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Case Studies Galore at SAPinsider Financials, BI, GRC and ADMIN Conferences

by Dave Hannon

March 21, 2013

By Dave Hannon

We're heading into the third full day of conference sessions here at the SAPinsider Financials, GRC, BI and Admin 2013 conferences, and I've already heard a number of great case study presentations from a wide range of industries addressing a variety of SAP solutions. (Kudos to SAPinsider conference producers here Bridget Kotelly, Allison Martin, and rookie of the year Matt Moore.) Some of the case studies focus on more technical tips and include demos and screen shots, while others dive into the business case and user training strategies.

Here's a quick-hit look at some of the ones I've caught already:

How PepsiCo went global with BPC: Speaker Kathy Calvert described how PepsiCo worked with partner TekLink to add BPC to its ERP implementation project late in the game, which turned out well, but presented some challenges. "It was hard because we on the BPC team had to sort of guess what the foundation layer was going to look like," she said, adding. "I'd recommend waiting for the ERP to be in place before putting in BPC on top of it." One of the most important lessons learned from the project, Calvert said, was defining a BPC owner or lead in your organization. "It should be a business person that can talk IT. I can teach a finance person the IT language, but I can't do it the other way around."

Johnson Controls streamlines accounts payable: Speakers Sreenadh Kundurthy of JCI and Brian Shannon of Dolphin addressed JCI's move to  a centralized, shared services model to optimize the accounts payable process in its European division. The project goals focused on gaining control and visibility while reducing cycle time and risk in processing more than 2.5 million invoices a year. "Keystrokes matter when you're talking about 2.5 million invoices," Kundurthy said. Working with Dolphin, JCI used optical character recognition to digitize its invoices. One of the crucial steps was to have the purchasing team work with suppliers on submitting invoices in a format that could be easily read by the OCR solution. By integrating solutions from several SAP partners, JCI's invoice approvers can now see the invoices and approve them without having to go into SAP, while vendors can also view and track their invoices through a vendor portal.

Great West Financials on cost center accounting optimization: Speaker Aileen Tynan provided a very detailed look at the functionality and screens the longtime SAP user (2003) is leveraging to streamline its cost center accounting. She provided some very useful functionality tips for attendees.

Financials and GRC keynote: Not all of the customer case study information can in breakout sessions. During the Financials and GRC keynote on Wednesday, Joel Bernstein, CFO of SAP North America, brought two customers onto the stage to share their experiences. Scott Waller of energy giant Royal Dutch Shell detailed his company's finance transformation, driving innovation from the higher levels down into the functions. "We use data to identify where control points can be used to avoid risk," he said. UnderArmour's Jordan Lichtenberg described how his company is using SAP Business Planning and Consolidation and Xcelsius dashboards to analyze customer profitability. They key in driving adoption for this project, he said, is using a "value" message instead of a "control" message in rolling it out.

Even SAP's risk management guru Bruce McCuaig provided some case study information of his own including how serving as a volunteer fire fight er in Texas educated him about risk management. (Sorry--you had to be there for that one).

If you can't be here in Las Vegas, be sure to follow the action on Twitter using hash tags #FINANCIALS2013 #BI2013 #GRC2013 and #ADMIN2013.

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