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Make Everyone Efficient — Not Just Your Back Office: What's New in mySAP ERP

by Dr. Martin Przewloka | SAPinsider

April 1, 2004

by Dr. Martin Przewloka, SAP AG, and Thilo Liebermann, SAP AG SAPinsider - 2004 (Volume 5), April (Issue 2)
 

While the traditional mandate of the "old ERP" has been to make the back office efficient, with complete and consistent updates on transaction information, the "new ERP" is about making everyone in the enterprise efficient. Companies are looking for a more strategic approach to operational management and planning. Integrated business management must connect backend operations directly to planning and analysis. Operational and strategic activities must respond quickly to market changes. Collaboration and information-sharing is imperative, and the information and processes at work in your systems must be accessible to customers, partners, suppliers, and users throughout the company.

mySAP ERP is designed for this new approach to enterprise resource planning, providing companies improved insight into their business and better corporate governance, while still protecting and leveraging existing investments in their business. In addition to greater efficiency and empowerment across your workforce, mySAP ERP offers evolutionary upgrade paths, enhanced integration and extensibility, and lower TCO.

mySAP ERP achieves this first by covering the complete end-to-end requirements of self-services, analytics, financials, human capital management, operations, and corporate services. What's more, it is powered by SAP NetWeaver, so mySAP ERP integrates with complex heterogeneous IT environments, and includes the capabilities of SAP Enterprise Portal and SAP Business Intelligence.

In addition to the tried and trusted ERP functions of SAP R/3 and SAP R/3 Enterprise, mySAP ERP includes enhancements in every aspect of your business, from routine information requests, to hiring and training, to requisitions:

  • Manager and Employee Self-Services with a new Web-based UI

  • Analytics, including Strategic Enterprise Management and Financial, Operations, and Workforce Analytics

  • Corporate Governance, with support for Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance

  • Advanced Accounting, including new General Ledger concepts

  • Financial Supply Chain Management

  • New capabilities within Employee Lifecycle Management, including e-Learning, e-Recruiting, and Performance Management

  • New Operations features, including Self-Service Procurement, Internet Sales1, Collaborative Project Management, and Mobile Applications for handheld devices

  • Corporate Services including Travel Management, with a completely new Web-based UI for your business travelers

  • The entire SAP NetWeaver platform, including SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Business Intelligence, and SAP Exchange Infrastructure2

  • New role-based people-centric usability

This article focuses on just some of the new functional offerings — areas where SAP customers will find the most dramatic innovations and value for their enterprise resource planning initiatives.

Self-Services for Managers and Employees

Speeding up business processes — especially those routine day-to-day activities, such as requests for information verification or submitting an expense report — requires the streamlining of information gathering. However, automating these processes for a wider range of users will only get you so far; you also have to avoid high support and maintenance costs with an easy-to-follow, intuitive UI design. For these processes, SAP has created manager- and employee-specific Self-Services.

Manager and Employee Self-Services give specialist users and non-experts alike portal-based access across all the key functional areas of mySAP ERP. From their desktops, they can gather information from various transactional systems in the form of reports, KPIs, market analyses, or sales figures, or perform routine activities such as requesting information correction or approval, or recording time or travel dates.

For ease of use, Self-Services take SAP's "people-centric" approach, which integrates processes across different activities and backend solutions into a common, consistent look and feel — no matter what the information source (see Figure 1). Users will encounter automated and workflow-based scenarios, a new homepage designed to give users clear guidance and help them navigate directly to applications, as well as roadmaps to direct them step-by-step along more complex processes.

Figure 1
Requesting Leave via the Employee Self-Service

Analytics with SEM and BW

Financial, operations, and workforce analytics help identify opportunities in daily business that could otherwise go overlooked, and can uncover potential for value generation in operational performance, forecasting, and business planning. These business analytics capabilities are available through SAP SEM (Strategic Enterprise Management). With SAP NetWeaver technology and SAP Enterprise Portal at work, a wider range of users can be reached through browser and role-based interfaces, so that executives, line-of-business managers, project managers, and business analysts can identify opportunities even in intangible assets such as customer value, human capital, and the value of your R&D pipeline.

mySAP ERP extends existing functions for consolidating your transactional data, to ensure that the right areas of business are covered in your reporting and analytics functions:

  • Business consolidation complies with accounting standard IAS, and consolidation of investments now automatically support new requirements for IAS/IFRS standards
  • The full integration of external (statutory) and internal (management) reporting currently available in SAP R/3 Enterprise is enhanced in the area of master data
  • The user interface is more clearly structured
  • There is new, significant support for integrated collection of data from subsidiaries that use SAP feeder systems, as well as for connections to non-SAP systems

Financial Supply Chain Management

In addition to offering core financials functions, mySAP ERP is designed for strategic streamlining of business operations through Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM). FSCM is a next-generation solution designed to streamline existing cash flow by reducing risks before closing business with partners, reducing the length of average arrears, and managing cash and liquidity more efficiently.

