SAP’s Model Company: What’s in it and how to use it

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The S/4HANA wave of new implementations, re-implementations, and migrations to a new and modern intelligent platform/architecture is here.

With this wave comes a myriad of decisions that SAP customers need to make to help them on their journey.    Figuring out the right set of solutions, architecture, applications, and approach to achieve their targeted business outcomes can be confusing and frankly daunting for even the most experienced SAP technologists.

SAP has invested mightily in creating a vast array of accelerators, value assurance programs, and pre-built solutions in order to help make the move to SAP S/4HANA® as painless as possible.  One of the accelerators that SAP has been aggressively pushing into the market is their suite of “Model Company” pre-configured industry solutions.

So what is Model Company and how does it help me?

To answer this question, you first need to understand the evolution of how these solutions were built.   For those that have been in the SAP ecosystem a long while you will remember “SAP best practices” configuration that could be installed in your core ECC SAP landscapes.  This was a way to accelerate portions of the SAP configuration and also make sure that standard and accepted ways of building a system were done in a way that SAP supported.   These best practices were used for many years and partners built their solutions on top of them, and SAP provided certifications for those solutions.

Based on this successful model, SAP took the next step and started releasing what was called “rapid deployment solutions” (RDS’s) which built out complete end-to-end business scenarios (what everyone is now calling use cases/user stories in an Agile world).  Customers could string together several RDS’s to further accelerate their projects and programs.  In parallel SAP also was building their world template, which was meant to cover various legal and regulatory requirements for global companies.

Now the next and logical evolution of these pre-build solutions has arrived in the form of Model Company (MC) and these are meant to be a complete end-to-end industry solution that customers can adopt as a baseline workable system or as a reference model system depending on the level of fit with an organization’s needs.  It can also depend on the customers preferred transformation path (greenfield vs brownfield).  Right now, some of these MC solutions are more mature than others and so customers should take care and review them based on the fit to their requirements and business value.

So do Model Company Solutions work with 3rd party partner solutions?

For many years, leading SAP SI’s like Capgemini have invested massively in building out deep industry solutions on top of SAP’s core technology.   Our PATH solutions created a reliable and reusable baseline that worked out of the box for many of our clients and delivered proven acceleration to our customers while reducing risk.  They also filled in a lot of industry specific gaps that are naturally going to be there for enterprise software as broad and diverse as SAP.  These solutions include discrete industries, automotive, life sciences, oil & gas, chemicals, utilities and life sciences just to name a few.

The good news for Capgemini customers is that the same great industry content we are known for can also work with SAP Model Company.  Just like we used to do in the SAP best practices era, we have built our SAP S/4HANA® PATH solutions to work with the corresponding Model Company industry solution.   Customers do not need to make a choice between Model Company and Capgemini PATH solutions – they can get the best of both worlds.

Our solutions are now built in a way to make sure they do not conflict with the design of the Model Company pre-built content.  We have also harmonized our implementation methods to make sure we work seamlessly with SAP when delivering a joint engagement that includes Model Company.

So how does this work, and can every partner do this? 

SAP S/4HANA® Customers should take care to only work with a partner that is an SAP-Qualified Model Solutions Partner. Capgemini of course has this status, but not every SI out there does.  This qualification allows Capgemini to have access to Model Company solutions, configuration, use-case documentation, and most importantly be able to work in advance to make sure our existing PATH industry solutions work side by side with MC, for those companies that wish to leverage both.

By combining these solutions in advance, customers can be confident of an approach that takes advantage of the best SAP S/4HANA® technology available while providing a deeper level of industry specific IP that builds on the last 10 years of development at Capgemini.

What’s Next?

Going forward, customers will see both Model Company and Capgemini’s PATH industry solutions mature and further embrace SAP S/4HANA® capabilities.  Specifically, Capgemini will be working to extend our IP onto the SAP Cloud Platform, allowing for a more flexible way for our clients to consume micro-services, API’s and point solutions / apps for their industry.  We will be working closely with SAP  along the way to make sure that what gets built is safe, reliable, and scalable in today’s fast changing digital world, with the key objective of keeping a standard, simple core and focusing on innovations at the edge.

Please reach out to me with any questions you may have at:

bradley.little@capgemini.com, Twitter or LinkedIn

I will also be attending SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG in Orlando May 7-9. Feel free to contact me to discuss how we can make the most of your digital core.

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