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If you’re like most CIOs, CISOs or internal auditors that work in a company that has implemented SAP, every day you have to contend with overloaded terms like “Profile,” “Authorization Role” and “Authorization Object” and quotes such as “This person can't access the company code because he doesn’t have BUKRS in his profile.” Don’t worry. You’re not the only one who feels like they speak a different language. Keep reading.

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A couple of years ago, we included a “Lock User” button feature into our security product. If you received a “very high” alert, you could log into the system, catch the fraud in action, press the “Lock User” button and prevent the thief from stealing. Bam…. you’re the hero.

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One of the perks of being a Senior Implementation Advisor at Xpandion is hearing our customers describe their many juicy company stories. And let me tell you, there are some doozies. This most recent one is a very interesting case.

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Believe it or not, SAP wants you to be its customer. Moreover, SAP wants you to be a satisfied customer so that your company will purchase other SAP management solutions in the future. If you have always assumed that negotiating SAP contracts is impossible (as impossible as negotiating contracts with a bank, utility provider, cell phone operator), then assume again.

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Imagine the following scenario: you’re about to go to the supermarket, your wallet is in your pocket with a $50 bill in it. Just before you leave the house, your spouse asks you to buy something from the pharmacy and gives you a $50 bill as well. You put the money in your pocket and leave to the mall. The question is, how much money do you have?

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I’m sure you heard this kind of dialog before:

“We need to remove one of your authorizations immediately”

“Why?!”

“Because it violates a segregation of duties rule”

“Which rule???”

“Something to do with the financial auditors”

“But you can’t, I need it to do my job!”

“I can’t do anything about it, sorry. It’s a requirement coming from management”

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When you go to a tailor to purchase a suit, do you prefer a suit that fits you 100%, in size and taste? Or would you rather get a semi-fitted suit, which is not quite your size (baggy…) and only close to the color you wanted? I’m pretty sure the unanimous answer is a 100% tailored suit – nothing less. In off-the-shelf software however, I recommend the opposite: tailor the software as little as possible.

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IT activities in most enterprises fall under internal rules and regulations. Transferring objects to the production environment or creating them – is no different. Companies usually have a process for transferring T-Codes into the production environment or creating new user queries in the global queries area. Such a process begins with creating the object in the development system according to a design case; followed by testing it in the development system, transferring it to QA, running tests, getting approval from the user and finally transferring it to production. Quite a straightforward process, and in most cases works well.

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Pay (only) as you use – innovative approach? Indeed (although we have already recommended a similar approach in SAP licensing by concurrent users, suggesting that companies pay only for the licenses they really need). I am a big believer in SAP® and also in methods that enable enterprises to better use SAP. One such method is pay (only) as you use. This can be achieved by implementing the concept of usage inspection in every aspect and angle of a business. Effective ERP usage inspection enables companies to pay only for software/programs/applications that are actually being used. In this blog post I am referring to internal payment processes, which organizations can really implement very easily.

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One of your accounting clerks just left on maternity leave (congratulations to Sally). Another employee is replacing her and thus has the new responsibility of performing Invoice Reconciliation (good luck to John). To perform this task, John needs to open a new request in the portal for the proper authorization. Then he must browse through the business process list and select Invoice Reconciliation, add an explanation for the request and submit it. The financial top-user receives the request and approves/disapproves it. Upon approval, John is automatically assigned the required authorization role, and even receives and email indicating this.

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