What to Expect at SAP TechEd 2017: Customization, Content Management and the Move to HANA

Next week, thousands will descend upon Las Vegas for SAP TechEd 2017: “The Technology Conference for the Truly Curious.” Dolphin will be there this year, along with Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Dolphin CTO Vishal Awasathi. We’ve attended for years now and are always excited for what the conference will bring. The SAP TechEd conference, held at The Venetian – Palazzo Congress Center in Las Vegas from September 25-29, focuses on technology with an emphasis on collaboration and hands-on workshops, going beyond technical education. For those who are attending for the first time, or perhaps are just interested in what to expect, here are my predictions for what will be top of mind for attendees. The Future of SAP Systems: Customization We all know that preparing our SAP Systems for the future is critical. As SAP moves away from on premise and more toward the SAP Cloud platform, companies will need to reconsider how they think about customizations or unique features in the future. Customization is going to look very different in the new SAP landscape. Companies must start thinking about how they’re going to keep their unique business processes, in a world that’s increasingly SaaS and managed off premise and in the Cloud. Solutions available on the SAP Cloud Platform help companies leverage the power of SAP systems and provide the flexibility and enhanced capabilities necessary to make a successful transition to the SAP HANA platform.  The challenge is going to be how to retain their unique custom processes in this new environment.  TechEd attendees can expect to hear more about ways to protect and expand upon these unique features. The Move to SAP S/4HANA or SAP HANA: Data and Document Management To truly lower costs when making the move to SAP S/4HANA or SAP HANA, companies must know how to manage the information in their systems before, during and after the transition. At SAP TechEd, attendees will learn practical strategies to reduce the volume of data in existing systems now using data archiving and system decommissioning. By connecting with people at the conference who have already completed this journey and asking questions for real-life insight, companies can learn how to reduce the cost and complexity of future transitions to this new in-memory platform. Attendees will also learn how modern content management can reduce IT complexity. With business knowledge of legacy content management systems diminishing, and new license and maintenance fees being cost prohibitive, lean architecture can reduce the impact on IT infrastructure while simplifying ongoing maintenance and backup. Significant savings from this migration will be realized in a little over one year. Want to learn more about the future of SAP Systems as it relates to data management? Join the Dolphin team at SAP TechEd at booth 710, and at the following sessions: Fast Path to SAP HANA with Dolphin Data and Document Management Strategies Networking Session 1, Show Floor | Tues. 01:30 p.m. – 02:00 p.m. Nexeo’s Multi-Phased Approach to Data Retention and Compliance HBD143 | Wed. 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Pepper Snapple Group Speeds Move to SAP HANA with Data Management HBD218 | Thu. 05:45 p.m. – 06:45 p.m

What to Expect at SAP TechEd 2017: Customization, Content Management and the Move to HANA

Next week, thousands will descend upon Las Vegas for SAP TechEd 2017: “The Technology Conference for the Truly Curious.” Dolphin will be there this year, along with Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Dolphin CTO Vishal Awasathi. We’ve attended for years now and are always excited for what the conference will bring.

The SAP TechEd conference, held at The Venetian – Palazzo Congress Center in Las Vegas from September 25-29, focuses on technology with an emphasis on collaboration and hands-on workshops, going beyond technical education. For those who are attending for the first time, or perhaps are just interested in what to expect, here are my predictions for what will be top of mind for attendees.

The Future of SAP Systems: Customization

We all know that preparing our SAP Systems for the future is critical. As SAP moves away from on premise and more toward the SAP Cloud platform, companies will need to reconsider how they think about customizations or unique features in the future.

Customization is going to look very different in the new SAP landscape. Companies must start thinking about how they’re going to keep their unique business processes, in a world that’s increasingly SaaS and managed off premise and in the Cloud. Solutions available on the SAP Cloud Platform help companies leverage the power of SAP systems and provide the flexibility and enhanced capabilities necessary to make a successful transition to the SAP HANA platform.  The challenge is going to be how to retain their unique custom processes in this new environment.  TechEd attendees can expect to hear more about ways to protect and expand upon these unique features.

The Move to SAP S/4HANA or SAP HANA: Data and Document Management

To truly lower costs when making the move to SAP S/4HANA or SAP HANA, companies must know how to manage the information in their systems before, during and after the transition. At SAP TechEd, attendees will learn practical strategies to reduce the volume of data in existing systems now using data archiving and system decommissioning. By connecting with people at the conference who have already completed this journey and asking questions for real-life insight, companies can learn how to reduce the cost and complexity of future transitions to this new in-memory platform.