To bring targeted content like this to the right Financials users, SAP has developed its first ERP-specific Financials roles, including Business Unit Analyst and Cost Accountant. In upcoming releases, additional roles will be added to ensure access for all Financials user groups. Features like these capitalize on mySAP ERP's ability to reach more users and systems.

SAP NetWeaver technology is the foundation for cost-effective Financials operations, even in heterogeneous system landscapes, and SAP NetWeaver will be at work across all mySAP ERP financial functions.3 For example, to help companies analyze their customers' credit status based on both external and internal sources, SAP Credit Management in mySAP ERP relies on SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI), SAP Master Data Management (SAP MDM), and SAP BW — all components of SAP NetWeaver.

E-Learning and E-Recruiting

From an operational standpoint, Human Capital Management (part of mySAP ERP) involves functions such as administering payroll and reporting. But first and foremost, administrative processes must be streamlined; efficiencies gained here have considerable cost-saving potential. In fact, a study by SAP and Deloitte Consulting established that mySAP ERP Human Capital Management can help pare down processes in travel management, payroll, and time management by 70% and lower costs by 60%.4

From a strategic level, one challenge is finding and retaining the best people and maximizing their strengths — and quickly. With globalization of business activities, shorter product lifecycles, and faster time to market, it's critical to identify the right team, make learning opportunities available anytime and anywhere, and train quickly and cost-effectively. Strategic functions like e-learning, talent management, and performance management contribute directly to value creation through the efficient transfer of knowledge, and because they harmonize employees' goals with corporate strategy.

For all this, mySAP ERP includes Employee Lifecycle Management to support the current workforce from initial recruitment through training, development, and retention, with two of its new functions dedicated to recruiting and training:

SAP Learning Solution
The SAP Learning Solution manages and integrates business and learning processes, breaking down traditional barriers to training employees, customers, and partners. With a learning platform at your disposal, you can develop and manage learning content and provide learners inside and outside the company with personalized training programs. The concept of "Enterprise Learning" — where learning is a key support for all facets of performance management and knowledge transfer across an extended enterprise in order to drive business performance — is fully supported.

SAP E-Recruiting
SAP E-Recruiting is SAP's fully Web-enabled, end-to-end recruiting solution, designed to accelerate and streamline the recruiting process by providing a more comprehensive strategy than traditional applicant management processes. Applicants and candidates register in a "talent warehouse," and powerful Talent Relationship Management functions help enterprises quickly find the people they need and maintain long-term relationships with registered individuals. Full-fledged applicant tracking and reporting functions help process job applications in an organized way and monitor recruiting effectiveness. A collaboration platform links SAP E-Recruiting to external systems such as job boards, recruiting service providers, and the company's internal systems. All of these capabilities help align recruiting with corporate strategy, find top candidates more quickly and efficiently, cut costs of recruiting and sourcing, and improve employee retention.

Operations

mySAP ERP provides the foundation for an enterprise's logistic operations, manufacturing, and aftermarket services, but now also extends operational support with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) as well as enhanced document management, Internet Sales features, and operational self-services.

For example, mySAP ERP supports Self-Service Procurement capabilities so even occasional users can create and manage their own requisitions. This relieves the purchasing department of a huge administrative burden, and makes procurement faster, more effective, and more responsive. In addition, it enables the full capacity of managing product development along the entire life cycle and full-scale production execution.

For near-instantaneous communication of pallet- and case-level EPC information to business partners and enterprise backend systems, mySAP ERP includes an auto-ID package that supports RFID-enabled outbound processing of goods. With the RFID solution package and RFID tags in place, customers can enhance the efficiency and quality of their warehouse inbound and outbound processing. SAP's RFID infrastructure supports new activities such as the writing of EPC data to tags, RFID-enabled goods receipt processing and repacking as well as EPC case- and pallet-level packing, automated confirmation of goods issue/loading — even automatically verifying goods issue against the fulfillment requirements stipulated by the backend system in the form of a delivery document.5

RFID-enablement is just one way mySAP ERP increases the breadth and efficiency of a company's interactions with business partners and employees. To promote exchange of information when teams or individuals are geographically dispersed, for example, mySAP ERP includes Collaborative Project Management (c-Project Suite). Through this Web-based platform using a structured information-sharing format, you can choose from Collaboration Scenarios, which support internal and external participants in product development via a single joint work area, or a Competitive Scenario to set up separate areas for rival suppliers taking part in competitive bidding.

