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April 26, 2019

Become an Intelligent Enterprise without front-loading costs

Today, every enterprise wants to become more intelligent through digital transformation. Infosys, along with partners Microsoft and SAP, has built a composite technology stack for enabling this objective.


Drawing upon our collective knowledge and experience, we thoroughly analyze an organization, bearing in mind its size, industry, future imperatives and challenges to evolve a suitable business model and technology stack that will make it more intelligent. The end-to-end solution and services stack is developed on Azure infrastructure, and is built using the SAP S/4 Hana application and Infosys implementation methodology. The Infosys methodology covers the creation of an innovation environment, designing an appropriate business model, defining next-generation processes, implementing the ERP solution, and understanding how intelligent applications may be built on top of the ERP stack to deliver the desired outcomes.


A standout feature is that unlike in most transformations, where there are huge expenses in the initial years, here the cost is almost flat lined. This means client enterprises incur more or less similar expenditure throughout the duration of the project. What's more, the implementation partners share the client's risk by providing outcome-based services. All this lowers the entry barriers to transformation.


In the speaker session on May 7 at 4:00pm at Microsoft booth 729, Shyam Vijayan and I will explain the solution in detail and showcase its impact on a multibillion dollar life sciences company with 4 to 6 TB of data. We look forward to seeing you there.



Regional SAP NOW events present excellent opportunities

For the past several years, SAP has been hosting regional "mini SAPPHIRES" called SAP NOW in various countries. Their aim is to create awareness among customers and prospects about the latest innovations and provide a platform for interactions amongst customers as well as a forum for discussions between customers and partners.


SAP NOW Moscow is the largest annual SAP business forum in the CIS region. Over 6,000 professionals gather at SAP NOW Moscow to discuss innovative technologies and solutions that can help enterprises get the competitive edge and build smarter businesses for tomorrow.


SAP and its partners presented a large exposition with practical examples of how big data, machine learning, blockchain, IoT, cloud technologies, and SAP S/4HANA can enable greater efficiencies in business.


This year, the 1-day SAP NOW in Moscow ( was followed by a 2-day technology conference called SAP Digital Exchange (


I had the privilege to host the SAP S/4HANA break-out forum on Day 2 and conduct 3 out of 6 sessions on that day. These included:


- SAP S/4HANA Cloud - The Intelligent ERP

- SAP S/4HANA - What's New in 1809

- S/4HANA Migration Tools and Migration Best Practices


After 19 years as an SAP veteran, it was for the first time that I was standing on stage wearing the Infosys "hat" and promoting S/4HANA from the perspective of a premium SI and implementation partner.


The impact of such conferences can be huge, especially if one delivers keynotes and speeches - and customers hear you talking. Customers are constantly looking for best practices, examples and guidance for their transition to SAP S/4HANA -- they are hungry for solid information that goes well beyond marketing messages.


As an S/4HANA expert, I was able to give customers both guidance and confidence for a successful transition. I also convinced many of them on the various benefits and quick wins of SAP S/4HANA.


To achieve this, I used selective live demos on an S/4HANA Public Cloud system (Advanced Financial Closing Cockpit; ML Cash Application; Demand-Driven Replenishment) to highlight the power and potential of this superior next-generation ERP. I follow the motto: "action speaks louder than words"; so, it is my firm belief, if you can show it, don't use slides to explain it.


Several Russian prospects approached me after my presentation and wanted to know more about Infosys. They sought to know how extensive was our presence in their market and the best practices we offer. In addition to these queries, two small local technology players approached me and asked whether they could do business with Infosys for add-ons and migration services.


I think these "small" regional SAP conferences provide an excellent platform for a direct and fast entry into new markets. While SAPPHIRE and TechEd conferences are certainly important, these regional events offer insights into the local customer base.


The CIS customers who attended SAP NOW Moscow see Infosys as a powerful strategic implementation partner for their digital journey . This was also endorsed by speakers from SAP and Metalloinvest, both of whom referred to Infosys as a leading implementation partner.

by Stefan Batzdorf, Senior Practice Engagement Manager, SAP Digital Sales, Europe

April 25, 2019


Infosys achieves successful conversion with smooth functioning from Day 1


Migration or conversion from SAP ECC to S/4HANA is an implementation method that it´s gaining increasing interest among SAP customers. Up until this Brazilian pharmaceutical company's SAP S/4HANA went live in Brazil and 12 other countries, there were doubts about the feasibility of such a change. SAP S/4HANA has mostly been implemented from scratch (greenfield), but rarely through a conversion process (brownfield). Despite of the complexity of this kind of project, Infosys and SAP together scripted our client's success story.


