SAP has coined a term value scenarios and has started shipping value scenarios with Business Suit version 7. Some of the scenarios available are
- Collaborative Demand and Supply Planning
- Integrated product development
- Integrated sourcing & Procurement
- Asset Safety & Compliance
- Gaining Efficiency in Finance
- Developing High performing organizations
- Integrated sales & Marketing Investments
- Differentiation through service Excellence
There are more scenarios in the making such as
- High performing assets
- Responsive supply chain
- Efficient manufacturing operations
Value scenario has already caught the attention of the SAP ecosystem and community. Experts are cautious about the value scenarios and are raising queries & doubt on the value scenarios. Industry Value Scenarios – what do you think? has raised a few relevant questions on value scenarios
Many others have similar questions and have raised it over discussions and one on one meeting. Some of the questions are
- What is an industry value scenario?
- Why do we need industry value scenarios?
- What are the components of a value scenario?
- How do they work in real life?
- How are they different from SOA scenarios?
- How do they accommodate the existing solution components in the landscape?
- Why should one go for value scenarios?
Let’s try to find answers for each of the above questions
Industry value scenarios are pre-built end to end processes which are 60-70% out of the box and 30% configurable (depending on the customer scenario). This can be compared to the classical best practices of yester years except for the facts that value scenarios can span across multiple solution components and partner products. For example, a value scenario for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) may contain SAP PM, BI content for maintenance, RCMO, MAM, MII, components of EHS and third party solutions for work permits.
Over the years the SAP solution components and the solution landscape have undergone sea of changes. More and more solution components are added to address the transaction, planning and analytics needs of the business. Existing best practices (generic, Industry and cross industry) are sufficient enough to act as building blocks in accelerated implementation of solutions. When ERP and other solutions have transformed to business process platform (BPP) with the advent of Enterprise SOA, new set of accelerators leveraging new architecture have become a necessity.
In most of the industry, SAP ERP helps in managing most of the key processes such as financials, commercials, order to cash (or variants), planning and production. But many of the key processes are managed using third party solutions or in-house developments. In some of the cases processes are managed manually. Consider the example of a typical new product development,
- Idea generation till design and engineering aspects are managed in PLM solutions (any of the industry best of breed solutions)
- Budgets and project milestones managed in ERP
- Regular tracking & reporting may happen manually or with excel sheets
How about an end to end process running seamlessly on multiple solutions? Seems like a typical SOA scenario. But if at least 60% of it are out of the box and rest are configurable, it would save a lot of plumbing and wiring to make it happen. That exactly what the industry value scenarios promised to deliver (may be maturing over a period of time).
How will a value scenario be in real life? Most of the industries have uncovered areas in their enterprise solution implementations which are critical to business. These are either managed through custom development or best of breed solutions as discussed earlier. Integrating these solutions or developing a seamless process with the aid of SOA tools is a sure way of addressing this. How ever I feel that many of the customers in this time of tightened purses would prefer scenarios that are out of the box, but are flexible enough to adapt to the business needs.
In many of the industries, third party solutions are dominant (non SAP). For example, in Oil & Gas vertical, Maximo is a popular EAM solution, especially in Refining. How do value scenarios address this? One of the ways is to grow value scenarios into process/ solution frameworks were other solutions can be integrated using SOA tools and means. For example for an organization with multiple subsidiaries, one may retain the existing Hyperion for consolidation & reporting as part of an extended “efficient financial operation” value scenario.
What is there in these value scenarios for service integrators? First and foremost being the reduced time for implementation. Service Integrators or ISVs can develop value scenarios for industries as well as for cross industry business requirements. These would be attractive in the changing world were regulatory compliance and industry dynamics are ever changing and demanding. Service integrators and ISV can also extend or enhance the value scenarios to meet the business requirements.
I will try to explain how a value scenario is structured in the next blog