What Does a Software Provider Need to Know Before Beginning the Product Certification Process with SAP?

In conversation with members of the DataXstream as they wrapped up integrating and certifying a recent third party software product with SAP I began to ask the question: What does a third party software provider need to know before beginning the certification process with SAP?

It came down to three things:

  1. Know the business case. Because integration with SAP requires commitment, time and extensive knowledge of SAP it is important to have identified the business case and the software provider’s expected ROI
  2. Integrating a product with SAP is an involved process. SAP software is specific and so integration has to be done correctly.
  3. Integrating a product with SAP requires dedication, time, and know-how because it is an involved process.

The team seemed to agree that every third party software company is surprised by the scope of the project. To integrate a product with SAP requires a broad understanding of SAP product offerings and modules. SAP is designed to work very specifically and as a result the development process is intricate. Craig Stasila compared SAP to a Swiss Army knife “it is hyper configurable.”  Additionally it is important to approach the project from the perspective of the business user. For the new software to effectively bring value to the SAP eco-system, the developer needs to keep in mind the business user’s needs and the end user’s experience with the interface. An understanding of the technical aspects of SAP NetWeaver integration and development is required to design and implement a solution that is solid and scalable.

Understanding the business case to pursue integration and certification is imperative. Stasila described a conversation he had with a software development company that was approached by SAP. An SAP representative said, “you should get that software integrated with SAP.” The client had no idea what this might involve. They had no experience with SAP and were not aware of the level of complexity. However as part of their assessment phase Stasila had provided a list of priorities the client should focus on to improve their impact in the SAP space. The client then identified items on the list of priorities that they could do in house. The client is currently pursuing those priorities to improve their position.

So if a software company finds that the business case is there for certification with SAP what then? A typical 3rd party certification project looks something like this:

The software company reaches out to DataXstream. DataXstream will execute an assessment of the project to determine the high level scope of the project, develop a blue print and create a Rough Order Management Budget (ROM). If the assessment indicates that the software client should move forward with integrating and certifying their product with SAP DataXstream can work with the client to develop a full-scale project plan in detail. DataXstream can provide resources to execute the plan as well as experience with the SAP ecosystem to help with market analysis and promotion of the certified product. DataXstream is committed to our partners and provides sales support to help answer questions throughout the sales cycle of the certified product.

DataXstream is proud to have had the opportunity to partner with many software companies over the years whose products bring value to the SAP ecosystem. SAP is a leading provider in the enterprise software market; by certifying their product with SAP our clients increase the customer base for their product and gain market value.  Please contact us for more information regarding leveraging DataXstream’s SAP expertise to integrate and certify your product with SAP.

 

Winter Season Wrap Up

The last month of my ski season was very exciting with sixteen race starts in twenty-seven days!

Here are some pictures of the month’s highlights: 

Second Place in the Overall North American Cup Giant Slalom standings gives me a guaranteed World Cup start for the 2015-16 season!

I was second place in the Overall North American Cup Giant Slalom standings which gives me a guaranteed World Cup start for the 2015-16 season!

So excited about my newest sponsor, Lagunitas Brewing Company.  Shout out to Leon from the World Cup in Åre, Sweden, thank you for your support!

I am so excited about my newest sponsor, Lagunitas Brewing Company!  Shout out to Leon from the World Cup in Åre, Sweden, thank you for your support!

I ended U.S. National Championships as the National Combine Champion, 3rd place in Giant Slalom and 3rd place in Slalom in Sugarloaf

I ended U.S. National Championships as the National Combine Champion, 3rd place in Giant Slalom and 3rd place in Slalom in Sugarloaf, Maine

It is always nice to be on the podium!  In the finish of the Giant Slalom at U.S. National Championships

It is always nice to be on the podium!  This is in the finish of the Giant Slalom at U.S. National Championships with Nina O’Brien (1st place) and Paula Moltzan (2nd place)

Making new friends, the Western Region Team is the best team!  Thank you to Gwen and Karin for all of their support this season!

Making new friends on the Western Region Team; “The West Team is the Best Team!” Thank you to Gwen and Karin for all of your support this season!

And hanging with old friends!  Jess Kelley and I at the Director's Cup in Aspen

And hanging with best friends: Jess Kelley and I at the Director’s Cup in Aspen, CO!

