How to Integrate Labeling with SAP to Boost Efficiency - Webinar

Webinar: Watch Now On-Demand

Presenters: Ken Allen from Loftware & Andeas from Ehlers Merck

Labeling across the globe can be complex, especially if you have over 350,000 products with sites across the globe. In this webinar, which aired on 11 November, 2020, Andreas Ehlers, Head of Digital Transformation & Hazard Communication at Merck KGaH discusses how they standardized and centralized labeling with certified integration from SAP to get control of their 32 million labels.

By watching this webinar you will learn how they:

  • Reduced costs and resources by 30% required to manage labeling process while boosting labeling efficiency by 25%
  • Minimized or eliminated 3 independent labeling systems in their organization
  • Consolidated various data sources, including non-SAP sources, onto their labels
  • Standardized on one global enterprise labeling system
Watch Now On-Demand


The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Automation

An Interview with Aurélien Coq, Product Manager, Esker

By Rizal Ahmed, Chief Content Officer, SAPinsider

Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, but how specifically can these technologies add value to your automation projects?

Applying AI and ML for Automation: Where Are You on the Spectrum?

Stories and content on Artificial Intelligence are regularly splashed across most business and technology trade publications, but when does hype become reality when It comes to applying AI and ML to generate real results?

It already has for many organizations, finds a recent SAPinsider study. Just under half (44%) of the respondents in our recent “Integrating Process Automation and SAP S/4HANA” report (June 2020) have already started down the path of using Machine Learning and AI to improve business processes. However, 56% are doing nothing or just using basic Robotic Process Automation.

In order to understand this wide disparity and further explore the benefits and use cases of applying artificial Intelligence and machine learning to process automation, SAPInsider sat down with Aurélien Coq, Product Manager, Esker.

Demystifying AI, ML, and RPA and Their Role in Automation

Coq describes AI as simply as a way for the machine to mimic the human mind. “Machine Learning is a subset of AI, and Deep Learning is a subset of machine learning. Machine learning is a machine that can learn by itself without being explicitly programmed,” Coq says.

When it comes to automation AI and ML are typically applied in two distinct ways when it comes to order-to-cash automation. First for document capture and helping to automate the standardization of documents and data. The second use centers more on using intelligence to identify anomalies or areas of improvement. “In this scenario, one example might be setting alerts that can be initiated if certain conditions or thresholds are achieved. For instance., if a quantity entered is unusually high or low. That might be a basic one. A more advanced one could be using a predictive algorithm that senses when a customer’s credit or ability to pay comes into question and then you can flag the order or escalate to a personal communication,” Coq describes.

So what about Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? Is that AI? According to Coq, RPA is more of a steppingstone. RPA originated from software engineering circles where it was developed to automate testing. Because it focuses on simple manual tasks, there are limitations to its application in the business “RPA is good for small simple parts of an end-to-end process but not the entire process. The reason is that RPA does not work well when it comes to visual recognition, leveraging intelligence, or facilitating decision making,” Coq reports.

Reaping the Benefits: 80% Efficiency Improvements Are Possible

Esker has been working with many clients on applying AI to improve business processes. Efficiency and productivity are among the key measures where they are seeing results particularly on the order processing side. “We have been working with a pharmaceutical company that has been able to improve processing time by 80%. They took 3 minutes typically to process an order before and now they are doing it in 33 seconds. They are saving over 190 hours a month for the customer service team and now they can spend time on more strategic initiatives to improve their business,” reports Coq

So how does one get started, and how easy is it to start generating the results that are described above? Well it depends on the path you take. The longer road involves going it on your own. Unless you already have the AI skillsets, data and algorithms in place, many organizations are turning to vendors such as Esker to help them move forward.

Esker has been applying AI solutions to automation for more than a decade, and in that time has been able to build out a significant set of data and trained algorithms that their customers can leverage. According to Coq, data is one of the most important elements of any AI-based project. Without properly cleansed, tested, and labeled data, it doesn’t matter the quality of the algorithm.

Esker like most AI focused vendors has also benefited from being able to tap into many public algorithms that have been developed by technology stalwarts such as Facebook and Google. “We were able to adapt some of Facebook’s facial recognition technology into our document scanning engine,” reports Coq. In that spirit, the AI community has been able to share knowledge to help accelerate innovation.

