Alliander Central Finance (Explore until Deploy & Run)

The #Simplification program facilitates the phased transition from SAP ECC to a "standard" S/4HANA environment. Central Finance is deployed to get the landscape moving in a controlled way. After a successful Discovery phase in the 4th quarter of 2020, the focus in 2021 is on the realization of the solution.

From data replication to consolidation

The scope of the first S/4HANA project is more than just Central Finance. It includes the data replication from SAP ECC to S/4HANA and the consolidation of the Alliander group figures in Group Reporting. All this is based on a new financial data model, including the introduction of a new chart of accounts.

Fit-2-Standard as a starting point

The Explore phase took place in the 1st quarter of 2021. To realize a future-proof solution that contributes to a decisive, agile and cost-efficient Finance function, we base ourselves on the SAP Best Practice scope items. In the Fit-2-Standard workshops, the processes surrounding intercompany reconciliation, period closures, outgoing payments and consolidation were intensively run through. The outcome was an almost 100% fit with standard SAP.

Agile realization of the solution

The Realize phase started in the 2nd quarter of 2021. Our Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is Central Finance and Group Reporting. For Central Finance, the standard replication scenarios are already operationally working in the test environment. For limitations in the solution, we are forced to activate some BADIs (such as customer orders as classification objects). For Group Reporting, the best practice setup is used purely as a reference and Alliander specific Data Monitor and Consolidation Monitor. We achieve all this through 3-week sprints, in which we provide a review demo to our supporters at the end of the sprint.

A 'we' mentality

The scrum team has a "together, focus and do" mentality. The team is a representation of Alliander Business key users, Alliander IT experts and McCoy consultants. To be able to act quickly and decisively, the team is approximately 10 FTE in size, supplemented by ad-hoc expertise.

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Going live with the solution by April 1st, 2022

The successful GAT (User Acceptance Test) in January marked the start of the initial data load over the weekend of February 25 and 26. During this weekend, we loaded the 2021 and 2022 data for the 47 SAP companies representing over 12 million financial documents.

Over the following two weeks, we were able to fully process the small amount of remaining outages and the key users successfully completed the connection checks. Also, from that moment on, the real-time replication of financial documents from SAP ECC to S/4HANA is running. There was no to negligible outage which we were able to process within no time.

The hypercare and aftercare phases are all about putting the finishing touches to the project, loading the remaining months in Group Reporting (including connection with the current consolidation tool) and the transfer to management before discharge of the project.
Simplification has brought Alliander a solid S/4HANA foundation, paving the way to decisively realize its Fit4Future ambition.