Process Automation and SAP S/4HANA Benchmark Report

Organizations today operate in a business ecosystem that is becoming more and more dynamic. Two key challenges organizations face are revenue stream pressure from increased competition and the imperative to streamline product delivery for enhanced customer satisfaction. To address these challenges, SAPinsiders within finance and supply chain are paying specific attention to processes like order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, and order-to-deliver, understanding that they need to transform these processes. They see process automation as a key tool for transformation, mainly by improving process productivity, accuracy and efficiency, and removing manual touchpoints through process automation.

Read the report to:

  • Discover what drives process automation.
  • Understand how SAPinsiders approach process automation.
  • Find out which technologies are being used to optimize automation.
  • Learn the top requirements for successful process automation.
  • Gain your steps to success.


Download the report and also receive complimentary access to SAPinsider upcoming Finance & Automation virtual summit taking place July 14th. No additional action required.

Deployment Approaches for SAP S/4HANA Benchmark Report

For organizations moving to SAP S/4HANA there are two primary decisions that must be made — where and how they will perform that deployment. Our earlier research into this topic found that nearly half the respondents (47%) favored a system conversion as their deployment model, and just over two thirds (67%) were planning for a private, public, or hybrid cloud infrastructure. In this report we will update our research to see what has changed over the past year, and what that means for the SAPinsider Community.

Read the report to:

  • Discover what drives SAP S/4HANA deployment.
  • Understand how SAPinsiders approach securing their deployment strategy.
  • Find out which technologies are being used to optimize deployment.
  • Learn the top requirements for successful SAP S/4HANA deployment.
  • Gain your steps to success.



Download the report and also receive complimentary access to SAPinsider upcoming Deployment Options for SAP S/4HANA virtual Summit taking place July 14th. No additional action required.

The State of Human Experience in the Workplace Benchmark Report

Employee experience has been a growing topic for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified its importance. With many employees forced to move to partial or fully remote working arrangements, employers needed to find new ways to engage with both existing workers and potential recruits. This has become even more vital on the back end of the pandemic, as employees have taken time to assess their current experience and are finding more opportunities because the rise of remote work has lessened geographic restrictions on hiring.

Read the report to:

  • Discover what drives Employee Experience Strategy.
  • Understand how SAPinsiders approach their Experience Strategy.
  • Find out which technologies are being used to optimize systems.
  • Learn the top requirements for Human Experience Management.
  • Gain your steps to success.




Enabling SAP S/4HANA Central Finance and Group Reporting: Perrigo’s Finance Transformation

By implementing SAP S/4HANA for central finance, Perrigo establishes a global platform for the finance organization and a gradual on-ramp to SAP S/4HANA

By Matt Gillespie, Contributing Writer, SAPinsider

Perrigo is a global, leading provider of over-the-counter (OTC) self-care products across various OTC categories. Headquartered in Ireland, Perrigo’s international presence has grown dramatically over the years, accelerated particularly in the last decade or so by acquisitions that enhanced its product portfolio and geographic reach. Layering in additional tools and technologies from each new acquisition has created a multifaceted finance landscape at Perrigo, with the company maintaining 21 separate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, both SAP and non-SAP, and multiple financial planning and consolidation tools.

Across industries, customer interest in SAP S/4HANA for central finance is commonly catalyzed by one or more of the following scenarios:

  • Multiple ERP platforms or instances
  • Merger & acquisition activity and evolving business models
  • Desire to migrate to SAP S/4HANA gradually, with finance as an early goal
  • Enterprise financial data being applied to solve complex business problems

Perrigo checked the box for each scenario and officially started its SAP S/4HANA for central finance journey in Q3, 2019.

PwC was brought in as a consultant for the implementation.

Assessing the Potential for SAP S/4HANA for Central Finance

Perrigo saw SAP S/4HANA for central finance as a potential enabler for a non-disruptive, finance-first approach. As the company continued to work through the long-term source ERP strategy, Perrigo was able to immediately benefit from SAP S/4HANA capabilities, reduce complexity, and build a global platform for the finance organization.

