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 A key reason was that SAP ECC will be end-of-life in 2027 and also that our code base was considerably outdated.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.”

"Before we had a common database, everyone worked on their own things at their own pace. Now we can focus on important priorities as a company - such as coordinating product information and marketing activities across borders."

Michael Oehme, Vice President IT at Webfleet

Tips from Michael Oehme for organisations that also want to work on their switch 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.”

Generate enthusiasm and support from the business

Make a plan for involving your business in the migration in a timely manner, plan enough time for this!”

Talk to your integration partners

“Include in your plans your integrations with third-party systems and involve them early on.”

Create ambassadors

“Set up train-the-trainer workshops so that you cultivate carters in your organisation. They are indispensable for preparing and conducting tests.”

Preparation determines success

Webfleet and Ctac prepared the migration extensively. This started in 2020 with a readiness check for the migration to S/4HANA. This gives 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 existing system before migrating to SAP S/4HANA. That simplified the migration and led to improved processes.”

In addition, before and during the project, Oehme and his colleagues paid a lot of attention to 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 example that the impact on the business would remain limited and that user-friendliness would increase.”

"We started project in April 2021 and the system went live in November that year. The business adapted well and processes ran smoothly. Michael Oehme, Vice President IT at Webfleet

The advantages of Ctac management and the public cloud

Existing ECC processes from Webfleet have been transferred to SAP S/4HANA. Think of Finance, Sales, Supply Chain and Procurement. In addition, new processes have been set up in S/4HANA, such as Credit Management and MRP Planning. Engineering Change Management (ECM) was partly migrated and new Fiori and Workflow-based solutions in S/4HANA were added for submitting, approving and processing engineering changes.

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 S/4HANA, Analytics and Netweaver. If we had to bring in expertise for that, it would be more costly than outsourcing it to Ctac.”

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Flawless transition thanks to step-by-step approach

Oehme is delighted with the result and the course of the project. “We started project in April 2021 and the system went live in November that year. 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 made to our processes. I attribute the smooth progress to our thorough preparation and 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.”

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