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September 7, 2017

Learn More - with AI-enabled Infosys Knowledge Management Platform




While the evolution of technology has made HR digital transformation essential, the shift to cloud has accelerated this by making best-in-class enterprise software solutions easily accessible. To reap the benefits of this digital transformation, organizations have to discard old school ways of executing change and gain agility. Leveraging multidisciplinary insights, skills and expertise using a capable knowledge management system is essential to stay abreast of evolving business needs. 


Infosys, as a trusted consulting partner with close to 30 years of predictable delivery, can help you assess and learn about your current technology landscape, find solutions, and prepare a roadmap for your digital transformation journey. To enable this, we have created the Infosys Cloud Assessment Readiness Toolkit, tailored to provide deep insights and help you make informed decisions about new investments, high-priority areas and leveraging existing investments.


Much depends on both speed and security in the software as a service (SaaS) business model. Infosys uses its expertise to guide you to find a comprehensive, multifaceted security program that best fits your landscape, while our ACT (Accelerated Cloud Transformation) methodology ensures speed. We will partner with you in every stage of the transformation, disseminating best practices and rolling out cloud-specific risk assessments and quality metrics, enabling seamless executions.


As new functionalities are continuously released and consumed with SaaS based HR digital transformation, it will be imperative to implement a knowledge management system that can enable easy accessibility to processes, best practices, methodologies and information sources. Design Thinking discovery workshops are a key aspect of our delivery, enabling stakeholders to approach their problems, pain points and questions outside traditional formats.


With advancements in machine learning and natural language processing, AI tools can now be leveraged to help record, search, filter and apply knowledge to create a knowledge management system that provides employees access to the right information at the right time. Infosys has institutionalized knowledge management as a core element providing the following key tools:


  • KShop: A content management portal for submitting, searching and rating K-Assets.

  • Konnect: A professional networking platform to connect with people, discover expertise and share knowledge.

  • KMail: An automated email response system for communities that helps develop a dynamic knowledge repository to promote learning and re-use.


With Infosys Nia - the Next Generation Integrated Artificial Intelligence Platform, we can help organizations collect and aggregate organizational data from people, processes and legacy systems into a self-learning knowledge base. Repetitive business and IT processes can be automated, freeing up human effort to solve higher-value customer problems that require creativity, passion, and imagination.


Data about employees' career goals, competencies, performance and interests can be analyzed to provide insights into the learning development needs of employees and suggest courses accordingly. Incorporating AI in continuous learning can enable the workforce to continuously upgrade their skill sets and competencies, thereby helping organizations to stay relevant and ahead of the competition in the ever-changing environment. The key to success in the digital world is continuous learning and engaged knowledge management. Infosys Nia, designed on three core platforms - Data Platform, Knowledge Platform and Automation Platform - can help organizations to automate, amplify and reinvent.


Infosys is a Gold-level sponsor at SuccessConnect 2017 event hosted in Las Vegas. I look forward to meeting you at our booth no. 26 and discuss how we can Learn More together!




August 24, 2017

Enable Innovation and Design Thinking - Do More with Infosys

Leveraging our extensive experience gained by catering to various industries across the globe, including Fortune 500 companies, Infosys has built a very mature HCM practice. Our expertise, accrued over time developing various methodologies, tools and accelerators for our clients, has helped us consistently achieve delivery excellence and provide business value and cost savings.

Infosys is also a "global services partner" to SAP, collaborating on technology, consulting, joint investment, and innovation. This partnership allows us to proactively provide ideas that can improve the ways in which our clients compete, operate, and stay relevant in the marketplace. Our innovation capabilities and core expertise in the HCM domain have equipped us to operate as a catalyst for change for our clients.

Infosys draws on our experience to provide organizations remarkable change management prowess through these capabilities:

Design Thinking

Infosys enables the HR transformation process through our "Design Thinking approach" that enables collaboration and human innovation. This approach allows us to engage with our clients with an open mind and discover directions afresh, ensuring that the outcome is user-empathetic. It also enables us to streamline and harmonize complex business processes. Our approach is designed to aid the transformational journeys clients are embarking on today and enable them to achieve key objectives:

·         Reduced TCO through mobile enablement, use of new technologies and facilitation of increasingly different ways of working.

