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REIMAGINE 2016
The Diamond of your Business

Every Januaglobery SAP hosts their annual Sales Kick-Off event, called FKOM. This year, about 6,000 SAP employees and partners descended upon Las Vegas for two days to learn how SAP will address their 2016 go-to-market strategy...


REIMAGINE THE USER EXPERIENCE
Mobility that Works the way You Live

Have you ever been away from the office when you get a call from work that something critical has come up and needs your immediate attention?...


ACTIVATE S/4 HANA, THE DIGITAL CORE
3 Critical Steps to Know when to Migrate to S/4 HANA

With SAP’s emphasis on HANA and the value HANA and S/4 HANA as a disruptive platform, it makes sense to put this project on your IT Roadmap. If you currently have ECC, the first question is deciding which of the two upgrade paths you should take:...


WHEN THE UNEXPECTED HITS
How Life can Change You with 4 Little Heartbeats

Rich Rodriguez heads Answerthink’s Business Intelligence Group as the Senior Director.   Loves his job, happy at home with his wife and 2 young sons.  A simplistic American life – healthy, hearty and happy...


Reimagine

Every Januaglobery SAP hosts their annual Sales Kick-Off event, called FKOM. This year, about 6,000 SAP employees and partners descended upon Las Vegas for two days to learn how SAP will address their 2016 go-to-market strategy.

Bill McDermott, CEO and Member of the SAP Executive Board, gave an inspiring summary of the 2015 results and paved a promising roadmap for years to come. Look at SAP’s 2015 results; they killed it against their targets and competition such as Oracle, Salesforce, and Workday.

But their diamond in the rough is S/4 HANA with over 2,700 S/4 HANA deals, doubling the adoption rate over the last quarter.

Technology is used to make everything smarter, faster and simpler.  In order to keep the pace, how do you respond with your biggest obstacle being IT complexity?   This is truly the year of business model transformation.  Your goal should be to achieve simplicity with new technologies that help streamline and possibly even replace complex, expensive IT architectures.  How do you get there . . . Enterprise adoptions for HANA and S/4 HANA is unmistakable!

We are getting more inquiries about HANA and S/4 HANA adoption. HANA is a disruptive platform for Enterprise Applications and putting it on your operations, and IT roadmap is essential.

During a recent executive roundtable involving CIOs and SAP executives, the CIOs focused on upgrading to ECC 7. The SAP response was “if you want to continue to do business as usual, then this is the path you should follow. However, if you don’t want to be surpassed by your competition while they migrate to the speed and benefits of in-memory computing, you need to move to HANA.”

We believe that SAP’s strategy around HANA as the core for Digital Transformation is sound. To help our customers understand the benefits and transformation that HANA provides, we are conducting a roadshow, and the plan is to visit with all interested customers face-to-face.

diamondDuring this two-hour workshop, we present to your leadership team various aspects of deploying HANA and S/4 HANA to help simplify your IT Landscape, reduce TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and accelerate analytics and decision-making for all levels of the business. Customers we have met with are saying that the time is well spent to help demystify the swirl around HANA.

If you are interested in understanding how HANA and S/4 HANA can help you, contact me @ acolombo@answerthink.com to arrange for an appointment on our Roadshow.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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mobility

computerHave you ever been away from the office when you get a call from work that something critical has come up and needs your immediate attention? Smartphones have ensured constant connection.  What if the situation requires you to access information in your company’s SAP system to evaluate and act to resolve the issue? Up until now, that has meant getting back to the office or logging in remotely to access SAP and address the issue. Hey, this is 2016, isn’t there a better way to access the full power of SAP no matter where you are?

Now with SAP Fiori, the answer is yes!

Fiori runs as an app on your Smartphone, or tablet, and gives you access to over 500 of the most used SAP processes. The simple, intuitive screen design requires little to no training to use. The responsive screen layout, using HTML5 technology automatically sizes the display to your device, and if you have Wi-Fi or cellular signal, you have access to SAP.