Chelsea Marshall and I ripping some turns in Stowe, VT!

Chelsea Marshall and I ripping some turns in the Green Mountains of Stowe, VT!

I took a visit to the Cochrane's sugar shack in Vermont and took lots of shots of warm maple syrup straight from the boiler, so good! #slopesidesugarrush

I took a visit to the Cochrane’s sugar shack in Vermont and took shots of warm maple syrup straight from the boiler, so yummy! #slopesidesugarrush

I am hoping for one more Alta powder day with this guy before we switch to summer time adventures!

Cody Marshall and I are hoping for one more Alta powder day like this before its time to switch to summer time adventures!

Thank you for all of the incredible support this season! 

Now it is time for some spring time rest and reflection! 

OMS+ Client Story

Fruit Grower’s Supply Company (FGS) is the largest agricultural supply co-op on the US West Coast. The cooperative was organized in 1907 as a result of the 1906 earthquake and fires in San Francisco. Today, the nonprofit cooperative association is open to the public and provides the agricultural items required to grow, harvest, package and ship various commodities of produce. Fruit Growers Supply provides over-the-counter sales, specialized ordering, and custom-design irrigation systems with six retail locations across California and Arizona.

Fruit Grower’s Supply determined a need to upgrade their SAP® environment and integrate a new Order Management / Point of Sale solution for each of their retail locations. Their legacy system was out of date and the company that performed the initial implementation had been bought out and no longer existed. Additionally, the legacy hardware FGS was using would no longer have support as of June 2014 and the company was tasked to maintain PCI compliance.

FGS created a committee of stakeholders to determine what to upgrade, evaluate potential partners and decide when to complete these changes to ensure minimal business disruption. The committee included the FGS Operation’s Center Director, IT Director, County Controller and Chief Financial Officer. The committee concluded that not only would it benefit the company to upgrade the legacy POS at that time, but that upgrading SAP and Windows would add additional efficiency. The POS needs were determined to be:

  • Increase customer service levels by supporting additional payment methods
  • Increase sales opportunities
  • Increase accountability by supporting end of day procedures and cash draw functionality

Specific needs critical to Fruit Grower’s Supply included:

  • The need to eliminate SAP interfaces
  • A centralized system
  • The ability to support specific client relationships found in their industry

The ability to support signature capture

Once the committee determined the company’s needs, they were responsible for selecting a solution to fulfill these requirements. The committee chose to partner with DataXstream because DataXstream was one of the only providers able to support all of FGS critical requirements. DataXstream’s skill set and knowledge of SAP upgrades met FGS needs. DataXstream also offered specialty retail knowledge, experience and had previous success with POS implementation at a specialty retailer. Finally, DataXstream demonstrated a clear understanding of the investment required for a successfully implementation and client history showing increased efficiencies and improved order management processes.

Fruit Grower’s Supply and DataXstream engaged in a two-week assessment period to better understand FGS’s needs. They agreed on a four-day cutover throughout Labor Day weekend to minimize the impact to FGS clients. Prior to cutover, the team submitted the implementation to three testing cycles. These testing cycles were also used as training opportunities for the FGS team.

Alex Perlovich, Director of IT for Fruit Growers noted that the assessment period was critical to the success of the project because FGS had the opportunity to require some proof from DataXstream that critical needs could be met. Tim Yates, CEO of DataXstream, noted that FGS did an excellent job providing detailed testing scenarios to test the product before delivery. The teams worked to upgrade SAP from ECC 6.0 to EHP7, implement a new hardware terminal with flexible controls, and migrate from the legacy POS to the new POS with minimal impact while maintaining some legacy processes.

At the end of any implementation the first question is: “What business value has been gained?”

Fruit Grower’s Supply lists the following benefits from upgrading their operating systems and implementing a new POS:

  • The solution was designed, developed and deployed to all of the company stores in 6 months
  • Seamless migration from legacy POS
  • Minimal impact to FGS clients
  • Retained ability to maintain legacy order processes
  • Sales order creation steps were reduced by 50 percent
  • Simplified return and refund processes were established; the time to complete a return and refund process was reduced from 15 minutes to less than 2 minutes
  • Significantly reduced the number of order fulfillment related support tickets from stores
  • Ability to add and refine features and functionality without adding hardware

DataXstream’s Order Management Solution (OMS+) is easily adapted to custom requirements for a variety of clients. It is a good fit for SAP clients looking for capability with permits, licenses, hazardous materials, partial orders, partial delivery, partial return or layaway. The solution is also a good fit for businesses considering SAP functionality, and any business, wholesale or retail, with complex order processing. DataXstream has recently been approached by municipalities exploring the possible use of the solution for sale of permits and licenses as well as restructuring the system to allow for one point accounts receivable.