SAP S/4HANA for central finance has become the conduit for all financial data at Perrigo, significantly reducing the data movement between multiple consolidation and financial planning tools. All source ERP financial data is now harmonized and posted directly to SAP S/4HANA for central finance either through real-time replication or month-end trial balance loads, creating a single source of truth for the Perrigo finance organization.

Organizing the SAP S/4HANA for Central Finance Project Into Two Releases

Perrigo organized its SAP S/4HANA for central finance project into two distinct releases, with the first one focused on building the foundation for the solution, and the second expanding the platform’s reach and bringing in additional functionality.

Perrigo’s first release went live in early 2021 and included the implementation of SAP S/4HANA for central finance, SAP S/4HANA for group reporting, and a combination of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation and SAP Analytics Cloud for financial planning.

As part of the SAP S/4HANA for central finance implementation, the team significantly invested in the global enterprise structure design, including tasks such as mapping key attributes from source systems into SAP S/4HANA, data reconciliation, and defining ledgers. Key decisions were made around source system replication. The team decided to real-time replicate three SAP and two non-SAP source systems. All other locations load month-end trial balance files.

The team identified several use cases for adopting SAP Analytics Cloud as part of the new financial planning solution at Perrigo. Ultimately, the project included performing headcount planning and operating expenditure (OpEx) planning in SAP Analytics Cloud while deploying SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for all other financial planning activities. This approach allows Perrigo to make initial use of SAP Analytics Cloud, with an eye toward a gradual migration. Early on, the team evaluated various consolidation tools, and ultimately decided on SAP S/4HANA for group reporting.

By the end of Release 1, the Perrigo team had successfully redirected and harmonized all financial data to SAP S/4HANA for central finance.

They also initiated Release 2 with the goal of expanding the capabilities of the new global platform and moving transactional processing to SAP S/4HANA for central finance.

The Release 2 scope includes SAP Global Treasury, Central Payment (both Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable), Central Vendor Invoice Management with OpenText, and fixed assets. In addition, the team plans to create a global costing view to help enable eliminations, transfer pricing, and royalty calculations in SAP S/4HANA for central finance. Perrigo currently operates in 30+ countries and will be using a combination of SAP S/4HANA for advanced compliance reporting and SAP S/4HANA for central finance to fulfill any localization reporting requirements. With these activities, Perrigo continues to move the finance organization as a whole into the new global platform. The targeted go live date is early 2022.

Lessons Learned and Key Take-Aways

While it required a significant amount of work, Perrigo decided to do an initial load of one full year of historical data. This approach helped the team learn a tremendous amount about how data transformations were functioning and how rules needed to be adjusted. The added work paid off, resulting in a very low error rate.

Over the course of the project, the necessity of involvement across the business has been emphasized over and over. It starts with buy-in from the leadership team, to ensure that they understand the scope of the effort and to get their commitment for resources throughout the project. Coordination across IT and finance is also critical, and a strong working relationship between the two — along with super users from across relevant business units — is vital to success. Finally, finding an implementation partner that meshes well and shares a vision with Perrigo proved an invaluable addition.


Melissa Ahrendt Perrigo Company plc
Read More

Melissa is the Director of Finance, CFIN Implementation Perrigo Company plc.

SAPinsider Technology Executive Forum Magazine | 2021 | Issue 2

On the Cover


To keep ahead of the rapidly shifting retail marketplace, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) launched a transformation initiative designed to modernize the company’s core business processes to give employees better access to data in real-time at all levels of the organization. The initiative began as a program to replace its custom legacy ERP system with SAP S/4HANA at its over 9,000 stores worldwide but soon turned into a full-scale transformation of WBA’s business.

