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Special Feature: SAP NetWeaver

by SAP and Partners | SAPinsider

April 1, 2004

by SAP and Partners SAPinsider - 2004 (Volume 5), April (Issue 2)
 
SAP NetWeaver Sweeping Across the SAP Ecosystem


Mark Sochan
Vice President of NetWeaver
Partner Business Development,
SAP
>>INSIDE<<

Digital Fuel and SAP — Managing Your Critical Business & IT Services

Adobe Interactive Forms and SAP NetWeaver Extend Power of Enterprise Systems

Get the Reporting You Want on the SAP NetWeaver Platform

Improve Your Data Quality Efforts Using D&B Inside SAP NetWeaver

Lighthammer and SAP Deliver Real-Time Manufacturing Performance Improvement (MPI)

Mind Your Content:How Merant Collage Extends SAP NetWeaver with Built-In Web Content Management

Increase Your Company’s Profitability Through Smarter Pricing: Metreo Smart Pricing Suite for SAP NetWeaver

SAP NetWeaver and NRX VIP: Driving Operational Excellence at Connectiv Energy

SAP NetWeaver & SEEBURGER: Ensure That Your Business Partners Are Fully Integrated into Your Business Processes

OSIsoft’s Real-time Performance Management (RtPM) Business Package Delivers Enterprise-Level Insights to SAP Enterprise Portal Users

SAP Integration Certified Data Quality Solution: Trillium Software Brings Data Quality Functionality to SAP R/3, mySAP CRM, and Other SAP Solutions

SAP and Vendavo Help SAP Customers Price More Effectively, Turning Pricing Insights into Profits

Streamlined, Simplified Tax Calculations — Now Available Via SAP NetWeaver

To help customers overcome the costs associated with integration, SAP is taking its 30-year history in creating enterprise-class applications for more than 21,000 customers, its experience in three-tier client architecture, and the Enterprise Services Architecture to new heights with an industry-leading open integration and application platform, SAP NetWeaver. No one company is better suited than SAP to provide the platform that can help customers and partners leverage existing IT investments and lower the total cost of integration, allowing IT to move from an enabler of work to an enabler of change. This change allows for innovation, the key driver of growth. Every customer that integrates SAP with a non-SAP application needs to know the value behind SAP NetWeaver.

As corporate leaders and line-of-business managers try to create and sustain growth for their companies, they will be forced to adjust business processes and strategies. This evolution is critical for innovation to take place. Outsourcing entire IT infrastructures may alter operational cost structures, but it will not provide the flexibility and innovation support required for future success. Companies need to deploy inventive business processes on top of their robust, existing components. These innovative processes come as software products powered by SAP NetWeaver.

Since its release in January 2003, SAP NetWeaver has steadily permeated the worldwide base of SAP customers, with new users and partners adopting the platform in increasing numbers every month. With currently over 14,000 installations, many companies have already benefited from the platform’s support for innovation, business process evolution, and rapid responses to market changes, all at a minimal integration cost. SAP NetWeaver is one of SAP’s biggest strategic initiatives and has been endorsed by the SAP ecosystem through widespread customer installations, partner certifications, customer references, and a growing developer community.

In March 2004, SAP announced the latest version of the integrated and enhanced SAP NetWeaver 2004 platform. This fully synchronized platform release provides infrastructure simplicity and flexibility with enhanced SAP components including SAP Mobile Infrastructure, SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Business Intelligence, SAP Master Data Management, SAP Exchange Infrastructure, and SAP Web Application Server. It combines a services-based architecture with collaboration tools and pre-configured business content such as portal views, reports, and process templates. As a result, SAP NetWeaver is both a technological platform for creating business software and a platform for building business solutions.

SAP NetWeaver is the foundation for all mySAP solutions and SAP xApps packaged composite applications and selected partner solutions. It currently powers mySAP ERP, mySAP CRM, and mySAP SRM. Based on an open architecture — seamlessly integrating into both Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere — SAP NetWeaver can integrate SAP and non-SAP solutions at the user, information, and process levels. For customers, the platform’s ability to provide such a level of integration reduces system complexity with lower TCO, protects investments in current technology solutions, results in a sustainable cost structure, and promotes flexible growth strategies.

For the partner community, SAP NetWeaver represents one of the most widely used technology platforms for business applications in the industry. It provides a compelling, high-growth business opportunity for technology partners, independent software vendors, and system integrators unmatched by any other platform provider. By combining and delivering their core competencies on SAP NetWeaver — the platform for all of SAP’s software — partners can provide complementary solutions and services that are easy to integrate with SAP and other third-party solutions. As a result, the reduced integration efforts and minimized TCO make SAP NetWeaver-based solutions highly attractive to customers.

SAP NetWeaver is gaining momentum through the SAP partner channel. Already, 470 partner solutions have been “SAP NetWeaver Certified” across 300 partners, and SAP is proactively recruiting partners to build even more applications and services around the platform. All partners are welcome to certify their applications to run against, and to build on, SAP NetWeaver.

In late 2003, SAP launched the “Powered by SAP NetWeaver” program to collaborate with and support independent software vendors in building and promoting SAP NetWeaver-based applications. By developing “Powered by SAP NetWeaver” certified applications that run on SAP NetWeaver components, such as SAP Web Application Server, and that are iView-accessible via SAP Enterprise Portal, partners can provide faster, easier-to-integrate, complementary solutions for SAP customers. Partner applications can leverage the same technology platform SAP applications use — such as a common portal UI and single sign-on between applications — and assist companies in achieving commonalities in system landscapes, hardware, software, and support skills, thus driving down TCO and creating innovation opportunities.

In addition to the certification and “Powered by SAP NetWeaver” programs, partners are invited to collaborate with SAP to develop SAP xApps packaged composite applications. SAP xApps solutions focus on driving business innovation through delivering new “next practices” functionality not available in existing SAP solutions. SAP NetWeaver enables SAP xApps solutions to snap onto existing SAP and non-SAP applications for quick implementations and to drive more ROI on existing IT assets. These partner solutions will be sold through SAP.

A successful partner and developer community is a key component of the SAP NetWeaver strategy, so SAP has also launched the SAP Developer Network (www.sdn.sap.com) to provide customers, partners, and SAP experts with a dedicated community resource for the exchange of information and experiences around SAP technology topics, with a special focus on SAP NetWeaver and SAP xApps insights.

Since its launch in October 2003, the SAP Developer Network — itself powered by SAP NetWeaver — has attracted over 40,000 developers, with approximately 2,000 daily users. This vibrant community is a comprehensive content and collaboration hub that enables all members of the SAP ecosystem to share technical information, advice, code samples, and tools. SAP Developer Network provides downloadable development tools, white papers, and other documentation, as well as eLearning offerings designed to share lessons-learned during actual implementation projects.