 

 

DataXstream to Participate at Sapphire Now and ASUG Annual Conference – Booth 418

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When:  May 5-7th, 2015
Where:  Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

The DataXstream team is preparing once again for SAP®’s premier event, SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference.We’ll be joining 20,000+ SAP customers, partners and personnel who gather each year for 3 days of strategy, networking, and education on applications, platform, and services.

In addition to learning more about DataXstream’s leading SAP Consulting and Integration Services, we’re inviting folks to delve into our OMS+ Solution. Purpose built for SAP® ERP, ECC and Retail applications, OMS+ brings advanced Order Management and POS capabilities to in-store sales, tablet, or on-line store.

Attendees can:

  • Schedule a 1-on-1 OMS+ Demo
  • Join us on Thursday, May 7th, for an evening networking event and a chance to meet the team and our OMS+ customers

If you’re going to Orlando and want to secure some time to see OMS+ live or meet with the DataXstream team, complete the form below.  Hope to see you there!

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Senior Test Designer

This assignment is a short-term consulting engagement and will provide professional expertise in testing architecture, design and framework, allowing for continuous improvement in test efficiency, test cycle times, and completeness of testing coverage while utilizing domain knowledge of test tools and techniques in a development organization.

Please submit the form below for consideration.

Location: Berwyn, PA

Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Design and implementation of the overall testing framework
  • Design, development and maintenance of test automation framework/architecture
  • Design of test data to support the test strategy and test approach
  • Continuous improvement of test efficiency, through the implementation of new methods, techniques, and test tools 
across the organization/projects
  •  Monitoring and assuring compliance to the test strategy (per release/project);
  •  Definition of test environment configurations
  •  Monitoring and assuring compliance to required test environment configurations
  • Implementation of post-execution test strategy/framework improvements based on feedback received from test 
analysts and testers
  • Provide periodic status of milestones and checkpoints to management and participating product teams thus allowing 
assessment of the progress against plan
  • Specification of Test Interfaces and harnesses to facilitate testing of system under test

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Experience with software testing in multiple environments including test planning, control, execution, and quality assessment
  • Experience developing test cases and test scenarios from use cases, requirements specifications and/or architectural models
  • Demonstrated understanding of Quality Control and Quality Assurance
  • Proven experience in a variety of testing techniques and test types
  • Experience working within and/or deploying Test Automation frameworks. Experience and success with the use of 
test automation tools
  • Basic knowledge of configuration management principles and tools
  • Software design and development skills. Strong understanding of Object Oriented Analysis and Design (OOAD)
  • Strong understanding of Logical and physical Data Modeling. UML and ER modeling – strongly desired
  • Broad knowledge of multiple hardware and software platforms (Windows, Unix, Linux, mainframe, AS400)
  • Programming experience (OO languages like Java or VBScript and Structured programming such as C or TSL) 
principles of various programming languages (Cobol, RPG, C, Java, VB)
  • Scripting skills. Experience developing test scripts in testing tools (preferably Mercury QuickTest Pro)
  • Familiarity with various market test tools
  • Demonstrated problem-solving and analytical skills. Good troubleshooting skills. Strong attention to detail required
  • Experience with complex products desired
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Proficient PC skills required
  • Good time-management skills. Ability to multi-task or work on multiple projects concurrently

Education and Training:

  • Bachelor degree in a technical discipline or equivalent technical experience is required
  • Advanced degree is desired
  • Minimum 7+ years experience in application software environments
  • 5+ years in software testing in multiple environments including test planning, control, execution, and quality 
assessment
  • 5+ years in software development/scripting
  • 2 years in technical leadership role – desired

Required Foundational Competencies:

  • Builds Relationships: Fosters open dialogue and obtains shared commitment to proposals; shared ideas and information to promote mutual understanding, respect, and effective decision-making.
  • Drives for Results: Acts to create opportunities for Vertex or to avoid future problems; has the courage to act with incomplete information rather than simply thinking about it; maintains a focused commitment to achieving enterprise objectives.
  • Knows the Business: Understands and applies knowledge of Vertex’s business and processes to accomplish goals.
  • Anticipates Customer Needs (internal and external): Establishes and maintains productive relationships with 
customers and partners, anticipating their needs.
  • Learns Continuously: Expands own knowledge base to enhance performance; seeks development to increase 
strengths for current and future needs. Comments: 
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals in this position. Other functions may be assigned and management retains the right to add or change the duties at any time.

