Time to reorganize your SAP Competency Centre?

23-10-2019 | 3 |

A radical shift in SAP CC management

The time where providing corporate product costing as a strategic advantage is over. SAP Competency Centers (CC)’s focus has moved from providing IT for internal customers, to supporting corporations in their daily challenges [without creating organisational friction]. At the same time, modern companies are facing real challenges around;

  • implementation of cross-channel marketing and sales workflows,
  • application of IoT technology to logistics for goods delivery and manufacturing,
  • IA for customer services.

And here comes the problem… SAP Competency Centers have been unable to provide an efficient response – so far.

S/4 HANA, the key to regaining control of digital transformation

SAP customers are going through a period of multiple transformations: from GUI to UI5 and Web apps, from ECC to S/4, and, quite often, from on-premise to cloud applications such as Concur and SAP Success Factors. S/4 HANA brings about a great opportunity for Competency Centres to benefit from IoT (Internet of Things), or the Leonardo project. This opens the doors for Competency Centres to lead digital transformation again by promoting the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) or Blockchain.

However, SAP Competency Centres (CC) have lagged behind in recent years, unable to deliver the latest technologies.  SAP professionals, and ordinarily savvy people, run the risk of being left behind, even jobless, unless they become experts in AI within S4HANA.

S/4 HANA, the stairway to heaven for CC

S/4 HANA opens a new door for SAP CC to take the corporate leadership back, by enabling the company SAP system to apply those innovations that other competitors may well already have in place. It brings about the opportunity to adopt state-of-the-art web development methodologies such as DevOps or Agile. Thus, the company will be able to implement the Leonardo project (IA, IoT, blockchain) or other non-SAP solutions.

Let’s see an example. The traditional approach of SAP CC would be to look at a document management system in a technical manner. Is it ArchiveLink certified or not? In today’s world, companies store their documents in Slack, Sharepoint, Microsoft Teams, or Docapost. While they don’t pay much attention to these solutions being ArchiveLink certified or not. Thus, this shows it is time for the SAP CC to adapt to where the market is going.

The new SAP environment is demanding this metamorphosis. That’s why TJC had added these key competences, such as Web Development, DevOps, testing and monitoring. We have recognised the importance of changing relationships with external departments and internally inside IT departments (if your company still has one).

SAP Business knowledge, the biggest strength

There is something that most new IT experts do not get: the level of business knowledge embedded within SAP software, and how it “speeds things up” when using it. When trying to explain what has made SAP different, TJC usually say that an SAP ECC stock entry is more than 2 million lines of code. Because stock may be physical or not, for stock or project, it can be a raw material, a tool, a financial asset, or anything else.

This complexity is not removed by S/4HANA simplification – SAP simplified the software, but organizations and business processes are still complex. SAP experts need to embrace and introduce new technologies in their company as they are the ones able to link them with the core system processes – I mean for real, not just for a proof of concept.”

A motivating future for SAP experts

As SAP experts and as managers of SAP practices, we’re challenged today more than we’ve ever been before. We are no longer leading the change, but we may help leverage it, eventually. This is not a threat, but a fantastic opportunity to acquire new knowledge, to undertake new projects, new takeaways. And as managers, when we leverage, we have the power to lead the transformation.

Thierry JULIEN, CEO and Founder of TJC Group.

More information on how to prepare your business for SAP S/4HANA Migration.