SAP launched S/4 HANA in February 2015 with SAP CEO Bill McDermott declaring S/4 HANA the “biggest launch in 23 years, if not in the entire history of the company.”

The global ERP software vendor, SAP, recorded 7900 customers who had purchased SAP S/4 HANA licenses or subscriptions in 2017, with McDermott referencing The Emirates Group, Unilever, Philips 66 and Puma as some of its key customers.

However, while SAP S/4 HANA is recognised for its ability to create refined user experiences, drive simplification, and assist in digitisation, Australian organisations have been conservative when it comes to digital transformation; lacking clear roadmaps, strong leadership and the right corporate culture, according to a recent study.

Ready to take advantage of the latest technology from SAP, Japanese owned Honda Australia, completed its SAP S/4 HANA implementation in July 2018 with the support of SAP Australia and ASG Group.

Caroline McMahon, Director of Honda Australia said ASG initially provided an independent review of the project and were then engaged to support Honda with project management and testing expertise.

“ASG provided a pragmatic level of support across all aspects of their service; from program delivery to program review and recommendations.

ASG very quickly grew to be a trusted business advisor to Honda, both during and post SAP implementation,” said McMahon.

National Manager – Innovation and Capability at ASG Group, Gregor Bresser, said “When Honda (Australia) engaged our team at ASG to support their SAP migration, they were facing significant challenges with actual transition from legacy and custom-built IT applications to the new SAP S4/HANA platform.”

We were able to recommend a strategy and series of processes based off our proven frameworks and unique capabilities in the advisory space – as well as our own internal SAP resources.”

What we delivered to Honda is a true representation of ASG’s broad capabilities in Enterprise Applications, SAP, and Program Delivery and Governance. For many organisations, the key challenge of migrating to SAP S/4 HANA is manage the complexities associated with the transformation required to take full advantage of the latest functionality available and create a real platform for growth and innovation. We work with our customers through this process by providing services that enable the customer to focus on their core business and key focus areas in the transformation project, knowing that the overall project governance and management is taken care of.”

Managing risk along your SAP S/4 HANA journey

SAP S/4 HANA is the next generation of SAP’s enterprise suite. It brings significant capabilities around analytics and reporting, features simplified processes, and is designed to connect people, devices and business networks in real time, enabling flexibility of applications across desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.

For organisations looking to change, it promises significant business transformation opportunities.

However, when delivering large scale implementation initiatives, Bresser warns that there is a lot of work to be done internally across various functions of the organisation to ensure project risks, objectives and timelines are defined and managed successfully.

“Migrating to SAP S/4 HANA is more than just a system integration. It’s a highly complex, new-to-market technology being integrated into large scale, challenging environments.”

“What organisations often neglect when it comes to projects like this is the resourcing and expertise required on top of the technical teams,” said Bresser.

For Honda Australia, the implementation of SAP S/4 HANA made them an early adopter in the Australian market and is one of many steps the organisation plans to take in its transformation journey.

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