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Bringing the value of SAP Spend Performance Management to mobile users

In the previous postings, I had discussed the basic tenets behind the design of Spend Performance Management application. We saw how the three basic tenets – Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 1 – User Experience), Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 2 – Leveraging Existing Investments) and Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 3 – Rapid value realization) brings value to IT and Business. Consumption of Enterprise information on mobile device has become a necessity today. What does this mean for business users who are looking to reduce procurement costs with a focus on the supplier risks? How can they benefit from SAP Spend Performance Management while they are mobile and not connected to their corporate network? In this post you will see how we can extend the value of SAP Spend Performance Management to deliver business value very quickly to mobile users.


Analyzing Enterprise data on Mobile device


When decision makers have the consolidated, precise and current information residing in traditional SAP Business Warehouse (BW) systems – on a mobile device, it brings a new level of efficiency in decision making process and enhances the value of investments made in SAP applications. With the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, SAP changed the way how information can be analyzed with a very intuitive UI and simple representation of complex business data. By providing integrations with SAP BW, SAP customers can now analyze the complex enterprise data currently residing in BW much more effectively with the help of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. With this integration, all the products under the BusinessObjects portfolio can now consume the data that is residing in BW. Customers can now find a valuable extension for the vast investments that they have made over a decade in ERP and BW. SAP also released a beta version of an iPhone app on the Apple App Store that any user can download on their iPhone. This application allows users to effectively analyze data on the iPhone. This app can also be configured to connect to customer’s corporate Business Explorer server that is connected to the BW.



Spend Performance Management on Mobile


 SAP Spend Performance Management content is built on top of SAP BW. Since the BW content is already available as part of the application, using products like SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and BusinessObjects XI Integration kit for SAP, it is now possible to expose the data available in the Business Warehouse to a mobile device. With the help of the BusinessObjects Explorer iPhone app, business users specializing in procurement decisions can now have access to the consolidated procurement related information from various transactional systems on their mobile device. So there it is – now users getting into contract negotiations with their suppliers can have immediate access to critical information that can put them at advance during critical contract negotiations. During contract negotiations, accurate information gives the power to get the desired outcomes. Understanding the collective spend that the company has with a supplier or understanding the risks that a particular supplier might pose to your business is very critical to negotiate the best terms and conditions.



Connecting the pieces of this puzzle


      In order to get Spend Performance Management on an iPhone, the following pieces are needed:

1. SAP Spend Performance Management application deployed with data

2. BusinessObjects XI

3. BusinessObjects Integration Kit for SAP

4. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer

5. iPhone Application for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer



    When these software components have been deployed in your IT landscape, the process of bringing the power of SAP Spend Performance Management data to mobile users has started. The BI Content for SAP Spend Performance Management comes with several queries. In order to simplify this exercise, it will be good to start with a custom query that has a limited dimensions (Key Characteristics) and measures (Key Figures). Using the BusinessObjects Integration kit for SAP , one can generate the OLAP Universe that is automatically generated based on the query. Now, Business Explorer can point to this OLAP Universe and deliver the required data analysis that is relevant for the end user.


Spend Performance on Mobile




We now have solutions that can provide complex information available in BW on an iPhone. One can just imagine that this is just the beginning. The current solutions may not address all possible scenarios and use cases, but this is expected during the initial stages of any breakthrough. One can expect that with more mobile devices that come to the market practically every day, more applications are being built by SAP and its ecosystem to ensure that complex enterprise information is available to mobile devices where the ease of consumption is critical. Such applications will dramatically simplify the information so that effective decisions can now happen with information available on any device.


If you are interested in viewing a demo, please send me an email so that I can include you in any upcoming events that showcases SAP Spend Performance Management on the iPhone using the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer.

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  • We see many blogs about the Explorer IPhone app but never hear much about Mobi.
    Since most companies are still Blackberry shops, I wonder why so much focus has been put on the iPhone versus the large existing user base for Blackberry devices.

    Also MoBI is a supported proven product on the market today, where the iPhone Explorer application is a product of the Business Objects Labs and I don’t believe is currently supported as an official product.

    • Hi Alexander – thanks for your comments.

      You are absolutely right; MoBI solution is available today in the market to bring BI to mobile devices. I mention in the blog that the iPhone app is a beta app available on the Apple App Store. I did not mean to state that the iPhone App is the ONLY solution to bring BI information to mobile users.

      This blog was more about how we can bring the information in Spend Performance Management (which is a BW based application) to mobile users. I haven’t played around with MoBI, so cannot comment on that solution. I do have experience on installing and configuring the software components I mention in the blog to get the information on an iPhone. Hence I thought it will be good to share that experience. I believe the steps to get to a BOE Universe so that BusinessObjects Explorer or any other reporting tool (WEBI, Xcelsius etc.) can consume it would remain the same (correct me if I am wrong).

      Having said that, if you have experience on MoBI or can point the readers of this blog to some more information on MoBI, it would be much appreciated.

      Thanks and regards,

    • Alexander,

      so you have noticed a trend which disrupts the current status quo. the question is what will you do about it? imho, iPhone is not a smartphone, but a pocket computer and i think the competition from Blackberry and Droid will only benefit the rest of us. all the excitement seems to be in the apple grove, though.

  • Hi,

    if I got the thing right, Sped Performance Management is a Licensed product from SAP?

    If my customer already has the whole products (SAP, XI, Integration Kit, BOE and BOE for Iphone), those queries also need to be bought?

    Thanks and best regards!

    • Hi Rodrigo – I am not sure I fully understand your question, but I will try to answer the best.

      Yes, SAP Spend Performance Management is a licensed product from SAP. For more information on how to get started on this product please visit the BPX community for Enterprise Performance Managent . Under Key topics you will find the link for Spend Performance Management. Alternatively you can directly go to the site using this link :

      The application comes with the BI Content that includes the BW queries. If your customer has made investments in XI, Integration Kit, BusinessObjects Explorer, you already have a good start here. SAP Spend Performance Management is focused on reducing procurement costs and improving procurements efficiencies with a focus on Supplier Risk. It fits nicely in the existing SAP landscape and as I explain in my previous blogs, it leverages existing investments(Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 2 – Leveraging Existing Investments))

      Hope this helps.

      Thanks for your email.


      • Hi Ramesh,

        Thanks for the answer.

        In fact i’m looking for some ways to deliver a packaged BI solution for middle enterprises that have no bdget for. BW landscape. So our typical customer has the ERP and Edge + BOE integrated directly.

        Since the data source is the ECC Database you think its possible to build queries in ECC  to extract the information for the BO product? Thinking on middle enteprises that is supposed to have smaller  amount of data…



        • Hi Rodrigo – now I understand your question.

          SAP Spend Performance Management is pre-packaged to solve problems around managing procurement efficiencies. What we do here is allow our customers to extract data from multiple ERP systems, enrich data and give a consolidated view in an intuitive UI.

          While it may be possible to write specific queries in ECC, it may provide a limited and a fragmented view of procurement data. You need to be able to consolidate all the data and enrich it to analyze the procurement behavior effectively. SAP BW provides the OLAP capabilities and the application leverages that to provide an insight that is hard to gain from just reporting tools. SAP has introduced procurement “best practices” in the application based on feedback from industry experience and many customers, which is difficult to derive in a custom solution.

          Having said that, SAP now has this solution tailored for small enterprise where customers can implement this very quickly at lower costs. If you are interested to discuss this more, please send me an email and I can put you in touch with my colleagues at SAP who can help you further on implementation questions.