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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about SAP


How do I find the appropriate consulting resources for my SAP implementation project?

This is the time-honored question which has been answered, "Sometimes you need a consultant to help you select the consultants." Seriously, since the market for the SAP R/3 system has matured, it is not necessary to simply accept the first, the most expensive, or even the least expensive consultants. As you would hire an employee by interviewing him or her and checking the prospective employee's references, so should it be when selecting consultants. Accept only those consultants with whom you feel comfortable, who have a solid background, and whom you believe could complete a project to best benefit of your company. A good consulting company is not successful because of you, they are successful because you are successful. Select consultants who will make you successful first.

Where can I find reference materials to help me understand the SAP R/3 or mySAP system?

SAP's own online help system, found at help.sap.com contains an amazing amount of information for a start. This site contains the same information that is available in the on-line help in SAP software.

An extensive selection of SAP-related books can be found at any of the popular internet book retailers, such as:

  • www.barnesandnoble.com
  • www.amazon.com
  • www.chapters.indigo.ca

Why isn't the SAP R/3 system more simple?

For a system to integrate so many functions of a business, it is necessary to provide significant functionality in order to provide for the needs of each function. With complexity comes power, and SAP R/3 overcomes its complexity by providing the power needed by many corporations around the world to operate their businesses efficiently.

With that in mind, the SAP R/3 system must be configured for it to best suit the individual requirements of your company. It is not necessary to touch every part of configuration for SAP R/3 to meet the needs of your company, but is critical to know which segments of configuration must be set and which can be ignored, either initially or permanently.

Who is ASUG?

ASUG is the Americas' SAP User Group, one of several SAP User Groups around the world whose chapters and special interest groups (SIGs) meet on a regular basis. Each year, the ASUG annual conference is hosted by various cities. Go to www.asug.com for more information. Membership in ASUG is restricted to companies who have installed SAP software and companies who are SAP partners. Such companies qualify to become ASUG installation members and associate members respectively.

Employees of companies who are ASUG members can apply for access to the benefits of ASUG and the resources on its web site.

ASUG membership is highly recommended for companies about to install, or who have already installed SAP software. The value of meeting with others experiencing similar problems and solutions cannot be underestimated.

In addition, joining an ASUG chapter local to you and/or registering for, and attending, special interest group (SIG) meetings can return many times the cost of attending such functions. For more information, follow the ASUG link above or on the SAP links page.

What is Sapphire?

Sapphire is SAP's own annual conference. There are actually several Sapphire conferences held annually around the world for the benefit of SAP's customers and prospective customers in different countries.

Sapphire is of tremendous benefit for accumulating knowledge of current and upcoming SAP products, becoming familiar with SAP partners, and training sessions. Numerous, highly knowledgeable SAP staff are on hand to answer your questions.

If funding is limited and you are able to only attend one of the major SAP-related conferences, Sapphire or ASUG, select Sapphire if you are considering using SAP products, are in a pre-implementation phase, or are in the early phases of an SAP implementation project. If you are in the later stages of an SAP implementation project or if your SAP implementation is complete, consider attending the ASUG annual conference.

For more information on Sapphire, go to www.sap.com/company/events/sapphire/

When is the best time to begin an SAP R/3 implementation project?

Of course, there is no "best" time to begin such a project. However, some advance planning will contribute to the project's cost control. In addition to considering when internal budgets will make funding available, internal resources must also be available, and outside resources must also be obtained, not to mention the usual complexities of a project.

However, outside resources can be an enormous drain on project funds. Planning ahead as much as possible for external resources could mean the difference between having a local resource available as opposed to paying travel expenses for a distant resource. Even if a consultant must travel to reach your project site, planning ahead can allow the consultant to obtain more economical airfare on your behalf.

As your project progresses, don't lose sight of the original goals, in terms of costs, benefits (quality) and time. Don't get caught in the trap of completing your project on time at the expense of quality and costs. If the end product does not benefit your company, completing the project on time is of little value.

An SAP implementation project cannot be discussed in depth in such a small space. For more information regarding project management, SAP project management specifically, refer to the book references in the Where can I find... section above.

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