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SAP eInvoicing - Top 3 Latin American Lessons Learned

by Steve Sprague, Vice President of Product Strategy, Invoiceware International

May 15, 2012

Over the last 5 years, I have had the fortune to learn from hundreds of SAP implementations in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.  Below are the top 3 lessons learned from the engagements I have seen and that you should take into consideration for your SAP projects.

  • SAP configuration is always underestimated -- Many of these countries, especially Brazil, have some of the most complex tax requirements in the world, if not the most complex.  In about 50% of the engagements, we see that either the budget or the timeline is underestimated.

Solution: Look for pre-configured SAP Rapid Deployment Templates. These not only simplify your configurations, but can buffer your SAP system against ongoing changes caused by your upgrade cycles or the government changes.

  • Local country selection process when running a centralized or regional instance of SAP -- many times these decisions are made at the local level for solutions, but unlike European eInvoicing, Latin America WILL AFFECT your SAP configuration and throw a wrench into your management and COE procedures.

Solution: look for solutions that can consolidate your interfaces and handle multiple countries with a single platform. It is painful enough to keep up with multiple governments let alone keeping up with 4 local vendors that are not concerned with your ERP upgrade or processes.

  • Not evaluating support capability -- the number of times I hear; I wish we could speak with someone in english, portuguese and spanish depending on who is calling equates to about 95% of the conversations I have. &n bsp;Often, with ERP systems located in US, Canadian or European data centers -- there needs to be support in local languages for the local teams, and in english for the global teams.  These support teams can act as a buffer, so that global teams don't have to get involved with issues that can be solved locally.

Solution: Ensure your providers have support in english, portuguese, and spanish. Also, ensure that the support include Phone - as you don't want your warehouse waiting on a computer generated ticket when your truck is not able to leave.

Many companies are faced with tight deadlines or IT projects that come up because of new market acquisitions or a change in the business strategy.  Latin America is a massive growth market and continues to be a focus for SAP roll outs -- don't get behind and find yourself delaying your projects.

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