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Arapahoe County Successfully Migrates to SAP S/4HANA

With the help of cbs Corporate Business Solutions and ABeam Consulting, Arapahoe County Government shows how Public Sector entities can migrate to SAP S/4HANA.

Littleton, CO, 5/19/2021 – On Monday, March 15th, Arapahoe County successfully completed its migration to SAP S/4HANA on time and under budget, becoming the first public sector government agency to leverage Selective Data Transition for SAP S/4HANA migration, and enabling the County to continue to operate efficiently and effectively and meet the needs of its citizens, employees, and stakeholders.

The migration to SAP S/4HANA is part of the five-year strategic plan Arapahoe County developed for managing and maintaining the SAP software systems that support the County’s Financial, HR and Payroll processes.  This strategic plan focuses on ensuring that Arapahoe County’s SAP systems meet our business needs, they are under current support and maintenance contracts, and that ACG has the skill set to maintain operations internally.

With a growing demand for better visibility and accessibility to our financial data from our executive leadership down to front line managers, the native analytical capabilities of SAP S/4 HANA system and the simplified SAP Fiori interface meets those needs without resorting to external systems and spreadsheets.  Migrating the entire financial history allows for trending and reporting over almost 20 years of financial activity.

The road to SAP S/4HANA began more than five years ago when Arapahoe County did a database and Unicode conversion of its SAP ECC system from MSSQL to SAP HANA, led by ABeam Consulting, and rolled out the Fiori interface for Employee Self-Service and Manager Self-Service functions.  This effort successfully prepared the County for an easier transition to SAP S/4HANA.  When SAP announced in 2018 that SAP S/4HANA was ready for public sector use, ACG started planning its migration to S/4 in earnest.  Following the timeline laid out in the County’s strategic plan, funding for the project was identified, RFPs were prepared, and technical challenges and solutions were identified and addressed. Additionally, all offices and departments were polled on desired improvements, and in many cases, the S/4 platform addressed issues natively or made improvements easier and less expensive.

According to Todd Weaver, Arapahoe County Director of Finance, “We owe it to the citizens to manage County funds responsibly and operate as efficiently as possible, and getting to the new platform will enhance our ability to do that.”  In addition, Jon Rajewich, Arapahoe County SAP Business Operations Manager noted, “Going to S/4 was motivated by many factors, demand for financial analytics and forecasting tools, the upcoming end-of-standard-support that would increase our maintenance costs, and a timeline of other projects that would require the same resources planned in the coming years.  With S/4, we have a platform we can leverage to make improvements to business processes and immediately take advantage of the new features in SAP S/4 HANA.”

In a combined effort, ABeam Consulting and cbs Corporate Business Solutions designed an innovative and affordable approach to overcome the budget and technical hurdles limiting Arapahoe County’s transition options while simultaneously bringing in many new benefits of SAP S/4HANA.

The key technical challenge was Arapahoe’s use of Special Ledger functionality for document splitting and other government-specific fund accounting requirements on Classic Ledger in ECC, which prevented a standard conversion path to SAP S/4HANA. Selective Data Transition, powered by cbs Enterprise Transformer, allowed for migration to SAP S/4HANA (Universal Ledger) in a single project timeline, bypassing the need and expense of a NewGL conversion project.

Steve Parks, ABeam Senior Project Manager, states, “From the beginning, this was a very cooperative effort between the business and system knowledge of Arapahoe County, the ABeam Consulting project management and SAP functional expertise, and the Selective Data Transition expertise of cbs.  Costs were able to be kept low by leveraging the skills of the Arapahoe County team and having a high-speed/low-drag consulting team.  All desired goals were met, and we have definitely developed a model for success”.

 

Key Benefits for Arapahoe County include:

  • Improved visibility and accessibility into budget and spending trends
  • Improved ability to forecast remaining budget
  • Reduced time to prepare yearly financial reports
  • Ability to lower processing time for common expenditures
  • Improved user interface via Fiori
  • Well positioned to make further improvements in analytics, grants & funds management, budget processes, process automation, and user self-service going forward

Additional features to the project included: 1) The implementation of SAP Self-Service Procurement (replacement for Service Relationship Management OneClient and “shopping cart” functionality for which there was no standard migration path).  2) Development of a seamless process for Business Partner customer and vendor integration.  3) Implementation of Embedded Analytics and simple-to-use report development that brings real-time data on budget forecasting, long-term budget analysis, spending analysis, encumbrances, and budget-to-actual analysis.  4) A complete and undiminished record of their financial history was transformed and migrated into the new SAP S/4HANA Universal Ledger table, ACDOCA.  5) Enhancements of master data elements, including the expansion and mapping of cost center and fund center numbers from nine to ten digits and renumbering of GL Accounts.  6) MRP and Material Ledger updates as now required in SAP S/4HANA.

The project was on time and under budget; had no scope complications or major issues; no records or datasets were missed during the migration; and all anticipated value was recognized.  Through this project and its successful outcome, ABeam Consulting, cbs, and Arapahoe County will pave the way for other small and medium-sized governments to kick-start their digital transformation by transitioning to SAP S/4HANA in a fast, secure, and flexible way.

If you want to learn more about how Selective Data Transition can help various Public Sector customers with their special ledger migration into ACDOCA, schedule a call with an expert today.