Enterprises have changed the way they look at IT investments, as well as the metrics they use to make IT solution procurement and implementation decisions. Companies today are interested in expanding their abilities to grow and innovate, consolidating their software vendor base, and lowering operating costs.

SAP NetWeaver is SAP’s response to these needs, empowering IT to become an enabler of flexible business strategies, driving innovation into business processes across the enterprise, and making change sustainable through contained cost and reduced risk.

With the continued success of SAP NetWeaver, SAP is making the shift from a traditional business applications company to an application and technology platform powerhouse. SAP NetWeaver is the company’s top priority in 2004, and we encourage you to explore the opportunities SAP NetWeaver represents for your company by visiting www.sap.com for more information or by contacting your local SAP representative.

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Digital Fuel and SAP — Managing Your Critical Business & IT Services

Benny Lehmann
CEO, Digital Fuel

The growth of outsourcing along with the transformation of IT and other functions toward formal service delivery are driving a new mandate for enterprise-level Service Governance. Today’s enterprise requires a unified service management solution for both internal and outsourced services — a solution that manages business as well as IT services, providing visibility and control over their performance, cost, and bottom-line business impact.

Digital Fuel and SAP have partnered to deliver an SAP NetWeaver-based solution for managing end-to-end business and IT services. ServiceFlow for SAP is tailored to meet the needs of SAP customers, integrating with your entire business infrastructure and managing both SAP and multi-vendor based services. ServiceFlow for SAP maximizes the value — and minimizes the risks — of your outsourcing services investment and ensures the efficiency, quality, and value of your own service delivery operations.

Service Flow Mangement Dashboard

Why Service Governance?
Service Governance manages end-to-end business processes and their underlying IT infrastructure as a set of services rather than individual components. It measures the performance, quality, and cost of these services, and provides insight to drive their continuous improvement.

Service Governance is critical to ensuring the value of both outsourced and internally delivered IT and business services. Achieving the promised performance and payback of outsourcing is dependent on a proactive governance stance by the enterprise. At the same time, formal service delivery mandates optimizing quality against cost and clearly demonstrating customer value. Meeting these twin challenges requires a management platform dedicated to Service Governance.

Digital Fuel ServiceFlow
ServiceFlow’s performance measurement, cost accounting, business analytics, and powerful reporting provide the visibility and control you need to manage the services that power your business. With ServiceFlow you can:

  • Monitor outsourced Service Level Agreement (SLA) compliance
  • Track, verify, and allocate costs
  • Map infrastructure to business processes and bottom-line impact
  • Manage operations to meet business KPIs and client SLAs
  • Continuously improve service quality and operational costs
  • Reduce risk through proactive planning and analysis

ServiceFlow for SAP
ServiceFlow for SAP combines the flexibility of multi-vendor services management with the power of an integral SAP solution. Built on the SAP NetWeaver platform, ServiceFlow for SAP leverages SAP Web Application Server, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Exchange Infrastructure, and mySAP Business Suite to comprehensively manage any SAP-based business or IT service. And because ServiceFlow’s management dashboards are built into the SAP Enterprise Portal, customers can manage both SAP and mixed-vendor services from a single, standard platform.

Your Next Step
Whether you’re looking to ensure the value of your outsourcing initiatives or optimize internal service delivery operations, ServiceFlow for SAP is designed to meet your needs. To learn more, contact your SAP Account Manager or sales@digitalfuel.com, or visit www.digitalfuel.com/SAPSolution.asp.

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Adobe Interactive Forms and SAP NetWeaver Extend Power of Enterprise Systems


Kumar Vora
Vice President of
Product Management,
Adobe

Increasing competitive pressures are forcing organizations to find new ways to maximize investments in enterprise systems and improve key business processes, from streamlining employee administrative tasks to enhancing customer services. Traditionally, paper has played a central role in many business processes. Its familiarity and universal access make it a natural interface for collecting data from and sharing information across diverse groups. Unfortunately, efficient business processes generally end where paper processes begin.

Successful organizations today are bridging the gap between people’s comfort with paper and the flexibility of Web, wireless, and enterprise technologies. Together, Adobe Systems and SAP AG are delivering interactive forms solutions that automate key processes by extending powerful enterprise systems to more employees and to partners and customers. Organizations can leverage the openness of SAP NetWeaver, a comprehensive integration and application platform, and the Interactive Forms Solution Powered by Adobe to enable users to reliably receive information from, and submit data to, structured core systems.

The interactive forms solutions are built around Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) technology and SAP NetWeaver for rapid automation of business processes. The result is that organizations can cost-effectively move from inefficient, document-based workflows to integrated, electronic processes that securely and reliably link enterprise systems with end-users inside and outside of firewalls.

Highly Adaptable Applications
We deal with paper documents every day, whether completing forms to apply for jobs, securing loans from a bank, submitting expense reports to our supervisors, or applying for government programs. In return, we often receive more paper documents as follow-up to our requests. Obviously, handling paper has become second nature to many of us.

To succeed, interactive forms solutions have to feel the same as working with paper. Materials delivered electronically need to have the same quality appearance and easy accessibility as documents that people have long received on paper. Not only does this simplify the transition from paper to digital workflows, but it also helps organizations retain professional, branded images in every interaction.

With Adobe PDF, organizations are delivering electronic documents exactly as intended to users anywhere on a variety of devices, including desktop computers and tiny handheld devices. Once forms are received, people can use Adobe Reader software to enter information into specified fields and return completed forms, without altering the secure content on those materials.

Interactive Forms Solutions
SAP NetWeaver provides an open platform for developing and deploying interactive forms in Adobe PDF. Using Adobe’s leading form design tools and working in SAP solution development environments, staff can easily drag-and-drop document elements to create interactive forms that recipients can complete online or offline (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1
Adobe Designer Integrated into SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio

Document components, such as fields for entering customer information, form-field calculations, and inclusion of branded communications, can be added to forms without programming, speeding time-to-value for organizations deploying interactive document services. Validation features within form fields help ensure that end-users enter the right type of information in the right field, further speeding transactions and helping guarantee high-quality data from end-users.

Adobe PDF: The De Facto Standard for Interactive Forms
Electronic forms can streamline thousands of routine business processes, from automated completion and submission of government forms to electronic handling of customer orders for products. And this is only the beginning.

For years, platform- and application-independent Adobe PDF files have been the de facto standard for efficient, reliable delivery of electronic materials worldwide. People with free Adobe Reader software can open, complete, and electronically submit documents containing XML data. Because Adobe solutions and SAP NetWeaver support technology industry standards, organizations can easily integrate interactive forms into operations today and in the future. This flexibility expands the variety of processes that can be automated, while minimizing development and maintenance costs.