Attendees will also learn how modern content management can reduce IT complexity. With business knowledge of legacy content management systems diminishing, and new license and maintenance fees being cost prohibitive, lean architecture can reduce the impact on IT infrastructure while simplifying ongoing maintenance and backup. Significant savings from this migration will be realized in a little over one year.

Want to learn more about the future of SAP Systems as it relates to data management? Join the Dolphin team at SAP TechEd at booth 710, and at the following sessions:

Fast Path to SAP HANA with Dolphin Data and Document Management Strategies

Networking Session 1, Show Floor | Tues. 01:30 p.m. – 02:00 p.m.

Nexeo’s Multi-Phased Approach to Data Retention and Compliance

HBD143 | Wed. 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Pepper Snapple Group Speeds Move to SAP HANA with Data Management

HBD218 | Thu. 05:45 p.m. – 06:45 p.m

Top Trends from SAPPHIRE 2017

 

We’re finally back from SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 + ASUG Annual Conference and we wanted to give everyone an update on what happened. First, let’s start with a few words from Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and CSO Brian Shannon from the show floor.

There were several trends that we saw at this event that will impact our customers – here are five things you need to know.

SAP HANA and S/4HANA are No Longer Just for Early Adopters

The biggest trend we saw this year is that SAP HANA and S/4HANA have moved out of the “early adopter” phase and these platforms are now being widely adopted by many companies. According to the ASUG Member HANA Adoption Survey, 33 % of companies have purchased SAP S/4HANA and 28% plan to purchase S/4 in the next 12-18 months. Approximately 8% of these customers are currently live on S/4HANA – but this number is growing quickly.

In addition to companies that are upgrading their existing SAP systems to S/4HANA, we talked with many people at SAPPHIRE who were net new SAP customers, moving to SAP S/4HANA from other legacy solutions. For our customers, we know that many of them are just starting on their own journey to HANA – so hold on to your hats people – from now until 2025 things are going to get interesting!

Digitization is Transforming SAP from the System of Record to the System of Innovation

Anyone who heard Bill McDermott’s keynote speech knows that the move to HANA is all about enabling the digital business of the future. New technologies such as cloud, mobile, internet of things, blockchain and more are opening up a new world of business opportunities and SAP wants to ensure that companies can leverage these technologies as soon as possible. To this end, McDermott used his keynote to introduce the world to SAP Leonardo which is a platform that will enable companies to harnesses the power of the Internet of Things. This is just one of many new developments available with SAP HANA that, as McDermott said, are helping transform SAP from its current position as the enterprise system of record – to becoming the system of innovation.

Audit & Compliance is on Everyone’s Mind

The rapid introduction of new regulations had many companies worried about Audit and Compliance. We had a lot of discussions about how to support emerging compliance requirements in Europe and Latin America such as Standard Audit File -Tax (SAF-T) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As Dr. Hopf says “Companies really need to get their arms around where they store data, how they manage data and information over the residual lifecycle in order to be compliant with those requirements.”

The SAP Community is Hungry to Hear Real-World Success Stories

As always the ASUG Education Zone was buzzing with activity and Dolphin was extremely proud to support our customers who were sharing their stories about their recent experiences.

Our data customers presented several different ways to tackle the migration to SAP HANA.

  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group talked about how they were able archive terabytes of data from their 24TB ECC system in only 4 months so they could move to HANA before their competitors.
  • Chemtura (now Lanxess) spoke of the importance of using data management to reduce system size to controls the costs associated with the move to HANA.
  • AbbVie spoke of the broad set of information management solutions and techniques they employed on their journey to HANA to ensure their systems were lean and still compliant with strict pharmaceutical regulations.

Our process customers presented different stories about improving processes in a rapidly changing business and technology environment.

  • Adient spoke about its experience standing up a global shared services center to process 3 million invoices a year from a single global accounts payable invoicing hub running the Dolphin Process Tracking System.
  • Collier County talked about the ease of rolling out a Cloud-based invoice approval solution to its users. The county discussed its plans to expand the use of apps on the SAP Cloud Platform to provide their constituents with greater access to information.

Companies Still Need to Solve Immediate Business Issues and Improve the ROI of SAP Systems

While the simplified applications on S/4HANA provide companies with new and exciting capabilities, we continue to see a strong need for solutions that solve immediate business problems and improve the return on investment from SAP systems. As companies begin the transition to the new digital core, they need to make their existing environment as effective and as low cost as possible. Choosing SAP-Certified solutions such as those provided by Dolphin and our trusted partners PBS Software, TJC Software, and Hanse Orga will help companies weather the changes to the business and technology that will come their way in 2017 and beyond.

