Duong Tran, a SAP ByDesign Consultant based in Sydney, Australia, discusses a recent SAP Business ByDesign project he worked on.
The project aim was to provide an ‘at the back of the box’ solution using an ‘out of the box’ product from SAP in a standard 8-12 week implementation. The budget for this project allowed for one resource only.
To set the scene, I was engaged to implement a Cloud ERP solution for an Australian Company with a value in excess of $1bn. The customer is a major sponsor of a national football team and international motor sport marque. It was envisioned that the cloud solution would replace all legacy financial systems. The product chosen to run this ASX200 listed company was SAP Business ByDesign.
Within the first week, the scope was to deliver 3 distinct business blue prints consisting of 25 out of their 80 entities going to the Cloud, a process that was to be completed in 8 weeks. This required the integration of all major banking institutes, capture of non-financial system records and data feeds into a locally hosted Management Information System. In addition, an international outsourcing unit was also to go live within the same tenant.
Within 2 weeks, standing up a test tenant and proving that the fit-gap is possible. This 2 week sprint iteration also delivered an accounting based go-live strategy. This iteration of ByDesign was only possible due to its solution agility as demonstrated by a K2 Trained Consultant.
From the time of On-Boarding to User Acceptance Testing (UAT), the main focus was on delivering solutions to the business concerns. Some of which included: GL harmonisation, a consolidated reporting structure, implementing multiple control accounts and intercompany accounting functionality. Above all, the focus was to deliver to the test tenant, process controls and demonstrated best practices.
Being an ASX listed company, the Board insisted on controlled end user system access. With multiple options available with SAP ByDesign, the customer solution chosen translated to being granular end user security profiles being deployed into Production. Standard reporting from ByDesign was demonstrated to be more than satisfactory during the implementation infancy stage.
The UAT phase was held as per the fast tracked project plan, this installation required the writing of test scripts in a manner which must cover and validate the aforementioned check points. The UAT was delivered in a three part coverage strategy which involved the writing of over 100 unique system tasks cascading logically into the Fit Gap outcomes.
Prior to UAT, the project team completed System Integration Testing (SIT), delivering to the next phase a technically sound and data compliant tenant as expected, from a standard SAP cloud solution. However, during these testing sessions business readiness indicators were low which resulted in a formal project change request to deliver the 3 business blue prints to Production in two phases. Phase one at the original scope of 8 weeks and Phase two being at the 12 week standard cut off implementation allowance.
These additional few weeks allowed for greater collaboration with end users to further fine tune their cloud tenant. Being able to work in both production and pre-production simultaneously added greater benefits to the phase two end users. Collaboration in the last iteration consisted of end users from the live system and legacy system. Both users were empowering the client working group to on-board the scoped entities autonomously without my full-time assistance.
The ByDesign integration with the locally hosted SAP BPC vastly improved the time to access financial information. The real-time reporting from ByDesign gave the executive management team a powerful tool to assess strategies and control costs throughout the wider business. Namely those entities which will soon and inevitably be moved to the cloud.
During the second and third sprint iterations crucial data migration activities were run simultaneously. These activities for data transformation would continue into the productive iteration and be refined as the accounting-based go-live strategy was played out. There are data migration best practices built into the cloud solution which help reduce decision time. Adding to this the method of migration being template form which set the standard for the naming conventions which were used.
After a rapid deployment the support model is as important in maintaining the intensity and integrity that was built up over the past 12 weeks. The product chosen was a straightforward product to implement and overall the project was a success.