Today, we have many options to build analytics solutions to gain insights into your enterprise. For Spend Analytics the goal is to identify procurement inefficiencies and fix them to realize cost savings. Whether it is finding the opportunity to rationalize your supplier base or finding the best price etc. one can get the insight into the enterprise data using various data visualization tools. The real question however is – how quickly can you get to a reliable analysis of data? How scalable is the solution and does the cost of the solution?
In the previous blogs I tried to highlight how Spend Analytics solves specific business problems and how customers can extend the value from the applications. The goal was to illustrate how customers can leverage existing investments to extend the value from the application. Overtime, I have received some questions about the use of valuable parts of the application with other investments that have been made. Some of these questions are paraphrased below:
“The application has an excellent User Interface. I have made some investments on building the BI Content for the business. Can I use the SAP Spend Performance Management UI with the existing BI Content?”.
“The BI Content that is shipped with the application is extremely valuable to us. Our users are comfortable with specific visualization tool. Can we use the visualization tool to gain insight from BI Content delivered as part of SAP Spend Performance Management application?”.
These are both valid questions that raise interesting points. I would like to address this topic in this blog.
Here are some considerations that will help with answers to these questions.
- SAP Spend Performance Management was designed as a complete package that provides end-to-end solution (extract, data management, analysis, insight-action) to gain actionable insight into the potential procurement inefficiencies. This means that the Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 1 – User Experience) and Spend Performance Management Architecturecollectively bring the incremental value.
- The User Interface of SAP Spend Performance Management is not just a reporting tool. It provides an application experience to solve a specific business problem of finding and resolving procurement inefficiencies. Contextual navigation to specific transactions, alerts, spend advisor etc. provide this unique experience that goes beyond reporting analysis.
- Extending the value of investments in SAP Spend Performance Management (Part 3 – Rapid value realization) provides immediate value. This includes BI Content or 150+ pre-built reports that take the user to targeted analysis.
- The application provides harmonized data analysis across multiple source systems with enriched data that includes supplier risk. This has dependencies in UI as well as in the content.
- SAP continues to enhance the UI and content based on feedback from its large customer base. We understand on a daily basis what is important for our customers to analyze procurement data and keep introducing enhancements in UI as well as the content.
As you can see that the usage of the complete package is essential to accelerate the value generation from investments made in a pre-packaged application like SAP Spend Performance Management. You will find your investments protected and costs reduced by leveraging the ongoing innovation. As SAP brings predictive analytics, on-device and in-memory capabilities as part of the solution in the future, this will reduce your cost of adoption.
To summarize – the costs of building and maintaining a custom hybrid solution may not justify the benefits provided by a pre-packaged application like SAP Spend Performance Management.