Speed is the name of the game when it comes to getting these projects up and running quickly Most of Esker’s clients are completing their AI projects within months, not years, says Coq. Esker’s Cloud-based solutions have been an important piece of the puzzle. Customers can just plug their applications into Esker’s solution,

There’s more to it of course, Coq stresses. Most of their AI focused automation projects are completed over the course of two key phases. First, integrating key applications and processes into Esker’s AI engine, which typically takes 2-3 months. The second stage involves another 2-3 months of tuning the engine to the customers data so that the algorithm produces accurate results. The more customers that use the algorithm, the faster this becomes for follow on customers, “The models are getting better with their use. The more we see adoption the later the ramp up time decreases for new customers,” reports Coq.

Esker is not trying to boil the ocean with their AI approach but rather remain focused in what they feel they do best; Order-to-Cash and Procure-to-Pay. “We’re not trying to automate the entire world and be another EDI type technology. We want to help organizations combine human and artificial intelligence to deliver greater value within their customer/supplier relationships,” explains Coq.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

Whether you’ve already started down the Artificial Intelligence Path or are taking your first steps. Here are some takeaways to guide your exploration of AI and ML in process automation.

  • Build institutional knowledge on AI and RPA in data, skillsets, partners and algorithms. No matter who you are or what role you play, getting smarter on AI is only going to help you and your organization. Expand your knowledge of AI concepts and how they can be applied within your organization. In addition to SAPInsider, Organizations like Esker have plenty of knowledge, case studies, whitepapers, etc. on AI and Machine Learning. Be voracious in feeding your AI appetite.
  • Identify your biggest process problems and potential fit for RPA or ML/AI: Perform a fundamental assessment of your end-to-end processes. Benchmark them against industry standards to see how you measure up. Understand the sources of inefficiency within your business processes and where RPA, AI, or machine learning can add value. Talk to peers at industry conferences or reference customers from your partners to learn how they have applied these technologies for business benefits.
  • Question your current and future partner on their AI and ML capabilities and experiences Vendors have varying level of experiences with applying AI and Machine Learning to specific business instances and industries. Make sure you have the right fit. Newer AI companies may not have had the opportunity to tune their data models and algorithms or work with enough companies to truly test the accuracy and results of what they are doing. Ask for reference customers who have applied their technology to the specific processes you are focused on and who also fit in your industry and company profile to make sure that they can deliver against their promises.
  • Clean up your data and interfaces. AI algorithms are only as good as the data that it uses. You must be able to have clean, labelled data that can be easily passed and integrated with Cloud-based models and algorithms like the ones that Esker relies on. If you need to work on the data, that will impact the length and complexity of your project no matter what vendor you choose or even if you do the project on your own.


Esker is a global provider of automation solutions that support the full procure-to-pay and order-to-cash business processes. Founded in 1985, Esker serves over 6,000 global SaaS customers across more than 50 countries. Esker has more than 700 employees and 14 offices worldwide.





Protecting Against Payment Fraud in SAP S/4HANA

Webinar - On-Demand

Cybercriminals have renewed their efforts to hack into companies’ information, with some going as far as to use software to impersonate the voice of the CFO. This means that your financial data is at greater risk than ever before. But there are ways that the finance team and CFOs can become more resilient to such attacks. How can you monitor against payment fraud in today’s crisis environment?

After you attend this webinar you will be able to:

  • Understand how cybercriminals are planning their next attack
  • List best practices for protecting your company’s financial data
  • Explain which strategies are most effective for protecting against a security breach


3 Cloud-Smart Strategies for SAP Customers

How to Thrive During Uncertain Times

by Diana Adjadj, writer, editor at TrustMyPaper

One of the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic is the need for a unified data ecosystem for businesses to operate remotely. Cloud technology can be an effective way to resolve this challenge.

Many companies have already started working on implementing a cloud solution.

According to Hosting Tribunal:

  • 90% of companies are using cloud technology to some capacity
  • Businesses run about 41% of their workloads in the private cloud
  • 42% of companies say they adopted cloud technology to access data from anywhere.