Of the few SAP S/4HANA conversion projects worldwide, none had been carried out in Brazil before. While pioneers always face challenges, client and Infosys made a clear commitment to innovation. On the first day of system go-live, client carried out operations smoothly across 13 countries. And today, after two months, everything still works perfectly. The client has already experienced performance benefits. A closing process that used to stretch over 12 hours now takes only 2 hours.


Infosys has always believed that conversion of SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA was possible. The client's project has proved that conversion is not only feasible, but it is also an important transition scenario. Moreover, it could be a viable option for many enterprises. It can reduce cost and implementation time, as well as the involvement of business areas and impact on operations. With the expertise Infosys developed through this engagement, it is possible to execute similar projects with significantly lower risk and effort for clients.


SAP has already announced that the maintenance window for ECC will close by 2025 and this was one of the decision drivers for the client. The S/4HANA conversion involved 1,500 global users from the areas of finance, controlling, human resources, procurement, warehousing, production, maintenance, and quality. It required migrating about 2,400 programs and more than 70,000 ECC tables to S/4HANA. The change enabled, among other things, the use of in-memory computing for analytics, IoT for predictive maintenance, and AI/ML for fiscal compliance.

To know more about this journey, please attend my session on May 7 at SAPPHIRE NOW and meet our experts at Infosys booth no. 632.

How global eye care leader transformed its S&OP processes with a successful SAP IBP implementation

Our client is a global eye care leader with over 19,000 employees serving patients across more than 140 countries. Client offers a complete line of ophthalmic surgical devices, differentiated contact lens and lens care products to help patients with vision disorders.

The company was under pressure to reduce cost, replace antiquated systems, streamline processes, drive revenue growth, and recharge the customer experience. It was clear that merely a change in business model would not be enough. There was a strong need for business transformation to simplify and standardize business processes across all divisions and geographies.

Client decided to transform their global supply chain planning processes by implementing SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP). This powerful cloud-based tool provides capabilities for demand planning, network deployment and requirements planning, constrained capacity planning, inventory optimization, and overall S&OP process management. A modern, user-friendly Excel-based front-end tool, IBP integrates disparate back-end systems and standardizes interface models to achieve end-to-end visibility across the entire supply chain.

For the implementation of this transformation program, Infosys was selected as their partner. We had a clear mandate to build templates and roll out demand planning (DP) and supply planning (SP) across over 60 affiliates and 10 manufacturing sites. Our goal was to optimize, integrate and standardize processes while reducing complexity and cost. By creating the right template, we could enable Alcon to meet their objectives.

For this Global scope and scale of the Program, strong Governance structure was essential. We achieved this by setting up work stream wise Onsite, offshore teams (located in 15 countries across the globe). To manage interface complexity (with localized and multiple JDE systems), Program had to setup stronger integration team.

Post the successful completion of the program toward the end of 2018, the client's  supply chain was transformed into a state-of-the-art planning platform.  There were huge improvements in balancing demand and supply, optimizing inventory, and proactively handling inefficiencies. 

The biggest benefit achieved is that all entities (affiliates, DC, S&OP, and plants) work with the same database and have visibility across the entire supply chain.  This in turn has helped supply chain planning users to leverage IBP effectively for better decisions that help patients in a timely manner.

I will present this success story at SAPPHIRE NOW along with client, this year on May 8 at 12:00pm -12:20pm in room NE512 (Network and Spend Management).

To share our lessons and experiences, I look forward to connecting with you at the Infosys booth 632

Future-proofing digital investments with SAP Cloud Platform

As businesses evolve, the IT landscape becomes increasingly complex. Today, the IT landscape and all enterprise applications need to provide greater agility  and keep pace with emerging technology trends and demands. SAP-based applications are no exception. With many larger corporations running their core ERP on SAP, the associated applications must be more intelligent, flexible, faster, and future-proof.


SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) is a comprehensive technology platform from SAP. Built on the latest technologies and an open source foundation, SCP provides enormous opportunities for organizations to develop digital solutions faster and more cost-effectively. SCP encompasses many technology components and services and provides support for different application development scenarios. Some of these are:

§  Building innovative applications using the latest technologies like AI, blockchain, IOT, etc.

§  Building mobile and portal applications that can connect seamlessly with on-premises and cloud applications

§  Extending cloud or on-premises applications

§  Integrating b/w cloud and on-premises applications

 One of our clients, a large US-based retail chain, wanted to implement a supplier self-service portal to streamline their supplier collaboration. Following due diligence, the client chose SCP portal services. The new supplier portal on SCP has resulted in over 90% effort saving on sharing of reports and 100% reduction in information delays. It has also significantly improved supplier collaboration and satisfaction.


