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July 4, 2019

Moving to S/4HANA - What've you thought about MDG?

Metaphorically speaking, if digital core of S/4HANA is the nerve center of the enterprise then what is data? 

Answer-Nerve. Nerve needed to keep business process running in the enterprise within and across its organs (within digital core and across applications involved in the solution).

 

Good quality master data gives a solid foundation to a successful S/4HANA implementation. Further to propel enterprise throughout the lifetime it is critical to ensure consistent, current and relevant data supply and usage. Ensuring good quality master data can prove to be a keystone habit that can initiate a chain of positive outcomes for years to come.


If we analyze business processes running in today's enterprise (ECC) we will find these biggest challenges among other

  1. inaccurate or inconsistent data (example - inaccurate supplier master data in case of Procurement and Sourcing)
  2. Lack of Data ownership and process governance - questions such as who will manage, what data, and when
  3. Absence of data trace-ability and analytics
  4. Data not harmonized / information stored in multiple information systems


SAP MDG can help you overcome these data challenge associated with Business Partner, Supplier, Customer, Material and other domain specific solutions. Examples in Financials are CoA, G/L Account, Profit center, Cost Center etc. and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Via MDG Solution extension from Utopia along with SAP MDG's extensible application framework. SAP MDG act as "Single Source of Truth" for Master Data which provides centralized governance to keep one version of data flowing across the enterprise.  Capabilities in these data domains to author, collaborate between data owners and achieve highest data quality by using cleansing of data are important ones. You can take advantage of master data consolidation framework from MDG which provides an ability to identify, match and merge records and to create best record. Mass processing functionality helps you in handling bulk changes in much simpler and efficient way.

 

Inbuilt Data Replication framework (DRF) help you replicate data from MDG to other downstream SAP or Non SAP applications. Standard out of the box rule based workflow templates are available. Also ready to use integration with Business rule Framework (BRF+) helps setting up varied validation and derivation rules.


SAP NW MDM is on its way to sun set as per SAP's roadmap. NW MDM is a java based tool and SAP MDG is a business suit component of SAP S/4HANA which is on ABAP stack. We have observed that customers are moving from NW MDM to MDG as a preferred master data governance solution.There is no direct migration from SAP NW MDM to SAP MDG. The framework is completely different and there are no re-usable components between the two solutions. 


Standard data Migration approaches to be used to migrate data from NW MDM to MDG. Depending upon complexity, volume, target system etc. considerations ETL tool can be decided. What is important here is to identify which of these applications are playing source system role for initial data load to MDG in your target system landscape. 


There can be different starting points for Customers who wish to use SAP MDG in their target S/4HANA system landscape. Some of these are mentioned in picture below.


CaptureMDG111_1.jpg

























With S/4HANA, customers use Standalone Deployment or Co-deployed on S/4HANA deployment options for SAP MDG. Each deployment option has its own advantages. A careful evaluation need to be done prior to deciding on strategy.



CaptureMDG222_3.jpg























MDG Hub deployment:


In this deployment, the standalone S/4HANA (or Suit on HANA system) is used for the activation of business suite component - MDG. This refers to the centralized HUB mode for the master data creation. This deployment is usually preferred option in case of heterogeneous environment where there is no single global system which can be representative of the entire set of systems.


The MDG hub will be the central system as "Single Source of Truth" where organization will have the Cleansed, harmonized and consolidated reference data and master data from the system landscape. Pros and cons of MDG Hub deployment are summarized as follows



Pros

Cons

MDG upgrade is not dependent on Global ERP upgrade

A separate HANA database and system  for MDG is required

Decoupled from Global ERP system maintenance cycles

Data migration to MDG hub from source systems is required (Initial data load at the time of implementation)

Allows fresh start with cleansed data (No prerequisite to cleanse data in downstream application first before implementing MDG)

Configurations needs to be migrated from Global ERP. Further, it is required to be maintained in sync (ongoing Customizing Synchronization)


Co-deployed Mode:


In co-deployed mode, MDG is activated on S/4HANA system itself. This option is well suited in simple system landscape involving an S/4HANA system and few downstream applications which receive their data from the former. S/4HANA system will have the global set of the reference data for the entire landscape receiving data.


Co-deployment option will bring benefits of out of box reports and analytics capabilities. The upgrade will happen hand-in-hand with S/4HANA system but customer can take advantages of integrated data models. Below table gives Pros and Cons of this mode.


