Modernizing Your SAP Business Suite Products
Developing Your Roadmap for IBP and S/4 HANA
By Matt Campbell, Founder SCMO2
During strategic roadmapping sessions with customers, I see the sequence of transitioning business processes from “expiring” products to SAP’s latest products frequently cause great angst. It happens regardless of whether the client is moving from non-SAP products that requires a completely new implementation, or from legacy SAP Business Suite products (including ERP/ECC, SCM/APO, CRM, PLM and SRM) whose support will sunset around 2025. Each customer has different priorities and business challenges, but there are three common questions that always come up in all these assessments.
- Do we need S/4 to implement IBP?
- If we implement IBP before S/4, what happens when S/4 replaces ECC?
- Which IBP modules make sense to implement before an S/4 conversion?
It’s hard to give appropriate consideration to all the nuances of these questions in the brief construct of our weekly blog. If you want to read all of the background content supporting these conclusions, I invite you to read our SAP Modernization whitepaper. You can download it from this link. However, this summary should be helpful in pointing you in the right direction and answering some immediate concerns.
IBP does integrate with any SAP ERP solution, cloud, on-premise, HANA or otherwise. For that matter, IBP can integrate with any other non-SAP system through the HANA Cloud Platform as well. If we’re only considering time-series integration, then any data mapping rework should be minimal (there are more significant implications to consider if order-object integration is expected). In either scenario, your business case should not overweight “rework” in determining which product should go first, but rather the ROI for the business processes that will be impacted. In our experience, we find that many of our customers realize the ROI from a transition to IBP can often pay for most of their S/4 implementation.
As for implemented IBP scope prior to S/4 conversion (since you could choose to implement some IBP, then S/4, then more IBP), anything using time-series is still preferred. Is your bigger “bang for the buck” going to be forecast accuracy improvement, more intelligent inventory deployment or a rapid scenario supply and demand balancing and S&OP process adherence? You could even argue that significant value is gained by pooling data and using IBP for reporting, analytics and to improve focus in existing planning tools. This weighing is foremost in our strategic roadmap efforts.
The year 2025 may seem a long way off, but it will be here way sooner than we expect. Knowing and executing to your plan will be crucial in this high-stakes transitional state!