These were only a few of the topics people were discussing at SAPPHIRE this year. Did you see something we missed? Let us know!

Dolphin and Hanse Orga Group: A Winning Combination for Employees, Customers and the Industry

 

By Dr. Werner Hopf

Today I am very proud to share the news that Dolphin has joined the Hanse Orga Group, a highly-regarded, award-winning global financial automation solutions and consulting firm. This is a huge and exciting opportunity for everyone at both organizations, as Dolphin becomes a substantial and valuable addition to this growing entity and will jointly deliver our leading technology and process solutions to enterprise customers across the globe.

Since our founding in 1995, Dolphin has continuously evolved. As an employee-owned company, we built a unique company culture and we established a steadfast commitment to work-life balance. These two initiatives were just as important as ensuring that our valued customers were successful in implementing SAP solutions for accounts payable and accounts receivable processing and data volume management. For the past 22 years, we have adhered to a blue print for “smart growth” and we’ve worked hard to earn and maintain our reputation as a strategic business partner to both SAP and our customer base.

As we looked to continue our growth – both globally and in terms of the solutions we are able to offer our customers – we realized that in Europe and Asia Pac, Hanse Orga Group had built and grown its organization in remarkably similar fashion, albeit on a larger scale. It proved itself in financial supply chain management and in 2004, created a subsidiary model to foster and support international growth. This model was very attractive to Dolphin.

So today, we combine two highly respected and like-minded software and consulting firms in the SAP space, with highly complementary offerings.  We are joining forces because it is our desire to grow and be able to serve our customers with a broader set of financial automation solutions. We now have a much broader footprint across multiple geographies, with more scale, expertise and experience. Being part of this group makes us more valuable to our respective and joint customers and further sets us apart from our competitors.

As part of the Hanse Orga Group, we envision some terrific career and “cross training” opportunities for current and prospective employees of both organizations. We also anticipate significant cross-selling opportunities for both companies in the areas of Treasury, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and General Ledger.  The Data and Document Management solutions that Dolphin delivers today will continue to provide an important platform upon which our joint customers can better manage system performance, ensure governance and compliance needs are met, and reduce the overall cost and complexity of the IT infrastructure.

While Dolphin and Hanse Orga have known each other from being in the SAP ecosystem for many years, we’ve also shared a mutual respect, as well as a common vision for ensuring employee, customer and partner success. As part of Hanse Orga Group, Dolphin is able to instantly increase both agility and scale and we look forward to many more years of continued growth and success in creating value for customers.

Today marks a major company milestone, and I receive great satisfaction in now being part of a vibrant, committed and growing group of more than 450 professionals working in offices around the world.  Under the Hanse Orga Group umbrella, Dolphin will continue to serve as a leading business performance improvement partner for companies running SAP.

To each and every Dolphin employee, customer and partner, I cannot thank you enough for your support and dedication to our company.  I am proud to have led our company to this point. I am incredibly excited to continue in my role as head of Dolphin as part of Hanse Orga Group and also happy that our leadership team remains intact.

The journey we have taken has been thrilling and at times unpredictable.  Today, it continues with a new infusion of energy, talent, ideas and opportunities. I am glad to have each of you by my side as we take these next new steps.

 

2015 Data and Process Trends with Dr. Werner Hopf & Brian Shannon

While at the recent SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference, Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Brian Shannon, Chief Strategy Officer were interviewed in the ASUG Hub about recent trends Dolphin is seeing in data and process challenges faced by SAP customers.

 

Tom Waiglum of ASUG News interviews the Dolphin team about how organizations can reduce the cost and footprint of SAP systems with the latest data and process solutions.

In the interview, Dr. Hopf discusses how SAP HANA and HANA Cloud are driving the need for data archiving to reduce the cost of systems and keep the data footprint small, so organizations can make an easier transition to these new systems.  Other trends include the increasing need for organizations to “carve out” data from SAP systems when they divest business units. Increasingly, Dolphin is working with customers that want to use archiving to protect intellectual property as they  hand over copies of SAP systems that contain sensitive master customer, vendor, and material master data.

Brian Shannon discusses how Dolphin’s expertise in SAP systems enables organizations to streamline business processes to reduce cycle time and  centralize and standardize processes across global organizations. He discusses how Dolphin is helping business users discover ways to drive additional cost savings from their SAP systems with automation and shared services solutions that support long term business goals.