·         Increased collaboration and innovation by leveraging new technology capabilities.

ACT Cloud Methodology

ACT (Accelerating Cloud Transformation), the cloud transformation methodology from Infosys helps enterprises in faster product deployment, roadmap definition and value realization through:

·         Harmonized and agile based implementation approach for cloud deployments.

·         Full support for initial deployment and continuous business innovation for all phases of deployment - integration, data migration, testing, training and transition.

·         Broad coverage of solutions including public, private and hybrid clouds.

·         Solutions to enable co-innovation with customers.

SCP Solutions

Our custom-built solutions developed using SCP (SAP Cloud Platform) have enabled our customers to achieve wholly integrated businesses with the highest levels of optimization and agility. Our SAP-certified solutions are scalable, secure and modular:

       Policy portal provides employees role-based access to context-sensitive personalized policy information.

       eDocket application provides reliable document management to upload, view, validate and approve documents.

       Approval center is a single-stop approval management solution for everyday approvals.

       HR analytics provides real-time data visualization for HR analysis.

       Vacation bidding for submission and approval of vacation bids for logistics clients - reduces cost and inefficiency in vacation bidding process.

Our use of best practices, fit-to-standard analysis and agile project management have had immense success in accelerating project delivery. Our solutions and methodologies have provided consistent product delivery, reduced complexity and increased quality by establishing a common framework and language for all SAP and SuccessFactors projects. Infosys helps your organization do more together through our scalable solutions that provide support for projects of all sizes - from small fast cloud deployments to comprehensive global deployments on cloud and hybrid environments.

Infosys is a Gold-level sponsor at SuccessConnect 2017 event hosted in Las Vegas. I look forward to meeting you at our booth no. 26, showcase our unique frameworks, methodologies and our design thinking led approach and explain how we can be #MoreTogether.

Engage, Collaborate, Innovate - Connect More with Infosys

As organizations, with increasingly diverse, multi-cultural workforces manage and engage a globalized millennial workforce, old school methods like emails and town hall meetings are proving inadequate. Organizations are finding methods for effective employee management as unengaged employees are less happy at work, less productive and at higher risk of attrition.

 

It is critical to create continuous engagement to allow leaders, managers and employees to communicate and collaborate freely. This allows organizations to harness collective knowledge and expertise of a diverse workforce. Social media tools like Yammer, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook and SAP Jam offer platforms to actively engage, recruit and harness the right talent.

 

In this rapidly digitizing world, organizations have to be perceived as promoting open communication, collaboration and free exchange of ideas.

 

Social media-enabled platforms can be effectively leveraged by organizations for:

  • Brand building

  • Attracting talent

  • Recruiting people with the right expertise

  • Finding people with relevant skills(within the workforce)

  • Collaborating on projects outside the organization

  • Innovating and crowdsourcing new ideas

  • Promoting social learning

  • Motivating employees with recognition on social media

 

With SAP Jam as a social collaboration platform - a core product offering from the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite - Infosys can help you improve communication and collaboration among employees or cross-company external groups. Key goals can be announced, tasks assigned, priorities set and deadlines and auto reminders enabled with ease. Employees can post blogs or upload videos, files and more, which over time will add to a database that can be leveraged for future assignments.

 

We can further integrate learning solutions to collaborate around LMS courses with quick access to instructor-provided course recommendations and schedules to promote social learning. Another key challenge faced by organizations with a globally diversified workforce, is finding the right people with the relevant skill sets and expertise, from both within and outside the workforce. Infosys can help integrate LinkedIn profiles with your HCM solution to leverage existing employees or post job requisitions to prospective talent outside your organization.

 

We, at Infosys, have had remarkable success leveraging social media for our own HCM. Institutionalizing Yammer as the primary social media platform for connecting and collaborating with our employees resulted in significantly improved employee engagement, innovation and sharing of ideas; and in turn, better employee satisfaction and productivity.

 

Updating HCM to deal with the complexities of the evolving workforce is the need of the hour and the edge that organizations currently need in dealing with the changing business environment. From providing the flexibility to recruit, manage and engage the modern workforce to delivering strategic value, Infosys SAP SuccessFactors offerings can significantly help HR be #MoreTogether and contribute to organizational growth.

