As our customers drive their digital transformation journeys, legacy ERPs may not be enabling innovation or intelligent automation of processes which enterprises are seeking, and traditional ERP systems are struggling to keep up with the digital economy. External factors such as regulatory and reporting changes are also impacting many of our customers. In addition, since SAP announced in 2014 that it would end support for on-premises versions of its ERP software by 2025, prioritising the move of their legacy ERP to SAP’s own S/4HANA platform is on the critical path of many organisations’ digital strategies.
In September, the iOCO Enterprise Applications Line of Business hosted strategic customers at an SAP S/4 HANA “Move in Motion” event, in collaboration with SAP Africa ERP experts.
iOCOan, Tshifhiwa Makhari, facilitated the full day event, guiding participants through the various informative sessions. Stanley Dube of SAP shared an overview of the SAP new digital core as well as important insights from a Benchmarking Study released in April this year. The study of almost 200 SAP customer companies globally, revealed that a majority (71%) of respondents are at different stages in their move toward SAP S/4HANA. Many of these customers see most of the value and significant benefits being realised in the Finance and Supply Chain functions, as well as analytics. With each new release, additional enhancements are creating a richer solution – one in which new modules are embedded in the S/4HANA canvas, and recent releases see new machine learning and predictive analytics functionality as well as integration of Cloud products such as SuccessFactors being included. Stanley shared business benefits in processing of transactions and efficiency gains where results of 2X quicker with 2X less clicks required by users are being measured. Both the business and IT value for making the move often depends on the drivers and are customer specific. Whether it’s about having better real-time insights from the huge amounts of data in their business to make better decisions across the digital core functions, or increasing performance, or reducing the total cost of ownership within the IT functions, organisations have the ability to work with iOCO and SAP on this journey. Various tools and readiness accelerators are available to customers to help fast track some of the decision making, and speakers at the event walked participants through practical examples of these, emphasising the importance of aligning the organisation’s business and IT strategy before embarking on the journey. For example, the ERP project is often part of a broader transformation programme of technology and business changes,
and the SAP Transformation Navigator tool assists organisations and their systems integration partners like iOCO to navigate the right timing and sequence along the project plan.
Every customer’s journey is unique and the migration and implementation options need to be carefully considered. Customers have the support of iOCO SAP advisory services to consider whether to move to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud or on premise – and whether to get there through a system conversion or a new implementation.
Neil Lund and Steve Hughes of iOCO SAP provided some valuable lessons learnt from implementations completed or currently in progress, including advising customers to consider carefully the impact of complexities within their current ERP environments. Many organisation’s ECC6 environments have multiple custom code developments and third party add-ons – hence the integration readiness planning is critical in preparation for the changes needed. Speakers offered examples of roadmap plans which consider the deployment approach to be adopted, phasing and preferences of the platform and timing considerations for the move to S/4.
The afternoon sessions of the event gave participants the opportunity to connect with functional area experts one on one and in roundtable discussions with our iOCO SAP experts together with SAP consultants for Finance, Supply Chain and IT, to explore what S/4HANA means for their particular business area and job function.