 

Sapphire NOW + ASUG Annual Conference – Day 1 Report

Today was a great kickoff to the conference, as Bill McDermott addressed the crowds at the conference during his keynote speech. Canadians in the crowd went wild as Bill brought the Stanley Cup, hockey’s most prestigious award, on to the podium — continuing SAP’s recent theme of winning in sports and winning in business.

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Later in the day Jason Boyer, Dolphin ILM Consultant and Enrique Suarez of Coca-Cola Enterprises presented details of CCE’s archiving projects. The crowd heard about how CCE used a comprehensive archiving strategy, incorporating nearline storage and automation to improve system performance and ensure that critical supply chain systems were up and running to support CCE’s demanding global business. As part of this project, CCE was able to archive almost 6 TB of data in only 3 months – a truly remarkable achievement!

Back at the booth, the Dolphin team was busy giving attendees demos of our mobile approvals app. In only a few simple steps users were able to select an invoice for approval and see how it could be approved using the mobile app in the nearby Innovapptive booth.

The day ended off with Dolphin’s annual Customer Appreciation dinner at Cuba Libre restaurant. This year, the event was particularly special as Dolphin celebrated our 20th year in business. Customers, partners, and Dolphin team members all enjoyed the cuban food, drinks, and birthday cake pops as we discussed the best sessions we’d seen during the day and our plans for the rest of the event. All in all, it was a great ending to a great day!

Get Ready for SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference 2015!

Well the biggest SAP event of the year is finally here!The Dolphin team has arrived in Orlando FL to spend the next few days at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference. On Monday, the team spent the day at the SAP Partner Summit with other SAP partners and had the chance to reconnect with our partners including PBS Software, who were also at the event.

We are also pleased to congratulate our partners Innovapptive who were presented with 2015 SAP® Pinnacle Award for Application Development Partner of the Year while at the event.

Early Tuesday morning, the team will be on site as SAP CEO Bill McDermott makes the opening keynote. For those of you who cannot join us, you can live stream the event. The action starts at 9 AM ET and goes until 10:30 AM.

We are thrilled that several Dolphin customers were selected to present at this year’s event and encourage everyone to attend and find out more about the way these customers are using Dolphin data solutions to improve business performance. The sessions will be held at the following days and times:

Tuesday, May 5 | 12:30 pm | Room: S331C
Coca-Cola Enterprises’ ILM Strategy that delivers Faster Performance, Easier System Migrations and Improved Transparency

Wednesday, May 6 | 4:15 pm | Room: S319
Big Lots will present on Simplifing Sales Audits by Associating POS Receipts Directly with SAP Financials

For those that drop by the Dolphin booth (427) during the show, we’re sure you’ll love the contest we’ve planned with Innovapptive. Individuals can create an invoice @ the Dolphin booth and then approve it @ the Innovapptive booth (431) using the Dolphin Mobile Approval App, powered by Innovapptive. Contestants have the chance to win an Apple Watch – Sport – so be sure to drop by and qualify for this great giveaway!

Hope to see you in Orlando.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Leonardo da Vinci

April 15th is a significant date. It matters not if the letters I, R, or S are present in your email address, to do list or worry box. For April 15th marks the birthday of a true thought leader. A moment or two spent considering his accomplishments and contributions to our collective knowledge base may help us to become better thinkers ourselves.

Close up of vintage movie film strips

Close up of vintage movie film strips

Leonardo da Vinci would be something on the order of DLXIII years old on the 15th day of this year’s fourth month. To put things into perspective, there was of course no internet nor Google, no television nor radio, and the printing press was celebrating just its tenth birthday. The United Nations estimates the total earth’s population was 500 million then, or roughly that of present day North America. Leonardo had already drawn the iconic Vitruvian Man by the time America was even ‘discovered’. Yet his achievements dwarf those of any today in spite of the latest technological and scientific advancements.[Continue Reading]

Dolphin Goes Global at Financials 2015 & SAP Forum Brazil

Well the Dolphin team is going to opposite ends of the earth today to find out what’s new in SAP. You can find the Dolphin team at either of these premiere events:

  • SAPinsider Financials 2015, Las Vegas, NV
  • SAP Forum Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Be sure to stop by our booth at either event and say Hi!

SAPinsiders Financials 2015, Las Vegas, NV

Drop by the Dolphin Booth (#1025) and learn about Dolphin’s latest customer success stories in the optimizing processes for Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Order Management, and Finance and Administration.

