ASUG had an opportunity to chat with Dan McCarthy, CIO of Energizer Holdings, about the early stages of the organization’s RISE with SAP project. He discussed why Energizer Holdings decided to use RISE with SAP and offered some advice to SAP customers about leveraging the offering.
This is an edited version of our conversation.
Q: Dan, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Energizer Holdings?
A: I’m Dan McCarthy, CIO at Energizer Holdings. Energizer is a holding company, but many people know us from the battery portion of our business. That’s the biggest brand from a recognition perspective. However, we’ve also made several acquisitions through the years. Today, our product offerings include Energizer and Rayovac batteries, as well as several auto-care brands, including Armor All, STP, AC Pro, and California Scents.
Q: What is Energizer Holdings’ SAP story?
A: Energizer is an extensive SAP customer both in terms of time and scale. When I first arrived at Energizer seven years ago, our SAP install was more than 12 years old. In addition to the ERP platform, we also run SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Commerce, and SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain. Most recently, we’ve adopted the RISE with SAP offering.
Q: Right, Energizer is leveraging RISE with SAP to migrate to SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Why was this move so important for you all at that time?
A: There were several factors at play. First, we still have multiple ERPs globally, on top of several new ones added through recent acquisitions. SAP S/4HANA for central finance gives us the strategic benefit of more global, real-time financial data.
We also know that SAP ECC support is limited, and from my experience, any new developments, capabilities, and technologies are added to the latest offerings—in this case, SAP S/4HANA—not older ones such as SAP ECC.
Our rollout plan continues to evolve. We have completed the first wave of our SAP S/4HANA for central finance installation and have one more wave to go. Once that is completed, we will decide on how and when to roll out the rest of our SAP S/4HANA footprint.
Q: How did you hear about RISE with SAP, and what were the deciding factors that led you all to choose to leverage the offering?
A: When we decided to focus on central finance, we understood the environments that we needed to stand up for the project to be successful. When SAP announced RISE with SAP, we used that moment as an opportunity to have an early conversation with SAP about how to handle putting this future instance in the cloud. After six to nine months of internal discussion, we made our final decision; it was then a question of looking at hosting options. We reviewed a few different scenarios for hosting both SAP S/4HANA and central finance. By then, through conversations with SAP, it became clear that RISE with SAP had matured since the initial review.
Q: Where are you all in your RISE with SAP journey right now?
A: We have set up the production environments to support SAP S/4HANA and central finance. We have gone live with the first wave of central finance and the final wave is scheduled for later this spring. We have also completed the migration of our SAP ECC environments into a hyperscaler—all under the RISE with SAP umbrella.
Q: Dan, do you have any advice for other SAP customers currently considering leveraging RISE with SAP?
A: Take your time and be sure to weigh all important factors in your decision-making process. For example, flexibility was very important to me—and there is a component of RISE with SAP that assumes a timeframe and steady run rate.
It’s also important to understand where you are in your journey, how many environments you have, how long they are going to last, and how that fits into your road map. We had many conversations upfront to ensure our entire footprint was mapped and we had the flexibility needed for a successful project.
What I have seen and what I am hoping will enhance our SAP S/4HANA environment is SAP putting in a lot of investment behind our success. This whole process has helped us get access to people in SAP that we might not have had access to before.