Enabling Customers and SCM Practitioners on IBP

At GitaCloud, we are committed to enabling Customers evaluating SAP IBP and SCM Practitioners looking to transition from SAP APO to SAP IBP. We realized early on that the best way to learn and stay on top of a rapidly evolving SAP IBP platform is to teach a diverse set of learners and do this on a monthly basis on top of our customer pursuits and engagement workload. We just completed our fourth IBP workshop in 2017 - this one went the best so far as we continue to refine the product and make it more and more relevant to our learners. This blog post covers the S&OP workshop flow in detail as well as feedback from our learners. These workshops are being very well received and in high demand. We will continue to have similar workshops rest of 2017 across Response & Supply, Demand & Inventory, and Control Tower & Integration topics. 

This particular workshop was conducted across two weekends (June 10th/11th 2017 and June 17th/18th 2017). 11 Learners and 3 Instructors.

We divided the 4 day workshop as follows:

  • Day 1 - IBP Overview: Setting the business context (why IBP). Presenting IBP Platform and Applications Overview. Demonstrating key functionalities across all IBP applications.
  • Day 2 - IBP Configuration: Instructor led hands-on learning exercises across IBP configuration blocks to build IBP models (attributes, time profiles, master data types, key figures, key figure calculations, planning levels, planning views, etc.). We also presented ways to load data in IBP models learners had created and analytics / dashboards. We wrapped the day with presenting a 'Mock Implementation' challenge to the learners: a real-world IBP use case with complex calculations and disaggregation requirements (e.g., override revenue key figure at aggregate level such that corresponding quantity disaggregation at product level is in sync with this revenue aggregate override as well as a quantity level constraint on max supply available - stored in a separate  key figure). We presented raw business requirement and raw data sets to learners and challenged them to showcase their prototypes with data loaded in them within a week.
  • Day 3 - IBP Advanced Topics: We kicked the day off with IBP recent & planned innovations. We covered IBP 1705 release and recent capabilities like the new Analytics App and Business Network Collaboration with Ariba in detail. We then covered a range of advanced configuration topics like UOM Conversion, Currency Conversion, S&OP Processes (Statistical Forecasting, Rough Cut Capacity Checking), etc. 
  • Day 4 - IBP Implementation Considerations: We presented a detailed case study of an IBP customer that recently went live with IBP. We covered SAP IBP integration approaches across SAP Cloud Platform Integration - Data Services (CPI-DS), which is the new name for HANA Cloud Integration (HCI). We also covered Smart Data Integration (SDI) and other integration approaches including odata services and Ariba integration. We covered IBP implementation methodology, how to get business teams excited and engaged, and lessons learned from the field. We covered some more advanced topics like Attribute Transformations, Planning Operators, etc. We then launched into Mock Implementation showcase, where each learner took 15 minutes to showcase their model, walk through their modeling approach as they converted raw requirements to a working prototype, and discuss their journey in terms of issues faced with configuration and data loads. Learners were able to see how the same problem could be approached with multiple different ways and get a sense of the flexibility of modeling in SAP IBP. We wrapped  the day with a timed certification test. 

The workshop was very well received. 7 Learners have provided detailed feedback. We ask learners to respond to a series of questions on a 5-point scale: 5 being the best (significantly exceeded expectations) with 1 being the worst (did not meet expectations). I am pleased to communicate the average score across all learners and all questions was 4.5 out of 5. See the picture below to see detailed scores. 

Here are some samples of the qualitative feedback: 

Were you appropriately challenged to learn by this workshop?

  • With the given time constraints during the training period, S&OP training really challenged me. Thanks for such a kickass training.
  • I enjoyed this workshop and get to learn IBP. Yes, the mock implementation was really challenging.
  • Challenging and fast paced.
  • I feel I was challenged to learn in this workshop, especially in the mock implementation part of it wherein I had to implement a case study using statistical data. After this workshop, I know the important nuances of the software and where should I focus my learning on.

How will you rate the overall experience of this workshop?