SAP Cloud Platform is one of the solutions that can create a unified environment for all business processes, with over 10,000 enterprises actively using it.

We’ll list three major strategies to employ cloud-smart SAP solutions to help your business get through the uncertain times.

1. Accelerate Digital Transformation of Your Business

Digital transformation is the adoption of digital technology to upgrade product or service delivery to customers. This process involves fundamental changes in business processes to make them faster and more effective.

Here are examples of how SAP cloud technologies transform key business processes:

  • HR. Application tracking systems (ATS), employee onboarding tools, surveys, and other digital tools help companies choose better candidates faster + manage employee experience more effectively.
  • Manufacturing. Cloud-driven IoT technologies like real-time asset and staff tracking can help detect issues early, identify improvement opportunities, support Lean principles, and increase manufacturing output.
  • Innovation management. A dedicated SAP solution as an all-in-one platform for idea collection, discussion, and validation. You can create a culture of continuous innovation by making idea sharing easier.
  • Research and development (R&D). Industry-specific cloud solutions enable the digitization of product development, compliance management, project management, and other R&D features.

As you can see, the cloud is omnipresent in every digital transformation technology and process.

Related: Survey Results – What to Expect from Supply Chain Digital Transformation?

2. Improve Staff Productivity

The competitive advantage of digital transformation is the opportunities created by the hyperconnectivity between people and data. Having access to data analytics and processes allows making better decisions to achieve instant value.

Aviad Rivlin, a director of product management at SAP, gave a great example of a company improving employee productivity in this post.

A global service business has built a centralized employee portal with SAP Cloud Platform, which gave access to business apps, content management features, data, and communication.

All employees, regardless of their geolocation, could log in to the portal and start working. This also makes the portal an excellent solution not only for global companies but those with remote teams created due to the pandemic.

By improving employee experience this way, the company:

  • Allowed employees to access data from any device
  • Made it easier to find information and tasks
  • Improved web security thanks to single-sign-on and role-based access to business apps and data.

Ultimately, the company provided employees with more personalized experiences, which helped them to work more effectively.

Here’s a view of an employee portal for an HR department. It offers access to the most common HR tasks from one place.

HR dashboard

Source: SAP Blog

All the employee has to do is click a task and start working.

No wonder that 71 percent of executives say that digital transformation helped them to attract and retain talent, according to this survey. The cloud-based employee portal is an excellent example of a strategy to improve both employee productivity and experience.

3. Boost Operational Efficiency

“Our financial departments were saying that SAP needs to run on-premise, so we were considering staying on premise… Now, they’re pushing for cloud very hard.”

This is what Timo Salzsieder, the CIO/CSO of Metro, has said in a recent interview about using Google Cloud to run SAP S/4HANA business data platform.

According to Salzsieder, the international network of supermarkets moved all SAP solutions – merchandise, finances, retail – to cloud, and was able to improve their operational efficiency.

Metro, like many other companies, had data and information everywhere, which led to poor insights and inefficient processes.

How can cloud-based business data platforms help to achieve that?

  • Consolidate and harmonize data. Large international companies have huge amounts of data in legacy systems. Cloud solutions like SAP S/4HANA create a single source of information for everyone to access, thus improving employee, leadership, and supplier experience and operations.
  • Boost performance. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with SAP S/4HANA provides the necessary data to enhance insight-driven decision making, accelerate the adoption of innovative practices, and integrate new acquisitions faster.
  • Standardize and orchestrate key business processes and functions. SAP S/4HANA helps with removing redundant and inefficient process breaks, flows, and provides standardization points and benchmarks to streamline processes and demonstrate the value of changes.
  • Improve real-time data and process visibility across the organization. With data standardized and freely available thanks to cloud, stakeholders can make better decisions and improve reporting capabilities.
  • Increase app stability and availability. Legacy systems are known for inconsistency with app access, which can lead to slower processes and dissatisfied customers. Running apps on a cloud gives stable access to apps that are prone to breaking down, giving an opportunity to keep processes going and avoid problems with seasonal demand spikes.

At this point, Metro is consolidating content systems of branches from around the world. Salzsieder says that the cloud will continue to drive digital transformation and operational efficiency at the company to help it stay more innovative and competitive.

