SAP´s Value Assurance team helps Latin American media big player with their go-live on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition.
The move of our customers to become intelligent enterprises has become more important than ever in the past months. With increasing uncertainty and disruptions to supply chains, companies must overcome the challenge of automating their business processes, making them secure, and improve the user experience for easier and better use. The question is: How do we maximize the effort of moving the core business processes that span several areas of the company quickly while minimizing modifications to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership in the long run? Well, that is where the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition comes into the picture.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition is a Cloud solution, in which the governance to implement and operate are shared by SAP and the customer. It is the customers’ responsibility to implement the system according to their specific business needs with possible changes to the configuration. On the other hand, SAP is responsible for delivering the infrastructure on time and performing the upgrades of the solution (up to twice a year, based upon the customer´s choice) in order to maximize benefit from the latest innovations in the SAP S/4HANA cloud, extended edition releases. This was the perfect solution that fit the requirements of one of our customers based in Mexico City: OCESA.
OCESA is a Mexican entertainment and media company. OCESA is part of the CIE Entertainment Company, which is the strategic business unit through which they contract, produce and organize a wide gamut of home entertainment events. Their business is comprised of event promotion, the administration, and operation of show venues, the sale of tickets to events and entertainment properties, the marketing of advertising sponsorships, and food, drink, and souvenir concessions. OCESA is recognized as one of the most profitable companies in the home entertainment industry in the world. Grupo CIE is one of the main sponsors responsible for bringing the Grand Prix of Formula 1 to Mexico City.
OCESA started its SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition implementation journey in September 2019 and went live with the solution in June of 2020. The project was mainly focused on a Greenfield Implementation with a cloud mindset, taking advantage of all standard functionalities in order to have a single source of truth to manage their business. Beforehand, they were working with a SAP ERP solution that included a large amount of customization and in-house developments, resulting in information scattered in different files rather than one centralized system.
For the project implementation activities, OCESA hired one of SAP’s Partners to perform the analysis and all consulting activities. At the same time they also wanted to make sure to safeguard project activities directly with SAP. Through SAP Premium Engagement services, they signed up for an SAP Value Assurance Package including functional and technical services to help them throughout the move to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition.
The SAP Landscape of OCESA included mainly SAP S/4HANA on SAP HEC connected to non SAP systems through SAP Cloud Platform Integration (SAP CPI) for localization topics. In the future, they expect to implement SAP Success Factors and SAP Fieldglass.
I led and managed the SAP Value Assurance Package activities together with the customer, and I’d like to share here my experience on how having an SAP Value Assurance Package for S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition can help our customers throughout their project implementation:
- Fit-to-Standard Analysis and the 5 Golden Rules for SAP S/4HANA Cloud
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition is a cloud product with an upgrade every two years at a minimum. Thus having a system with the most standardized functionality as possible is a must to avoid disruptions to daily operations. After the Fit-to-Standard Workshops where the consultants review and match the customer’s business processes with SAP scope items, it is often necessary to keep some additional business requirements in mind to make the solution work in a way that is familiar to the final business users. OCESA wanted to make sure to review these business requirements in detail to have an alternative to address them through configuration or the implementation of SAP functionality.
Based on the scope, we planned a Fit-to-Standard Validation Workshop, taking the input from the backlog document of the Fit-to-standard workshops into account. The initial analysis resulted in 58 prioritized business requirements. In the end, 16 of these identified business requirements could be covered by standard functionality either through configuration, Fiori apps, or standard reports/programs. Only 2 of these business requirements resulted in net new functionality which was added to the project scope to support Bank Communication Management for Monitoring of Payments, and Group Reporting for consolidation.
- Bring in the Subject Matter Experts as required
Throughout the project, there were questions raised that required the direct support from Subject Matter Experts to assist the Implementation Partner. There were some questions regarding integration between SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition with CPI, Security, Asset Accounting, and Business Partner concepts that could get solved in a timely manner by involving an expert on an as needed basis.
- Flexibility to changes in services based upon special requirements during the project
When Value Assurance Packages is signed, it includes a package of certain services that were agreed upon during the discovery/planning phase of the project. However, these services can change based upon project needs and the risks that come up throughout the implementation project. After the Fit-to-Standard Validation Workshop the customer decided to focus the services towards integration testing and a wider support for the Go-Live of the project.
This flexibility also helped us to provide a workshop for the Payment Monitoring feature included in the Bank Communication Management functionality.
- Support during the Integration Test and Go Live for stabilization of daily processes
Adding a technical integration check during the integration testing gave us the opportunity to correct all aspects before transporting the final solution into the production system. In this implementation phase, the consultants quickly reported any challenges or issues they came across in the system and at the same time provided the recommendations for a solution. The result from this service was split into some recommendations in the area of treasury and intercompany processes.
Since the project testing phase was carefully planned and executed, no major issued were experienced during the safeguarding service for the Go Live of the project.
The benefits of the Value Assurance Package to safeguard your implementation journey are many and different for each customer. In the words of our Sponsor, OCESA’s Finance Director, “the SAP program provides you with the feeling of SAP’s direct accompaniment throughout the entire project, in order to achieve your implementation objectives and mitigate any upcoming problems fast to avoid any impacts on the project timeline.”