In today’s fast moving business environment, agile planning and analysis are absolutely essential. Companies need the ability to respond fast when business, market or political conditions change. Which is why SAP has chosen to use its own software, the SAP HANA platform and analytics software, for real-time analysis.
Recently I was lucky enough to catch up with David Poisson, BI Director, Business Innovation and Information Technology, who explained why SAP had chosen these technologies and described some of the ways SAP is using them.
According to David, the SAP HANA platform gives SAP access to previously unimaginable amounts of data to create dashboards and reports. Add sophisticated analytics software into the mix and it’s possible for David and his team to slice and dice millions of records to create more accurate and informed insights for users throughout the company.
Real-time sales pipeline monitoring
Take the sales pipeline. With SAP HANA, SAP has been able to eliminate time-consuming and labor-intensive data extractions. Pipeline information can be delivered directly from the SAP Customer Relationship Management application. Using an intuitive iPad app executives can quickly analyze and visualize data using SAP Lumira. As a result, they can respond faster and more appropriately in sales situations. The take up has been universal, even from previously reluctant executives.
Improved recruitment and sustainability reporting
Although most of the analysis work is done using data from SAP’s internal systems, sometimes there’s still a need to bring data in from outside sources. In this case David’s team uses SAP Data Services today and looking into the new Information Management possibilities offered by SAP HANA for the future.
In HR, for example, recruitment data from various sources is brought in house and combined with other information to answer questions like who’s recruiting and how long positions have been open.
Similarly, with sustainability reporting – a key topic for SAP – SAP Data Services is used to bring together information from around the world, for example facilities management information or employee commuting data. It’s then analyzed and presented as key performance indicators (KPIs) in a highly visual dashboard that makes it very easy to assimilate and assess the information.
Predicting the future workforce
Like any other people-based company, SAP needs to ensure that it has sufficient skills and talent to support its future plans. Using SAP Predictive Analytics, David’s team have given managers the ability to explore a whole range of scenarios based on key criteria, such as employee age groups, HR data, and salaries.
As a result, managers can gain a clear idea of how headcount needs will evolve and put in place plans to ensure SAP has the workforce it needs not only now, but also in the future.
Top tips for success
David’s department, Business Innovation and Information Technology, is continually searching for new ways to improve the planning process using predictive and operational analytics. Talking to him it becomes clear that his team has made real progress in delivering solutions the business needs. To what does he attribute the achievements his team has made? Here are a few of his top tips for success.
Focus on understanding users’ needs and develop solutions that solve real business problems
Identify key influencers and start communicating with them early
Improve adoption and buy-in for mobile technology by quickly creating apps for key influencers
Use agile methodologies to deliver quality solutions quickly to gain enthusiastic user adoption
Pilot tools people will use as early as possible
Learn how other SAP executives are running analytics solutions to accelerate insight, anticipate tomorrow, and shape the future.