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I make no secret that I think that the best authorities concerning software benefits are not software vendors, but rather they are the customers who use software applications. That’s why I look out for any-and-all opportunities to listen to customer stories, to learn from them how software helps them to run their businesses better, more effectively and more efficiently.

So, at #SAPPHIRENOW 2019 this year, as in past years I made it a point to focus my attention on listening to as many customers talk about their experiences as I possibly could, to hear their stories in their own words about how software and technology is impacting their businesses, their employees and their customers.

Among the many customer stories at the conference this year, I was particularly interested in hearing those related to SAP Analytics Cloud, a solution that was featured in the day-2 main stage keynote, and one upon which my team has focused its efforts for the last few years.

Siemens and SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning

The stand-out story for me was relayed by Mike Meinert, Head of IT Data Analytics Project Business & Fin. Solutions for Siemens AG. Mike had kindly agreed to share Siemens’ story about their use of SAP Analytics Cloud for planning in their business, and pretty soon it became clear that not only was this story a terrific planning use-case, but it talked to the heart of a large data and analytics transformation project that Siemens was undertaking.

The Siemens story was so powerful that as well as delivering a conference session at #SAPPHIRENOW, Mike was also invited to join SAP’s Gerrit Simon Kazmaier on stage to talk about Siemens’ data and analytics plans in a presentation in the Best Run Theatre at the event.

During this presentation, Mike explained how Siemens collects business data in over 70 ERP systems worldwide (60 of which are based on SAP ERP) and brings this together as a “Data Lake” contained in one central instance of SAP HANA. Siemens has built business models so that they can perform analytics on this data, and then report out to 30,000 users worldwide through front-end tools, among which is SAP Analytics Cloud.

SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Digital Boardroom at Siemens

In a particular SAP Analytics Cloud use-case cited, Mike described how SAP Digital Boardroom was being used in a manufacturing instance for real-time analysis of production data.

  • Analysis includes insights to manufacturing KPIs, manpower consumption and cost analysis.

  • The ability to access real-time insights in this manner, utilizing the SAP Digital Boardroom touch-screen installation display, is a powerful new approach for Siemens management, and allows them to drill-down into specific KPIs and perform real-time analysis to inform their weekly discussions and decisions.

How Business Users are Benefiting from SAP Analytics Cloud at Siemens

The day after his Best Run Theatre presentation, Mike spoke again about Siemens’ use of SAP Analytics Cloud in a conference session, focusing this time on how the organization was providing access to state of the art analytics and business planning for thousands of business users, helping them to reduce the amount of manual effort needed to gather data, reducing the company’s reliance on analysis in spreadsheets, and offering the business real-time access to analytics so that business users would have the ability to make rapid and informed business decisions.

Inspirational stories such as this are the hallmark of a conference like #SAPPHIRENOW 2019, and I’m sure like me, that many people listening in the audience were intrigued and enthused by the possibilities to embark on similar business transformation projects too.

SAPinsider Amsterdam June 25-27

So onwards now to the next customer stories, and for me this means attending the SAPinsider event in Amsterdam later this month. So, if you happen to be there between June 25-27 and have an interesting story to tell then, let me know—I’ll be all ears!