GRC
HR
SCM
CRM
BI


Article

 

Special Feature: mySAP ERP Financials

by SAP and Partners | SAPinsider

October 1, 2004

by SAP and Partners SAPinsider - 2004 (Volume 5), October (Issue 4)
 

Finance, Growth, mySAP ERP, and Why SAP R/3 Can Only Take You So Far


Martin Przewloka
Senior Vice President
Global Solution Management
mySAP ERP,
SAP AG

>>INSIDE<<

Financial Systems Optimization - Extending Your ROI

Automate Processes, Reduce Costs, and Speed Customer Transactions with Secure Electronic Information Delivery from SAP

Simplifying International Tax Management with Sabrix

3 Steps to Unleash the Hidden Value in Your SAP Solution and Achieve High Performance

Managing Outsourced A/P Business Processes with dolphin's Process Tracking System for SAP Accounts Payable (PTS-AP)

Increase Sales and Reduce Cost by Providing Your Customers with Flexible Payment Options

Managing Change in Extensive SAP Landscapes with Rev-Trac

We're entering an era where finance organizations are being presented with much tougher questions:

  • Should we or shouldn't we outsource certain processes?

  • How do our revenues break down with regard to markets, regions, business units, and product lines, and are we performing against plan?

  • How much cash do we really need?

  • What new strategies should we pursue, and how do we fund them?

  • Are proposed product modifications really worthwhile, or should we focus elsewhere?

  • What margins can be expected as new products and services progress through the various phases of their life cycle?

  • Are we absolutely certain that all parties and reporting activities are working off common, consistent financial information?

  • Are we in full compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II, IAS, and other pressing mandates?

I've always been big a fan of SAP R/3, but I can tell you that answers to these types of questions don't come easily with that generation of ERP. They do, however, with mySAP ERP, which is the next generation of ERP.

mySAP ERP adds new functions to those that you run today, like business process simulation, consolidated reporting, performance management, employee and manager self-services, and analytics. Information that rolls up to a finance organization can come from a variety of systems — SAP and non-SAP alike — and from a variety of locations. This is possible because mySAP ERP (unlike SAP R/3) is built on the entire SAP NetWeaver technology platform. That platform includes SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) and SAP Enterprise Portal (SAP EP). It also includes technologies that let you integrate mySAP ERP with other systems, harmonize data across those systems, and continually analyze all this information.

The result is an ERP solution that goes beyond that which is possible with SAP R/3 to provide far more expansive and insightful perspectives. You get a firm grasp of historical, predictive, and real-time activities. Furthermore, given that a portal is part of SAP NetWeaver, internal and external stakeholders can get to, contribute to, and help shape those insights. In an era where transparency, flexibility, real-time awareness, and resilience are essential, this next generation of ERP is critical for finance organizations.

As for the road ahead, ERP systems will need to be seamlessly integrated with your CRM, SCM, and other applications and legacy systems — and with certain partner and customer systems as well — to afford finance teams accurate and real-time views of your financial standing. In the past, IT barriers made this too daunting a proposition. Today, Web and enterprise services offer an easy, flexible, and inexpensive means to do this.

SAP has a blueprint to guide your deployment of SAP NetWeaver and facilitate the transformation of your current infrastructure to a service-oriented enterprise. It's called Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), and it's illustrated in the example in Figure 1.

Figure 1
Enterprise Services Architecture — SAP's Blueprint to Guide Your SAP NetWeaver Deployment

The benefits of this transformation are significant. Finance organizations gain more transparency, more control, and better reporting, consolidation, and analytic capabilities. SAP NetWeaver also confers a much better end-user experience. You see major increases in user productivity when you cater to their specific role and give them easy access to all the information and services they need within a simple and intuitive interface.

Lastly, mySAP ERP offers ensuring ROI and lower TCO — attributes that are valued by finance and IT organizations alike.

