SAP has recently launched a new solution aptly named SAP Operational Process Intelligence. It’s a big name for a big solution powered by SAP HANA that turns big process data into meaningful information for the Line of Business to use for operational decision making. Clear? Maybe not so let me expand a bit.
The traditional domain of business intelligence and data warehousing solutions is in supporting senior management with strategic and tactical decision making. These high impact decisions will ultimately make or break a company. There is no question that BI and data warehousing are and will continue to be indispensable for sound decision making, but there is another important and complimentary area that analyst are saying is poised to become the next competitive differentiator – intelligent business operations. Gartner defines Intelligent Business Operations (IBO) as a “style of work in which real-time analytic and decision management technologies are integrated into the transaction-executing and book-keeping operational activities that run a business”. They make a strong case for IBO as a strategic imperative stating that “companies must make their operations more intelligent if they are to thrive or even survive.”
Operational decisions deal with the routine decisions involved with running your daily business operations. They have less importance (or impact) than strategic or tactical decisions but they occur at a much higher frequency. It’s in this cumulative effect where the business impact will be felt, therefore we want to ensure that decision making at every level is aligned to realize “effective” business operations to drive desired business outcomes.
Now, I agree this idea is nothing new, but what is new is the technology to make operational decision making a reality. SAP is putting real-time intelligence into your end-to-end processes for the Line of Business to make optimal operational decisions aligned to your tactical and strategic goals.
A good analogy is to think of SAP Operational Process Intelligence as a GPS for your end-to-end processes or what IDC calls a “business navigation system”. You always know where you are, where you are heading, and can confidently make course corrections due to unexpected occurrences knowing you’ll get back on track to arrive at your destination.
We will dive into the details in follow-up posts as we explore this new frontier.
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