Implementing an SAP Center of Excellence allows businesses to optimize, manage and increase the value of their SAP solution for transformation success.
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As so many companies begin the process of migrating to SAP S/4HANA and implementing SAP Activate methodology, the need for a dedicated SAP Center of Excellence has never been greater. Digital transformation is essential for SAP customers, but many enterprises struggle to adopt, manage and update all the emerging technologies required to achieve SAP transformation success.
This is why all businesses who are either new to SAP or those who already use SAP products, can benefit from an SAP CoE. Its mission is to combine business and IT technology infrastructure with industry best practices to achieve continued value from SAP technologies.
The SAP Center of Excellence is the expertise given to enterprises so they are better able to implement and run the best infrastructure to support an SAP environment. The CoE aims to help businesses achieve continued value from their investments in SAP technologies, as well as optimize all SAP products and provide ongoing support.
The SAP Center of Excellence model helps businesses to learn, apply, and maintain SAP technologies; this includes building an SAP support strategy that involves designing, managing, and optimizing key processes, providing user support, and keeping the complex SAP system landscape running smoothly.
The outcome of the SAP CoE process depends entirely on the objectives of the company; whether they wish to streamline their IT infrastructure, optimize applications, or migrate to a new ERP. A dedicated CoE team will work with business leaders to prioritize what’s needed.
The critical functions of SAP CoE can be boiled down to:
Operational support helps businesses streamline day-to-day SAP operations, while application enhancements will optimize existing apps and make them more cost-effective. Change management is important for IT infrastructure migration, particularly during the move to SAP S/4HANA.
SAP CoE is business-led and IT-supported. These two aspects of the CoE are intertwined and must be considered at every point of the strategy, especially as you optimize current systems to suit the needs of the business.
On this note, while best practices are used to guide the process, no CoE will be implemented the same way and will vary according to the size of the enterprise and how it’s organized. This guarantees that the goals of the enterprise will be met and maintained.
When implementing the SAP CoE, every business will have different objectives they wish to achieve through the process. This makes it difficult to definitively pinpoint all the various things CoE can accomplish. However, there are several universal functions and benefits which are typical of the SAP Center of Excellence. Some of the benefits of SAP CoE include:
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The next step in a successful SAP Center of Excellence is compiling the team to make it happen. SAP Center of Excellence roles and team structure vary based on what is needed, and you will not need to fill each one of these positions to create a successful CoE.
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There are two ways enterprises can go about SAP CoE placement within their business landscape: either by creating an in-house Center of Excellence or outsourcing. There are pros and cons to both depending on the unique needs and structure of an organization.
Once an enterprise has decided to build a CoE around their SAP solution and organized a team, they can then go ahead and begin with the implementation. There are several methods an organization can implement their SAP Center of Excellence; all of which result in increased value from the software. This is especially valuable as businesses migrate their SAP software to S/4HANA.
Implementing CoE can be challenging since all businesses will require intense support as teams learn to fully adopt the IT and process changes that come with SAP implementation. To run a smooth process, SAP architects and teams should:
Once the SAP solution goes live, it’s important for CoE teams to analyze and optimize from the get-go for continuous Improvement. This includes identifying broken or flawed business processes, inefficient system design, data management issues, etc.
A successful SAP CoE implementation will, among other things, provide guidance on how to manage change within the context of the SAP landscape so that organizations can continue to leverage the increased value from their SAP solution.
Establishing a well-implemented SAP Center of Excellence is vital to support success. However establishing a CoE is only the first step, and it is just as critical that businesses properly manage and optimize their CoE efforts to unlock the potential of their SAP solution.
To get the most from SAP CoE, organizations should allow their software to evolve and adapt alongside business objectives, allowing for flexibility and agility to drive value and make the CoE a success in the long term.
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What is the role of an SAP CoE?
What is an SAP CoE team?