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The S/4 Dilemma: S4 Is Simplicity Itself, But How Simple Is Sourcing The Skills?

23/01/2018 by Nandip Aulak

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Most of the big projects within SAP have been delivered across the markets and according to a recent article, the number of new clients has declined as the market in the large enterprise space has become saturated.

SAP projects were perceived to be more about roll-out, upgrades and enhancements. I completely agree with his statements in the article. We're seeing this every day, with customers needing support from freelance or internal resources to cover these same categories.

However, S4 could and already is seeing a number of large scale transformations taking place. There are blueprints programmes happening regularly with an increase demand for freelance resources to help define and analyse requirements to try and understand length of SAP projects for budgets, as well as the impact on the day to day of the business.

As a global resource provider in the SAP space, we have seen a variety of plans for S4 resource preparation. Some companies have opted to implement straight away, while others are holding off as long as possible. Some are simply waiting for the right people to come along to help them drive this programme forward.

New Tech, Old Problems

My background in Sourcing IT professionals was in Salesforce.com, which is a Cloud platform. One of the barriers as a bright eyed recruiter was that companies did not have an internal reliance for Salesforce of even Cloud in general. This meant there was a heavy reliance on Consulting Partners.

SAP was a slightly different approach due to it being a lot more seasoned in the market. There was a much more in-depth knowledge hub internally for businesses looking to make changes or implement SAP. From what I have seen and heard from discussing S4 with many companies across a variety of industries, is that companies feel the same way about S4 as they did about Salesforce.

Their knowledge hub is smaller and they worry about having to go through the process of long tenders, high consulting costs and the issue that most people are still running projects in the background, all of whom require the internal teams already.

From my perspective, if there was an influx of implementations to S4, I don’t believe there would be enough resources to work on said projects.

The Solution

So far, some companies are taking the initiative to cross-train consultants internally. At Montash, we have worked with top SAP resources, who have worked on a variety of platforms and understand the business impact of SAP modules. We are working to cultivate the SAP talent pool to ensure that any potential talent needs are met when the time comes.

These experienced SAP resources are the ones who can analyse the requirements, define processes and make the different between success and failure of the project.

But what is the best approach a company can take? Is it better to wait until a certain number of projects have been completed or implement now? If you choose to Implement now, do you start with a small test case environment, or start a full roll-out?

SAP is due to cut the mainstream maintenance of its older projects in 2025, so you businesses need to have a plan for the future sooner rather than later. Whichever strategy they employ, one thing is for certain: demand for experienced SAP expertise is about to rise.

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