A Day in the Life of a Global SAP Implementation Manager

A day in the life-Oerlikon

As we constantly work with customers and design partners to improve our product, we at Panaya often get the opportunity to meet some seriously cool ERP pros. We’ve now set out on a mission to bring you the voices and stories of those people. Today, let’s meet Panaya’s customer Michel Bucher. 

Michel Bucher

Michel Bucher
Global SAP Implementation Manager at Oerlikon

Since taking office two years ago as a Global SAP Implementation Manager at Oerlikon, a leading global technology and engineering group, Michel has had a chance to wear a few hats, and take on different responsibilities, such as managing projects, testing, and even data migration.

Oerlikon has a global footprint of around 11 000 employees at 182 locations in 37 countries. In 2019, the company generated CHF 2.6 billion in sales and invested more than CHF 120 million in R&D.

Currently on His Plate

These days, acting also as a testing manager, Michel is part of a team that manages a 5-year project of moving Oerlikon from Vision to SAP ERP. Spanning multiple countries and business users, this rollout has between four to five projects go live every six months, with some of them taking up to 4 years.

Main Challenge in SAP Test Management

You can’t move to SAP from 0 to 100,” says Michel. So, on top of the execution and test management challenges, The Project Manager has to transform the organization’s mindset from a small vision ecosystem, where everyone is doing their own thing, into an SAP structured ecosystem. He has to introduce a holistic approach to testing, in terms of managing a multi-cycle project that focuses not only on functionality but also on UI and performance. “The key to all of this,” says Michel “is breaking the silos and having everyone working as a unit.”

Favorite Part of His Role

Michel loves the ability to create something new. Naturally, he embraces and enjoys change.

“My favorite part of the project”, says Michel, is “the final stage of testing. Then we can already see the hard work paying off as we get closer to go live. I like seeing projects being completed and how it helps users to digitalize the company.“ 

Tips for Other Testing Project Managers:

  1. Testing is often right-shifted by slipping deadlines. Never get discouraged, always keep testing ‘top-of-mind’ in your organization.
  1. Less but better. When you go into testing, do less, but make sure you do it well!
  1. Even though it’s often right-shifted, you need to do left-shift testing – learn about what it means, and look for ways to test earlier, closer to the development cycle.

Life Before Panaya

“Before Panaya, we used Excel, and it was obvious that there was no way we could move into this project with Excel. We needed a tool that was simple to use and friendly to non-technical users, with zero administration. Panaya Test Dynamix was a natural choice. As a testing manager, I was excited about the opportunity to effortlessly automate some of our existing testing practices, like capturing test evidence. “

Life After Panaya

Being a SaaS solution, Panaya gives Oerlikon the flexibility to manage a geographically dispersed team. With Panaya, Oerlikon can add or reduce users as needed, on different steps of the project.

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Michel can now run multiple change projects in parallel and has four to five of them go-live every six months. “We have testers all over the world, I truly believe that without Panaya, we couldn’t have been in a situation where we consistently meet our go-live dates as planned, especially during the Coronavirus outbreak.” he says. 

“The big surprise about Panaya,” Michel says, “is that I am now getting emails from people in my organization who are not signed up as Panaya users, asking for a license. I have never experienced it. People usually stay away from the application and just want to get a report, but we now have people centered around the tools and requesting access to it.”

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