How to avoid becoming a cost overrun statistic!

One of the top five questions that we get asked on a regular basis by our customers is “how easy is it to integrate ProCon with SAP?”

It’s a fair question. After all, as our customer base consists of some of the world’s leading organizations, it won’t come as a surprise that most already have SAP servicing their cross-company finance and business accounting needs. And as frugality is the name of the game in the current climate, our clients are constantly seeking ways to ensure that they have complete control over their project costs—or as much control as is possible in the circumstances—and that’s where ProCon comes in.

There’s a finite number of hours in the working day, so not everyone has the time to gain a market-wide statistical view of their own sector, but did you know that around 64% of all megaprojects suffer from cost overruns? And with a typical capex project costing in excess of US$1 billion, the reason for better cost control rapidly comes into sharp focus.

Our clients typically manage high-value, high-risk contracts on fast-moving large projects, so there’s no time for technical nightmares or long protracted integrations. They want quick, tangible benefits, and that is what ProCon delivers.

Although all of our customers’ business drivers are subtly different—dependent on type of project and system landscape—we’ve recognized that their common objective is to gain improved control of project capex by providing better control and discipline across disparate teams. Part of this control is the ability to provide decision makers with the information they need to get a health check on their strategic contracts quickly and simply, in order to ensure that they are meeting their expected obligations. And, ultimately to avoid a costly claim or dispute that could affect the project deliverables.

The holistic picture this demands often involves gathering data from multiple systems, and for managing risks relating to contract commitment, this usually links to the financial system and therefore the ERP system…. which, as we’ve already mentioned, is generally SAP.

SAP does a fine job of offering actual expenditure value visibility. But we know that access to potential expenditure value as well as potential and actual commitment value, can provide the birds-eye view of the project that’s needed for most effective cost management.

The goal is to make proactive contract management a simpler and more precise task. An example of the symbiotic relationship between SAP and ProCon can be seen in the handling of invoices. Approved invoices and invoice values can be processed in SAP and presented automatically within ProCon to show actual expenditure amounts. Additionally, contractors can submit their invoices through the ProCon Contractor Portal, which will automatically populate SAPs invoice records to await authorization. Other SAP integration options include synchronization of master vendor details, outline agreements, and purchase orders.

To accomplish that, we provide an out-of-the-box suite of REST and SOAP APIs complemented by an open service bus technology designed specifically to allow customer and system integrators to use their existing investment in middleware products and IT/development skills to quickly integrate ProCon with both their on-premises and cloud solutions.  All our SAP integration offerings come complete with a solution blueprint that includes process configurations in addition to more technical details such as recommended system data mappings and advice on how to access the secure API that facilitates the data integration.

This represents a significant advance in rapid implementation using a fully supported common set of ProCon APIs working in unison with SAP. And for our customers, it means faster access to more accurate cost-commitment data to enable greater optimization of the project-management process.

What’s next?

Read this blog ‘Why use a shotgun to kill a fly?’ to learn why your SAP solution is not enough to protect you from the contract risk on a complex project.

About the author
Declan Gribbin | Chief Technology Officer
As CTO and a co-founder of 8over8, Declan has extensive experience in development of large scale enterprise solutions. Since early days, he has worked closely with customers to ensure the architecture and delivery of the 8over8 platform remained focused on meeting their key needs.
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