Key Notes update - Business Transformation Day 2019

Gülsüm Ucuran

On September 26th, our Business Transformation Day will take place at our customer Merck KGaA in Darmstadt. With a panel of key note speakers and participants from diverse organizations we will discuss how BPM delivers tangible benefits. The topics will span from global ERP template programs to enterprise quality management and operational excellence.

Please look forward to: 

  • Managing multiple ERP templates and projects within a single integrated BPM platform.
    Carsten Schöne, Business Process Owner Govern to Enable, Merck KGaA

  • Process orientation in pharmaceutical research and development - a BPM approach to quality management.
    Marc Seyfarth, Head of R&D Business Process & QD Management, Merck Healthcare KGaA

  • Supporting corporate consolidation while assuring quality system maturity.
    Gregor Kokorski, Head of Project Management, Mitteldeutsche Hartstein-Industrie AG

  • The fate of system process documentation after go-live. Template governance and as-is process documentation in a multi-site set-up.
    Katharina Koston, Project Manager, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG

Additional group discussions and breakouts provide the space for stripping away the jargon and jointly create new insights.

The participation is free of charge. 

  • 26.09.2019, 9:00 - 16:00 Uhr

  • Darmstadt

Please understand that the number of participant space is limited. More information about the travel accommodation and the event flyer will be sent to the registered participants shortly.  

Business Flows Release 4 Available Now

- Rachael Föcker

Business Flows Release 4

Since our last release in July 2018, we have reflected on our project experience and customer feedback and spent the last several months improving Business Flows once again. From our experience in Business Transformation and process design initiatives, it is clear is that an End to End (E2E) perspective fosters operational excellence. The principle is to iteratively define a standard set of processes and (re)use these in various combinations to reflect all operational varieties in the business flows.


For the sake of ‘house-keeping’ this set of (unique) processes requires a structured view on the process inventory. This is typically accomplished in a repository by sorting the processes into process groups according to functional criteria.

We, frankly speaking, didn’t publish the process groups until now, as we didn’t want to distract from the core E2E focus of Business Flows.

Using Business Flows in various customer situations has shown that a reference model for the functional grouping of processes as well as a structured repository (defining the business process master list, BPML) is of great benefit.

We are, therefore, happy to announce that we have updated our published architecture and conventions in order to bring you another perspective to Release 4 of our Best Practice Reference Model: Process Groups.   

Process Groups

The introduced process groups are structured according to the SCOR top-level entry structure. Leaning on this widely used framework simplifies initial orientation for process experts with various backgrounds without limiting us to functional silo thinking.

Our Process Groups cluster individual processes in a functional representation similar to operational departments. For example, within the Customer Relationship Management functional group you will find a collection of processes for strategically shaping the relationships and interactions of an organization with existing and potential customers, including planning and execution of campaigns, gathering and qualification of leads, and the generation and distribution of marketing materials. Our classified functional building blocks offer a streamlined approach to gather the relevant business experts to review, adapt, and agree the reference model according to their business operations. In this sense, the combination of the Process Library and E2E view accelerate adapting operational processes to support company strategy. 

We adopted established SCOR framework terminology across the supply chain: source, make, store, sell, and service and extend it by design, plan, service, integrated management system, enterprise management, and quality & compliance management. 

Figure 1: Process Library

Figure 1: Process Library

In addition to providing a functional view on processes, the process groups also allow us to accommodate for stand alone processes that do not typically map to an E2E process such as generation of reports, modification of sales order or purchase orders, or maintenance of Master Data processes that needs to be included in a comprehensive BPML.

With the introduction of the process groups, we have taken the initiative to replace the generic departments on the level 2 processes with the respective process group allocation indicating functional responsibility.  This decision was made to incorporate feedback on frictions when customers were mapping the reference content to their individual organizations and corresponding role definition and naming.

Figure 2: E2E Scenario - Inbound Logistics

Figure 2: E2E Scenario - Inbound Logistics

As I write this the team has started working working on the next release of Business Flows where we will provide you with new E2E domains including Forecast to Plan (F2Pl) and Hire to Retire (H2R) with their respective process groups covering Human Resources, Sales and Operations Planning and others.

We are curious to receive your feedback and why not discuss the new concept and content live at our customer event in September - so save the date and come to exchange on how business transformation is a capability, not a project!

In case you want to have a closer look at our reference content, feel free to get yourself a free trail.

