Successful Implementation of Standardized Market Communication Processes through SAP IS-U Common Layer and Agile Software Development

Mission

consistency was hired to support the agile implementation of the SAP IS-U Common Layer Introduction for the re-standardization of the market communication processes of a German energy company in the market role “supplier”. As a central component of the complete restructuring of the process and system landscape B2B and B2C, it was necessary to replace the specially built market communication solution in the existing CRM system with the new SAP standard. The objective of the customer was to reduce the high system development costs through the bi-an format changes and at the same time to generate significant process efficiencies in the department through an optimized BPEM treatment process.

Implementation

The market communication team responsible for implementation worked in a total of 13 Scrum teams as part of a scaled Scrum approach supervised by consistency. The team was composed of department representatives, internal and external SAP developers (ABAP developers and customizing) and a Scrum Master, which was appointed by consistency. The primary goal for the start of the implementation was to develop a minimum viable product aligned with agile principles. This was to be done as quickly as possible in order to reduce time to market and receive valuable feedback.

Within six months:
The implementation phase was divided into 3-month sprints with the goal to integrate SAP IS-U common layer specification into the existing SAP landscape. The solution included UTILMD processes. GPKE (AP & A), APERAK processes for UTILMD, MSCONS, INVOIC, master data changes inbound and outbound (power only) and allowed for automated picking. The pilot was successfully set live for acquisition in a selected B2B sales channels for electricity customers and provided important insights for consequent project phases. The modular structure of the SAP IS-U Common Layer significantly supported the agile implementation of the project.

In the course of the following project phase, the standard processes of market communication for the entire B2B and B2C customer segments spread out in further sprints. By means of strict prioritization, based on customer value, the processes “delivery start, delivery end, basic and substitute supply and master data change” were successfully implemented. Furthermore, the optimization of the BPEM clarification process was implemented and developed on the basis of incoming user feedback.

For all adjustments in the SAP landscape, the team-oriented as closely as possible to the standard version of the SAP IS-U Common Layer. The insight gained from regular production deliveries enabled the necessary adjustment requirements to be implemented directly.

Conclusion

After the 18-month implementation phase, a viable and production-proven market communication solution was ready. The Scrum agile approach enabled a cost-efficient and risk-minimized implementation. The prioritized implementation of important functions and regular delivery made it possible to avoid expensive or redundant features.

“The agile way of working shaped individuals into a team. With the introduction of SAP IS-U Common Layer, we demonstrated that the group can successfully implement system standardization with agile methods. A sustainable success story that proves itself again and again with every market format update.“

SEBASTIAN LEMKE

“When SAP developers train each other in their Scrum teams to build new cross-functional competencies, you can see how the agile mindset works.“

WERNER WEISS