“With over 9,000 stores, we’ll have the world’s largest retail implementations of SAP S/4HANA of this scope globally,” Mark Slater, VP, Platform Information Officer, Business Services, WBA, says. Learn how SAP S/4HANA helped WBA modernize its business processes for greater innovation and lessons learned related to communication, continuous training, and change management in the 2021, Issue 2 Edition of SAPinsider’s Technology Executive Forum Magazine.

Additional Articles and Features in the June Edition Include:

  • On business transformation: Leading executives from Deutsche Börse Group, Lloyd’s Register, and Ferrara share their success stories
  • On SAP S/4HANA: Where are SAP customers in their implementation journeys? SAPinsider’s research finds that the imperative to transform applications and landscapes is starting to accelerate as SAP customers begin their migrations to SAP S/4HANA and the cloud.
  • On change: Thought leader Darwin Deano, Global SAP Offering Leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP, shares his perspective on disruption and its ability to serve as either challenge or opportunity.
  • On employee experience: Enabling organizational agility through the lens of human experience management (HXM) is a new concept for many executives. SAPinsider’s Senior Research Editor Craig Powers interviews SAP SuccessFactors’ Amy Wilson to learn more about how HXM is evolving and what the changing workforce landscape requires from leadership teams to be successful.

Applying Automation in Finance: What You Need to Know

SAP finance organizations need to implement digital transformation initiatives that increase the speed of their processes, while improving data quality and maintaining compliance. These challenges can be met through the adoption of flexible, scalable SAP automation platforms that allow the business to quickly and easily deploy automation solutions that address their unique business needs.

Attend this session to:

- Identify the desired characteristics of an SAP finance automation platform
- Understand the different types of automation and how they can be applied to finance use cases
- Determine key criteria for selecting the right SAP finance automation solution that’s the best fit for your organization

This content is available to SAPinsider Premium Members.
Please click below to log in or create an account

Login Now »

Create Acount»


Andrew Hayden Winshuttle
Read More

Andrew Hayden is a senior product marketing manager at Winshuttle, overseeing programs for Finance and automation solutions. Prior to joining Winshuttle, Andrew spent over 25 years in marketing, consulting and entrepreneurial roles. During his career he has managed marketing programs for global enterprises including IBM, SAS institute, Siemens and Coca-Cola, as well as overseeing marketing for Nortel Global Services group. In addition, he has held senior positions for multiple technology start-up companies. Andrew has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from Syracuse University in New York, and an MBA in Marketing from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

A Roadmap for Your Financial Transformation Journey Leveraging SAP Solutions

According to Gartner, finance teams are constantly asked to do more with less. As a result, 85% of finance teams are currently undergoing or planning a finance transformation. However, 70% of finance transformation initiatives fail to deliver the forecast benefits to the business. Join this session to review all the elements of a successful roadmap enabling you to succeed in your finance transformation journey.

Attendees will discover how to:

- Identify the business challenges that need to be addressed in terms of People, Process and Technology
- Understand the technical and business consideration to migrating/upgrading to SAP S/4HANA, Central Finance to leverage the complete potential of solutions to make Finance Transformation a success
- Devise an IT strategy to simplify technology landscape with SAP S/4 HANA, Central Finance

This content is available to SAPinsider Premium Members.
Please click below to log in or create an account

Login Now »

Create Acount»


Sheeraz Iqbal Protiviti
Read More

Sheeraz Iqbal is an accomplished IT Leader with expertise in ERP solutions. Sheeraz exceptionally delivered Business and Digital Finance Transformations, Financial Planning & Analysis redesign, Global Roll-Out solutions with Parallel Accounting/Local GAAPs, Statutory, Management Reporting and Analytics. He is a strategic leader with experience and proficiency in SAP solutions, Business Process Optimization, aligning business goals with technology solutions to drive process improvements, competitive advantage and bottom-line gains. He has extensive expertise in delivering SAP S/4HANA, Central Finance, Suite on HANA, ECC, BPC, BI/BW, Data Services solutions. Sheeraz is a Subject Matter Expert in Global & Digital Finance process integration with Shared Services, Supply Chain, Operations, Order-to-Cash, Reporting, Consolidations and FP&A.

