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Some of the highlights and key messages shared for finance at SapphireNow - Day 2

Reduce Complexity

Siemens gave a comprehensive overview of their work on SAP S/4HANA Finance.  Siemens has a complex landscape with 55 ERP systems.  Andreas de la Camp reported that SAP S/4HANA Finance gives them the potential to simplify processes and providing multidimensional reporting on the fly.  Siemens has done thorough assessment of the different central finance deployment options to determine which was the best fit for them.  As Central Finance allows for a flexible scope, Siemens can take advantage of the new innovations without disrupting their 55 ERP and accounting systems.  De la Camp finished with an apt quote from Martin H Fischer.

“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts, wisdom lies in their simplification”

Sarah Thompson, SAP gave two Central finance demos given yesterday at our demo booth. She highlighted the ease with which you can map an existing system to a Central Finance SAP S/4HANA Finance system.  If you were not able to attend you can still see the demo at the Accounting and Financial Close pod today.

Re-imagine Finance

Thack Brown, GM Finance LOB, SAP, took the stage to discuss re-imagining finance.  Brown stated that volatility is the new normal for finance.  In addition, finance is challenged by the amount of new business models that are being created.  Therefore, finance organizations have to be more flexible and agile than ever.  New technology gives finance organizations the opportunity to reimagine their strategy, all aspects of business performance management and to increase automation for efficiency and compliance. Brown was joined by a great panel, Renee Ford, Accenture, Tony Kilmas, EY, John E Steele, Deloitte.  They agreed that technology, and in-memory computing has changed the paradigm for finance. Making it easier for finance organizations to integrate acquisitions or to divest.  However they stressed it is always important to keep the business strategy and goals in mind, as that is how you can articulate value.  The use of robotics was seen as an important trend.  This lead to one of my favorite quotes of the day from John Steele, Deloitte. "Robots should not be put on top of bad processes"  Good to hear fundamentals still matter.

Planning and Analysis in the Cloud

David Quilici, SVP, ABeam consulting shared that Abeam had been using an excel for both reporting and planning.   They selected Cloud for Analytics and the Digital Boardroom to give them real time, integrated reporting. Now everyone can drill down into the detail and they be able to apply predictive algorithms.  ABeam is looking to deploy reporting across all regions. Then they will address forecasting and planning, as well as determining risk across many different dimensions.

All recorded sessions for finance, including the three above can be found here.

A new star is born – SAP RealSpend

After the announcement on Monday, Pete Graham, SAP gave an overview of SAP RealSpend, a cloud based mobile app, which helps cost center managers improve decision making about budgets and spend. Graham was joined by Mathias Poehling, Product Manager, SAP, and Don Whittington, CIO, Florida Crystals.  Florida Crystals are already live on SAP RealSpend, which is helping them to address the spend in a matrix IT organization as with tagging you can group spend anyway you need to.  I also had the opportunity to interview Matthais Poehler on SAP RealSpend – check that out here.

What is the research telling us?

Sharing the results of a comprehensive study of finance professionals on, Celina Rogers, VP and Editing Director, CFO Research led an interactive session.  It was clear from Rogers’ overview, that the role of finance is evolving.  This is creating opportunities as it often translates into a wider remit for finance.  Finance professionals see the need to be able to provide real time information and glean insights as critical going forward.  In addition finance professionals expect to be more collaborative, technologically self-sufficient, forward looking and be more of an information analyzer in the future. Following this there was an interesting discussion about how this will impacts talent management, recruitment and training.  Stay tuned.

Top Picks for Today

There are great finance sessions going on today. 

  • Gerdau will be sharing how they gain actionable insights from travel and expense data. Theatre 1 @ 12pm LB33822
  • Heineken will discuss how they achieved enhanced financial control and maximize process efficiency through shared services. LB341 @ 2pm LB33838
  • Carsten Hilker, Solution Owner, SAP will be discussing how to use central finance to give a fast start to deploy SAP S/4HANA Finance LB341 @ 3pm LB33776

This is the last day to visit us our pods and sessions.  Find out how Central Finance can be deployed, how Ariba can connect seamlessly to SAP S/4HANA Finance, how to start your SAP S/4HANA Finance journey and many more.

I hope you have a great last day at Sapphire and look forward to seeing you at the Coldplay concert.