Infosys is a Gold-level sponsor at SuccessConnect 2017 event to be hosted in Las Vegas. I look forward to meeting you at our booth no. 26, showcase our solutions and share how we can Connect More.

Continue reading " Engage, Collaborate, Innovate - Connect More with Infosys " »

May 10, 2017

Digital Disruption & SAP S/4HANA: Journey so far and the way ahead

 

As I write, this is no more a buzz and we are standing at the dawn of the digital disruption. The impact of the digital technologies can be seen around in our personal lives too. How we communicate, engage and interact with one another. Convergence of technologies like social media, mobility, analytics, cloud computing, business networks and embedded devices are leading the way.

This is not the first time there is disruption, Right from, the Industrial economy to information economy changes in 1940-1980, in 1980 onwards we saw, satellite systems for different business functions like, order management, inventory management, manufacturing, finance started integrating and gave rise to evolution of ERP suites, after 2000 industry started sighting changes in the business models because of the rapid expansion of the internet. And when now things have become digital, there exists opportunities to design and integrate these digital assets, which were earlier not designed to work together and produce business benefits. Technological innovations further paving the way for digitalization and leading to an era of digital transformation and, is now poised to create a spectrum of the opportunities to create new business models. But unlike previous disruption, this time it is rapid and demands the response from the organizations also similar in nature, to remain in the game.

Envisaging the fact of upcoming tsunami of digital, SAP Introduced SAP S/4HANA Finance in 2014 and a completely new enterprise suite SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management with a digital core in Nov 2015, in order to create a digitalization friendly platform. SAP's roadmap for the ECC suggests that support to ECC will cease to exist in 2025 and no significant changes expected in future ehps. Since the launch of S/4HANA, about 4200+  customers either adopted or in the process of adopting S/4HANA against the estimate of 50000+ by 2025. Out of the 4200 a good number is of the customers who are first time implementing SAP, thus the number of customers who actually embraced S/4HANA away from ECC is less. It is to be noted, many organizations were still transforming or had completed their transformation with SAP ECC and other peripheral SAP applications in recent times only.

But reasons for the initial slow adoption of SAP S/4HANA could be many - why to adopt, how to get there, availability of skill, product maturity, Business case, budget... and many more questions are there in client's mind. Research suggests that when it comes to innovation adoption, there can be four categories of the companies. Market Leaders, who actively go for the change and prefer to drive it. They look technology as enabler in the disruption. They accept failure as part of the process and move on. Fast followers react based on the success of the market leaders and the result of their experiments. But contrary to the market leaders, they do not want to fail and apply lessons learned from the market leaders to their roadmaps. Cautious adopters, as name suggests, take more measured approach spend time in studying and instead of transformational, they adopt approach of incremental innovations. Laggards procrastinate the adoption and wait for the trends to move beyond. They constitute 50% of the marketplace. Whereas fist three category constitute 5, 15 & 30% respectively. SAP S/4HANA adoption may also fit in the theory. In my experience too, clients who were not showing any interest in S4HANA last year, are now serious to discover and explore it for a business case.

Another dimension, do majority of the companies aware of, why they need SAP S/4HANA? or it is just that date of year of '2025' which is making them to go for it. Clients are exploring and also getting education about the various transition paths to S/4HANA, difference of features between ECC and S/4HANA, timelines and cost of implementation/conversion. They are looking S/4HANA as an upgrade from ECC, however current situation demands different approach. I think, if companies do the same things after adopting S4HANA, which they were doing with ECC, that is not transformation. Merely replacing ECC by S/4HANA will not add as much business value and unleash the benefits of the digital core.  The current trends suggest, with digital transformation, companies have to get into the transformation mindset and have to create new business models along with the new products and services. Companies have to align with innovation scope, explore options in design thinking workshops and come out with a roadmap for a digital journey. Here SIs, SAP with S4HANA will help companies to reinvent their business models.