 

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Senior Java/Developer / Engineer

DataXstream is looking for an experienced Senior Java Developer/Engineer to work within a team environment to both develop and support existing applications for DataXstream and its partners.  This position will involve mostly new development integrating 3rd party APIs with SAP.

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Type: Full-Time

Required Technical Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computing related field
  • 4+ years Java application development experience required
  • Expert experience with Java 6 or later
  • J2EE
  • POJO

Optional Technical Qualifications:

  • JUnit
  • JDBC/SQL
  • Subversion Management
  • Running POJOs as Windows Services (Tanuki Wrapper)
  • Product packaging, installation wizard creation
  • Multi-platform support
  • SAP J2EE Programming a plus
  • SAP Java Connector (JCo) 3.0 experience a plus

Additional Qualifications:

  • Experience supporting and working in a project development and support environment a plus
  • Self-starter able to work in small groups or completely alone
  • Good coding, testing, and documentation skills required
  • Have an analytical mind and the ability to delve into detail, but also have an interest in broader business issues
  • Exceptional communications (written and oral), change leadership, and customer service skills
  • Forward looking approach that anticipates overall project and engagement needs
  • Demonstrated customer service skills/attitude
  • Demonstrated value added expertise in special areas of SAP technology
  • Demonstrated ability to author technical specifications, presentations, and other documentation

Additional Requirements:

  • Travel to client sites may be required

 

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http://www.dataxstream.com/2015/03/senior-java-developer-engineer/

World Championships 2015

Sometimes you rip it and sometimes you don’t, it has been very challenging to manage all of the details of my ski racing career by myself this season and I feel very proud to have accomplished my goal of representing the United States at the 2015 World Championships on home soil!  Thank you to everyone who supports my journey, you make it possible for me to live my dream!!!

Second run inspection at the World Championship giant slalom in Beaver Creek!

Second run inspection at the World Championship giant slalom in Beaver Creek!

Big hugs from my fan club at World Championships!  All my favorite men from left to right: dad, brother and boyfriend/coach!

Big hugs from my fan club at World Championships! All my favorite men from left to right: dad, brother and boyfriend/coach!

Racing American, But Also Racing Independently – VailDaily.com

Lots of Skiing!

The World Cup and North American Cup schedules have allowed me a break from racing the past few weeks of January and I have been using that time to do lots of skiing!

IMG_0280I am so thankful to Tim Kohl and everyone at Alta Ski Area for some amazing days on the mountain!

~Skiing Soft Snow Is Good For The Soul~

Baldy Chute, Alta

Baldy Chute, Alta

IMG_0276

All Smiles :-)

I also want to thank the Yates family and everyone at DataXstream for organizing such a successful event with the Wintergreen Ski Team.  It was so fun to share my passion for the sport with so many enthusiastic kids and parents. #DreamBig

IMG_0284WtgMLK-2-XLIMG_0332WtgMLK-14-L

Here is a link to a video on the event by w-set TV:

Pro Skier Visits Youth Team At Wintergreen Resort

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And then, of course, I have been training hard!

Thank you to Rowmark Ski Academy and Park City Ski Team for including me in their training!

Thank you Podium Ski Service for keeping my skis fast!

IMG_0347

Photo Credit: Brie Pike-Springer

And THANK YOU to Cody Marshall for the coaching!

Sometimes you just need to hit some plastic!!!

Sometimes you just need to hit some plastic!!!

WtgMLK-30-S

And Lastly, the BIG NEWS, I will be competing for USA at the 2015 World Championships in Beaver Creek next month!!!

U.S. Names 26 Alpine Athletes to 2015 World Championships

Rise Before the Sun and Ski!