Security is a major concern with mobile applications. Fiori addresses security threats on multiple levels; access, authorization and data loss prevention. The robust role-based security built into SAP is used by Fiori ensuring the same level of security as if you were accessing from your office. Role-based also means that when you log onto Fiori, you see the processes relevant to your role(s) organized however you desire.

So, when you open the Fiori app, the Fiori Launchpad (FLP) shows a series of individual tiles, each of which represents one of the 500+ Fiori enabled processes. A user can organize tiles as desired, typically grouping them around functional areas (like Procurement, HR, Finance, Sales, and Operations). Also, you set up Favorites just like on your office computer.

 An example of Tiles within Procurement Group could be:

  • Create a Purchase Requisition,
  • Approve Purchase Requisitions, and
  • Analyze Vendor Metrics. 

Typical of SAP applications, pre-defined content is provided to accelerate your time-to-adoption.  SAP provides hundreds of role-based Tiles designed for how you live your business life.

Fiori capabilities are presented in one of three ways:   

  1. Transactional
  2. Analytical
  3. Fact Sheet

Here’s a summary of each of these:

Transactional tiles

- These tiles allow users to execute their favorite transactions from their mobile device.

- Examples include Create Purchase Requisition. Change Purchase Order, Vendor Invoice Approval, Approval of Trips and many other every-day transactions.

Many of our Fiori customers begin their Fiori journey implementing this capability. The Time-to-Results is straightforward by connecting the Fiori server to your SAP systems. To see the Fiori Solution Brief, Click Here.

Analytical tiles

- A user can access SAP delivered (or your own developed) KPI’s to graphically drill down thru key data in your SAP system, thereby, gaining insights and enabling actions.

– A feature that our customers like is the color-coded KPI tiles providing quick and intuitive visualization of warnings, alerts, and notifications of live trends in your business. 

There is much buzz around Fact Sheet tiles.

Fact Sheet tiles

-  Factsheets provide extensive drill down capabilities never before possible in SAP. Experienced SAP users are familiar with links that are available on most standard SAP transaction screens whereby a user can quickly / easily jump from say a goods receipt screen directly into a material master, purchase order or vendor master screen.

A good example of how Fact Sheets simplify your work! You are visiting with a customer, and they inquire about the delivery date of a product on a recent Sales Order.

  • From your tablet or Smartphone, pull up the Customer Fact Sheet. On the Customer Fact Sheet, you can view Open Sales Orders, Recent Sales Orders, Open Receivables, and other KPI’s.
  • From the Customer Fact Sheet, you navigate to the list of Open Sales Orders.
  • From the Sales Order, you can search on the Material Fact Sheet, and just like with Google, you can view KPI’s for the material, the producing plant, quantity of hand, open production orders and other critical information.
  • Navigate to the Expected Ship Date and tell your Customer with certainty the delivery will be on-time

A common misunderstanding we frequently hear is that you need HANA to take advantage of Fiori’s user experience. That is not true! Transaction tiles are available on any database. For this reason, many customers deploy Purchase Approvals as the first project; you can begin with your current ECC platform.

For Mobile Transactions, Analytics and Fact Sheets, you need HANA. We plan to present additional information on the HANA architecture in future Editions of the Newsletter.

What can you do with Fiori?  Reinvent your business and reimagine your user experience!  

OK – so do you want to reimagine your user experience? Let’s connect at dgibson@answerthink.com – or use your Smartphone and call me at 856-816-8008. 


activate_hana

hana computerWith SAP’s emphasis on HANA and the value HANA and S/4 HANA as a disruptive platform, it makes sense to put this project on your IT Roadmap. If you currently have ECC, the first question is deciding which of the two upgrade paths you should take:

  • SAP Business Suite (ECC, CRM, BI, etc.) on HANA (SOH), or
  •  Activate S/4 HANA

We will focus on Activate S/4 HANA, the adoption framework leveraging best practices, methodology and prescribed steps to help you plan and implement your migration.  We are assuming that you understand the value, benefits, and transformation that occurs when S/4 is your ERP backbone. If you are unclear of the benefits, our Advisory Services team can assist with your business case and provide insight for standing up your S/4 platform. Net month, we will address the SAP on HANA (SOH) migration.