Rapid Time-to-Value
The efficiencies gained from interactive forms solutions are realized inside and outside of organizations. Customized marketing documents created on-demand and containing current product information help speed customers’ buying decisions. In addition, the ability to complete business forms online or offline gives end-users the freedom to work at their convenience, ensuring greater adoption of automated processes.

Within organizations, the benefits are equally noteworthy. The costs to print, store, process, and archive documents fall dramatically — as do the errors traditionally associated with manually copying, reviewing, and routing materials. Also, automatic saving of information from interactive forms into enterprise systems improves the reliability of business data by reducing manual data-entry processes.

Extending the Power of Enterprise Systems
Demand for interactive forms solutions is growing daily. Government agencies worldwide are permitting citizens to download forms in Adobe PDF from their Web sites, fill them in, and digitally submit completed materials. Large financial institutions have automated the creation and delivery of custom loan applications and allow potential borrowers to return completed forms for rapid processing. Internally, business workflows have improved as well, with employees easily sharing, reviewing, and digitally processing documents from dispersed project teams and outside partners.

With interactive forms solutions built on open, scalable platforms — SAP NetWeaver and the Interactive Forms Solution Powered by Adobe — organizations are successfully connecting customers, partners, and suppliers to core applications, without jeopardizing system content. End-users benefit from the power of enterprise systems, while comfortably working with electronic forms that feel similar to the experience of using paper. For organizations, interactive forms solutions deliver on the true benefits of real-time computing as data and documents move reliably across an extended enterprise.

For more information, please visit www.adobe.com.

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Get the Reporting You Want on the SAP NetWeaver Platform

Scott Lawrence
Director,
Product Marketing,
Cognos

Improving business performance is a key driver in most companies. For SAP customers, you are either moving toward or have already made a wise investment in SAP NetWeaver as the platform to enable managing your business. Cognos can help you achieve your business performance goals by leveraging and extending these investments.

In partnership with SAP — and with deep, SAP NetWeaver certified integrations to SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Business Intelligence (SAP BI), and the SAP Web Application Server, three technology components of SAP NetWeaver — Cognos can extend and enhance the value of your investment, resulting in:

  • More users leveraging the value of all the information available from SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW), the core product of SAP BI, for decision-making

  • Self-service and increased reporting flexibility for non-power users

  • Ability to amortize your overall business intelligence investment over a larger number of users

  • Most importantly, your ability to run your business intelligently by providing SAP BI insights to the right users, at the right time, in the right format

A key to achieving these results is to extend reporting capabilities and improve managed reporting performance seamlessly in the interface your employees use today — the Web browser and enterprise portal. By helping employees at all levels to create, format, and access business reports, you expand the reach and impact of the information available within SAP BW. Standardizing on a single set of reporting tools improves the adoption and usefulness of the business information. It also avoids costs stemming from duplicated training, maintenance, administration, additional servers, and redundant support. This helps to lower TCO and deliver faster ROI.

When implementing third-party reporting products, SAP customers require a solution that meets SAP’s stringent integration and certification requirements and augments SAP’s BI capabilities. Cognos ReportNet has garnered this integration certification.

Certified Enterprise Reporting Powered by SAP NetWeaver
Cognos ReportNet delivers global-scale enterprise reporting leveraging SAP BW information. Cognos’ reporting software lets you create, modify, and distribute any report your company requires — invoices, statements, weekly sales and inventory reports — over the Web.

What’s more, Cognos ReportNet is one of the first enterprise applications to be certified as Powered by SAP NetWeaver for its integration with SAP NetWeaver, SAP’s open integration and application platform. To achieve this status, Cognos successfully completed the certification tests for deployment of Cognos Dispatcher Service — a component of Cognos ReportNet — on SAP Web Application Server. This certification extends Cognos ReportNet’s existing SAP certified integration, which includes Cognos Driver for BAPI (certified for SAP NetWeaver for integration via OLAP BAPI) and pre-packaged iViews (certified for SAP NetWeaver for integration via SAP Enterprise Portal).

These certifications ensure that, when implementing Cognos ReportNet with SAP NetWeaver, you gain:

  • Confidence and integrity of results by leveraging your investment in security, business content, and business rules, including hierarchies, multiple languages and currencies, and more

  • Time savings and simplicity with a seamless, easy portal experience for your business users to get the information they need in a familiar interface

  • Reduced costs and simplified maintenance by utilizing your existing IT environment to deploy the reporting — from using the SAP BW application for as much of the query processing as possible, to deploying the reporting solution on the Web Application Servers already in place

The depth of technical integration and the Powered by SAP NetWeaver status combined enables this value and gives you peace of mind with no rework and no duplication of infrastructure.

Specific Benefits of Cognos ReportNet with SAP NetWeaver
“SAP BW customers looking to standardize on a single set of tools for their reporting should look very seriously at Cognos ReportNet,” confirms Colin White, President and Founder of the analyst firm BI Research. “It offers excellent support for SAP BW through SAP-certified BAPI integration, sound MDX language capabilities, and exploitation of the customer’s existing SAP BW data and business rules.”

Cognos ReportNet brings benefits to SAP customers running SAP NetWeaver, and specifically SAP BI, by building on the capabilities already available in SAP BI in two key areas:

Reporting Functionality
Cognos ReportNet delivers expanded functionality for reporting, featuring:

  • Packaged SAP-certified iViews, which allow users to access reports through SAP Enterprise Portal

  • Web access to reports and reporting tools, with ad hoc reporting and drag-and-drop functionality available from a browser

  • Adaptive layout capabilities, for easy, intuitive report creation

  • A range of formatting options, from simple to highly formatted “pixel-perfect” formatting

  • A metadata model to simplify the user’s view of the data and enable cross-InfoProvider and cross-functional reporting off heterogeneous sources

With Cognos ReportNet, any user can build a simple report in an intuitive way, with tables, cross tabs, graphics, ad hoc filters, and calculations. You don’t have to define “absolute positioning” of each report object — instead, you can simply drag and drop report objects onto a blank page.

With these capabilities, you can create more sophisticated reports, whether they are managed reports, production reports, one-time ad hoc reports or interactive, daily production reports. You can combine multiple elements on a single page, and include multiple logical pages, statement layouts, multi-query compound report pages, or embedded dynamic objects in a single report. You can include prompts, embedded links, or “live” windows with external Web applications conditional formatting and layout, or even Web content and drop-down menus that appear when the user scrolls over product data (see Figure 1).

Figure 1
Formatted Report Linked to Related Information and Web Content

Cognos ReportNet also draws on the multilingual and global business rules in SAP BW. Using a single report, ReportNet will automatically recognize a recipient’s browser settings (country and language) will display the metadata and report content in any SAP BW-supported language, using the correct date formats, currency, and other localization specifics.

Reporting Performance
Report recipients will appreciate Cognos ReportNet features such as report scheduling, distribution, and “bursting” for bringing fast performance for managed reporting, efficient accessibility, broad information sharing, and accurate data updates to their reports.

