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What module is the best kept secret in SAP?

I’m not kidding here. We’ll get into the discussion shortly but I must first ask a few questions to set the scene. These are questions that I have personally heard on many implementations:

  1. “Kevin, where’s my coffee?”
  2. “Hey Kevin, are you ever going to get off the phone?”

Ok, so I kid here 😉 so let’s get serious with real questions….

  1. “What percentage of my orders are flowing through my system without human intervention?”
  2. “What percentage of my shipments were delivered on time according to customer requirements?”
  3. “How are my vendors performing? Are their deliveries on time? Are they delivering the correct quantities?”
  4. “If my planned schedule is disrupted how do I know it’s been taken care of?”
  5. “Are my partners sending me my EDI document in a timely fashion so that I don’t carry the chargebacks from my customer?”
  6. “Are we making our payments within the Terms window and receiving our discounts?”
  7. “Do we currently know where the bottlenecks in the process are?”
  8. “How much of my supply chain can see the progress of these orders? Is my full supply chain feeding me information into my process so that we stay in touch with what’s happening?”
  9. “Even if nothing is happening in my process, I want to know about it…”

These are questions that I am sure all of you have come across and as consultants we have offered a variety of options and solutions to those posing the questions. Heck, I even started developing a workflow solution for an Order to Cash process when I stumbled upon SAP Event Management.

Yes, SAP Event Management is most definitely SAP’s best kept secret module. It’s been around since 2004 and yet little is known about it. Why is that? Very large customers are using SAP EM today and I guess the larger companies have larger budgets so they can do more digging in to finding standard SAP solutions for accomplishing their goals and hence they uncover SAP EM. The smaller companies just rely on the current knowledge of their SAP implementation partners who have almost always never heard of SAP EM and thus they fall in to the coding trap or even worse… the “We’ll implement it for you and run…” scenario leaving you, the customer, to pull out the ROI and gain benefit from what was implemented.

Another reason why noone knows about SAP EM is that it’s a complicated solution to get to know and understand, which makes it impossible for the sales folks at SAP to grasp the full detail as to it’s capabilities and thus it makes it harder for them to propose it as a potential solution to a prospective customer.

Why is it such a great solution? Well I’ll answer that in bullet points:

  1. It can be used to answer all the above questions… Easily… at any time of the day…
  2. It allows you to manage your business by exception. i.e. Put your business plan in place, switch on the exception triggers and wait for the process to roll… Should an exception occur, SAP EM will action it off for you according to your design leveraging either an Alert / Email, Workflow or other activities
  3. It gives you and your partners visibility to the status of your processes across the organization. The visibility spans organizational and territorial boundaries and can be of great benefit in an outsourced, or partly outsourced, environment
  4. It allows you greater adherence to compliance requirements as more and more companies as required to verify the whereabouts of their products during their entire life-cycle.
  5. The solution itself is incredibly flexible and configurable so it can be used in almost any process. Just plug it on top of any process and let it do the work.
  6. It has plug-ins to almost all the SAP systems and has options for connecting to external systems and partners by using SAP NetWeaver PI, the Java Connector and BAPIs or IDocs.You don’t need to have your process run in SAP to manage it through SAP EM.

If you want to hear this in person then you can always listen to an interview I did with Jon Reed (An SAP Mentor from by clicking here.

For more on SAP EM click here.

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  • Hi Kevin,

    Read your article… went through your site and read the pdf article too..

    As as SAP BI consultant , i’d like to know if somehow i can fit this EM module along with BI for my deliverables to my customers and how best can i do so.

    Your views are required.


    • Raj,
      There is definitely space for a BI person to break into the SAP EM space. In fact I spoke to Jon Reed of the other day and we covered this topic in our podcast that’s available for download on ERPGenie.COM and
      SAP EM needs BI to provide the KPI reporting for the analytical needs of the customer. That part is still inside BW and the extraction process that is the only thing that is unique in BW. I will write a blog on SAP EM and BW integration shortly and you can see what all it entails.
      For more details on SAP EM you can also check out our site at

      Good luck