THREE PART SERIES ON DEVELOPING AN SAP CENTER OF EXCELLENCE.
You probably already knew that a “Competency center” is focused on SAP application support like help desk functions, system stabilization, troubleshooting, etc. But did you know that a true “Center of Excellence” is focused on the business and business drivers? The key goal of a “Center of Excellence” is to integrate not just the application, but the application support staff into the business.
Business Transformation from an SAP or ERP business application is no longer an option.
For business transformation to occur it will take business and IT convergence –-, a Center of Excellence is an extension of a business’s competitive advantage.
To achieve breakthrough results you have to go beyond the idea of business to IT alignment, you have to move beyond the idea of your IT organization as a support organization. Your SAP and IT organization must become an active participant in the business and work to participate directly in business success.
Why Haven’t More Organizations Made the Transition to an SAP Center of Excellence?
When system integrators or vendors are asked to develop an SAP Center of Excellence, or some form of a Business Transformation Center, they frequently offer you outsourcing options. You speak about business needs and they see outsourcing or support organization opportunities. All they are familiar with is creating help desks and reactive support organizations to handle your issues. They have little or no guidance on how to develop a powerful, collaborative, and business integrated SAP organization.
If they had the insight you need then there wouldn’t be so much academic research or IT related surveys which consistently raise “business to IT alignment.” And worse still, while they are still trying to figure out “alignment,” getting in line with business needs is just the first step–, full SAP convergence is the answer. And that is only just beginning to come onto the radar screen even in the academic literature.
Your IT or SAP Center must be integrated into the business in the same way that SAP integrates the operations of your business. It must become enmeshed and integrated into all of your organization’s operations.
This series provides insight, guidance and direction on developing a proactive SAP organization focused on long-term business transformation. For more information, including a detailed plan, methodology, and concrete steps for creating an SAP enabled Center of Excellence please feel free to contact us.
Solution brief presented at the SAP ASUG Atlanta meeting on June 17, 2011
Beyond Technology Alignment Steering Committee Participation in Building a Center of Excellence.
Presentation provided as part of the session.
SAP & Business Convergence
Explaining the differences between an SAP Competency Center or sometimes referred to as an SAP Center of Expertise and an SAP Center of Excellence. As Peter Drucker wrote either Do Things Right or Do the Right Things.
A more complete and thorough explanation of the differences between the SAP Competency Center (or Expertise Center) and the SAP Center of Excellence (or the Business Transformation Center). An understanding the operating differences and how the Competency Center is focused on reactive processing of things like help desk tickets, problem resolution, data correction, and knowledge transfer.
Business model application of steps, techniques, and methods to produce an SAP Center of Expertise or an SAP Business Transformation Center. The major business transformation steps on moving from an SAP Competency Center to an SAP Center of Excellence.
For background information see the following posts. As you move toward being a business-centered SAP or ERP shop these posts will help drive the right IT direction for your projects, budgets, and efforts.
A New SAP Implementation Methodology and Implementation Steps
The “Center of Excellence” concept focuses on knowledge transfer, change management, and creating a “learning organization.” For KEY background information understanding the business imperative for a Center of Excellence see the following RESEARCH based posts.
Change Management Strategies and Knowledge Transfer Processes for a Successful SAP Project 1
Change Management Strategies and Knowledge Transfer Processes for a Successful SAP Project 2
Also, for more information see the second half of this post for more information on Knowledge Transfer and ensuring user and business maturity in using SAP technology:
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- SAP Comepetence Center or Competency