Because Cognos ReportNet can schedule reports to run at off-peak hours, it can save the resulting report (formatting and all) for access at the user’s convenience, with appropriate security permissions.

Bursting is the ability to execute a large report once, divide the report into the appropriate segments, and distribute those segments to the intended recipients — something of particular value in production-level reports such as Web invoicing. Bursting ensures network and processing efficiency because the data is read only once. Scheduling bursted reports for off-peak hours leads to additional efficiency in production reporting. This information can then be distributed by sending the actual report in HTML, or as a PDF, via e-mail, or to a printer.

BI’s Role
Business intelligence solutions must answer three fundamental questions: How did we do? How are we doing? Where do we go from here?

To extend the ability to share the answers to these questions with your entire company, look to broaden your reporting capabilities and drive business performance improvements. Easy-to-use reporting on SAP NetWeaver with Cognos ReportNet is one way to make this a success.

For more information, please visit www.cognos.com/sapinsider. To learn more about SAP NetWeaver, visit www.sap.com/netweaver.

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Improve Your Data Quality Efforts Using D&B Inside SAP NetWeaver

Joann Attinello
Director Global Alliances,
D&B

How good is the quality of the data behind your business decisions? Consider especially the critical impact of accurate business partner information when it comes to:

  • Risk Management — Understanding and managing total risk exposure and aggressively collecting on high-risk accounts

  • Sales and Marketing — Effectively determining your most profitable customers and the optimal prospects to target

  • Supply Management — Understanding the amounts being spent with suppliers to better negotiate terms

The quality of the information to support decisions in these areas doesn’t just affect the outcome of these decisions — it directly impacts the profitability of those decisions. How do you not only access high-quality master data, but also ensure that it is consistent across your application systems?

Ensure Consistent Business Partner Data for Your Entire SAP System Landscape
Utilizing D&B within your SAP NetWeaver landscape can help you integrate quality business information centrally in your SAP system landscape. D&B has over 160 years of experience in collecting, aggregating, and enhancing data to transform it into quality information that drives profitable decisions. By employing D&B data in SAP Master Data Management (SAP MDM) as well as leveraging SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI) — both components of SAP NetWeaver — you can be confident that your decisions are based on quality data.

How Are D&B Content and Services Used in SAP NetWeaver?
There are two options for integrating D&B data into your business partner master data with SAP MDM. To simply enhance current business partners stored in the Master Data Server (MDS) of SAP MDM, you would take a file-based approach. This manual process allows you to exchange data files with D&B and upload the data received from D&B to the MDS in SAP MDM.

If you need to connect in real-time to D&B to determine a business partner’s DUNS Number or to retrieve D&B online data products, you would use SAP XI. The data retrieved from D&B is stored directly with the business partner master record and can be shared across the enterprise.

You can utilize D&B data within each of the three scenarios available with SAP MDM:

  • With Content Consolidation, you can populate the D&B DUNS Number into your transaction systems. During record matching in SAP MDM, this allows you to perform a match based on a unique key to identify duplicates within your Business Partner and/or customer master file.

  • Master Data Harmonization allows you not only to populate the D&B DUNS Number, but also to search the D&B database for new Business Partners to ensure duplicates are not created in your transaction systems. You then push the D&B data to your client systems.

  • Central Master Data Management allows you to employ the first two scenarios and then create all new Business Partners within SAP MDM utilizing D&B data.

Not only do you enhance consistency and reduce the potential for duplicate records throughout your SAP landscape, but by leveraging D&B processes within your SAP MDM system you will be confident that your database contains comprehensive, quality business data to support more profitable decision-making.

For additional information, please contact your local D&B sales representative, email us at dnb4sap@dnb.com, or visit www.dnb.com/sap.

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Lighthammer and SAP Deliver Real-Time Manufacturing Performance Improvement (MPI)


Paul LeMert
Director of Marketing,
Lighthammer

For any enterprise, remaining competitive in a tough, global economy requires a commitment to continuous improvement along with the latest information on which to base critical business decisions. With geographically diverse production facilities, value chains, and demand chains, manufacturers face a tough challenge in collecting and assimilating information.

Manufacturers employ dashboard and performance improvement initiatives to deal with the tremendous pressure to cut costs, improve quality, and increase responsiveness in their operations. But often the data required to generate metrics and measure the impact of these initiatives is locked up in a myriad of applications and databases from multiple suppliers. And the volume of data required can paralyze an organization without an adequate platform to deal with it.

The MPI Solution: The Intelligent Way to Boost Manufacturing Performance

To meet these challenges, Lighthammer, one of the leaders in Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence software, created Manufacturing Performance Improvement (MPI), a composite application built on the SAP NetWeaver platform. MPI is designed to allow SAP customers to implement manufacturing dashboard, lean manufacturing, and six sigma programs quickly and with a high degree of success.

Lighthammer’s MPI is a platform for improvement applications that generates alerts based on real-time plant-floor information from multiple processes, lines, and plants throughout your enterprise. MPI connects to and aggregates data across the manufacturing landscape, providing greater operational visibility. Users gain access to real-time information based on both plant and enterprise applications simultaneously, without the need to replicate any data. With this unique platform, users can share manufacturing and quality information across the supply chain.

Real-Time Access to Manufacturing Data

MPI leverages Lighthammer’s unifying data access services to connect to virtually any source for manufacturing data — whether it is control, time-series, maintenance, quality, or other data — from all major vendors, including legacy applications. With MPI’s wizards, users easily define metrics, alert thresholds, and corrective actions.

Of course, rapid event notification and responsiveness to alerts are requirements for improving performance. So MPI provides a role-based, browser interface to display metrics and alerts. Users can investigate alerts by drilling into a metric’s source data and can take action to resolve the issue. MPI captures a user’s response for future analysis. Users may analyze actions to determine the most successful responses to be used in defining best practices. Rapid notification and response to alerts are required to improve performance.

MPI on SAP NetWeaver enables subject-matter experts anywhere in the organization or its value chain to work together to solve problems through the SAP Enterprise Portal. Actions may be taken in any mySAP Business Suite application to resolve a problem rapidly — and, of course, the sooner a user responds to a problem, the smaller the impact of that problem on the business.

Better Data, Improved Decision-Making, Greater Value

Manufacturing information architectures are typically compilations of off-the-shelf and homegrown applications, each serving its own valuable purpose. To extend the value of each of these individual systems, companies need an approach that can link their content together, rather than replicating it. Providing up-to-the-minute information about the current conditions and capabilities of manufacturing activities enhances decision-making across the company, but even more dramatic results are achieved when enterprise data is linked with plant/manufacturing data.

To learn more about MPI, please visit Lighthammer at www.lighthammer.com/MPI.

