In the third part of our series examining how the transition to Brazil Nota Fiscal Version 3.1 can be simplified using a hybrid cloud compliance model, let’s review how managed services offer economies of scale to reduce annual support costs.  On-premise solutions force you to monitor, design and implement all Nota Fiscal issues, requiring significant SAP customization and maintenance.  This is a complex task for any company, but especially those operating on a single global instance of SAP ERP.

With so many complicated SAP issues, it’s inefficient to designate internal staff to keep up with the legislation and constantly implement the changes, especially when the requirements are largely the same for all companies.  Managed service providers provide two huge benefits over on-premise solutions:

  1. First, managed services - hybrid cloud deployments in particular - can offer economies of scale extended across their install base which turns into a hard cost savings in annual support and maintenance costs.

  2. Second, managed services - and more specifically hybrid cloud solutions - can buffer the global SAP Center of Excellence (COE) from changes. Some issues, such as extended attributes and customer customizations, are absorbed by the service provider. Additionally, most upgrades can be done without affecting the core SAP ERP platform.

By transitioning to a managed service, your internal teams can:

  • Avoid the burden of research, design and implementation. With an on-premise solution, the IT organization must figure out how the Brazil changes will affect their SAP deployment.   A service provider will take over these tasks in their entirety.
  • Eliminate fire drills. Most global SAP teams look at rolling out SAP ERP in waves across processes and countries, yet the pace of legislative change in Brazil is constant and isn’t timed to the SAP upgrade strategy. Often, lead times to get on the COE calendar can be 6 to 8 weeks, and in many cases the COE only wants to do major upgrades once or twice a year.  A managed service provider that guarantees your systems are maintained eliminates unforeseen fire drills as they know when the legislative changes occur and coordinate the updates.
  • Reduce upgrade timing issues for companies running an N-1 maintenance strategy. It is common for the SAP maintenance teams to run at least one support pack behind the latest releases.  Yet, when SAP releases new country requirements, they are released in the latest support packs. Companies running older versions face non-compliance unless they enlist their maintenance teams to decipher what is needed and how it will affect the SAP system they are running. A managed service provider understands your company’s unique systems and assists with the changes.
  • Simplify problems with SAP customizations and extended attributes. It is not always easy to get the data from your SAP configurations into the Nota Fiscal format. And in some cases, the data doesn’t come from SAP at all, but are required to complete NFe transactions. For example, when you bring in goods to the country, you must declare the fiscal value of the goods, which often comes from the Freight Forwarder. Despite not being a typical SAP field, this information must be transformed, validated and tracked.
  • Reduce the cost of maintaining compliance. With fewer dedicated internal resources needed, software maintained by the service provider, and minimized failure points (and therefore fewer business disruptions), hybrid cloud compliance solutions can reduce support costs by 80%.  For example, when Philips transitioned off an on-premise software for Brazil Nota Fiscal compliance, it reduced annual maintenance costs by upwards of 80% and increased productivity of local Brazil business business users by 25%!