SAP Honours European Customers for Quality Excellence

SAP Customers in EMEA Region Recognised for Smooth Software Implementations Meeting Complex Requirements According to 10 Quality Principles

Prague, Czech RepublicSAP AG (NYSE: SAP) last night announced the winners of the European SAP Quality Awards 2007 at a private awards ceremony at the Strahov Monastery, Prague. A key element of SAP’s quality program, the Quality Awards are designed to celebrate customers who, using SAP’s quality principals, effectively manage software implementations marked by complex technical and business process requirements.

Selected from more than 50 entries across Europe, 11 finalists were pre-selected to present their projects to the judging panel. All of the finalists demonstrated quality processes had been integrated into the early stages of project planning, as well as into their ongoing daily activities. Each of the entries highlighted action plans, supported by top management with built-in quality measures and check-points.

With only four awards, the panel faced a difficult decision selecting from the many impressive quality approaches. The winners are as follows :

  • Global implementations: TNT Express ICS Ltd., the Netherlands
  • Local implementations: NATS, United Kingdom
  • Implementations for companies with less than 500 employees: ESB Independent Energy, Ireland
  • Upgrades: Decathlon, France

The other finalists were Heineken Italia Spa, GlaxoSmithKline, BP International Ltd, EDF, Anglian Water Service Ltd, and Schneider Electric.
The award winners were selected by an expert judging panel including SAP partners Accenture, Axon Group plc, Atos Origin, Cap Gemini, Deloitte, IBM and industry IT experts from Syntec-Informatique, Sheffield Hallam University, the British Quality Foundation and ComputerWorld UK. The awards recognised SAP customers’ ability to deliver quality excellence through a formally managed quality process, from planning through to implementation and delivery of SAP solutions. Key judging criteria include :

  • Visible proof of 10 quality principles defined by SAP for programme management (for more information, see http://www.sapqualityawards.com/pdf/QA_Principles_Flyer_single.pdf
  • A quality plan that spans eight areas for success (architecture/IT strategy; programme/project management; function/integration readiness; organisational change management; support readiness; solution feasibility; technical readiness; operational readiness)
  • A formal and documented process that shows how the quality plan is created, updated, monitored and reported in collaboration with all relevant parties.
    “Following on from this year’s success, we plan to expand the awards to include all of
    EMEA in 2008, with the goal of building a community of thought leaders,” said Ferri Albolhassan, executive vice president, Large Enterprise, SAP EMEA. “In partnership with our expert judging panel, we will continue to support our customers and recognize those who have turned excellence into the extraordinary, thanks to a formal quality process.”

Global Implementations: TNT Express ICS Ltd.
TNT Express ICS Ltd. impressed the panel with a first-year rollout of back-office functionality across 25 countries. The project team used quality principles to direct a meaningful methodology that delivered results, which met pre-defined quality standards. The early attention to data migration was one example of exception control over success. Bi-monthly involvement of the CEO, along with proactive risk management, ensured continuous adherence to the quality process.

Local Implementations: NATS
In the local implementations category, NATS demonstrated their success through clear quality measures. The project involved a back-office functionality implementation which is already delivering measurable benefits. The system go-live was a great success with 1,100 users accessing the software within the first two hours. NATS ensured quality by establishing project management tools, including people assessment and two-axis process scales to administer the quality of their deliverables and process adherence. All deliverables had formal project structures, escalation paths and plans to take actions quickly when needed.

Implementations for Companies with Less than 500 Employees: ESB Independent Energy
ESB Independent Energy successfully implemented end-to-end ISU billing functionality. With only 70 employees, the project was successfully executed within 10 months without issues or performance dips. The company took a pragmatic approach to reduce risk by implementing tools and processes in accordance with the SAP quality principles. While the approach was scaled down to fit a smaller organization, functionality to support operating in dual regulatory environments and dual currencies was implemented. The project was executed with the same rigor as adopted for a larger implementation. The governance model of this implementation is a role model for customers.

Upgrades: Decathlon
Facing a very complicated upgrade of SAP’s retail functionality, Decathlon did not only upgrade, but also built a ‘tool kit’ to fast track future upgrade projects. With focus on processes, clear reporting lines and identification of methods for upgrades, Decathlon successfully delivered expected results.

Each of the award winners received a trophy, and all of the 11 finalists were awarded a certificate to acknowledge their leadership in managing quality processes throughout their software implementations.

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