Rizing Reaches New Heights with SAP S/4HANA

An IT services management company founded in 2003 and based in Stamford, Connecticut, Rizing offers its own business transformation services and proprietary applications to help Fortune 500 companies and small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) leverage the SAP Cloud.

Rizing’s expertise is specialized among three lines of business (LOBs): human capital management, enterprise asset management, and consumer industries.

According to Rizing Chief Experience Officer Len Harms, there were certain factors Rizing had to take into consideration when designing a new digital core. The intricacies of leading a business with three LOBs all operating within three different regions and 16 countries required a robust solution. More specifically, the company needed a solution that could simultaneously support its growth while also meeting the regulatory standards set in each geographic region.

“That was a big driver in why we chose SAP,” Harms said. “SAP has the depth of solutions in the cloud — specifically around the finance components — that we needed to be able to support that matrix of LOBs across all three geographies.”

Harms recently spoke on leading Rizing’s digital transformation with Jennifer McGrory, SAP S/4 HANA Go-to-Market lead at SAP.

Q: How did Rizing’s own business and IT department partner to go through this evaluation and make a final decision?
A: When we first considered the SAP solution, one of the things that SAP provided was the scope of the environment. It was vital the business was involved in defining the scope and making all key decisions as we go forward, since they would be the ones using the technology. I had really strong support from my whole executive team, which was also very critical in us being successful with such a broad implementation.

What were you looking to achieve in the business moving to SAP S/4HANA Cloud?
We were looking for the capabilities. Our legacy environment was a collection of many manual systems. We needed a single environment with data flowing seamlessly between them. This entailed less manual effort and the ability to add capabilities as we grow. Our system was intentionally named Bedrock. It was meant to be all encompassing since it’s a foundation and a place that we can grow.

What did you put in the business case that really solidified the executive buy-in?
Bill Sarubbi, who drives our customer engagement, was looking for a single vehicle for all customer-related activities. No more offline excel spreadsheets. His team drives all internal meetings around customer engagement right off our C4 system. The other person I’ll highlight is our CFO, Jeremy Burgin. He was looking to transform the finance department. We needed to bring the finance system on board to support that transformation. The two are tied together.

How did IT and the business work together to make the implementation a success?
We did the fit-to-standard approach, which means using the SAP solution as it is. The workshops we designed were also fit-to-standard and covered scoping details, confirmation, and then implementation. We have representation from each one of our LOBs — finance, sales area, and marketing — all involved in those business decisions with IT and support. As we moved into testing, IT took the lead in preparing the system. At the same time, the business was owning the whole data area to ensure it was prepared once our system was ready.

Moving to SAP S/4HANA Cloud streamlined Rizing business processes, but how different is fit-to-standard? How much of a change has that been for your users?
There are a couple of areas to highlight. The task definitions did not change too much, but rather how you do the tasks. The first area was our contractor process. We were using emails and multiple excel spreadsheets to receive approvals. Now, we have our requests, approvals, purchases, invoices, and time entries all flowing in the system. But it was a change. Users now had to take on things they might have not completed in the past. There was a management of helping people understand where their roles might be changing across that particular workflow.

How has the cloud mindset supported the culture of Rizing’s day-to-day business?
When you think about the cloud standard, you would think it’s contrary to change, yet it’s not. What’s been so helpful to us is the fact that when you go standard, it allows you to make changes faster. This is where I also believe you make the commitment to the solution, so you can take advantage of the other things around it. If we didn’t go standard, I would have been forced to recreate a lot of the content. There is tremendous value in us being able to incorporate change by staying standard.

To what extent does the new system deliver the benefits you outlined in your original business case?
Since September, we are seeing places where it makes a difference, especially giving us visibility in areas where a refinement should take place. One of our finance commercial managers said he can run a report now and see new data. The reporting capabilities are a big part of the transformation. Again, we are starting to see some benefits, but we must continually make refinements.

What’s next for Rizing?
We’re finishing the SAP Analytics Cloud implementation for planning. We’re completing our SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity solution, which will give us automation in our finance team and support the transformation we want to accomplish. We’re also conducting more refinement around a couple of our processes, which includes SAP Cloud ALM. I can see a lot of benefit in bringing it forward. Additionally, we can see SAP S/4HANA Cloud for projects bringing value to our organization, specifically around resource management.