The Steps to Building an Enterprise SOA
Part I of my two-part blog discussed the challenges and business drivers behind the establishment of an enterprise SOA in your organization, as well as the process of evolving to an enterprise SOA using aftermarket sales and service excellence as an example. Part II of the serial blog continues the aftermarket sales and service example. It discusses the steps you need to follow in building the business case for an enterprise SOA and the solutions and applications you’ll need along the way.
As a reference point using the following slide, I’ve condensed the four steps you need to take in the incremental platform adoption of enterprise SOA in your company. Please note that these exact steps, as well as the order of the steps, can vary by company. We’ll begin with step one – driving synergistic processes with a robust service solution integrated with SAP ERP, which is the basis for the incremental platform adoption going forward.
The applications and solutions needed for aftermarket sales and service excellence driven by enterprise SOA
Step 1: Integrated, End-to-End Service Processes
Integrated with SAP ERP, the business process platform for IM&C enables automated, integrated, end-to-end service processes. You gain standardization and integration across all business processes within the organization. You overcome the business challenge of multiple, stand-alone systems that result in redundant data, manual processes, and inefficient personnel. Instead, system-driven and efficient processes replace manual, error-intensive procedures. Service processes integrated organization-wide increase business flexibility and automation levels. Furthermore, integrated service business with one view of the customer and one face to the customer increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Harmonized and transparent processes result in end-to-end process transparency and intelligence leading to increased efficiency. With streamlined and transparent processes, you enable timely decision making and field visibility of mission critical information. Now you can integrate all of your corporate information to turn information into insight, insight into action, and action into improved business operations. You can easily extend your complete set of business processes to the environment of choice for your individual end users, regardless of their location. In addition, users have reliable, complete information at their disposal to improve decision making and become smarter employees working for a smarter company.
Step 2: Implementing Additional SAP NetWeaver Components
In step 2, we deliver a solution for further improved decision making in automated aftermarket sales and service excellence processes using analytical and business decision tools distributed throughout the enterprise. To achieve this, we add additional SAP NetWeaver components, including enterprise portals, business intelligence, and mobile business, while making use of the SAP ERP system already in place. This gains the ability to maintain accurate, timely, and actionable information and disseminate such information to the individuals in need of it.
You can see evidence of how step 2 benefits a company in, for example, improved automated returns and warranty processes. The business process platform for IM&C enables flexible, automated returns and warranty processes to improve user adoption and efficiency. With automated processes for select service business needs, you enhance and streamline your service business, thereby increasing user adoption and efficiency. The automation of more manual service processes increases efficiency of those processes and the resources involved. Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty result when you have full visibility of all returned merchandise in process, including status and disposition tracking information. Further, by enhancing a variety of service processes with advanced industry-specific functionality, you streamline your business.
Step 3: The Addition of Advanced Composite Applications to Enhance Service Processes
By adding the Composite Application Framework and the Enterprise Services Repository to our platform, we can now deploy advanced industry composite applications to enhance our service processes and gain process improvement and efficiency via guided procedures with enhanced user applications. Two such composites specifically developed for the Industrial Machinery & Components Industry are Returns Merchandise Authorization (RMA) and Field Service Experience Management (FSEM). These new composite applications are just two examples of how you can extend the business process with more automation and more flexibility to gain increased efficiency of the processes themselves. You can explore these new composites in development and their impact on product improvement and returns merchandizing by clicking on the “New FSEM & RMA Composite Applications” link on the iCOD BPX home page.
Step 3 and the addition of advanced industry composite applications enable a company to become a total solution provider as a competitive advantage. The business process platform for IM&C supports competitive differentiation by driving enhanced service processes that help you gain simplicity while evolving your service business. With customer demand for better service and more service offerings on the rise, manufacturers must continuously improve existing processes while adding new processes to maintain differentiation from the competition. You can easily deploy specialized partner applications integrated via the BPP to meet very specific business process needs. Moreover, you can continuously enhance business by improving process efficiency and flexibility to meet your customers’ demands for a total solution provider. Moreover, you can differentiate yourself from the competition by enabling new business processes to support your demanding and ever-changing customers’ needs.
Step 4: Collaborative Solutions with ISVs and Business Partners
Finally, the platform is complete by adding collaborative solutions that enable business partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) to integrate with existing SAP applications via the SAP NetWeaver Exchange Infrastructure (SAP NetWeaver XI). These partner applications, along with user-friendly, model-based tools, will give you the ability to adapt to the needs and demands of your users and customers at the speed of business. With these capabilities at your command, you can fully achieve the goal of becoming a total solution provider in your industry.
In Summation: Be Different
In a highly competitive market, enterprise SOA and composite applications like FSEM and RMA help to differentiate your company. The ability to offer aftermarket sales and service excellence is just one example. With it, you can improve customer retention and optimize service process quality by accelerating business evolution. You can speed up sales and service processes and gain efficiency by leveraging best practices. You can improve transparency and reduce risk through faster innovation in your ecosystem. And the beauty is, with composite applications and enterprise SOA, you can apply this same concept to all business processesacross your enterprise.
So be different. If you have questions or comments that could help you and other readers to better understand enterprise SOA and the steps to attaining it, blog us.