p>A Canadian contract manufacturer is joining several other firms migrating from the R/3 platform to mySAP, according to one of SAP’s major services partners.
IDS Scheer North America,
based in Berwyn, Pa., on Wednesday said its Canadian subsidiary had signed up a number of customers that were interested in mySAP and using SAP’s Netweaver integration tools. These firms, which span pharmaceuticals, standards management and high-technology, are demonstrating that SAP implementations don’t have to end in disaster, according to IDS Scheer Canada president Jason Mausberg. HP, Sobey’s and other firms have struggled to manage the product’s complexity.
“When you hear massive companies in the news going with SAP, people always still think big,” he said, adding that SAP’s Business One has provided smaller firms with a product better suited to their needs.
German enterprises are typically first to adopt SAP, followed very quickly thereafter the U.S., Mausberg said. Canada typically lags behind another six months.
“We started to see a definite peak and climb late summer in the U.S. and we picked it up in November and December,” he said.
Concord, Ont.-based Gustin Kramer Inc., which makes fabric softener sheets, electrostatic dust cloths and a variety of cleaning wipes, is planning a move to mySAP in the near future, according to its president, Steve Miller.
Gustin Kramer is particularly interested in mySAP’s knowledge management functions, which he said will allow employees to approve quality management records related to ISO standards online, as well as online graphic design. The company’s first SAP implementation has already been a success, Miller said, and was completed in about five months.
“We didn’t try to over-intellectualize the process,” he said. “We took what was available, worked very closely and where we had to, we tried to minimize the significant changes to SAP.”
The recent resolution of Oracle’s hostile takeover of PeopleSoft has created a “sigh of relief” among IDS Scheer customers, Mausberg said. It has also opened up opportunites with new firms.
“We saw few decisions with smaller clients. They stopped the buying process, and now they said, ‘We want you guys back in the game.’”
Miller said Gustin Kramer, which is also interested in developing Web interfaces between suppliers and customers through mySAP, is prepated to adapt its business processes a little if they make an implementation simpler.
“We never say, ‘We’re going to customize SAP to the nth degree, because we’re so brilliant in our own systems,’” he said.
Mausberg said IDS Scheer’s customers are looking at some capabilities in mySAP that they might not take advantage of right away, including lower costs for add-on software, and easier access to third-party Internet software that might suit their business.
“With a small and medium-sized business where there’s five or eight people know the business and the significance of it, it comes quite easily, especially when they’re willing to accept some of the changes,” he said. “(They) don’t really resist the changes they may have to make but embrace and accept them.”
Other IDS-Scheer Canadian clients announced Wednesday included CSA Group, CPL and Platform Computing.