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Mining the Landscape – SLO Framework and MDM

Consider this –

Users complaining about poor performance in the SAP landscape when executing reports..the hardware procurement team complaining about the ever growing blade server procurements and budget overruns in todays economy…I guess most of the statements lead us to a common consulting engagements and fire fighting the current need rather than looking over the horizon.

While there have been various SLO frameworks available and ESOA as a goal to achieve – the eminent question remains : How often do we use it? or How often is it really feasible to look at such an option during firefighting.

Here I would like to introduce the concept of SLO and how MDM fits in the framework and in the coming blogs would like to share and ask users to give thier opinion on the best practices used in the industry.

Where do we start:

Imagine a complex landscape (diagram googled)


Imagine you’ve got several instances, and a transaction that has to update and the data tracability to source is another aspect you would like to retain.  When you’re relaying the data in other words have a process integration to have the processes linked up (or making a local copy) data integrity and soap protocol is some thing one likes to achieve i.e you want to make absolutely sure you’re getting a clean transfer.Speaking of consistency, there’s a nasty problem that we address when people have multiple product instances. 

And this as one example is the tip of the iceberg.

Let me start to place examples where SLO would be of interest..

  1. Application Portfolio Consolidation
  2. Instance Consolidation
  3. Reorganisaion with the landscape
  4. Mergers and Divestures
  5. Business Process Re-Alignment
  6. Data Harmonisation
  7. System Analysis

How does MDM fit into the SLO Framework >?

Imagine maintaining Global Chart of Accounts master data for multiple clients in a worldwide environment and use it to standardize a material hierarchy ( most commonly quoted example)reference : image

I find this a good space to hold intrest of client and organisation more so in the economic downturn. Larger organisations particularly those made up of dissimilar businesses or that operate in multiple tax structures and global syndication becomes a key issue thus  can have diverse COAs in these business units. Mergers and divestures further complicate the pain areas of the global conglamorate since an acquired company always will have accounting approaches which it has been used to and streamlined against the taken over one ! Solution lies here – MDM.This again is in line with SOA standards.

The main objective of harmonizing COAs is to speed the consolidation, closing and reporting cycles which most of the users i spoke to have heavy manual intervention.

Cycle time to achieve benefits is clearly short and more so the fruits of implementation are ongoing – clearly a loud message where large organisations are ready to listen.

I remember Sukant P writing the technical feasibility of COA in mdm – which leads me to iterate the business benefits are the key ! SLO framework  would thereby bring out a paradigm thought change.

Thoughts welcome – in my next on the SLO mining i would state how the client merge is achieved and how relevant to today’s space. 

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