A Primer on the Central Finance Deployment Option: Discover Key Intelligent Enterprise Capabilities

If you are interested in learning what is involved with the Central Finance deployment option for SAP S/4HANA, this session is for you. Learn about the key intelligent enterprise capabilities of the digital core for reporting, central process execution, shared services, and finance transformation with Central Finance. Walk through the why, how, what, and when of Central Finance and plot your course toward transformation.

Attend this session to:

- Explore capabilities including robotics process automation, machine learning, and cloud-based network and spend management
- See how Central Finance leverages the intelligent enterprise
- Learn about patterns for deploying the intelligent enterprise with Central Finance
- Hear how to deploy intelligent intercompany with Central Finance

This content is available to SAPinsider Premium Members.
Please click below to log in or create an account

Login Now »

Create Acount»


Carsten Hilker SAP
Read More

Mr. Hilker has been working in the field of financial and management accounting for 20+ years in various roles including development, consulting and product management. He is an advocate of financial excellence, enterprise optimization and profitable growth and has presented and published on the topic of Finance and Management Accounting in numerous occasions. He currently serves as global solution owner for SAP Central Finance with GTM responsibility across all markets, channels, and related products. His past and current professional affiliations ASUG, IMA, CAM-I, the Resource Consumption Accounting Institute (RCA-I), Society of Cost Management (SCM) and the International Controller Association (ICV).

How Eli Lilly Increased Transparency & Efficiency Using SAP Process Control

By Annie Kennedy, Contributing Writer, SAPinsider

With more than 34,000 employees worldwide, clinical research conducted in more than 55 countries, and products marketed in 120 countries, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) needed an efficient way to monitor financial and operational activity in core ERP systems. To achieve this efficiency, Lilly leveraged SAP Process Control to automate the performance of business controls through continuous control monitoring (CCM). The company uses CCM to monitor configurations, master data, and transactions across several areas such as Finance, Supply Chain, HR, Security and IT while keeping all controls and related information in a single repository.

Emily Damson, SAP Security and Controls Architect at Lilly, shares how SAP Process Control continues to help Lilly standardize controls across global locations, automate control performance, and streamline issue resolution.

The Role of SAP Process Control in Lilly’s SAP Landscape

All of Lilly’s locations around the world – spanning 72 countries and three shared service centers – run on a single global instance of SAP. Lilly runs SAP ECC 6.0, and its additional SAP components use SAP Single Sign-On. From a governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) perspective, in addition to SAP Process Control, Lilly uses SAP Access Control integrated with SAP Identity Management for security end-user provisioning, firefighting, and segregation of duties (SoD) analysis.

Prior to using SAP Process Control, Lilly was using a primarily manual approach to track the company’s financial and operational activities and related controls, including control owners and business entities. To increase transparency and efficiency, Lilly now relies on the CCM, manual control performance, and financial control operation surveying functionalities provided by SAP Process Control.

Utilizing the CCM functionality within SAP Process Control in particular has saved Lilly’s process owners significant time. By creating a schedule of control performance to monitor for specific exceptions or deficiencies on a regular interval, the scheduled executions of these controls can be documented within SAP Process Control without necessitating user intervention. This documentation essentially becomes evidence of control performance for events such as audits or other control inquiries, with user interaction, evaluation, and correction only required when exceptions are identified.

Lilly realized that creating such a schedule of control performance to monitor processes within a target system would help the organization run more efficiently. According to Damson, applying CCM according to a specific process flow (Figure 1) enables the company to monitor activities in its core SAP ECC environment and 18 other SAP systems, as well as activity in its production and non-production systems – which include 200+ connectors from Lilly’s production GRC environment. Lilly can also monitor activity around Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) regulations and compliance, SoD, and operational controls, as well as business process, master data, and configuration controls in its finance, supply chain, HR, security, and IT departments.

