19 Dec 2022 by Andrew Spicer
2022: A big year for Realtech - and there’s plenty more to come
As we round out 2022, the Realtech team can look back with pride at what they have achieved in what turned out to be a challenging year for everyone.
No one could escape the macroeconomic forces of inflation and rising interest rates this year and with the Reserve Bank expected to push rates up again to try and get inflation under control, next year will be tough on many.
Nevertheless, it was a record year for Realtech from a revenue point of view as our customers held firm with their digital transformation plans. We’ve been busy for much of 2022 helping organisations across New Zealand and Australia with their transition to the SAP S/4HANA enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.
Business leaders know the importance of having a modern, fit-for-purpose ERP system in place. It is integral to an organisation taking advantage of good economic times but really comes into its own when the fundamentals of efficiency, cost–containment and value for money are high on the agenda.
That momentum was reflected in SAP’s own corporate results, with its cloud revenue up 38% in the third quarter and S/4HANA revenue growing 98%. Realtech was particularly proud to be featured as a finalist in the SAP Best Run Awards for our efforts in helping Integrated Control Technology (ICT) with its S/4HANA Cloud deployment project. Several other projects we were involved in also made the finals, a testament to the quality of the work we were involved in throughout 2022.
In fact, the highlight of the year for me has been the increasing frequency with which we are winning contracts, based on our reputation for providing particularly high quality-of-service. That’s not just us saying that, it's validated every week with emails of thanks from happy customers, many of whom have come to us after growing dissatisfied with the service provided by much larger SAP partners. We close out the year onboarding two new customers who have asked us to support their entire SAP technical landscape. This represents huge recognition of the exceptional efforts of the Realtech team, their customer-focused approach and attention to detail.
If 2022 saw no let-up in demand, next year may be a bit different. Digital transformation projects won’t be put on hold. But we are seeing some customers extend projects over a longer time period. If a transformation project was budgeted for a 12-month period, an organisation may now opt to spread it over 24 months, particularly those who are likely to see a slowdown as inflation and interest rate rises bite into consumer spending power.
We absorbed our fair share of cost increases this year as we paid more to recruit and retain top talent in a tight labour market and with the border closed for the first half of the year. We are thankfully now welcoming new team members from overseas into the Realtech team via the highly-skilled visa programme.
Many in the SAP ecosystem have expressed frustration with the “labour merry-go-round” in the industry, which has seen consultants abruptly jumping ship as they chase higher salaries. It isn’t productive for anyone concerned, which is why we’ve worked hard to make Realtech a great place to work, by offering competitive remuneration, fostering a strong culture and supporting flexible working, amongst other benefits.
ECC 6.0 end-of-life looms large
A major factor that will drive continued investment in the SAP space in 2023, is the looming end-of-life of SAP ECC (ERP Central Component) 6.0, a key platform that is being phased out in favour of S/4HANA, which was introduced in 2015.
While general support for ECC 6.0 won’t end until 2027, a successful SAP migration doesn’t happen overnight. Many organisations running ECC are planning for it now and seeking our help on programmes of work that will see them complete the transition over the course of 2 - 3 years. If your business is sitting on ECC 6.0, my advice is to give yourself plenty of time to plan and implement the change. Of course, if you need any help, just give us a call - we live and breathe ECC 6.0 - S/4HANA migrations.
Spending time together
Finally, another highlight of 2022 has been watching our team grow in terms of size and capability and the highly-productive balance we’ve found between remote working time spent in the office.
I’ve encouraged staff to spend at least a couple of days in the office each week and can see the pay-off in terms of the strength of Realtech’s culture and the way our staff, particularly those new to the organisation, thrive through having that face to face contact with colleagues and customers. It boosts our sense of belonging and makes sure no one feels isolated or unsupported.
At the same time, it's pleasing to see customers much more accepting of working with our consultants who are in remote locations, and in some cases, different countries. I feel we have got this balance right after the upheaval of the pandemic.
I want to thank the Realtech team, our customers and partners, and our friends and colleagues at SAP for standing by us through a challenging and busy year. More challenges will no doubt face us in 2023, but I’m optimistic and excited about what we can achieve together.
Meri Kirihimete me te Hape Nū Ia! (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!)
For over 22 years, Realtech has been helping New Zealand organisations get the most from SAP. Talk to our experts to find out how we can assist with your business transformation, service and support needs.