 

It is widely established that, we are well in the disruption and the norm is, disrupt or will be disrupted. There is no denial that ERP is the DNA for every company and thus adoption to S/4HANA becomes crucial for every organization. Studies shows that average age of the companies have decreased. Companies have to reinvent themselves to stay in the business. What is going well now may not work in future. The definition of "end" is going to change when we talk about end to end. Companies have to look SAP S/4HANA as a platform to start their digital transformation journey and have to focus on B2B2C instead of B2C.

SAPPHIRENOW 2017, Orlando is just around the corner now, and is the opportunity for the companies to visit our booth #700 to get more insights on how Infosys can help them in their digital transformation journey using S/4HANA. Infosys has S/4HANA Adoption service offerings and tool set to help client adopt S/4HANA either by S/4HANA Conversion of their ECC systems, Consolidating ECCs using Landscape Transformation and adopting S/4HANA or whether to go for Hybrid or Greenfield implementation. Come to Infosys booth, and we can showcase, how our clients have adopted S/4HANA in different ways and how we can help you with our automated S/4HANA Assist tool to perform S/4HANA Assessment.


Continue reading " Digital Disruption & SAP S/4HANA: Journey so far and the way ahead " »

May 9, 2017

"Data Quality as a Service" - The Challenge and The Opportunity

"Data Quality as a Service" - The Challenge and The Opportunity


Overview

Enterprise data quality is no more an option. It is expected by Customers, demanded by business and enforced by regulators. Awareness on data quality and its impact on day to day operations and ultimately the business has been increasing steadily over last couple of years. Organizations have realized, good quality data is the foundation for an Organizations growth and sustenance in the long run. Poor data quality plagues the Organization in more than one ways and has direct and indirect costs associated with it. Data quality challenges impediment the growth of organizations and unreliable insights are persisted to other strategic initiatives that leads to lack of trust in enterprise data and can result in poor business decisions. Organizations have thus realized the need to manage Enterprise Information as a strategic asset and are finding ways and means to improve the value of this asset.

Though data quality tool vendors have been around in the market for a considerable duration, they have not been able to influence the adoption much. With growing economies, Organizations have had other focus and priorities like acquisitions, growth, market capitalization, expansion, etc etc. Slowly, the underlying problem with the data has grown multi-fold having escaped everyone's attention. This is seemingly apparent now as the businesses continue to grapple with "the data problem" that has reduced the operational efficiency, interfering with decision making and posing a larger threat if not controlled immediately.


The Challenge

Some of the key challenges associated with data quality include:

  • Data Quality is perceived to be one time initiative requiring significant time and money
  • Data assets lack clearly defined ownership
  • Most Organizations lack a well-defined strategy and governance for improving data quality
  • Ongoing data governance & sustenance is a key issue in master data & data quality programs
  • Data proliferation & duplication due to inadequate business rules and stewardship
  • Lack of consistent repeatable way to measure and score data quality


How big is the challenge?

Below are some snapshots of the key data problems and it's magnitude of impact on Organizations as estimated by some of the Industry's leading analysts. It clearly indicates the different nature of data quality issues and it's implications on operational and financial well-being of the Organization.



The Opportunity

As more organizations continue to focus on data quality, and as different departments within an organization continue to focus on their data elements, it presents a huge opportunity for the Vendors of the data quality tools and the service providers who help Organizations manage their data quality. Analysts estimate that only about 10% of Organizations have formal metrics for data quality, about 25% have informal metrics and rest do not measure data quality at all.

Gartner estimates that Data Quality Tools market is among the fastest growing in the enterprise software sector and continues to grow strongly year on year. It is currently growing at 13.5% and forecasts that this market's growth will accelerate to 16.7% by 2018, bringing the total revenues for Data Quality tools market to $2.24 billion.


Evolution of Organizational needs

In the context of the above opportunity, we see further evolution of Organizational needs that reduces the Total Cost of Ownership and at the same time deliver more comprehensive solutions that addresses different requirements in managing the life cycle of data quality. Some of the key requirements are

  • Look out for "Data Quality" as an end-to-end service 
  • Overcome limitations of licensed products. Ex Different tools for profiling and transformation
  • Need for continuously improving business rules to cater to the changing nature of business
  • Identification and archival of unused or redundant data on periodic basis for improved search and better performance
  • Proactively identify issues that arise due to configurations and suggest corrective course of action


"DQaaS - Data Quality as a Service"

With the advent of SaaS, the traditional approach of owning data quality applications on Organizations own computers or in own data centers is losing steam.  There is growing interest in the provisioning of data quality as a service and the vendors that provide this service. This is giving rise to a new breed of SaaS enabled services focusing on Data Quality termed "DQaaS - Data Quality as a Service".