Ultimately, companies like Metro achieve almost complete visibility into their operations and can oversee all business operations from the beginning to the end.


The disruption of COVID-19 brought many unexpected challenges to the business world.

However, the solutions needed to tackle these challenges are already here, and SAP Cloud is one of them. With it, businesses can accelerate their digital transformation, improve the productivity of their staff, and boost operational efficiency in general.

The ability of cloud infrastructure to support digital transformation, provide agility, access to analytics and apps, and enable innovation makes it an indispensable factor for succeeding in the business landscape.


It’s Time to Change the Way We Think About Job Descriptions

With its JDMS™ | Job Descriptions Made Simple solution, HRIZONS® is betting that properly created, governed, and integrated job descriptions can help SAP SuccessFactors customers increase HR transparency and improve talent acquisition and retention.

By AJ Whalen, Vice President and Publisher

Once treated as an afterthought or simply as a compliance necessity, the job description is now seen as strategic content (much more than a document) that, when managed properly, can support key HR processes by helping to set clear hiring requirements and performance expectations and by providing critical infrastructure for workforce planning, succession planning, leadership and career development. To achieve this, organizations are taking a fresh look at how job descriptions are written, how they are managed, and how they integrate with both core HR technology and the entire talent management suite.

The Evolution of the Job Description

Historically, many HR organizations have primarily viewed job descriptions as a compliance exercise, focusing on regulatory compliance (ADA or EEOC in the US, for example), job analysis and benchmarking key jobs for compensation purposes. As HCM technology evolves and the walls around HR become more transparent, HR organizations are looking at new ways that a consistent, well-structured job description can aid both talent management processes and employee engagement as well. SAPinsider recently sat down with HRIZONS President & CEO, Jim Newman, to discuss job descriptions and how HRIZONS’ JDMS solution is helping SAP SuccessFactors customers properly govern and manage the creation, the maintenance, the validation, the compliance of job descriptions.

In an era of increased integration between applications, job descriptions are a bit of an anachronism for many companies. They contain valuable content about the job, its requirements, and how it aligns with internal policies, but they often end up being created manually, stored apart from HCM and talent management systems, and containing inaccuracies that may be non-compliant, may impact the job holder or even a recruiter’s ability to source the proper talent.

It was these inconsistencies in how job descriptions are created and maintained, along with a forward-thinking vision of a more integrated, job content quality focused, that led HRIZONS to develop JDMS several years ago. When developing JDMS, Newman says he set out to see how a job description library could be efficiently created and maintained while integrating the job content to HR systems to improve HR programs while making job descriptions more transparent and available to employees and managers.

Standardization, Compliance, and Efficiency

According to Jim Newman, JDMS was designed to help customers create more standardized and efficient job descriptions. “We set out to provide customers with a solution that enables them to properly govern and manage the creation, maintenance, validation, and compliance of their job descriptions,” he said. A large part of understanding how to improve job descriptions is the understanding the needs of the various stakeholders across the HR organization. For example, HR and legal are very interested in compliance, compensation wants consistent descriptions they can use to benchmark key jobs and pay structures, recruiters want accurate job descriptions that can be easily converted to job ads to attract the right candidates, and employees want clear job specific responsibilities so they understand how they will be measured.

By synching job content with SAP SuccessFactors, JDMS helps to not only standardize job descriptions across the organization but also eliminates the need for siloed job description libraries that can reduce compliance or increase risk. In the end, the value of standardized, accurate job descriptions can be measured by HR organizations in terms of efficiency (cost/time savings) and engagement (employee satisfaction and increased understanding of job expectations). One HRIZONS customer in the financial services industry who chose JDMS to replace a soon-to-be decommissioned job description library measured the impact of the solution in both time savings and compliance savings. For this 9,000-employee organization, measurable annual time efficiencies related to JDMS are estimated at $225,000 and compliance risk has been greatly reduced.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

When designed, managed, and governed properly, a fully integrated set of job descriptions can improve an organization’s ability to make better hires, increase employee retention, and make performance evaluation processes more transparent. What steps should HR organizations take when looking to standardize or improve their existing job description libraries and processes?

