Deploying SAP and Coupa at the Same Time: A P2P Case Approach (Implementing Without Consultants)

Implementing P2P and ERP systems at the same time is a recipe for uncertainty. Or so it used to be. But one organization Spend Matters recently interviewed decided to go live with both a new SAP and Coupa environment at the same time. Granted, the e-procurement rollout did not happen overnight – nor did the selection process.

It took the company 6 months to go from evaluation to deciding on implementing Coupa. Ambitiously, it launched with SAP and Coupa at the same time – the big bang approach involving these users and countries:

  • 9,000 users
  • 6,000 suppliers
  • 50 countries

The procurement leader in charge of the program had been through 3 ERP launches thus far in his career and felt confident in not using external consultants this time. He commented that using such consultants would introduce too much distance and confusion in the process. Instead he developed an internal team consisting of:

  • 3 business users
  • 2 IT staffers – from their IT function in India
  • 1 business liaison

Additionally, Coupa contributed an experienced project lead who stayed with the project past go-live. In our own analysis, Spend Matters estimates that the majority of e-procurement implementations involve outside consultants. Within SAP or other larger organization ERP environments, the percentage is certainly over 90% in our experience.

But the contrarian approach of keeping implementations in-house, with support from the technology vendor, can have its merits for organizations that know exactly what they need – or have already worked with a firm to define all of the requirements and implementation process steps and touch-points upfront. We encourage companies debating an internally-led e-procurement implementation approach to talk to our team. Nearly all of us have been involved in recent selections or implementations and the lessons learned from different situations can provide useful context for making the right decision for a specific company, environment and situation. But no one case is the same!

This post is based on a case study in the Spend Matters white paper: Cloud P2P Deployment: A How-To Guide to SAP and ERP Integration with eProcurement and Beyond (free download). It is authored by Xavier Olivera, director of P2P research, Jason Busch, founder and managing director, and Thomas Kase, vice president of research. 

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