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Mind Your Content
How Merant Collage Extends SAP NetWeaver with Built-In Web Content Management

Randy Hawkins
Director of Strategic Alliances,
Merant

An SAP Enterprise Portal is ideal for aggregating all types of information from a people-centric perspective and providing a unified interface that spans applications and users across the enterprise.

But to make your SAP portal solution effective, content must be kept fresh, relevant, and timely. This can only be achieved when you make it easy for domain experts to update the portal content themselves.

Remember, your contributors aren’t particularly interested in the mechanics of getting content into HTML and seeing that it’s deployed to the right locations at the right time. You need a contribution engine and content management process, accessible from within the SAP environment, that anyone can use.

Enhanced Web Content Management for Even Greater SAP NetWeaver Portal Power

Web content management with Merant Collage can dramatically reduce the time, resources, and risk of error involved in getting fresh content to your SAP Enterprise Portal. It breaks through the webmaster bottleneck so that more people can post their own content, and it makes it even easier for IT staff to manage portal infrastructure.

With the combination of SAP NetWeaver and Merant Collage, organizations can realize:

  • More effective Web site collaboration across organizational boundaries

  • Increased Web maintenance productivity while maximizing the value of existing infrastructure

  • Fewer incidents of lost or erroneous data resulting in legal or financial risk exposure

For example, a large paper company in the eastern U.S. recently selected an SAP NetWeaver/Merant Collage solution specifically because it offered the ideal integration of Enhanced Web Content Management and portal technology. The solution was selected above 13 other contenders for the portal implementation. Merant Collage won on points of ease of use, quick implementation within the SAP NetWeaver environment, and indications of realizing clear ROI in the very near future.

Why Merant Collage Is the Choice for SAP Customers

Merant Collage has an open, standards-based J2EE architecture that is easily implemented in your existing environment. With Powered by SAP NetWeaver status, Merant Collage integrates seamlessly into the SAP NetWeaver stack right out of the box (see Figure 1). It can be deployed on the SAP Web Application Server and accessed directly through the SAP Enterprise Portal via a prebuilt iView to provide robust capabilities for updating, contributing, and publishing content and other digital assets directly within the portal environment.

Figure 1
Architecture of Current Merant Collage/SAP NetWeaver Integration, Along with Additional Solutions Planned for Future SAP NetWeaver Integration

Merant Collage makes it possible for IT staffs to integrate enterprise content from both SAP and non-SAP sources — leading to increased productivity, efficiency, and collaboration across the extended enterprise.

Collage’s intuitive end-user interface, strong task management, workflow, and content contribution engine integrate easily with common desktop applications such as Microsoft Office and Macromedia Dreamweaver.

What’s more, SAP Enterprise Portal users do not have to leave the portal environment to access Merant Collage and contribute content or manage their Web pages. Using SAP iViews, users can retrieve, search, and contribute information to or from the Collage system, enabling content to be easily added, managed, and retrieved via the portal (see Figure 2). Automated workflow and task management in Collage can even “push” personalized tasks to portal users — which keeps everyone productive.

Figure 2
Merant Collage’s Inbox iView Supports Content Management Directly from the Portal

As a result, your organization gains better control to expedite the process of contributing to and maintaining Web sites, including contributions from both technical and non-technical users who may be the domain experts for the content.

Doing More with Less: A Shared Vision

Merant Collage supports the SAP vision of using SAP NetWeaver to help companies reduce cost and leverage existing investments in heterogeneous IT infrastructures.

With Merant Collage and the SAP Enterprise Portal, you can ease the burden on IT, assure the integrity of your Web sites during frequent changes and updates, and create more effective portals with fast, fresh content updates. Content owners are empowered to do more of their own “webmastering” within the convenience of the SAP environment, the IT team achieves enhanced control on content with less overhead, and your organization achieves faster time-to-Web with fewer errors and delays.

The Collage integration to SAP is just the starting point. Merant’s other change management applications for developers are also planned to integrate appropriately into the SAP NetWeaver stack in the future. Working together with SAP, Merant will continue to help organizations streamline the development and change management of assets across the entire IT ecosystem, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.

For more information on Merant Collage, please visit www.merant.com/ Products/WCM/collage/home.asp.

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Increase Your Company’s Profitability Through Smarter Pricing Metreo Smart Pricing Suite for SAP NetWeaver


Paul Nagy
Vice President
Product Marketing,
Metreo, Inc.

To predict and quickly react to changing market conditions that impact your profitability, internal analysis can only take you so far. You must understand what drives your customers’ buying behavior — and know when to let your competitors take the business you don’t want.

Metreo Smart Pricing Suite puts a strategic focus on how prices are set, negotiated, and managed. Metreo’s pricing solution builds on the value of your SAP investment, allowing companies to achieve greater profitability through smarter pricing. It is SAP NetWeaver certification that will enable Metreo to integrate seamlessly with the SAP Enterprise Portal, so that users can leverage Metreo’s Smart Pricing Suite for optimal price setting, consistent price execution, and powerful price analytics — all to dramatically improve the profitability of each deal.

NetWeaver enables SAP customers to realize a lower TCO by enabling them not only to more quickly and cost-effectively deploy the Metreo solution, but also to leverage the Metreo solution along with the data in their existing SAP systems to significantly increase their profitability by as much as 18%. In fact, one Metreo customer, a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, has reported more than a $20 million increase in margins in a single year.

Metreo’s Smart Pricing Suite adds precision and profitability at all three stages of the pricing process (see Figure 1):

Figure 1
Metro Smart Pricing Suite Integrates with the SAP NetWeaver Platform

Analyze: Price performance measurement and improvement opportunity scenarios leveraging SAP’s consolidated financial information from various parts of the enterprise.

Set: Price planning and customer segmentation using the wealth of SAP transactional data to better understand the products customers want and the price they are willing to pay for those products, resulting in improved financial performance.

Negotiate: Price execution for faster and more profitable customer deal evaluation and negotiation at quote time.

For more on how to reap the full benefits of your investments in SAP with the Metreo Smart Pricing Suite, visit www.metreo.com.

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SAP NetWeaver and NRX VIP
Driving Operational Excellence at Conectiv Energy


Scott Frazer
Vice President Alliances,
NRX Global Corp.

Capital-intensive organizations have embraced business process improvement initiatives that enhance asset reliability and availability — both important contributors to Return on Assets (ROA). SAP customers searching for ways to optimize assets through improved maintenance processes should consider NRX VIP.

Enhancing and Extending EAM Functionality

VIP is a composite application built on the SAP NetWeaver platform. VIP enhances and extends Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system usability and functionality by providing users with a single, role-based point of access to a collaborative, transactional workspace. Critical functions and information from multiple plant systems are brought together into this one workspace, allowing users across the maintenance, operations, engineering, and supply chain functions to share information and seamlessly execute processes.

“We built a new plant utilizing state-of-the-art automation technology, and the NRX software complements this with state-of- the-art information technology.”