To know more about this success story, please join me at the Network and Spend Management NE512 on May 7 at 12:30 pm ET.


We look forward seeing you there.

March 20, 2019

Leveraging best of 'Green' and 'Brown' with Hybrid adoption approach for SAP S/4HANA


Choosing the right adoption approach which maximizes business value at reduced TCO is key for enterprises embarking on a SAP S/4HANA driven transformation. Depending on the extent of retention of current investments and extent of redesign, the most commonly adopted approaches are Greenfield and Brownfield, representing the two extreme ends of a spectrum.

In a layman's terms greenfield could be compared to building a new house while brownfield could be compared to refurbishing existing house. A greenfield approach primarily involves redesigning existing business processes in a new SAP S/4HANA system with SAP Best practices and Model company as a reference. Business transformation along with business process/ model reinvention are the key drivers. There is minimal or no reuse of existing investments on processes and solutions. Transaction and Master Data migration is limited to open items and balances with no need of historical data. Deployment can be staggered or Big bang. Compared to this a brownfield approach represents similar to technical upgrade and involves system conversion of existing SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA based on a SAP guided tool based procedure with primarily mandated innovations. Existing enterprise structures, business processes, custom developments and historical data are retained. Deployment needs to be mandatorily big bang. The approach is preferred by enterprises who have a mature process template with limited need of process redesign and would like to leverage existing investments while adopting the new innovations with S/4HANA

However, many large enterprises have a need of combining selective business process redesign in certain areas with high value realization potential along with reuse of existing investments/processes in areas with mature template and solutions. E.g. a enterprise has a mature finance process template with Shared services setup and would like to reuse most of it while for production planning and procurement they would like to redesign/reengineer existing business processes and template. Also in order to mitigate risk of business disruption such enterprises would like to go for a wave based rollout approach for deployment instead of big bang. All these requirements cannot be fully met by either the greenfield or brownfield adoption approaches. Such enterprises need a 'Hybrid' approach for S/4HANA adoption which combines the 'best of green and brown worlds'. A Hybrid approach could also be looked as further variation of brownfield approach with more flexibility to decide the processes and solutions which need to be redesigned and those which should be reused.

How does Hybrid approach for S/4HANA adoption work?

While there can be multiple variations of this approach based on whether enterprises have a single instance or distributed landscape, in this blog I will focus on explaining this approach for a enterprise with single instance SAP ECC system.


Hybrid Approach for S/4HANA adoption with Shell copy

High level steps involved in this approach shown in Figure above as below

Step 1: Create a shell copy of existing SAP ECC system leveraging tools like SAP Landscape Transformation (LT) or third party tools like SNP. The shell copy contains only configuration, custom code from existing ECC system but no transaction and master data

Step 2: In the SAP ECC target shell, selectively modify or delete configuration to redesign or enhance the process template for specific areas. Also if required enterprise structure elements like operating concern, controlling area, Chart of Accounts, plants etc. can be harmonized. Unused custom code can be deleted. Since there is no transaction and master data in this system these changes are not complex

Step 3: System conversion of the ECC shell to S/4HANA using the standard SAP guided procedure for system conversion with tools like SAP DMO and SUM. The custom code needs to be remediated to meet the S/4HANA data model requirements. Again since there is no transaction and master data involved the conversion is pretty fast with low downtime. Perform delta configuration for S/4HANA specific innovations to enhance the process template for selective areas e.g. New Asset accounting in Finance

Step 4: Migrate Master Data and Transaction Data to the S/4HANA target system leveraging standard SAP tools like SAP Migration Cockpit, SAP Data Services. If historical data for past years needs to be migrated then additionally SAP Landscape Transformation (LT) or third party tools like SNP need to be used. The migration of data can also be done in staggered manner for the countries/company codes Going Live in each Wave/Phase

The Hybrid approach leveraging SAP LT had also been referred by SAP as 'Blackfield' in the past. Similar approach with its variations leveraging third party SNP is referred as 'Bluefield'.

Now, let us look at some of the key drivers and considerations for enterprises while evaluating the Hybrid approach for S/4HANA adoption as compared to Greenfield or Brownfield approach

  1. Selective Value based Process Reengineering: Enterprises who want to do selective redesign of their process template while reusing the existing template for most of their processes should consider Hybrid approach. However, if majority of the processes need to be redesigned then a Greenfield would be more feasible then Hybrid.

