Next Generation of SAPBy Baselinemag | Posted 2006-01-14 Email Print
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SAP says 10,000 companies use its Business Warehouse software to analyze sales data. But is the software too complicated for ordinary employees to use?
Need to compare a customer's sales history with others in its industry segment? Doing that today with SAP's business intelligence tools requires familiarity with its database format. Now, SAP wants to make pulling up a graph showing that kind of analysis as simple as pointing and clicking on a Web page.
As part of that push, the company last year decided to combine its business intelligence products with the NetWeaver infrastructure software, which acts as a hub to exchange data between the SAP R/3 enterprise resource planning system and other databases. The first version of NetWeaver Business Intelligence (what is now called Business Warehouse) is part of NetWeaver 2004s, a version released to a limited number of customers in October and scheduled to be generally available in the second quarter of 2006.
The promise: To make data analysis a common function that is easily available within any of SAP's operational applications, such as on an order-entry screen, as opposed to needing to access a separate business intelligence application. "It gives the end user actionable intelligence when you combine transaction data with analytics," says SAP's Lothar Schubert.
SAP has also developed 100 industry-specific applications to analyze transactional data. For instance, an analytic application for retailers is designed to track in-store promotions based on actual sales.
Rohm and Haas
Mgr., Business Intelligence Technology
Project: Chemical manufacturer's SAP Business Warehouse database includes 500 predefined reports, which are available to 3,500 employees.
Société De Transport De Montréal
Mgr., Business Solutions
Project: Transportation authority's managers access key performance indicators, such as subway delays, via Business Warehouse.
Project: Maker of plastics-manufacturing equipment provides reports to 50 salespeople with Cognos' ReportNet, generated from data in Business Warehouse.
Project: Farm and construction equipment company with U.S. headquarters near Savannah, Ga., uses Business Warehouse to generate reports on sales at 120 dealers in North America.
Project: Utility in Portland, Ore., is using Business Warehouse to provide reports for its SAP-based compliance-tracking system, which maintains data on compliance activities at 53 facilities.
Dir., Emerging Technologies
Project: Aircraft maker compiles manufacturing and finance data from 16 SAP and non-SAP systems with Business Warehouse.
FINANCIAL RESULTS* 2005YTD
Revenue - $6.94B
Gross margin - 64.9%
Operating income - $1.63B
Net income - $1.06B
Net margin - 15.2%
Earnings per share - $3.41
R&D expenditure - $1.02B
*Fiscal Year Ends Dec. 31;
Ytd Reflects First Nine Months;
Figures are Based on Period-End Exchange Rate From Euros to Dollars
Player Roster: Who's Who Among Nestlé Project Planners
Roadblock: Regional Managers
Hurdles Overcome: Deploying a Common Global System
Base Technologies: Nestlé
SAP: Not Pretty, But It Did the Job