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The Meridian Monthly - Vol. 2, Issue 1

January 2022

In this issue...
Solution Spotlight

SAP S/4 HANA Cloud

SAP S/4 Hana Cloud is the latest and most innovative enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from SAP, complete with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics.

ERP systems are business-driven technology solutions that manage and can integrate financials, human capital, supply chain, sales, manufacturing, service, procurement, reporting, and much more.  An integrated and comprehensive suite of business processes, controls, and tools in an ERP solution is important because it helps eliminate the support, maintenance, licensing, and headaches of 3rd party integrations.

SAP S/4 HANA Cloud pushes the envelope of what an ERP can do and what users should expect. In addition to blazing speed, it allows organizations to adopt new business models, manage business change at speed, orchestrate internal and external resources, run operations and use the predictive power of AI. SAP S/4 HANA Cloud is a complete solution, with native integration between processes, industry depth, and a consistent in-memory data model.

SAP offers industry-specific solutions that help businesses deploy quickly and follow industry best practices.  Public Sector Clients will want to take advantage of the many targeted innovations, including:

  • Redesigned user experience for roles involved in grants and funds management

  • Improved analytics for grants management based on a virtual data model

  • Integration of hire-to-pay functionality utilizing public sector cost objects

SAP S/4 HANA Cloud is a comprehensive and integrated ERP; some highlights of what it can do for your Finance Team include...

Accounting and financial close processes

  • Simplify and speed up accounting and financial close processes 

  • Combine financial and management accounting and profitability data into a single universal journal

Financial operations

  • Provide collaborative and automated finance operations

  • Improve working capital and financial health with real-time data to assess customer credit risk, streamline billing, and resolve disputes

  • Prioritize collections to reduce days that sales are outstanding

Treasury management

  • Improve the treasury and financial risk processes 

  • Optimize straight-through processing with real-time analysis, audit trails, and compliance reporting

  • Predict cash flow accurately, manage liquidity efficiently, and mitigate risk proactively

Revenue Accounting and Reporting

  • Comply with new statutory regulations for revenue recognition, such as IFRS 15, while supporting existing requirements

  • Handle orders, invoices, and events from multiple SAP and non-SAP systems

  • Gain flexibility by decoupling revenue recognition rules from order entry and billing system

Enterprise risk and compliance

  • Manage enterprise risk and compliance effectively

  • Integrate and automate processes for risk management, compliance assurance, and international trade

  • Optimize business operations, protect organizational assets, and improve financial performance

With simplified pricing and licensing models, SAP S/4 Hana Cloud is a solid solution for large organizations looking to optimize and streamline their ERP landscape without sacrificing functionality. And if you're not yet ready for the leap to the cloud, then SAP offers an onsite version of SAP S/4 HANA.

Want to learn more about the SAP S/4 HANA roadmap for your industry? Meridian Partners has experts waiting to show you how to transform your business and take it to the next level.
ERP Tip of the Month

How to Stop Making your ERP a Mess

and in the process save on implementation and support costs!

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and software come in many shapes and sizes from vendors including SAP, Workday, and many more. There are many reasons why an organization may have originally implemented an ERP.

Over the years, many of these well-intentioned ERP systems has been greatly changed and altered to meet an immediate need. This often creates an expensive and unsustainable support and maintenance situation.

The foundation for many ERP systems are core business processes.  Most ERP's are designed to follow industry and regulatory best practices and standards. Over the lifetime of the ERP, modifications and work-arounds are often created to solve a short-term problem. Many of these well-intentioned changes don’t follow the software provider's best practices or recommendations.

Unfortunately, when something goes wrong in one of these modified processes, it is often very difficult to solve. In some cases, the creators of these highly customized processes have moved on, the changes were not documented, or the processes were created years ago and the original vendor can't easily help. These customizations can have huge impacts and consequences.

Imagine that you have a customized payroll process for a 20,000 person company...the process breaks and the person who originally created it has long since retired. On top of that, the ERP vendor can't or won't support you because of these customizations.  What a mess!

Most of the time these deviations from best practices start with the best of intentions.  Someone needs to find a solution and does what they think is best.  

So, why might this happen? 

  • Companies don't fully understand their ERP software and what it can be configured to do, so a custom solution is created that didn't need to be.

  • The technology team drives a solution and is not aware of how people utilize the system and misses key requirements.

  • A smooth talking salesperson sells a non-integrated solution to solve the problem, promising an amazing ROI or performance, instead of looking at what the original ERP vendor offered.

  • Companies try to make an outdated ERP system, that has not been upgraded or enhanced over the years, meet today's needs

A few simple rules should help prevent this from happening:
  • Learn what your ERP can do and stay current on new features by investing in the people that support it.  A small and consistent training investment now will pay off later.

  • Involve all key users and stakeholders when looking at changes and upgrades to the ERP system, and follow a standard project management or support process that includes inclusive and disciplined requirements gathering, testing, documentation, and final requirements sign off and validation.  

  • Always check with your current ERP vendor or support partner when looking at major changes or concerns about something missing from the ERP.  They may have insight into how others have solved the problem or request that changes be included in a future software release.

  • Maintain and keep your ERP updated. Updates are often included in the maintenance and support fees you pay. Most leading ERPs regularly release new features and functionality as part of your licensing and purchase agreements.

  • Try to stay as close to best practices as possible.

Following and sticking to these rules, it is possible to have a successful ERP system that provides the benefits it was originally purchased and implemented to meet, without the headaches.

Meridian Partners is here to help and has experts waiting to show you how to tame your ERP and keep it supporting your business without drama or stress.
Meet the Team
Each month, we highlight a key team member making a difference for our customers. This month, we would like to recognize Bernardo Camarena, Vice President of Analytics.

As Vice President of Analytics, Bernardo’s responsibilities include the strategy, planning, coordinating, and supervision of all activities related to the design, implementation, and support of Meridian's data driven solutions.  

In addition to proudly serving in the United States Army, Bernardo was previously the Division Director for the SAP Center of Excellence at the South Florida Water Management District. During his 10-year tenure at the SFWMD, he led the successful implementation of many innovative solutions including SAP.

At Meridian Bernardo is an analytics expert and has supported many successful projects at Miami Dade County Public Schools, School Board of Broward County, Polk County Public Schools, the Commonwealth of PA, Florida State University, and many others.  He has extensive experience with Public sector budgeting and solutions from SAP, Workday, Microsoft and many others.

Bernardo holds an MBA from the University of Miami and a BA in Computer Studies from the University of Maryland. Outside of Meridian, Bernardo can found experimenting with the latest tech gadget or taking a long-deserved vacation with his family.

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Meridian Partners is a minority owned company and SBA-certified 8(a) leader in providing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Intelligence, and Budgeting solutions. Meridian helps organizations maximize business processes to be more agile, efficient, and transparent through the optimization of their enterprise systems.


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