"Extended greenfield approach" for Messe Düsseldorf

SAP S/4HANA pre-project and greenfield implementation

Referenz messe duesseldorf logo

SAP S/4HANA pre-project and greenfield implementation

Roadmap and implementation of SAP S/4HANA

The customer

The company planned to implement a greenfield migration from SAP ECC 6.0 to SAP S/4HANA. It had an SAP ECC system landscape that had grown over many years with many individual customizations.

The challenge

Das Unternehmen plante die Umsetzung einer Greenfield-Migration von SAP ECC 6.0 auf SAP S/4HANA. Es verfügte über eine über viele Jahre gewachsene SAP-ECC-Systemlandschaft mit vielen individuellen Anpassungen.

The solution

Messe Düsseldorf first conducted a preliminary project to evaluate the best path to SAP S/4HANA and is now implementing the best-practice approach in two migration waves.

The customer benefit

The company spreads effort, costs and risks over 24 months through the 2-phase model. With SAP S/4HANA, Messe Düsseldorf is improving digital processes and reducing complexity, among other things.

Stefanie pulla
The first year of implementation was busy and exciting. Stefanie Pulla, Project Management Messe Düsseldorf The first year of implementation was busy and exciting.

But with the great project team we have mastered the project in the best possible way. 1000 thanks to all involved!

Germany is the world's No. 1 trade fair country - and Messe Düsseldorf is one of the world's leading companies in the industry. In order for the company to maintain and expand its position, the Messe Düsseldorf Group planned - as part of a comprehensive digitization strategy - to migrate from SAP ECC 6.0 to SAP S/4HANA, SAP's current ERP software suite.

"Anyone tackling a project like this needs a good partner - and we found one in GAMBIT," says Stefanie Pulla, Group Head of IT at Messe Düsseldorf and project manager for the overall SAP S/4HANA migration project.

"As a first step, we commissioned GAMBIT with a preliminary project, which we started at the end of 2020. We wanted to find out how we could best achieve our strategic goals using SAP S/4HANA and reduce complexity. In the preliminary project, we therefore examined several possible scenarios for the changeover. We checked processes for their possible standardization. And we designed an initial system architecture," says Stefanie Pulla.

Before the changeover, the company used SAP ECC as the leading core ERP system for core operational and administrative processes. The core SAP components used were and still are materials management, maintenance, finance, controlling and - with order processing and invoicing of the operative trade fair business an essential element for Messe Düsseldorf - sales.

The SAP ECC system landscape had been in use for more than 20 years and had been expanded many times during this time - from cockpits to simplify and increase efficiency in order creation to completely independent functions that the SAP standard does not deliver. In addition, there was a high degree of integration with various environment systems - with the corresponding interfaces.

Open-ended, detailed preliminary analysis

In order to obtain an up-to-date picture of the situation and a precise understanding of the strategic goals, the consultants conducted the preliminary analysis on the basis of GAMBIT's own roadmap program.

As part of the analysis, they interviewed a total of 13 stakeholders from management in strategy interviews. In addition, they held several steering committees and workshops (including on the as-is process inventory, the demo of SAP S/4HANA and the technical implementation) and coordinated with the project management every week - completely remotely in video conferences.

"In total, we examined more than 600 processes and work steps in the preliminary project - an enormously high number," says Philipp Fischer, project manager at GAMBIT and project leader of the preliminary project.

"The detailed preliminary analysis was the basis for the later implementation project, because the results of the preliminary analysis served as a basis for decision-making and, together with the roadmap that was developed, provided a concrete roadmap for the subsequent conversion to SAP S/4HANA," says Philipp Fischer.

Implementation: "Extended" Greenfield Approach

After the analysis, those responsible at Messe Düsseldorf chose one of three scenarios developed in the preliminary project: an "extended" greenfield approach, an agile implementation in two migration waves.

"Greenfield" means that the SAP S/4HANA system is completely rebuilt. In contrast to system conversion (or "brownfield," a pure upgrade of the existing system), with the greenfield approach and the use of SAP best practices, companies lay the foundation for a future-proof and permanently flexible IT architecture. Existing pain points are solved and the often existing complexity of grown system landscapes is eliminated.

The extended greenfield approach at Messe Düsseldorf comprises a two-phase changeover scenario over a total of around 24 months. The new system is hosted in the cloud of the German provider plusserver.

The near-standard implementation is currently taking place in two stages:

  • in a first phase in 2022 with the migration "Backoffice" (with purchasing, maintenance, finance & controlling) and
  • a second phase with the migration "Sales" (including the entire operational trade show business) in 2023 with a later addition of processes with a high customer-specific share.

The division of the processes over two go-lives necessitates a transition period in which the previous SAP ECC is connected to the newly built SAP S/4HANA.

Implementation with the "Plus" of GAMBIT

"To implement the implementation for Messe Düsseldorf, we use the GAMBIT SAP Activate Plus methodology. The Plus means that we have extended SAP's Activate methodology with some service content that we felt was missing," says Markus Gaganis, Senior Project Manager at GAMBIT and project manager for the SAP S/4HANA implementation.

Team Markus Gaganis 02
To implement SAP S/4HANA, we use GAMBIT Activate Plus! Markus Gaganis, Senior Project Manager at GAMBIT and Project Manager To implement SAP S/4HANA, we use GAMBIT Activate Plus!

To this end, we have supplemented SAP's Activate methodology with what we consider to be a number of important elements.

The "Activate Plus Program" of GAMBIT primarily rounds off the strongly technically oriented SAP content of SAP Activate: It complements customer-specific and cross-application end-to-end processes as well as content on business and IT organization and change management.

The implementation of an SAP S/4HANA implementation with GAMBIT SAP Activate Plus is divided - like the SAP methodology - into the phases Discover (i.e. the preliminary analysis), Prepare, Explore, Realize, Deploy and Run. The individual phases are again subdivided into individual sections and categories.

First successful go-live on January 1, 2023

Every implementation of SAP S/4HANA - just like at Messe Düsseldorf in the first migration wave in 2022 - begins with project preparation, which includes, for example, project or change management setup, initial training on SAP S/4HANA and preparation of the demo system.

Finally, in the conception phase, stakeholders consider strategy and best practice processes, design the target processes and map them in a Model Company. This phase also includes possible decisions on necessary changes to the processes in the Process Change Advisory Board (PCAB).

"In addition, we check together in regular steering committee meetings whether we are on track as planned or whether there are any risks. In this way, we always look at the status of the budget, the degree of completion or the milestones reached - and can intervene and readjust in good time if necessary," explains Markus Gaganis from GAMBIT.

The technical implementation finally begins - at Messe Düsseldorf about halfway through the project duration of the first phase at the beginning of June 2022 - with the setup of the target system, essential and extended settings, and the agile deployment of the processes. Training and live testing and the dress rehearsal follow, until it comes to the go-live with the organization cutover, data transfer, go-live and the final hypercare phase.

"We completed the first phase of implementation in 2022 - and went live on time on January 1, 2023," says Stefanie Pulla of Messe Düsseldorf.

"Sure, in the project we had to overcome one or the other hurdle, as probably always in projects of this size. But thanks to our internal team and our two external partners GAMBIT and plusserver, we mastered everything and are now well on our way to successfully managing the second phase as well. It is a partnership at eye level, as we would like it to be. Thanks to the whole team for the enormous amount of work!"

Team emre cetin 1

Emre Cetin, Sales Executive

Would you like to learn more about the options for switching to SAP S/4HANA?

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