SAP Centre of Excellence

There has been much talk recently about moulding a Centre of Excellence (CoE) team for SAP. This is not just another buzzword.A CoE should be structured in such a way as to allow fast-paced reactive and proactive responses to business needs. It needs to have representation from all areas of the system as well as interdependent links with the wider business community. This last point is crucial: one of the primary functions of your CoE is that it has an open and honest communication flow with business stakeholders. Without this, your team will become a reactive mess with a poor reputation.

A typical CoE structure might look like the diagram below. This is a CoE for a small to medium sized company using SAP; larger companies will need more bodies in the individual roles and with that comes more hierarchy (it is not sensible or practical to have dozens of people reporting into one CoE Lead). The roles here are not exhaustive – you could easily add some project managers. Some of the roles can be described as follows.

Success Stories 1


More and more these days, companies are driven by standards and the CoE is no different. The CoE Lead’s role will be to ensure that projects and enhancements are implemented to certain well-defined standards of compliance. Their role is to ensure that their team is fully aware and they have “bought in” to these standards. A key interaction for the CoE lead will be with key stakeholders in the business. These stakeholders will normally be operational leads who are looking for process improvements. The CoE must prioritise these requests appropriately according to time, budgetary constraints and the potential return on investment, whilst maintaining their management responsibilities such as keeping a vibrant, engaged and enthusiastic team happy

Success Stories 1
Success Stories 1


The Solution Architect is an SAP expert, normally from a functional or technical background and with a high degree of respect amongst their peers. They have a good understanding of the touch points between systems and will have good knowledge of market trends in SAP. New technologies in the SAP space will be explored by the Solution Architect first before any formal recommendations.