A BPX Guide to SAP Business Suite Value Scenarios
Our collaboration team manager Michael Schwandt has a reputation for having a low tolerance threshold for marketing content (and blah blah). So when he introduced me to Robb Bush, back around the time when SAP was getting ready to announce SAP Business Suite 7 launch, I was pretty excited. After all, enough jokes had been circulating about the acronym of the name and certainly plenty of questions about the concepts of themes and value scenarios in BS7. I was looking for a practitioner and a community-minded participant. Someone walking the talk of the business suite.
I had already pulled up some internal presentations and was looking to understand what this approach was all about. By reading and listening to available collateral what I pieced together was the following:
- Up until around 2007 we(SAP) generally positioned individual applications rather than looking at the business suite
- The SAP Business Suite integrates an application view with customer strategy, business priorities, and industry focus
- The SAP Business Suite has natively integrated scenarios which are not siloed
- These scenarios can be called value scenarios (or cross-functional processes) and serve to solve customer problems around the KPIs for a company’s primary differentiation drivers (which could also be called themes)
- Each company has a number of primary drivers for differentiation
- These drivers are value generation modules which in some parlance are called themes
- Themes themselves have nothing to do with software or SAP. They drive awareness around high-level business topics
- Themes represent the agenda of business roles: 3 themes that represent the agenda of the CFO, the CIO and Head of HR could be thought of respectively as Financial Excellence, Strategic IT and Best People and Talent
What emerged from the reading is that:
- You have a business driver – for example, Financial Excellence(theme)
- You have key stakeholders and roles – for this example of Financial Excellence the roles: CFO, Controller, Head of Shared Services(stakeholder)
- You have stakeholder goals and objectives -for the Financial Excellence theme an example goal: streamline financial processes and lower the cost of finance
- You have goals that can be viewed as cross-functional processes – for above theme, example is processes around Gaining Efficiency in Finance(value scenario)
- You have more granular steps to these processes – for example to gain efficiency in finance you would need accelerated global financial closes, broken further down into more implementation steps
- Lastly you have implementation content for value scenarios in solution manager content and scenario component lists. According to the reading “These are available to consulting, partners and customers. The solution manager content includes configuration documents for implementation of the value scenarios. The scenario component list explains which technical components and release combinations are needed to run the value scenario.”
Links to more examples of these are found here.
While reading through more internal content I also was introduced to an executive white board concept for the value scenarios with corresponding “hell slide” and “heaven slide”. The former describes pain points. The later depicts the line of business – value scenario viewpoint with desired outcomes and key benefits for each aspect of the value scenario – which obviously means solving issues presented in the previous “hell slide”.
So Who Will be Our BPX Guider From Hell to Heaven?
When I finally met Robb Bush (virtually of course), I was struck by his straightforward manner and the very clear way he spoke of all the concepts above. When he described his approach to the theme of Product and Service Leadership and further expanded his value scenario on continuous product and service innovation and explained that he could demonstrate value scenarios in the context of SAP, the software product company (ie how we SAP eat our own value scenario dogfood), I was instantly reminded of how Mark Scavillo and Ann Rosenberg captivated audiences last year describing how SAP employed BPM methodologies in SAP’s own process maturity model journey and decided to pair Robb with Ann for this year’s ASUG/Sapphire BPX pre-conference event. (see Another good reason to attend Sapphire/ASUG… for details)
And since our pre-conference day has traditionally had a very community-minded agenda, I wanted to invite the BPX community along for the ride (build). Why? Because Robb’s approach is refreshingly community-oriented and the session promises to be a build together rather than a “build and they will come” event. And in terms of quality content for a BPX day, well, we all have our reputations to maintain.