Controlling 2013 speaker Julien Delvat was recently named an SAP Mentor for his work with the SAP Controlling Community. Congratulations Julien! Learn more about Julien and stay tuned later this week for his blog post on trends in data visualization and dashboarding software.
How did you get your start with SAP and SAP Controlling?
I was hired in 2001 as an ABAP developer for SAP Labs France right after graduating with a Masters in Management from Skema Business School. I initially worked on CO maintenance and then moved to ECC and SEM-BW development.
What is one of the most important trends that you see currently in SAP Controlling?
I feel like SAP Controlling has become cool again. The companies I work with have realized that moving from a legacy system to SAP about 10 years ago and getting the same results is pointless. They have started treating management accounting as a key competitive advantage and are investing in revisiting their costing strategies.
In your opinion, why does SAP Controlling matter?
I truly believe that SAP Controlling is the best way to have an overview of the whole company. It's also one of the only components that cannot work in silos. You need to know a little bit of every other module to make yours work. My manager always says: "It's a capstone module. If anything below is skewed, it will fall".
How do you stay on top of Controlling topics? What resources do you regularly use?
The problem with controlling is that companies have different levels of complexity. Some have very sophisticated manufacturing systems, but in single locations; while others have very simple services, but across borders and with complex revenue recognition; and some combine all possible hurdles. That means that you have to be able to solve issues at very low level in old modules, as well as stay up to date on the new solutions. Nobody can cover that by themselves, you have to work in a network. I try to stay very close to SAP Solution Management and Development teams and always try to meet with new customers and partners via ASUG and conferences.
What was your most important take away from Controlling 2012?
My conferences are all about networking. I get invited and attend almost all SAP conferences, from PLM and Financials, to ASUG/ SAPPHIRE and TechEd, including Customer Value Network (CVN) for Financials and CVN PLM. I consider it a good conference when I get to meet 5-10 relevant contacts (SAP employees, partners, or customers). I left Controlling 2012 with 50 names of very interesting people. Here's my trick: always thank the speakers and introduce yourself. That way, if they hear anything relevant for you, they'll include you in the loop.
Where is your favorite place to vacation and why?
For a quick getaway, South Florida has lots of great options like Marco Island or Key West. As a native of France, I have to also include the French Riviera. One of the few places in the world where you can ski on Saturday and scuba dive on Sunday ;o)
But, truly, my favorite vacation place is somewhere new with culture and great food. Our last trip was to Chile, from Santiago to Valparaiso. I can't wait for the next one.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I was surprised at Controlling 2012 that so few participants were registered with ASUG. Most SAP customer companies are members, but employees never really hear about it or take the opportunity to network and use it. As a chairman of the managerial accounting group, I can't stress enough the importance of registering with ASUG and subscribing to the managerial accounting SIG. You will have access to very interesting webcasts and be included in events like influence groups. If you have questions about the ASUG, don't hesitate to contact me.