SAP Rich Functionality Dictates the Definition of Integration Areas

Tom Peach, CIO, Zurich American Insurance Company
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Tom Peach, CIO, Zurich American Insurance Company

SAP as the sole Software
SAP is the system of record for most of Zurich’s financial processing worldwide. Having one software solution for GL,  Billing, and HR has allowed us to create the best practice in major business processes throughout the global organization.  this is especially true in HR.

"Follow SAP’s  best practices in maintaining thesoftware and you will have greater stability and keep costs in line"

SAP may lead to costly re-work
SAP rich functionality, really dictates that the integration areas are well defined. Ambiguity in those integration points  will lead to significant and costly re-work. You cannot underestimate the testing cycles (also the expense associated with  it).

SAP as a re-usable functionality
Having settled on one software platform, we have been able to share knowledge and our maintenance approach to the systems. We  have reusable functionality developed so that it is shared in many regions.

SAP not as technology but as a business enabler
Close business alignment is absolutely a key in SAP success. This cannot be seen as a technology program, but more of a  business enablement one. Don’t cut corners. Find an integration partner that has done this before.

HANA will propagate SAP functionality
We have implemented HANA functionality recently for our reporting. While this is still being matured, we can see that this  will give much greater capability to provide our business with much needed informational analytics.

Keep SAP current
Follow SAP’s best practices in maintaining the software and keep it current. If you follow their processes, you will have  greater stability and keep your costs in line.

Regional Instances do not comply with Global Practices
When we first implemented SAP’s ERP solutions, we created many regional instances. While this provided great flexibility to  the different countries, we could not maximize leveraging global best practices and the efficiencies this provides. We are  not consolidating smaller instances, to address this better.

Gauge the cost of implementing HANA
Do the math to make sure the cost of implementation can be realized in the timeframes the business expects. It is a great  tool and accelerator, putting the business benefits together can be difficult, but we’ve seen it to be well worth it.

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