Business users, now more than ever, require tools to take collaborative decisions at the speed of business. Customers have made investments in transaction applications as well as performance management applications like SAP Spend Performance Management to get the pulse of the business at any given point in time. Business users can now get the business insight, but find it hard to take quick actions when decisions require inputs from other parts of business. The issue is compounded when not all users in the decision making process have access to the analytics application. How can we break such barriers that stand between users and fast decision making process? In this blog I try to cover some of the solutions that we can leverage today and give some insights on what SAP is doing to bring more innovation to the market around this topic.
Use case for Collaborative decision making
In the previous blog related to Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 1 – User Experience), I had discussed some aspects of collaboration that already is available as part of the SAP Spend Performance Management application today. This includes sharing content, allowing users to post comments on the content created by users and providing a way to send emails that provide links and attachment to users. While this is quite effective, it is only possible if users involved in the collaboration process are registered users in the application. While users can send emails with attachments and links to a report, it is not possible to include external users in a conversation that leads to a decision making process.
For example, when a procurement decision of moving the purchases from one Supplier-A to the Supplier-B has to be made because of possible risks to the business; such decisions require inputs from legal, contract, logistics and other parts of the company. Users belonging to these parts of the organization may not have access to Spend Performance Management application. Hence, a collaboration that brings all the users together to make the right decision is needed. Enter SAP StreamWork to facilitate this collaboration. SAP released Streamwork early this year to enable the collaborative decision-making process in an enterprise. We will explore further how we can use the power of StreamWork to drive additional benefit from Spend Performance Management. The picture below illustrates one such integration scenario.
Spend Performance Management prototype with Streamwork
We put some effort to enable Streamwork integration as part of Spend Performance Management as a prototype to receive customer feedback and to explore various possibilities. Our goal was to address the following key aspects:
- Build a use cases that will directly benefit customers by leveraging existing investments
- User must be able to start collaboration in Streamwork in the context of information that is being analyzed.
- Context of decision-making process is very clear to all users involved in the collaboration process.
One of the scenarios that we considered in the prototype is described below :
The screenshots below shows how the user can seamlessly navigate between SAP Spend Performance Management and SAP StreamWork to take decisions in a collaborative fashion.
As you can see from the above scenario, the value of collaborative process produces some quick decisions that helps to mitigate a big risk that might affect the business. Applications like Spend Performance Management provide insight into opportunities for cost savings, operational efficiencies or risk reductions. Converting these insights into concrete actions with collaborative decision-making process increases the value of investments in such applications.
If you have any additional sceanarios that you might think will benefit business users of Spend Performance Management and would like to be considered for integration, please let us know.
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 the integration of SAP Spend Performance Management with StreamWork.