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January 28, 2015

Use of Iterative Methods and Testing Strategy as key differentiator for Project Execution

Use of Iterative Methods and Testing Strategy as key differentiator for Project Execution

For SAP Consultants, testing is one of the phase in overall implementation, change management or support projects. Testing can play a very vital role to make first time right impression on the client.

Various models in Testing are :

1.       Waterfall Model à  It goes sequential

2.       RAD (Rapid Application Development) Model  à  To deliver project in short span and create testing strategy related to overall delivery schedule.

3.       Iterative Model  à Where development and testing goes hands in hand and multiple iterations are made.

4.       Agile and Scrum à Extension of iterative model where overall Project is broken into multiple individual areas and multiple integration areas and overall delivery plan is made. 

 

 

We say we are following ASAP methodology for delivering a SAP Project which has

1.       Requirement Gathering

2.       Blueprinting

3.       Realization

4.       Cutover Activities

5.       Go Live and initial support

Here we are following Waterfall or Sequential model for overall testing strategy where bulk of our testing goes in realization phase.

 

Instead of this if we use Agile and Scrum methodology then we can break each phase in ASAP methodology into an Iterative Method and Testing Cycle and can do multiple iterations to come out with final Results.

For Example :

Requirement Gathering :  Break into multiple areas where we foresee Business expectations. Align to standard industry practices. Do multiple iterations in each area separately with business to come out with best fitted requirements.  Similarly we should do multiple iterations on the integrations areas in requirement analysis and see best fitted methods for integrations.

When all individual and integrations areas are finalized, a single process (having branches) catering to multiple requirements can be formulated.

 

Same methodology can be applied to other phases of ASAP method. This makes us pretty confident that no area within the solution is untouched while delivering final solution to client. It makes sure also that we do not find surprises after solution goes live.

 

Though in practice we find difficult to go through iterative processes due to time constraints, it's always better to even include Iterative Methodology and Testing Strategy with Agile and Scrum in our efforts estimation and highlight our process as one of the key differentiator in our Proposal Response.

 

Siddhant Metkar

Lead Consultant

September 2, 2014

SAP Fiori with ERP integration a Game Changer in ERP Market Share

SAP Fiori with ERP Integration to play Major Role in gaining ERP Market Share for SAP

Currently SAP owns around 24% Market Share in overall ERP Market. Though it's a huge Market share with main competition from Oracle, Sage, Microsoft, SAP's End user still complains of inflexible User interface it has developed for most of its core and add-on applications.

While using SAP, customers want that it should be flexible enough to modify their own dashboards so as to bring important aspects of their daily to do list in Dashboard at the front. Customers also have in their wish list that while using applications for creation, modification or approval of documents they should be able to do the activities as ease using their mobile devices so that overall transactional process is faster and device independent. In addition, their expectation is that they need not logon to multiple systems once entered into main Dashboard.

To bring Customer Wish list in reality, SAP has developed and still developing multiple applications called SAP Fiori. It calls it SAP UX which means SAP Fiori user experience.  These applications can cater to individual areas within SAP like ECC, CRM, SRM, HCM, GRC, PLM, SCM, TM, EM etc.

With Fiori, SAP is trying to gain ground on 3rd party applications which uses HTML or Java or other to design user Dashboards which are really easy to use but requires separate integration with SAP Applications. These increases licensing cost of Customers for 3rd party applications as well as for SAP ERP.

Below chart depicts SAP's market share by ERP and cumulative application share by ERP Type.

 

Graph for Market share for ERP and Cloud products.jpgReferences: Forbes, Gartner & Zdnet, Panorama

Reference Link:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2014/05/12/gartners-erp-market-share-update-shows-the-future-of-cloud-erp-is-now/

http://www.zdnet.com/2013-erp-research-compelling-advice-for-the-cfo-7000011619/

When it comes to cloud applications like CRM cloud, SAP is in fact is not the market leader.  Salesforce has taken the lead due to pleasant working experience on its cloud based applications, easy and flexible dashboard use, quick to plug Mobile infrastructure availability and reduced pricing due to SaaS (Software as a Service) model.

Though SAP Fiori is not exactly a Cloud Application, it makes user experience working on the applications far too pleasant. Customization or enhancements of Fiori applications are quicker as they are developed specifically for particular operations like Purchase Order approval. When individual business wants a change in Purchase Order approval flow, it can be easily done by doing the enhancement only Purchase Order related Fiori application. 

In coming days we'll also see fierce fight in User interface and ERP integration market and how companies launch different products or applications either to retain or enhance their market share.

This competition is likely to be among SAP, ORACLE, Salesforce, Microsoft, Infor, Sage, Google etc.           

Who knows we may see altogether a totally new brand appeared from nowhere and followed unexpected approach to become Market Leader in this space.

 

Siddhant Metkar

Lead Consultant, CSI MFG,

Infosys Limited

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

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