Volvo Group updated the ASUG community on its aggressive “SAP Digitalization” agenda, including multiple SAP S/4HANA projects this year and next, in a heavily attended session during the recent virtual ASUG Best Practices: SAP for Center of Excellence event.

In the session Wallace Henry, Volvo Group SAP BTP and Enable Now Lead, recapped the S/4HANA technical upgrades and the technology and business strategy context as well as background to initiatives across the group’s diversified businesses. The well-regarded Volvo Group business is a family including Volvo and Mack trucks, Volvo Penta, Volvo CE and Rokbak construction equipment, and Prevost and Nova busses.

An SAP customer for decades, Wallace said SAP solutions are critical to Volvo’s North Star Architecture, a comprehensive program to deploy “a modern, modularized, and secure” technology infrastructure and “infrastructure as a service” to the businesses.

SAP the Enabler

What’s more, Wallace described SAP technology as “an enabler” across constant change where Volvo teams expect systems to perform reliably and to evolve with improvements, such as increased integration and process automation, mobility, and assured privacy and security.

While he noted that Volvo Group still has a “fair number of SAP ECC instances,” the businesses currently have three SAP S/4HANA technical upgrades underway. In addition, Volvo this year is expected to complete another S/4HANA upgrade that includes SAP Fiori and cloud adoption.

Volvo’s 2023 agenda includes plans for an SAP S/4HANA greenfield project to replace “multiple SAP ECC instances in global use,” some since the late 1990s, as well as SAP SuccessFactors implementations.

Business-Driven SAP S/4HANA Greenfield

Wallace characterized the greenfield project decision as “business driven.”

“It will allow us to make even more modernization with a cleaner start,” he said.

Even so, given the multiple recent technology projects together with the existing infrastructure, Wallace said, “We’re still working on integrations. For us, this is huge now given the number of [ERP] instances.”

He emphasized the importance of SAP Customer Center of Expertise (CCOE), SAP “learning” resources, and ASUG resources for Volvo Group’s initiatives.

“We’ve leveraged the CCOE” when “we look at, how do we constantly learn? How do we get the skilling? How do we adapt business and IT,” Wallace said, adding the value of ASUG special interest areas, online resources, and chapter meetings.

“Any pain point you’ve got, someone else may feel the same things and have an answer,” he said.

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