Next Generation of SAP

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-01-14 Print this article Print

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?

The Technology
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.
Reference Checks

Rohm and Haas
Mike Masciandaro
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
Sylvain Lapointe
Mgr., Business Solutions
Project: Transportation authority's managers access key performance indicators, such as subway delays, via Business Warehouse.

Val Swift
Mgr., I.T.
Project: Maker of plastics-manufacturing equipment provides reports to 50 salespeople with Cognos' ReportNet, generated from data in Business Warehouse.

Paul Limon
Mgr., IS
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.

Jerry Roppe
Mgr., Compliance
(503) 813-6628
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.

Bombardier Aerospace
Khalil Nasrallah
Dir., Emerging Technologies
Project: Aircraft maker compiles manufacturing and finance data from 16 SAP and non-SAP systems with Business Warehouse.

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
Story Guide:

Nestlé Cooks Up A Global Supply Chain

  • One Supply Chain, 127,000 Products
  • Signed: Global Project Manager; Undefined: The Project
  • Project Plan: Finalized; Schedule: Not So Much
  • Drafting a Project Team of Business-Unit All-Stars
  • Standardizing IT: No So Tough; Standardizing Managers: Not So Easy
  • Project Costs: Capped; Project Schedule: Changed Again
  • Rollout: Fix it as You Go; Goal: Customer Can't Feel the Pain
  • SAP Project: Global; Computing Resources: Limited
  • Nestlé By the Numbers
    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

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