KTern, the all-in-one web suite for project management, automation, and team collaboration, can provide great value throughout several phases of a conversion project. We asked Giuseppe Vetrano to explain us more in detail how KTern can support system conversion to SAP S/4HANA.
Hi Giuseppe, would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi Sergio, thank you for being here and letting me express my enthusiasm.
I’m an SAP Solution Architect and Project Manager, focused on SAP S/4HANA system conversions. During my 15 years working as an SAP consultant, I’ve been dealing with complex projects and I always wished for a single, integrated platform for Project Management and Collaboration.
My wish came true when recently I’ve been involved as a Project Manager in a conversion project from SAP ECC 6.0 EhP7 to SAP S/4HANA 2020 and we chose our partner’s KTern Product Suite for the project realization.
I see you really excited! How can KTern support the conversion to SAP S/4HANA?
The KTern suite provides value and supports all project stakeholders in the several aspects of a conversion, and along with all of the project phases.
You can create a plan according to the SAP Activate Methodology and then refine it to fit any specific requirements. When setting up a new project with KTern, we start from SAP Activate, then integrate the lessons learned from past conversions performed by Techedge, and we manage to do it seamlessly and effortlessly.
During the initial phases of the project, it helps with automated assessment of Business Processes, Landscape, Custom Objects.
Process Maps are made available and they are very useful to support open discussion with the Client, so that strategic decisions can be taken as early as possible in the projects.
The Suite even suggests the recommended SAP Fiori Apps for each Business Process, based on the actual activity of the client's users by analyzing the usage logs.
Communication between Project Team members, Client Key Users, and Stakeholders is very clearly defined on the central platform where it is possible to model the Team Organization, make Risk Assessments, define Signoff procedures, and much more.
One of my favorite features is the Personal Workspace: each team member has a single point of access to all of his open tasks with priorities according to the defined project Work Breakdown Structure, any issues requiring attention, and the list of regression tests yet to be performed.
The Dashboard is of great value to the Client, Stakeholders, and Project Managers. With just a glance, it answers all the questions on project advancement: Who is doing what? Are we on schedule?
All of these items are neatly integrated into the Collaboration features of KTern, and they are completely transparent to the stakeholders. In addition, each item can be enriched with attachments, memo notes, links to Web Resources, and even linked to a discussion board, if needed!
Speaking about Collaboration, it comes very handy especially during the testing process and interaction with Client and his key users. They have an Incident Wizard available, to save time during testing and help with a structured approach.
Automation plays an important role in defect prevention: as less humans are involved in manual tasks, trivial mistakes happen less frequently and people can focus on more important activities .
Very interesting! Can you tell me more about the automation capabilities of KTern?
During Discover & Prepare Phase, we have Assessment Bots: KTern analyzes the conversion impact both from the Business Process and a Technical perspective: not only we get a clear Digital Map of the Business Processes, but also Archiving Recommendations, User Profiling Info, and AddOn Analysis Assessment. The Roadmap Generation is also automated, and there are additional semi-automated tools, like a Risk Predictor and TCO estimator.
Automated Process Assessment
In the later phases, we have Fit-Gap Wizards and Scope Item Bots to help the Functional Team further refine the Digital Maps.
ABAP Developers performing Custom Code Remediation have the KTern AI-powered Remediation Engine: it analyzes custom code and automatically proposes changes, which can be committed with just one click. And they can also perform corrections in bulk! A Custom Code Security Auditing Bot and a Performance Analyzer are also available.
For the Project Manager & Stakeholders, we have the Resource Utilization Tracker, Overdue Alerts and Risk Insights, and 25+ calculated KPIs available through the Dashboard.
Business Users are involved only on their tasks/issues, since communication is handled openly and effectively through the Suite: no more 20-page-long hard-to-read emails with Excel attachments.
Stakeholders and Team Leads can also benefit from the Signoff Automation: approvals can be handled on the KTern Suite, for example for confirming passing a Quality Gate, or the GO decision before the Go-Live. And of course, they have real-time Project Advancement Status!
I have left one more automation capability for last on purpose: let’s see if you can guess it.
What about Test automation: how KTern can help?
Yes, you are right. Testing is so important to achieve project goals, and KTern Test Automation is so useful, that I think it deserves a special mention.
KTern helps the Project Team on all Testing aspects along all the project phases:
- From a knowledge base standpoint: everything is recorded, centrally available, and searchable.
- From an automation standpoint: a lot of time is saved by having KTern generate test material and performing bulk testing
Focusing on the automation part, we have:
- Automated test case recommendations with data variants
- Industry specific, SAP focused business testing built on RPA 2.0 technology with autonomous Business API bots and Business UI bots
- Automated test execution based on pre-generated test datasets
- Automated capturing of test logs and defects
- Automated test documentation and management in test repository
- Detailed test reports that are auto generated in view of audits with organized test document repository
- Large data volume handling with mass test case execution for all types of test plans, scenarios, and cases through test orchestrator
- Automated UAT sign-off orchestration
Mass Execution of Testing
All these features speed up project time, reducing effort of both the process team and the client users involved in the testing. Overall project cost is reduced, and project quality is enhanced.
Last question, what is the cost of KTern for your customers?
Well, it depends! We sometimes offer special bundles for customers who are leveraging our SAP Packaged Solutions. For example, on the Italian market we are now running a promo until the end of 2020, and KTern is included in our SAP Qualified Partner Packaged Solution “S4H Landing” with no additional costs for them.
Of course this may vary depending on the country or the time of the year - so we always suggest to check directly with us about the updated pricing.
At the end of the project, the customer can decide whether he wants to extend the licence and use it for additional innovation projects. And you don’t even have to install any Add-On or Connector on your SAP System: KTern runs with a SaaS (Software as a Service) paradigm, it’s Web-Based and can be used anywhere you have Internet connectivity. It only connects to SAP (via RFCs) when needed, and of course the SAP system does not need to be exposed on the Internet, because the connector runs on your PC/laptop.
- SAP App Center - KTern.AI for SAP Digital Transformation Workplace
- SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solutions - Techedge S4H Discovery
- SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solutions - Techedge S4H Landing
For more information regarding the conversion to SAP S/4HANA - be sure to subscribe to this blog. Below is an index of some of the topics we will be covering through this series:
- Introduction to the SAP S/4HANA Conversion expert series
- Brownfield, Greenfield, Bluefield Methodologies and Recommendations
- How to reduce Business Downtime with Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
- Real-life experiences with the Business Partners in 1809
- Business Downtime with S/4HANA Conversion compared to EhP upgrade
- The role of SAP Solution Manager
- SAP Qualified Partner-Packaged solutions