Casper Ballemans

Companies run their ERP like they are still downloading songs to an iPod

Remember the iPod. A revolutionary device. No more buying cd’s or even tapes. Not the size a Sony Walkman (remember those?!) and no need to swap batteries. All you need to do was setup an iTunes account, buy and download music on your computer, connect the iPod to your computer and transfer the files to the device. There you go: listen to your favorite music anytime, anywhere. 

I know you’re thinking: “Sure, it was a great step up from putting cd’s in a Sony Discman and getting annoyed that the music skipped with every bump in the road. But we have Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube on our iPhones now, so we’ll never have to worry about all those steps anymore. And it’s only 9$ a month!”

Are you in the iPod era?

The reason I took a trip down memory lane is that I come across a lot of companies that still run their ERP platforms like they’re in the iPod era. Manually executing tasks, getting wound up when errors appear and eventually paying a lot for something that should work all day every day without any hassle.

An example of what I see every day. A company runs SAP ERP (e.g., SAP ECC or SAP S/4HANA) in a private cloud environment of their service partner. They have a service contract, so whenever a change needs to happen on the platform, there is a service process. Including controls, checks, monitoring, communication, service delivery and billing. The Finance department buys a new Software-as-a-Service consolidation tool and needs the ERP to feed it with data. 

And so it begins. The business process owners contact IT with the requirements and after 3 days they get a long response: Firewall changes are needed, connectivity must be set up, IT procedures to validate that the cloud tool is compliant with the architecture have to be checked and we need to contact the service provider of the ERP platform. Fast forward 2 to 3 months: a huge amount of people have touched the request, stake holders from at least 3 organizations (Business, IT and Service Provider) are involved and nothing is delivered yet. When all designs are approved, the execution is performed manually and after several human mistakes (we all make those!), the request is completed and Finance gets the invoice.

Turn your process into a Spotify experience

What if we could turn this process into a Spotify experience? You select systems you want to connect and every prerequisite is automated. This increases the speed immensely and completely eradicates hum errors along the way. Hence, the costs will be significantly lower. 

We have ‘spotified’ this. With pre-set templates, we deploy code that takes care of the iTunes account, the music downloading, the transferring music to devices and the battery swapping. With pre-set procedures, the business can request IT changes that are compliant, secure, cheap and 100% first time right. IT benefits from pre-defined IT Architecture principles that are actually followed by everyone and can report significant cost savings to their CFO, while increasing the quality of delivery. 

More about Cloud Automation

Do you want to Spotify your ERP? Let’s talk automation. Connect with our Cloud experts and let’s put that old iPod on eBay!

Contact Casper at +31 6 30051766 and let’s talk cloud.