Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
The Fujitsu KISS Report on SAP Projects:
‘Keeping IT Simplified and Streamlined’ to maximize
the business value of SAP Applications and SAP HANA
SAP solutions have supported multinational companies (MNCs) in their international expansion for many
years. SAP customers are realizing the benefits of their SAP implementations and are implementing a mix of
modules/applications ranging from customer relationship management through to enterprise resource
planning and supply chain management. However, with the explosion of applications and the alignment of
IT and the business units across geographic boundaries feedback from the market is that transformation of
SAP software landscapes can be a demanding task for managers.
As an SAP Global Partner, Fujitsu is always striving to recognize the key challenges of SAP customers. Being open to listen and learn is the basis
for developing solutions and services which are instrumental in maximizing daily SAP operations as well as in transformation processes - and
consequently allow IT departments to better support the business. To better understand the actual needs of enterprises using SAP solutions,
Fujitsu commissioned Coleman Parkes Research to conduct a global research project. The key objective of the 400+ interviews with senior level
decision makers was to better understand the root causes of business and IT challenges of business transformation projects, explore potential
solutions, and draw conclusions as to how organizations can best address these challenges.
Key Findings
Fifty eight percent of companies find they can further exploit the vast capabilities of SAP solutions. A streamlined and standardized SAP software
landscape , which helps to better respond to business needs; managed hosted or cloud services that can help to simplify the internal process;
and ‘simplification’ as the basis to improve many other areas (costs, flexibility, harmonization) have been considered as the key factors for
improvement. These mentions also suggest that simplification it is not considered to be just another business buzz word. In fact, four areas were
identified as having the greatest impact on their SAP landscapes: business processes (66 percent), IT operations (56 percent), analytics & data
(54 percent), and cloud (50 percent).
Ian Parkes, Managing Director, Coleman Parkes
“The results from this global project highlight that while SAP applications have a major impact on the efficiency of a business any new
developments or enhancements have to be carefully planned. The majority of senior IT teams expect complexity is going to increase. But better
alignment between IT and the business, improved project management and a focus on the human side of the equation (skills, culture and
collaboration) will all positively impact future activities. The focus has to be to keep IT simple and streamlined, centered on the real needs of
the business.”
The study results reveal that the business requirements from a SAP deployment vary between the global MNCs. With a focus on the total results, it
is clear that each SAP customer has on average four key business requirements from a deployment. These center on improving the business’s
competitive stance in its markets by improving customer service. They are likely to be to improve efficiencies in order to compete with other
companies (54 percent), to serve external customers better/faster (53 percent), to streamline applications and systems to drive business
continuity (53 percent) and the need to serve internal customers better/faster (48 percent). All of this when implemented would lead to a more
agile and responsive organization, fit to drive enhanced customer experiences.
A quote taken from an interview with an SAP specialist from a global retail company emphasises the importance of a streamlined and more
efficient approach to business and how it can help improve the competitive stance in its market.
“Customer satisfaction is one of the major driving factors of SAP. The fact that the SAP is integrated allows for better efficiencies in our systems
and means we can operate at a higher level, above our competition.” SAP Specialist, Retail, Sweden
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Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
The distribution of the total responses shows little variation which indicates that SAP customers are seeing their SAP implementation impact
many different business requirements. It also reflects that business strategy is diverse in the SAP landscape and there is no one single trend that
all SAP customers are following. What is clear is that SAP deployments center on speed of change, faster service levels (internal or external) and
increased business continuity.
Figure 1: Key Business Requirements from SAP Transformation/Deployment
Need to improve efficiencies to compete with
other companies
Need to serve external customers better/faster
Need to streamline applications and systems to
drive business continuity
Need to serve internal customers better/faster
Need for integration of the IT landscape with
other organizations (external companies, new…
Improve overall transaction speeds
Significant changes in business environment
(e.g. changes in guidelines and laws)
Need to support and answer to Digital
Transformation projects
Interestingly IT related business functions (e.g. senior decision makers of IT departments) have realized more business requirements than non IT
related business functions (e.g. senior decision makers of marketing and finance). For example, the need to serve external customers
better/faster (57 percent, 43 percent respectively), to serve internal customers better/faster (52 percent, 39 percent) and to improve efficiencies
to compete with other companies (58 percent, 46 percent), are all higher among IT related functions. This indicates that SAP transformation and
deployment is being perceived as an IT project more so than a business project in a number of organizations.
