one-of-a-kind conference that brings together SuccessFactors, its partners, customers, and thousands of HR practitioners, experts and leaders from across the globe. This event provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to share and discuss the latest developments in your industry and technological solutions and strategies for attracting, developing, engaging and retaining the best workforce talent to achieve your organizational goals.

How has been your HCM Transformation journey so far? Have you considered to take advantage of the best practices offered by cloud solution and analytics? Meet our experts to understand how Infosys uses its HCM Transformation framework to make your business cloud ready, optimize your processes, policies and align the solution landscape to maximize the ROI and achieve business goals.

Infosys is a Gold sponsor at SuccessConnect 2015 - flagship event of SuccessFactors (An SAP company) - which will be held from August 10 to August 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. We will be showcasing our SuccessFactors and SAP HCM capabilities in booth # G22.

Looking forward to meet you at the event.

March 30, 2015

Cloud or Captive - IT cost reduction strategy for SAP infrastructure

Two broad trends once can see in the SAP market.

Trend 1 - Working with SAP hosting partners and then move towards full-fledged SAP on the cloud

By and large organizations are moving away from an on premise SAP data center environment to having partnership with SAP hosting service providers. Basically companies lease server space and as well outsource BASIS Administration activities of their SAP systems to the hosting partners. These organizational can be expected slowly and steadily move towards embracing full fledged ERP on the cloud model as they mature and gain confidence with the hosting partners and also with the whole partnership model. Small organizations of $2 to $ 5 billion sized are the ones who are moving towards the "Public cloud" option which provide the most cost effective solution for them. Bigger organizations will tend to go for "Private Cloud" as they tend to have multiple SAP systems in their landscape and will see more advantage in the dedicated infrastructure even on cloud. "Hybrid cloud" is something that can appeal to bigger organizations as that addresses the risk and confidentiality aspect by moving only the development and quality environments into cloud while leaving the production environment on premise. To me the Hybrid cloud option is the ladder through which SAP user organizations can join the cloud bandwagon, build robust partnership model around risk and confidentiality for moving towards the Private cloud option which provides economies of scale.


Trend 2 - Keep the SAP data center on premise but move the SAP service department into a captive unit in a low cost location.

This option is sort of preferred for large SAP behemoths. Big companies in the order of sizes more than $10 billion will have huge SAP infrastructure and such systems tend to be dated and something heavily customized environments. It is these kind of organizations which consider going for cloud based SAP systems is too risky. These companies have large SAP systems and will keep adding new SAP systems or engage in spin-off activities due to regular merger and acquisitions. Over the time their data center have become too big and too complex, that any new CIO is threatened by the risk involved in even considering disturbing the functioning data center environment. So moving to cloud as a cost reduction strategy will have no buy in and even if implemented it will be on very small areas on ad-hoc basis. For such companies moving the IT support organization to low cost locations is safest bet on cost reduction. Having already outsourced many of the regular production support process, most likely these organization will have retained a core team of IT professionals who run the show with in house knowledge capability around core processes. It is these core process knowledge retention team that will become target cost reduction by way of opening a captive unit in a low cost country.


Is the second trend a viable?, given the rapid advances being made on cloud capabilities in the market and as well on the fast paced changes in the SAP capabilities. 5 to 10 years from now would the large SAP user organizations be better served by an in house data center or complexities will zoom to a level of tipping point where in move to cloud becomes a necessity. I read about a very similar story during the early industrialization due to lack of reliable power grids, big manufacturing industries had invested in building power plants on their own to ensure reliable electricity supply. But with the advancement made in power grids, and efficiencies achieved by utility companies, the concept of in house power plants vanished. It looks to me the same will be the case of data centers for large organizations. Given the advances being made by cloud service providers, it is going to soon become un economical to even have on premise data centers. SAP being the core ERP system for these companies, it is better addressed early for cloud migration. Investing in captives can be a strategy on IT cost reduction along with movement to cloud, but the latter will have larger impact on the bottom line and make large organization's IT nimble enough to react to market dynamics quickly and effectively.

September 23, 2014

MDG Integration


Recently Infosys implemented SAP MDG solution for introducing data governance on material master for one our clients that has an ERP landscape involving multiple SAP systems and non-SAP systems. We focused on the SAP systems first during the implementation and then came up with a scalable integration solution with non-SAP systems.


The requirement for integration was along the following lines

1.      Integration solution should be scalable to enable to add non-SAP ERP system into data governance as and when such systems are ready

2.      Initiation of integration should not entail any new development effort in the SAP MDG system

3.      SAP MDG user interface should be enabled to allow the data steward to pick and choose the target non-SAP ERP systems to replicate the material master data

4.      Receive and process acknowledgement carrying success or failure message

Scalability is the paramount requirement as the number of non-SAP ERP systems are around 30+, hence having a mini development project for each of such application as and when the regions represented by these applications join the global data governance process is not a feasible. So the integration solution needs to be designed in such a way that any new region joining the global data governance stream is just handled by a master data type extension. This forces us to think hard on coming up a viable solution that achieves this scalability and at the same time is not technical complex to develop in the first place.