One of our clients running ECC 6, EHP 5 paved their S/4 Migration Roadmap. We think it is helpful to share the 3 step process to get to S/4 HANA and to estimate the project scope, duration, and effort.

  1. Migrate Current State to S/4 Compatible Version.
  2. Upgrade to HANA DB.
  3. Deploy S/4 HANA Code  

Our Advisory Services team assisted this customer with assessing the current level of each application and then to confirm the appropriate support pack and enhancement pack required for each of the applications i.e. ECC, CRM, BI and other applications. For customers that have kept current with support packs and EHP’s, this effort is minimal.

Upgrading to the HANA DB and deploying the S/4 code is addressed as either a one-step or two-step process. SAP provides Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS) tools that accelerate the upgrade steps. Many factors influence whether the DB and S/4 Code steps are consolidated. A significant driver for one-step or two is the database size and the window available to convert the legacy database to HANA.

Other considerations that affected the estimated timeline and effort are:

  • Data Archiving – DB size is a key factor determining the migration window.
  • Platform – Cloud or On-premise Edition.
  • Best Practices Options – Analytics, Industry, Line of Business and User Experience (UX)

There are still many misconceptions about migrating to S/4. Some of the more frequently asked questions are:

Our industry functionality is not yet in S/4!  S/4 HANA on-premise edition addresses similar coverage regarding functionality, configuration, industries, and languages as the current SAP Business Suite.

We need more than just Simple Finance! Simple Finance is the first step in the simplification of the data structure for Finance and Controlling. In the November 2015 release, Release 1511, specified FICO modules had 90% reduction in the data footprint resulting from no indexes, no aggregations, and no data redundancy. The specific modules and processes affected are included in the Release Notes on Service Marketplace. Following SAP’s announced delivery schedule, releases will occur in March (1603), May (1605) and November (1611) of 2016.

Custom Objects are not Migrated! The RDS tools migrate all custom objects to S/4. However, it is generally advised to evaluate the RICEFW list to see some should be re-engineered or removed altogether. We anticipate that up to 50% of the custom objects developed during earlier projects are candidates for simplification reducing your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

These are just a few of the FAQ’s that we have heard from our customers. If you have additional questions about migrating to S/4, Click Here to view a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions.

For an Executive Summary of the S/4 HANA migration path, or to better understand the benefits of SAP S/4 HANA, contact John McGrath at jmcgrath@answerthink.com.


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Rich Rodriguez heads Answerthink’s Business Intelligence Group as the Senior Director.   Loves his job, happy at home with his wife and 2 young sons.   A simplistic American life – healthy, hearty and happy.

But life is full of unexpected surprises, and more of life is exactly what he got!  Rich and his wife found out they were expecting twins – and both were boys! 

If their hands were not full with two young boys, the addition of twins just made their life a lot more dynamic. In total, their new party of six includes three children under the age of two – one is walking and the other two are nursing.  From the multiple feedings per day, diaper changes and everything in between, their energy and resilience are constantly being tested.

In short, the moral of this story is to show how 4 small heartbeats can change your mindset.  Rich’s appreciation for his wife has grown tremendously. While away on his weekly business travels, he thinks about the time and energy it takes to juggle their four children.  

A 20-year veteran at implementing Business Analytics on various platforms, Rich supports his customers on HANA, Business Objects, BW and Birst.  He devotes a majority of his time educating and helping customers understand the value, benefits and transformation of HANA, SAP’s in-memory computing platform and Analytics. In his work environment he has developed patience, understanding and listens intently before speaking.  He has discovered that these traits produce better results both at home and at work.

Every aspect of his life has been affected and lifestyle adjustments have had to be made as a result.  But through it all, Rich feels even luckier than he did before – it just took 4 little heartbeats to realize the meaning of life.
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