Exploring New Ventures Without Compromise
“My job is to innovate, not reinvent,” asserts Erik Looi, CIO at ACM. “I don’t want the burden of re-creating a service I can purchase.”
For manufacturing companies like ACM that are on the leading edge of the 4th Industrial Revolution, a key strategy is to ensure that resources are channeled toward what they do best — producing quality products for customers — not, as Looi explained, “building a big team of developers or support engineers, when I can get that externally.”
Looi’s philosophy is reflected in his bimodal IT strategy. Mode 1 is focused on ensuring a stable foundation to keep core systems and processes running. Mode 2 is oriented toward innovation and exploration.
As ACM evolved, Looi needed to re-evaluate the role of S/4HANA, the company’s core business application. “It felt like we were constantly focused on updating to new versions instead of maximizing the value of our existing investment,” he said. “And I didn’t want to apply additional resources just to keep up with the evolution.” With a highly customized platform, he was also concerned about the lack of support for business-critical customizations.
Looi needed to craft a more agile environment to enable ACM to pursue exploration and innovation without disturbing the company’s core business.
An Accommodating Partnership
In order to achieve greater agility, Looi needed more control over ACM’s SAP platform. He reflected, “I needed to have options and have the autonomy to decide when to make a move.”
Since going live with SAP in 2003, ACM has gone through three implementations to keep up with the vendor’s update cycle. Currently, it’s running S/4HANA on premises to support global operations. “Not everyone knows that there are alternatives for enterprise software support. When we first started looking outside of SAP, I was skeptical that we would find a viable solution. I asked a lot of questions, and Rimini Street addressed all my concerns. Now, well into our partnership, I have complete confidence in Rimini Street’s ability to support our SAP platform,” enthused Looi.
Another key benefit that Looi identified was archiving. He explained, “Rimini Street will capture everything needed to support our current version and advise us on what else to save based on our plans for the future. This way, when we decide to migrate, we have exactly what we need.”
Looi’s team also values the personal nature of the services it receives from Rimini Street. “We have an assigned account manager who knows our environment and understands ACM. When we need support, we don’t have to start over with a different person each time,” he said.
Freedom to Innovate and Explore
“A key factor for me is that we can pursue our own roadmap. Rimini Street adapts to what we want to do, not the other way around. It is truly an extension of my internal SAP support team,” Looi said. “I don’t want to be pinned down. Rimini Street gives me independence — freedom to make my own decisions about what is optimal for ACM,” he added.
With Rimini Street, ACM can continue running its current S/4HANA release and maximize the ROI of its SAP investment. The improved quality of support for SAP allows IT to focus on customer needs. Looi explained, “When the company is stable and working efficiently, we have the bandwidth and resources to invest in new ventures. We are investigating areas where we can make impactful contributions, such as electric vehicles, robotics, healthcare, 3D printing, and innovations in agriculture and aquaculture. The benefits are everywhere.”
SAP 4.6C (Legacy)
- Shifted from SAP maintenance and allocated the funds saved to innovation
- Provides greater value to its customers through increased attention to innovation