Figure 1 – Eli Lilly utilized this process flow to apply to its CCM

Increased Transparency for Global Process Owners

Perhaps most importantly, Lilly has used the foundational data provided by SAP Process Control to create geographic and functional area dashboards that give business owners global visibility into control performance, a necessary capability considering not all of the company’s sites contain the same businesses. These all-encompassing views into control status provide a single source of truth and eliminate the chance for different global interpretations, which ultimately helps streamline Lilly’s compliance process.

Control history dashboards are providing global process owners with a better understanding of how some of the controls are being executed over time or in different regions. In the past, no one really knew if projects were on time when reports were printed and filed, and not many people reviewed the results unless they were audited. Now, says Damson, SAP Process Control records those results and tracking deadlines, increasing visibility to help global process owners better understand and measure how the business is running as it relates to some of those controls. For greater company-wide assurance, Lilly also designed its process controls so that business rules are updated and tested in the development system before being moved into production to provide additional security for changes.

Automating Control Performance for Efficiency through Continuous Monitoring

Lilly uses CCM to monitor for issues in both SAP ECC and SAP Process Control, such as continuously monitoring for jobs in “error” status. To answer the question of whether SAP Process Control is still operating as expected, a daily “ping” is sent from the system, providing feedback such as whether emails are still being sent by the system properly, whether job steps are still processing, and identifying job steps in “error” status. These pings identify when a job step is released but not executed. In this case, the business rule would look for instances in which the job step status equaled “released” or “in process.”

In general, CCM should only monitor for deficiencies or exceptions, says Damson. Lilly has been able to take its reporting capabilities to the next level by using CCM reports, such as batch job failures, to create a control dashboard via generating the control monitoring history with a ratings report. The control dashboard can provide a view of the health of a control, Damson notes. If a CCM is run for 100 days, for example, and it identifies an issue one day out of the 100, Lilly considers the health of that control to be 99%, and the system takes a snapshot of that health marker. The scheduled monitoring creates an issue in process control when it finds a deficiency, which prompts workflows for the process control and control owners that is documented during the identified issue’s analysis and resolution stages.

As a helpful business rule, Lilly defines control expectations and control deficiencies to pare down the data collected in the source. Once you go through testing and are happy with the results from your business rule, says Damson, you can then link your business rule to your control and process control and create a schedule for your job to run on that control in defined frequency, at any interval of time you define. Under CCM, any value changes, master data errors, or other anomalies would be flagged and Lilly alerted. Processes such as order to cash, bill-to/ship-to, and free of charge orders were prime candidates for CCM at Lilly, says Damson, as were monitoring changes on authorization limits for purchase order approvals or changes in employees’ HR information.

With the reports Lilly is able to generate, says Damson, troubleshooting has become much more streamlined, saving time spent by improving processes. For example, Lilly created a work item status query which helps re-trigger workflows if needed based on information such as the user working on the item, as well as information on open and in-process items. The report is generated by a work item status query set in SAP Process Control, with results made available in SAP Business Client. Lilly’s reports allow control owners to obtain information much more easily than parsing through data in the risk and control matrix.


Overall, with automation and CCM, Lilly has better monitoring of core business processes with increased visibility into control performance and the ability to act quickly on exceptions. The organization has also benefitted from visibility into control data by creating dashboards and has reduced time spent resolving errors thanks to key troubleshooting reports.

Watch the full on-demand session presented by Eli Lilly’s SAP Security and Controls Architect Emily Damson during SAPinsider’s 2020 virtual event and learn how the company is using SAP Process CCM to monitor compliance, automate control performance and check for system issues.


Emily Damson Eli Lilly and Co
Read More

Emily Damson is the SAP Security and Controls Architect at Eli Lilly and Company. She is responsible for the SAP GRC Process Control solution at Eli Lilly and Company, and works with a wide range of business partners to automate the performance of SOX, SOD or operational controls across our organizations, reduce manual effort and better identify potential issues within our SAP systems. She also has shared responsibility for the global governance and oversight of the SAP security as it relates to financial functions within Eli Lilly.