After studying multiple solution options we went ahead with standard SAP Classification based solution. The contours of the solution are

  • Every material created by the MDG solution will have a default material class assigned.
  • The class will have characteristic whose value represents the non-SAP ERP system.

    • This way any new non-SAP ERP system is just handled by addition of one characteristic value.

    • Some amount of work in the middleware SAP PI is needed once the characteristic value is defined in MDG but does not involved very detailed development effort in PI too.

From a solution development perspective only major drawback we faced was due the fact that SAP creates a separate idoc (intermediate document) message for material classification values for integration with external systems, which means the middleware has to process to two idoc messages for each material and that can make it complex for middleware. So to eliminate this we had to enhance the standard material master idoc message with additional segments to carry the classification values too. But still this is an one time development effort and we found that there is good amount of effort and cost savings compared to alternate solution which might need a development for each non-SAP ERP application addition to data governance and went ahead with this approach



Recently we presented this solution at ASUG (Americas SAP user group) St. Louis, USA conference. The solution idea and the benefits were well appreciated by the august audience.

Some of the interesting comments received were

From a Monsanto executive

"We have millions of material masters in our system and all the challenges and issues you highlighted are very much there and I seriously yearn for your solution in our system"

From an EATON Corporation executive

"We have a high priority requirement to create material master workflow, I am now convinced after listening to your presentation, MDG is the way forward"


 










Continue reading " MDG Integration " »

April 15, 2014

Flexible Data Governance - Oxymoron or Practical need?

 

The need for data governance which actually means establishing control on data source to obsolescence has become a need for many organizations. I would be surprised if any CIO is not mentioning establishing data governance or enhancing data governance as one his primary IT investment objectives in the short term or long term. Lot of organizations have a baggage of multitude of IT systems each of which serves a specific business need and designed to serve it by sourcing the needed data all by itself. All organizations always keep evaluating the conflicting need to rationalize IT systems or building more robustness in the interfacing part so that the hold on to the best of the breed IT systems even though collectively they create lot of weak links. So if an organization is able to rationalize IT systems, then data governance is taken care by the rationalization itself but in case of the need to maintain the best of breed IT systems, then data governance becomes paramount as it can really break the weak links and exponentially increase the pain of maintaining such heterogeneity.

 

So the context of data governance is to arraign the sources of proliferation of data elements and data values and bring in much needed control. Basically strengthen the weak links in the heterogeneous IT systems landscape which I had mentioned earlier. As anybody can guess this is easier said than done. Additionally data governance needs harmonization as pre-requisite which can also turn out to be tough to crack. So achieving one source of truth and one value across all the IT systems is a tall order, but then is it not the fundamental requirement to be achieved through Data Governance. It is here my topic bears significance of having flexibility in data governance. I would say "Flexible Data Governance" is indeed an oxymoron but it is a practical need too. Let me explain with an example.

 

In a recent data governance implementation project we came across the field "Division" having available values as 10, 20, 30 & 40 in one SAP system and in other SAP systems there were multiple values additional like 60, 15 and even alpha numeric of two character length. Keep in mind all the systems involved are SAP, so it should be a piece of cake to harmonize this and that is how it started. We standardized the values as 10, 20, 30 & 40 in the data governance system and mapped the additional values available across all systems to these 4 values. But then we found case of hard coding in interface programs, middleware program, enhancement programs and even values in this field being used in user exits to execute specific activities etc. which ruled out harmonization of one value of after another. So what to do? Continuing with harmonization means costly program changes, elaborate testing efforts, risk of introducing production issues etc. Here comes the concept of "Flexible data governance" where-in we introduced scalable data governance where-in within a master data object we allowed values to be harmonized and controlled on a certain fields while in other fields it is allowed to have different values in different systems. So the data object is part of data governance but not all fields in it are controlled by the data governance tool.

 

I am sure each of us would have seen such conflicting requirements, but in a data governance project where-in the fundamental need to conformity, flexibility is a bad word but then life thrives in the gray. Please share such examples in your project experience.

October 27, 2013

KEY BENEFITS of Mobilizing HR

 Mobilizing HR applications can improve, employee retention, productivity and employee engagement. As the companies workforces become more mobile, the core functions that support these workforces must become more mobile as well. In the HR space, this means that a mobile employee must be able reap the benefits of employee self service capabilities without being tied to a hardwired desktop computer, or the manager should be able to view and act on important talent retention KPI's from his or her own mobile devices. Industry standard survey's provide the info that almost 40-50% executives and employees don't have sufficient access to mobile devices and can't perform their necessary jobs while they are mobile from their mobile devices

 

IT departments should be motivated to Mobilize and leverage HR data : The value of mobilizing HR data extends well beyond the HR organization. In fact, IT could see the most direct returns from HR mobilization. That's because the demand for qualified professionals is perhaps highest in IT organization these days and since more companies are looking for launching more IT projects .With mobile access to key HR data- like the development of top talent within the company and employee turnover rates, for instance- even the top brass management (CXO's who are on the move can have a much more productive conversations about  productive conversations about recruiting and retaining talent .

