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Enterasys Networks partners with TEKsystems to place hard-to-find ERP skills sets in support of a major SAP® upgrade effort.
Enterasys Networks is a premier global provider of wired and wireless network infrastructure and security solutions. The client delivers business-oriented, identity-based visibility and control for voice, video and data applications. TEKsystems has supported Enterasys since 2006.
SAP® R/3 3.1i, SAP® ECC 6.0
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems serve as the backbone of any organization’s operations. ERP systems facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside an enterprise and manage the connections to outside stakeholders. Their goal is to provide a platform for consolidating all business operations into a uniform and enterprise-wide environment. Enterasys was using SAP® R/3 3.1i as its ERP platform and needed to upgrade to SAP® ERP Central Component (ECC) 6.0.
Enterasys’ senior leadership wanted to mitigate risk to the enterprise and saw the necessity of making the upgrade for two reasons—SAP® was no longer supporting the older version of the application, and keeping 3.1i in place hampered its ability to maximize the value of its ERP data and processes because it lacked critical functionality.
Working with IBM as its implementation partner, Enterasys developed an aggressive implementation timeline and looked to augment its blended IBM/in-house ERP team with external expertise. Because most SAP® upgrades occur from R/3 4.7 to ECC 6.0, this resource required a rare combination of skills sets—a functional consultant with day-to-day support expertise in R/3 3.1i, development and go-live support experience with ECC 6.0 as well as a strong finance and controlling (FICO) background, including an accounting degree. Additionally, this ERP consultant also had to be willing to relocate to company headquarters in Andover, Mass., for the duration of the project.
Due to budget considerations, the client decided to source this key resource from another staffing provider. However, the client was unhappy with his performance. Without this resource, the client’s milestones were at risk. Enterasys approached TEKsystems for help.
TEKsystems’ SAP® Support Services Manager personally validated client needs and assisted in vetting qualified candidates. Leveraging our deep, nationwide network of consultants, TEKsystems identified an expert based in St. Louis, Mo. Quickly crafting an Employee Value Proposition around the opportunity for the consultant, we were able to fill this requisition within 10 business days.
The client’s ERP implementation team consisted of five full-time ERP employees supported by eight off- and on-shore IBM consultants. Our consultant reported directly to the Enterasys’ ERP Manager and worked closely with client and IBM resources. The scope of her responsibilities included providing day-to-day support for 3.1i during the migration, developing integration test scripts and conducting test procedures for 6.0, providing end-user training for 6.0, and assisting end users with all issues pertaining to the 6.0 Finance and Controlling modules.
Initially brought on for an eight-week project, our consultant’s contract was extended by Enterasys twice for a total of six months. Because of her varied expertise, our consultant was also used as a resource for other ERP-related projects, most notably, a third-party fixed asset application retirement initiative. She was responsible for migrating data from the best application into SAP® and configuring settings and screen layouts.
Enterasys completed the critical upgrade from R/3 3.1i to ECC 6.0 on time and within budget, enabling it to capitalize on the functionalities an up-to-date ERP system can provide.
Whereas IBM would have pulled this resource after go-live for ECC 6.0, our consultant was able to stay longer and, due to her varied skills sets, could contribute to diverse projects outside her initial scope of work. Our consultant’s experience with post-implementation and training support also ensured that the client did not require additional resources to enable a smooth knowledge transfer around ECC 6.0 to internal staff.
Based on the quality of TEKsystems resources to date, we are in discussion with this client to deliver an enterprise-wide SQL 2008 upgrade and provide supply chain consulting in the coming year.