S/4 HANA Cloud
…so where does 'S/4 HANA Cloud' fit in your current SAP practice?

If you are one of the leaders in an IT services organization, probably you have started taking S/4 HANA Cloud seriously. Maybe you paid little attention to SAP cloud till now - Yes, you know about HR on the cloud : SuccessFactors, Procurement on the cloud: Ariba, Travel & Expenses on the cloud: Concur, CRM on the cloud: C/4 HANA and a few other cloud applications from SAP.

But you and I agree that since only a good volume of these projects bring in decent money unlike traditional SAP ERP projects which last longer and fetch in more consulting money - come on, you did pay "less" attention. 

'ERP on Cloud', now that's something we all have to take seriously and cannot avoid anymore !!!

I for one see this as an immediate growth area, having built SuccessFactors competency for few organizations, evangelized SAP cloud for partners of SAP, and been managing S/4 HANA cloud practice more recently - the market is hot and customers are eager to take advantage of the best practices, quicker implementations, and frequent innovations.

I'm here though to answer an interesting dilemma that SAP practice heads are currently in, so where does the S/4 Cloud really fit in? 

In the current scenario, typically SAP practice is split by competencies - FI/CO, HR, CRM, MM, PP etc. If it was up to me, I would name them by business process and not so much by SAP module by that's another story for another day. SuccessFactors was pushed under HR along with SAP HCM, Ariba under Procurement along with SAP MM and so on. 

The cloud focus is different, and it really needs strong functional consulting skills and less "technical" skills to be able to guide your customers towards the best practices that are built into the solution and steer them away from customizations. The various roles sometimes required in the traditional on-premise projects are not required now, especially the "Basis" ones.

Here are my thoughts on where it should be driven from: Make an "SAP Cloud" competency or practice, and get all cloud solutions including S/4 HANA Cloud under one leadership and one vision. Since the 50% of cloud talk is similar across these solutions it makes senses to put them under one leadership but have SMEs drive individual solutions. What will not work anymore is - the older on-premise mentality of longer project durations, customize the software to make it look like how the customer wants, can't give best practice recommendations but can configure the software and an army of consultants to work on the project. The need of the hour is to have true consultants working with your customers as their business partners helping them to get the best out of cloud solutions, and this mindset should be also be embraced by the leadership as well and also right from pre-sales till the project is gone-live. The SAP cloud support is totally a different ball game but that's one more topic for yet another day. Having one cloud driven focus across teams will add lots of value to any IT services organization that are looking to grow in the new S/4 HANA journey.

Global Delivery Lead – HCM, S4/HANA , Analytics and Cloud
Seasoned, proactive, and forward-thinking professional with a proven record as an IT specialist. Offering a multi-faceted, global experience spanning over 20 years. Demonstrated success in leading corporate growth, enhancing productivity, optimizing team performance and generating revenues.