Conversations with Friends: Nalinda Ratnayaka

Posted on November 2020 By Speller International
Conversations With Friends

Ever wanted to change something in the world of SAP? Enhance a platform, integrate a program your way or tweak a system that may, at times, fail you?

This month in our ‘Conversations with friends’ series, we speak to our friend Nalinda Ratnayake and ask him the big three questions we’ve all been thinking. What’s the biggest change in SAP, what do you think will change in the future (crystal ball style) and, the big one, what would you change if you could?

Let’s see what he had to say.

Nalinda Ratnayaka (SAP Data Migration BA, Sigma Healthcare)

Nalinda is a functional SAP Consultant with over 15 years of experience in project and support work. He has had a focus on Data and Data Migration over the last few years.

What’s the biggest change you have seen in SAP technology since you started your career?

SAP had evolved over time on technology and innovation starting from the SAP R/2 era of mainframe-based system. Then passed the era of SAP R/3 with three tier architecture which was the most popular version of SAP. Then it moved to client-server based ERP with mySAP integrated to SRM, PLM, CRM and SCM solutions. Then it evolved to SAP ECC with the NetWeaver technology.

On the evolving journey, the biggest change of SAP is the launch of SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori user experience. Moving from on-premise to cloud solution is the next biggest change. Integration to the other cloud-based solutions such as SuccessFactors, Concur, Fieldglass, Hybris and Ariba had changed the end user experience and the way of working.

Looking into your crystal ball, what do you foresee as the next big change to SAP in your field of expertise?

SAP had evolved a lot in the Data Migration space. Time spent in defining data load templates and load programs had reduced significantly with SAP S/4HANA Migration Cockpit, which comes with pre-defined data templates and load programs. Source system connectivity and data cleansing activities were streamlined by SAP Data Services with SAP Information Steward.

As the next big change, SAP will be focusing more in improving the value engineering of the data migration process. SAP had already introduced Advanced Data Migration options. Embedded project management and stakeholder management solutions with artificial intelligence and machine learning functionality will be more in use.

Is there anything about SAP that you’ve always wanted to change and would if you had the power to?

SAP knowledge is key for the consultants in successful delivery of SAP projects. Shortage of qualified S/4HANA resources is one of the key limitations for SAP to be at a lower rank in the ERP world. One of the barriers for SAP consultants to gain knowledge is the cost of SAP education. I would make the SAP training, education and certification more affordable.

Speller would like to thank Nalinda for his input. It’s really appreciated. Feel free to comment on changes you’ve seen over the years in SAP or tell us your thoughts in what you predict will be the next big thing is SAP.

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