With attendees and the entire ASUG community eager for the ASUG Best Practices: SAP S/4HANA® and SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) Conference to get underway March 7-9, here are some late-breaking session previews and presenters’ conference insights.

ASUG spoke with Farzana Dumasi, PM of IT, City of Mississauga, on key themes for the “Utilizing SAP Tools as You Adapt to Disruptive Change” session and with Saranya Raj, Lead, SAP Center of Excellence (CoE), City of Richmond Hill, who will present the “SAP S/4HANA Journey at the City of Richmond Hill” session.

Happy Destination

Dumasi plans to discuss the “long and arduous” but “ultimately happy to reach destination” involved in the city’s brownfield migration to SAP S/4HANA—an effort extended from late 2019 to the second quarter of 2021. In addition to SAP S/4HANA, the city’s SAP environment includes HCM, SAP Concur, and SAP SuccessFactors.

“I am most excited about presenting all the preparation and planning that was completed even before we had initiated the project and how we had to do a complete shift when the pandemic struck in March 2020,” Dumasi said.

According to Dumasi, the SAP S/4HANA and SAP BTP combination event provides an essential “platform to network and learn from each other as we may all be facing similar challenges and issues, so we do not necessarily need to reinvent the wheel.

“I am interested to learn more about SAP BTP to see if or how we can adopt it to drive change and achieve the desired outcomes,” Dumasi added.

Mid-Sized Canadian Public Sector Customer

Noting session similarities as well as differences, Raj said she will discuss the City of Richmond Hill’s SAP S/4HANA greenfield implementation that ran from 2019 to 2022. Raj will highlight “the benefits of our CoE, which is led by the business and supported by IT;” lessons learned in the upgrade project “from the perspective of a mid-sized public sector entity;” and challenges faced in building a robust CoE.

In preparing for the conference session—which she said will be interactive and fun—Raj added that she became “amazed at how far we have come from the terror-filled days of cutover and go-live to steady state. I am excited to share what we have learned and want to use this opportunity to learn from others as well.”

Raj said she will emphasize the co-dependencies and necessary collaborations. And “SAP implementation is not an IT project, but it is a collaboration between business and IT. The business and IT stakeholders should have relevant experience. While previous SAP experience is beneficial for the business users, it is a must for the IT stakeholders.”

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