For more information on mySAP ERP, which is based on the SAP NetWeaver platform, visit www.sap.com/solutions/erp. To learn more about SAP's financial management and accounting solution, mySAP ERP Financials, visit www.sap.com/solutions/erp/financials.

back to top


Financial Systems Optimization - Extending Your ROI


David Nowak
Co-Founder and
Managing Partner,
Virtuoso, LLC

With all the rich functionality available in mySAP ERP Financials, the average organization may not be fully utilizing its financial management software's capabilities. Identifying, managing, and understanding the extraordinary amount of data that drives your FI/CO module can be very challenging.

When properly configured and utilized, mySAP ERP Financials will provide generous paybacks to your organization by reducing costs, improving productivity, enhancing customer relations, increasing profits, and empowering your people with timely and useful information.

Many different factors can impact the effectiveness of your financial management software relative to its potential:

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • Flawed initial implementation

  • New SAP options and upgrades

  • Improperly trained employees

  • Partially implemented functionality

  • New company policies designed without process performance in mind

  • Limited domain knowledge, skills, and expert resources

Financial system optimization enables companies to extend the ROI of their existing SAP software. Unlike complex Business Process Reengineering (BPR) initiatives, which analyze and radically redesign workflow within and between enterprises, financial system optimization addresses underutilized software capabilities.

Virtuoso's Optimization Roadmap Drives Results

Improving financial systems begins with a roadmap of what a business wants its software to do, what existing software can achieve, and what obstacles stand in the way (see Figure 1). To optimize your financial systems, align your existing enterprise software's capabilities with your company's needs.

Figure 1
Virtuoso's Financial Systems Optimization Roadmap

First, examine your financial systems, identify gaps in your resources, processes, and information, and introduce improvements to ensure that your system is set up to work in harmony with your business goals. Then, redefine roles and responsibilities and decide how your financial systems should support the enterprise. Finally, perform a needs analysis and extend information access to use your system to its highest potential.

After completing your optimization project, your team will understand the capabilities of your financial management software and how it can be used to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and increase productivity. By better utilizing the information captured in your financial software, your team will work more effectively and increase your ROI.

For more on the optimization roadmap and other services from Virtuoso, visit www.virtuosollc.com.

back to top


Automate Processes, Reduce Costs, and Speed Customer Transactions with Secure Electronic Information Delivery from SAP


Jurgen Stephan
Vice President
of Marketing,
Captaris

Today, financial services institutions are delivering more and more services — from banking and investments to lending and insurance — and competition is intense, making efficient business processes and fast, reliable information access more important than ever. In addition, heightened regulatory requirements combined with privacy concerns are stepping up the pressure for organizations to better manage business functions and communicate more effectively with clients, regulators, and business partners.

Fortunately, SAP customers already have a strong business platform to effectively manage their core business processes. However, managing business processes is just part of the story. To stay competitive in this aggressive market, financial services organizations also need to deliver information generated in SAP solutions more quickly, improve internal workflow, and enhance communications security — all while reducing costs and providing superior financial services.

Automating Business Information Delivery From SAP

SAP applications automate core business processes to improve the efficiency of generating data for business documents. It's distributing the documents themselves to customers and suppliers that has often been a challenge. Historically organizations have reverted to printing paper documents and delivering business information using manual delivery channels like mail and fax. These conventional channels are costly, time-consuming, and rife with inefficiencies, and they do not fully take advantage of the latest technologies for optimizing information delivery.

Financial services organizations need to quickly, securely, and efficiently disseminate business information in a cost-effective and accessible format. To address this need, a new breed of Business Information Delivery solutions is available. These solutions, which can encompass enterprise fax, e-document delivery, content integration, and workflow offerings, bridge the gap between generating data in SAP and disseminating that information so it is delivered automatically to the right people — when they need it and in the format right for them (see Figure 1).

Figure 1
Captaris Solutions Integrate, Process, and Automate the Flow of Messages, Data, and Documents

Captaris leads the way in automating business communication processes by connecting people, workflow processes, and information to speed communications and reduce business costs. Captaris Business Information Delivery offerings provide complementary capabilities that integrate with SAP applications to help financial services organizations automate the flow of messages, data, and documents.

The Benefits of Electronic Business Information Delivery

When financial services institutions integrate Captaris Business Information Delivery solutions with SAP applications to automate distribution of business communications, they gain significant benefits, including:

Reduced costs — Organizations can reduce information delivery costs up to 90% by eliminating the labor, printing, postage, equipment, and supply costs associated with manually faxing or mailing documents generated in SAP.

