First S/4HANA Enterprise Management Implementer- How it feels to be: A Success Story
# A Brief about the Project
First S/4HANA Enterprise Management product was launched on 13th November 2015 and version name was ‘S/4 HANA 1511’.
People including me had no expertise about the then fresh S/4HANA 1511 product. It had new Innovations on Finance and Logistics, New Code line, New age Analytics, Fiori Apps, SAP Activate and many more.
The client for whom we had deliver this project was ‘Mangalam Cement Limited’. Implementation partner was EY.
With whatever we had read and explored about S/4HANA; we implemented S/4HANA product and we did so bang on time successfully followed by grand party for Go-Live Celebration thrown by SAP itself.
We went live on 01.04.2016, 00:02:32 (IST). We got mail confirmation from SAP that “Mangalam Cement Limited” is the first implementation on S/4HANA Enterprise Management in India and APJ region.
I must say this success was a joint effort of three organizations i.e. Mangalam Cement Limited (Customer), EY (Implementation Partner) and SAP (Ramp-Up Support).
(I know I am late in writing this, it all happened back in April 2016.)
# Project Scope
Since the project for was a Cement and Power industry almost all the processes were there.
SAP Scope: Finance, Controlling, Material Management, Sales & Distribution, Logistic Management, Settlement Management (Rebate Settlement), Production Planning, Plant Maintenance, Investment Management, PI (Satellite Systems Connectivity), New Age Analytics, and of course Fiori.
Industry Scope: Cement, Power (Coal Based Power Generation & Wind Mills), and Mines Management
# My Role on the Project
I was S/4HANA Finance and S/4HANA Management Accounting (CO) Consultant & Team Lead for project.
Little bit more about me
I am an SAP S/4HANA Implementation and Migration Specialist with an overall experience of 8.10 years, specializing in SAP Technologies, End to End Implementations, S/4HANA Migration, Business Advisory, System Control Review, Process Design, and Program Assurance.
I have techno-functional experience and have executed 7 end to end SAP implementations (of which 2 have been on the new dimension technology of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management) I have also done one S/4HANA Migration, 2 SAP Roll Out projects, 2 Improvement Projects and multiple Advisory & Control and Review projects.
My experience spread across industries like Manufacturing, Consumer Products, Service Industry, Construction, Telecommunication, Food, Cement, Power and Refractory
# Challenges on The Project
Since it was the very first S/4HANA implementation challenges had to be there. We faced three types of challenges.
- Product Bugs in Newly Innovated Solutions:
There were bugs in the new innovations in S/4HANA and had to get them resolved mainly by SAP Germany (Used to have daily calls with product owners, we were getting this support because this project was under ramp-up), SAP India (Consulting).
(Had to implement more than 200 SAP notes to make the product stable)
- Product Bugs in Long Delivered Solutions:
To my surprise, there many bugs identified in S/4HANA product for solutions/functionalities which were there for decades. Since the product is so new this was bound to happen. We also need to understand that S/4HANA Enterprise Management is new product and not a successor of any previous delivered product (but it is predecessor of S4H 1610, S4H 1709 and many more to come)
- Conflict of Opinions (between Me (EY) and SAP): There were conflicts on, for example, SAP Activate Methodology Vs. ASAP Methodology and Account Based COPA Vs Costing Based COPA.
a. SAP Activate Methodology Vs. ASAP Methodology: SAP had delivered SAP Activate (Best Practices, Guided Configurations, and SAP Activate Methodology), but it was then only available for US and Germany and SAP Activate was also not matured enough then, so we truced and used partially SAP Activate on the project. It was SAP’s one of the prime agenda on the project to push for SAP Activate so that they can market it, which was quite fair too.
b. Account Based COPA Vs Costing Based COPA: SAP’s prefer profitability reporting is based on Account based COPA in S/4HANA and SAP has been marketing it with great pride too (and Should be). As a consultant I had to see what was right for the project, customer, and business processes. Account based COPA still has some challenges where so many things has to be reported starting from Sales Order (Statistical Conditions Types and Value Fields) in Profitability Reporting and this case Costing Based COPA becomes preferable solution. But on the other hand I also knew that SAP futures innovations would be on Account Based COPA only so could ignore this aspect either. Ultimately I had used both Account Based and Costing Based COPA.
# Awards & Achievements of the project
We got many awards and appreciations and few of them are mentioned below.
1. Success story written by SAP: http://sap-espresso.com/viewStory/684
- SAP ACE Award (Mangalam Cement) http://news.sap.com/india/2016/11/23/10th-edition-of-sap-ace-awards-for-excellence-announced/
3. SAP CFO Innovation Award (EY) http://www.cfoinnovation.com/cfo-awards/2016/
# Closing Line
It is true that we faced so many product bugs on this project, but when I did the second S/4HANA Implementation, to my surprise, all those bugs were removed and fixed by SAP. Today, I can say SAP S/4HANA product is stable and a matured product.