  2. Staggered deployment with Brownfield: Large enterprises with single SAP instance, operations in multiple countries across the globe and a mature process template. Big bang with Brownfield is a high risk option for such enterprises due to risk of business disruption across the globe. Hybrid approach provides flexibility for such enterprises to safeguard their existing investments with reuse and also mitigate the risk of Big Bang with a rollout approach phased by Business Unit/Org unit etc.

    However, on the flip side such enterprises should consider the additional cost and complexity of maintenance of dual landscape based solution with interfaces (ECC and S/4HANA) in the interim period

  3. Structural Simplifications: Harmonization and simplification of existing enterprise structure elements like Operating Concern, Controlling area, company codes, plants etc. in SAP while reusing the existing process template is also driver for adoption of Hybrid approach. In a Brownfield approach such harmonization would need to be handled either in a pre or post system conversion phase

  4. Selective Data Transformation: A brownfield involves full retention of historical data, while a greenfield primarily involves only migration of master data and open items. Enterprises with need for selective historical data migration and transformation based on various parameters should consider Hybrid approach

  5. Organizational restructuring: Enterprises embarking on Divestiture, Carve outs, mergers and acquisitions with a target S/4HANA system based on selective process reengineering and largely reuse of existing process template/solutions with selective transformation of historical data

  6. Multi- tenant Cloud Deployment: Enterprises adopting a S/4HANA Cloud multi-tenant (public) deployment option would necessarily have to adopt Greenfield approach only. Hybrid and Brownfield approaches are not supported


January 24, 2019

SAP Predictions for 2019 - Exciting trends at the cusp of a new decade

2018 was an eventful year for the SAP world. ERP (and therefore SAP) started figuring prominently in conversations around digital, S/4HANA strengthened its claim as the next-generation digital core, Leonardo evolved further especially in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and the launch of C/4HANA signaled SAP's intention to take on the CRM market head-on. The SAP market experienced a buoyancy probably not seen for more than a decade. As we enter the next year, many of us wonder what could shape the SAP market for this year. I expect these trends to carry forward in 2019 opening new frontiers:


The S/4HANA market will see more Greenfield implementations than conversion. Although large SAP clients still don't have a firm business case for a 3 to 5 years long Greenfield project, with the 2025 deadline looming, time is running out. I therefore expect clients to run pilot programs and push for Greenfield implementation in smaller markets/businesses, and keep the conversion option as a fallback for a later decision.


SAP will continue to push a cloud first approach this year as well. In order to accelerate S/4HANA on-cloud implementations and keeping in mind client's reluctance on public solutions, SAP will likely push create a hybrid offering of dedicated solutions bundled with some service components in collaboration with large cloud providers. We can look forward to some interesting moves on this front in partnership with large cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure and AWS.


Last year, SAP introduced C/4HANA, a strong offering in the front office CRM automation segment. In 2019, we can expect further strengthening of the solution with the help of AI/ML-driven use cases and the leveraging of new products acquired in this space. I would not be surprised to see a couple of big-ticket acquisitions as well.


Talking of Leonardo, although it is yet to establish itself as a core digital innovation platform, this year it is likely to see more adoption, especially of its AI/ML products. Service partners, on the back of attractive value propositions and flexible pricing offers from SAP, will look to leverage Leonardo more and more. We can hope to see some large impactful solutions built on top of the platform.


Data privacy and cyber security concerns will also play a big role in client spends in this space. With GDPR regulations in Europe and similar trends in other parts of the world, we are likely to see independent vendors offering niche solutions on top of SAP. It will create a new space for System Integrators to provide consulting and integration services at a large scale.


For SAP practitioners, 2019 will bring several opportunities to implement new solutions to address the digital transformation needs of their clients. It will be interesting to see how we take advantage of these.

January 7, 2019

Smart Onboarding by New Hire Automation - SAP HCM Integration with Taleo Recruitment

The integration solution provides SAP HCM and Taleo customers the opportunity to automate the New Hire Process End-End.

Why to Automate the New Hire Process:

  • Eliminates the operational hassle in manual Hiring
  • Stable and Flexible for Global Roll-outs
  • Quick and Cost-effective Talent Management solution

Functional Design Considerations

If you are implementing "New Hire Process" Integration project for any client, following aspects will play a crucial role from the functional perspective

HCM system Architecture - How many SAP HCM systems involved, the New Hire applicant's data to be integrated. For example, some clients have 2 distinct systems - Global and Local HCM systems

The geographical scope - How many countries the integration to be deployed will determine the Global template and the Localizations certainly

Mapping sheet - The mapping sheet is the key driver thru out the project. Based on the countries in scope, the structure of the mapping sheet is defined.

