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Author's profile photo Harshavardhan Jegadeesan

Tame BIG Processes with SAP Operational Process Intelligence, powered by SAP HANA – Part 2

Part 2 of 3

In part 1, I explained BIG processes, showed examples of BIG processes in different industries and explained the challenges posed by BIG processes. The challenges such as lack of visibility, lack of context and latency. In this blog (part 2), I will explain SAP Operational Process Intelligence, a powered by HANA (sapopint) solution that helps to provide real-time visibility on BIG processes.

SAP’s Operational Process Intelligences helps line-of-business users to gain process visibility across their end-to-end business processes, without forcing IT to rip and replace existing systems. By acting as a business navigation system, SAPOPInt helps business users to achieve business outcomes. Improved process visibility immediately results in superior operational responsiveness and better tactical decisions in day-to-day business operations. Strong execution on day-to-day tactical objectives improves customer satisfaction and leads to long-term stability and success of any organization.

In the illustration below, I describe the high-level marketecture of SAP Operational Process Intelligence and use that to describe how we can help tame BIG Processes without ripping and replacing existing systems.


How does SAPOPInt address the challenge of “lack of visibility”?

BIG processes technically span multiple systems, generates high volume of structured and unstructured data, has several participants across departments and typically determine customer satisfaction. In SAPOPInt, the Business Scenario is the leading entity that represents the end-to-end business process that spans multiple systems.  By bringing in all related process logs and context into cohesion, a Business Scenario provides this end-to-end visibility in a contextualized fashion to line-of-business users.

What is a Business Scenario?

A Business Scenario captures specific end-to-end business process representing business operations, e.g. Order Fulfillment or Customer On-boarding. A business scenario provides the context for line-of-business users (process of me). In addition to the end-to-end processes, the business scenario encompasses the high-level phase and milestone model and the process-level KPIs.

How is a Business Scenario configured?

A Business scenario configuration is done by a Solution Expert, who is the IT counterpart of the business and understands the business process and business operations. Here are the high-level steps that a Solution Expert follows to configure a Business Scenario (for detailed instructions please look at the Developer Guide). The Solution Expert uses the Business Scenario editor, the design time add-on on SAP HANA Studio to configure business scenarios.

Step 1: Create a Business Scenario: A new Business Scenario can be created in SAP HANA using the Business Scenario Editor

Step 2: Search, Discover and Configure the end-to-end process:

We support direct discovery of process fragments from SAP Business Suite in-build processes, business workflows and orchestrated processes with NetWeaver BPM/Process Orchestration. This supports accelerated development in a SAP landscape.

Step 3: Define Phases and Milestones: Define a high-level phase model with milestones. The phase model define the entire value chain of the business operations.

Step 4: Define Measures & Indicators: create new process measures (count and duration measures) and indicators with thresholds.

Step 5: Generate Scenario artifacts: after configuring the scenario, the solution expert can generate the needed scenario artifacts (procedures, calculation models, ODATA services)

Step 6: Setup real-time Replication: after configuring the business scenario, the solution expert will setup real-time replication.

After the Business Scenario is configured and replication setup, SAPOPInt uses this to bring in process data (logs, context etc.) from the necessary underlying systems in real-time into SAP HANA and correlate all the process data into a unique scenario instance. The calculation models that are generated do all the KPI calculations.

How does SAPOPInt address the challenge of “lack of context”?

1. SAPOPInt contextualizes operational data around business processes that line-of-business users readily understand, after all business processes represent the business operations of the company.

2. Most importantly, SAPOPInt also hides the system and IT stovepipe views and provide a high-level view of the process as phases, milestones, KPIs, trends and forecasts that are understood by business users.

3. Access to this information is provided in a web-based environment – is a contextualized environment which allows business users to focus on problem areas in real-time and take appropriate corrective or preventive measures.

4. Additionally, SAPOPInt also supports public APIs based on ODATA and calc views that can be used to build custom user interfaces or real-time reports for different personas.

How does SAPOPInt address the challenge of “latency”?

Latency could be a deal-breaker in a lot of business scenarios. Latency to collect data and process data can lead to latency in action. This can lead to missed opportunities to meet customer expectations, prevent escalations, or even prevent liabilities. SAPOPInt uses the power of SAP HANA to bring relevant process data from multiple systems in real-time into HANA, process this data using the power of in-memory technology and provide contextualized and continuous intelligence to business users.

Let me give you an analogy: does it help to know that you drove straight into a traffic jam? No! Does it help to know you were stuck in a traffic jam yesterday, last week etc.? Maybe. But it help if your GPS told you that you will be stuck in a traffic bottleneck a few kilometers ahead and also smartly re-route you to your destination? YES!

SAPOPInt is that business navigation system that provides real-time contextualized and continuous intelligence to help business users navigate!

In part 3 of this blog series, I will explain the capabilities offered by SAPOPInt.

Read more about SAP Operational Process Intelligence #SAPOPInt here.

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