—Howard Ward, Plant Manager, Conectiv Energy

Conectiv Energy is a power generation company operating in a very competitive energy market in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Recognizing that effective maintenance processes are key factors for success, Conectiv turned to NRX’s VIP, built on SAP NetWeaver, for its newly commissioned $600 million power-generating facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Immediate Access to Current and Comprehensive Asset Information

To effectively utilize SAP’s Plant Maintenance (PM) module, Conectiv needed to prepare its equipment and material data as part of the PM implementation process. Conectiv’s OEM suppliers and contractors had delivered volumes of documentation to the new plant during construction. The manuals contained critical information such as equipment Bills of Material and exploded parts diagrams used in the maintenance work management and supply chain processes. Conectiv will use VIP’s Asset Data Management functionality to reduce the costs and complexity of digitizing, cleansing, integrating, and synchronizing this information with SAP Plant Maintenance functionality.

Improving Usability to Increase Productivity

Plant workers spend significant time waiting or looking for information. Conectiv realized that VIP could significantly reduce this nonproductive time, allowing workers to spend more time maintaining equipment and planning jobs. Conectiv’s critical equipment information resided in disparate applications that were the domain of a small group of power users. “Each of our plant applications fulfills a specific and specialized role,” said George Muller, Manager Information Technology Business at Conectiv Energy. “These largely operate as individual silos — without the benefit of a hub to integrate them. VIP provides improved efficiency with a role-based interface that both integrates applications and provides electronic asset content that is structured and actionable with these applications.” VIP includes prepackaged and tailored views for key functional roles including plant managers, operators, planners, schedulers, craftsmen, engineers, and procurement specialists.

By making asset management functions directly accessible to a broader range of users, organizations can spend more time on actual proactive maintenance activities — activities that can inevitably improve asset reliability and availability, as well as ROA.

For more information on the SAP and NRX relationship, visit www.nrx.com and www.sap.com, or contact the author of this article at +1 416 306-3387 or sfrazer@nrx.com.

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SAP NetWeaver & SEEBURGER Ensure that Your Business Partners Are Fully Integrated into Your Business Processes


Steve Sprague
Director of Business Development,
SEEBURGER, Inc.

Over the last decade, those companies that have managed their core business operations the most efficiently and effectively have gained competitive advantage and garnered a higher percentage of market share. We’re seeing a renewed emphasis on core applications and back-office processes in financials, human resources, and purchasing, among other business areas. However, as market leading companies have managed to focus on business fundamentals — providing a quality product or service to the consumer in a timely fashion — they have also realized that, in a real-time economy, the underlying technology is a key to their competitive advantage.

As companies expand into global marketplaces, as products become more complex, as consumers demand quality products in a shorter time frame, an organization’s ability to manage the informational flow becomes extremely important. Integration technology can populate this information across the organization, as well as through the extended supply chain, where economies of scale mean more noticeable return on investment. The fundamental technology that market-leading companies have used for over 20 years to exchange critical information such as purchase orders, invoices, and delivery forecasts is Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). In 2004, this has not changed.

All of this might sound familiar, but the shift is in where and how you use the business content you gain from this integration. Internal and external collaboration solutions are no longer just simply toolsets that facilitate translation, routing, and communication — they are core components of your IT landscape that are critical to your operational planning and, ultimately, to your bottom line.

“Several reasons point in favor of investing in the SEEBURGER EDI Adapters. We decided in favor of the SEEBURGER solution because we are convinced by SEEBURGER’s enduring relationship with SAP, the rich technical functionality of their solution, and the documented ease of integration with SAP NetWeaver (SAP XI). The ease of configuration combined with the professional and responsive implementation team ensures that we have the right long-term EDI solution.”

—Pete Dukelow, Director of E-Business, BreconRidge Manufacturing Solutions

With the introduction of SAP NetWeaver, SAP has brought internal and external integration and collaboration into their core functionality. SEEBURGER has partnered with SAP to provide both EDI adapters and industry expertise in the area of EDI. What does this mean for SAP customers?

  • With the SAP NetWeaver infrastructure, you have the ability to reduce the number of information hand-offs and potential failure points between applications and trading partners

  • You gain long-term stability and reusable business content throughout SAP applications, with offerings that will still be relevant as your IT landscape grows and changes

  • You can more easily integrate a range of trading partners with enablement solutions, which drive higher ROI for your business processes

Often with best-of-breed integration solutions, the data passed between your organization and your partners did not always find its way into your back-office to help shape strategic planning or operational decision-making. And while full integration of your extended supply chain is the goal, it has typically been difficult to truly integrate all your trading partners — especially smaller partners. SAP NetWeaver and SEEBURGER can help on both counts.

Long-Term Partners, Long-Term Success
SEEBURGER is a longstanding partner with SAP. Since 1995, over 1,000 SAP customers around the globe utilize SEEBURGER’s solutions to solve external integration issues. Our worldwide consulting organization has core competencies in the area of trading partner integration regardless of industry or geography, and our solution has stayed the path to ensure our customers’ ongoing success:

  • Certified for all versions of SAP R/3 3.x and SAP R/3 4.x
  • EDI-certified since 1996
  • ALE-certified since 1998
  • SAP/XML-certified since 2000
  • Provider of EDI Adapters for SAP Exchange Infrastructure since 2003

Business Content Without Boundaries

Wherever electronic collaboration takes place, organizations achieve an initial ROI from automating manual processes; however, further benefits come from using this business content throughout the application landscape. This is the role that SAP NetWeaver plays, with components such as SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW), SAP Enterprise Portal (SAP EP), and SAP Suppler Relationship Management (SAP SRM). Examples of benefits include:

  • Business intelligence — With SAP NetWeaver, you can combine business content from your extended supply chain and combine it with the analytics functionality of SAP BW for integrated supply chain and exception management reporting

  • Supply chain management — Using SAP Enterprise Portal, you can access Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) functionality via a portal interface

  • Supplier relationship management — With SAP SRM, you can provide one interface, including portal access, traditional EDI, and XML collaboration, to all suppliers for 100% supplier enablement

“SAP is pleased to expand our relationship with SEEBURGER to ultimately extend the functionality of the SAP Exchange Infrastructure. Our customers will benefit by more easily building integrated processes with their business partners in an efficient, reliable, and secure manner, whether the integration is based on existing EDI technology or emerging Internet standards.”

