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Expanding SAP BI Footprint

There are different ways organizations would go for implementing SAP BI. Not many organizations choose the big-bang approach, where SAP BI is implemented for all business functions. Many organizations might have implemented SAP BI with requirements revolving around one or two specific business functions in mind. Now that SAP BI is stable for these functions, the next step is to take SAP BI services to a larger audience.
(Say, I started first with Sales & Distribution reports and now would like other business users to benefit from the value which SAP BI brings e.g. Inventory reporting.)

The challenges are immense when we actually try to expand the SAP BI footprint across different business functions (or different sections of organizations in some cases).

  • Users with their current reporting happening from tools like Excel or MS Access could offer resistance to change when a SAP BI is viewed are potential analytical solution
  • Few departments could have invested in building small in-house applications for there typical reporting needs
  • There are some obvious questions about data governance and data security…and many more.

In this blog, I do not intend to provide a solution to overcome all these challenges. My first take from the points mentioned above is…”They don’t know what they are missing!” The first step towards this would be making them aware of the value SAP BI could bring to their process. I can think of 3 very simple and basic actions which could help us in this purpose.

Share Success Stories:
Having implemented SAP BI for some of the business areas, it would be a good idea is compile a few success stories from these areas where users got benefitted from the analytics provided. These success stories could be published periodically through different avenues available. After all, there is nothing is more influencing than success! 🙂

Conduct User Satisfaction Survey & Publish the Results:
90% Users say that reports were very easy to use & adopt.
95% of the users felt the turn around time on SAP BI requirements was “more than satisfactory”
Wouldn’t such facts as mentioned above generate attention about SAP BI and create a good impression?

Reach out to different users using SAP BI and get their feedback on the different items pertaining to SAP BI. In this case, building the questionnaire with appropriate questions in critical. The questions should cover those areas and features which potential users are more curious about. I can list a few here:
– Turn around time (Requirements to Go-Live)
–  Easy to use & deploy
– Completeness of the solution (Decision support for end to end process)
– Compatibility towards business changes, etc.
When you conduct the survey with these points, the survey results could be shared with the bigger set of audience. As these inputs would be coming from the business users itself, the results would be more convincing and you will have more facts while advocating SAP BI for a new area.

Recognize users of SAP BI:
Front-end related Usage Statistics are captured in some of the standard Technical Content Cubes (0TCT_C01, 0TCT_C02). Building some very basic queries with Top N conditions could give you list of users who have used SAP BI queries the most (no. of executions). Recognize these users by publishing their names (with a single sentence remark from the winners) in BI Newsletter, Intranet, etc.
I agree, this is like publicizing SAP BI, but this action definitely has the potential to generate curiosity about SAP BI amongst the business audience.

Once again, these actions do not guarantee a solution to overcome all the challenges. A lot depends on the BI Strategy an organization has adopted at a higher level. The ideas shared above would help preparing potential users get into a mind-set where SAP BI could be viewed as something which would bring value to their business process. Expanding SAP BI footprint in an organization is definitely a long journey, these actions could very well be a small step to begin it…!

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  • I am pleased to find Amol's blog detailing his thought process on expanding the SAP-BI foot Print. Success of any SAP-BI project rests on adoption and acceptance of the change.