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AG Consultancy & Apps Ltd: Holistic and Innovative 'Solutioneering' to Business Process/Data Integration Challenges
Francis Rajan, Director
We are in a time of seismic changes within the world of SAP. The evolution within the SAP technology landscape such as HANA and the ‘Cloud’ is a big deal but is the tip of the iceberg. There are profound shifts in expectations around costs, simplification, automation and an ever increasing demand for reliable insightful analytics. The shifting sands have disrupted traditional models and are beckoning a new era of possibilities and challenges from the beguiling SAP ecosystem. “SAP Traditionalists have had a good run but there is an all-pervasive shift to leaner models demanding quality, agility and innovation,” begins Nick Champion, Director of AG Consultancy & Apps.
The proliferation of companies adopting Off-shore models has led to rich rewards for the major Off-Shore players, and for end-clients the allure of a low-cost option are obvious. However, this elicits a raft of new challenges which can drive up costs, compromise quality and inhibit innovation.
The thinning layer of often overstretched Business Process Owners are backed up by distanced SAP Engineers ill-equipped to fully appreciate the nuances of important business processes which clients rely upon and which SAP is intended to administer.
This often leads to a slowdown in ‘real’ innovation. ‘Solution Design’ issues become rife – especially in complex integration areas, Business Process and SAP Data consistency issues persist stifling the possibility of robust and reliable analytics… Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Internal teams often don’t have the skills or time to drive efficiencies, improve processes or capitalize on the rich vein of opportunities from the SAP ecosystem yet ‘The Business’ insists “we must find a better way”. Innovation brings its own challenges, the root of many troubled SAP projects boils down to inadequate requirements definition, unrealistic expectations or compromised tool selection.
“We see a strong trend for high value-add ‘Wrap-Around’ Services and niche skills,” says Francis Rajan, Director, AG. ‘Real World’ Business Process & SAP expertise combined with True flexibility, mastery of the SAP ecosystems rising stars and internal integration means AG is atypical in being able to ‘Solutioneer’ pragmatic and cost effective solutions. ‘Wrap- Around’ is inherently flexible operating in a similar model as an Architect/Construction Firm. AG lead the Design/Solutioneering then steer and QA the nominated Developers (throughout Build & Test) -safeguarding against inflated estimates, seeping costs and, critically, ensure the business objectives are met…most aptly described as “the Best of All Worlds!”
“We’re serial innovators and have completed many firsts,” remarks Champion. For example AG were seconded by Winshuttle to assist an Oil & Gas ‘Supermajor’ replace a costly SAP IS-Oil Production Revenue Accounting legacy interface tool. The solution takes a myriad of business data (production volumes among others) to generate numerous complex postings in SAP then calculates entitlements across Joint Venture Partners. The combination of Winshuttle and sophisticated custom code enables a cumbersome, lengthy SAP process to be fully automated whilst comprehensive data ‘validations’ ensure data is ‘right first time’. The design maximizes core Winshuttle functionality enriching with a sprinkle of ‘fairy dust’. By embracing pioneering methods the Winshuttle/AG team successfully delivered the complex hybrid ‘solution’ which manages $Billions postings annually-nearly 2 years later has proven to be exceptionally stable and robust.
AG continues to strengthen its expertise within the SAP ecosystem whilst retaining core strengths in traditional SAP. “We are also developing our own smart solutions that can be quickly and cost-effectively deployed to drive innovation and to achieve Quick Wins for our clients,” concludes Rajan.