  • The overall experience of this workshop was good. But I felt it was very fast paced as we did not have time to cover some key advanced topics. It would have been ideal to have this course spread across 5 days instead of 4 days.
  • Overall great – too much information in short time but very good support and good class. 
  • Very good workshop, Lot of good information
  • I feel this workshop was really helpful for me in terms of getting hands on experience in using SAP IBP software. It was an especially enriching and fulfilling experience for me as a beginner as I did not have any SAP experience before. Still, I feel I am a lot more confident with regards to implementing SAP IBP for S&OP now. The most interesting part for me in the workshop was the mock implementation part as it helped me understand the nuances of concepts taught in the workshop and get hands on with the implementation of a case study in SAP IBP.

How do you rate the workshop instructors?

  • The instructors have really good knowledge and working experience on the subject.
  • IBP instructors were phenomenal.  Ashutosh brought a great flavor of industry and I could relate.
  • Instructors were good in explaining the concepts
  • I really feel that given the time constraints, the instructors did a really good job in ensuring smooth conduct of the workshop, maintaining its flow and at the same time giving individual level attention to people who encountered problems while implementation. 

How was your experience with the e-mail based SAP IBP support provided?

  • Prompt and attentive!
  • Ashish was very responsive and helpful but would be nice to have a scheduled time to go over the issues in detail via screen share as it would add more value and time well spent.
  • I got response from Ashish when I need. He responded to me quickly when I get issues. He explained me the concepts which I asked for. He explained me concepts clearly if ask for any. I felt nice discussing with ashish and it provided more scope of learning.
  • Would be nice to have some Skype for business session for faster resolution But Ashish was prompt to the best and was very patient. 
  • Very prompt. Very clear feedback
  • Ashish was really helpful in helping me debugging my mock implementation planning area. He was very responsive and helped me activate my planning area even though I started doing my mock implementation a bit late. 

How likely is it that you would recommend this workshop to a friend or a colleague?

  • I would definitely recommend this workshop to anyone. It was very well structured and good materials (including case studies) shared with us. But would be nice to have as a 5 day workshop as 1 day could be dedicated for advanced topics.
  • I can recommend it to my friends who show interest.
  • Absolutely.  But, it may be too technical for some of the people I work with.  But I can recommend to the IT representatives.
  • Sure!

Please provide your specific feedback on what you liked about the workshop.

  • Case Study and hands-on (nature of the workshop)
  • I liked the contents of the IBP and the instructors were very knowledgeable.
  • I liked the mock implementation which helped me learn the real-world complexities in implementation.The configuration steps were very well explained.
  • Found it better than SAP managed classes I had taken before on ECC. Too much info and aggressive but I would take this any time.  Wish it was slightly slower paced with some more time to do the hands-on real-time because it was very useful information.
  • Implementation experiences.
  • What I really liked about the workshop was that it was a perfect blend of hands on SAP IBP implementation and high level theoretical and practical knowledge, recent & planned innovations of SAP IBP, case studies and specific details on how to best utilize it for different industries. A mock implementation for enhancing the learning experience was also very useful and allowed me to gain confidence. 
    The specifics of what I really liked about the workshop are:
    1. Mock implementation
    2. Support provided by Ashish
    3. Personal attention given to learners who faced difficulties during the workshop
    4. Content of the workshop in terms of it being a mix of high level theoretical and practical concepts and hands on implementation of SAP IBP

Please provide your specific feedback on what you would like to see done differently and how you think it would help.

  • The workshop was very fast paced and were not able to cover all key advanced topics. 5 day workshop would have been very ideal. Need at least 1 full day for advanced topics. Data loads could have been done (currency & UOM conversion) earlier before workshop to save some time as we lost some time and could not go over with clarity. Could have allocated sometime for exercises on advanced topics.
  •  I have seen improvement in this workshop compared to the previous Demand & Inventory workshop which I have attended. You have given more time for practical implementation which I liked the most. Please continue it.
  • Class exercises are a real help and did enable me to learn the concepts.  Some of the configuration is more complex and so it may help to have an advanced class to cover those because a lot was squeezed in here.  Overall I would recommend and it is a great class.
  • More problems and Solutions from real world projects.
  • Everything was great!

To review the schedule of upcoming workshops and to sign-up, please click here.

If you have any questions, you can also send an email to ashutosh@gitacloud.com