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Now in its third year, the Inside SAP Top 10 Most Influential People in SAP has always sought to identify the top influencers in the SAP ecosystem, as voted by our readership.
2011 Top 10.
Tony de Thomasis, Acclimation - Community Contributor
For many in the SAP community, especially those who have read SAP Developer Network (SDN) weblogs or attended conferences in 2010, Tony de Thomasis needs no introduction.Beginning last year as infrastructure architect at Australia Post, where he grew the SAP landscape significantly and implemented several innovations such as a leading Solution Manager deployment, de Thomasis decided it was time to move on. With the projects he had been working on going live and shifting into production support, he was ready for a change.
Even by Paul Hawking’s standards, 2010 was a very busy
year. As the SAP academic program director in the School of Management
and Information Systems at Victoria University, Hawking is responsible
for shaping the undergraduate and postgraduate courses the university
offers. His close connections with industry through the SAP Australian
User Group mean he remains in touch with the changing face of SAP.
“What the students love is that I bring the industry and what is happening in the SAP world into the classroom,” Hawking says. This also gives Victoria University a competitive edge rarely found elsewhere in the academic world.“We are able to make curriculum material available to other universities around the world, because helping them raises the profile of universities and SAP, and that is beneficial for us in the long run,” he says.
In 2010, Hawking initiated a number of activities to give students practical experience with SAP. The Australian
Universities SAP Dashboard competition, sponsored by SAP and Innogence, challenged students to develop a dashboard using SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius based on the Soccer World Cup. Due to its success, SAP conducted similar competitions in the Americas, Asia and Europe, and it will be held again in 2011.
Another first was a supply chain simulation game, bringing together teams from six universities, each of which were paired with a representative from Linfox, who acted as a team participant and mentor. The day long event, held in conjunction with SAP, saw university students and industry work together for the first time on a real-life scenario, and was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants. This event will also be held again in 2011.
The focus of these practical exercises is reflective of a shift in course curriculum in recent years to encompass
trends in the SAP world, with less focus on the core SAP system and ABAP, and more on CRM, supply chain
management and business intelligence (BI).
While BI topped the list of CIO priorities for several years running, it has dropped down the rankings, and
Hawking believes this is because companies now have the tools in place but still don’t know how to use them effectively. This is something Victoria University seeks to address with their courses. “We make sure the students not only get access to the tools to learn in a hands-on way, but they also learn about
realisation, KPI measures, and best practice reporting,” he says.
Hawking adds that many students undertaking postgraduate studies are already working with SAP systems in large companies, so the courses become more like a professional education. “It brings a whole idea of postgraduate theory and knowledge into a very applied environment, so we attract a lot of consultants.” Hawking’s influence crosses many boundaries – he utilised his curriculum knowledge in his role designing and advising on content for more than 120 industry presentations at five different SAUG events last year, including Australia’s first SAP Demo Jam competition as part of the 2010 SAUG Summit.
He presented to the SAUG CIO Council on skills shortages, gave workshops for other academics in Germany, India, Singapore and Beijing, co-authored several industry reports and book chapters on business intelligence, and was a prolific blogger and contributor on the SAP Community Network, particularly explaining how material from SAP can be used in the university classroom. Hawking was identified as a “luminary in the area of IT” by the Global Journal of Enterprise Information Systems, and was one of 20 invitees from industry and academia to attend the SAP International Research Forum in Germany. But perhaps his proudest moment in 2010 was becoming the only academic in the world to be made an SAP Mentor. “That was a massive achievement for me,” he says.
Hawking believes there are some exciting changes ahead for SAP. “I think they are putting an environment together now which gives companies a lot of opportunity to innovate – they’ve talked about that before, but I think there are some very applied ways to innovate now with these tools, and relatively simply.”
Alisdair Templeton, Acclimation – Community Contributor
Alisdair Templeton made a splash in the SAP world in 2010
when he, together with Matt Harding, took out the DemoJam at SAP TechEd
in Las Vegas with their Super Generic Mobile App. Templeton was already
active as an SAP Community Network contributor and conference speaker,
but this achievement was not only a highlight for Templeton – it gave
his status as an influencer a leg up.