Corporate Services

SAP provides applications that support efficient centralized and decentralized corporate services to the organization such as:

Real Estate
Companies put enormous demands on the properties that they lease or rent, and the inherent inflexibility of real estate is at odds with a business environment that requires adaptability, agility, and speed. SAP Real Estate Management is the infrastructure that supports the flexibility and transparency needed for the real estate business demands. In this context, SAP includes a new solution for flexible real estate management as part of mySAP ERP. It augments functions for managing real estate for commercial use (e.g., in airports and shopping or office centers) as well as for the company's own use.

Incentive and Commission Management
Companies spend large amounts on incentive compensation without knowing if this is successfully invested or not. SAP Incentive and Commission Management helps companies easily administer their incentive compensation packages, and oversee the entire process with powerful reporting capabilities. mySAP ERP now extends this offering with calculation of variable compensation and compensation results analysis.

Travel Management
Improved pre-trip approval processes, online booking, expense reporting, and data warehousing can reduce travel process costs, lower travel agency transaction fees, enhance supplier negotiations, and reach greater company policy compliance. To support this, SAP Travel Management provides a fully integrated end-to-end trip lifecycle management solution. Travel Management for mySAP ERP is now updated with a people-centric UI for self-service users, to guide travelers from booking trips to submitting expense claims. Manual data entry is minimized by importing credit card data, and enhancements include integration of external services, such as maps and visa, health, and security information.

Summary

These are just some of the enhancements included in mySAP ERP. Take a close look at mySAP ERP for the applications, solutions, and additional features that fill the gaps in your current enterprise planning efforts and meet your most immediate business needs. Consider how extending the reach of your enterprise resource planning systems to partners and suppliers — as well as employees at all levels of the company — can enhance your daily business activities. With mySAP ERP, you can choose the applications and functionality that best fit your ERP requirements.

At the same time, consider the long-term benefits that come with a broad foundation for integrated business management: mySAP ERP delivers end-to-end processes that are integrated with the business processes throughout the enterprise while still covering core logistics processes.

For full details of the applications and functionality that come with mySAP ERP, please visit www.sap.com/erp or http://service.sap.com/erp.


1 mySAP ERP includes the SAP R/3 Edition of Internet Sales.

2 For more on SAP NetWeaver at work in mySAP ERP, see the article by Matthias Haendly, Ralf Strassner, and Markus Hermann in this issue of SAP Insider.

3 See the article by Matthias Haendly, Ralf Strassner, and Markus Hermann in this issue of SAP Insider.

4 For more on this, please see www.sap.com/india/ company/onlinenewsletter/
hrnewsletter/press.asp?pressID=2651
or the article "HR has a lot of strategic potential" in the February 2004 issue of SAP INFO.

5 See the article "RFID and the Adaptive Enterprise" in this issue of SAP Insider (www.SAPinsider.com).


As Senior Vice President in the Business Solution Group Financial and Public Services, Dr. Martin Przewloka is responsible for SAP's Enterprise Resource Planning (mySAP ERP) global solution management. In this global function, Martin is in charge of mySAP ERP's solution strategy, business development, solution management, and solution definition, and works closely with field organizations and corresponding development organizations. As Senior Vice President, Martin led the Industry Business Unit (IBU) Service Providers from January 1999 until August 2003. As head of the IBU, Martin was responsible for driving revenue and customer satisfaction in the global industries of Professional Services, Technical Services, Logistics Service Providers, Railways, Postal Service Providers and Hospitality. Before joining SAP in 1999, Martin worked as head of Research and IT Development at the world's leading transportation system manufacturer for the cement industry.
Thilo Liebermann joined SAP AG in 2002. After participating in various SAP R/3 Enterprise projects, he joined Product Management for the Global ERP Initiative. Currently Thilo focuses on Field Enablement and supports different cross-region projects. In addition, he is also involved in Program Management and Reporting for the Global ERP Initiative.

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