June Abroad 2011: Visiting SAP

While in Prague, we met with the Global Finance Shared Services team at SAP, led by Marc Siml.  The office in Prague was formed in 2005 to centralize and standardize the finance and human resource processes.

Siml indicated that communication, leadership, teamwork, and automation were the main priorities of the Prague operations.  During the transition to the centralized processes, SAP analyzed each step of the process to identify shortfalls and areas of excellence.  Siml explained that management felt this was necessary to help with future project implementation and ensure a smooth transition.

With the globalization of the market, SAP remains keenly aware of differing tax requirements and the importance of a diverse workforce.  Many SAP employees speak multiple languages to provide acceptable levels of service for the SAP clients.  With the economic uncertaint and recent financial crisis, SAP has focused efforts to increase transparency and efficiency.

After the presentation, we were able to tour each department of the finance operation at SAP.  The departments visited included purchase orders, expense reimbursement, general ledger and collections.  Each department had an open floor plan, with shared cubicles.  The SAP employees were welcoming and delighted to share their experience with the Elon MBA program.

Written by: Matthew Haynes

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