In the course of this project, we surveyed and interviewed numerous employees from DEWA and FEWA, which allowed us to understand their views and perceptions towards Systems, Application, and Products (SAP) software. While many answers provided by the participants were relatively similar, there are some differences between their perceptions of the product and its intended use.
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The first difference between the two companies comes from the identification of what SAP is. FEWA identifies SAP as software that can be used to assist with different operations within the organization, while DEWA sees SAP software not only as an internal instrument but also as a tool for international cooperation.
Both companies realize that the responsibility of implementing SAP lies in all departments, as SAP is used in every aspect of the organization. However, FEWA states that in every case the implementation starts with the IT department, as it is the IT department’s responsibility to provide and implement new technologies to benefit the organization. Both companies have moved to SAP as their primary transaction system, replacing the old paper system that was deemed inefficient. They also state that all employees are expected to participate in the SAP project due to its widespread use and utility.
Both FEWA and DEWA have chosen to implement SAP for similar reasons. These reasons in both cases were the increase in the number of customers and transactions associated with the expansion of the organizations. Before SAP, everything had to be done on paper, which significantly slowed down the process of data sharing. With the introduction of SAP, these processes were simplified and optimized for efficiency.
In FEWA, SAP covers customer-employee transactions, as well as employee and manager self-service. It is similar to DEWA in many aspects. However, in DEWA, SAP is also used for completing annual reports. DEWA’s SAP also features an appraisal system, which is aimed at improving organizational performance.
Both companies have shared similar challenges when implementing the new system. DEWA and FEWA are large organizations, making the costs of implementation of SAP relatively high. Also, employees had to be trained to utilize the system, and customers were distrustful towards digital transactions at first. DEWA and FEWA had different approaches to the introduction of SAP. In FEWA, they utilized partial implementation by introducing SAP one department at a time. In DEWA, SAP was introduced in all departments simultaneously. In both cases, the employees learned the necessary skills to utilize SAP through workshops and training.
In both cases, Implementing SAP helped the companies in reducing administrative costs, increasing productivity, improving accuracy, and enhancing employee satisfaction. They consider the system to be efficient and worth the implementation costs in the long-term perspective. To summarize, both DEWA and FEWA moved to SAP due to increased workloads and inefficiencies of the paper system, integrated SAP into every department and operation, and faced similar challenges during the implementation phase. The only major differences lie in the method and scope of implementation.
FEWA considers SAP to be useful when implemented internally, while DEWA considers a broader perspective and the potential of integrating its SAP system with other organizations. DEWA also seems to be reverent towards the Dubai 2020 development program, which its representatives frequently mentioned during the interview. It could be speculated that the desire for innovations in both cases was motivated by government-funded programs.