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Using SAP Business Suite 7.0 for Public Security?

Using SAP Business Suite 7.0 for Public Security – that sounds like an antithesis: An open business suite for an closed shop like public security and conducting investigations. Is’t this whole arena fraught with extensive ‘we do it on our own’ bespoke-IT development thinking? Not anymore. We’ll see and come to a conclusion in three steps, covering three areas of the business background, the solution, and the systems integration.


New external developments

Since 2000 police forces worldwide are faced with the changing nature of  threats and risks: we see more organized crime, terrorism and trafficking; this is compoundedby globalization and a growth in trade, travel and mobility. And everything seems to develop faster: an increased pace of change. The changing security and safety picture is nowhere more strongly felt than within major cities across the world. Key structural, political and social changes need to be made in order to promote public security. We see political pressure to be more effective, to collaborate, and to increase the rate of solving crimes. In the meantime there is added legislative complexity as well as a need for transparency in the form of Public ROI.

The end of business as usual

This implies the standard ways of organizing cannot be enough. Police forces are forced to transform and adapt their IT systems along the way. We see business model changes: the need to collaborate with other parties, including private parties with commercial conditions and costs.

Which signs signal the need for a new approach:

1) First of all, over the past few years, forces and agencies have been looking for closer collaboration. This means deploying systems that are able to interoperate on a grand scale. Note that these systems are not just for execution of tasks (operational focus) but also to manage the settlements of collaborations within, and between forces and with private organizations. Operations come hand in hand with business objectives: plan, budget and settle tactical deployment and engagements.

2) Next, just like in large enterprises, operations are now being looked upon as complex logistical networks. This means any planned action links into many other aspects, like staff qualifications, availability of material, a correct title or mandate, and reporting. Execution is also linked to legal frameworks, so compliance steps in here as well. Just filling out the forms correctly is not enough.

3) Thirdly, we see the activities in investigations are varied and include a constant reiteration of steps, between stages of analysis, fact-finding, reacting to feeds and alerts and reassessment of the type of investigation. A detective and investigator are facing a dynamic case environment. 

4) Finally, politics require police forces to renew their ways of working and start developing their organization in the same speed society changes – even being able to be ahead at some moments, and conduct business in an orderly and managed fashion and provide transparency when needed. We see over and over again that the old method of IT support with point solutions just is not robust enough, even extensive brokers cannot cut through the organizational tape and many silo’s. Adopting a unified platform might on the other hand be a direction that is fruitful.

To recap, there is need for enhancing the agility of police departments and enable the organization to be innovative in their way of working. Everybody agrees: even for government, we see The End of Business as Usual.

Here we have found some compelling strategic reasons why a business approach, and a platform, is needed to support modern police forces and investigation agencies. Let’s next have a look at the inside of the agency and find out if we are talking about the new clothes of the emperor and trick everyone with a run-of-the-mill traditional application or that we are really in need of a next-generation solution. Do we need SAP Business Suite 7.0 for Public Security?


What ICM has to do with customer centricity and how SAP Business Suite 7.0 fits in


In the previous section I introduced the strategic drivers around investigative case management (ICM). Now we need to understand why ICM can be related to CRM.

Customer orientation – is that like enticing ‘clients’ to go to jail? Not really. But investigations are nowadays not focused on an event (i.e. a burglary) but on the actors involved. The core capability is to manage suspects – and align with other cases they may be involved in. As well we require utmost flexibility and agility in the operational approach to an investigation. To be agile, the CIO must adopt an approach to innovation.


In our 2007 survey amongst CIO’s the need for flexibility and agility ranked very high (see Capgemini CIO Survey 2007 – In the arena of Investigative Case Management this is very clear, each criminal investigation can be a kind of custom-project, potentially. In Capgemini’s 2008 CIO survey, innovation ranked highest. These trends are valid for the public office too: in 2007 we developed a New Government Referencemodel for a SAP Roadshow  and posted a BPX-blog on how to (Become) A Service-Oriented Government! Modern government institutes and agencies need to collaborate in larger value chains and must transform. Agencies and police forces are sharing files and case information, and share activities or trigger each other. Complicated business networks are arising. They are moving from loose co-ordination to a seamless collaboration.


So in a sense, we face a lot of common challenges like any industry sector: both the client-centric developments and the transformational aspect of going from mere collaboration to entering into larger networks and chains. Other industries have invested heavily in business platforms to provide the required features for quick changes in processes, in rules, procedures. And the platforms allow connecting to the outside world through capabilities to integrate such connections to for example customer contact cases.

It is here with the requirements for agility, innovation and business model shifts, that the new facilities of  SAP Business Suite 7.0 provide new capabilities for the police forces and investigation agencies. With this platform they can enter the era of the Business-as-a-Network.

In investigations and police work there we have seen a big shift in the way a police force manages crime since the turn of the century. The shift is based on the insight, that, if crime is organized, then there should be an organized approach to solve it as well.


The new concept of Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) shows a shift from incident-led activity (responding to a burglary) to finding clues and detecting patterns, uncovering the hidden patterns of crimes to identify the hidden suspects and subsequently visualizing and framing networks of suspects. ILP is focused on actors: a kind of customer-centric way of working (though we should have a smiley here with that word customer J).

Combining these two arguments – agility/innovation and the suspect at the core of police work make it clear that some features of CRM and the new business suite might fit. But take care: from this high level we must subsequently dive deeper into the depth of the business processes, and find the core issues in the primary processes. Is there a real natural fit of conducting investigations  with CRM?


Albert Kuiper, Public security, Capgemini The Netherlands

My collegue Nico Kaptein has been part of the team that conceptualized these business drivers.

In my next blog I will dive deeper into the fit of the new platform.

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      Author's profile photo Sean O'BRIEN
      Sean O'BRIEN

      With all this increasing investigative complexity I fully agree there is a need to change the way investigations are managed across the enterprise. Without this rationalisation and standardisation of approach. Developing insight across investigations and promoting good, consistent and compliant processes will be a signifant factor in performance improvement going forward.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Agree totally.
      And I think you have just mentioned the key elements of why ERP-like integration is an essential ingredient for the public sector in general: 'Developing insight across investigations and promoting good, consistent and compliant processes will be a significant factor in performance improvement going forward'.
      As individual officers or teams of investigators collaborate on a case, integration to facilities like HRM (roles/authorisations etc.) and Finance (budgets, allocations as well as Compliance (check the do’s and don’t’s of the investigation) are becoming natural ingredients for consistent and standardized approaches. Business Suite 7.0 then comes to the rescue and allows the implementation of ICM in a broad spectrum of business functions.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Agree completely with the combination approach of " business approach, and a platform" in your blog. With Suite 7, Consumers need to take the process-centric approach, SIs need to take the IP-based composite/es-bundles approach, nice vendors need to focus on security, BPM, BAM and peripherals.

      Best regards

      Kartik Iyengar~

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      taking a process centric approad is indeed the venue, one where services fit.
      This has an enourmous commercial and cultural angle to it: it is not just modules and extensions. That would reflect an older paradign of selling an ERP platform (ECC); now sales must incorporate a rather fine-grained approach to a solution. Culturally this means that many a consultant has to re-train, not in understanding (they have enough brains), but in communication on the Business Suite 7.0.
      The following example is then very clear: The secondary aspects like security, BPM, BAM now should be looked upon now as corporate services that facilitate the agility, providing capabilities to change a process on-the-fly for instance.