Webfleet migrates smoothly to SAP S/4HANA thanks to thorough preparation

Telematics specialist Webfleet became part of Bridgestone Europe in 2019. The company used that moment to migrate to SAP S/4HANA in a short time. Michael Oehme, Vice President IT at Webfleet, enlisted the help of his trusted IT partner Ctac for this. He lists the success factors of the migration approach.

Webfleet is a supplier of telematics solutions for fleet management, vehicles and connected car services. In addition, the company provides services to car importers and the insurance, rental and leasing sector. The telematics specialist has more than 50,000 customers worldwide and serves drivers in more than 100 countries worldwide. Until 2019, Webfleet was a subdivision of TomTom, then tyre and rubber company Bridgestone Europe acquired the company.

Split off ERP and future-proof it

After the transition from TomTom to Bridgestone, Webfleet was faced with the task of splitting off its SAP ECC ERP system from TomTom’s, says Michael Oehme, vice president IT at Webfleet. “We seized that moment to immediately invest in a future-proof platform and switch to SAP S/4HANA. A key reason was that SAP ECC will be end-of-life in 2027 and also that our code base was considerably outdated. But we also wanted more user-friendly interfaces, to benefit from S/4HANA’s new capabilities and to simplify our processes. Moreover, S/4HANA has been running for several years now, which gave me confidence in the maturity of the solution.

Ctac also supported us when we were still under TomTom and they also carried out the split-off of the ERP. That’s why we took up the challenge of our migration to S/4HANA with them.”

Preparation determines success

Webfleet and Ctac prepared the migration extensively. That started in 2020 with a readiness check for the migration to S/4HANA. This gave companies an indication of the necessary and optional preparations to be made for the migration path. Oehme: “By identifying the impact early on, we were able to plan the project better. For example, we first took the complexity out of our supplier relationship management by migrating from SAP Supplier Relationship Management to Kofax Process Director. That simplified the final migration.”

In addition, before and during the process, Oehme and his colleagues paid a lot of attention involving and enthusing the business. “We talked a lot with colleagues during information meetings. In addition, we always hammered on the advantages of our brownfield approach, for instance that the impact on the business would remain limited.”

The advantages of Ctac management and the public cloud

All existing ECC processes of Webfleet have been transferred to SAP S/4HANA. Think of Finance, Sales, Supply Chain, Procurement and Engineering Change Management (ECM). In addition, new processes have been set up in S/4HANA, such as ECM Change Request Workflow, Credit Management and MRP Planning.

SAP S/4HANA runs on Microsoft Azure and is managed by Ctac. “The choice for that setup was simple,” says Oehme. “When we were still part of TomTom, we also ran in Azure. That is scalable and makes it easy to integrate with third-party systems. However, we ourselves have no experience in managing HANA, BW and Netweaver. If we had to bring in expertise for that, it would be more costly than outsourcing it to Ctac.”

Flawless transition thanks to step-by-step approach

Oehme is very pleased with the result and the course of the project. “We started project in April 2021 and in November that year the system went live. The business is adapting well, and processes are running smoothly. We are fully benefiting from the better data insights and extractions, and the simplifications we have implemented in our processes. I attribute the smooth progress to our thorough preparation and the choice of a step-by-step transition. We are now in the process of transferring the following departments and transactions to Fiori workflows. We deliberately left that out of the migration to limit the impact on the business.”

IT is a people business

Apart from the extensive preparation, the successful migration to SAP S/4HANA is also due to Ctac’s guidance, Oehme believes. “Ctac is our point of contact for all SAP-related matters. That’s nice, because with a single point of contact you never have discussions about who is responsible for what. Moreover, Ctac already knew our SAP set-up and they are also a partner of TomTom. That facilitated the cooperation during the split-off. I also appreciate the contact with the people at Ctac. After all, it’s not about the clout or company size of your IT partner. It’s about the people who work there. Our contacts at Ctac have the right mindset. They want to deliver good work and go for the best result. That’s what I expect from a partner.”

Tips for migration to SAP S/4HANA

Finally, Oehme has some good advice for organisations that also want to work on their migration to SAP S/4HANA:

  • Do a readiness check
    “Based on your check, make a good plan with your IT partner and plan your budget carefully.”
  • Examine the impact on your licences
    “A migration has far-reaching consequences for your licences. Consult with SAP in time about your licence conversions so that you have insight into the consequences for your situation.”
  • Generate enthusiasm and support from the business
    “Make a plan for timely involvement of your business in the migration, plan sufficient time for this!”
  • Talk to your integration partners
    “Include in your plans your integrations with third-party systems and involve them early on in the process.”
  • Create ambassadors
    “Set up train-the-trainer workshops so that you cultivate initiators in your organisation. They are indispensable for preparing and running tests. For example, give them access to the sandbox environment to discover and resolve issues early on.”

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