Partnering for a Successful Future

Preparing a Business for the Future Involves Taking a Broader View of Strategy and Finding a Partner That Will Work Hand in Hand To Build Success

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Meet the Experts

Key Takeaways

⇨ Finding a partner to evaluate strategy across the organization is crucial. Fragmented projects result in delays and cost overruns

⇨ The more informed customers are about their environments before the start of the project, the more likely they are to be successful. This can be as simple as a custom code evaluation, but embracing the entirety of the project and the organizational change it can bring is essential

⇨ Involving business teams in the transformation process is vital to the success of initiatives beyond the deployment phase. Failure to do so may result in failure to see technology adopted post-implementation

Organizations need to prioritize innovation. Improving agility, ensuring resilience, and unlocking data-driven analytics across business operations are not only essentials for success and growth, but also prerequisites. However, most organizations approach their transformation projects traditionally, where either the project scope is narrow or a single target approach is adopted. For example, infrastructure renewals or applying sustainability goals. In fact, what they should be prioritizing is the bigger picture. Although traditional approaches often stem from budgetary constraints or a pressing need to replace legacy infrastructure, the failure to envision the bigger picture often derails successful transformations. Finding the right partner can be a large part of the solution.

Taking a Broader View of Strategy

To better understand such challenges, SAPinsider sat down with Fujitsu’s Andrew Manton, SAP Enablement Solution Architect, and Rosalia Bote Rosario, SAP Solution Architect. Andrew and Rosalia have years of experience helping customers complete successful transformation projects. They often work with organizations that focus on addressing individual targets and siloed change rather than broader transformation across their organization. While both enable organizations to envision broader transformational goals, they often cite Fujitsu’s own transformation as a case in point.

“The approach should be one that starts from the customer experience (CX) level and goes all the way down the shop floor,” Andrew states. “There should be a consensus about the business strategy that can be improved as you move forward. Only by doing this is it possible to realize the broader potential of transformation. For organizations looking at SAP S/4HANA, while that is important it is only one aspect of the project. Organizations struggle to grasp the concept of a full end-to-end project and a viewpoint that encompasses the entire scope of the company.”

Andrew asserts that a part of the challenge might pertain to the lack of understanding about what a transformation strategy should look like. This often results in organizations focusing on addressing the isolated components of what should be a broader strategy. However, what many organizations experience, particularly the long-term SAP customers who have undertaken piecemeal projects like upgrades and infrastructure renewal, is that these projects cause disruption, have higher costs, and are fragmented.

“We are now starting to see companies taking an extended perspective at the preparation phase of building their strategy,” comments Andrew. “They are engaging in a longer, more detailed analysis phase that uses specialist tools, analytics, and works with the business from the top down to the bottom to understand the impact of change and how they can utilize that change to benefit their customers.”

Andrew highlights that mapping out a clear vision, understanding the proof points for the strategy, and involving the business owners and decision-makers allows the project to run smoothly. It means that it is crucial to move away from a mandate like ‘this project must start by May next year’ to a structured approach that focuses on analysis driven by insights and tools to understand how the cloud can be adopted and what that will do to business processes. Understanding the current business challenges and the improvement scope along with gaining consensus to create a business case is key for a successful transformation project.

An Assessment-Based Approach

An assessment framework aims to assess and evaluate every stage of a potential transformation program. “We evaluate the impact of the program on the business and the organizational change that may bring,” states Andrew. “We look at business process intelligence very closely. But where we go is very much dependent on where an organization’s strategy sees them going. If, for example, the customer is completing merger and acquisition activities or divestitures, then of course we look at their product suites. But what has become obvious to us is that there is less disruption when more time is invested in planning and analysis.”

The goals for any assessment should be an improved program, reduced timeline, and cost reduction. To make this possible, Fujitsu works with many partners in terms of selective data transition or selective data carve outs. Any organization completing an analysis should leverage capabilities offered by Fujitsu and use their tools, deployment services, and industry experience of working with SAP and Microsoft.

