To achieve speed and agility in today's highly competitive business arena,
an organization must empower the right decision-makers with the right
data at the right time, and in the proper context.Now, a new breed of
IT solutions has appeared to facilitate this type of decision-making process.
These are commonly referred to as "Business Intelligence" (BI) solutions,
and many of them are specifically designed to monitor and optimize e-business
practices - a task that, to work well, certainly requires analyzing a
great deal of complex data.
One fundamental element of any BI initiative
is the establishment of a data warehouse that is capable of seamlessly
accessing, handling, and analyzing quantitative information from a broad
range of sources. The data warehouse must also synthesize and present
that information in a manner appropriate to the activity or process being
examined, and to the user's role or level within the organization. Another
fundamental BI element is a content management system for organizing
unstructured or qualitative information. An effectively functioning data
warehouse running in concert with a content management system forms a
powerful infrastructure on which to run analytic applications, advanced
knowledge management (KM) solutions, and strategic enterprise management
(SEM) solutions, which excel at transforming raw information into working
intellectual capital. This combination offers an extremely potent solution,
and in many cases confers a critical competitive advantage.
This may explain the fact that even though
most large enterprises already have some form of BI technology in place,
industry analysts predict that BI expenditures over the next four years
will continue to soar, possibly reaching the US $20 billion mark. Why
will these additional investments take place? Because the sophistication
of strategic BI applications has, in many cases, outstripped that of the
existing data warehouse solutions, which can no longer support them.
This run-and-catch-up scenario, however,
is not the case for SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW) customers.
SAP BW is a comprehensive suite of data warehousing and analysis solutions.
It integrates data from any source - SAP and non-SAP alike - such as ERP
systems, CRM solutions, SCM applications, XML feeds from marketplaces,
etc. In addition to its end-to-end integrated technology, it consists
of analytic applications for targeting the right customers, mass-customizing
e-commerce product offerings, purchasing from the right suppliers, or
optimizing the order fulfillment process, to name but a few. Fully integrated
with mySAP Workplace, BW forms the infrastructure on which to run highly
sophisticated KM and SEM solutions, and then present actionable information
in accordance with users' roles and tasks. This whole-context information
framework gives business professionals, from purchasing agents and manufacturing
plant supervisors on up to the CFO and CEO, the ability to:
- Reference all pertinent quantitative and qualitative information sources
- Have that information presented in a manner and at a level that is
appropriate to their role within the company
- Draw upon analytic functions to monitor and optimize the activity
Armed with this type of Business Intelligence,
they can take effectual action to improve their business, every time.
Senior Vice President,
Intelligence and mySAP Workplace, SAP AG