“The DemoJam win has generated a lot of interest in HTML5 mobile apps. I’ve had many conversations since with people who have been influenced by this approach and who are now putting together their own mobility solutions based on this,” Templeton says.
He began the year as the integration architect at Australia Post, and worked on two successful projects there – a large Event Management implementation and an HR rollout to 30,000 employees. Templeton was keen to return to consulting so then took an opportunity to join Acclimation as a solution architect. He says this role has given him the freedom to pursue different directions in terms of development, such as projects combining WebDynpro and Adobe Forms to facilitate online and offline customer requirements, as well as some more unusual proof of concept work such as integrating Solution Manager and Event Management with Twitter.
“I’ve been able to get away from some of the structure you get in a large organisation, and be able to freely innovate without being constrained,” he says. The nature of innovation means choosing the right direction can be tough, and so to generate project ideas, Templeton says he spends time looking at trends in the Java and the .NET
spaces, which tend to be ahead of SAP, as well as talking to people in different organisations and industries to find out what their struggles and pain points are.
“For example, there’s a lot of talk at the moment about web 3.0 and semantics, and you think, how would that work for SAP? Then you talk to people about building proof of concepts and then projects, and it goes from there,” Templeton says, adding that clients now seem more interested in what they might be able to build in SAP.
“Once upon a time, SAP was very much about putting it in and configuring it. Now it’s a much more sophisticated
platform. If you take away the Business Suite side and just look at the NetWeaver stack underneath, a lot of the problemsyou may not have been able to answer once with SAP, you certainly can do now.
“It’s a little difficult sometimes to convince people who are still on the cost of ownership side, but at the end of the day, well-written software is not going to cost you any more than a badly implemented ERP suite. So people are more willing to get into that conversation now, especially when they realise what they can get out of it.”
Templeton’s approach stems from his original introduction to SAP, as a consultant in the utilities market. “I was using SAP as a tool to build software with, rather than looking at it as a black box that you configure and drive
by tables. Coming into it that way has given me a totally different perspective to what other people have. Having built a lot of stuff with it, you know what the system is capable of, and it has a very robust core,” he says.
He believes the common view of the most significant developments in the next 12-18 months will be mobility, Gateway and analytics products.
“For me, the most important development is going to be that people will recognise those tools are there, but arguably they don’t need to use them. For example, if you want to do mobility, you don’t need the Sybase product. The toolset is sophisticated enough for people to do things themselves, as they understand the capability of the platform without the add-ons,” Templeton says. He advocates the use of domain driven design as an entirely
different way of thinking about software.
“By bringing those types of concepts into your development, people in the SAP community could really drive it forward, as opposed to just being driven by what SAP is doing. “It’s about really understanding the problems, and then building great software to solve them by embracing a software architecture in its purest form.”
James Stone, ASICS Oceania – Project Leader
As the founding member of the Australian IT department for sporting goods manufacturer ASICS, James Stone could not
have predicted that five years later, he would relocate to head office in Kobe, Japan to help manage the global tandardisation of ASICS’ IT landscape. That’s just what happened last year – when in his role as manager, information systems for ASICS Oceania, he was recognised as having established a global best practice SAP environment.
When Stone began this journey with SAP at ASICS Oceania, he says it “was a very large system for what five years ago was a relatively small company”. But it has provided the company with a platform for rapid growth of more than 10 per cent per year. The secret was keeping it simple at first. “We implemented a very standard vanilla SAP environment, and only in the last couple of years have we started to add the bells and whistles that leverage this investment and the sometimes challenging first couple of years after implementing SAP,” Stone says, adding that he was given a lot of latitude by the managing director when first establishing ASICS’ SAP environment.
“I was given instructions that if necessary, ASICS would consider changing its business processes to suit SAP. I’d come from a business background, so making quick decisions with minimal deliberation helped achieve our aggressive 16-week implementation timetable.”