With a focus on the most popular IT requirements from SAP transformation/deployment, the need to align IT better to respond to business needs
(6 in 10) is top (see figure 2). Separate findings also show that this is particularly strong among stakeholders from IT related functions (6 in 10),
revealing disconnects are being realized between IT and business requirements, but more so by key stakeholders in IT related functions. A quote
taken from an interview with a senior manager of a manufacturing corporation underlines a disconnect between stakeholders in IT related and
non-IT related functions can lead to complexities. This is mainly because there is a lack of awareness or understanding of how much work goes
into an SAP transformation or deployment – this seems to occur mostly with stakeholders who might not be that IT savvy, from non-IT related
“The transformation process is always complex. A lack of understanding from the business users contributes greatly to the complexities,
especially with the requests the make.” Senior Manager - Manufacturing, USA
The next most important IT requirements are to standardize and globalize systems (get systems into a more controlled environment) (52
percent), to generate cost reductions (51 percent), to make full use of SAP functionality / innovations (50 percent) and modernize the existing
applications portfolio (49 percent). It is less about a need to reduce legacy system impacts (e.g. data silos), which underlines that SAP customers
are addressing or having already addressed the legacy system impact on SAP.
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Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
Figure 2: Key IT Requirements from SAP Transformation/Deployment
Need to align IT better to respond to business needs
To standardise and globalise systems (get systems
into a more controlled environment)
Improve cost reductions
Make full use of SAP functionality / innovations
Need to modernize existing applications portfolio
Need to reduce IT landscape complexities
Optimising investment in all SAP apps (e.g. ROI)
Need to reduce legacy system impacts (e.g. data silos)
Comparing the IT related functions with non-IT related functions, once again underlines that SAP is seen more as an IT solution than business
solution, but this time pronounced stronger with the ‘need to align IT better to respond to business needs’ being much higher in IT related
functions (63 percent compared with 47 percent). This indicates a drive to increase the alignment between the IT and business unit teams. With
the SAP solutions touching all departments, understanding the business unit needs is essential for a successful deployment.
Complexities in transformation related to SAP software environments are being realized but 6 in 10 respondents said the level is staying the
same (31 percent) or becoming less complex (26 percent). These customers are likely to be experienced in SAP transformation (some up to 15
years), are certified users of SAP and are business or IT consultants. Some of these companies have their own SAP ‘specialists’ on board to help
reduce the complexity.
“We have been using SAP for 15 years which has helped us achieve our goal of creating a very lean approach to IT and business processes. SAP
enables us to work more efficiently.”
CIO, Manufacturing, Finland
“More people are always an option, but I think working with somebody who already has experience with such implementations or a consulting
company would be the best way to reduce the complexity.”
IT Solution Manager SAP, Logistics, Germany
However, 42 percent of respondents believe the level of complexity is increasing. This could have major impacts on the organizations involved. It
highlights a need to keep things simple and streamlined while still meeting business unit needs, driving increased service and IT delivery and
business agility.
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Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
Figure 3: Changes In Levels Of Complexities
Become more complex
No change in the level of
Become less complex
No complexities
In-depth interviews with senior-level individuals revealed that complexities occur in three different stages: before transformation (planning),
during transformation (management) and after transformation (training). In identifying at which stage complexities mainly occur could help
CIOs better drive their transformation or deployment projects. Staff training or external support could streamline the process and improve
SAP customers were asked why complexities occurred, with the most common reason mentioned being poor planning, followed by lack of
experience and not foreseeing the potential complexities, perhaps due to the global scale of the deployment. Other reasons indicate that the
transformation process was too overwhelming for some multinationals to cope with – especially while simultaneously trying to maintain normal
business operations. This is critical as failure to see the impact of a transformation on the business as usual activities can cause major project
and business failures.