—Klaus Kreplin, Member of the Extended Management Board, SAP NetWeaver

Enabling Smaller Trading Partners

Organizations have always been challenged when trying to integrate 100% of their trading partners. Smaller organizations faced technical and economic barriers to enter this collaborative environment in the past; however, newer technology solutions are now available to the market. Unfortunately, many larger organizations have not implemented these offerings for their smaller trading partners, so inefficiency and manual process gaps still exist through much of the extended supply chain. To close these gaps, SEEBURGER provides flexible solutions such as:

  • WebEDI — Browser-based access allows partners to manage their document exchange

  • Hub & Spoke — A spoke provides translation and communication to the hub, as well as supports basic integration with a supplier’s backend application

  • Paper2ERP — Automated processing made possible for paper-based documents by converting inbound faxes into a usable data format such as Flat File, IDOC, or XML, with the help of innovative recognition and crosschecking technology.

Continuity in a Tumultuous World

In a business climate where change is the only constant, it’s important to know that SAP looks out for its customers’ needs — including visionary solutions to ensure that your business partners are integrated into your business processes. Decision-makers face many choices when looking at integration solution providers, and we have all seen the rise and fall of best-of-breed integration solutions. For long-term success, you need vendors who will be beside you every step of the way and who will still be in business when the dust settles — experts like SAP and SEEBURGER.

For more information on SEEBURGER’s solutions for SAP customers, contact s.sprague@seeburger.com or visit www.seeburger.com.

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OSIsoft’s Real-time Performance Management (RtPM) Business Package Delivers Enterprise-Level Insights to SAP Enterprise Portal Users


Dr. Gretchen Schwenzer
Director of ERP Integration,
OSIsoft, Inc.

One new strength of the SAP/OSIsoft partnership is its ability to offer SAP customers vital information from more than 400 different sensor-based systems and IT agents as part of their SAP Enterprise Portal through SAP-certified interfaces. OSIsoft has had a partnership with SAP since 1996, delivering standard, certified interfaces to SAP manufacturing modules PP-PI, QM, and PM. OSIsoft’s RtPM (Real-time Performance Management) provides customers with a platform for data collection, analysis, distribution, and visualization. Now OSIsoft delivers these RtPM data iViews to SAP NetWeaver with the Real-Time Performance Management Business Package (RtBusinessPackage).

To quickly react to changing business conditions, take corrective action before operations go off course, and maximize strategic opportunities, companies need visibility into real-time data generated across your organization. But how do you capture, access, and distribute this business-critical operational and enterprise-level information?

Now, SAP and OSIsoft customers have the ability to see their entire enterprise in one portal view. With the RtBusinessPackage, OSIsoft brings its real-time data platform to SAP Enterprise Portal, part of SAP NetWeaver, SAP’s open application and integration infrastructure.

To support proactive business decisions, OSIsoft’s RtBusinessPackage uses KPIs from SAP and manufacturing to drive improved performance in asset utilization, supply chain management, and product life cycle management, and then delivers that information to SAP portal users through collections of iViews. Figure 1 displays a collection of graphics, trending, and event iViews from the RtBusinessPackage. In this case, the focus is on operational, plant systems information, but the data could just as well represent network traffic and IT performance management, or inventory and geographic distribution of that inventory — any time-based data scenario.

Figure 1
OSIsoft Data in SAP Enterprise Portal iViews

RtBusinessPackage is part of the OSIsoft RtPM platform, which includes RtBaseline to gather data from sensor-based systems and IT agents and RtAnalysis for calculations, alerts, and event management. With iViews for use across all SAP Enterprise Portal roles, the RtBusiness Package offers graphics, trending, alerts, and event notification, as well as supporting iViews for OSIsoft-certified manufacturing products, to reach users across your enterprise. With a real-time view into your organization, you have tools to drive collaboration and intelligent actions for improved operational and enterprise-level decision-making.

For more information on OSIsoft, visit www.osisoft.com. Please direct specific questions on OSIsoft’s offerings for SAP to RLINK@osisoft.com.

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SAP Integration Certified Data Quality Solution: Trillium Software Brings Data Quality Functionality to SAP R/3, mySAP CRM, and Other SAP Solutions for Postal Validation, Duplicate Check, and Error Tolerant Search

Len Dubois
Vice President of
Marketing for Trillium Software,
A Division of Harte-Hanks

Organizations have invested in SAP solutions to gain a holistic view of their logistical, financial, and informational processes. SAP provides unmatched functionality to integrate these operational processes and enable intelligent business functions. For these systems to be truly effective, the underlying data must also be of the highest quality: cleansed, standardized, enriched, and linked.

Data quality is critical during conversions and migrations, as well as ongoing real-time operational processes. Common problems with business partner or address data include:

  • Incorrectly fielded data

  • Data containing typing or user errors

  • Non-standard designations

  • Invalid postal information

  • Duplication of master records

The Trillium Software Data Quality Connector for SAP solutions greatly reduces development and implementation costs by intelligently cleansing business partner and address data in SAP solutions through parsing, standardizing, linking, and processing global data to accurately cleanse and link data using localized country-specific rules. The Trillium Software System (Version 6.0) has achieved SAP’s integration certification status for both Duplicate Check/Error Tolerant Search (BC-BAS-DES) and Postal Validation (BC-BAS-PV).

Specialized components of the Trillium Software System provide SAP users and administrators integrated functionality that improves data at its source in both batch and real time. Because the Trillium Software Data Quality Connector for SAP solutions is implemented as a Business Add-In for both SAP R/3 4.6 and SAP Web Application Server 6.20 or higher, any SAP application subscribing to SAP’s Business Address Services (BAS) framework can take advantage of Trillium Software functionality. SAP Web Application Server is the technology stack of SAP NetWeaver, SAP’s open application and integration platform.

Benefits

By improving the data quality of your business partner and address data, you’ll gain some exciting benefits:

  • Data that conforms to SAP standards and requirements
  • Standardized, enriched, and correctly linked database records
  • Increased efficiency in matching customer records with the local postal authority
  • Increased billing efficiency with valid billing addresses
  • Increased marketing efficiency by eliminating duplicates
  • Increased business intelligence and reporting accuracy
  • Decreased time to process orders and de-duplicate customers

How It Works
The Trillium Software Data Quality Connector for SAP solutions works as either a batch or real-time process. The batch connector allows SAP administrators to cleanse data “in place” without unloading or reloading the database. The real-time connector cleanses data at the point of entry during users’ “create” and “change” transactions (e.g., Create Customer, Create Vendor, Create Partner). The connector is implemented at the SAP R/3 or SAP Web Application Server layer for availability across the entire SAP environment, and can be customized and configured through a set of extensible business rules files, as well as through customization transactions available in the SAP IMG.

Open Architecture
Trillium Software can also be implemented outside of BAS to cleanse, standardize, enhance, and link business data such as material master data. The Trillium Software System lets data quality be integrated at every data touch point in your organization — call centers, sales staff, customer support, and the Web.

For additional information on Trillium Software’s participation in the SAP Software Partner program, visit www.trilliumsoftware.com/sap or contact us for more details at SAPInfo@trilliumsoftware.com.