Continue reading " KEY BENEFITS of Mobilizing HR " »

Common Data Migration Pitfalls and How can we avoid them

Common Data Migration Pitfalls and how can we avoid them
Historically, many data migration projects have been plagued by risks and delayed go lives, resulting in costly budget overruns. The usual culprit is the data !!A frequently overlooked aspect of ERP deployments is the integrity of the data that the system delivers. Traditionally, many systems integrators implementing a new system prioritize the project

Continue reading " Common Data Migration Pitfalls and How can we avoid them " »

October 14, 2013

How Modern ERP Billing Packages are changing Indian Utilities

Over the last decade and the years before Indian Utilities have undergone a series of fundamental changes; right from how they operate to how they provide services to their consumers. Having tasted the benefits on unbundling as early as 2000, many utilities are aggressively following the path toward modernization and improving customer experience. 

In this attempt many of the major utility players have partnered will global leaders in ERP billing packages to successfully transform their businesses, in order to respond to fast-changing customer and market dynamics. SAP for Utilities (ISU) and Oracle Customer Care and Billing (OCCB) are leading choices to fit the bill.  

The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board or CSEB was one of the first to implement SAP - ISU/CCS (Customer Care and Service) in 2005, and one of the few state boards that are now electricity surplus.

Indian utilities are now providing comprehensive services to their consumers, backed up by the robust industry specific software of the ERP packages. Some of these include:

·         Quick Tariff Restructuring - Inaccuracy of tariff implementation has been a major challenge faced by Indian Utilities. The legacy systems were incapable of handling frequent changes in tariff thus leading to revenue losses for the utilities, which were not able to keep up with the ever rising cost of electricity generation and transmission. But both SAP-ISU and OCCB have strong billing modules that support detailed tariff customization for commercial and residential customers. The short turnaround time ensures that utilities can react quickly to market fluctuations and adjust their tariff accordingly to recover revenues.

·         Spot Billing and Automatic Meter Reading - CSEB consumers have the facility of on the spot billing and automatic meter reading. Earlier there was a gap of about eight days between meter read and bill delivery. But the ability to spot bill eliminated the delay resulting in reduced cycle times and early revenue realization. 

 

Gujarat Gas that uses SAP-ISU even provides its customers an option to enter their meter readings online. A first of its kind service, for Indian Utilities. 

·         Ensured Metering - Indian Utilities have had to battle electricity pilferage for a long time and it continues to be a challenge today. This can be prevented by ensuring that every connection is metered and read. The strategy has already been implemented by the state of Gujarat. The government of Gujarat reached an agreement with the Asian Development Bank to fund the installation of meters at all delivery locations. Coupled with strong policy deterrent against theft and implementation of Oracle solution for E-Governance, the Gujarat State Electricity Board (GSEB) was able to recover over Rs. 16 crore by curbing pilferage and malpractice. 

·         Online Customer Portals - Almost all major utilities now have online customer portals where users can log in, view billing history, pay bills online, lodge complaints, request new connections etc.  SAP Netweaver's seamless interoperability with J2E, .NET and SOA make it an ideal platform for this purpose. SLA driven services and incident resolution have truly, empowered the customer and brought in high level of visibility and accountability that was otherwise missing.  

Online bill payment facility and e-delivery of bills has significantly reduced the turnaround time of revenue collection and also cost of having to maintain manual payment collection centers. Customer complaints of late bill delivery and incorrect meter readings have come down and such steps also promote green initiatives by reducing amount of paper consumed.

 

Notable success stories worth mentioning include GSEB , CSEB and MPSEB (Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board) that once struggled with electricity deficit are now electricity surplus and able to provide 24x7 electricity to their consumers.

Few other Indian Utilities that have transformed their operations by implementing ERP billing solutions include:

1.       IGL - Indraprastha Gas Ltd

2.       Mahanagar Gas

3.       HPSEB - Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board

4.       NPCL - Noida Power Company Limited

Improved decision making, better asset utilization, complete processes for meter to cash cycle etc. are few on the notable benefits that ERP billing packages have to offer. In addition they are scalable and customizable to overcome the challenges of all kind of utilities; both big and small. As more and more Indian Utilities join the ERP club, the consumer can look forward to a more rewarding experience with his energy supplier.

 

August 22, 2013

Selling SAP Data Archiving to your business....

Selling SAP Data Archiving to your business....


