Most companies with a turnover of more than $50m, irrespective of their sector of activity, have their information systems based on SAP technology. This means that a large amount of their data also originates from SAP.
The main challenges for these SAP installed base companies consist of the need to optimise their business processes through technologies that allow them to extend their capabilities by digitising and mobilising processes. Also in real-time integration with third-party applications, unattended task automation to improve efficiency, decision making based on the intelligent analysis of data from the SAP system itself (combined with sensor data from the organisation’s assets, other applications, social media, etc.). And, of course, for those who are still on SAP ERP versions, the biggest concern is facing the first steps on the road to SAP S/4HANA.
At T4S we try to help our clients to successfully meet these challenges through the use of intelligent technologies.
SAP Basis: evolution and transformation of systems
There are several strategies for the journey to SAP S/4HANA, all of them affecting to a greater or lesser extent the processes and systems of the organisations:
- New implementation. Organisations that decide to discard their current systems and carry out a new SAP S/4HANA implementation from scratch.
- System conversion. Organisations that decide to convert their current systems to SAP S/4HANA.
- Selective data transition. Hybrid project for organisations that decide to select certain data from the current system (master data, current and last n years’ operational data, etc.) to deploy on a previously migrated empty system.
Regardless of the strategy selected for the adoption of SAP S/4HANA, systems evolution and transformation will be necessary:
- We help companies to prepare their systems, especially in the case of obsolete versions that would not support the leap to conversion. This is why prior transformation projects (UNICODE conversion, EhP upload, SAP HCM segregation) are necessary before the migration is carried out.
- Another decision to be made is where the systems will be hosted: on-premise, Cloud strategy (public, private or hybrid) or a RISE with SAP model (SaaS licensing model at the same time as the Cloud hyperscaler infrastructure).
- SAP S/4HANA, due to its in-memory database, requires an SAP-certified infrastructure with large memory capacities. From T4S we help to define in terms of design and capacities (sizing) the new architecture required.
Other transformation projects to improve security
In addition to the migration due to the change of version, T4S accompanies our clients in other types of projects for the transformation of their SAP systems:
- On the one hand, we secure environments by establishing secure protocols to minimise the risk of attacks: SSO, https, etc.
- In addition, we ensure that customers refresh their production environments in compliance with GDPR, making selective copies with data obfuscation and encryption.
- Segregation of HCM environments from other functionalities, increasing security to avoid exposing systems with sensitive data.
Continuous service SAP Basis – SAP Outsourcing Operations
At T4S we also provide continuous services both from an AMS point of view and from a systems and infrastructures point of view, to ensure good performance and evolution of the systems (avoiding degradations, crashes, etc.). These services are subject to SLA. To provide and monitor the quality of this service, we have developed the T4S monitoring portal product with SAP BTP. Our tool, which, in addition to monitoring the entire landscapde of our customers, allows us to:
- Configure the established service levels.
- Collect incidents.
- Detect alerts.
- Carry out the daily checklist.
- Analyse the EWA.
- Anticipate the expiry of certificates.
- Identify possible fraudulent uses of the system.
- Real-time monitoring of system status, detecting any system degradation and providing 24/7 proactive support.
SAP Analytics: Increasing the value of data inside and outside SAP systems
Data generated in SAP transactional systems traditionally had to be replicated in a data warehouse (using a data warehouse tool such as SAP BW). SAP S/4HANA includes analytical capabilities so that data does not always need to be replicated to SAP BW, but can be exploited directly in SAP S/4HANA.
From T4S we carry out conversion projects to SAP BW/4HANA, or to SAP Data Warehouse Cloud as a data warehouse in the cloud.
Sometimes our customers do not have a data warehouse in SAP but have an external datalake or in a hyperscaler; from T4S we offer the configuration of mechanisms that allow real-time data replication between SAP S/4HANA and its datalake.
From the Business Intelligence point of view, we offer our experience both with SAP’s own BI tools (SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BObj, combined with PAL for predictive analytics) and the exploitation of data through a semantic layer that facilitates the data model to non-SAP BI tools.
SAP Application Development: facilitating application development
With the arrival of SAP ERP 6 EhP 7, SAP began a process of changing the multi-device presentation layer, responsive, etc., to improve the user experience when interacting with the systems: SAP Fiori or SAPUI5. At T4S we specialise in the “fiorisation” of processes.
In addition, at T4S we also have experts in the different services (Portal Services, Workzone, iRPA, Conversational AI, Document Information Extraction, IoT, SAP Mobile Development Kit) offered by the SAP BTP platform, as well as high development capabilities in Java, Node.js, Python, ABAP Steampunk and the no-code development solution SAP AppGyver.
SAP Integration: specialising in different forms of integration
From an integration point of view, SAP has opted to open up to standards to provide simpler forms of integration (oData, REST, SOA), as opposed to its historical iDocs and the standardisation of its processes as opposed to RFCs and BAPIs. At T4S we have experts in the design of integration architectures with both the on-premise SAP PI/PO product and the SAP Integration Suite Cloud for which SAP is creating more and more standard connectors and extending functionalities.
SAP Integration Suite offers integrations between native SAP Cloud systems and SAP on-premise systems and integrations with other applications outside the SAP world. In addition, it provides connectors with the different tax agencies in certain countries to report mandatory information such as invoicing movements.
In short, at T4S (Smart Technology for SAP) we are experts in advanced technologies to improve and innovate SAP-based business processes, reducing complexity for our customers and turning challenges into opportunities for growth towards greater digitisation, integration and value from data.
Javier Raposo Villamor
SAP Intelligent Technologies Director