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1.    Purpose of this document

This option paper provides an approach or guidelines when deciding if either remaining with the current catalogue management tool (Keeping the name anonymous for ensuring no harm for the products reputation) or implementing  SAP’s SRM MDM for catalogue management during the upgrade of the SRM system to version 7.0  . The implementation of SRM MDM is not a mandatory requirement for upgrade but recommended as per SAP as the non-SAP is/may not supported by SAP anymore or in the future releases. The document provides the analysis and options considered , the recommendations made based on the options and the rationale justifying it.

2.    Context

The analysis for each of the options are detailed below, this is a tabular form highlighting the pros and cons along with any associated risk with each of them. These are in turn derived based on the architectural impact, ease of delivery and business process perspective. The recommendations and the final decision should be validated based on each of the above aspect keeping the impact on the overall upgrade project in terms of complexity, risk on the project timelines and the additional cost implications.

The factors considered for the options evaluation is not an exhaustive list and may vary to the extent of its significance based on the organization evaluating the options. However majority of the factors will still hold good for evaluating any options detailed below.

3.    Analysis and Options

3.1. Option 1 – Remain with the existing Catalogue Management Tool

The first option is to remain with the existing catalogue management tool integrated with the upgraded SRM 7.0 application and not considering the implementation of the SRM-MDM.

Pros

1.     Catalogue Upgrade capability  with the current service provider for SRM7.0

2.     The catalogue upgrade timelines in line with the project timelines including testing

3.     Cost of catalogue upgrade less (approximately <=5% project cost)

4.     Existing functionality retained

5.     Minimal training required for the administrator

6.     No impact on the user experience

7.     No data migration activity required

8.     Reuse of existing infrastructure

Cons

1.     Existing gaps (if any) in the functionality to be carried over to the upgraded system

2.     If no clear understanding on the product roadmap alignment with SAP’s SRM roadmap

3.     Technical issues with the synchronization

4.     Annual on-going cost of license

5.     Technical expertise required for the integration of the 2 systems

Risk

1.     SAP SRM may not support any 3rd party catalogue management system in the future

2.     Current Catalogue Management tool may go out of support / upgrade in the future

 

3.2. Option 2 – Implement SRM MDM

The second option is to go for a fresh implementation with SRM-MDM catalogues parallel to the upgrade project to leverage enhanced functionality of the combined system.

Pros

1.     Tighter integration and monitoring capability with all SAP products

2.     Alignment with SAP’s SRM roadmap for future upgrade

3.     Leverage new functionality in the future like service hierarchy

4.     Use of SAP products is in alignment with BAT’s IT strategy

5.     License cost included in the cost if SRM license

6.     Option on integrating with SAP’s MDM tool in the future

7.     Cross Skilling is easy for existing catalogue administrators

Cons

1.     Additional training for administrators

2.     Data migration activity required

3.     Change in the user experience due to different UI

4.     SRM MDM capabilities required within project and BAU

5.     Additional infrastructure required

6.     The SRM-MDM implementation takes 7-9 weeks

Risk

1.     The catalogue implementation timeline if prolonged may impact the overall upgrade project schedule

2.     Data Migration activity may take more time than anticipated and require business involvement to validate the data for correctness and quality

3.     Procurement of new infrastructure may impact the overall upgrade project schedule

4.    Decision Matrix

The matrix below provides the information on what factors are impacted and which are not. However the weightage with each of them may vary based on the organizational relevance and priority associated with them. The impact factor is/may not be limited to the ones mentioned below,

Impact

User

Project

Time

Cost

Vendor

Involvement

Training

Data

Migration

Infrastructure

Requirement

Existing Catalogue Tool

No

No

Yes

No

No

No

No

SRM-MDM

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

5.    Recommendation Consideration

The recommendation should be made on the criteria that any option considered should also take into account the below

  • Impact on the time and resources to the current project should be minimal 
  • Ensure that this decision should not be in the critical path of the project, else will have to consider additional risk on the other timelines
  • Should be aligned to the IT strategy defined by the organization
  • Aligned with the SAP’s roadmap to ensure future scalability of the system to leverage the new functionalities and capabilities within SRM

6.    Conclusion

With the above recommendation points one can go for either staying with the existing Catalogue Management Tool or deploy a new SRM-MDM during the upgrade. It should be kept in mind that for any SAP suite it is always good to go with the relevant applications within the suite so as to ensure total seamless integration between them. This also helps in leveraging the additional capability and features which keeps getting enhanced with each of SAP’s suite.

However there may be many other constraints which need to be considered and influence the final decision an organization may take. However the final future end state should be an alignment with the SAP’s suite.

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