Every transaction executed in SAP, every output generated, every document saved creates data. Companies having large volumes of data typically have an advantage over the ones where the right data is not available. But every data has an associated time value. Smart and efficient organizations track and manage data across the data life cycle and make conscious decision to 'unplug' this data once it reaches its shelf life.

Continue reading " Selling SAP Data Archiving to your business.... " »

August 5, 2013

Making services procurement yield savings through SAP SRM 7.0

Share of Services spend as percentage of total procurement spend has been growing steadily over the years and is expected to grow further. However many organizations are still  facing challenges when it comes to managing services procurement.

Major pain points related to services procurement:

Typically services spend account for roughly around twenty (20) percent of the total purchasing volume, however procurement organizations do not have as much negotiation power over services spend as they have for material buying. Most of the purchasing organizations still struggle when buying services. The typical problems involve lack of transparency, maverick buying and poor supplier collaboration in services spend.

Though the services spend constitute a sizable chunk and offers good opportunity for easy saving, managing services is not on the radar of most of the purchasing organizations. The problem is compounded by lack of visibility and creation of silos in various functions leading to cost leakages across entire processes.

How can SAP SRM help in managing services spend:

SAP SRM 7.0 provides following features to manage services:
• Strategic Sourcing of services through SRM bidding engine
• Supplier collaboration for service entry and invoice creation
• Support for multilevel hierarchical services allowing easy management of complex  services.

As SRM is tightly integrated with ERP (SAP ECC) system, it provides a seamless flow of business processes in services procurement scenario till the final payment to supplier.

Service specifications for complex work can be maintained in a tiered hierarchical structure in ERP system. This helps in easy ordering and data maintenance. Whenever a services requisition is created within ERP system, the requisition can be sent to SRM system for sourcing based on certain criteria.

After successful sourcing, requisition can be converted into Purchase Order and sent to supplier portal for supplier collaboration processes. Supplier users can create service entry and send to ERP system for acceptance by Requester. Upon acceptance, supplier can create invoice and send it to ERP system for payment processing. Depending upon configuration payment status check can be enabled for supplier through supplier portal.


The major benefits of this solution are:
• Reduced costs and cycle times through collaborative services procurement.
• Improved transparency and visibility across end to end processes
• Automation of service entry and invoicing process by bringing supplier in loop
• Easier tracking of services performed and available Purchase value
• Increased compliance to competitive pricing due to state-of-art bidding features of  SAP SRM
• User friendly UI of SAP SRM leading to easy adoption of system

The limitation with this solution is its restriction to SRM classic scenario implementation. However customers can adopt the solution in extended classic scenario through a small custom development.

Overall this solution offers good value proposition for customers who are having SRM 7.0 implemented and have considerable services spend to leverage cost savings.

June 25, 2013

How long should I wait Mr. RETAILer? -Part I

Knowingly or unknowingly we spend a lot of our time in buying groceries. The other day, I visited a newly built retail mart near my home for purchasing groceries.   The retailer claimed to have a very sophisticated ERP system to respond to customer demands and was capable of achieving more than just controlling flow of products & reporting sales figures to management.  I believed it would save me time because of the classy system at the mart and I'll get everything under one roof.   It turned out to be a prolonged search for products and then getting them billed.

Continue reading " How long should I wait Mr. RETAILer? -Part I " »

May 20, 2013

Future of SAP Sourcing/CLM in SAP Procurement Product Stable

Future of SAP Sourcing/CLM in SAP Procurement Product Stable

 

In current scenario in SAP procurement space we find multiple Products which can cater to same or similar requirements. We have SAP Ariba, SAP SRM, SAP Sourcing and CLM which have similar functionalities. In these Products SAP SRM and SAP sourcing/CLM is for on Premise products whereas SAP Ariba is on demand product. Additionally SAP Sourcing/CLM is an island Product which is mostly implemented as standalone in first place and after a gap of some period is integrated with other procurement products based on requirements. The functionalities which can be covered within these products are :

Functionality

Ariba

SRM

Sourcing/CLM

Requisition/Order

ü   

ü   

NA

RFx/Bidding

ü   

ü   

ü   

Online/Offline Auctions

ü   

ü   

ü   

Contract Management

ü   

ü   

ü   

Catalogues

ü   

ü   

NA

Spend Analysis

ü   

ü   

ü   

 

For the above comparison we can find that Ariba and SRM have mostly same functionalities whereas individual product can have additional specific functionalities.