Pros

Cons

No separate System (Hardware) for SAP MDG required.

MDG upgrade will be dependent on S/4HANA system

No replication of master data to S/4HANA (No cost of implementation and monitoring of replication interfaces)

Additional efforts needed to cleanse and consolidate existing data

No separate HANA DB required for search & Duplicate check

 

No additional Data migration to MDG, since it gets data from S/4HANA 

 



Lastly, these three important aspects you need to consider as well -  


SAP MDG product versions and availability SAP MDG is a business suite application and can be activated on SAP S/4HANA or SAP ECC. There is a product availability matrix provided by SAP to decide applicable version as per the current version of SAP ECC or S/4HANA.

Reporting or analytics for MDG: SAP MDG in any deployment option has 2 types of reporting associated with
  • In-built standard MDG Change Request based Analytics- This requires the standard BI content activation within MDG system which would enable MDG Change request based analytics activated. Out of the box MDG analytics offer reporting based on time and status of Change Requests
  • Reporting capability based on HANA analytics - MDG reports can be designed and modeled using HANA Analytics. HANA Analytics requires additional software component.

Integration scenarios for MDG: MDG as a business suit component offers Web Services which can be consumed by the inbound interfacing system to trigger change request in MDG. Outbound system integration - MDG offers services in form of Data Replication Framework (DRF) which uses the standard ALE functionality of S/4HANA. It also offers outbound web services. When MDG is on S/4HANA system it can replicate all the data to the active table in S/4HANA system. Thereafter, the standard integration methods of  S/4HANA can be leveraged (Point-to-Point or Middleware based).

Co-Author : Amit Patil (Amit_Patil03@infosys.com)

June 28, 2019

How SAP has evolved its flagship EWM product to be one of the leader in magic quadrant of WMS market

Once again in May 2019, SAP has made it to the top-tier quadrant of leaders offering WMS product in Gartner's 2019 Magic Quadrant of Warehouse Management Systems. This endeavor to become top-tier supplier of WMS product by SAP has long evolution story of about 2.5 decades.

Continue reading " How SAP has evolved its flagship EWM product to be one of the leader in magic quadrant of WMS market " »

April 26, 2019

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 (www.sapnow.ru) was followed by a 2-day technology conference called SAP Digital Exchange (www.sapdx.ru).

 

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

LARGE BRAZILIAN PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY MOVES FROM SAP ECC TO S/4HANA

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


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 " »

May 21, 2018

Hershey's Enjoys Sweet Success with its S/4HANA Central Finance Implementation

Hershey's, North America's largest chocolate manufacturer, faced several challenges with its group reporting solution. Apart from offering limited insight, the solution (in SAP BW), which used batch processing, did not provide real-time input into closing activities and information updates. The system provided only summary information, which meant the company had to use manual back-end SAP reports to see data in greater depth, for example, a list of open items. Needless to say, this made for a fairly substandard user experience. 

The company decided to transform global financial reporting by implementing S/4HANA Central Finance as a first step in a larger S/4HANA adoption journey. This tool provides financial data in real-time and in great detail, and presents it in a modern, user-friendly interface, leveraging the user experience capabilities of SAP Fiori and Design Studio.

For its technology partner, Hershey's chose Infosys, and gave us a mandate to implement Central Finance for consolidated reporting across SAP and non-SAP systems spread over 45 legal entities. Our goal was to optimize, integrate and standardize processes, and reduce complexity and cost by creating an SAP system architecture that would allow the client to realize value from future innovations based on HANA, Cloud and Machine Learning. To support a global project of this size, we assembled an onsite and offshore functional and technical team. The project team developed a sustainable and robust process for managing SAP's interface environment across the organization, spanning the master data team, financial data and planning systems, shared services and information services.

After going live on Central Finance, Hershey's is able to use SAP S/4HANA Central Finance as a single source of truth. Financial data is reconciled with source ERP data, down to legal entity, account and customer/product profitability. Users may drill data down to the level of dozens of parameters, including GL account, functional area, cost center and segment. A business user community of 250-500 members is leveraging standard SAP Fiori applications, SAP Business Objects Design Studio as well as SAP Analysis for Excel/Office. These consumption channels increase financial reporting efficiency as well as enable end users to share insights across roles and responsibilities.

