SAP Implementation
Project EMPOWER – Our SAP Implementation
We take pleasure in announcing the successful implementation of SAP ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) software in PPL, through Project EMPOWER. It was the profound vision, full commitment & strong support from our top management that made this success possible. Our MD kindly agreed and acted in the vital role of “Executive Sponsor” for the project, defining the vision of the project and providing the most crucial direction, while all members of top management offered their valuable time acting as the Steering Committee for the project, offering their full commitment & support in the form of policy level decisions & valuable guidance to the entire project.

Besides the role of the Steering Committee, PPL’s top management have also played the important role of “Business Process Owners” in the project, providing the most essential inputs on the current processes & future requirements in each business area and guiding the process design.

While the SAP software was supplied by M/s SAP India Ltd (a subsidiary of SAP AG Germany), PPL retained M/s Siemens Information Systems Limited (SISL) as implementation partner, who played a very crucial role in studying, analyzing, designing & implementing PPL’s business processes in SAP. The conclusions of the BPMS (Business Process Management System) diagnostic study conducted at PPL, prior to Project EMPOWER, proved to be very useful in the design of the new business processes in SAP. The SISL team consisted of a Project Manager, leading the entire team and a team of about 25 functional & 10 technical consultants at the peak time of the project. M/s Mobien Technologies Ltd, also partnered with PPL, through their offering of I-Notify product, customization & implementation services. The other major business partners include M/s IBM India for supplying the hardware and M/s Sify Limited & M/s BSNL for Wide Area Networking.

The PPL team consisted of about 15 functional Managers & 7 members of IT dept, playing the most important role of “Core Team” of the project. The core team was the backbone of the entire project in its execution. From the business side, the core team was responsible for defining & clarifying the current business process details & future requirements, facilitate the creation of correct business environment in SAP, receive, test & accept deliveries from SISL, prepare the correct & clean master data in SAP & train all end users on usage of SAP screens. From the SAP product & the project side, their role included understanding the business processes & the configuration options in SAP as well as ensuring that the new process design in SAP meets all business requirements. The IT members of the core team were responsible for providing the necessary IT infrastructure to the project, installing & maintaining the SAP software & the programming support to the project. PPL’s Project Manager was instrumental in defining & monitoring the deliverables & timelines of the project, resolving technical, functional & administrative issues, ensuring quality, liaisoning with SISL & other partners, managing the core team and reporting to the Steering Committee.

Special mention must be made about the support offered by all process owners, especially in offering & sparing some of their best talent as core team members for the entire duration of the project and in forming special teams to ensure preparation of correct & clean master data. The master data preparation activity which required a massive effort, was successfully completed by the special teams in all areas.

Last, but certainly not the least, mention must be made about our end users, who have spared their valuable time in defining & detailing business requirements, learning & practicing and successfully using the SAP application.

The scope of the project covered the basic processes in all business areas of PPL including Finance & Accounts, Costing & Controlling, Supply & Distribution, Sales, Production, Materials Management, Plant Maintenance, Quality Management, Human Resources & Payroll. A separate product called I-Notify, was also implemented to capture transactions from Sales Fields of all regions through PDAs, integrated with SAP. Besides these, Enterprise Portal with Employee Self-Service (ESS) facilities, was also implemented as an “Intranet Portal”, offering “collaborative facilitiles” limited to internal PPL users. Further to going live, the SAP application is currently being used by users of Corporate Office at Bhubaneswar, Production Facilities at Paradeep and all Regional Offices, while the I-Notify application is being used by Field Sales Officers through PDAs & Regional Offices of all Regions.

The SAP implementation, which started in mid May 2007 & went live on 6th February 2008, is currently going through a stabilization phase. Some of the business processes are still being “tuned” to achieve the best results. The present layer of implementation, mostly addresses the basic operational / transactional aspects of PPL’s business processes. More advanced layers of planning & strategic support, which need a very stabilized & reliable foundation at the transactional level, can be planned in future as enhancements through the implementation of advanced modules, further to the stabilization of the present implementation.

Apart from the quantitative business benefits, as can be seen from the limited period of live operations after go-live, SAP facilitates improving several elements of our work culture, such as - transparency in working, sharing of a single unified corporate vision & information base, quicker, better, information-driven business decisions, person-independence etc. SAP has surely brought in the much-desired cross-functional integration of processes, and thus, of people.

The SAP implementation project has been a unique experience. It was possible only due to the clear vision, guidance & support of our management and the dedicated & relentless efforts of the entire team. Taking this opportunity, here are hearty congratulations to one & all who participated in the project to make it a grand success.
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