differences in the implementation of software solutions of the ERP class

differences in the implementation of software solutions of the ERP class

The existing geopolitical situation has exposed many problems, in particular, the dependence of domestic enterprises on the foreign software market. The course on import substitution of software applications was announced back in 2014, but only a few companies really followed it, in particular, talking about the substitution of ERP and ERP2 class software solutions. And what guided even the few who decided to replace ERP systems with Russian analogues is also a big question: the strategy of import substitution or cost reduction, because it is common knowledge that the costs of licenses and support of foreign products cost a considerable amount every year. It even got to the point that the cost of a license for certain western products was estimated and contracted as a fixed percentage of the company’s revenue. At the moment, the situation is changing in the direction of real, and not marketing, import substitution. The focus of attention from the German product SAP ERP, once popular in Russia, naturally shifts to the line of solutions from 1C. Undoubtedly, there are also products from Galaxy, Vytryl, and Monolith, but in terms of the scale of implementations in Russia, 1C is the leader, which, by the way, was competing with SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft even before that. On the pages of this article, we will talk about the difference in the implementation of two ERP products: 1C and SAP.

Despite the fact that the class of ERP software solutions provides similar functionality of software systems for automating business processes, each vendor adds its own peculiarity to both the implementation methodology and the software solution itself. The list below shows the main differences of ERP projects from 1C and SAP:

  • application methodology;

  • phases of application according to the cascade scheme;

  • composition of the project team;

  • demo base and landscape preparation;

  • types of product testing;

  • business catover.

Software solutions from the SAP company have always been considered large-scale and, importantly, configurable. That is, the functional core of the SAP system was practically unchanged, and critical user requirements were mostly solved by settings, while improvements were applied for “bows”. That is why almost all SAP ERP implementation projects are a history of using the cascade implementation methodology. The use of hybrid implementation methods was equally reduced to a cascade scheme enriched with Agile principles. Agile development methodology, such as Agile Scrum, was used only in development and improvement projects of existing software solutions implemented initially according to a cascade scheme. [1]. On the contrary, 1C ERP is often implemented both taking into account flexible and hybrid approaches, and cascade methodology. There are 3 methodologies for the introduction of 1C products: standard implementation technology (1C: TSV), quick result technology (1C: TBR) and corporate implementation technology (1C: TKV) [2]. The principle of technology selection for the implementation of the 1C solution is given in Fig. 1, as can be seen from the illustration for large-scale projects, only one technology of corporate implementation is applicable. 1C: TKV is a modified version of the classic spiral-like model of implementation, where each turn of the spiral is represented by a cascade scheme of implementation, in which the stage of implementation is represented by iterations of developments and settings, and the number of implementation turns (or waves of implementation) is determined based on the prioritization of business requirements.

Criteria for choosing a technology for the introduction of 1C products

Fig. 1. Criteria for choosing the technology of application of goods 1C

Each vendor offers its own method of application. Thus, most SAP projects use the ASAP or SAP Activate methodology, the first refers to a cascade scheme, the second is a hybrid (cascade scheme with elements of flexible implementation methods) [3]. The cascade implementation model recommended by SAP has the classic 5 phases: preparation, design, implementation, transition and hypersupport. Quite often, in the practice of implementing SAP products, an adapted scheme is used, most suitable for Russian projects: preparation, analysis, design, testing, transition and hypersupport. Both approaches have a place, their general difference is that each stage, document and task is strictly regulated, described in detail and repeated from project to project. The most representative implementation methodology of 1C: TKV implies the initiation and formation of requirements at the initial stages of work. Further, according to the spiral model of implementation, the following phases are repeated: design, development, preparation and implementation of experimental operation and/or experimental and industrial operation, as well as preparation and implementation of industrial operation [2]. However, each project is unique, and the implementation methodology is also unique, in connection with which 1C allows changes in the composition of works, documents and stages in the methodology of 1C: TKV. Changes made to the implementation technology of 1C: TKV is proposed to be compensated by high-quality risk management: it is necessary to assess the risks arising from the modification of the implementation method, propose ways to respond to them, and include the incurred costs in the project budget.

A typical structure of a SAP project team mainly includes the following roles, in addition to the project manager:

  • the architect ensures the development of a balanced, integrated and non-controversial software solution. The role is quite rare, found mainly in large Russian projects, the outline of which includes the use and integration of several SAP products;

  • leader by functional area: procurement, sales, warehouse, production, TORO, BO and NU, IFRS, etc., manages functional consultants and analysts of his area;

  • development leader, supervises the work of ABAP developers;

  • the leader from the base, leads work on the deployment of the SAP system landscape, technical configuration of the system and installation of notes;

  • the leader of key tasks: testing, training, migration, takeover, who is engaged in the implementation of relevant activities;

  • consultants and analysts from functional areas, as well as developers.

The organizational structure of the team in the implementation projects of 1C solutions has a similar composition:

  • a functional architect that ensures the construction of a complete IT solution;

  • A technical architect is an expert in technical configuration and preparation of the IT landscape, as well as development. He leads and manages developers;

  • leaders from functional areas;

  • functional consultants, analysts and developers.

From the above structures of project teams, it is easy to see that:

  • the role of functional architect is mandatory in 1C projects, but optional for SAP projects;

  • the role of a 1C technical architect can be compared with the positions of development and base leaders in SAP projects;

  • in 1C projects, there are no roles for leading testing, training, migration and catover, thus transferring the burden to the project manager and function leaders.

After forming the project team, the activities of collecting and detailing the requirements start. The starting point here is the tender task document. SAP projects involve conducting sessions to identify requirements in terms of processes of level 2-3 of a typical industry map of processes, prepared in advance. The sessions are accompanied by demonstrations of materials that allow explaining the essence of how the process is implemented in a standard SAP package solution: copies of software system screens, teaching instructions from the vendor, less often examples of documents from the “sandbox”. On the contrary, in the implementation projects of 1C products, a demo base of the solution is almost always prepared, which is shown to the customer to clarify the requirements. It should be noted that this is possible because it takes much less time and effort to deploy environments and copies of the 1C system, compared to SAP.

Literary source

Stepanov D.Yu. Differences in the implementation of SAP and 1C software ERP solutions // Corporate information systems. – 2023. – No. 3 (23) – P. 26-31. – URL: https://corpinfosys.ru/archive/2023/issue-23/244-2023-23-sap1cdifferences.

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