Then two years ago, a new managing director at ASICS Oceania made IT a strategic pillar of the business. “Investing in technologies such as online training systems and digital dashboard displays was seen as a representation of
ASICS as an innovative technology-focused brand,” Stone says. The company undertook a significant amount of work on its SAP environment in 2010 – including the implementation of SAP CRM 7, with a fully integrated e-commerce webshop solution and the integration of a storefinder and product selector from SAP BW7 with a new corporate website. The implementation of SAP GRC and an SAP data centre migration and hardware upgrade also occurred when ASICS moved to its new warehouse facility in Eastern Creek, Sydney.
Last year also saw ASICS implement two award-winning solutions – the Anoto Digital Pen solution, integrated with SAP ERP, which was awarded the 2010 SAP Award of Excellence for Best Innovation (with Acclimation), and SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius dashboard reporting with Fujitsu TELentice, awarded the 2010 SAP Award of Excellence for Best BI (with Fujitsu). Stone has managed to achieve these results by leveraging the strengths of the SAP channel.
“We have used smaller, innovative partners such as Acclimation and BluLeader when we wanted to move quickly and avoid using traditional project management methodologies. At the same time, we have had the stability of long-term
strategic partner Fujitsu, for larger business-critical projects such as GRC,” Stone says. When it comes to
getting business buy-in, particularly for some of the more innovative projects, he is an advocate of driving
innovation as part of a measured risk approach.
“Introducing some of the technologies that we have is about being forward-thinking, anticipating what the future business needs might be and preparing for them. Being aware of what’s going on in both the IT and commercial industry environments is essential.” Sometimes it means taking a calculated risk on whether there is a true ROI business case on projects that could yield a win- win situation. For example, when a partner such as Acclimation
is looking to commercialise a new technology, ASICS has been willing to jointly participate in projects that deliver new innovative solutions cost-effectively. However, Stone is quick to say that he works on these test projects either entirely within the sphere of IT or with a very small part of the business, similar to a project pilot in a production environment.
Coming from a business background as an accountant, rather than a more traditional route from a development or infrastructure background, gives Stone more confidence in making sound, business-centric decisions.
Fundamentally, he believes in standardisation and consolidation of SAP, and this is the direction ASICS’ IT
efforts around the world will take. Looking ahead, ASICS will also be looking at global master data maintenance, BPM and standardised global KPI reporting using BI.
“Keeping SAP standard has been a key success factor for us – using the core functionality and then leveraging additional modules as needs arise has kept the SAP landscape ‘clean and functionally rich’. Being able to implement BusinessObjects has been a very nice story for us.”
Sharron Kennedy, AUSGrid – Project Leader
Preparing for the sale of the EnergyAustralia retail
business of 1.5 million customers to TRUenergy was the major priority
during 2010, according to CIO Sharron Kennedy. The sale went through on 1
March 2011, with the network distribution business that was retained
rebranded to AUSGrid. Among the preparation required was the
consolidation of the organisation’s data centres to two Tier 3 data
centres, as well as an IT security program. However Kennedy says the
organisation also managed to undertake a major SAP program and
successfully deploy a range of SAP initiatives.
“The key areas of focus have been on improving business processes to deliver efficiencies and improve productivity, and the transformation of ‘data’ to business intelligence,” she says. Among the year’s SAP projects were:
• Rolling out a range of BI dashboards to support decision-making related to the capital works program, asset maintenance, financial management and operations;
• Using SAP BPC to develop a system for modelling, planning, forecasting, budgeting and reporting of the capital
• Extending SAP Warehousing functionality;
• Enhancing SAP HR to provide EH&S and training management solutions;
• Using the SAP GRC module at the heart of an SAP Security and Compliance program to improve system controls,
compliance monitoring and user management; and
• Undertaking a technical platform upgrade from SAP 4.6C to ECC6, which is due to go live mid-year.
Having first become involved with SAP in the late ‘90s, Kennedy has built her influence through networking, sharing
ideas and participating in areas of interest, and says being connected in the SAP world has been important to her success.