The future as for these Products seems to be converging procurement products into 1 single product or make the Product as On Premise or Cloud based. In such case the Long term trend as I can see is merging of SAP Sourcing/CLM functionality as add on Functionality in SAP Ariba which can provide Solutions to customer who require cloud based applications or as a Service. Customers who are inclined to have SAP Procurement product as On Premise, shall have to opt for SAP SRM which can provide same functionality. The future as I can predict is:

Functionality

Ariba with

SAP Sourcing/CLM

SRM

Requisition/Order

ü   

ü   

RFx/Bidding

ü   

ü   

Online/Offline Auctions

ü   

ü   

Contract Management

ü   

ü   

Catalogues

ü   

ü   

Spend Analysis

ü   

ü   

 

Key differentiator between SAP SRM and Ariba is:  SAP SRM can easily integrate with SAP ERP system       ( for follow on documents) and SRM MDM(for internal Catalogues) whereas SAP Ariba has advantage of managing multiple Suppliers on Ariba Network. Currently customers who wish to use Best of Functionalities from both the Products; SAP has provided functionality to integrate SAP SRM with Ariba through RDS (Rapid Deployment Solutions). Future decade or may be earlier shall decide which SAP Product behave as the Prime Product in SAP Procurement Offering based on customers inclination, easy to use and future trends.

 

Siddhant  Metkar

Lead Consultant, MFG CSI, Infosys Limited

February 8, 2013

SAP... setting a trend of quicker, leaner & agile adoption.

Traditionally, the very thought of Enterprise Applications often struck a chord with several aspects large-scale: time-to-awareness, time to evaluate, installation infrastructure, implementation time and cost, to name a few. All in large scale - one of the main reasons that majority of the consumption came from relatively large enterprises. In recent times, however, this tradition has been seeing a fast disruption, in the world of SAP, through innovative software packaging models & effectively leveraging more recent technologies.

Continue reading " SAP... setting a trend of quicker, leaner & agile adoption. " »

January 23, 2013

Embracing Mobile Solutions... Why Shy?

Mobile solution adoption by enterprises is on the rise, but not at a pace such new highly potent technology would normally see. There are evident factors driving this slow cautious trend. SAP has consolidated its position as a leader in the Mobile platform space. How has it done and what is it up to next? And, more importantly how will this move from SAP help itself and its ecosystem that partners like Infosys are part of, to offer greater confidence to enterprises in embracing Mobilization?

Continue reading " Embracing Mobile Solutions... Why Shy? " »

December 18, 2012

Is RDS the answer for all SAP solution implementations?

Consumerization of business systems has been the latest trend that has impacted the next wave of technologies. SAP has been a trendsetter in this area by focusing on new trends like mobility and new UI technologies. This consumerization trend has also impacted on how businesses are looking at getting ROI from new solutions. In the new era, businesses are looking for faster time to value from their systems. The traditional waterfall methodology of implementing SAP solutions are being seen as roadblocks in terms of rapid adoption of solutions and deriving faster business benefits. Typically timelines for regular ASAP implementations run into months to sometimes several years. This means there is a huge investment on organization resources in terms of finance and human capital. Hence there has been a demand to disrupt the traditional methodology and bring forward an agile approach for implementing SAP solutions.
To meet this growing trend, SAP is offering a number of its applications as a package of preconfigured solution along with implementation services called RDS (Rapid deployment solution).

Continue reading " Is RDS the answer for all SAP solution implementations? " »

September 23, 2012

Importance of Functional Concept & Design in Mobile Solutions

Adoption of Mobile solutions is on the rise and if reports from market analyses are any indication, there is no slowdown in the growth in the foreseeable future. One study forecasts that roughly 35% of the global workforce will be embracing Mobile solutions by 2013. Enterprises and consumers alike are driving the adoption rates, which are further impelled by the fast evolution in the capabilities of Mobile devices and increasing speeds of Mobile networks. Whereas there is a burgeoning number of Mobile solutions becoming available to consumers (at present, there are more than 500,000 Mobile applications available at Apple's App Store for its iPhone or iPad devices), adoption in the enterprises is seeing a restrained growth and is not treaded without caution - for all valid reasons. In enterprises, while Mobile solutions of interest are restricted to a realm of relevant business processes with targeted benefits such as productivity increase, cost reductions, enhanced customer satisfaction, etc., implementing those solutions will need considerations such as drawing business case, aspects of security, governance mechanisms, choice of technology, roadmap for investment and expansion of user-base and more - most of which are usually not of much concern in the case of consumers. Enabling enterprises to address these considerations will help them ease up the restraint, in turn helping to drive up the adoption rates. Business Consultants and System Integrators, such as Infosys, have a crucial role to play in enabling enterprises through the entire lifecycle of Mobile solutions from Idea to Implement, including identifying the right & relevant business scenarios, developing business case, formulating platform & security strategies, designing and building the solutions or adopting pre-configured solutions, and finally deploying them. Particularly, the business & functional consultants have an indispensable part to play in this lifecycle for Mobile solutions and the ensuing sections of this paper aim to provide a view on why and how.

Continue reading " Importance of Functional Concept & Design in Mobile Solutions " »

April 25, 2012

Business Transformation Enabled by IMPACT Framework and Methodology and VRM (Value Realization Model)

By Dale Strickland

Traditional implementation methodologies have historically focused on gathering requirements. At Infosys we utilize an innovative approach that leverages our business transformation framework (IMPACT™). Based on our experience assisting clients through Business Transformation initiatives, Infosys has developed a comprehensive, customizable, modular framework for business-focused transformations of wide ranging objectives that impact customers, employees, business processes and underlying systems and technology.

