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SAP Innovative Revamps, Culture & the Middle East

With SAP Teched 2011 ended in Las Vegas, there have been ample lectures, articles and webcasts placed online at SDN. What is evident from reading these items is that SAP is in a major push for analytics and mobile applications along with other innovations.

High-speed analytics, pre-packaged enterprise performance management elements are being marketed as the part of the innovative revamping of SAP but is this revamp and marketing push something which geographically distributed customers will leap for? Will it be as effective in adoption rates for different markets? This blog entry is to just highlight some thoughts on the matter how different markets react to these upcoming rapid changes.

A consultant reading the latest news regarding all the SAP Teched developments in North America or Europe would be thinking how to get versed with these technologies ASAP and how to leverage these new technologies in order to secure a current job position as well as to be able to reach out to higher paying areas. 

A consultant sitting in the middle east would likely think “Oh that’s great, I need to check this out” and in the same succession would think “Well, it will take a couple of years to be applicable here, I will check it later”.

What this highlights is the remarkable difference in the approach towards systems, IT as a general in different geographical locations. Readers will say that this is a factor within certain industries. The rush for innovation and implementation of processes is required for some industries while others might not need to rush along so fast.

A recent survey result from SUG-MENA, the SAP user group from the region, stated that companies are engaged up to 44% of the time in managing their current implementations in the form of operations and enhancements arising as a result of business needs.

The factor that this result does not indicate is the one where certain industries which have the largest SAP implementations are less inclined towards these upcoming technologies. There is a constant need for ABAP consultants and a contractual need for functional consultants.

With these implementations mired down in working through workflows, existing ABAP reports and functional processes, it leaves few resources to design, develop and implement a feasible solution. Companies are only now beginning to understand the benefits of analytics and how they can work with them in their current IT eco-system.  

Culture plays a heavy hand in these policies and activities. Oil & Gas, an industry which receives growth spurts based on global increase of resource utilization (China/India) rather than full-time marketing campaigns for people to purchase oil (A macro-level comparison with another industry) is an example.

Would HANA and other innovations be useful? Indeed so, but I do not see Middle East customers running and ‘effectively’ implementing the aforementioned technological upgrades in the near future.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      This is a great blog!  It is diverse, and it's message is clear.

      Now I get to totally agree.  The pharmaceutical industry in the US has a ton of regulations.  The latest and greatest isn't always what we use here.  We are on ECC 6.0 enhancement pack 0.  A lot of the new technology is for enhancement pack 4 and above.

      Run out an learn all the new technology.  That is something that I still do.  I try to keep it somewhere for when I can use it.  I try to get to SAP Teched as often as possible to reinforce the "newer" technology.  What's new to me is probably "old" to a lot of other industries.  But the more I talk with people at SAP Teched, the more I find they are on lower versions of SAP.  We are there to learn what we want to do - the information I use is the ASUG courses.  I can go back home and use them immediately.  Then forward looking ones are the SAP ones.  (But not always, some of them I can use now.)

      Are you specifically thinking SAP Teched or of some other training?

      As always a long reply from me.  The above explains why I am one of the people to run out and learn the new technologies.

      Is there something similar at your Teched? Do you have sessions where it's not all about the new technologies, but also some of the "old" ones?  What about a roadmap to the future?  Are the "newer" technologies just so far into the future they wouldn't help a roadmap?  How about consultants in the Middle East?  I know we had one doing some work for us.  She really had to work hard to pick up the "new" technology of Adobe forms while working on the job.

      I'm sorry a lot of questions - this for me is a very interesting topic.  I like to hear / listen / understand different cultures!


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Thank you for the kind words Ma'am. I am happy with a long reply, it encourages discussion 🙂

      By training it means the local ramp-ups, world tours, TechEds and all the other developer conferences which are being organized. I consider ASUG to be more community based streaming content but not in a hyper manner like the main marketing stream.

      TechEd has not really caught on in the MENA region, they do demos of technologies/conferences but these are mainly targeted towards the customer. They orient them with upcoming releases such as enterprise mobility or businessbydesign. Technically-wise there might be a session conducted remotely by a consultant in Malaysia giving a small overview of the architecture.

      SUG-Mena exists as a small entity here but its not developer/technology advancement centric- further part of the culture diaspora.

      Newer technologies are marketed to the customer as to being a silver bullet or as the upcoming thing and some clients love to have something new to talk about at their own premesis (use as a marketing campaign itself, for e.g Gulf News implements top of the line erp system with the provision of enterprise mobility for its clients and employees)

      Consultants are left to adapt to the demands of the major companies here- meaning operational work- its a matter of the client really, end-users here prefer their technology to be one-click solutions, less screens to go through, less fields etc. A result of this preference leads to the consultants to proposing workarounds-quick-fixes for standard processes(e.g a custom tcode to create a purchase order , notify a manager, create a workflow with only simple entries within a screen and not a scattered me21n) thus not adopting various elements coming up.

      I think the application of ALM would be a very useful activity in this region but to be able to balance client requirements, effort and resources available :). I think i have scattered information in my comment instead of focusing it.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thank you for the explanation.  It's an interesting way of thinking of things.  ASUG is more functional based, but it does have the technical type people.  They usually present at Teched.

      SUG-Mena, perhaps it will grow.

      Newer technologies = silver bullet.  That makes me laugh.  They never are.  I agree with you.

      Scattered information - I am great at that!  That is usually how I write, and usually how I comment.  So I am the one who probably drove you to scattered information.

      And now - you can ignore this part if you want.  Also I am not sure what area of SAP you work in.  SAP Teched is my favorite place to go.  Some year soon, maybe next year I won't get to go to our US SAP Teched.  So that is where this is coming from:

      Web Dynpro is a nice interface where you can create a screen that would replace several - I know exactly what you mean.  So you could create a web dynpro that create the purchase order, sends an e-mail, creates a workflow.  It's a great technology that you can probably use now.  You don't need to have portals to create a web dynpro.

      Another thought, and we are starting to do this more often, instead of creating a new screen, you can use something like ME21N.  Then the BADIs, the enhancement points along with a BAPI, a start of your workflow to accomplish the same thing.  Then when you do an upgrade it will be easier to keep your custom transaction up to date.

      That is what SAP Teched is about showing you alternatives that can be used.  I am also not sure about your SAP version.

      There is Code Inspector and Coverage Analyzer.

      The networking is a huge benefit.  I get to meet a lot of people.

      Ok - I'll stop talking about SAP Teched.  I just got back from it.   I do understand your custom requests.  We have a lot of those here.   A lot of them were done around our warehouse management transaction codes.

      When you just want to limit fields on the screen, it will not help with multiple transactions,  you might want to try transaction SHD0.  Create a transaction variant for the screen.  There is a lot of good information in the help for this.  I know sometimes we just want to make the screen look better quickly.  This gives you that ability.

      Again long answer - I love your reply, I love your blog, keep it up and maybe - just maybe, I'll start to understand your culture a little.

      Thank you!


      Have you heard of SAP Inside Track?

      This may be a nice alternative to start up in your area.  Close and free - two really good things.  Lantao Yang and Sheng Qiang are a couple of SAP mentors that I found while doing a quick search for China Mentors. (I have no idea how close to you.)  They might be able to help with it.