One of the core challenges that many organisations face is managing their SAP Business One implementation in a cost effective and time efficient manner.
SAP are continuing to focus on this area and I will talk more about that in my upcoming webinar on the SAP Business One Roadmap and you'll see this as we drill down in to the new 9.3 release.
I wrote a couple of LinkedIn posts on the SAP Business One Cloud Control Center and I got the feedback that people would like some detailed training on how to deploy the technologies behind that and so I have gone down that path and built the sessions (and continue to do so).
So here are the sessions that I have built and I would encourage you to come along to my Moving to the Cloud session at the upcoming Biz.ONE Conference to learn more about how you can continue to leverage these technologies.
For many small businesses, the deployment of an ERP system is done in response to a specific set of challenges that exist in the business at a given point in time.
With the problem solved, they then move on to other pressing issues but in my experience there is a big opportunity that is going begging and that is around the concept of what the Japanese call Kaizen - constant improvement.
A great approach is to stop and review what has been achieved as the result of deploying SAP Business One and what are the other ways that you can utilise the solution to help drive efficiency in your business.
Often times, it's an area that you may not want go to as there's a concern that there will be additional money that needs to be spent on licenses and consulting services and of course, thats an option and you'll do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if it makes sense but there are many ways that you can potentially utilise your existing investments to greater effect.
A big area is the under-utilisation of the CRM and sales force automation capabilities of the solution - quite a few organisations have gone out to market looking for a best of breed CRM solution to plug in to their SAP Business One solution because they may not have really mapped out what they are looking to achieve and end up focusing on the tools that are available and what they claim they can do.
Many times, particularly with organisations that deploy Salesforce as an example, they end up only using 25% of the available functionality - and apart from some of the benefits of the web and mobile UI of Salesforce, the functionality that gets deployed is already existent inside SAP Business One.
This coming November, we are going to have a focus month where we'll deliver a few sessions and a focused webinar designed to specifically help you build your strategy and systems alignment plans for 2018 so mark your diary to attend the sessions and if you're heading to the upcoming Biz.ONE conference in Anaheim, make sure you plan to attend my 2 sessions on moving to the cloud and reporting as both of these sessions will align to this concept of mapping your systems, strategy, skills and staff to drive better business outcomes.
I am a big fan of the McKinsey 7S Model for business planning and alignment of strategy and tactics - we used it at Great Plains Software in the 90's and the approach helped to contribute to the exponential growth of the company and the team's ability to adapt to and drive that growth - so I would encourage you to take a look at this document that talks in more detail about the model - I'll be referring to this quite a lot as we discuss this process and its a good primer to focus your thoughts and start the 2018 planning process.
Basic Training - But without the yelling, mud and pain!!
As previously announced, one of the benefits of your ASUG membership is access to all the new content that we are building including our series of 15 Minute Fundamentals sessions, offering basic training sessions for SAP Business One users.
These are primarily focused on new users, but should also be helpful to experienced users if you need a quick reminder of how the core functionality in the solution works.
Bookmark this page, because as the sessions are published they will be added on to this page so you have a single place to go to get access to all the sessions grouped according to the functional area.
If you have any questions or would like to see a session done on a particular topic in more detail, remember to ask your questions in the Q&A forum of our community site.
Often times, it seems like people in the SAP world use a completely different language, full of esoteric and important sounding acronyms like ABAP, iDocs, FICO, PLM and others.
In fact when I was at SAP I often heard it referred to as SAPanese.
But when someone uses it on you, it's no laughing matter as its usually as part of an explanation on how to solve a problem and your stress levels are already high enough with people adding to it.
So as time progresses I will try to explain some of these that you may encounter as an SAP Business One user to help clear the confusion and give you something to talk about at parties.
So, many of the systems and portals at SAP are locked down so that only Authorised users can access them.
The codes that are provided can be a number of different ones - for example if you are an SAP employee in Germany, you are given a D-number, International employees get I-numbers, contractors get C-numbers and customers and partners get S-numbers.
If you need to access the SAP Help Portal and many of the Customer only documents, you'll need an S number and the place to go to get that is your partner - as an SAP customer you are entitled to access these resources (don't let anyone tell you differently) as long as you are current on your SAP annual maintenance.
Once you have an S-number you can access the areas that SAP have determined are appropriate for you as an SAP Business One customer including the software downloads area.
To make it easier you can also apply for an SAP Passport which is a digital certificate that you can install in your browser and use instead of remebering your S-number and password.
I'll cover that process in another blog shortly - oh and by the way I was only joking about talking SAPanese at parties - unless its an ASUG party, if you do it you'll most probably not get invited back