Continue reading " Business Transformation Enabled by IMPACT Framework and Methodology and VRM (Value Realization Model) " »

April 23, 2012

SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management: Filling a long pending gap in SAP SRM business suite - Part2

In part-1 of this blog post, I had given an overview of functionalities in SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management.
In Part-2 of this blog, I am going to write briefly about architecture and various deployment options, that comes with SAP SLM version 1.0.
At a high level architecture, SAP SLM is based on SAP NW 702 platform. It is basically composed of two components - Buy Side and Sell side. Buy Side is the component, which is accessed within buying company by purchasers, category managers and other internal stakeholders. Buy side is located within the firewall of company and is available on intranet.
Sell side is accessed by suppliers for various external processes and is located outside the firewall of the company. Sell side is available on open internet for registered and potential suppliers.

Continue reading " SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management: Filling a long pending gap in SAP SRM business suite - Part2 " »

April 16, 2012

SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management: Filling a long pending gap in SAP SRM business suite - Part 1

With the launch of SAP Supplier life cycle management, SAP has addressed a long pending business need for a full-fledged supplier management application. This has been on the wish list of most of the procurement executives working with SAP solutions, however SAP did not have very solid offer in this area earlier.  Customers using SAP SRM, had the option of using Supplier Registration functionality which is delivered as part of Supplier collaboration solution in SAP SRM. However, Supplier Registration functionality till SAP SRM 7.0 (EHP1) was offered at a very basic level with limited functionality. It lacked critical features such as approval workflow for potential suppliers, seamless integration with backend systems, upload of attachments etc.. Due to such obvious gaps, this functionality was not much used by customers or needed extensive customization and development to get the desired functionality.

Continue reading " SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management: Filling a long pending gap in SAP SRM business suite - Part 1 " »

March 29, 2012

Static or Dynamic Data Management.. SAP NetWeaver CE has the answer

Authors: Ranjeet Kumar Jha and Amit Gupta

Abstract

SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment (CE) has capability to design dynamic user interfaces that can suit various business needs. The benefit of using the dynamic user interfaces is that they can provide an easily scalable solution without needing constant development to meet varying business requirements of interaction with data that differs based upon markets/ geographies/ product lines/ divisions in an organization.

Through our trilogy of blogs we would like to share our experience around the business case and solution approach involving dynamic user interfaces.
 

Continue reading " Static or Dynamic Data Management.. SAP NetWeaver CE has the answer " »

March 20, 2012

How the Insurance Companies can leverage FSCD module?

By Shweta Tiwari and Ranjit Kumar Dhand

SAP has provided a comprehensive solution for collection and disbursement system of Insurance Industry. Processes like policy management, claim handling commissions are all calculating systems and they do not directly interact with the user. Collection and Disbursement is a settling system which has interaction with the end user. It is a kind of invoicing system.

Continue reading " How the Insurance Companies can leverage FSCD module? " »

February 23, 2012

Managing supplier information dynamically using SAP solutions to reduce risk and increase value

By Sanjeev Kumar Pandey

After remaining as passive data records in archives for long, management of supplier information/data is slowly catching the attention of procurement executives and gathering prominence for its vital role in establishing successful supplier relationships. New acronyms like SIM (Supplier Information Management), SLM (Supplier lifecycle management), SBM (Supply base Management) are becoming latest buzzwords in procurement solutions. These terms are used interchangeably and would often refer to the same processes. I would be using supplier management as generic term to refer to all such processes.

Continue reading " Managing supplier information dynamically using SAP solutions to reduce risk and increase value " »

December 25, 2011

Individual Process Quality aspects in SAP ERP (HCM )- Part 3

Test Procedures:

A specific problem when maintaining data for time management is caused by intended or unintended changes that reach too far back into the past. This can be restricted by limiting retroactive accounting relevance. There are often situations where it should be possible to make corrections that extend one or two years into the past, but not every time representative should have the authorization to make such corrections. This can be reflected using Info type 0130(Test Procedures). You can also use it outside of time management, but this is an area where it is frequently used. To configure this in customizing , go to PM->PA-> Tools-> Authorization Management-> Test Procedures.

Continue reading " Individual Process Quality aspects in SAP ERP (HCM )- Part 3 " »

November 10, 2011

Architecture Plan for SAP Netweaver based Solution

Architecture for any IT based solution is a most important factor for aligning IT with business expectation. This also facilitates a transparent and manageable roadmap for most adaptable and efficient system landscape. An effective architectural design of a solution helps business to fulfill their target in an open, scalable and easy to handle infrastructure. This blog will focus on approach of an architecture design for SAP Netweaver based solution.