Changes have to be seen in the full context of the business, how it operates now and how it will operate with the changes in place. Too many
companies embark on a major SAP activity with little planning and vision. It is accepted that any changes will be complex – so that potential
complexity has to drive excellence in project planning and execution – but that does not seem to be the case. Many companies lack the
internal skills and expertise to deliver their change programs and should increasingly seek external third party expertise to provide better
program delivery.
With a focus on the challenges related to the complexities, it is apparent that a lack of internal resources seems to be the underlying factor.
When questioned it was established that staff training (44 percent), struggling to maintain normal business operations (31 percent), lack of
skills/talent in the company (29 percent) and poor communication/planning (21 percent) added to the challenges been faced. However
challenges in integrating systems and data migration also need consideration.
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Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
Figure 4: Key Challenges Related To Complexities
Educating staff on the new standardised way of doing
things (practices and policies)
Integrating systems (especially legacy systems)
Data migration/ data format issues
Struggling to maintain normal business operations
whilst undergoing an SAP transformation/deployment
Lack of skills/talent in the company
Disconnect between overall business and IT goals /
unclear business requirements
Meeting different regulatory compliance across
Lack of management/taking ownership
Poor communication/planning
Low awareness issues (not having the ability to preempt complexities)
Missing deadlines
Internal communication breakdown
Despite the fact that SAP users were less inclined earlier to say that reducing legacy impact is a key IT requirement (as mentioned earlier in figure
2), integrating systems (especially legacy systems) is proving to be a challenge for 4 in 10 organizations. It requires change management and
“It is more to do with change management. It was difficult for some people that had been using legacy systems and lot of integrated systems.
To me that was the hardest thing we had overcome. But it appears that we adopted the processing and the use of the systems after a few
months of learning that and using it.” SAP FICO Application Analyst, Energy, USA
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Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
Looking at the key success factors in SAP transformation/deployment, we can see that global organizations need internal resource support
(particularly with project management and internal skills). One third of companies also state ‘stakeholder engagement’ as a key success factor.
This could suggest low commitment or understanding on the SAP benefits (e.g. from suppliers, customers, staff or even the board of directors).
“We have worked very hard to raise awareness of the importance of SAP to our organization and among our staff. Knowing the capabilities of
SAP helps set expectations, which helps reduce complexities in SAP transformation projects.” SAP BI Specialist, Manufacturing, Finland
Figure 5: Key Success Factors In SAP Transformation/Deployment
Project management
Level of internal skills
End to end impact analysis
Change management
Suppliers relationship
External support
Stakeholder engagement
Pre Packaged offerings components/templates
In many cases organizations forget the human factor, but it is clear from the survey that human interaction is important during an SAP
transformation / deployment, with approaching 9 in ten companies stating that good human interaction is important in a SAP software
Figure 6: Level Of Importance In Having Human Interaction During An SAP Transformation/ Deployment
Not important
Very important
As with the challenges being quite unique to each SAP customer, so is the solution. SAP customers that took part in the research suggest that
they welcome external support in helping them address their challenges in SAP transformation/deployment. They identify that such support
would make the process much easier and more manageable and help relieve their internal resources to focus on other priorities. SAP customers
should consider external specialists that can either manage the entire transformation or deployment (with minimal disruption to normal day to
day business operations), or, work collaboratively as a team and provide support in the areas where internal skills are challenged.
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Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
Long-term expectations from their SAP platform suggest SAP customers want an easier transformation and deployment process. They were asked
what they are looking for from their SAP transformation/ development to successfully deliver in the long term, and the top responses center on
making the process easier to implement: better systems integration (51 percent), easier transformation (46 percent), and faster deployment (43
percent) and reduced complexity (42 percent).
Figure 7: Long Term Expectations of SAP Transformation/ Deployment
Better system integration (incl. legacy systems) /
harmonization across the entire company organization
Easier transformation (e.g. better response to business
Faster deployment
Reduced complexity
Ability to process all major transactions (e.g. invoices,
purchase orders)
Inclusion of cloud services
Improved and measurable ROI
Mobilization of solutions
To unleash the companies most vital resource, its
Attitudes towards SAP landscapes also reflect this need too. Customers react well to the ‘keep it simple’ concept, showing high levels of
engagement in this area. To put it into perspective, over 8 in 10 global multinational corporations agreed with nearly all of the SAP positioning
statements. The most preferred positioning statements also sum up what SAP customers are demanding – a streamlined and standardized
landscape that better responds to business needs (87 percent), inclusion of services such as cloud will help simplify internal processes (87
percent) and simplification will help many areas such as SAP applications to create impact (87 percent). What is important to note is that 6 in 10
agree that simplification is not just another buzz word, it’s a concept they buy into.
