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NetWeaver, mySAP upgrades result in process changes

IDS Scheer, an SAP partner and consultancy, says firms integrating NetWeaver or upgrading to mySAP have business process changes ahead.

IDS Scheer North America CEO Mathias Kirchmer said his firm is seeing more enterprises trying to get a grip on their business processes, as they upgrade various versions of SAP and integrate the NetWeaver platform.

Success depends more on the willingness to change in an organization and the support of top management.
Mathias Kirchmer,
CEOIDS Scheer North America

Germany-based IDS Scheer has worked with SAP for more than 20 years and currently has a strategic partnership with SAP to develop software for the NetWeaver platform. The firm sells ARIS business process management (BPM) software, with a version designed for NetWeaver.

More than half of the firm's revenue is generated from its consultancy, where the firm works closely with enterprises upgrading various versions of SAP R/3. According to Kirchmer, possibly the most important aspect of an upgrade is getting a handle on all the company business processes.

"In Europe, management at many enterprises plan projects that build ROI [return on investment] in five or six years," Kirchmer said, in an interview with "U.S. enterprises think in much shorter cycles. They're dealing with large, comprehensive environments and they seek ROI on a much faster scale."

With a vision to streamline and upgrade software and systems and gain ROI on projects much faster than their European counterparts, U.S.-based enterprises have projects that sometimes result in garbled business processes leading to many inefficiencies, Kirchmer said.

"Success depends more on the willingness to change in an organization and the support of top management," Kirchmer said. "If someone comes to us and says, 'I have a lot of problems, help us fix them without changing anything,' that is a problem because then they end up with a lot of nice models, but the situation is not improved."

Firms are turning to SAP-based reference models and best practices to adapt their own processes to the SAP software, Kirchmer said. Other firms don't want to adapt business processes to the software for competitive reasons and are finding NetWeaver and the latest SAP software, which transitions systems to a services-oriented architecture (SOA), to make it easier to include third-party software to their SAP environment.

For Ontario, Canada-based Contract Pharmaceuticals Ltd. software customization is not an option. Instead, the firm is upgrading to mySAP ERP and adapting its business processes to the software.

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Gary Tamming, chief financial officer at Contract Pharmaceuticals, said the project, which began with adding various SAP modules, has been going smoothly because it has the full support of upper management.

"To a certain extent we had to reengineer our business processes to fit SAP off the shelf," Taming said.

Currently, developers at IDS Scheer are working with SAP to develop a services repository, that would be used to assemble the services required to use Web services and build an Enterprise Services Architecture -- SAP's vision to service-enable all its software and transition its customers to an SOA. While best practices are mostly unavailable, early adopters could benefit from roadmap designed to make the transition smoothly, Kirchmer said.

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