  • Synchronize your job description content with your SAP SuccessFactors platform. HRIZONS’ JDMS solution integrates with the SAP SuccessFactors suite, including Employee Central. This ensures data consistency and adherence to key job data such as the job code, titles, and other core job attributes such as FLSA status (for US companies).
  • Focus on improving job description governance. Leveraging an integrated job description solution like JDMS can help by incorporating workflows, version controls, and role-based permissions that allow you to protect the integrity of your job data and processes.
  • Standardize your job descriptions across your organization. “Standardization drives better compliance,” said Newman. He added that standardizing job descriptions can help ensure consistency of job data, terminology, and job requirements. This, in turn, can help reduce the risk of inconsistent, partial, or even incorrect job descriptions that might cause unwanted exposure, particularly in more regulated industries, not to mention the efficiencies this creates.
  • Drive better employee engagement by aligning your workforce to job expectations. When there is more visibility into job descriptions across the organization, employees can better understand what’s required of them and how they will be measured.


HRIZONS is an SAP Gold Partner and a two-time Pinnacle Award Winner for SAP SuccessFactors. In addition to its software solutions, HRIZONS is an authorized reseller of SAP SuccessFactors and offers value-add services (consulting, implementation, post go-live and technology). JDMS™ is one of three HRIZONS solutions (along with PAD™ and OrgInsight™) available in the SAP App Center.


Pairing Analytics and Automation

How do SAPinsiders take the insights they acquired through analytics tools and quickly act to address those insights? SAPinsider recently sat down with Simon West, CMO of Magnitude, and Darren Pierce, CTO, to exchange ideas on the future of analytics and automation for ERP systems.

By Pierce Owen, VP of Research, SAPinsider

Translating Data into Insights

As part of their “digital transformation,” 75% of respondents in a recent SAPinsider survey say their organizations use or plan to use self-service analytics for operational performance. Self-service analytics help democratize analytics, allowing the average business user to visualize raw data, identify outliers or errors, and set up alerts for when an issue arises. Self-service analytics empower operations professionals to track KPIs and find bottlenecks, both in current operations and in simulations or forecasts for the future. They can also help identify data quality issues and make sure that master data meets business rules.

Often, master data contains outdated information. For example, material masters include the number of days needed to provision supplies from suppliers. In reality, that provisioning might take more or less time on average. Analytics solutions can show material master values versus actual values and averages.

To get the most out of their enterprise data, organizations need data connectivity between their analytics solutions and the diverse, distributed data sets across multiple ERPs and other systems. The average member of the SAPinsider Community runs six instances of ERP, and 38% run at least one non-SAP ERP system. These members need analytics solutions that can integrate with data not only from all their SAP systems but also their non-SAP systems to get the full picture of enterprise operations.

Unfortunately, even when they have access to enterprise-wide insights, when it comes to taking action to address issues discovered through analytics, business users often have no easy way to achieve that.

From Insights to Action

Many business users can quickly find issues in their data thanks to analytics tools, but it can then take an inordinate amount of time for them to clean or redefine master data or clean up polluted sales or purchase orders.

By integrating operational analytics with process automation, organizations can quickly react to insights unsurfaced by analytics and address issues.

In the material master example, if a business user discovers a discrepancy between the days needed to receive supplies in the master data versus reality, this user could update the master data with the click of a button if the organization has integrated automated data management with its self-service analytics.

As another example, a major beer producer in Europe had inaccurate and outdated sales and purchase orders in its ERP systems. This messed up MRP runs because the MRP process allocated inventory for the polluting orders. The beer producer now uses Magnitude Every Angle operational analytics to identify the polluted orders and can clean them up with minimal effort with Magnitude Innowera Process Runner. The means the ERP systems run MRP processes much more predictably and accurately, and it has cleaned up inventory with less dead stock.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

When considering trends in self-service operational analytics and automated data management, SAPinsiders should:

  • Implement self-service analytics tools. As part of any digital transformation, organizations need to democratize analytics and adopt software solutions with which business users can generate value without heavy day-to-day IT involvement.
  • Consider analytics and automation solutions that integrate with multiple ERP systems. To get the full picture of enterprise operations, SAPinsiders need solutions that integrate with all of their enterprise systems, both SAP and non-SAP.
  • Evaluate the different applications and potential value of analytics and automation. This article outlines a couple potential areas of value in maintaining master data and cleaning up polluted sales and purchase orders for MRP runs. Organizations should evaluate the types of bottlenecks and insights they discover through analytics and how automation solutions might help them address these issues.
  • Integrate operational analytics with process automation. To quickly take action based on insights in a scalable way, organizations need some form of integrated automated data management or process automation.