Hershey's Director for Financial Data Systems and I will be presenting at ASUG/SAPPHIRE this year on June 5 at 11:00am -12:00pm in room S320E (South Concourse, 3rd Floor). I look forward to connecting with you at our booth #530!

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 19, 2016

Sapphire Blog: Building Business Value with SAP S/4HANA

Every business that wants to succeed in the 21st century needs to have a solid digital core. So I was fascinated by the gathering of different industry executives at the session dedicated to building business value with SAP S/4HANA at this week's Sapphire Now conference. Kiran Gole, Principal - Business Services Information Systems - SAP Practice, Infosys, was joined by technology leaders from SAP, New York Life Insurance Co., Karma Automotive, and CEITEC (a Brazilian-sponsored technology company), all of whom talked about how they re-imagined their business models and improved consumer engagement by leveraging a new, digital core.

You must be wondering: How do you re-imagine your company's position in an industry as traditional as the automotive arena?  Well, automakers deal with suppliers. Lots of them. The largest, Tier 1 suppliers, can practically build cars themselves. If your auto business can operate in real-time with other suppliers and the manufacturers themselves, then you are at a tremendous advantage. One of the panelists, Ketan Gohil of Karma Automotive, said the company went through ups and downs in years past but in 2014 taken over and renamed Karma. But then something even bigger happened: the company's digital transformation. "We wanted to make a robust and scalable finance platform, but also make it simple," Mr. Gohil said about adopting the S/4HANA business platform.

It's been exactly one year since SAP unveiled S/4HANA. A company spokesman said that there are now more than 180 customers running the robust finance platform. Kiran Gole of Infosys told the standing room-only crowd that every five or six years Infosys goes through new journey when SAP unveils a big new product like S/4HANA. Infosys, both a customer and partner of SAP, explored lots of possibilities when it was deciding to upgrade its finance platform, according to Mr. Gole. They experienced some complex landscapes but to their satisfaction discovered that SAP had embedded everything into one landscape. From a holistic point of view, said Mr. Gole, S/4HANA really brought business value into the organization. Doing so wasn't merely a migration, but a new formation, he said.

Infosys went from contract to go-live in just five months, according to Mr. Gole. "In the first part of our journey, there were lots of learnings," he said. "It's a single landscape and not just about simple financial solutions." Mr. Gole told the crowd that it took Infosys much shorter than expected to implement S/4HANA because of its simple and seamless nature.

At Karma Automotive, Ketan Gohil said that after the company's acquisition in 2014, they went through lots of "what if?" scenarios. The IT team wondered what platform the newly merged company should use. Sometimes the decisions were difficult to reconcile, he said. But now everything at Karma Automotive is integrated. "Now we are able to do any kind of business analysis and planning because we moved to S/4. We can easily integrate apps out of the box, so that's another migration reason," he said.

Another panelist, Ray Carney of New York Life Insurance Co., said they wanted to transform the roles of their finance professionals. The insurance company also needed to streamline operations and get consistency and transparency. "People can do their jobs better when they work on a streamlined platform," Carney said. The insurance company has also experienced faster processing and better output in reporting, which allows its finance professionals to perform their jobs better. People are rethinking how they do things, according to Carney, and really working to re-engineer their day-to-day jobs.

January 12, 2016

The S/4 Moment of Truth

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

July 27, 2015

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

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

Current Customer Background

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

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

July 20, 2015

Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 2

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

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

May 26, 2014

SAP HANA: what to expect

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

Continue reading " SAP HANA: what to expect " »

August 6, 2013

Should SAP Build MDM with SAP HANA ?

 

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

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

May 29, 2013

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

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

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

May 6, 2013

SAPPHIRE NOW 2013: What to expect?

By Adam Zeckel

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

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

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

April 17, 2013

HANA: Yes, No or Never! - Part 1

By Kishor Gummaraju

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

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

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

March 7, 2013

Delivering the promise of reduced TCO from HANA implementations

By Nitin Vilas Kulkarni

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

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

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

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

February 27, 2013

BW on HANA TCO - Part 2

By Adam Zeckel

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

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

Labor

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

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

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

May 10, 2012

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

Guest Post by

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

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

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

April 19, 2012

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

By Nitin Vilas Kulkarni

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

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

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