The system and data world of SAP is facing great challenges
// Business Intelligence, SAP-Processes & Systems
noventum management consulting in the SAP context strengthened
novum: Mr. Schröder, you have been a part of the management of noventum consulting in the area of SAP consulting since November 2012. What is your specific focus and how does this change the noventum consulting portfolio?
Otto-Jörg Schröder: noventum was in the past already pretty active in SAP consulting. In some noventum SAP projects, I have participated as an external consultant, just like some colleagues of my previous employer. So, the need at noventum to strengthen its own team has been there for quite a while. Now I have joined in and I enjoy being able to personally further develop my professional focus at noventum. In the time ahead, I will establish my own team. Then, we will have our own strong team at noventum for technical topics all around SAP and will thus round out the strategic and procedural consulting, also in terms of SAP development and Basis. noventum has always been strong in terms of accounting, logistics and HR processes as well as with respect to the SAP BI topics. In the future, we will more strongly support the internal development of SAP applications, the release planning (release changes, enhancement packages) and other basis and architecture topics.
Carsten Fröning: Ever since its inception, noventum has been active in the field of SAP implementation. Since 1996, starting with SAP R/2 and the early SAP R/3 releases, we have accompanied the whole SAP history and conducted successful projects. Across any number of industries, we have developed special know-how in numerous modules and put it to use for our customers. Today, we are available as consultants for the whole range, from implementation to continuous improvement, spin-off or merger.
Our decision to increasingly establish our own know-how with respect to SAP technology and development has a number of reasons:
We have decided to even more dedicatedly become the full service provider of our customers.
The role of Net Weaver as integration platform is becoming more and more important, the value generation at our customers can be significantly improved.
At present, the large IT projects are quite often merger or carve-out projects which even in the area of SAP over long stretches is posing technical questions in addition to specialised questions.
Thorsten Schmidt: Plus, the noventum SAP consulting in the Business Intelligence context has been successful for many years and is developing further. It is not just since the transition of SAP BW towards SAP BusinessObjects that we have been available to our customers in this field. Here, we have developed a particularly specialised expertise. In various SAP customer projects, we are currently responsible for Enterprise Data Warehouse solutions with the most diverse architectures at utilities companies, in healthcare and in the pharmaceutical sector.
novum: Which customer segment is noventum at present particularly focusing on?
Carsten Fröning: IT service providers, banks, insurance companies and the energy industry are already quite prominently represented among our customers. But we also have – in part due to our excellent expertise in terms of technical consulting – also had important customers, time and again, outside these sectors. As Thorsten Schmidt just said already, we are currently working for a very broad spectrum of customers. The common denominator of our customers always is an expansive and complex IT landscape. This is our home specialty, from the technical as well as the strategic angle.
novum: Here, the fact also comes into play that large IT organisations have to conquer similar problems, no matter what industry they are at home in.
Thorsten Schmidt: Yes, and our personal and intense contact within the SAP community furthermore enables us to keep our consulting state of the art with respect to client requests.
»Providing Business Solutions for specific customer requests«
Otto-Jörg Schröder: In addition to a specific specialised proximity to our customers, we are also experts for mergers and spin-offs as well as continuous improvement and a fundamental strategic consulting. This also touches on the question where the strategic development of the ERP landscapes should lead to.
novum: Where do you see the SAP market in the next 3-5 years?
Carsten Fröning: For the SAP ERP environment at large, the term Continuous Improvement summarises things pretty well: behind it, we find the classic process optimisations. All in all, each and every one of our customers has a need for process optimisation and for implementing new requirements. We clearly see that the frequency of organisational changes of companies is increasing. This means that mergers and spin-offs are currently taking place more frequently than ever. Since noventum is offering solutions in both areas, which we are positioning in the market as „Post Merger Integration“ or „Outsourcing“, we are seeing huge potential. Our procedural know-how (what should target processes look like) and our technical expertise (how do we migrate the data into the target landscape) are an excellent fit for these tasks.
novum: With this view, do you leave the originally technical view behind?
Carsten Fröning: That is not the case. But an HR carve-out project that we recently concluded at a large industrial company did for instance once more open our eyes to the fact that our knowledge regarding carve-outs that is applicable across industries is of more importance in the consulting process than our specific knowledge in terms of HR.
Otto-Jörg Schröder: Another important keyword in connection with large carve-out and merger events, of whose implementation noventum is representative, is SLO (System Landscape Optimisation). We are observing an increasing interest of customers to also in the future work with data that originates from multiple SAP systems and the consolidation of which in a target system is extraordinarily challenging.
Thorsten Schmidt: The topics SAP Basis, module consulting and Business Intelligence will move even closer to one another in the near future. Here, process integration is an important keyword and emphasises the logical architecture of the solution.
novum: How completely do the solutions of SAP cover your customers‘ needs? Isn‘t there still a need for customising and won‘t it continue to exist?
»Customising of individual applications will remain a standard task«
Otto-Jörg Schröder: Of course. Despite the flexibility of the SAP modules, it is clear: especially large companies quite often have such special requirements that the SAP standard applications are reaching their limits. The release-capable further development of existing internal developments is a permanent task in the context of SAP consulting and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The same applies to the release-capable „modification“ of the Standard.
With SAP Release 6.0, SAP has developed the Enhancement Framework. It allows for the custom and release-capable further development of an SAP system at almost any point. Here, countless options are available to the companies. Qualified consulting is of the essence, here.
Carsten Fröning: One central SAP topic of the future is „Mobile Technologies“. These control the day-to-day life of the users and the IT systems have to implement and anticipate these trends. The users expect that solutions, no matter where they are located, are supporting the processes independent of the front-end. Another important topic is „HANA“, the so-called In-Memory Computing. Here, the result will likely be significant changes in the SAP architecture.
novum: Thank you very much for the interview and a lot of success for your work!