Sunday, February 24, 2013

What is SAP Implementation?

SAP, a global leader in the ERP World, no doubt provides a cost-effective solution to the business needs. It is, as well, offering a lucrative career (see the career path graph below) to the SAP aspirants  (B.Tech., B.E., M.Sc., MBA, CA, M.Com. etc.) who are interested to build a career in SAP after their graduations. After studying the world job market, it is clear and concise that job market for the SAP aspirants is bright and innovative and there is an increasing growth in SAP applications across the industries. It still makes a difficult situation for the SAP freshers to get into the industry as every companies are interested to recruit a candidate having certain experience.

I have come across some doubts on my own experience - certain terminologies are puzzling our minds, particularly to the entry level SAP professionals. One of them is implementation. This word often creates conflicting meaning with the word configuration. But, there is substantial difference between these two words.

What is the difference between SAP Implementation and SAP Configuration?

SAP Implementation is a generic method based on certain best practices and case studies from various literature sources that defines the processes and products help an organization to plan and execute the implementation of SAP software. SAP Implementation is always associated with Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). First, SAP experts have to study and research the company, its business process as well as its business requirement before implementing the SAP software. The TCO analysis determines how a business can get the best business solution that helps the firm to reduce the total cost of ownership. 

No implementation is an island. SAP implementation always comes with a big fat cost, so partners required. SAP business and application partners (TSO: Technical Support Organization) are needed to share/reduce the cost of ownership. 

SAP Implementation -  ASAP Methodology

          Image source: Infosys

On the other hand, configuration means to tailor the SAP system to meet the needs of our business by using the existing data - it means changing switches or setting default.It includes the physical layout, interconnections and functional characteristics of the system.

What is SAP Customization and how is it different from SAP Configuration?

SAP customization means to customize or adopt the system which includes the process of mapping SAP to your business process. It also involves changes of codes to create functionality that is not available through configuration. Customization comes with a cost as the change in codes may make difficult the companies to upgrade the software in future and may not easily migrate to a new version. Customization is done in IMG (Implementation Guide). 

  • Configuration is very difficult to undo.
  • It does not involve any changes to the underlying software code.
  • Changes in code, SAP may no longer support.
  •  Research is needed before modification.

    SAP Career Path:

                  Image Source: ITC Infotech

Useful SAP Books

SAP Implementation Unleashed
A Business and Technical Roadmap to Deploying SAP
By: George W. Anderson                           
     Charles D. Nilson
     Tim Rhodes

May 31, 2009  0672330040  978-0672330049 1

SAP can help you capture better information and deliver it more quickly, allowing you to make better decisions and maximize the business value of everything you do. However, SAP implementations require massive effort, total buy-in, and significant change throughout the organization. In SAP Implementation Unleashed, 10 expert SAP project managers, functional consultants, and technologists guide you through the entire journey, helping you avoid pain and pitfalls and gain all the benefits of SAP. Check out on Amazon.

Configuring Financial Accounting in SAP
By Veeriah Narayanan2011
765 Pages | ISBN: 1592293778 

This is a complete implementation and configuration guide for SAP ERP Financials Financial Accounting. It provides answers to the question, What is the best way to implement and customize FI for this business? The author has taken his 25 years of experience in the industry and provides you with a well thought-out, comprehensive guide for FI implementations in a case-study approach. You will master information on the various sub-components and tools encountered in an FI implementation, and learn the step-by-step instructions with concrete, real-world examples. This is a must-have guide for anyone interested in implementing and configuring Financial Accounting. Check out on Amazon.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Get Free Access to SAP IDES ERP 6.0 System

Internet Demonstration and Evaluation System: IDES ERP 6.0

Dear SAPiens and Aspirant SAPiens, 

A very good news for all of you!!
Consolut International AG, Switzerland provides FREE-OF-CHARGE access to IDES ERP 6.0. The system allows consultants, project managers and users to familiarise and practice the SAP system or to develop in-depth knowledge, without installing any software, simply via web interface.

How to access the IDES system:

1. Request for an username and password

2. Download

SAP GUI for Windows
SAPGUI 7.30 Complete Installation package   - Compilation 1
(ZIP archive: 840MB) News Patch (patch level 2, Hotfix 1) for SAPGUI 7.30 (self-extracting archive: 110MB)

The installation package is no longer provided.
Please install version 7.30.
Latest Patch   (patch level 14) for SAPGUI 7.20
(self-extracting archive: 144MB)
SAP support for version 7.20 will end on 9 April 2013.

SAPGUI for Java (Linux, Mac OSX)
Installation package, including documentation

Use the consolut SAP IDES System with your own SAPGUI 
    Application Server: i62external
    SAProuter-String: /H/
    System-ID: I62
    System Number: 09

SAP Online Help PDFs

The various chapters of the SAP IDES Online PDFs provide a better understanding of IDES customizing. Potential clients can use these files to obtain an overview of a large number of international business proceses.

The SAP Online Help PDFs give a detailed explanation of the structure of the SAP ERP system and the way it can be adapted to customers' wishes. These PDFs with the complete SAP online help system (unfortunately only available in version 4.6C) can be printed chapter by chapter as the need arises.
Source: Consolut International AG, Switzerland 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

SAP's 'Timesless' Future

By Dan Woods

Why the software giant should stick to its knitting.


Much of the analysis of the CEO transition at SAP has focused on the need for the software giant to regain a sense of excitement for its customers. In a sense, analysts are suggesting that SAP find a way to become the "New New Thing."
But SAP ( SAP - news people ) will not succeed in becoming the New New Thing, and it shouldn't try. Customers do not go to SAP to find excitement; they go to automate business processes and provide a foundation for innovation in a stable, reliable manner over a span of decades.

What SAP should do is find a way to explain the strength of its functional footprint, adapt its sales and delivery model, and focus on fixing the problems of delivering a consistent, pleasing customer experience through its network of partners.
SAP became huge based on the strength of SAP R/3, and it was amplified by three forces: frustration with mainframes (SAP could run on Unix), exploitation of the PC as a user interface (SAP supported the client-server model) and reliance on a network of systems integrators to sell and implement its software (SAP had an aggressive willingness to share a substantial chunk of the revenue pie with an extended partner network).
SAP is now the focus of frustration. A loud and significant group of customers say SAP's software costs too much and is not flexible. SAP must acknowledge that it understands why customers are upset.
Much of my recent career has been spent writing books, some sponsored by SAP, that explain the value of technology. Here's my unsolicited advice for SAP:
Reconfigure the customer experience. One of the major advantages SaaS (software as a service) providers have is complete control over the customer experience. On-premise vendors like SAP have systems integrators, IT departments, consultants and outsourcers, each with their own agenda. SAP must simplify installation, expand the pool of certified expertise and rein in its sales team and partners on setting expectations about functionality and costs. The seeds of much of the current dissatisfaction were sown during the sales process.
If a modern SaaS product allows for 1,000 points of configuration on 100 processes, SAP may allow for 10,000 points of configuration on 1,000 processes. The key question: Can you make configuring 10,000 variables simpler and less of a black art? SAP has put forth many attempts at this in the past with templates and preconfigured settings. The company must find a way to win this battle, which may be the key to winning the war.
Change the sales and delivery model. Claims about the demise of on-premise software have been exaggerated, but customers clearly don't want to be burdened with managing complex software. Using SAP software should start to feel more like using SaaS software. 
Read more on Forbes