Discuss business intelligence, integration, compliance and a host of other SAP-related topics – implementation, best practices and resources to negotiate the world of SAP better!


May 21, 2018

Hershey's Enjoys Sweet Success with its S/4HANA Central Finance Implementation

Hershey's, North America's largest chocolate manufacturer, faced several challenges with its group reporting solution. Apart from offering limited insight, the solution (in SAP BW), which used batch processing, did not provide real-time input into closing activities and information updates. The system provided only summary information, which meant the company had to use manual back-end SAP reports to see data in greater depth, for example, a list of open items. Needless to say, this made for a fairly substandard user experience. 

The company decided to transform global financial reporting by implementing S/4HANA Central Finance as a first step in a larger S/4HANA adoption journey. This tool provides financial data in real-time and in great detail, and presents it in a modern, user-friendly interface, leveraging the user experience capabilities of SAP Fiori and Design Studio.

For its technology partner, Hershey's chose Infosys, and gave us a mandate to implement Central Finance for consolidated reporting across SAP and non-SAP systems spread over 45 legal entities. Our goal was to optimize, integrate and standardize processes, and reduce complexity and cost by creating an SAP system architecture that would allow the client to realize value from future innovations based on HANA, Cloud and Machine Learning. To support a global project of this size, we assembled an onsite and offshore functional and technical team. The project team developed a sustainable and robust process for managing SAP's interface environment across the organization, spanning the master data team, financial data and planning systems, shared services and information services.

After going live on Central Finance, Hershey's is able to use SAP S/4HANA Central Finance as a single source of truth. Financial data is reconciled with source ERP data, down to legal entity, account and customer/product profitability. Users may drill data down to the level of dozens of parameters, including GL account, functional area, cost center and segment. A business user community of 250-500 members is leveraging standard SAP Fiori applications, SAP Business Objects Design Studio as well as SAP Analysis for Excel/Office. These consumption channels increase financial reporting efficiency as well as enable end users to share insights across roles and responsibilities.

Hershey's Director for Financial Data Systems and I will be presenting at ASUG/SAPPHIRE this year on June 5 at 11:00am -12:00pm in room S320E (South Concourse, 3rd Floor). I look forward to connecting with you at our booth #530!

July 27, 2015

Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 3 (Final)

Example of a Roadmap for an existing SAP HCM On-premise customer

Current Customer Background

XYZ divides its services into three service portfolios; Infrastructure, Applications, and Business Process Outsourcing. Infrastructure services includes maintaining the operation of part or all of a client's computer and communications infrastructure, such as networks, mainframes, "midrange" and Web servers, desktops and Laptops, and printers. Applications services involves the developing, integrating, and/or maintaining of applications software for clients. Business process outsourcing includes performing a business function for a client, like payroll, call centers, insurance claims processing, and so forth.

Continue reading " Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 3 (Final) " »

July 20, 2015

Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 2

In order for HR to truly deliver on the promise of being "business partners," it needs to tell the story of business scenarios that are predicted to happen in the future, across all levels of the organization, which they do not already know about, and then provide recommendations on how to fix or exploit those scenarios.

Continue reading " Building A HCM Roadmap for Existing SAP HCM Customers Part 2 " »

May 26, 2014

SAP HANA: what to expect

Over the past few years, companies are investing in HANA to get better performance and better information availability. Perception of BW inflexibility in getting information, when one compares it to a SQL or Access database is well established. So, HANA was the panacea for the cure - bring data to HANA, and you can get all the information you want.

Continue reading " SAP HANA: what to expect " »

October 27, 2013

End of life program for SAP systems

Typically End of life period for hardware will be 5 years and software will be 2 yrs (It may differ vendor to vendor and depends on organization policy). SAP EOL policy is different from other softwares. It spans 3 or more years for software and extend the support for hardware in coordination with hardware partenrs. SAP policy for End of Patch, End of Maintenance, and End of life (support) is available and it is well monitored with solution manager maintenance tool. For example EOL for SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1: December 31, 2015 this is the date that patch support will end. It is scheduled to reach End of Priority-One Support on December 31, 2017. For End of Life - Support (Product) cases customers should explore the migration options with their SAP Sales Account Executives.


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March 7, 2013

Delivering the promise of reduced TCO from HANA implementations

By Nitin Vilas Kulkarni

Industry Principal, Retail, CPG, Logistics and Life Sciences Unit, Infosys

While SAP HANA has gained market traction, one key apprehension organizations have is around the cost of ownership.  This comes due to the following

• One of the promises of HANA is data compression and eliminating of layers.  While this is largely true, it has been found that for complex scenarios, layers cannot be fully eliminated. Also, compression ratio varies based on original database compression as well as old database. Thus, significant compression is not guaranteed for many organizations.
• The agility and promise of reduced development cost are not fully realized due to multiple challenges associated with adoption of cutting edge technology.
• HANA license is very expensive and especially when one owns enterprise license this cost is quite significant.

Continue reading " Delivering the promise of reduced TCO from HANA implementations " »

February 27, 2013

BW on HANA TCO - Part 2

By Adam Zeckel

Principal - Business Consulting; Energy, Communications and Services Unit, Infosys

In Part 1, I explored the cost components relative for potential IT cost savings by moving to Business Warehouse (BW) on HANA. In this part I will expand on the three major cost categories: labor, software, and hardware.