What Does Brexit Mean for SAP Customers

An Interview with Richard Asquith, VP of Global Indirect Tax at Avalara

By Rizal Ahmed, Chief Content Officer, SAPinsider

With end of the Brexit transition period imminent, thousands of businesses now are facing the imposition of new VAT, customs, and tariff obligations. What do you need to know to prepare?

Preparing for Brexit

The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union carries with it many unknown implications that global businesses must prepare for if they want to avoid costly penalties, delayed shipments, or extra fines and taxes.

To better understand the potential impact on companies and their current business and tax systems, SAPinsider sat down with Richard Asquith, the VP of Global Indirect Tax at Avalara.

Understanding the Areas of Impact

One of the challenges of preparing for Brexit is that not all the details and regulations have been fully finalized as negotiations between the EU and the UK continue. “We are in a waiting room of sorts. There has been a lot of disagreement. Divorce is much harder than marriage, and that is true in this case,” characterises Asquith.

But companies must progress in their preparation despite the uncertainty or face significant business impacts, warns Asquith. A wide swath of companies is potentially impacted by the legislation and in a number of ways. This includes companies who sell or ship goods and services in and out of the UK as well as EU citizens who work inside the United Kingdom, and those UK citizens who currently work for EU companies. Asquith notes that approximately 60% of multinational and North American organisations who do business in Europe have established their regional headquarters in the UK and those companies will need to prepare accordingly.

The challenge for many customers is dividing their efforts between the known and unknown. There is more clarity around the changes associated with goods movement, says Asquith. He reports that there are three major issues to focus on:

  • Customs declarations. “For the first time five hundred thousand businesses will have to fill out specific customs declaration forms. Very few people are fully trained on how to do this properly,” reports Asquith
  • New tariffs. Goods moving in and out of the UK will now face a new set of duties and tariffs that never existed before. Companies will have to estimate, and ensure payments or face penalties, fines, and shipment delays
  • New VAT implications. According to Asquith, currently, goods that move in and out of the UK face a zero-rated value added tax (VAT). Now companies will have to figure out how to pay VAT based on the specific countries they are doing business with. “This has significant implications for your existing business applications. You must make sure your purchasing and business systems have been adapted and that you are charging the right VAT at various points of your business cycles and know the right rates for the right countries. The list is interminable. If your ERP is not keeping up, you’ll be in trouble,” says Asquith

What are less known are the impacts on employees’ services and data privacy. The final details governing these factors is still in the process of being worked out. Questions abound related to work travel, hiring, and contracting among other Issues.  For Instance, if employees travel between the EU and Great Britain for work there may be visa requirements. Companies also must consider transportation and freight. How will truck and ferry drivers be treated?

Data privacy and exchange poses another interesting and potentially complex factor. The EU follows strict GDPR guidelines that govern the storing and sharing of customer Information. Will the UK continue to embrace GDPR or follow their own standards, and what will that mean for moving Important Information between organisations?

Where Are Most Organizations With their Brexit Preparation?

Companies are spread across a wide spectrum when it comes to Brexit readiness, reports Asquith. “25% of businesses are fully prepared. 50% are gearing up, and 25% have their proverbial head in the sand, hoping for a delay,” he says and goes on to warn this group that the likelihood of another delay is quite almost non-existent.

It can also be tough to figure out who has what responsibility when It comes to compliance with the new regulations. Asquith says you need to understand who Is the Importer of record and will have to worry about the paperwork, tariff, and VAT calculations and payments. “Typically, it’s the stronger counterparty, like a big retailer who’s importing goods from various countries. They are putting the resources behind the preparation, while the smaller companies are less equipped,” says Asquith.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

That doesn’t mean these organisations don’t have any responsibilities. You still must educate yourself and prepare. Asquith suggests a few key steps as you navigate your Brexit plan and advises that you seek a wide range of expertise to support you along the way.

