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The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 7, Iss. 3)

by Roman Bukary | SAPinsider

July 1, 2006

by Roman Bukary, Vice President, Solutions Marketing, SAP Labs, LLC SAPinsider - 2006 (Volume 7), July (Issue 3)

You'd be hard-pressed to find a company that wants to compete based on instinct rather than facts. Despite this, even companies with sophisticated data-gathering and business intelligence systems often make decisions based on gut feelings or best guesses, simply because they cannot analyze information fast enough to keep pace with the rate of business change.

Companies require real-time analytics — relevant business information drawn from a comprehensive data pool; presented in a format that is visually pleasing, easy to understand, and simple to use; and, above all, that operates within the context of a business process, allowing for timely and appropriate actions. These analytics need to be pervasive and easily configurable to provide immediate support for business decisions.

This is the philosophy behind SAP xApp Analytics, composite applications merging actions with integrated insights. Any business user who knows how to browse the Web has all the necessary skills to use these analytic applications, which are designed not for the IT or business analyst, but for the HR manager, procurement manager, director of finance, even the CFO and CEO.

Consider a sales manager in a large company. This manager requires detailed, analytic information from many sources to support a wide variety of business decisions. Before approving a sales order, for example, the sales manager would benefit from relevant information from CRM systems regarding a customer's active orders, from ERP systems to know the customer's current credit status, from financial systems to determine customer profitability, and from manufacturing and procurement systems to determine availability to promise (ATP). Looking inward, the same sales manager would also benefit from analytics that provide metrics identifying who the best employees are, and KPIs showing how the sales team's performance compares to that of other teams.

With SAP xApp Analytics, decisions — and more importantly, actions — regarding customers or employees no longer have to be made in an informational vacuum. For the first time, business users can understand, deploy, and customize analytics, assembling them from predefined components rather than relying on complicated development tools. SAP now offers more than 100 ready-made SAP xApp Analytics composite applications , covering all major functional and industry areas and built on our deep, detailed knowledge drawn from experience with thousands of SAP customers and partners over three decades.

Companies can now identify their best and most profitable customers, uncover inefficiencies in their supply chain logistics, and maximize their financial performance — all with just one suite of applications. Every company wants to compete based on the facts. With SAP xApp Analytics, the facts will be at your fingertips. The decision, however, will still be up to you.

Roman Bukary
Vice President, Solutions Marketing

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