(By Mike Raftery)
It’s never predictable how you establish a rhythm, but it is human nature to look for patterns, so I guess it becomes inevitable. In our little niche of the universe, we put a lot of energy around the few milestones and landmarks that exist each year. For our little family at SCM Connections, one of those landmarks is attending and hosting our friends and colleagues at a few of the conferences we get to attend each year.
Specifically, this year we are focusing on the SCM SAP Insider Conference March 21-23 in lovely and beautiful Las Vegas, and the ASUG/Sapphire conference May 17-19 in Orlando FL. In preparing for these events, we can’t help but use them as a measuring stick for all that’s happened since last year’s conferences. In some ways, it’s hard to process all that’s happened since the last event, but in others it seems like it was yesterday. Regardless, it’s a measuring stick, or at least as good a one as we have in the IT business.
So what’s been the focus since this time last year? Surprisingly, the themes have not been as much technology focused as you might imagine for an IT company.
- Disruption – Leaving the Server Room Behind.
We’re finding lots of interest in the disruption occurring all over the technological landscape lately. What’s changed? What hasn’t? Systems are moving into the cloud (for real this time) for starters. And what does IT even do when hardware and software aren’t a worry? They become integrators. This is a seismic shift for the traditional IT group, when they need to become business support resources. (Check out the related blog here.) It’s time to come out of the server room, and we think we have a good idea on how to handle this.
Come check out the Insider Presentation: What Went Wrong? 7 Steps to Breathe New Life Into a Stalling S&OP Process (page 15)
- Road Maps – This is a Road Trip; Pack a Cooler.
I think enough time has passed that the SAP community as a whole has digested the transition to S/4 HANA and Integrated Business Planning (IBP) from the legacy applications, and everyone is realizing that this is a bit more than a typical version upgrade. This is bigger than a single project; it is an evolution. We think that if done correctly, the transition will be seamless. Applications should complement one another and users should drive the direction and the priority of what comes next. The easy way to transition to the next gen tools from SAP is to evolve together.
We’re just starting on the journey, but people are starting to pack their suitcases, and more importantly, looking at road maps for how to get from where they are to where they could be. Each journey will be a bit different and there is no boilerplate. At SCM Connections, we’ve started helping our clients tailor their road maps to transition from legacy planning systems like APO to the next generation planning applications. More importantly, we’re making the transition a beneficial experience. This is the unique advantage of these new planning tools: they work with the legacy applications. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Come check out the Insider presentation: SAP Integrated Business Planning or SAP APO – Which should you use? (p. 17)
- It’s Messy – We Deal in the Gray.
There is no “one size fits all” or “the same.” I have never heard anyone say “just give me what that guy got; we’re not special.” And we get that; there is no standard template. And we don’t have a standard solution either. This last year has just emphasized that point. We’ve met lots of new people and jumped into many new businesses and I never get tired of learning what makes each one different. In the spirit of social media trends, mass customization is the future and we’re ready to get messy.
So come join us at these conferences. We’re nice people, we have good pens. Plus, we love to chat so stop by and let us know how your year has changed. See you soon!!!
Additional Presentations and Panels:
Streamline the Data Transfer Between SAP ERP and SAP APO Using the Core Interface (Track 3, Tuesday, 10:30a, Claudio Gonzalez, see page 18)
Master the SNP Optimizer: Real-world Strategies to Mitigate the Challenges of a Capacity-Constrained Environment (Track 6, Tuesday, 3:00p, Claudio Gonzalez, see page 20.)
Ask The Experts: Monday, 6:00p – Mike Raftery / Tuesday, 4:15p – Claudio Gonzalez