Water utility Aqua America, together with its partner, Infosys, will talk through its SAP Enterprise Asset Manager (EAM) implementation, a virtually managed project to improve operations across multiple states, during next month’s SAP for Utilities, Presented by ASUG conference https://www.asug.com/events/sap-for-utilities-presented-by-asug.

During an interview to preview the session, Justin Kauffman, Aqua America Director of Asset Management, said he plans to present how the utility Aqua America deployed the SAP EAM system across eight states in a business transformation. During the initiative, the organization had to balance pandemic-related disruptions, normal operations, and the project.

Transition During a Pandemic

Given COVID-19, Aqua America executed its critical project phases virtually. Kauffman said the key to making this work was having the user base engaged upfront. “If you have to, in some cases, pull them out of a day job and give them time to actually engage in the project,” he noted.

Before SAP EAM changes and processes, many state subsidiaries conducted operations differently. Now, all eight states are “singing the same tune” in asset management, according to Kauffman.

His advice is to keep things simple and get stakeholders engaged early when starting to transition to SAP EAM. The organization kept its focus, “making sure we don’t disrupt our core business in the process is priority one.”

Kauffman plans to share how Aqua America handled customization and master data as well. “Customization comes at a cost, not only in how you build things, but then also how you live with the product,” he said.

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