The advantage of an assessment where the partner uses its own tools in conjunction with those like SAP Readiness Check and other SAP tools is the breadth of information the assessment can include. Andrew states that an assessment framework should not be limited to a single aspect of the strategy but should include a combination of information around a total business process transformation. Fujitsu looks to bring to its’ customers a comprehensive view that defines the different elements from cloud analysis all the way through to the SAP S/4HANA assessment and beyond. This should be the goal of every assessment.

Keeping Business at the Center of the Discussion

“The SAP conversation is no longer just about the platform or the infrastructure specifically,” Rosalia comments. “The conversation must shift to business outcomes. This is because business teams should make decisions about the business and not just the technology they are using for it. It is necessary to consider risks, costs, and future proofing the landscape. What we try to do is work alongside our customers and give them a clear view of what they need to do to move to the cloud, when they need to do it, and what the right platform is to use.”

In many instances, simply doing a lift and shift to the cloud, or other new infrastructure, may not be the best approach. Rosalia states that even moving directly to SAP S/4HANA may not be optimal in many cases since there are multiple things to consider along the way. It is necessary to analyze data landscapes, and whether the organization is making the best use of the insights that they are getting from SAP. It is about evaluating the maturity of the organization when it comes to their cloud journey and asking whether they can benefit from new landscapes and environments.

This is where the involvement of the business decision-makers is critical. They understand the way the organization works and the processes that are used within it. Without their involvement in a project, it is significantly more difficult to embrace broader transformation and ensure that any deployment will be immediately valuable.

A partner like Fujitsu can help businesses and IT teams make decisions around platforms, infrastructure, transformation, security, and compliance. “We walk hand in hand with our customers so that we can bring them the latest solutions and innovations,” says Rosalia. “We provide them with choice. We provide them with advice. We make sure that you have the right answer at the right time.” This is what any organization should be looking for in an implementation partner that is building a strategy for the future.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

Many SAP customers are planning transformation projects over the next few years. These might involve replacing legacy infrastructure with cloud-based environments, a move to SAP S/4HANA, or broader digital transformation initiatives. Considering the critical nature of these initiatives and the projection that such initiatives will commence in the next two years, how can SAPinsiders ensure the successful completion of these projects?

  • Perform a complete assessment on the existing systems and business processes. Organizations that have completed the most successful projects have done the most thorough preparation for those projects. This starts with assessing the current state of the organization as well as determining a successful end-state for the project. This assessment should not be limited to just some aspects of the strategy but should involve a combination of tools that examine total business transformation. A partner like Fujitsu can help complete these assessments with teams that have years of experience working with SAP customers.
  • Take a broad approach to mapping out strategy and move beyond disconnected individual projects. Many organizations today are stuck in taking a fragmented approach to projects as they have in the past. Rather than taking an end-to-end view these organizations use a siloed approach that is likely to result in delays and cost overruns. Taking a broader view, and completing a thorough assessment as previously explained, are the keys to understanding the impact of change across the organization and how that can be used to the advantage of both internal and external customers. Only by taking this broader approach that maps out a clear vision is it possible to create a strategy that will be smoother and more successful in implementation.
  • Involve business teams in the process from the inning. In the past most SAP projects have been driven by IT teams. While this is still true to a large extent, the process must change to be more focused on business outcomes. The only team that can make decisions about the way the organization runs are business teams, and they need to be involved in any sort of transformation project from the beginning. A partner with experience running SAP projects, like Fujitsu, will involve the business teams as part of their assessment and when they map out the overall strategy. Without the involvement of business teams it is extremely difficult to successfully complete broader transformation projects.


About Fujitsu

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Fujitsu is a world-leading Japanese IT service provider offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Its purpose is to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. As a trusted global SAP partner for over 40 years, Fujitsu has successfully helped thousands of customers worldwide to simplify, innovate, and grow with SAP solutions. Fujitsu’s portfolio in support of SAP solutions includes advanced technologies and services capabilities to deliver tailored future-proof solutions. With collaboration, Fujitsu helps you reduce complexity and optimize your SAP investments based on a consultative approach and holistic end-to-end portfolio.

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