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SAP and Vendavo Help SAP Customers Price More Effectively, Turning Pricing Insights into Profits


Jamie Rapperport
Founder and
Executive VP
Business Development,
Vendavo

SAP customers are always looking for ways to leverage their investments and deliver more value to their businesses. One of the areas garnering a lot of attention lately is more effective pricing.

While pricing is recognized as a critical driver in improving corporate net margins — by anywhere from 10% to 60% — many obstacles hinder companies’ efforts in achieving these gains:

  • Executives lack visibility into what is driving good and bad pricing performance

  • Business and pricing analysts cannot identify problem areas or opportunities

  • Companies lack the tools to execute better pricing decisions

Figure 1
Executive Dashboard, One of Many Views in Vendavo’s Pricing Analytics

That’s why Vendavo has become an SAP xApps partner. Pricing Analytics, a composite application from Vendavo, brings together relevant data from across the mySAP Business Suite, provides users with a highly interactive, visual, and intuitive interface (see Figure 1), and delivers powerful pricing analytics that bring pricing data alive:

Full integration into SAP NetWeaver provides pricing collaboration and decision-making across the mySAP Business Suite

Technology executives leverage their existing SAP investments and the SAP NetWeaver platform to deliver more value to the business

Executives gain real-time visibility into what is driving good and poor pricing performance across every aspect of the business

Business and pricing analysts leverage unique pricing-specific analytics to pinpoint opportunities to dramatically improve net margins

Pricing Analytics by Vendavo complements the powerful tools provided by SAP NetWeaver. Vendavo’s unique analytical frameworks for pricing decisions also complement the ability to integrate, analyze, and disseminate relevant and timely information provided through SAP Business Information Warehouse.

Let’s look at some examples of how a company might use Pricing Analytics by Vendavo.

Pinpoint Where Pricing Is Costing You Profits

Executives, such as general managers and senior VPs, intuitively know that their profits vary widely by customer, product, region, and so forth, but cannot really pinpoint where those “leakages” are or how they are occurring. With Pricing Analytics by Vendavo, the answers to these questions literally jump out. In fact, many companies are surprised to find that “star” customers are actually money losers while other, less visible customers are solid performers.

Many companies are surprised to find that “star” customers are actually money losers while other, less visible customers are solid performers.

The same may be true for some account managers or regions that consistently “blow away their numbers” yet are actually blowing a hole in profits. Ditto for product lines, customer segments, and channels. With Pricing Analytics by Vendavo, these business users can leverage the rich information from across the mySAP Business Suite and improve their pricing decision-making.

Look to SAP and Vendavo to Help Achieve More Effective Pricing

Beyond the analytics component of Vendavo, several joint SAP and Vendavo customers are leveraging the price recommendation and negotiation capabilities of Vendavo to extend SAP’s price administration and quote/contract management. With this end-to-end solution, the insights gained from the pricing analytics drive price recommendations and empower sales teams to make every negotiation more profitable. This integrated solution combines the best of both companies: innovative pricing technology and proven applications that SAP customers rely on to run their businesses day in and day out.

Price recommendation and negotiation are where “the rubber hits the road” for better pricing in business-to-business environments. The key to higher profits is empowering those who are making the pricing decisions in the front lines: your sales team. First, take the insights from analytics and turn them into guidance on how every transaction should be priced. Then, armed with this guidance, empower sales teams and executives to negotiate multiple pricing elements in real-time.

No longer do sales teams and executives have to rely on back and forth emails, phone calls, spreadsheets, and “gut feel” to review, evaluate, and respond to special pricing requests. Target prices and terms, deal economics, improvement suggestions, and the impact of every trade-off are crystal clear. Companies can be more responsive to customers — for example, pricing more aggressively when the overall terms of the deal warrant — and still improve the bottom line.

Pricing solutions from SAP and Vendavo are already delivering bottom-line benefits to SAP customers. The strength of the integration between SAP solutions and Vendavo is the ability to deliver a seamless solution for effective price management to SAP customers in industrial manufacturing, chemicals, high-tech, distribution, and other business-to-business environments.

Insights gained from pricing analytics drive price recommendations and empower sales teams to make every negotiation more profitable.

With Vendavo’s SAP certified integration between Vendavo and SAP R/3 4.6, these recommended and negotiated prices can be seamlessly uploaded to the mySAP Business Suite, where these prices and conditions are recorded and applied to the company’s transactions. These transactions are, in turn, the foundation for the Pricing Analytics composite application.

The result for SAP customers is that everyone, from the general manager of a business to an account manager on the front lines, can now price more effectively and deliver higher profits to the bottom line — and for technology managers charged with making the most out of the company’s SAP investment, the assurance that the solution comes from a proven SAP partner.

For more information on Pricing Analytics by Vendavo, please visit www.sap.com/
solutions/xapps/partners/applications/pricinganalytics.asp
or www.vendavo.com/
pricinganalytics.htm
, send an email to info@vendavo.com, or call +1 650 213-0452.

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Streamlined, Simplified Tax Calculations — Now Available Via SAP NetWeaver

John Viglione
Chief Technology Officer,
Vertex Inc.

Tax professionals can now process sales, consumer use, and value added tax (VAT) with greater efficiency and accuracy than ever before, thanks to Vertex’s new generation of web-enabled tax calculation products, which have been certified to run on the SAP Web Application Server — part of the SAP NetWeaver integration and application platform — and have achieved Powered by SAP NetWeaver status.

Vertex Sales Tax, Vertex Consumer Use Tax, and Vertex Value Added Tax are part of the new O Series family of solutions, and are designed to make managing tax processes less complicated and less time-consuming. A new generation of tax calculation products built on the common architecture of Vertex’s Transaction Processing System, the O Series is the result of a combination of the latest technology, comprehensive tax research, and Vertex’s extensive experience as a provider of tax software solutions across a transaction life cycle.

O Series’ use of object oriented Internet technologies such as Java, HTML, XML, and SOAP provides greater deployment and integration flexibility. At the same time, a centralized Tax Service Engine allows for easier integration with leading financial and billing applications and provides cross-platform operating efficiencies for companies running on more than one system.

With the recent SAP NetWeaver certification of Vertex Central — Vertex’s graphical user interface (GUI) — users can now confidently install and deploy Vertex O Series on the SAP Web Application Server. Vertex Central provides an HTML user interface for Web browser access (see Figure 1), and this GUI interacts with the Vertex O Series core system to handle the user’s tax calculation configuration.

Figure 1
Vertex Central

In the end, Vertex O Series solutions on SAP Web Application Server help customers reduce costs associated with necessary tax processing by centralizing and leveraging the technology. As a member of the SAP Software Partner Program, Vertex continues to work with SAP using open standards to develop advanced tax products deployed on leading platforms such as SAP NetWeaver.

For more information on the Vertex O Series family of tax solutions, visit www.vertexinc.com or call +1 800 355-3500.

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