BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
Managing rapid growth is one of the keys to success for a young company, and it can be critical to identify and implement a system that can grow with the company. This was the case for Adita Technologies Pty Ltd., a growing software reseller and services firm that found the SAP S/4HANA Cloud to be exactly that system.
Cloud is the crucial aspect to S/4HANA Cloud because it enables Adita to run S/4HANA without being tethered to an on-premises system, but also because it ensures innovation at a much more accelerated pace. This was a value proposition that Adita simply couldn't pass up, according to Kumar Govindarajan, Adita Technologies' CEO and chief architect.
S/4HANA Cloud was implemented not so much for its current abilities, although Govindarajan said that these were more than adequate to support current requirements, but to meet the needs of the company years down the road. And Adita's growth ambitions are considerable.
"We have been growing fast. We started in 2008, and it took us a while to get where we are now, but we now have around a 200% growth rate," Govindarajan said. "Our long-term vision is to grow the business in multiple countries, and we'd like to go public sometime in the next few years. And we want to double or triple growth every few years."
Adita Technologies, based in Sydney, is a software systems reseller and services firm that specializes in ERP, CRM, business analytics and the internet of things. The systems that Adita deals with include SAP S/4HANA, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, SAP Business ByDesign, Pega CRM, Salesforce CRM and NetSuite ERP. Most of the company's business has been in Australia, but its growth plan includes significant expansion in the U.S. and India, Govindarajan said.
When the company was started, it used several different financial applications for its various offices in Australia, the U.S. and India. This proved to be hard to manage as the company began to grow.
Govindarajan decided that one consolidated system was needed so the company could ensure unified sales and marketing efforts.
Looking for a scalable system
"Each company goes through this when you slowly grow and then, suddenly, you have a rapid growth rate," Govindarajan explained. "We were looking for a product that [was] scalable, that [could] work in multiple countries, and we were looking for a vendor who could offer other things around the finance functions.
"Finance is the key thing we use, but in the long run, we might need a lot of other solutions to support the growth of the company."
S/4HANA was on the radar immediately because of Adita's familiarity with the system, but it became a much more serious option when SAP unveiled its public cloud, S/4HANA Cloud. It ticked off many of the requirement boxes for functionality, but the ability to meet future requirements was paramount.
"We'd been looking at S/4HANA in general, not just [the] public cloud, for some time. And when we heard about public cloud, we thought, this could be the product that we want to start with for our transformation journey, and it can provide a lot of opportunities down the lane," Govindarajan said. "So there were a number of reasons, and there wasn't one specific reason to go for the product."
Tiered architecture saves implementation time
One of the main advantages of S/4HANA Cloud is its tiered architecture that enables users to get it up and running quickly and to scale as the enterprise requirements evolve and the number of users grows.
An implementation begins with a starter tier, which includes preconfigured processes, and moves to a QA tier, where the processes are tested. Then, the system moves to a production tier. Using this tiered architecture, Adita was able to scope out and implement S/4HANA Cloud in 10 weeks, much more quickly than would have been possible with an on-premises system, according to Govindarajan. Going with standard configurations also enabled a quicker implementation period.
The starter tier enabled Adita to save 8 to 10 weeks of implementation time, Govindarajan estimated, and the company was also helped by using the standard implementation and involving users from day one of the process.
"We used a part of the system to evaluate whether it met our requirements and if we could run with it and filled the gaps. Then our guys came in and configured. Once we'd done all that, we tested it in the QA tier, and then SAP moved the system to production," he said. "We had our first upgrade to a new release when we went live in February, and there's been another release since then, so we have done two upgrades, which have gone smoothly."
Bring in the project coach
As a professional services company, Adita's processes are not as complex as those at other companies, which is another reason they were able to implement S/4HANA Cloud quickly. However, Govindarajan estimated that more complex organizations should be able to implement it in 12 to 15 weeks.
Support from SAP was critical in resolving a few issues that came up during the configuration, which were handled by an SAP-provided project coach.
"He was connected to people in the product development team in India and in Germany," Govindarajan said. "So if we had any issues, like if [the system] didn't work the way we configured it, he would be able to reach out to all these people who were available in these multiple countries who [could] find a solution for those issues."
Adita is using S/4HANA Cloud to consolidate all its financial applications under one system, and it is considering adding the Professional Services function and SuccessFactors in the near future.
Govindarajan explained that the company had no concerns with putting financial data in the cloud because of the security in S/4HANA Cloud.
"We looked at all the [tools] SAP uses to protect the security and we were happy with it," He said. "As a growing organization, we want to focus on growing the business, instead of trying to install or manage a system, so we see a lot of advantages in adopting in the cloud. It can be rolled out quickly, and you don't have a huge upfront investment, so we didn't have any great concerns on putting it in the cloud."
Move to SAP S/4HANA Cloud leads to better performance, scalability, security and advanced analytics for Sales GPS app
Read how to start planning an S/4HANA ERP implementation
SAP S/4HANA Cloud offers simplicity through digital assistance and machine learning