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Business Case-Integration Need of BI and SAP XI?-Episode1

It answers bunch of forum posts that question the real integration need for SAP XI and SAP BI. Do we really require? Can we not surpass that? What benefits?Most of the times business asks to use BI open hub architecture/extraction mechanisms rather than using SAP XI due to the extra costs and budget involved. Here potential solution approaches for the business case is proposed that leverages SAP XI and open hub architecture/extraction mechanisms of SAP BI that does not use SAP XI. We draw out a comparison matrix that concludes the recommended approach.

Business Drivers: The organization mission of “Global Business Processes” for all the subsidiaries of Org A had piloted to replace and merge most of the back office solutions into SAP. IT landscape is the most critical factor that drives the organization to meet the strategic goals and hence we propose solution approach for one of the GED (Global Employee Data base) business case that can help the business to achieve its maximum benefits.

Business Case Description :GED (Global Employee Database) is a legacy system that is used for storing the employee data of numerous subsidiaries in the organization Org A. The IS team needs to load the data by collecting the changed records from the HR and payroll on a monthly basis. Each company provides the delta files in either excel or fixed width formats. These files have to be reconciled by the IS team and loaded into the GED. These files are sent to the 3 external business partners on a monthly basis by the IS team using export routines, to create a file for each of the business partners. The files are then password protected, zipped and sent out via e-mail to 3 external business partners for upload to their systems. Partner 1 receives a text file whilst the other 2 partners receive spreadsheets. IS team is not able to send the files in the right time due to the problems that might occur in data load or data reconciliation. GED is occasionally used to search the employee information by the IS team for internal purposes.
Apart from this the GED is also used to collate, on an annual basis, diversity information from all of the businesses as at 31 March. This is to provide an overall company profile for input to the Annual Report. IS team has to manually pull the data from GED and use lookups and pivot tables to produce the info required as the crystal reports are not working. On an adhoc basis, business partners may request for the complete dump, the IS team needs to pull up the employee data from the GED manually and send it to the business partners.
This is the current landscape in the organization:
GED Landscape

Bottle Necks :
1.Manual intervention by IS team effects business to perform key activities.
2.Consumes time and effort by the IS team for collating the employee data, loading the data into the GED and sending to the business partner It can hamper IS team to carry out their critical day to day activities that are required for the business to run smoothly.
3.Manual processes are more error-prone and effort intrinsic.
4.No mechanism to slice and dice across the data to come up with KPI’S.
5.Unable to monitor and track the business across various subsidiaries.
6.Might curtail the business to take important decisions that helps the business.
7.Business partners have to wait for some time after requesting the complete employee information data as IS team has to pull the large volume of data reconcile and send to the them that might disrupt the business.
8.No automated mechanism to inform the failure of data load.
9.Process is human dependant and there is every possibility for loss of information when the person leaves the organization.

To overcome the bottlenecks I propose a solution approach that facilitates the IS team to carry out their work smoothly and make business critical solutions that helps organization to achieve the mission. I hope the series would be interesting. Today is friday evening and not in a mood to pen any further! Wait for the upcoming series that proposes the solution approach and recommnded approach for the business case presented here.

GED Landscape
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  • Hi Sarya,

    Nice start of series for distributing BI data to other systems using XI.

    ->the real integration need for SAP XI and SAP BI. Do we really require?
    As per my understanding the integration of BI-XI is not only limited to Open Hub Services, you are missing with the most important scenario of loading XI data into BI for realtime data access.

    Hope the below link will add some more value to your blog:

    Look forward for furthere series. Best of luck.

    Kamaljeet Singh

  • Hi Sravya,
    Can you tell me different ways of pulling data from SAP BW? We have PI 3.0, latest version of SAP BI, ECC 6.0 and also Tibco BW. Due to performance issues we are considering Tibco to get data from SAP BI. Also the data is being loaded in SAP BI directly from ECC. Please let me know different options

    Jay Kapadia
    Solution Architect