Open Grid Europe channels enterprise SAP portal into the future

Neptune Software helps OGE  replace their enterprise SAP portal and create an efficient, secure, and modern series of apps that take advantage of future-oriented UI.

CHALLENGE: Wanted: a fast, intuitive UX, easy to build

For a company that relies on SAP for a wide range of enterprise needs, replacing its enterprise SAP portal is a strategic decision impacts nearly all of its 1,650 end users.

And when Germany-based Open Grid Europe (OGE) determined that a modern and simple user interface would help employees better navigate its SAP capabilities and be more productive, that’s exactly what the company set out to do.

One of the biggest natural gas transmission system operators in Europe, Open Grid Europe is an active supporter of the European gas market, working to ensure safe, environmentally-friendly and customer-oriented gas transmission throughout the continent, and helping to lead improvements in infrastructure.

The company provides commercial, technical and IT services to support its pipeline transmission network, and offers pipeline design, construction, operation, quality control, and management services to third-party companies as well.

An outdated and complex SAP user interface made it challenging for users to access the various systems, which include ERP, materials management, human resources, and more.

To change that, Open Grid Europe sought to provide a new enterprise SAP portal with simpler, well-designed modern capabilities that contained only the information users needed. IT leadership also knew they needed to get results quickly – and that called for a solution that was fast and intuitive to design, build, manage and run across mobile and desktop, and on and offline.

APPROACH: POC in two weeks made it easy for users to fall in love

“We knew that we could achieve great benefits in using SAP Fiori to modernize our enterprise portal,” said Gerald Stappen, IT-Manager at OGE.

To hold the line on costs as it accelerated its SAP user strategy, Open Grid Europe wanted to make use of its existing SAP infrastructure. Fortunately, with Neptune Software, there’s no need to install NetWeaver Gateway. And because the solution provides standard and familiar SAP Authentication and Transport Security mechanisms, the team has the tools and skills in place to ensure they’re also keeping the SAP environment secure.

As a first step, developers set out to deliver a renewed and unified user interface for the enterprise portal, including moving all content into Neptune Software Launchpad. A third-party consultant team assists to build the user interface framework in Neptune Software while working in tandem with Open Grid developers, which developed the business logic in popup-based functions.

A group of users reviewed and tested the new portal and provided feedback while it was in the development environment, making it simple for the team to adjust the UX before go-live.

Then a roadshow presentation to highlight the new solution helped garner additional user excitement for the switchover.

“Users appreciate it and wanted to know how quickly they could have it,” said Stappen. The answer? Fast!

RESULTS: Transporting efficient value from SAP enterprise

The new enterprise SAP portal went live in January 2017 after a development time of less than 5 months and included ties to more than 200 SAP and non-SAP apps.

“Users appreciate the new modern interface and tell us that the apps are now easier to understand and use, which helps them do better and faster work,” said Stappen.

In addition to a project-planning app that went live in March to help project leaders manage resource utilization and costs for internal company initiatives, thirteen more apps have gone live this year.

The team will make use of apps from the Neptune Software library as it builds additional capabilities, including leave requests and other human resource tasks, which will launch later this summer.

Developers are also working to add more content to the existing apps, including conference room booking and project manager cockpit and extend the portal to Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices at the end of the summer.

“Neptune Software is much easier to learn and use than other development tools, making it simple for our ABAP developers to gain much-needed modern skills, including mobile. Training new developers is also easy, since they can get started immediately with Neptune Software instead of having to deep dive into ABAP,” Stappen added.

The tight integration with ABAP source code means Open Grid Europe can build on core backend capabilities easily and will continue to roll new modern and mobile functionalities one user group at a time with their new enterprise SAP portal.

“Now we can take advantage of new technology in an efficient way, which we expect will lead to better total cost of ownership. And since the Neptune Software solution is SAP-certified for integration with SAP HANA, moving to SAP S/4HANA in the future will also be possible.”

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You can also download the German PDF version: HERE

To read this Case Study in German, please click here.

Open Grid Europe Logo

Customer Industry: Oil and gas

Geographic Reach: Germany

Neptune Functionality Scope: Mobile & Web

Number of Users: 1,650


Devices: Mobile, Desktop

Implementation Timeline: Over 200 apps and less than five months for the first deployment

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