Footprints of SAP Today

Maurice Tayeh, VP & CIO, McDermott
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Maurice Tayeh, VP & CIO, McDermott

Success in SAP

One of the keys in SAP success is to have the business processes crystal clear and translated into various functions of the system.  When that happens there is harmony between what people expect from the various processes and what the system can deliver. This is where success lies although sometimes it takes little bit longer to get there.

Mobile applications teamed with SAP HANA

Today the workforce has high expectations from mobile applications. We are moving into various areas of mobile computing including the SAP platform.

Influence of SAP footprints on our Tomorrow

Today the footprints of SAP are limited to HR and Benefits. There are many areas in SAP which need to be expanded and worked upon.

Success or Failure of ERP Implementation

I go back to what makes a good success story in ERP implementation and in my opinion there are three things one can consider, as success or failure depending on how one deals with it.

Scope:

It is important to clearly understand the scope of work that needs to be part of the ERP implementation.  When reading various ERP Implementation cases, one would notice that there is no clear agreement on the basic scope of work—so, we keep extending this Statement of Work (SOW). You take something that is already complicated and add more complexity to that scope. When you do so, the SOW becomes extremely difficult to deliver on what we’ve promised. So scope definition is highly essential.

Simplicity:

Let’s ask the simple question: what are the basic elements of the ERP system that we want to have in place? We know an ERP system can do HR, Payroll, Benefits, Accounting and Finance as well as many other things such as procurement and manufacturing, etc.

In my opinion, we should restrict the scope to simple/basic needs. In most companies, a simple implementation can be defined in terms of HR, Benefits, Payroll, Finance and Accounting. Once we implement the basic functions well, then we extend it to other areas as described above.

When we take on such a large scope in a dynamic environment, there is a huge cultural/work process changes. Keeping in mind that change is not easy or simple for people to master in a short period of time. Faced with such difficulties, we simply fail to deliver.

Stake-Holder Support:

Most ERP projects are not run as projects. Inevitable questions like who are the main stakeholders arise. When ownership of the system is not well defined, we tend to run into major implementation problems. Compounding the issue is the fact that ERP systems are at times seen as an IT tool! In such situations, the system implementation is bound to fail because most decisions made are not purely IT related. If you don’t have strong stakeholders’ leadership to take these decisions and help in the process, you counter nothing but failure.

In conclusion, scope, simplicity and major stake-holder support are the three things that sums up the story of success and failure of ERP implementation

Pointers on how to Maintain SAP Environment

You have to separate what’s operational and regular maintenance, from expansion, enhancements and innovation that you want to implement.

“One of the keys in SAP success is, to have the business processes clearly translated into the corresponding system functions”

At Mcdermott, we teamed up with a major company and allowed them to run our production platform completely. In contrast, McDermott has kept the necessary in-house skills that can help us expand the system into new functional areas as we feel strongly, that such capabilities need to remain within our control.  What we have done in our case is to differentiate between regular operation, maintenance, and innovation—we are content with this arrangement.

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