Continue reading " Architecture Plan for SAP Netweaver based Solution " »

November 1, 2011

Utilities can address Electric Vehicle Challenges with SAP Solutions

Electric Vehicle adoption is becoming a reality worldwide and it is growing at an accelerated pace. Automobile manufacturers across the globe are focusing on developing electric vehicles for mass consumption. The developed nations specifically are seeing this growth which is fueled by numerous factors like:

Continue reading " Utilities can address Electric Vehicle Challenges with SAP Solutions " »

September 17, 2011

Opportunity Maintenance- A point of view: Part 1

By Gopal Krishna

Opportunity Maintenance (OM) is the term we are using to describe an opportunity window of maintenance for the machines by virtue of breakdown with another machine(s). In this article let us discuss about the event for opportunity window, how maintenance tasks can be identified and execute within this time frame and finally look at the challenges posed for doing opportunity maintenance.

Continue reading " Opportunity Maintenance- A point of view: Part 1 " »

August 22, 2011

ESS MSS An Implementation Approach (Part 3)

Implementation Testing Issues and Solutions in Self Services Applications .

The blog highlights the critical and typical issues faced  during the testing phase and recommends the best practices to a good testing approach.Leveraging Testing Cycles to Train HR Service center and HR support team: Testing a system and being able to experience the resolution of issues has proven to be a powerful mechanism for getting the HR support/HRSC  team trained and prepared to support the production system post Go-Live.HR Service center team can also participate in the testing cycles (UAT phase)so that the training time for them  is reduced by 50%. By participating in testing cycles the support team will experience day to day real time scenarios that will soon become  easy and familiar to handle the functionalities  for the different self service applications and forms  when they go live in production

Continue reading " ESS MSS An Implementation Approach (Part 3) " »

July 10, 2011

ESS MSS An Implementation Approach

Self service applications continue as the main focus of HR Departments as these applications try to control the cost incurred by IT departments for HR services and deliver increased and efficient services, processes to both employees and customers. It also gives an enhanced productivity with minimal manpower for all organizational departments

The blog will be in four different Parts summarizing the companies can benefit with the overall service delivery strategies, change management process. It also explains the delivery approach highlighting some critical success factors. It also has pointers on  testing strategies and issue resolutions during the self service implementations.

Continue reading " ESS MSS An Implementation Approach " »

July 5, 2011

Deciding on SAP Supplier Collaboration solution dilemma - SAP SNC or SUS?

by Sanjeev Pandey

SAP SCM Practice

Deciding on supplier collaboration solution from SAP can be elaborate exercise as SAP provides multiple products in this area.
One is SAP SNC (Supply Network Collaboration) which is part of SAP SCM suite. The other product is SUS (Supplier Self Services) from SAP SRM suite. Though there is some noise about merging of these two similar products by SAP, still concrete information is yet to come on this front. So how do we decide which product to choose for supplier collaboration?

Continue reading " Deciding on SAP Supplier Collaboration solution dilemma - SAP SNC or SUS? " »

December 30, 2010

Implementing Vending Machine functionalities in SAP

Over the years, Vending machines have become a ubiquitous sales channel for Food and Beverage companies. Among their various benefits, they offer portability in terms of their set up, are low cost driven, and offer a wide reach due to less space constraints. 

In this blog, we will discuss the key vending machine functionalities and how can they be mapped into SAP. The scope of this blog is restricted to the processes where the vending machines are owned by the company

Continue reading " Implementing Vending Machine functionalities in SAP " »

September 8, 2010

SAP Financial Supply Chain Management - An overview

Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM) in simple terms means managing demand and supply of cash/cash equivalents. SAP has come out with SAP FSCM functionality or suite of applications to manage this more effectively and efficiently thus helping companies to manage the costs associated with this process better. In this posting we will look at what are the features and functionalities available in SAP FSCM and how it can be leveraged better for the benefit of business.

Continue reading " SAP Financial Supply Chain Management - An overview " »

May 12, 2010

Minimize your Customization & Accelerate your Realization - Part III

In Part I and II of this blog we discussed about how package applications provide solution for an integrated Customer Care & Billing system. But with extensive package customization the benefits are overshadowed. However, with a pre-configured package solution, much of the customization can be pre-built and adopted as a hyper package thus reducing the realization period. Part III of this blog will provide insight into the pre-configured package solution available from Infosys for Utility Billing and Customer Care functions. Also suggested is to read fellow Infoscion Parmarth's blog on CIS modernization and the need for an integrated customer care & billing system here.

Continue reading " Minimize your Customization & Accelerate your Realization - Part III " »

March 23, 2010

Centralized Procurement through SAP SRM - the next great wave of savings - Part 1

Continually changing turbulent economic environment is forcing organizations to adopt innovative business strategies to stay competitive, efficient in order to achieve highest level of benefits to the stakeholders. Procurement function is playing an ever increasing role in this transformation journey and its importance is becoming increasingly visible.