“At AUSGrid, SAP has been deployed as our core enterprise platform driving the majority of our business functions, from capital works to asset management, procurement and finance. We need to get the best out of our investment, share ideas, best practice, and difficulties and lessons learnt from projects.” Kennedy is currently a member of the Steering Committee for the SAP SAUG CIO Council, which she says is “a really great forum to connect with like-minded CIOs”. AUSGrid is also a member of the SAP Advisory Customer Council – AMI (Advanced Metering) Working Group, as this architecture and technology is of critical importance to the industry and the organisation going forward.
“One of the biggest challenges for utilities worldwide at present is the industry transformation towards ‘smart
electricity grids’, associated in-home customer communications and the incorporation of renewable energy sources into the grid,” Kennedy says. “This convergence of the IT landscape into the real-time operational technology (OT) systems that manage the grid is a challenge in ensuring effective enterprise architecture and careful technology investment decisions.”
Cost reduction, security and improving productivity and organisational effectiveness through best practice processes are other IT challenges large organisations are facing. Kennedy has also observed a number of changes in the way enterprises are using SAP, particularly as the solution extends towards a true end-to-end enterprise platform. “Now that many organisations have a well-established SAP platform, I think the focus is shifting towards the business intelligence/BPC functionality to provide effective information and intelligence to support timely decision-making by the business and in turn to input more accurate forecasts into SAP,” she says.
“At AUSGrid we have taken advantage of a range of mobile deployments in order to empower field workers and to capture data accurately at source. I think many organisations are focused on the potential benefits of mobile investment.” In terms of developments coming out of SAP over the next 12-18 months, Kennedy says she would be keen to see clarity on the mobile roadmap, as well as the incorporation of the Multi-Resource Scheduling custom solution into core product, and further refinement and definition of the Meter Data Management solution. The data storage and warehousing functions associated with high volume metering data would also be an area worthy of consideration, she says.
“I am sure we will also explore opportunities for integration of our OT environment to SAP to improve our outage
management, customer contact and our condition-based asset management regime.”
Mark Alder, Plaut IT – Partner
While Mark Alder has had a long career in IT with companies
such as Computer Power, EDS, and CISCO, he only joined the SAP community
in January 2010, when he became CEO of Plaut IT. He has already found
the SAP space to be quite different to what he calls pure IT
“SAP-based businesses have a different relationship with their customer’s businesses. They are much closer to a customer’s strategy, processes and users, rather than just their technology. This influences the type of skills you need. As an example, Plaut has more business professionals than pure technical professionals. That’s the difference I see in the SAP world – you get accountants, manufacturing engineers, supply chain specialists, HR professionals and so on. These folks have a different set of expertise and experiences to your normal technical IT professional,” Alder says.
Under Alder’s leadership, while remaining a pure play SAP business, Plaut expanded the scope of its services in
2010 from its core in specialist SAP consulting to include software product development, business optimisation and support services, and contracting. On the back of this move, the company achieved record revenues with growth of 38 per cent, it expanded its customer base and added new offices in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Plaut also invested in R&D last year to create the Cashtracker product for the detection of accounts payable
fraud and duplicate payments. The product has already been sold to a number of major customers in Australia and is being prepared for global distribution. A key change for the company during the last year has been maturing its partnerships with a variety of SAP ecosystem members, including SAP itself. Alder says joining the ecosystem with its “genuine notion of coopetition” has been a highlight. “We partner with some organisations to provide a service to customers and sometimes we will compete with them. But it is all done with an openness and transparency and with a focus on what is right for the customer. I’ve not seen a lot of this level of partnering in the IT community,” Alder says.
He believes we’re currently on the threshold of a massive change in the way customers use IT in general.
“For many years, IT has in many cases failed to deliver on its promise to the end business user. But through the
evolution of technology, through virtualisation and on- demand technology, through the ubiquitous nature of
mobility, and the ability to be able to genuinely capture and deliver real-time information, there is a profound
transformation occurring in the intimacy and value of IT to customers,” Alder says.
