A Trusted Partner for Your S/4HANA Journey

Blog /A-Trusted-Partner-for-Your-S4HANA-Journey

As revealed in SAP's financial results for Q1 2016, more than 500 companies purchased S/4HANA in the first quarter alone, bringing the total number of organizations now using SAP S/4HANA to 3,200.

That’s impressive traction considering S/4HANA was first announced in February 2015, followed in May 2015 with the announcement of SAP S/4HANA, Cloud Edition.

In July 2015 SAP announced a free 30-day trial offer for S/4HANA, On-Premise Edition; and in November 2015, SAP announced a massive wave of innovation for S/4HANA at SAP TechEd in Barcolona.

The November release, dubbed 1511, is a complete ERP system, covering the mission-critical business processes across lines of business such as finance, sales, service, marketing, commerce, procurement and sourcing, manufacturing, supply chain, asset management, research and development, and human resources. The on-premise version of 1511 also includes key logistics functions, which SAP calls Materials Management and Operations.

Benefitting SAP customers, S/4HANA, release 1511, which carries the overarching name SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, enables companies to step up their digital game by completely (and quickly) transforming core business processes across myriad lines of business.

More recently, SAP released three new SAP S/4HANA "1603" cloud editions that provide industry-focused capabilities for marketing, professional services and more general enterprise ERP needs.

SAP is producing new updates for both cloud and on-premises SAP S/4HANA editions every quarter -- so SAP customers can expect additional functionality every three months.

At NTT DATA, we continue to see widespread interest in S/4HANA migration as customers seek gain speed and agility while reducing complexity and hardware costs, improving their user experience and increasing growth opportunities through re-imagined business models, business decisions, and business processes.

Why the rush to S/4HANA? Complexity is a killer!

The simple question of what ERP is today defies a simple answer. Are we talking about the classic, monolithic, on-premise ERP (that still has tremendous value)? Which ERP instances do we include (most companies have several in their ERP museum)? Where do we draw the line between core ERP functionality and the functionality provided by integrated cloud components (who hasn’t bolted SaaS offerings onto their ERP landscape?)?

There is no way around the fact that complexity reigns when it comes to ERP. To help our customers better understand and navigate today’s dynamic ERP waters, and to help us better meet our customers’ third-party service needs, NTT DATA recently enlisted IDG and CIO Magazine to conduct a survey of IT and business leaders.

No surprise that the survey results underscore increased ERP complexity:

  • 73% agree that their ERP ecosystems have become more complex over the past 2 years.
  • 33% report an increase in the number of ERP platforms/packages in use.
  • 44% have a strategy in place for integrating on-premise and cloud environments (36% say this is a top priority over the next 12 months.)

For complete survey results download the “Tackling ERP Complexity” white paper.

According to a recent, in-dept study conducted by Harvard Business, an overwhelming 86% of the 746 business managers surveyed feel their business processes and related decision making has become so complex as to hinder their ability to grow in a digital economy.

And, according to the Harvard Business study, the cost of this complexity is high:

  • Six out of ten survey respondents say complexity increased operational costs by at least 11%.
  • Nearly 50% say their IT systems cannot respond quickly enough to deliver innovative business models or processes.
  • 43% say complexity slows growth, impedes their ability to respond quickly to competitive threats, and interferes with effective decision making.

SAP partners must make the business case for S/4HANA migration clear, and the process manageable

Businesses across industries understand that the piecemeal edge innovations and bolt-on IT strategies of past years won't pass muster in today’s fast-paced digital world, and that the core business processes that drive operations must be completely re-imagined -- from the consumer to the core -- if they are to remain relevant and viable in today's digital economy.

For net-new SAP customers, S/4HANA is a no brainer. For existing SAP customers, S/4HANA is your future.

SAP partners currently manage more than 80% of all projects focused on SAP S/4HANA, according to SAP, and play a major role in selling the software and helping customers plan, run and optimize implementation and digital transformation projects.

Too often at NTT DATA we see companies fail in their digital transformation efforts because they either attempt to do too much -- a complete business model change -- all at once, or they do too little, paying what amounts to lip service to digital transformation by bolting digital technologies onto existing, rigid and inefficient business processes.

SAP S/4HANA goes a long way toward ameliorating the confusion and concerns of business and IT leaders grappling with the challenge of eliminating ERP complexity and digitizing core operations.

Nonetheless, the onus remains on SAP partners to identify for SAP customers where S/4HANA can provide the most value and develop best practices for achieving this value again and again.

There is no cookie-cutter tool for S/4 HANA migration. Each company has it’s unique ERP environment, market forces, corporate objectives, industry imperatives, customer expectations, and enterprise IT priorities -- which is why NTT DATA provides a broad set of offerings that support your S/4HANA journey, from defining the roadmap all the way to full execution, including:

  • Strategic planning and business case preparation to accelerate your implementation roadmap
  • Maximizing your SAP investments, we support your design needs whether on-premise, hybrid or cloud-based solutions
  • Assets and tools such as our Uptimizer to accelerate delivery and leverage SAP investment
  • Balanced delivery – onshore, near shore & offshore, enabling cost and timing efficiencies
  • Change management – our consultants partner with you to ensure maximized adoption for your organization

In addition, proprietary tools and accelerators commonly used by NTT DATA include:

  • SAP Lifecycle Management Tools – Uptimizer, ArchivePac, HotPac Analyzer, IQ DOT, SAP Health Check
  • Business Process Based tools – HCM Pro Solution, Supply Chain Efficiency Analyzer, BEST for Functional Health check, IFRS Assessment framework, Process usage analysis by Uptimizer, 6 SAP Certified Business All In One (BAIO) solutions
  • Execution/Delivery Tools – Request tracking, project management tool, reusable framework, test script library, knowledge management tool
  • Co-innovation, Solution & Tool Development with SAP – Partner Delivered Enterprise Services (PDES), COIL participation, ALM accelerator development
  • Accelerators for ASAP and Solution Manager – Process, configuration, data conversion accelerators for ASAP; integration of SAP lifecycle management tools with Solution Manager

Contact NTT DATA today to learn more about our S/4HANA migration capabilities or to schedule a meeting at SAPPHIRE NOW.

Post Date: 5/5/2016

Tim Clark - NTT DATA Tim Clark

About the author

Tim is a Vice-President with NTT DATA with responsibility for SAP Consulting and the global HANA COE. He has 20+ years of experience in the SAP space with a focus on leading large scale global transformation programs and outsourcing engagements. He has worked across 30+ countries and a variety of industries, including Wholesale Distribution, Semiconductors, Building Materials, Consumer Products and Oil Field Services. Previously, Tim was a Vice-President at Neoris/CEMEX and a Partner at Accenture.

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