Continue reading " Centralized Procurement through SAP SRM - the next great wave of savings - Part 1 " »

March 8, 2010

Healthcare Analytics- Enhancing performance

As the Hospital industry focuses to overcome the common challenges in terms of improving patient care and controlling operational costs, every hospital wants to enhance its performance. But, Hospitals sans intelligent tools cannot take informed decisions due to lack of an integrated repository of critical hospital information, intelligence reports and analytics tools.
IS-Healthcare provides integrated operational & analytical tools tailored to meet specific standards, processes and the challenges of healthcare industry, focusing on its key solution components

• Ambulatory care management
• Patient Management
• Patient Accounting and
• ISH-Clinical medical system

Tools like Operational Dashboards and Analytical Cockpits integrate transactional and analytical data across domains, departments and service lines of the hospital enterprise to provide enhanced operational control through easy-to-understand summary data, budget simulations for planning purposes, greater ability to meet compliance requirements and drive better operational excellence through information provided by cost and revenue analyses.

 

Continue reading " Healthcare Analytics- Enhancing performance " »

Business Value Articulation for Sustenance - Part 3

Having delved upon business value avenues in my prior posts (Part 1 and Part 2) in this series, let us visit the value articulation aspect. In case of SAP ERP steady state environment, it’s all about bringing out and quantifying the value augmented in the business processes as the business goals and objectives thrive on them.

Continue reading " Business Value Articulation for Sustenance - Part 3 " »

March 5, 2010

HRP – Home Resource Planning: An ERP Microcosm touching everyday life

While teaching ERP concepts, we always speak of islands of systems and processes with no major integration and leading to inefficiencies.   On one such occasion I was forced to apply similar analogy towards the current generation professionals who are trying to meet increasingly contending demands between Professional and Personal aspects of life.   Our lives are always inclusive of various such islands of partners, systems and processes such as Employer, Banks, Insurance, Schools, Service Providers, Hospitals, Doctors, Grocery & Retail stores, Government agencies etc.,   On the personal side we always try to play a major integration role between all these different entities and get stressed out in the process.  Hence this thought process and blog.

Continue reading " HRP – Home Resource Planning: An ERP Microcosm touching everyday life " »

February 16, 2010

Business Value Articulation for Sustenance

The question of business value of IT is a haunting element of the evolution of IT as a business enabler. Be it implementation, maintenance or upgrade assignment, the first challenge remains demonstrating business value to the decision makers.

Continue reading " Business Value Articulation for Sustenance " »

January 28, 2010

How could digital marketing impact your company processes and systems? (part 2)

The increasing spending in digital marketing pushes the companies to re-view its organization, processes and systems in order to sustain the growth and manage effectively the digital marketing initiative together with traditional advertising.

In the previous blog I have highlighted the reasons why the spending in digital marketing is accelerating and the areas in which an extensive use of digital marketing channels could mainly impact the organization.

Now let’s look deeper at the impacts of digital marketing on the company information systems.

Continue reading " How could digital marketing impact your company processes and systems? (part 2) " »

December 24, 2009

Fast Close – Business Challenges

Fast close increases trust and provides competitive advantage. I discussed the business drivers behind fast close in my previous post “Fast Close – Business Drivers”. If fast close is so useful then why it isn’t the norm rather than exception? The answer to this question is in understanding the various business challenges that hinder the close process.

Continue reading " Fast Close – Business Challenges " »

August 31, 2009

Comparative Analysis between New GL and Classic GL

New GL and Classic GL are two ways to implement General Ledger functionality in SAP ECC5 and ECC6. New GL provides lot of benefits over classic GL. The New GL benefits

-          Provide an extension to the existing functionality in classic GL, or

-          Provide new functionality compared to classic GL, or

-          Provide a technologically superior way to perform a functionality in Classic GL

Continue reading " Comparative Analysis between New GL and Classic GL " »

August 5, 2009

Is it time to move to New GL?

SAP introduced New General Ledger functionality with the Enterprise release (ECC 5). The SAP FI/CO components for Classic General Ledger, COS Ledger, Reconciliation Ledger, Special Purpose Ledger and Profit Center Accounting have been merged to provide an integrated solution known as New GL. New GL provides document splitting functionality that enables generation of financial statements for Segments (As per IAS 14 Accounting Standard, segment reporting is a legal reporting requirement for specific business or geographical segments). New GL supports multiple ledgers, hence, reducing the need to rely on Special Purpose Ledgers for parallel valuation. New GL facilitates real time FI-CO Integration resulting in real-time legal and management reporting. An integrated solution like New GL ensures better SOX compliance and Fast Period End Close resulting in reduced TCO.

 

Continue reading " Is it time to move to New GL? " »

Subscribe to this blog's feed

Follow us on

Blogger Profiles

Infosys on Twitter