An important step in the merger: Fiducia & GAD IT AG is working with a uniform SAP system for its commercial processes
PMI (Post Merger Integration) – The expert noventum consulting is supporting the IT service provider of the Volksbanken banks
// IT Merger & Acquisitions, SAP-Processes & Systems
The "FinSAP16" project team was able to proclaim the successful merger of two different SAP systems in early 2016, on-time, and flawlessly. Fiducia & GAD IT AG, the service provider for information technology within the cooperative finance group FinanzGruppe, is going to be working with an ERP system that – as "Best of Breed" – had already before the merger successfully replaced the SAP systems of Fiducia and GAD.
Since early 2016, the commercial departments consisting of Accounting, Controlling, Purchasing, and Billing of Fiducia & GAD IT AG have been working with a uniform SAP system at all locations. Even before the company's merger, SAP systems were utilized for the commercial functions in Karlsruhe (Fiducia) and Münster (GAD). The business approaches that they are based on and thus the concrete IT implementation had been custom-aligned with the individual business processes. The FinSAP16 project was initiated in February 2015. A uniform and joint booking system for the merged company – based on a new SAP infrastructure – was to go live by early 2016. By then, the migration of all relevant data to the target system was scheduled to have been completed.
Project setup intends for intensive cooperation of all departments
The project was carried out by process experts and SAP experts of all affected specialized departments, with strong support of the IT departments. The project setup planned on having employees from the specialized department and from the IT department represented in each work package so that a good communications structure could develop. This important project was accompanied by a steering committee staffed with high-ranking employees. This way, it was ensured in each project phase that the project was carried by a joint understanding of the matter. The consultants of Münster-based noventum consulting GmbH participated in the project management as well as in all sub-projects. The PMI (Post Merger Integration) methodology of noventum consulting played an important part in the planning of the project setup and was applied in a lot of areas.
A detailed cost estimate at the beginning of the project enabled the specialized department to plan the necessary resources early on. The project planning specified in detail the communication within the project as well as the consulting paths and decision paths. The transparency and comprehensive information generated this way for all involved parties contributed significantly to the project's success.
Fit/gap analysis allows for concrete objective
The functional and business policy specification for the project was to develop one excellent new system from two well-functioning SAP systems. The fit/gap analysis, a time and again tried and tested instrument for SAP merger projects of this type, was utilized as the methodological approach for this. The two systems were compared carefully. In addition to the technical infrastructure, the processes of the departments Accounting, Controlling, Purchasing, and Billing (SAP modules FI/CO/MM/SD) as well as the bookkeeping/accounting for the subsidiaries and shareholdings were assessed, in particular. The risks for select components with customer impact were assessed particularly thoroughly. The objective of the analysis was to capture and analyse the processes and the system utilization, and to classify deviations (gaps) between them. For the gaps, solution suggestions were developed in the various sub-projects and were – depending on the criticality – decided at the project level, in the steering committee or by the executive board.
Based on the determined solution suggestions, the need for adjustments was subsequently specified in a requirements specification (business blueprint) and it was decided which processes and data should be made available in the target system. In this, the level of detailing was higher than in the fit/gap analysis and corresponded to the level of specialized and IT concepts. In the project phase of "customizing", all interfaces were aligned with the target system by IT and, where necessary, adjusted.
Integration tests performed as basis for utilization in production
From September 2015 until the end of November 2015, the validation of the process in the target system was carried out through functional tests as well as integration tests and migration tests in the specialized departments. Overall, four integration tests with a duration of one week, each, were carried out. In these tests, the specialized departments went over the target system with a fine-tooth comb and validated the process mapping in close coordination with the IT department. In parallel to the testing, the key users within the organization became active and communicated the knowledge regarding the new processes to all users quickly and efficiently.
Once all parties involved in Karlsruhe had carried out the system switch on January 2, 2016, the company announced the successful technical and functional cut-over including acceptance of the systems by the operational sub-projects. During the subsequent so-called hyper-care phase, the parties responsible for the project as well as the noventum experts were still available to the users in a support role.
Platform for the future
The standardization of all relevant commercial processes in one IT system and the creation of a uniform SAP platform are a significant milestone for the success of the merger of the two companies, Fiducia and GAD.