SAP S/4HANA migration – Let’s assess what we have today, to build better for tomorrow
Meet the Experts
⇨ With the online world changing as quickly as it is, IT leaders cannot delay adopting better processes.
⇨ When evaluating current and new or upgraded processes, keeping in mind the business purpose of the integration, the value it brings, and most importantly, “is there a better way to do it” is crucial.
⇨ Finding some quick wins can ease the migration task and drive concrete digital transformation.
Asses What we Have | Is there a better way? | Simple Assessment Worksheet
Hello, my SAP friends,
Welcome back to my series on integration decision points for SAP S/4HANA migration initiatives.
In this article, I have tangible content that you can use to assess, understand, and rate what integrations you have today, how well they are working for you, and how you can use this information to plan a starting point for tackling integrations. There is a downloadable worksheet you can use to assess your current integrations with some tips to help you through it all. Is it fun to assess integrations? Maybe not. Do we need to get started on it? Yes, so let’s begin!
In my last post, we heard from Elisa, as she and her team did due diligence on integration to use for S/4HANA, utilizing an agile pre-packaged integration strategy that enabled true digital transformation for their IT teams and internal and external customers, all focused on business success. I want you to succeed like fictional Elisa, so this post is about the action and you.
Let’s walk through an example of using this worksheet with Earl, an integration manager at a building manufacturing company, assessing current integration processes to prep for S/4HANA planning. As Earl works on assessing what they have, he has to decide the categories relevant for the project. He also wants this project to be simple, to-the-point, effective, and does not want to over analyze at this stage.
When evaluating current and new or upgraded processes, keep in mind the business purpose of the integration, the value it brings, and most importantly, “IS THERE A BETTER WAY?”
With these tips in mind, Earl sets up 2-hour work sessions with the primary groups who benefit from SAP integrations. These groups will depend on your organization, but from my experience, these groups can be the customer service teams who need live SAP info all day long to answer customer inquiries, the sales leaders who need SAP pricing to sell more and reduce margins, or the Field Service managers who rely on SAP data while techs are out fixing and maintaining products and services for their customers. Organizing work sessions by key business areas will make the process more efficient.
The focus of the worksheet is not to solve the problems – it is all about assessing the current state.
Pizza in hand, Earl talks through a couple of examples to set the stage for the work session.
The first five columns are relevant points, and the business purpose column is critical as we move to the ratings. In the first example, syncing SAP order header data to Salesforce via a nightly batch job is rated a 4 for IT tech debt because it requires a lot of storage in Salesforce, a rating of 3.5 on IT resource debt because the nightly jobs have to be restarted often, and a 4 for business value because though they have visibility into orders, any orders placed today won’t be there on the Account.
‘Quotes needing SAP pricing’ syncs list price to support CPQ quoting. The rating for IT tech debt is a 2 because it is low-tech debt as the storage requirements are low. But it scores a 2 for business success because it only gives list pricing, not customer specific. Manual back and forth between the SAP pricing team and the Sales team occurs to get the correct pricing on quotes.
For invoice visibility, this integration is in place but does not accomplish the purpose effectively as the portal users do not have confidence in data, so they call their reps instead. This integration is something that Earl and his team may want to tackle and put on their current to-do list – so do not forget to add these to the worksheet.
Once the worksheet is filled out, Earl sorts the “Re-do for S/4” column, “Biz Success” column, and then the “Resource or Tech debt” columns. Whether IT resources or tech debt is more valuable in your organization will depend on what they have more or less of in their IT world.
Once Earl has had several working lunch sessions with different parts of the business, he gets a high-level picture of the current integrations they need to rebuild, what is needed for S/4, and the start of a plan.
And maybe you guessed it already, there are some hidden gems he has found during the sessions:
- There are several integrations that are on their to-do list that they could try and solve ahead of time.
- They also uncovered important business gaps, and Earl and team will try and fix to ease the transition to S/4HANA and help them be business heroes.
- And we know there are pre-built integrations that are an easy lift and shift from ECC to SAP S/4HANA that can be leveraged to bring value, so Earl realizes that it is time to look at what’s out there to help solve some issues now.
With the online world changing as quickly as it is, IT leaders do not have the luxury of time or delay adopting better processes. While businesses want to have real-time pricing for quoting processes in CRM, distributors and partners clamour for self-service capabilities. Companies cannot afford to wait until their S/4HANA projects are finished.
So, let us assess what we have today, figure out what we can tackle at the top of our to-do list as integration is the hardest part. And we do not need to “Do it All’ right now but finding some quick wins can ease the migration task at hand and drive concrete digital transformation.
I hope you enjoyed this actionable content that you can use today with your teams as you map out integration options for SAP S/4HANA. While I know this is not a glamorous task, you will be happy that you put in the work and starting is half the battle.
Download the SAP S4HANA Integration Assessment Worksheet here.
Please share your thoughts, insights, and comments with me, I’d love to discuss further. As always, my views are my own and not those of my employer. I welcome your feedback.