“SAP is at the heart of a customer’s business processes, so it is key in this transformation. It has moved from being a back-office enablement tool, to being a genuine business enabler to the end consumer of IT.” Over the next 12-18 months, Alder hopes to see the SAP ecosystem coming together more to make a contribution back to the community. "I think you will see the SAP ecosystem much more strongly focused on its role within its own community, whether it is fundraising and charities or supporting educational institutions and developing future talent – for many years, those things have been neglected,” Alder says.
As the skill shortage around SAP intensifies in Australia, having access to good staff is a “huge concern” for many
businesses, and Alder believes companies now need to do their part to address the situation. “Investing in education of the next generation has essentially been neglected over many years as capability was moved offshore. Where is the next generation of Australian IT professionals coming from?” he says. “I have a deep passion for the Australian IT industry and the professionals within it. I’ve seen the level of innovation and flexibility that we have. As an Australian industry, we can do really great things. One of the reasons for me to come back and work in an Australian organisation is to be able to contribute back into the development of the local IT industry. We need to be supporting and developing future talent.”
Bala Kalimuthu, Revolution IT – Partner
LeasePlan, Victoria Police, Australia Post, Officeworks,
Connect East, AWB, George Weston Foods, DHS Victoria, Fonterra, Komatsu,
GPT and Carter Holt Harvey – these are just some of the customers
software testing and application quality management solutions provider
Revolution IT’s SAP practice worked with in 2010, led by Bala Kalimuthu,
SAP practice principal.
Named in the top 10 for the software category in Deloitte’s Fast 50 Australia 2010, which ranks the 50 fastest-growing Australian public or private technology companies, Revolution IT has 65 SAP consultants, and having served over 30 SAP customers in the past two years, has developed a strong customer base and pipeline of projects. Appearing in our Top 10 list for the second year running, Kalimuthu says there were a number of project highlights during 2010, including providing 15 SAP quality assurance consultants to work with LeasePlan on the streamlining of its SAP application landscape, through seven critical business imperative programs running in parallel. “LeasePlan was perfecting its SAP landscape to be the strategic differentiator as a major business asset,” Kalimuthu says.
Revolution IT also won two new engagements from Australian Customs and Origin Energy, and received recognition from NSW Department of Education and Training, for work on aligning their business units with a tactical short-term solution as well as a long-term strategic roadmap. His focus on delivering significant business value to customers saw Kalimuthu recognised by the Revolution IT Board of Directors with a special award for growing the SAP practice to be the market leader in independent quality assurance space.
However he hasn’t done it alone, and Kalimuthu is a strong believer in the value of his team, which works
closely with project managers, support managers, super users, business analysts, enterprise architects, solutions
architects, and development team during their customer engagements. “The support from my team is a crucial thing for me to be recognised, so I do my best to help them in their career growth.” Given that independent quality assurance is a reasonably new and very niche consulting space, getting out into the community has been an “absolutely essential” part of Kalimuthu’s role – as well as providing an avenue to build influence.
“From a company perspective, we decided long ago that we should stop selling and start educating customers on
the concepts. So from that perspective, the knowledge sharing and community involvement is very important,” he
says. Kalimuthu has been presented at SAP Australian User Group conferences, speaking on topics such as how to
maximise the value of SAP Solution Manager for testing. He has also delivered customised knowledge-sharing
workshops on quality assurance methodologies and tools for SAP community members at National Foods, AGL,
Woodside Energy and others, and serves as a guest speaker and mentor on the Victoria University ERP Industry Panel. In his work with customers, he has seen a change in perceptions of SAP as a business asset.
“Customers are not looking at SAP as an operational system, but as a strategic asset and competitive differentiator to grow their business in Australia and in the APAC region,” Kalimuthu says. “For many companies, the current systems they have are not going to support their ambitious growth plans. SAP initiatives will increase because these mid-sized organisations need to have appropriate systems to handle that business growth. “The other change is that a lot of customers, even in the public sector, are consolidating their various SAP applications into one large system to achieve significant cost savings over the long-term.”