Data quality software as a service (DQaaS) refers to data quality functions such as profiling, validation, standardization, matching, cleansing etc. delivered over web using a cloud-based or hosted model in which an external provider owns the infrastructure and provides the capabilities in a shared, multitenant environment used by its customers on a subscription basis. This provides a reasonably quick alternative to otherwise expensive and time-consuming deployments of data quality tools or the development of custom-coded solutions.


Next Blog : We will discuss "Data Quality as a Service - Infosys DQneXT"


March 29, 2017

Transform the way you Standardize Material Number

The Material Number you use in your SAP ERP system is arguably one of the most important data element as it goes on for years. Years and decades passes and depending upon type of material there are hundreds or thousands of documents created - Purchase Orders, Production orders, Sales Orders, Deliveries, Material Documents etc. What would you do when you need to rename keys for several Material masters? Whatever be the reason - be it due to a new deployment planned for MDM or MDG system, or simply because you want the Material key to speak for itself with new intelligent naming or decide to standardize the use of material keys to match with a buyer company post an M&A, or you were using less digits earlier and now want to add a couple more in the alphanumeric key.

 

Companies have tried methods to overcome the problem, albeit the solution have proven to be sub-optimal.

For example , a lesser known method that is in use is based on Supersession of parts. For example - You have a Material Number 'A' for which you want a new number key 'B' to be used going forward. In such case a new Material Master is created with new Number Key 'B'. The relationship is maintained in Material Masters for substituted and superseded material. The whole process of new number key replacing old material number may take some time. For this, the older Material's stock need to get exhausted and it should not be purchased or sold any longer. Easy as it may sound, there are some disadvantages such as when you have to analyze you always have two Material Numbers to look at and consolidate for any reporting or analysis on historic data. Plus, certain enhancements are required in application such as in Material Requirement Planning to execute runs on new Material Number.

 

This could be a nightmare for companies with long historical usage of material to work with multiple keys for one material number, not to mention confusion this will add when working with other stakeholders like customers and suppliers in the ecosystem.

 

Material Number Rename Solution using SAP Landscape Transformation 2.0 (LT 2.0) provides a cleaner and efficient way to handle this requirement. We can perform the conversion/Rename of material number in SAP system based on 1:1 material rename mapping (old Part number: New Material number). This tool driven transformation takes care of changes in customizing data, master data and transaction data for each material rename that is needed.

 

As a pre-requisite, it is important to identify all the Material numbers which require renaming. You can combine this activity with identifying materials which are no longer needed and are obsolete. Material Numbers which need standardization are listed, whereas, non-active material masters can be discussed for archiving or Status change.


Next, a standard naming for Material need to be decided. This new naming should be intelligent nomenclature that your team of experts decide with the objective to provide solution to original problem that triggered this requirement of renaming.


Data conversion/renaming of Material Number is handled in systematic way in SAP system using SAP LT2.0 licensed software procured and installed. SAP LT2.0 assists with useful system analysis. Analysis include runtime analysis to estimate time required to run conversion or downtime required; Analysis to identify hard coding of old Material number in ABAP objects etc. After analyzing the impact and resolving any actionable tasks in ABAP or in customization, test conversions are carried out in test environment using the material mappings. Success is verified using Standard reports which are run before and after the conversion of material number rename. After repeating the testing in SIT and UAT phases the data conversion is performed in production system generally over a weekend.


Most important benefit that you get using SAP LT2.0 driven Material Number Rename is that the system after conversion is in a state that end user feel as if system always had the new Material number key in usage. In customizing data, master data, open transaction data, and historic transaction data everywhere new material key reigns. Old key is replaced completely. During the conversion, it is possible to save original material number key in 'Old Material Number' field in Basic data view of material master. This facilitates the search of Material Master using old Material key. 

 

Take the right step by choosing tool driven SAP Transformation Services by Infosys in your data harmonization needs.    

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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