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The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 9, Iss. 4)

by Doug Merritt | SAPinsider

October 1, 2008

Doug Merritt highlights how SAP can help arm managers, directors, and executives with the right tools to fortify enterprise performance management.
 

Doug Merritt
Executive Vice President and General Manager, Business User Sales
Corporate Officer of the SAP Group
SAP AG

For the past 40 years, the corporate world has looked to automation as a way to derive greater efficiency. By locking down repetitive processes and squeezing out headcount, you can simultaneously reduce costs and increase opportunity. To achieve this, vast armies of transactional workers around the world now have unprecedented automation tools at their disposal: sophisticated and efficient engines to manage billing, order entry, payroll, general ledger, call centers — the list seems endless.

But what about managers and directors, whose duties are less transactional and more operational? What about C-level executives, whose job function and focus is to devise and execute on strategy and oversight? What tools do they have at their disposal? How do we make heroes out of them? That is the realm of enterprise performance management (EPM).

While all managers have some level of task work, much of their job requires analysis, simulation modeling, knowledge management, communication, and collaboration. Managers need tools to analyze and optimize the performance of their divisions along human and capital dimensions. And they need solutions that help them better understand the business trade-offs they must make to ensure that the people and processes they're responsible for fully support the strategies and goals of their organization.

For this user group, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC, the former OutlookSoft product) offers accurate, timely financial and operational data to enable effective planning, budgeting, forecasting, analysis, and reporting, all with a fully documented audit trail to ensure compliance. This tool (and others, such as SAP solutions for governance, risk, and compliance) helps managers better understand their organization's strategy and initiatives — and the metrics by which success will be measured.

For C-level executives, applications such as SAP Strategy Management (the former Pilot Software) can help them clearly conceptualize strategy, understand all the different corporate linkages necessary to substantiate it, and maintain constant vigilance on performance and execution against that strategy, up and down all layers of the organization.

The centerpiece of EPM is business intelligence. Here, the combination of SAP and Business Objects means powerful analytical capabilities in a user-friendly interface that provide tools for planning, compliance, and risk assessment — enterprise performance management — to those charged with managing a business.

Business dynamics today change rapidly, and this has meaningful implications for the organizational structures that support the business. For all players in an organization, the ability to define strategy and link it directly to execution within a changing landscape will only get more complex. SAP's enterprise performance management solutions enable you to run your business, rather than let your business run away from you.


 

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