Keep Calm the End of R/3 is Near! Free Webinar - 10.04.2018, 14:30 CEST

Russell Gomersall

Or how Business Flows helps you from falling off the digital cliff

SAP's announcement to prolong mainstream maintenance until the end of 2025 will reassure SAP customers, that they receive adequate time to migrate to the new S/4 HANA digital platform. Taking into consideration the pressure on companies to ‘digitalize’, this seems like a fair amount of time. On the other hand, experience of past and current business transformation initiatives left many stakeholders uncertain about if or how to proceed with current deployments of SAP’s Business Suite and when best to change to the new technology. Considering this, 2025 seems nearer than you may think.

This will be the reason why many customers are currently evaluating S/4 HANA and rethinking their business transformation strategy.

During evaluations many questions relate to the major shift in technology such as

  • In memory technology

  • Fiori Apps (UI and mobile applications)

  • Cloud

  • Application architecture and integration

To answer this, SAP and implementation partners such as Steeb offer ‘value maps’ with pre-scoped solutions for various industries.

As a starting point we believe this approach is of great value. Nevertheless, one must consider that simplification as proposed by SAP and the shift to new technologies can result in companies neglecting the requirements of their existing organization and processes.

Taking the magnitude of the strategic shift into consideration, we believe the evaluation needs to go deeper in order to answer questions such as

  • What are the core business drivers we want to excel in and how can SAP’s digital platform help us achieve these targets?

  • How much simplification can the company afford and in which areas do we need to stay ‘complicated’?

  • Which deployment strategies fit to my companies setup?

  • How are organization and people impacted by the new technology?

 We recommend to focus on 3 elements in preparation of your S/4 HANA evaluations:

  1. Scope your core operating models by defining E2E scenarios

  2. Define strategic Business Drivers and map them to the scenarios

  3. Define your enterprise structures and deployment entities (regions/countries/sites) and create sub-scopes of your processes

In Business Flows we offer accelerators for this preparation. 

  • Comprehensive E2E business process reference model for industrial enterprises

  • Business/Value driver library

  • S/4 HANA Capabilities (mapped to Scenarios)

  • S/4 HANA Simplifications (mapped to Scenarios and Processes)

With this prepared, you can engage with business functions (experts) from your organisation and S/4 HANA experts (typically SAP or system integrator) to identify fits and gaps of the S/4 HANA solution, elaborate answers to the above mentioned questions as well as define a high level migration strategy. 

In our webinar we would like to present to you our approach to S/4 HANA evaluations based on Business Flows and show examples on how to define feasible scenarios for your migration and identify the key opportunities and threats.
On the bottom line, we believe in the context of 2025 the End of R/3 is Near but you can Keep Calm if you go about it the right way. 

5 Schlüsselfaktoren für eine erfolgreiche Business Transformation

Sich ständig ändernde externe und interne Rahmenbedingungen und Einflüsse stellen immer größere Anforderungen an die Entwicklung und Implementierung neuer oder verbesserter Geschäftsmodelle und den unterstützenden IT Systemen. Damit wachsen auch die Herausforderungen für Führungskräfte und Mitarbeiter Transformationen zu planen und zu implementieren. 

Am 21.09.2017 haben wir in diesem Kontext zu unserem diesjährigen Kundentag nach Frankfurt unter dem Motto “Business transformation is a capability, not a project” eingeladen. Im Fokus stand eine gezielte Moderation zum Austausch von Erfahrung und Erarbeitung von Antworten auf die Frage:  

Was sind Schlüsselfaktoren für eine erfolgreiche Business Transformation? 

Der Tag wurde nach einer Einführung zum "Transformationsfähigkeit entfachen" durch Siegfried Wien (nowhere) und Markus Wolf (bpExperts) durch praxisbezogene Impulsvorträge von Frau Katharina Koston (Phoenix Contact), Caspar Jans (DSM) sowie Markus Ratter und Carsten Schöne (Merck) ergänzt. 

Die angeregten Diskussion und Ergebnisse der kleinen Arbeitsgruppen lassen sich in der Umsetzung folgender 5 Faktoren/Indikatoren zusammenfassen:

  1. Funktionsübergreifende Entscheidungsfindung praktizieren

  2. Führen über Berichtslinien hinweg

  3. Engagement in verteilter, gemeinsamer 'ownership' und Verantwortung

  4. Schnelles Lernen und Anpassungsfähigkeit meistern

  5. Zur Suche nach Veränderungen ermutigen, ohne die Vergangenheit zu kritisieren

An dieser Stelle möchten wir uns nochmals bei allen Teilnehmern für Ihre aktive Beteiligung und anregenden Beiträge bedanken. Das Feedback zur Themenstellung ermutigen uns die 'Entfachung der Transformationsfähigkeit' sowohl für den nächsten Kundentag, als auch als Teil unserer Beratungsleistung weiter zu vertiefen.