SAP S/4HANA recently celebrated its first birthday, and, as all proud relatives are apt to do, I thought back on the accomplishments and earnings that this first year has brought us. First, as SAP’s greatest innovation since SAP R/3, the new suite has seen a remarkable rollout, with more customer interest and coverage by analysts and the media than anyone saw coming in this short period. I look forward to SAPPHIRE NOW, this May 17-19, where I will share some of TCS’ early customer successes as they migrate to SAP S/4HANA.
The last six months have been particularly busy for TCS and our SAP clients as we develop business cases demonstrating the benefits for customers to migrate to SAP S/4HANA, including: overall shrinking of their data footprint, lowering of development costs and reducing total cost of ownership. Here’s another benefit that is perhaps more subtle but very important for IT departments. Customers come to us with legacy systems that include massive customizations. We believe that perhaps as much as 70% of these customizations can be avoided with SAP S/4HANA, freeing up administrative and IT resources for higher uses. As the head of our TCS SAP Practice, Akhilesh Tiwari, recently shared on this blog, for all of these reasons and many more, we believe that SAP S/4HANA will be the big topic for discussion at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW.
SAP S/4HANA: Making the business case
Let’s be clear: Transitioning an organization to SAP S/4HANA requires a considerable investment in effort, time, and money. Most SAP customers, I believe, know they will make the move at some point over the next one to five years. So the initial questions we often hear are around when should I start, how much will I pay and when do I start seeing the benefits?
Regardless of your starting point and systems, building a smart roadmap to migration is the first step to ensure the transition to SAP S/4HANA is smooth. TCS’ proven roadmaps help customers manage large, complex technology and business process transformations in a series of well-defined phases. We start by looking at a client’s business objectives and outlining a technology transition that gets them from their current state to full implementation in the required time period. But our guidance goes well beyond solving technology issues. We help our clients make the SAP S/4HANA business case for their organization. Stakeholders can see at any point along the timeline what costs will be involved, and the expected financial and business returns delivered as the system is implemented.
SAP S/4HANA Roadmap
SAP S/4HANA is proving extremely beneficial to our clients across industries who are challenged to build single balance sheets that accurately reflect multiple product lines. The power to do this is available for the first time with SAP S/4HANA. By giving an enterprise a real-time view into its on-the-ground financial condition, executives are empowered to make decisions about resource allocation much more quickly. The roadmap shows them how and when they will hit these milestones. In this way, TCS partners with customers to sell the project to financial stakeholders.
Our roadmaps also help customers take control of cost planning. We phase our implementation projects over years in order to spread out the cost. If a “big bang” deployment is too pricey, we can phase it out over a period of shorter go lives, shrinking costs into more bite-size chunks. We can also help the customer stage the implementation so that components with earlier payoffs are completed up front.
As I look back on this first year of SAP S/4HANA, I know that it cemented our commitment to help customers not only as technical partners but as partners in making the business case to their organizations. With more and more clients considering their migration plans, TCS is able to share industry-specific insights that help organizations meet their specific business objectives as they make the move to this powerful, next-generation business suite that will position their business for longer term growth and agility. I look forward to exchanging ideas on how to make the move to SAP S/4HANA successful. Please share your comments here and let me know if you would like to meet during SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, May 17-19.