  • Obtain the services of a customs agent who can ensure that your paperwork Is set up and done correctly. They can also make sure that you are covered when it comes to any new import VAT. They can also help with tax and tariff audits and interaction with governmental agencies
  • Understand the potential risks across your supply chain: “Make sure everyone within the organisation understand the impact and is looking for potential risk. You can’t just think of your business. You need to know what your suppliers are doing and whether they are compliant. Otherwise your business will get disrupted with goods getting blocked at the borders,” warns Asquith.
  • Walk intelligently into new business partnerships and examine the potential cost impacts on current contracts. Asquith advises that companies do not sign any new contracts without understanding the potential impacts of tax and VAT. Additionally, you should look at current contracts that can be impacted. Extra duties or taxes may dilute margins without you knowing it. “You may be stuck with taxes you have not anticipated,” says Asquith.
  • Prepare to adjust your core ERP and business systems: Asquith reports that SAP like all other vendors are in preparation mode and will be making changes to the way taxes are treated in transactions. But this only solves part of the problem. You may have to create new tax codes and reports that monitor and ensure compliance.
  • Take the time to investigate and hire a solid set of partners: Depending on what area of the project you need support for there are a number of partners that can help with assessment preparation, reporting and modifying your systems for Brexit. According to Asquith, an organisation like Avalara can support your project in a number of ways including automating tariff calculations, and guiding businesses in their foreign VAT registrations. For instance, Avalara can provide live tariff calculations before checkout on an ecommerce transaction. He also suggests hiring customs agent or freight forwarder. “These resources are imperative in helping you understand the import VAT, how to work with tax authorities, and make sure that your paperwork is ready so that your goods will make it through the border,” says Asquith.
  • Establish a strong, internal cross functional team to guide your Brexit project: There are so many different potential impacts of Brexit, that you need to gather expertise from across your organisation to be successful. Finance, Tax, IT, Legal, Procurement, and the supply chain teams must all contribute and be up to speed on how their area of the business needs to operate to ensure success.

Brexit Resources

Avalara has assembled a host of resources to help organizations understand and prepare for Brexit.

About Avalara

Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, eCommerce and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transactional taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in Canada, the U.K., Belgium, Brazil, and India. More information at


Demand for Diverse Perspectives: Women Leaders in SAP and Tech

Managing a diverse team requires a unique and evolving leadership style; one that considers the historical and layered barriers that have hindered the inclusion of diverse perspectives in the past, and that can reflect on the ways to support them today. Join this unique panel of diverse, female executives from SAP and some of the leading enterprise organizations as they discuss how women in SAP and tech—and diversity and inclusion as a whole—can impact innovation, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and a company’s financial success. You will hear:

  • Reasons why women have traditionally been underrepresented in tech, along with imperatives and steps organizations can take to reverse this trend
  • How leaders—regardless of gender or background—can create an environment that encourages and promotes diversity within their organization
  • What actions women can take to improve their odds of success
  • The barriers to diversity that exist in many companies that need to be addressed and changed
  • How to measure whether we’ve accomplished our goals and we have true gender equity in the tech industry


Embrace the Future: Maximize SAP Security and Scalability in the Cloud

Roundtable Discussion Now Available On-Demand

SAP solutions are constantly evolving, and it can feel daunting to figure out the best path for your organization. The Managed Services division of NTT and Pure Storage have defined strategies and methodologies to rapidly design and deploy SAP cloud infrastructure and help clients successfully navigate the complexities of digital transformation. This roundtable is designed to share and discuss actionable strategies to meet the critical IT needs of your business.

  • Hear real life examples of how enterprises are maximizing SAP scalability and securing their cloud environment
  • Learn tips and best practices for overcoming common challenges while running and managing SAP in a cloud environment
  • Explore options for SAP S/4HANA, migrating to the cloud with SAP, partnering with a Managed Services Provider, and more
  • Hear what’s next for SAP and learn the trends for 2020 and beyond
Register Now