Having recently completed five years with SAP appears to me as some plot out of a fast paced movie!
In retrospect, all I knew about SAP, when I’d come here for the first time, was that it developed ERP products. The closest that I had come to experience it – was through my pay-slip that was generated and sent every month in my previous company.
I was looking for a change back then, after having worked for about two years in the architecture team of FinacleTM at Infosys Technologies.
So when an ex-colleague from Infosys, who had moved to SAP, asked me if I would be interested in a change, I thought of giving it a shot.
And then here I was at SAP – without a clue on what I was going to work on. While going through the usual training (ABAP), I came to know that I would be part of a new team that is being setup for the development of a new product – Business ByDesignTM [ByD](the name was not decided at that time and it was known by the name of A1S).
Now for those of you who do not know what is ByD – allow me to enlighten you. It’s the latest product offering from SAP and targets the SME segment. It is an on-demand solution (hosted by SAP) and therefore quite attractive for a small and medium sized company which needs to focus more on its core business instead of having to spend on IT.
All they need is a browser and a subscription to ByD and – voila! they have a complete ERP solution at their desks – without having had to maintain any infrastructure themselves.
I must admit that it’s been a tremendous learning experience for me. Working on and enhancing an existing product is one thing and creating a new product, from scratch, is a completely different ballgame.
I wouldn’t say that I didn’t have my share of doubts when I started but then the concept was good and we were working with the latest technologies from Netweaver. So it was sometimes frustrating but most of the time quite exciting to work on this product.
I have been working with Netweaver BI 7.x for the development of the reporting content of ByD and there were quite many innovations in BI, quite many of which were done as as feature requests from ByD.
e.g. Hybridproviders (that combines the dimensioning features of cubes and the fast data load capabilities of data store objects). This gives the capability of near-real time data as the data latency between OLTP and OLAP can be set to as low as 5 minutes! Quite crucial for Financials.
There are so many innovations in ByDTM that it would be difficult to say what is its best feature. I will list some of the things that I like about it:
Pattern based development – to maintain uniformity across screens within one application as well as across applications (FIN/SCM/SRM/CRM..)
Workcenter concept – the application areas have been structured in workcenters – which are based on the typical business processes in the day to day work of an organization. E.g. Financials will have workcenters like Cost and Revenue, General Ledger, Inventory Management etc.
Similarly, CRM will have workcenters like Sales Orders, Customer Invoicing, Marketing, Product and Service Portfolio etc.
A role based access management system – the workcenters would be assigned to a user based on his/her role in the organization. The data that would be visible in the same workcenter to one user may be different from the data visible to another user who is assigned the same workcenter – depending upon their authorizations.
Embedded BI content – there are standard reports created which cover most of the reporting requirements that users typically have. Exhaustive reports for accounting, operations, managers – everything has been pre-delivered. The technology as I mentioned above, is NW BI 7.1. Crystal reports and Xcelsius are also used for some formatted reports.
I guess I have generated enough curiosity in your minds about this product. So why don’t you take a look at a video which gives a demo of the ByD.
Want some more? The detailed product information is available at:
At present, I am on a six-months fellowship programme with SCN. So looking forward to learning a lot of new things while collaborating with the community. I am sure it’s going to be another great experience, as it has been working on Business ByDesignTM.