Improved business processes — By integrating Captaris Business Information Delivery capabilities with SAP, organizations can build a strong framework to streamline end-to-end business processes, enabling them to optimize and scale information flow and more effectively respond to business opportunities.

Increased productivity — With automated delivery of documents from SAP, employees do not waste time mailing or manually faxing documents. Instead, they can automatically deliver information directly from SAP.

Information when and how you want it — Not all financial information has the same purpose, and not all recipients want to receive information in the same way. For example, one recipient might want to receive a billing statement via fax, while another recipient might want information delivered as HTML or as a message to a wireless device. Captaris provides flexible Business Information Delivery solutions tailored to meet specific information exchange needs.

Improved customer service — Organizations that can instantaneously deliver information to clients, partners, and regulators in their desired format provide better service levels and accelerate customer transactions, leading to an improved customer experience and quicker revenue recognition.

Enhanced security and reliability — Captaris Business Information Delivery solutions integrate with SAP and other business applications, eliminating error-prone manual routines. Users can send and receive documents from SAP and other applications directly at their desktops, or large batches of documents can be delivered automatically and unattended. Captaris also provides options such as encrypted or certified delivery to ensure privacy protection.

Tamper-resistant information transmission — By automating information delivery from SAP applications, financial services organizations can help safeguard that documents retain original data integrity and are not altered during transmission. For example, with Captaris RightFax, information is transmitted as image-based, tamper-resistant PDF or TIFF documents via a secure Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), and is then stored electronically on the fax server.

Regulatory compliance support — Financial documents are governed by many legislative regulations, including Sarbanes-Oxley, designed to protect security, accuracy, and confidentiality. Captaris Business Information Delivery solutions can provide electronic tracking and storage, supporting compliance with the regulatory mandates that dictate how financial services institutions receive, process, use, store, protect, and share client information.

Reduced complexity — Deploying and managing homegrown systems, complex integrations, and manual document delivery routines can be costly, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. Captaris solutions were designed to be easy to use, deploy, and manage within large and small organizations.

About Captaris

Captaris provides business information delivery solutions that integrate, process, and automate the flow of messages, data, and documents. Captaris produces a suite of proven products and services, in partnership with leading enterprise technology companies, delivered through a global distribution network. Captaris has installed over 80,000 systems in 44 countries, with 93 of the Fortune 100 using the company's products and services.

Captaris RightFax

Captaris RightFax is an enterprise fax and e-document delivery solution for SAP. With SAP-certified integration, RightFax helps companies reduce costs, improve efficiency, and streamline business processes by automating the flow of information and document delivery from SAP applications.

Captaris Teamplate

Captaris Teamplate is a global leader in rapid business process automation for Microsoft environments, providing fast, understandable, affordable, and robust solutions that scale. Used to streamline the interaction between business people and enterprise software applications, Teamplate workflow solutions are implemented by managers in any functional area of a business.

Captaris Interchange

Captaris Interchange is a software platform that fuses content integration with information delivery, enabling organizations to generate and deliver critical documents independent of source data, format, or delivery method.

For more information about Captaris' solutions for SAP customers, visit www.captaris.com or call +1 520 320-7000.

back to top


Simplifying International Tax Management with Sabrix


Gary Allen
Co-Founder and Senior
Vice President of
Services and Support,
Sabrix

Today, global companies are striving to create a consolidated view of their finances. Many companies neglect including their international tax position in that view, since they lack a common platform for managing and reporting international transaction taxes including the VAT, GST, and US sales and use tax. Global companies are faced with a limited overall view of their business and lack a common solution for managing and reporting transaction taxes.

Many companies have adopted technology to streamline other financial processes, but tax remains a largely manual process, often with distributed systems. Centralizing and automating international transaction tax management can improve a company's cash position and free up tax resources for better planning and strategy.

Given that tax teams encounter constant updates to rates and rules, along with frequent changes to company structures and business systems, the tax environment is perfect for centralization and automation. This not only eliminates multiple updates to disparate supporting systems, but also ensures more accurate tax payments and audit trails.