A highlight of the SAPinsider Financials show will be:

Gretchen Kincade of GE Power and Water’s presentation
How GE Water is turning accounts payable into a strategic corporate entity
Thursday, March 19, 2015
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Room: La Tache

We also have several Dolphin sessions while at the show:

Brian Shannon, Principal Process Consultant
Streamline cash management with improved invoice-to-pay processes

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Room: Mouton 2

See Brian’s Ask the Experts Session:
Wednesday, March 18, 6:00 pm – 6:45 pm

Terri Bold, Principal Solution Delivery
Strategies and lessons for automating and optimizing accounts payable

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM
Room: Alsace 1

See Terri’s Ask the Experts Session:
Tuesday, March 17, 6:15 pm – 7:00 pm

 

SAP Forum Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Werner Hopf, CEO of Dolphin will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil with our partner Sonda, to introduce Latin America’s SAP users to its industry-best Data Volume Management and Business Process Optimization solutions.

We look forward to meeting everyone at these shows this week and will be updating you on what is new and exciting in the world of SAP shortly.

 

Change Leadership – Key to Success of AP Projects

ChangeLeadership The Heraclitus axiom, “change is constant,” is an absolute truth for businesses today. Without change businesses are at risk of serving customer needs with antiquated and inefficient approaches and technologies, losing an important competitive edge. One should look no further than organizations such as Blockbuster and Kodak as examples. These former titans are now nothing more than a memory of times gone by, when movies meant videotape and photography meant film.In his latest article “Change Leadership: Key to Success of AP Projects”, in Paytech Magazine, Brian Shannon discusses how teams can look at change as a growth opportunity not only for the organization but also for employees. It allows employees to learn new skills, explore new ideas, and exercise their creativity in ways that ultimately benefit the organization through increased commitment.

Read Article

 

Running simply every day . . . in Life and in SAP

I like to run. I like simple. Ergo…oh wait, let’s not jump there just yet.

brian_runningshoes

There is something calming about running for me. My runner’s closet is equipped with a multitude of patterned footwear. Selecting the right shoe for the weather, the terrain and the distance are decisions I love to make. The route – that’s usually easy – hills or no? Short or long run? Outside or treadmill? Throw in a handy phone app that logs miles and prioritizes music, and I am ready for the run. A few decisions must be made, but for the most part it is an opportunity to undertake an activity that yields great results but hazards few input conundrums.
[Continue Reading]

Brian’s Q&A Session on Optimizing AP and AR Processes

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In the rush of activity at the end of the year, it’s hard to think about optimizing AP and AR processes. However, I’m sure the idea danced like “sugar plum fairies” through the heads of many AP and AR staff and managers as they struggled with cumbersome, manual processes as they tried to close the books on 2014.

Find out how to make year end in 2015 faster and easier by reviewing Brian Shannon’s recent Q&A session on Optimizing AP and AR processes with SAPinsider. In this chat transcript Brian shares his advice on the importance of process optimization in helping organizations contain costs and improve cash flow. He also discusses how organizations can fully leverage SAP systems to optimize near-cash business processes for 2015.

SAPPHIRE NOW & ASUG Update: Day 1

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Today at SAPPHIRE NOW and the ASUG annual conference, Marie Bourns of Bourns Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic components, and Dr. Werner Hopf, CEO of Dolphin appeared on the ASUG News channel to discuss the recent success of their Dolphin accounts payable solution. By focusing on verifying invoice data early in the cycle, Bourns was able to minimize exception handling and auto post 65% of all invoices

[Continue Reading]

Attending SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG – Experience Matters

When I saw the tagline for this year’s ASUG Annual Conference, several things came to mind. The tagline, Every Experience Matters, got me thinking about experience as in knowledge gained and what it is to experience something. Perhaps a little confusing, but hear me out.

Conference attendees are invited to “experience” everything from interactive demos of SAP applications to interacting with SAP product managers and executives; to learning what peers from other organizations and industries are doing to participating in the educational sessions on current solutions and new products. They are even encouraged to enjoy Orlando and more social activities. All could be part of the ‘experience’.[Continue Reading]

Dear Santa,

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  With winter weather testing us weeks before the holidays all over North America, we are left with little option but to write to dear old Santa and see if he and some elves might not make our season of joy just a little bit brighter.

Such was the initiative shown in a request submitted by a good-natured customer who was looking for further process optimization by addressing a letter to our North Pole headquarters.[Continue Reading]

Anyone can tell you how great they are. That’s easy. The hard part is proving it.

That’s why companies seeking an SAP solution provider should demand references. When you speak with a long-time or recent customer, you get the real story about their level of satisfaction. And, you’ll learn about the nuances that made their situation and purchasing decision unique. Often you’ll find that your own organization shares some similar challenges and can learn best practices from others in the business.[Continue Reading]