Figure 8: Attitudes Towards Improving SAP Landscapes
Streamlined and standardized SAP landscapes
will help to better respond to business needs
The inclusion of services (managed, hosted,
cloud) can help to simplify internal processes
Simplification is the basis which will help to
improve many other areas (costs, flexibility,
Simplification must cover all areas to create
some impact (SAP applications, underlying
infrastructure etc.)
Pre-configured, tried-and-tested solutions and
services are key to simplification
Simplification is just another buzz word
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Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
“What we ideally need is for easier SAP transformation of business activities.”
CIO, Energy, USA
The reality for almost 6 in 10 global organizations is that today they believe they can further exploit the vast capabilities of their SAP solution.
The drive and commitment is there to address the root cause which is mainly attributed to challenges with internal resources. The rewards are
high in doing so. Organizations will be able to unleash the full power of their SAP system and maximize their competitive stance in the global
Transformation of SAP software landscapes is considered as a demanding process by nearly all global multinational corporations (SAP
customers). The outliers are experts in this field with many years’ experience who advocate the benefits of having a leaner approach to business.
The key findings from this study indicate that SAP customers are committed to the solution but recognize that today they do not fully exploit its
vast capabilities and are finding the process of maintaining the platform quite challenging.
On average customers have four key requirements which are likely to be to:
■ Improve efficiencies,
■ Serve external customers better or faster,
■ Streamline applications and systems,
■ Drive business continuity.
This ‘trend of four’ was mirrored by IT requirements, with the most common being to:
■ Align IT better to respond to business needs,
■ Standardize and globalize systems,
■ Improve cost reductions
■ Exploit the full use of SAP solutions functionality and innovations.
The main challenge to make the SAP transformation and deployment process more simple and streamlined is having the right internal resources.
It is not just about having the right ‘mechanics’ on-board (SAP specialist) to look after the nuts and bolts, but also the appropriate levels of
awareness and engagement (especially buy-in from stakeholders and business units). When asked if simplification was just another buzz word,
6 in 10 people disagreed. 8 in 10 went on to agree that streamlined and standardized SAP landscape will help better respond to business
needs. This underlines that SAP customers want to keep SAP transformation and deployment simple and streamlined.
Fujitsu will share a second set of findings and recommendations based on from The KISS Report in early 2015.
A trusted SAP Global Partner for over 40 years, Fujitsu has successfully helped thousands of customers worldwide to simplify, innovate and grow
based on its reliable and innovative Information and Communications Technology solutions. The company’s in-depth industry and technology
expertise empowers businesses to achieve their objectives and take the lead over their competition. Fujitsu infrastructure solutions, based on
powerful, industry-standard PRIMERGY, PRIMEQUEST and PRIMEFLEX systems, are highly cost-efficient and scalable to match mission-critical
readiness with the lowest total cost of ownership.
Fujitsu drives innovation in all areas – from cloud services via managed SAP operations to solutions and services for on premise deployments.
The Fujitsu portfolio for SAP includes advanced technologies and services capabilities to deliver tailored future-proof solutions. In collaboration
with our customers and specialist partners, Fujitsu reduces complexity and optimizes the investment in SAP applications and the SAP HANA
platform. The result is a more efficient enterprise, exceptional ROI and better business outcomes.
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Fujitsu Kiss Report on SAP Projects 18/11/2014
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions
and services. Approximately 162,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT
to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.8 trillion yen (US$46 billion)
for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. For more information, please see
The study was designed to first conduct 20 in-depth interviews with senior level decision makers within global MNCs and then to quantify the
findings using telephone interviews (CATI) amongst 400 more. As all companies taking part were multinational, a truly global perspective of the
findings was successfully achieved. Note that only SAP customers took part in the survey.
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Table 1: Sample by Methodology
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