This success story concerns a project for a client in the public sector, namely in the area of culture. This client works directly under the Office of the Prime Minister and, due to the assets it manages and the type of business it generates, has a number of special requirements.
The project, which we were awarded by public tender, had one main objective: to set up a revenue management system that ensures solvency and financial/budget control while also enabling efficient and consistent financial reporting
To achieve this goal, we recommended implementing SAP S/4HANA, a platform which, at the time, had not been previously used for many of these functional processes. Moreover, we gave our approach a creative touch that was important in making it stand out from the others.
This project was completed over a 8-month period in 2018–2019.
Both the type of client and the project requirements posed a variety of challenges.
Firstly, the types of revenue were very diverse—both in terms of their nature and of the tasks involved in each process. This made their integration into a single system more complicated and called for a great deal of flexibility during its configuration.
It was imperative to find a system that covered all processes, a ‘single source of truth’ system that eliminated potential synchronisation problems and ensured the reliability of the information.
We had to combine this flexibility with meeting our main goal of implementing a reliable and secure system to standardise this diversity.
Given the nature of these revenues, the client relied on several custom-developed systems that were used in isolation. These systems were either not integrated or their integration was limited. This was the root cause of one of the client’s important issues that had to be solved: the lack of integration between the various systems made financial control difficult. It was imperative to find a system that covered all processes, a ‘single source of truth’ system that eliminated potential synchronisation problems and ensured the reliability of the information. Such a system would also reduce users’ efforts when recording a given transaction, as each data element would have a single entry point.
These important improvements also came with benefits for the IT department, related to the modernisation and simplification of the system’s architecture—both due to the unification into a single system and the transition to a 100% cloud-based platform replacing legacy systems.
Another issue we faced was the project deadline. The awarding of the project was delayed by several months. The go-live dates, however, remained unchanged in January 2019, since it was necessary to register the entire financial year and have the system operational from day one. Meeting this deadline required all of the members of the project team to be highly adaptable and to work using an innovative approach.
Another key issue was the complexity of the change management. While the initiative was backed by one of the organisation’s executive directors and its IT Department, there were several departments that initially viewed the project as alien to them. This initial situation called for joint efforts hand-in-hand with the client, using the change management process to get the entire organisation on board and aware of the benefits. This situation was compounded by the fact that there was a change in the client’s governance in the middle of the project, with organisational changes affecting multiple positions highly involved in the project. This was yet another challenge to overcome in order to meet the set deadlines.
Lastly, another important challenge of this project was technological. Specifically, this was the first implementation in Spain—and one of the first worldwide—of the public revenue management solution (SAP TRM and PSCD) on SAP S/4HANA.
After analysing the needs and the proposed objective and based on our own experience, we ultimately decided to deploy SAP S/4HANA version 1709. This solution is hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud and its core consists of SAP TRM and PSCD functionalities.
While at first glance this did not seem to be the most appropriate solution, a detailed analysis of the requirements made it clear to us that the solution would have a very high level of coverage. This high level of coverage, combined with an innovative rollout methodology and close attention to the client’s specific needs allowed us to achieve the set goal.
The modules implemented were Revenue Management, Billing and Receivables, Finance, Fixed Assets, Records Management, and Public Accounting.
This high level of coverage, combined with an innovative rollout methodology and close attention to the client’s specific needs allowed us to achieve the set goal.
These functionalities gave the client the following capabilities:
Excellent control of all revenue:
One of the project’s main goals was to ensure the standardisation of revenue processing and management regardless of the revenue source. In doing so, we overcame the project’s main challenge: guaranteeing a solid and consistent accounting and budgeting system.
We also met other important requirements, such as making the platform available to users at the start of the corporate year and greatly simplifying and modernising the client’s IT architecture.
While the platform meets the client’s current needs, its scalability means that it will also be able to accommodate the client’s potential future needs. It currently addresses all initial requirements but is also capable of evolving and adapting to new functionalities that may become necessary, whether related to finance or other departments, such as warehouse and inventory management or logistics.