How Automating Transaction Taxes Benefits SAP Customers

The Sabrix Application Suite complements SAP applications in determining, calculating, and recording transaction taxes. Sabrix seamlessly integrates with sales and purchasing applications, unlocking the value of mySAP ERP, mySAP CRM, and mySAP Mobile Client, as well as other legacy and ERP systems. By automating tax determination and providing a single compliance database for international taxes, SAP customers can minimize the complexity of tax decisions by sales, purchasing, and accounting personnel during transaction processing.

The Sabrix Solution has met the international SAP transaction tax challenge by enabling an automated global tax solution. SAP customers using Sabrix can handle worldwide requirements for both calculation and reporting with support for each step in the business process — from procurement to payment and from quote to cash. The Sabrix Application Suite can solve difficult international tax challenges including triangulation simplification and other EU-specific requirements, as well as tax challenges across the world in countries like Brazil, India, and China.

An SAP-Specific Tax Solution

The SabrixConnection for SAP, which is already SAP-certified for the US and Canada, connects to SAP's Standard Tax Interface, passing transaction data from SAP to the Sabrix Solution. The SAP implementation with Sabrix is unique — it removes the requirement to maintain complex matrices for tax configuration exceptions and overrides, as well as for standard processing. Instead, Sabrix intelligently decides the appropriate tax determination based on SAP transactions and company configuration for exemptions and exceptions. Using the SAP Java Connector for its integration, Sabrix has enabled a highly scalable interface.

Now companies running SAP can harness the power of Sabrix applications for domestic and international taxation requirements while simplifying their transaction tax landscape into a single centralized solution. Implementing Sabrix Application Suite in the SAP environment reduces the cost of tax compliance and creates more efficient tax processes. As a result, tax professionals can spend more time on tax strategy to improve cash management and increase profitability.

Sabrix is a leading provider of enterprise tax applications and fully integrated international tax research, supporting more than 120 countries. For more information about Sabrix's solutions and services for SAP customers, visit www.sabrix.com.

back to top


3 Steps to Unleash the Hidden Value in Your SAP Solution and Achieve High Performance


Martin Traub
Finance & Performance
Management
Service Line,
Accenture

As your business changes, so do your needs for SAP. The challenge is to have robust processes and systems in place that can absorb new internal and external requirements. A simplified system landscape with common end-to-end processes enables this flexibility.

Many ERP implementations were planned and implemented under considerable time, resource, and budget constraints. Not surprisingly, many executives feel their ERP hasn't delivered on its original promises of increased productivity, connected business processes, and improved business insight. This high performance already exists within your SAP solution — it's just waiting for you to unleash it.

The key to unleashing this hidden value is to take small, well-planned steps rather than perform one giant, risky SAP makeover. On your journey to high performance, focus on harmonizing your technology, processes, and organization.

Step 1: Harmonize Your Technology

In both large, multinational corporations and smaller enterprises, we often see a proliferation of SAP instances and complex third-party architecture. Maintaining these systems is a costly, draining effort — you can save time and money by harmonizing and consolidating your technology environments.

Managing a complex system architecture gets much easier with a comprehensive integration and application platform like SAP NetWeaver. With SAP NetWeaver, you can better manage your existing infrastructure and implement new business processes more quickly. A good indicator of successful harmonization is the ability to perform end-to-end business processes seamlessly across the enterprise, as well as with customers and vendors.

Step 2: Harmonize Your Processes

In today's marketplace, there's an ever-increasing need for information to be integrated across a company. When an enterprise can truly compare like information using SAP as the single data source, global performance management and business insights are more powerful.

Additionally, changing regulations, international accounting standards, and shareholder expectations require a new level of transparency. Companies must harmonize their processes to increase the speed of their reporting, widen the scope of information included in reports, and ensure the accuracy of their results. A properly designed SAP solution has the flexibility to support these requirements.

Step 3: Harmonize Your Organization

To support these complex systems and processes, your organization must be aligned and trained. Companies should focus on cross-function processes, such as purchase-to-pay, to ensure accurate and complete information is captured. A knowledgeable and streamlined organization can support complexities that otherwise complicate standard process flows like complex manufacturing, international considerations, and outsourced process components.

