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SAP and Dun & Bradstreet Partner to Provide Information at the Touch of a Button

by Guenther Bader | SAPinsider

October 1, 2001

by Guenther Bader, SAP AG SAPinsider - 2001 (Volume 2), October (Issue 4)
 

Of course, every business relies on information to make timely, effective decisions. Decision support is obviously most effective when management processes and information - whether they are financial, operational, or strategic - are seamlessly integrated across the enterprise and its value chain partners.

     But consider this: Business records decay at the rate of 2.5-3.5 percent per month, and studies have shown that during a typical 30 minutes, 30 new businesses will open, 4 businesses will file bankruptcy petitions, 15 companies will change their names, and 120 more will change their addresses. The potential for utilizing incomplete or incorrect information only increases over time, which heightens the need to cleanse and refresh your customer or vendor information on a timely basis. So ask yourself, are your company's management teams making business decisions based on incomplete or incorrect information?

     The answer is, invariably, "Yes." This was the key motivation behind SAP's alliance with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), which updates its database of more than 63 million businesses more than a million times a day.

Add Value to Your Business Processes with Better Information

mySAP Financials links a company's systems horizontally with business partners, and also extends integration vertically, across the enterprise, to support value-based decision-making and communication. To provide a solution rich with business content that complements the financial information and analysis provided by mySAP Financials, SAP has partnered with D&B, the most trusted source for the information companies need to make their business a success.

     As the world's leading provider of business-to-business information, D&B for SAP Solutions provides customer, vendor, business warehouse, and e-commerce enterprise solutions to add value to business processes in different parts of the enterprise and enhance decision-making, particularly in the areas of credit, vendors and purchasing, and marketing. Integration of D&B information with SAP components has been put in place in SAP R/3, including its vendor management capabilities, shown in Table 1, and SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW), as listed in Table 2.

  Features Benefits
Vendor Management
  • Online and batch capabilities with D&B information.
  • D&B information appended to the mySAP Vendor Master Record.
  • Search D&B prior to adding mySAP Vendor Master Records.
  • Ability to compare new suppliers to existing suppliers in order to eliminate duplicate Vendor Records.
  • Increase your purchasing power by eliminating duplicate vendors and understanding corporate hierarchies.
  • Identify and qualify new suppliers before adding them to your Vendor Master table.
  • Consolidate your supply base, which will reduce expenses.

Table 1 D&B for SAP Solutions in SAP R/3 Vendor Management

  Features Benefits
Vendor Analytics
  • Standard queries to utilize D&B information.
  • Additional cubes to house D&B information.
  • Batch access to easily communicate with D&B.

  • Enhance the value of D&B information.
  • Analyze vendor spending from the very top of a corporate structure to the very bottom.
  • Consolidate your supplier base, which will reduce expenses.
Customer Analytics
  • Standard queries to utilize D&B information.
  • Additional cubes to house D&B information.
  • Batch access to easily communicate with D&B.

  • Enhance the value of D&B information.
  • Analyze customer spending from the very top of a corporate structure to the very bottom.
  • Consolidate your customer base, which will allow you to perform risk assessment on your customer base.
Marketing Universe
  • Standard queries to utilize D&B information.
  • Additional cubes to house D&B information.
  • Batch access to easily communicate with D&B.
  • Enhance the value of D&B information.
  • Compare your best customers against D&B information, which will give the ability to perform better prospecting and find new customers.
  • Analyze market penetration based on industry (SIC), revenue, and geography.
  • View your customers and prospects by utilizing map technology (Geographic Information Systems). These maps will improve sales and marketing efforts by helping users visualize the best locations to target.
Table 2 Summary of D&B for SAP Solutions in SAP BW (Release 2.1C)

One Example of Meaningful Market Analysis with SAP BW and D&B

From the Market Exploration analytical application in SAP BW, you can analyze general market data, as well as examine your own market potential from various viewpoints (see Figure 1). Market Exploration answers questions such as:

  • How big are the existing market segments?
  • How big are our market shares?
  • Which markets should we focus on in order to gain new customers?
Figure 1 D&B Data Integrated with SAP BW

     To create a meaningful market analysis, external market data is required. For this purpose, this demo scenario uses market data from D&B. D&B provides information about organizations worldwide, such as the industries they belong to, the organization's yearly turnover, or the size of the enterprise. Furthermore, structural information is included, such as the corporate group that each organization is a member of. D&B identifies every organization clearly using the D&B D-U-N-S number.

     In SAP BW, organization-specific sales data is combined with external market data provided by D&B to give statistics on market shares and market potential. Suppose that, in the process of analyzing the market data, you discover a target group of potential new customers. You can, using SAP BW, request the address data for these potential customers from D&B. After receiving this data, you can transfer the identified target group to SAP CRM, for example, and use this information to target this group in your next marketing campaign.

     As you can see, these solutions yield value in a number of strategic areas. SAP and D&B have jointly developed solutions that promote easy access to up-to-date business-to-business information. This successful merging of forces allows you to combine D&B data with your own customer and vendor information to improve tactical and analytical activities.

Dun & Bradstreet for SAP Solutions

by Joann Attinello, Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet, a leading worldwide provider of business information, has two invaluable tools to help enterprises better manage risk and opportunities as part of D&B for SAP Solutions: D&B for Customer Credit Management and D&B for Supplier Management.

     These D&B tools for SAP Solutions provide users with access to online, real-time data from D&B's worldwide database of over 63 million business records. The result is that companies can more accurately measure and manage risk across their existing customer and supplier bases, and make prompt and more effective decisions when establishing relationships with new business partners.

     D&B information can include risk ratings, financial data, payment histories, and SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes, and information to help companies automate customer credit and vendor approval processes. In addition, scoring information from D&B allows companies to assign more accurate risk categories and credit limits within SAP Customer Credit Management. Both the SAP Customer Credit Management and Supplier Management components also enable customers to retrieve online D&B information and store it directly in customer master and vendor master files.

     D&B database information is highly integrated with the SAP BW: users can extract D&B data into SAP BW, and D&B information cubes are default-shipped with SAP BW Release 2.1C and higher. Customers can utilize the D&B for SAP BW tool for credit, procurement, and marketing universe data to better analyze vendor spending, perform customer risk analysis, secure supply chain activity, and refine marketing opportunities.

 

    In addition to the benefits of up-to-date data, companies can better standardize and cleanse master files, and append D&B data that can be imported directly into the customer's SAP systems. Once the data is effectively scrubbed and enhanced, users are better able to maintain this level of quality with batch refreshes and online processes within the SAP system.

     D&B's decades of experience in gathering and managing information, combined with our exclusive nine-digit business identifier, the D&B D-U-N-S Number, gives D&B the ability to rapidly convert data taken from disparate sources into rationalized, coherent information. This ensures that a company's divisions, departments, and functions are working from a common base of quality business information.

     D&B for SAP Solutions, including R/3 and BW components, is currently a default shipment component of mySAP.com software. Customers with SAP R/3 contracts can also order the D&B for SAP R/3 modules separately.

Future Applications for More Profitable Business Decision-Making

The solutions do not stop there. Currently SAP and D&B are jointly working todevelop further solutions within mySAP Financials, mySAP CRM, and SAP Portals - so be on the lookout for additional solutions that support more profitable business decision-making.


Günther Bader, Global Partner Manager of the General Business Unit Financials, manages alliances, such as with Dun & Bradstreet, and leads various global partner-specific programs. He can be reached at g.bader@sap.com.


 

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