The first significant piece of savings comes from labor. With BW on HANA, there are fewer developed objects due to streamlined architecture and faster load times during development, testing, and deployment.

Estimates from SAP and several existing customers show that this adds up to a 20% reduction in effort required to develop and maintain the data warehouse on an annual basis. Because many of these efforts include contracted workers, that savings is easily converted to the bottom line.

Continue reading " BW on HANA TCO - Part 2 " »

May 3, 2012

BO Mobile is ready for "Primetime"!

SAP has been having a two-pronged strategy and separate product lines for Mobile Analytics: BusinessObjects Mobile for enabling purpose-built BI content on Mobile devices and BusinessObjects Explorer Mobile for enabling data search and exploration via Mobile devices.

Recently SAP announced the next big enhancement to BO Mobile product - version 4.1.0, with many new additional features and enhancements. As someone who had used earlier versions of BO Mobile for BlackBerry and iPad, I found some of these new features really exciting, which I have discussed in this blog.

Continue reading " BO Mobile is ready for "Primetime"! " »

April 23, 2012

Disruptive Innovation through SAP MDG! Is your Organization ready?

By Promodh Narayan Ravichandran

Before MDM became what MDM is today data ownership had little conflicts as most of the responsibilities were clearly defined in Enterprise Applications and the Data Warehouse as far as Master Data was concerned. With the advent of enterprise applications it orchestrated applications as per functions such as SAP ECC, SAP SCM, SAP CRM and suddenly data governance that was taken for granted earlier took an ugly turn as far as data territories were concerned. It propagated composite applications, service oriented architecture and suddenly organizations were forced to resolve conflicts that spanned length and breadth of the enterprise.

Continue reading " Disruptive Innovation through SAP MDG! Is your Organization ready? " »

April 19, 2012

BI of the future: Are you thinking about it today - Part 1

By Nitin Vilas Kulkarni

Today, there is an unprecedented focus on Business Intelligence and it is on the top of investment list for CIOs. While there is no need to emphasize need for BI solutions and its criticality to organizations, it is important to have right investments in place to ensure value from investments.  Before we delve into what are the key components of future BI solutions and platform, let's see today's key challenges in BI.

Continue reading " BI of the future: Are you thinking about it today - Part 1 " »

March 21, 2012

HANA fever - OLTAP

Most of us are showing interest to know about new SAP HANA. In simple words, it is another database. But if we consider the market(customers/clients/companies) demand, HANA has a great value in coming months/years.

I don't wish to go into more technical. But I wish to share my ideas with our colleagues(Infosys community).

In typical ERP, we have OLTP and OLAP systems. There is a lag between data processing and data availability for analytics.

HANA makes difference in reducing the time lag and help the upper management in changing the strategy in few hours/minutes.

Continue reading " HANA fever - OLTAP " »

November 9, 2011

Mobile Business Intelligence - Part 2

In the first part of this blog, we discussed key elements of Mobile BI, options for delivering BI content on mobile devices and business scenarios best suited for mobile usage. Now let's talk about specifics from SAP in this area. I will cover various technology options from SAP, their use cases, device support and some future enhancements from SAP.

Continue reading " Mobile Business Intelligence - Part 2 " »

May 13, 2011

Consolidation with a federation based approach- Is it really a way out?

In some of my previous blogs I have been trying to bring to fore some of pertinent questions and choices that our clients are facing in the Business Objects-BI space, there also certain similar dilemma that they are facing with certain choices in the Business Objects Enterprise-Information Management (EIM) area. One of the many questions  that we  face on a regular basis from our client is on whether to use the Business Objects-Data Federator(BO-DF) in a given scenario and the specific advantages of  the tool as such.

Continue reading " Consolidation with a federation based approach- Is it really a way out? " »

February 2, 2011

BI In Cloud -Part 1

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud in simple words is 'Pay as you use'. Cloud computing is analogous to the way we pay for our utilities like electricity or water based on the consumption. The underlying Infrastructure is owned  and managed by some third party and cost is billed to us in form of units consumed

Continue reading " BI In Cloud -Part 1 " »

September 17, 2010

Service Introduction- In IT space

The concept 'Service Introduction' is gaining rapid popularity in IT world as an 'effective tool' to introduce a new application/service into an established system.

In short, Service Introduction is the management of activities to ensure that applications/systems being developed to meet all operational requirements before getting introduced to 'Production or Live' environment. It also has to ensure 'Maintenance teams' are comfortable in providing the required services from the day one.

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May 10, 2010

SAP BW and Business Objects Integration : Part 1

SAP acquired Business Objects in 2008 to provide customers with a full suite of business intelligence and information management solutions on a single platform with deep integration to SAP Business Suite and NetWeaver. The intent was to offer SAP customers with a market leading suite of reporting, analytics and dashboard capabilities. We have come a long way since then - on the ground SAP Business Intelligence (BI) customers are faced with multiple challenges like widening stack of products, evolving roadmaps, and frequently changing product names. In the below sections, we evaluate some essential steps of this evolution from a technical as well as business perspective.

Continue reading " SAP BW and Business Objects Integration : Part 1 " »

June 15, 2009

BI in the Cloud

A quick look at how 'Business Intelligence in the cloud' is a fast growing on-demand solution for an SAP environment...

Continue reading " BI in the Cloud " »

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