Iain Macleod, CSC – Partner
As ERP solutions director of Tier 1 consultancy CSC, Iain Macleod is a veteran of our Top 10 Most Influential list.
2010 was another busy year for Macleod and CSC Australia’s SAP practice, undertaking a number of major projects including an SAP BI BPC implementation at INPEX, the completion of the SAP technical upgrade project at the Australian Taxation Office, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade SAP upgrade, and a mobility project at Water Corporation of Western Australia.
The highlight of 2010, Macleod says, was winning a large SAP contract with the Department of Defence, which he was personally involved with all the way through the bid process and contract negotiations. Other important initiatives were the recertification of CSC’s global SAP Hosting and Application Management Services accreditations, with the Australian SAP practice representing the APAC region. “We not only renewed our accreditations, but we achieved certification as a cloud services partner as well, and that was important,” Macleod says.
Having spent over 15 years in the SAP market, Macleod says the last two have seen a major shift, motivated by the
acquisitions of BusinessObjects and Sybase as well as a number of smaller players. “There is definitely a push vertically and horizontally into the market through these acquisitions. While SAP was established as being able to run operational businesses and act as the ‘engine room’ for many companies, I think the boardroom hasn’t always recognised the wealth of data that is there, which can become information to actually run the business,” Macleod
says. “With the focus on business intelligence generally, SAP as a product set is far more relevant than it has ever been.”
The acquisition of Sybase has also given SAP legitimacy in the device market, providing much broader go-to-market potential but also a far more important role as well, according to Macleod. However, this broader product footprint has important implications for the ecosystem. While Macleod believes that some of the newer additions to the SAP ‘family’ haven’t yet found their place in the ecosystem, it has created more emphasis on the systems integration partners in the market. “SAP has no longer got the headspace and the bandwidth to actually front a lot of these solutions alone, so they are looking to partners more and more to help find markets for sales, and actually convert customers to products,” Macleod says. “So partners are getting more profile because of the breadth of solutions and products out there.”
The diversity of the product base also presents something of a risk for SAP over the next 12-18 months, in terms of how these new additions are integrated into the core ERP product, in Macleod’s view. “There may be
concerns that there’s not enough development and investment in what really was the grassroots functionality in the products versus the diversification. I think a lot of people will be looking to see that the next generation of ERP has taken a step forward and has integrated all those other components into a single solution,” he says.
“I think at the moment they have put a veneer over some of those and branded them SAP, but under the covers are still the old products, and we’ve had instances where customers didn’t realise they needed to upgrade two products independently, as they thought they were all one SAP product set.” While he acknowledges the growing role of the specialist in the SAP ecosystem, Macleod continues to see a strong role for the big name consultancies. He says CSC has always recognised where its capabilities are and are not, and has partnered with niche consultancies to present a team model for some larger deals.
“What customers then get is they still have the local, smaller consultancies they can work with, but they have access to the large Tier 1s who can take the risk on a fixed price contract or the integration between the different products. “I think the collaborative and partnering approach is key, because companies still want a single point of contact and ownership, and responsibility for delivering projects, and you’re not going to get that with half a dozen consultancies working side by side,” he says. “So I think Tier 1 systems integrators are just as important as they ever were. But they have to change the way they view the market and see certainly Tier 2 and Tier 3 partners as being just as important in the deals.”
Stephen Hopkins, HCL AXON – Partner
Stephen Hopkins, consulting director, HCL AXON also appears
on our Top 10 list for the third year running. When we spoke to Hopkins
last year, the company had just completed the merger between HCL
Technologies and AXON Solutions in 2009, with all the attendant
upheaval. This year Hopkins says the focus shifted to growing the
Australian SAP consulting team, with a growth rate of 100 per cent
achieved during the year – both by developing and retaining their
existing employees, and attracting new people across a range of areas.
