First Benelux S/4Hana implementation

The first-ever go live of SAP S/4Hana? It happened at Everlam, and MI&S was at the helmet of this unique project. Wim Vlamynck, manager at MI&S leading this unique project, explains how that went. Major lesson learned? Longterm strategy always pays off.

Wim Vlamynck, manager at MI&S, stood at the helmet of the first Benelux implementation of this new cloud-based fourth generation SAP-suite. At ‘Connect to Innovate’, the yearly SAP-symposium in the Netherlands (October 2017), quite some attention was given to this implementation project. Since more and more companies are moving their processes into the cloud, it sounds evident to also evolve from SAP to SAP S/4Hana.

Everlam

At the forefront of this cloud migration: Everlam. This chemical company produces PVB interlayers for the glass sector. Being an innovative company by nature, it decided to be the first player on the Benelux market to install S/4Hana Enterprise Management 1511. On top, it was the first ‘small enterprise’ worldwide to choose for Integrated Business Planning (IBP) Sales & Operations (S&OP).Yet, the project at Everlam was far from a walk through the park. MI&S ran the project from September 2015 to October 2016, with hypercare and further improvements still on the table.

Today, Wim Vlamynck looks back on this project: ‘Everlam was forced to make a difficult choice: either upgrading its existing SAP-platform or installing a completely new one.’ Thanks to the advice given by the experienced MI&S consultants, Everlam decided to go for S/4Hana. Vlamynck: ‘they chose for a greenfield, and that’s of course quite exciting. So we accompanied the client throughout all steps of the design and implementation of S/4Hana.’ According to Vlamynck, the choice is typical for the longterm strategy set out by the Board and its chairman Greg Parekh: ‘Everlam has clearly opted for a futureproof growth. The S/4Hana-choice is the evident result of this strategic vision.’

Longterm strategy

Later on, Everlam decided to also install IBP and S&OP on top of the package. Vlamynck looks back on this step: ‘risky, that’s an understatement. Of course, being the first implies risks. For sure, there were some minor children’s diseases at the go live date.’Lessons learned? No doubt! Vlamynck: ‘It was a difficult exercise being the first. Both Everlam, we and Itelligence (the system integrator) were new to S/4Hana. That makes it sometimes hard to solve minor bugs and issues. And second: I got to understand that the reporting part in S/4Hana is more complex than we initially believed it to be. But the most important lesson I learned in this project is that longterm strategy always pays off.’

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