Posted by admin on January 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm
Embracing Excel as an SAP Front End
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If you’re searching for a third-party software solution to enhance your business’s existing SAP ERP Financials functionality, your standard options will include plenty of products created purely by IT folks. A closer look, however, could lead you to a solution developed by the functional people who use SAP software day in and day out.
Software provider Z Option is a great example of an SAP partner that has both a technical and functional understanding of the nuances and challenges of using SAP solutions — all the way up to the founding members. In fact, when the original founders met for the first time, it wasn’t to discuss a business plan, identify investors, or map out product lines. Instead, they gathered together like a project team, collaborating to solve an actual business challenge: how to simplify spreadsheet based SAP ERP Financials data entry.
In the early 1990s, Z Option co-founder Jim Halepaska was in the accounting department of an early SAP customer that was looking to streamline the entry of spreadsheet-based data into its SAP ERP Financials system. Halepaska was the user representative on a project team that eventually developed an internal spreadsheet interface that would upload the data from general ledger entries into the SAP ERP system.
“As I began working on more SAP-related projects around the country as a functional consultant, I realized there was a broad need for this kind of spreadsheet interface,” he says.
It was during one of those projects that Halepaska met his fellow founders of Z Option, and they all commiserated about recreating a lot of their own work, consistently writing the same program for the spreadsheet interface. “We all wished someone out in the market would just write the elegant and comprehensive version of this functionality so we wouldn’t have to keep writing it every time and could work on other things,” he says. “When that never happened, we decided to do it ourselves. And that’s how the company was founded.”