Process Design - The Taleo ßà SAP HCM is a 2 way integration always

Technical Design Considerations

How many Interfaces required

Generally, following interface Programs are minimum required for any Taleo vs. SAP integration


To export the Position details from SAP to Taleo

Inbound 1

To Import New Hires from Taleo to SAP


To export Pernr from SAP to Taleo to update against the candidate hired

The Technical Process

Batch Processing / Infotypes Update

HR Operations and Function modules mentioned below




Integration Design Considerations

Integration Flow Design

Taleo is the Sender system


SOAP call to connect

SAP HCM system is the Receiver system

Via Proxy

Proxy to connect

Taleo Design Considerations

  • Separate Web services for Development and Production environments

  • Standard field mapping

  • UDF Fields - It is obvious to define custom fields in Taleo

  • Filter criteria - Has limitation by 6 levels

  • Attribute "perfo.max.projection.field.count" standard limit is 100 fields, where integration query will fail if pulling morethan 100 fields In some instances, it is required to compress the WSDL files, due to Heapspace error

NEW HIRE AUTOMATION packaged solution from Infosys will help customers to achieve smart onboarding process and realize significant return on investment.

Contact us for more information.

Continue reading " Smart Onboarding by New Hire Automation - SAP HCM Integration with Taleo Recruitment " »

October 3, 2018

New enhancement in SAP GRC accelerates SAP Access Request approval at the click of a link using offline approval process


Managing user access control is important for any business and there are several readily-available applications that do this for enterprises. However, it is a highly complex task considering the number of users, diversity of roles assigned and the sheer volume of requests that need to be approved by managers/approvers. Some systems may even mandate purchasing other applications for added functionalities. This blog explains how new enhancements in the SAP GRC Access Control (AC) system simplify work for approvers, at the click of a link.


The access request management functionality in SAP GRC AC provides enterprises with a workflow engine to streamline how user roles are assigned within the SAP environment. Typically, a user initiates a request using the access request form, which initiates an automated approval workflow. Once the access request is submitted, another workflow gets triggered based on the selection/s in the request. The access request is then forwarded to the designated managers and approvers within a pre-defined workflow, which is usually customized to reflect your company's policies.

The standard option available in SAP GRC requires the approver to first log in to NWBC and then take the appropriate action (approve/reject). This can be quite tedious. In some cases, approvers have no knowledge about SAP, making it difficult for them to provide approvals. Thus, approvers need to be trained on how to use the standard approval process in NWBC. Conducting such training programs and preparing training materials can be challenging and time-consuming for large organizations that are spread across different geographies.


The good news is that SAP GRC AC now has an offline approval process with several user-friendly features that greatly simplify approval tasks. Approvers need no longer log in to the SAP GRC system. Instead, they can simply reply to an email even on their mobile devices! In this process, access request emails are embedded with approve/reject links that the approver can click on. Alternatively, they can also respond to the email with the appropriate text - 'approve' or 'reject'. Both these actions will ensure that the relevant SAP access request is run by the system.


SAP GRC AC enables this capability by configuring the inbound email functionality in the system. First, system user is created with their email ID, which is configured according to the subdomain of the system. An email outlook account is then created for the specific SAP user ID. Finally, a custom class is implemented in the SAP GRC system that reads inbound emails and processes SAP GRC requests based on the approver's actions.

The illustration below shows how the offline approval process works in SAP GRC Access Controls.

I believe this is handy solution for clients who are reluctant to adopt single sign-on solutions because of their high licensing costs. Another cost benefit is that you don't need to buy additional FIORI apps for the system. But the best part of offline approval process in SAP GRC is that it integrates seamlessly with mobile devices, making access control quicker, safer and easier-at your fingertips! 

Continue reading " New enhancement in SAP GRC accelerates SAP Access Request approval at the click of a link using offline approval process " »

July 11, 2018

Navigate your Next with SAP on Cloud

Pathways to cloud
Sometimes in your near future or even already the Cloud topic would have prominently figured in your conversations around IT transformation. You have various priorities and ideas as to how to shape your future IT roadmaps. However, you must decide that the next new transformation that you undertake must be on the Cloud. 
Your pathways to cloud can start small, gather momentum across your organisation and eventually herald the renewal that you are looking for. But it needs to start with the cloud.  

Continue reading " Navigate your Next with SAP on Cloud " »

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