ISTAR is a prestigious, major project of DIGITS and is short for Implementing SAP S/4 HANA for Transforming Administration and Research. Project ISTAR is being executed in two waves by DIGITS:
- WAVE 1: Finance & Accounts; Sponsored Projects; HR & Payroll; Stores & Procurement
- WAVE 2: Academics; CCMD; Hostel & Mess Management.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Initiative Overview
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) decided to implement a state of the art ERP solution to meet the requirements of the Institute, which include administration, finance, purchase, HR, payroll, and academic activities. The salient features of the project life cycle of the ERP procurement process include:
- Requirement of Enterprise ERP solution through a limited tender
- Hosted or Software as a Service(SaaS) model for implementation through service provider
- Contractual period of 10 years for the total solution
- Procurement of licenses for the ERP stack from the OEM
- ERP OEM as the lead bidder of the consortium
- Evaluation approach to be techno-commercial (QCBS)
The Institute decided to structure the procurement process for the total turn-key solution into two phases:
- Phase 1 involved identifying an Enterprise ERP solution to meet the stated requirements of the Institute and to also look at either a hosted model or the SaaS model for implementing the solution.
- Phase 2 involved identifying a suitable System Integrator (SI) to implement and customise the solution, wherever needed, to meet exactly the Institute requirement and provide the necessary support for the application administration and management during the subsequent phase of the life cycle of the project.
Cloud-based SAP S/4 HANA which is SAP’s latest offering, has been selected as the platform by the Institute. selected is. SAP Cloud-Infrastructure partner, CtrlS has been selected as the service provider for cloud infrastructure services. Having selected the platform, an RFP was issued in September 2017 for selecting a System Integrator. Following a detailed techno-commercial bidding process involving four major vendors, Wipro has been selected as the Implementation Partner for SAP S/4 HANA ERP for the Institute.
The SAP ERP Implementation project has been code-named ISTAR (Implementation of SAP for Transforming the Administration and Research). The Director has approved the appointment of the following two committees namely Executive Committee and Operations Committee for overseeing the strategic, tactical, and operational aspects of ISTAR. A formal kickoff meeting of ISTAR was held on March 2, 2018 in the presence of both these committees.
SAP Implementation Timeline (Wave-1 & Wave-2)
Project ISTAR is to be implemented in two phases. As per the planned schedule, Wave 1 was to go live by December 2018 and Wave 2 will go live by June 2019. This is an aggressive schedule that requires total support of the entire Institute community. Wave 1 Go Live has been rescheduled to February 4,2019.
|Phases||Major Milestones of Wave-1||Major Milestones of Wave-2|
|Project Preparation||Mar 04, 2018||Mar 04, 2018|
|Business Blueprint||Jun 04, 2018||Jun 04, 2018|
|Realization (Build & Test)||Nov 04, 2018||May 06, 2019|
|Final Preparation||Dec 07, 2018||Jun 07, 2019|
|Go-Live||Dec 08, 2018||Jun 08, 2019|
|Start of Post Go-live Support||Dec 09, 2018||Jun 09, 2019|
Key Success Factors for Project ISTAR
- A culture of Change Leadership that aims to build commitment through accountability, role clarity, and executive development from all stakeholders’ organizations
- Time Commitment – Dedicated Core/Operation team members/SAP Consultants
- Readiness to adopt SAP Best Practices and minimize customization
- Timely availability of Clean Data (Master/Transaction Data) from current systems
Expectations from the ISTAR Project
Expectations from the ISTAR project are very high. There is a general expectation that all transactions in the Institute will become completely paperless and will take zero or negligible time by December 2019. Though these are dream goals, DIGITS would like to set the expectations right. ISTAR will not altogether eliminate paper. It will minimize the use of paper to only those transactions where use of paper or signatures is a statutory requirement. It is to be noted that operational excellence is achieved through a combination of the following : (a) Well defined, nimble business processes (b) Change of mindset and investment of initial effort in users to shun inefficient legacy processes and adjust to the best processes available in the ERP system (c) Cooperating with the implementing team to carry out thorough user acceptance testing (UAT) (d) Prompt compliance with any sign-off or approval requirement that online implementation will require (for example, in the case of online course registration, if the course instructors or student advisors do not promptly approve the requests of the students, the online system gets stuck and may lead to automatic approvals beyond the deadline).
Myths and Truths about an ERP system
Myth: We will need less people since we are automating
Truth: The tasks needed to perform the new processes normally get distributed to an existing employee who then wears multiple hats until IISc figures out they need organizational changes and more full-time personnel.
Myth: We will eliminate manual processes by automating them in the ERP
Truth: Many processes will be automated. However, because of certain statutory requirements, auditors will point out several places that still need manual controls.
Myth: ERP Training will develop end-user acceptance
Truth: Organizations and employees naturally resist changes in process, workflow and individual responsibilities. Training is necessary but insufficient by itself to achieving end-user acceptance.
Myth: We can outsource our ERP support
Truth: Outsourcing a portion of ERP support makes good sense, but it is a risk not to have internal resources to manage business needs and oversee the outsourced vendor.
User Acceptance Testing
User acceptance testing is the process of getting business users to test common scenarios and daily tasks within the SAP S/4 HANA ERP system prior to the go-live date. It has some definite benefits that reduce cost, shorten timelines and minimize the odds that SAP ERP implementation at IISc will fail due to lack of user adoption.
The detailed User Acceptance Plan including the Business Scenarios, Required Functionalities covered, Test Scripts, Expected Test Results, participant user list, start and end of each test cycle for Finance & Accounts, Sourcing & Procurement, Project System , HR & Payroll Functions are available in a shared folder which can be accessed through User Acceptance Test Scripts Link : \\10.212.12.5\End_USER\02. User Acceptance Test Script\
During the User Acceptance Test sessions,
- the IISc (Key) Business Users need to walk through the User Acceptance Test (UAT) detailed scripts, following the business/test scenarios, test plans, recording results and discrepancies from the expected results,
- Wipro Consultants need to resolve identified discrepancies
- IISc Business Users re-test the test scripts until the desired results are fully achieved and sign-off completed test scripts
Key Objectives of this User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
The key objectives of UAT are
- for the ‘representative user team’ to verify that the business can work with the system built by the ISTAR Project team, the redefined business procedures, work instructions and system access.
- to assure/ guarantee IISc, the configured SAP S/4 HANA System performs to the expected functionalities as agreed during the Business Blue Print (BBP) phase.
- It is targeted that the UAT results from the perspective of functionality coverage should be at least 90% of the functions expected.
- Any observation/issue identified from UAT, needs to be corrected to ensure system functional performance is to the expected level.
- The outcome of this task is a ‘sign-off’, from the ISTAR Project Executive Committee, for the acceptance and completion of the User Acceptance Test and enabling the project Go Live.