From a project perspective, HCL AXON completed a large implementation for Ramsay Healthcare, installing SAP ECC6 across 70 sites. Previously, the private healthcare provider was maintaining numerous legacy systems following multiple acquisitions. “That was quite a professional and personal highlight in terms of customer faith in the work we were able to do – helping them standardise on the new SAP version and consolidate the different systems they had,” Hopkins says.
As a global company, one of the challenges for HCL AXON has been optimising its consulting delivery model,
leveraging a mix of onshore-offshore capabilities. Getting the service mix right and convincing those in the Australian market who may be unfamiliar with this type of model of its merits has been a focus. Hopkins says it is still “early days” for the adoption of the model. “I think it is still something people have to get their heads around. There is a mixed response – certain types of work and activities are easily done offshore, like Basis support, but some of the other project work is still a mixed bag and depending on what the value proposition
is, it’s sometimes hard to get an uptake on those models,” he says.
During 2010, Hopkins observed clients becoming more mature in their own SAP knowledge and support, and also a greater focus on niche, quick-win projects. “One thing we’ve noticed is a lot of smaller, sharper projects that are helping enable some specific benefits in the business, rather than a wall-to-wall SAP implementation. They’re trying to pick little areas, BusinessObjects, CRM, logistics, portals, and web- enabling SAP access for customers. So there is more focus on small projects, but projects which are strategic to the business and deliver some benefits. “Once customers have SAP in place, the next step is to keep finetuning and enabling the business to do better. People want to get more out of the system – it’s a huge cost to the business and they are trying to standardise. It’s a value-based and benefits-driven decision.”
Hopkins says it is difficult to see what will unfold over the next 12-18 months, but growth will be a continuing
priority for HCL AXON. “I wish I had a crystal ball! It’s hard to tell what is going on, the global markets are crazy right now, so we’re just trying to put our heads down and focus on what we’re doing. We’re building the capability of our staff in certain areas – supply chain has been a focus for us, as well as enterprise performance management and utilities.”
2011 will also see a continuing focus on delivery excellence, Hopkins says. “We’ll just be getting in there and building the business on the foundation we have. We’re now a year or two post-merger, and I think we are settling in. It’s onward and upward now.”
Keith Wallis, TAMS – Partner
2010 saw TAMS make some major changes – restructuring the
business, refining its offerings and hitting the market to get the word
out. TAMS was originally established in 2006 to focus on consulting
specifically for the infrastructure, services, mining and
capital-intensive industries. All this activity has seen Keith Wallis,
head of solution strategy and development, maintain a high profile in
the SAP community.
Last year, TAMS undertook a number of SAP Sourcing projects, as well as implementations of the SAP Enterprise Project Connection (EPC) module for Transfield Services and CS Energy. As the sole SAP implementation partner for EPC, the company is building up a solid pipeline of projects all over the world in this area.
Work has also been devoted to getting the TAMS Integrated Solutions Map in place. The roadmap is a combination of standard and enhanced SAP solutions, to be supported in the near future by applications for the iPad. Wallis says they also completed development of an enhanced SAP Project Portfolio Management solution, which integrates the capital planning process with the SAP PPM module, and have prototyped a solution aimed at integrating manufacturing processes with the SAP Project System module.
A key part of their strategy, Wallis says, has been getting out and about – speaking at conferences and assisting with content selection, seeing potential customers, an working with SAP to identify opportunities and ensuring people become familiar with the business.
“What we are seeing that is the major differentiator for us is that across the asset lifecycle management and project management space, we can stand in front of executives and tell them how it works, from strategy to maintain and operate,” he says. “Clients have actually openly turned around and said, ‘We now understand how this thing works and we should buy.'”
With all this development work underway, Wallis still finds time to contribute to the SAP community, acting as a mentor and assisting in a program to upskill women who have been out of the SAP community while raising their families.
This article was first published in Inside SAP March/April 2011.Nominations are now open for the 2012 Inside SAP Top 10 Most Influential People in SAP. Send your suggestions on the top influencers for the past year in the categories of Community Contributor, Project Leader and Partner to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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