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Today SAP or for that matter in general ERP installed base is huge. ERP has become the backbone for businesses world over. Many comanies are running SAP systems now for years. SAP as a business suite is evolving, new functionalities are added, architecture goes thru change. On the other hand business demands differentiated capabilities, new dimension products get implemented. Amidst all these dynamic changes taking place is there a case for getting to know the health of the current SAP system as a whole and to find out whether the investments made over the years are yielding fruit or not or is there a need at all to do that upgrade or to go in for the marketing pitch made by the consultants or not.

 The answer to that would vary depending from to whom you ask and at what context. But as far as my experience in last 10 years goes this reality is often overlooked and yes business cases are prepared and new investmenst made but on a need basis which are more ad hoc in nature.

There are off course upgrade assessments done which is targeted for a specific objective. But a system wide assessment which covers functional and technical analysis of the system is rarely carried out. There are reasons why such an approach is not easy to operationalize. What would be a frame of reference of the assessment, is there a bench mark against which the utlisation or usage of the system be tracked? This is where we at Siemens had made an attempt to put together a framework which helps to carry out a thorough system assessment.

We call this “COMPASS®” – COMPrehensive Assessment of SAP System

We have developed a proven assessment methodology to perform analysis of the system, validate the current business challenges, systems issues, identify gaps and improvement opportunities. We jointly develop a solution roadmap with the client which provides a clear path to attain the improvements by further leveraging SAP.

 As you would find the in the figure below a snapshot of the assessment tool is provided. This tool captures for each module the current “As-Is” status of each business process and provied a comprative evaluation with respect to the SAP best practice for that process. Each business process is broken down into its constituent entities like Master Data, Configuration, Process Steps 7 Developments and this helps to assess each process in its granular details. This forms the basis of the overall rating of the process maturity in SAP. Clearly the rating of 2 & 3 forms the basis of improvement opportunity.

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The methodology is comprehensive since it covers the dimensions of business, technology and SAP and allows you to plot improvement initiatives on value vs cost. Finally a roadmap is presented for the selected opportunities with clear solution recommendations and suggested initiatives that can be undertaken for implementation.

 The basis of the roadmap is a prioritized evaluation of each improvement opportunity or “Initiatives” as depicted in the figure below. This helps to focus the efforts for the CXO level attention

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The assessment would be tailored to the applicable client scenario depending on the details gathered during the discovery roundtable.

The assessment is customized to specific situations, depending upon the complexity involved and client’s requirement. The engagement starts with the discovery session where our experts would recommend appropriate levels of assessment that can be done. The client can choose from different options starting with ‘Lite’ assessment to ‘Full’ scale using detail analysis tools. We use different tools and templates in different situations and assessment approches. e.g. Live Tools, RBE+, System Analysis Tool and assessment templates.

The key benefits of the Comprehensive Assessment of SAP system are:

· Documented evaluation of the as-is application system

· Documented evaluation of Business Process Re-engineering or Consolidation &

Harmonization opportunities

· An understanding of the financial benefits of these opportunities to drive down TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

· A point of view on the investment required to achieve the benefits and the roadmap for deployment

The assessment would be all the more relevant for clients who have grown inorgamically/organically after the implementation, looking to upgrade, finding it difficult to manage with in house IT support. There would obvoously be questions aboout the return on such investment into the assessment. But in the long run it pays back in terms of reducing further costs when upgrade/implementation happens and the correct roadmap is chosen to improve the system.

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