Accompanying the customer as an enabler into the new S/4 world
Although companies still have until at least 2027 to implement SAP S/4 HANA, many are already dealing with the topic of conversion. Finally, it is clear that the new platform is a digitaldriver. It forms the basis for innovations, guarantees functional improvements in ERP and easier operation. In all the positive aspects, however, the high organisational effort for the large-scale project "S/4 Conversion" is also a headache.
What is clear is that an ERP system must work perfectly. All those who handle their processes with the current SAP Business Suite fear that proven functions in S/4 HANA will no longer be available. The GIB mbH from Siegen is also aware of these concerns of the users. As a software manufacturer and certified SAP Silver Partner, the company specializes in optimizing supply chain and improving logistics processes in SAP. The SAP-certified product GIB Suite has been an important tool for the supply chain management of well-known SAP customers for years. When SAP announced the new program package, GIB was quickly convinced of the benefits for its customers and wanted to position itself as a conversion enabler that combines the technological advantages of S/4 with the strategic and operational advantages of an integrated and holistic supply chain control from GIB.
Take proven functionalities into the S/4 HANA world
The GIB strategy is therefore clearly aimed at S/4, and thus at the refinement of the digital core. Felix Grab, Vice Director Development at GIB: "Starting this year, development will only take place in this new world. What can be translated into the old R/3 world is downgraded for customers who do not yet dare to make the switch. The focus is on the fact that all proven functionalities of the GIB Suite can also be performed in the S/4 HANA environment, so that users can continue to work reliably with the familiar software solution. Customers can therefore implement the GIB Suite when migrating from R/3 to S/4 according to the Brownfield approach without any effort, or of course re-establish it in the greenfield approach under S/4."
If you are innovative and want to make full use of the new possibilities of the S/4 world, GIB has developed a solution for supply chain optimization to make the benefits of the enormous potential of HANA technology available: The new GIB suite "SCX – Supply Chain Excellence" uses the digital core of S/4 and the high-performance HANA technology for a holistic view of the digital supply chain. The pioneering software solution offers plenty of room for further innovative functions that significantly optimize everyday work.
Gib SCX works with a sophisticated role concept that makes the highly complex supply chain process transparent and manageable. All relevant work steps are served to the user precisely. The tool brings a new level of user-friendliness and simplification and guarantees that nothing is overlooked in the worklist. In addition, the SCX Suite calculates the process maturity of the supply chain and the respective sub-processes on the basis of the live data from the SAP S/4 system and presents it on the basis of an innovative indicator model. Based on KPIs determined from SAP Core, the single point of truth, the quality of the entire end-to-end process, as well as the sub-processes Demand Planning, Manufacturing, Procurement, Inventory Management and Sales & Distribution is presented.
Switching to the S/4 HANA world only with the GIB solution
The GIB SCX is one of the first SAP-certified solutions in the S/4 HANA Cloud worldwide. Although SAP is not mandatory for on-prem solutions, GIB has been relying on continuous certification of software products since 2005 to give all customers the assurance that everything is playing together perfectly. The GIB Suite for S/4 HANA On-Premise has been certified since 2018.
"We were under enormous time pressure when certifying our new SCX suite," says Stefan Theis, Manager Software Logistics and Technology GIB. This urgency was based on the wish of a customer who wanted to tackle a cloud conversion to S/4 HANA EX already this year and will go live in 2021 of the Cloud extended edition (EX). Since in the cloud case an SAP certification is a basic requirement and the user did not want to take the step into the new world without his proven GIB suite, the certification of the new GIB SCX was a priority for the Siegen software manufacturer this year. Because the customer did not want to do without "his" GIB Manufacturing, despite the advantages that the SAP functionalities offer him in the new S/4 system.
Challenge: Program all services for the cloud
The GIB has successfully accompanied numerous S/4 conversions over the past two years, but the cloud scenario presented the software manufacturer with special tasks. "The certification for SAP Cloud was associated with a variety of changes to the source code," explains Florian Lenz, Manager Development at GIB. "The time window was extremely tight! We had already decided internally in the spring to have the GIB solution certified for the cloud, but unfortunately the final SAP request catalog for a certifiable solution for the cloud was not established until July."
In particular, the programming style had to be adapted to ensure that the source code meets the requirements of the SAP Cloud Systems. In general, the cloud version is more dependent on SAP than GIB was used to from its previous solutions. For this, the user enjoys the classic cloud advantages like no hosting, no hardware in the form of his own server and gets everything from a single source from SAP.
Fiorized surfaces to map processes even more efficiently
Although the proven GIB functionalities for supply chain management in SAP S/4 HANA continue to exist, the surfaces have been fiorized. It was less about chic designs and more about helping the user to do his job well and efficiently.
"The fact that the pilot project was certified so quickly and successfully was the result of a very good and close cooperation between our participating GIB departments and those responsible for SAP," explains Stefan Theis. "It is clear that a great deal of pioneering spirit and maximum flexibility are part of it. This is the only way to respond promptly to all new requirements." The success proves the protagonists right: In September, the power house was under wraps and the new GIB Suite was certified by SAP. The partnership with the SAP certification team and, of course, the customer's clear signal of how important the solution for his S/4 launch is, were also decisive for the rapid pace of the certification process. The GIB was involved in the testing and testing phase at a very early stage in order to try out the tools in the new environment and to see how the processes run in the cloud.
With the certification, which has to be renewed annually with each new cloud release, gib has taken a big step towards the new SAP world. An internal survey of customers has already shown that almost all respondents want to start switching to S/4 within the next two years. Three of them chose the cloud version.