Rise Before the Sun and Ski!

Lots of Skiing!

The World Cup and North American Cup schedules have allowed me a break from racing the past few weeks of January and I have been using that time to do lots of skiing!

IMG_0280I am so thankful to Tim Kohl and everyone at Alta Ski Area for some amazing days on the mountain!

~Skiing Soft Snow Is Good For The Soul~

Baldy Chute, Alta

Baldy Chute, Alta

IMG_0276

All Smiles :-)

I also want to thank the Yates family and everyone at DataXstream for organizing such a successful event with the Wintergreen Ski Team.  It was so fun to share my passion for the sport with so many enthusiastic kids and parents. #DreamBig

IMG_0284WtgMLK-2-XLIMG_0332WtgMLK-14-L

Here is a link to a video on the event by w-set TV:

Pro Skier Visits Youth Team At Wintergreen Resort

10857987_804095668710_33111185321891709_n

And then, of course, I have been training hard!

Thank you to Rowmark Ski Academy and Park City Ski Team for including me in their training!

Thank you Podium Ski Service for keeping my skis fast!

IMG_0347

Photo Credit: Brie Pike-Springer

And THANK YOU to Cody Marshall for the coaching!

Sometimes you just need to hit some plastic!!!

Sometimes you just need to hit some plastic!!!

WtgMLK-30-S

And Lastly, the BIG NEWS, I will be competing for USA at the 2015 World Championships in Beaver Creek next month!!!

U.S. Names 26 Alpine Athletes to 2015 World Championships

Rise Before the Sun and Ski!

Rise Before the Sun and Ski!

SAP ABAP/PI Developer Position

Location: US-Multiple Locations

Technical Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of experience in ABAP/PI/XI Programming is required
  • Experience with EDI strategy and tools
  • Understanding of Object Oriented concepts
  • Experience with Data Dictionary, Function Modules (Remote Enabled), BAPIs, Web Services
  • Experience creating/modifying Adobe Forms
  • Proficiency with ALE/IDocs including error handling is desirable
  • Experience working with SAP ECC 6.0
  • Programming experience in various modules – MM, SD, FI
  • Work will primarily be remote, but could be potential for periodic travel to client sites

Additional Qualifications:

  • US citizens and those authorized to work in the US are encouraged to apply. We are unable to sponsor H1b candidates at this time.
  • Sharp, energetic consultants with an understanding of business processes
  • Self-starter
  • Ability to work both individually and as part of a team
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  11. *By submitting this form you are agreeing to receive periodic communications from DataXstream. DataXstream will not share, sell or provide any of said information to a third-party for any reason. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link at the bottom of all emails or sending an email to info@dataxstream.com with the subject line “unsubscribe”.
 

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Olympian Megan McJames to come to Virginia

DataXstream LLC is pleased to bring Two Time Olympian Megan McJames to Virginia January 16th through January 19th.

Megan McJames is an American Alpine Ski Racer specializing in Giant Slalom. She competed in Sochi and in Vancouver and she will be guest coaching the Wintergreen Race and Development Teams at Wintergreen Resort. DataXstream LLC, based in Williamsburg Virginia has been one of Megan’s financial supporters this 2014-2015 ski season. DataXstream LLC in conjunction with the Wintergreen Winter Teams Boosters is offering this opportunity to ski with an Olympian to the Wintergreen Team Athletes. Additionally, Megan will complete a pace setter run on Nastar at Wintergreen allowing Nastar customers the opportunity to “race against Megan.” She will be available for meet and greet with Wintergreen Team Athletes, Nastar customers, and the general public from 12-3 pm on Jan.17th and 18th by the Nastar race course on Eagle Swoop, Wintergreen Resort, Virginia.

for more on Megan McJames: https://meganmcjames.wordpress.com/mediapublications/

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Career Highlights

  • 2010 (Vancouver) and 2014 (Sochi) Olympian
  • NorAM Overall Champion 2006,2013
  • NorAm Super-G Champion 2006
  • NorAm Giant Slalom Champion ’06,’07,’08,’12
  • National Combined Champion 2010
  • 51 Europa Cup starts
  • 63 World Cup Starts
  • Member of the World Championship Team: ’09, ’11
  • Member of the World Junior Championship Team: ’05, ’06, ’07