Accenture's Solution

The Accenture Finance & Performance Management global service line, along with Accenture's Alliance Partners, has developed a comprehensive set of practices, benchmarks, and offerings to help clients achieve high performance. We position Finance in the middle of an enterprise solution like SAP, connecting Finance with other areas of the business. We help organizations assess their situation and map out a plan to achieve new levels of efficiency. In many cases, the necessary functionality already exists within your SAP solution or can be added with reasonable effort.

It's never too late to start improving your technology, processes, and organization — and never too early to unleash the hidden value in your SAP investment.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. For more information, visit www.accenture.com.

back to top


Managing Outsourced A/P Business Processes with dolphin's Process Tracking System for SAP Accounts Payable (PTS-AP)


Martin Maguth
Director Workflow
Applications,
dolphin IT-Project and
Consulting Corporation

As SAP customers consider outsourcing their core business processes, they are faced with the challenge of selecting IT systems and offshore business models appropriate for their organization.

Driven by an urgent need to enhance competitiveness and drive costs down, more and more companies are using dolphin's Process Tracking System to bring process control and visibility to what is now a geographically distributed business process.

Process Tracking System (PTS) by dolphin

Companies that outsource core business processes have found that, in addition to traditional business challenges, visibility and process control become prevalent issues.

The Process Tracking System for SAP Accounts Payable (PTS-AP) by dolphin is a best-practice, turnkey solution that addresses traditional business challenges, such as ad hoc approvals, invoice prioritization, and invoice duplicates. PTS-AP also provides the technology for a variety of offshore business models by overcoming the challenges of process transparency and invoice tracking across geographies.

PTS-AP streamlines and automates the accounts payable process using SAP workflow and imaging technology. In addition, PTS-AP provides comprehensive, real-time data on transactions, business documents, and processes to optimize process control and business management.

Hybrid Delivery Model

PTS-AP supports the hybrid delivery model, widely used process model for outsourcing accounts payable. This model maximizes efficiency in resources and costs by taking advantage of a company's local presence and current method of receiving accounts payable documents. Offshore services are also used to complete processing of inbound vendor invoices or credit memos.

Figure 1 demonstrates the process flow for a typical accounts payable process. Ideally, 20%-30% of work is done onsite while 70%-80% is sent offshore.

Figure 1
Accounts Payable Hybrid Delivery Model Process Flow

The hybrid delivery model is successful because it enables clients to directly interact with local vendors through an onsite team while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of offshore facilities.

One of our customers, a large Fortune 500 water treatment manufacturer, uses PTS-AP to process about 4,000 accounts payable documents per week. Documents are received locally in the US and processed in Bangalore, India. PTS-AP provides the automation and transparency needed to successfully implement this process.

For more information on the potential of hybrid offshore outsourcing using dolphin's Process Tracking System, visit www.dolphin-corp.com, contact us at
+1 248 608-8353, or email sales@dolphin-corp.com.

back to top


Increase Sales and Reduce Cost by Providing Your Customers with Flexible Payment Options


Eric Bushman
Director of
SAP Solutions,
Paymetric, Inc.

Imagine that a potential customer is ready to purchase your product or service, but you have to turn that customer away because you don't offer a payment option that meets their needs. How do you avoid losing that sale?

Your company has made a significant investment in your SAP system, you've poured R&D time and money into your products or services, and you've invested in a dynamic and knowledgeable sales force. But you lack the flexibility to offer customers varied and flexible payment options.

So how do you empower the payment process and offer customers the payment options they demand while leveraging your existing SAP infrastructure, protecting against costly payment fraud, and mitigating credit risk?

Paymetric's SAP-Certified Enterprise Payment Solutions

While SAP provides credit card processing capabilities, ensuring functional continuity between multiple SAP components and your financial institutions can be challenging. Paymetric's XiPay Server is an SAP-certified solution for processing credit card and other payment transactions. Paymetric solutions deliver fully integrated SAP connectivity, allowing you to consolidate and automate payment processing throughout your enterprise and deliver exceptional business efficiency.

