Manfred Grossmann has seen the scenario play out over and over.\n\n\u201cI think companies that sell new products in an IT environment don\u2019t always use them themselves,\u201d said the vice president of corporate IT and project excellence for digital service provider Sycor Group. \u201cLike everybody else, they focus on things that are not quite new.\u201d\n\nThis was the situation Sycor recently found itself facing.\n\n\u201cWhen you\u2019ve been using an older system release for years, hardly being able to do any upgrades, you get into a kind of innovation trap,\u201d Grossmann explained.\n\nPrior to 2022, Sycor\u2019s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system was 60% dependent on nonstandard processes, a situation that complicated operations, blocked growth, and reduced innovation.\n\nAs a result, application runtimes tended to be long.\n\nThe log-on process \u201cwas really slow and not state of the art,\u201d Grossmann said. \u201cIt was based on on-premises hardware with additional virtualization layers.\u201d Users had to begin by logging on to a virtual private network (VPN) ensuring that all data would be privately transmitted. That often took 20 seconds, then another 20 seconds to start a program.\u201d\n\n\u201cIt was very frustrating if you were in a meeting and wanted to demonstrate something on the screen. Everyone would be sitting there, waiting for the data to come up.\u201d\n\nIn order to keep pace with its forward-looking philosophy, Sycor would have to simplify and standardize all processes of the company \u2013 replacing the unwieldy system with a single platform.\n\nInvesting in change\n\nWith its main headquarters in Goettingen, Germany, Sycor Group covers the entire range of information and communication technology, including software asset management, concept development, telecommunication services, and IT outsourcing.\n\nThe urgency to develop the Sycor Intelligent Business Platform was felt at every level, since two legal mergers were scheduled to occur by New Year\u2019s Day 2022.\n\nThe company forged ahead anyway, vowing to have the platform in place when business operations combined. \n\n\u201cYou have to invest in change,\u201d Grossmann said.\n\nImplementation partner Walldorf Consulting assisted on everything from development enhancements and interfaces to program management.\n\n\u201cImplementing public cloud software is completely different to classic on-premises approaches,\u201d Grossmann pointed out. \u201cThat\u2019s why we needed a good implementation partner to guide us through the cloud environment and its specific processes.\u201d\n\nWith an eye on future innovation and new business model support, the decision was made to reach across the fragmented services and systems by building the platform with seven cloud solutions from ERP leader SAP, including SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Marketing Cloud & Sales Cloud, SAP Concur, and SAP SuccessFactors.\n\n\u201cIndividual software would no longer have to be installed,\u201d Grossmann said. \n\nComplexity would be minimized by incorporating mobile and other technologies to capture data, allowing users to log on from anywhere and gain support from modern user interfaces.\n\nNew horizons ahead\n\nIn less than 10 months, 179 services and processes were implemented, enabling Sycor to meet its January 1, 2022 deployment deadline.\n\nAmong the achieved goals: a single sign-on across all systems, greater transparency at every information level, and faster response times for internal and customer requests.\n\nThe utilization of mobile, user-centric applications for recording and billing expenses dramatically reduced complex administrative tasks of the past, creating more time for innovation.\n\nFor its holistic re-design of its entire business platform, Sycor was honored as a winner at the 2022 SAP Innovation Awards, an annual ceremony highlighting organizations using SAP technologies to transform the world.\n\nMeanwhile, modernization efforts continue at Sycor, with plans to use its enhanced tools to improve the company\u2019s HR processes, create new billing models, and widen the cloud and technology portfolio for customers.\n\n\u201cWhen I think back on the way we developed the platform, there are many minor things we could have changed,\u201d Grossmann said. \u201cBut when you consider the methodology and the way we\u2019ve run the project, I would do it again completely the same way.\n\nLearn more about Sycor\u2019s amazing accomplishment that earned them the SAP Innovation Awards here.