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Author's profile photo Former Member

Blog it Forward – James Ibbotson

With thanks to Chris K for inviting me, his blog can be found at–chris-kernaghan

The Blog It forward Community Challenge can be found here blogs can be found here in theRogues Gallery aka the Blog it Forward Chain

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I’m a SAP Basis / System  / NetWeaver administrator working at the “University of Sheffield”

Good information about “The University of Sheffield” and Sheffield as a city can be found at

For those interested is a external facing SAP E-Recruitment system.

On Saturdays during the football season i can be found in the North Stand at Hillsborough the home of  Sheffield Wednesday, I have a season ticket, travel to away matches, and still manage to play twice a week at the moment, five a side mainly ! 

Photo from our “Promotion Party” last season 39,000+ home fans ! 

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My other hobby / frustration is golf. Have a club handicap of 22.3 and am a member of Bakewell Golf club. i’m a member of a golf society called Divot Diggers as well.

I’ve achieved both a M.Sc. and a B.Sc (Hons)

My first degree was at Lancaster University a Combined Science one and included Java development back in 1997…. and the second year was at “The University  of Western Ontario” in Canada, and finished the third in the UK

I’ve also travelled fairly extensively and even managed a bungy jump in NewZealand at the famous  off the bridge !

Our SAP Landscape

We run a full SAP HCM and Financials implementation, including Enterprise Portal, ESS, MSS, Payroll FICO, MM,SD,PS etc.

We actually used to have a box of SAP NetWeaver 2004 DVD’s from the original install in our office.

PI is used extensively and we have built Non-SAP to Non-SAP interfaces including some 30 + SAP<>Non SAP Interfaces.

On top of that we have a separate SRM SRM 7.01 system with external supplier catalogues, interfaced using OCI and PI into SAP. 

E-Recruitment is also a standalone ERP Three tier landscape due to historic and configuration reasons.

We have personally executed full upgrades and enhancement packs on all of the above systems, without the use of a S.I. or technical consultancy.

So that’s enough to keep our small 2/3 man Basis team busy 🙂

Bring Your Own Device

Bring your own device is often mentioned as a policy or a nice to have by IT departments,in reality we already have that at Sheffield University, we have corporate strength wireless throughout our campus and offices and have a wide ranging Mac Community which we support as well…..

Over the past couple of weeks i’ve seen our SAP Systems being used on a iPad in a coffee shop and Android tablets being used to book leave via ESS.

Without implementing the SUP landscape yet.

Which i think is quite cool really.

I’m going to blog it forward to one of my colleges

Any questions, drop me a line.



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      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      Hello @jamesy_boy, and nice to meet you!
      Did you know my #workhusband is also a Basis guy?  We *love* our Basis people!

      Do you know if you went with Application Controlled Workflow or Process Controlled Workflow in your SRM 7 implementation?  Just curious.

      Thanks for accepting the #blogitforward challenge!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Susan

      Were on application controlled workflow still, as during the upgrade from 4 - 7.01 we really didn't have enough time / resources to investigate switching the workflow over, along with our ERP and EP work at the same time. 

      Its on our To-Do list of projects, along with EHP2 for SRM next year, i don't think SRM EHP2 is GA yet is it ?

      "Work Husband"

      Very american term 🙂


      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      Hi James,

      Keeping track of what EHP is available is above my paygrade 🙂 but here is a link to the PAM 2.0 for your entertainment.

      "American term'?? I was hoping to make it more globally accepted - and with the additions #TechEdWife, etc.

      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      HI Susan its 8/11 this year at the moment, still in ramp-up.

      Was reading this blog

      Its got a nice quick win feature on it !


      Author's profile photo George Credland
      George Credland

      Thanks James. 🙂

      "Over the past couple of weeks i've seen our SAP Systems being used on a iPad in a coffee shop and Android tablets being used to book leave via ESS."

      All I would say is whilst some of the ESS/MSS content is usable (e.g. leave request and approval) via iPad Safari its far from universal.

      Noteable exceptions:

      -Drop down lists open but you can't select anything so in MSS you can't change the view/object selection for example. This cripples most of the pages in MSS as managers need to be able to change perspectives to see different types/groups of staff.

      -Its not possible to scroll down. e.g. in ESS the view payslip page loads but you can't actually scroll down to look at it. Similarly trying to view the Employee Profile page in MSS isn't practical unless the information you need to see is in the top half of the page.

      -Portal (7.00 or 7.02) logout doesn't work meaning sessions don't close cleanly and users need to be careful to fully close their mobile browser or the session can be reopened by visiting the portal URL (until such time as the session expires).

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi James - great to hear about another University using BYOD. Do you use HCM to manage the Students? I know a few universities use PeopleSoft Campus Management so interesting to hear about you guys.

      I know we are meeting with DJ and a few others at UKISUG in November so I look forward to a beer with you then.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Tim

      We have our own student system which is in house and custom developed based on Oracle Forms and Java.....

      In Terms of "SAP Business Process" all students are set-up as customers but we don't use SAP Campus Management or SAP Student.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Cool, thanks James. I did see your Twitter DM but I was travelling and forgot to reply! Hopefully I'll see you at UKISUG, I know a couple of good Ale Houses nearby. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi James,

      Nicely written, I liked the way you have presented your skills and knowledge.

      Keep up good work. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog. Keep sharing and motivate others.

      All the best! Once again thank you so much for sharing this blog. 🙂

      Have a nice day!


      Hari Suseelan