For example, with XiPay you can increase sales by leveraging accounts that may not be credit-worthy for traditional Accounts Receivable billing. By accepting these orders contingent upon credit card approval, you enhance sales and distribution while mitigating risk.

Complete SAP Integration

Paymetric's certified SAP Adapters ensure seamless processing with your existing SAP applications (including SD/FI, CRM, Biller Direct, Internet Sales, IS-Utilities, IS-Media, etc.), as well as your Web and legacy applications.

To the end user, Paymetric's solutions are so naturally integrated they appear as an innate part of standard SAP screens. For the business manager, this native integration means your sales, customer service, and financial processes can operate with unprecedented smoothness and efficiency, without extensive training or business process modification.

Extending SAP's Financial Management Capabilities

Paymetric has also designed a number of SAP Extensions to enhance the capabilities of the native SAP Payment Card Interface (PCI), providing items such as credit card number encryption, sophisticated reporting, Open Accounts Receivable Clearing, and transmission of Level III enhanced data.

Paymetric allows you to efficiently extend your payment capabilities with:

Automated batch settlement
Efficient payment processing
Encrypted credit card data
Real-time credit card authorization

Especially with B2B commerce, customers now demand fast, flexible, and secure payment options as an integral part of the complete business relationship. Paymetric solutions enable enterprises to provide these services.

High-Level Customer Service

With Paymetric's enterprise payment solutions in place, customers have the fast, secure payment options they demand. Plus you meet your needs for efficient and cost-effective transaction processing while also mitigating risk, increasing sales, and reducing costs.

Paymetric's Solutions Consultants identify and discuss your business requirements for integrating XiPay within SAP. As an SAP Development Partner with a licensed SAP system in-house for development and support, Paymetric delivers solutions based on first-hand industry expertise, proven methodology, and technical excellence.

To request an online demonstration of Paymetric's XiPay with SAP Certified Integration, visit www.paymetric.com/contact.htm, email us at info@paymetric.com, or call +1 713 682-0929.

back to top


Managing Change in Extensive SAP Landscapes with Rev-Trac


David Drake
Founder and
Chief Executive Officer,
Revelation Software
Concepts Pty Ltd

Companies today must manage change in their information systems more attentively, especially in the wake of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. But even beyond compliance, businesses are making more system changes than ever before. Change management is no longer just a technical issue — it's become business-critical.

A Fully Integrated Solution

SAP environments are constantly in a state of flux, especially in large, international organizations with extensive information access needs. IT divisions often find themselves in a dilemma — they would like to enhance SAP's own change management features, but doing so using add-ons can create unexpected complications.

Rev-Trac change management software helps solve this dilemma. Rev-Trac's integration with SAP systems is fully SAP-certified, the software occupies its own namespace, and all change management functions are available from a single SAP transaction.

One Change, Multiple Perspectives

Users involved with changing SAP solutions see change from different perspectives. Business users want to know about overall progress — for example, the status of a new financial report — while technical experts focus on the components required to resolve each issue. Rev-Trac intercepts every system change and requires users to relate it to a business issue with an appropriate set of approvals. From the Rev-Trac Console (see Figure 1) users can access a range of reports that correlate the business and technical views of all changes with drill-down in each direction.

Figure 1
Rev-Trac Provides All Change Management Functions from a Single SAP Transaction

Rev-Trac, RSC's SAP-specific change management solution, makes the meaning of system changes visible to all, reduces inadvertent parallel development, cuts overwriting errors, and provides a complete audit trail for every change. The result is a dramatically improved bottom line, both from a cost and compliance standpoint.

What's more, because Rev-Trac lives in SAP, TCO is very low. There are no hidden extras and no additional network security, disaster recovery plan, database administration, or desktop rollout requirements. Since you're running SAP, you've already got all you need to run Rev-Trac.

To manage change, especially in today's regulated business environment, an integrated change management solution is essential. For more information on Rev-Trac for SAP, visit www.rev-trac.com.

back to top

An email has been sent to:






More from SAPinsider



COMMENTS

Please log in to post a comment.

No comments have been submitted on this article. Be the first to comment!


SAPinsider
FAQ