How does an aeronautical engineer from South Africa end up leading major S/4Hana implementations across Europe? And how does he tackle the high stakes digital migration of a large IT infrastructure – in the middle of a pandemic?
Andrea Cipriani is a program manager, strategic consultant, and implementation partner at Cognitus Europe. He’s also an equity shareholder in Cognitus Consulting GmbH Deutschland and Nordics. Most importantly, with over 20 years of experience directing complicated SAP implementations across Europe – he’s uniquely qualified for his role.
When Andrea took over the ATEA digital transformation project, he brought considerable international expertise and experience to the team, and Cognitus is proud to have him on board. We’re also proud to introduce him as a program manager and managing partner at Cognitus Consulting GmbH Deutschland.
Andrea currently lives with his wife and 2 children, in Germany, where he’s been since 2000. SAP is in the family, as his wife of over 20 years is also an SAP consultant. But, with interests covering DIY and home repair, gardening, and his lifelong passion, golf, Andrea is more than just his work.
At home, Andrea is dedicated, analytical, ready to invest time into projects – but with a much more laid-back approach. DIY and household work allow for a mindset shift away from rigorous standards of quality, and, according to Andrea, having the freedom to work without strict standards at home gives him the mental space to dedicate that attention to his work.
“Engineering doesn’t teach you everything about engineering, what it does teach you is a problem-solving mindset. You get a set of given parameters and it’s up to you to figure out how many ways you can use them to solve the problem – and then choose the best one” _ Andrea
Andrew graduated with a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering and a graduate degree in Engineering management – and landing a job as an engineer. Some 18 months after starting, Andrew was first introduced to SAP and magic happened. It was meant to be. Andrea pursued an education in SAP and ABAP, taking on his first role as a developer in 1996, eventually moving into a team lead and implementation role at Volkswagen.
Then, in 2000, General Motors Europe invited Andrea for what was intended to be a 4-month contract. Andrea moved to Germany – and that contract was extended – eventually lasting over 18 years. During that time – Andrea worked on diverse SAP installations for thousands of users across numerous countries.
Leaving that role, Andrea worked as a consultant and a sub-contractor for various consulting companies, performing implementations for HP, IBM, Price Warder, and others.
Andrea believes in persevering and never giving up – things get tough, and the trick is always to keep going. He lives by the adage, “If you’re going through hell, keep going, because if you stop, you’re going to be in hell for the rest of your life”
That’s reflected in favorite movies, like the Shawshank Redemption, it’s also reflected in the mindset of his favorite sport, where professional golf often requires considerable mental dedication, calculation, and strategy to pull off specific shots.
Andrea is an avid reader, when time allows. His favorites are non-fiction books offering insight into current events or into the human condition. Of course, time to read is often mandated by projects and deadlines – and as Andrea says, the project always comes first.
Underlying everything is a can-do attitude and resilience – never give up, whatever the project, circumstances, etc., Andrea’s experience has taught him to avoid impulsive decisions, to step back and assess circumstances, and to act on those findings.
Andrea joined Cognitus during the pandemic, bringing his expertise, network, and connections with him. His first project, taking over a digital transformation with Atea from their local partner. His decision to join Cognitus Consulting was based on his passion for the company and what we’re doing – and he quickly integrated into our strategy and vision for Cognitus Europe.
Most importantly, Andrea’s new role at Cognitus matches his mindset. As a project manager with Cognitus, Andrea retains the freedom of entrepreneurship, leading his own team, developing the business, and investing in the future of his company and our client’s.
That personality and resilience work well with Atea, which is in the middle of a high-stakes digital transformation, where failure is not an option. But, with dozens of complex processes to consolidate – that migration is tricky. Andrea, with his wealth of experience and passion for details, is the right man for the job.
“It’s a team effort, if you’re playing Rugby, the trainer is important, but if he doesn’t have the right team, he can’t succeed – and that’s my role with Atea. Our success is based on having a good team, on collaboration, and having the right tools – I’m there to orchestrate that combined effort, to deliver those tools, and to help us succeed as a team. “ _ Andrea
To learn more about Andrea and his work history, visit his LinkedIn.