Its important to first state what this blog is trying to outline, IT departments all over the world are trying to make sure they are getting the most out of their SAP system, creating business case after business case outline Huge Sums of Money to make mass scale savings. But those golden goose scenarios aren’t always present, and in some organisations never will be.

SAP is a big and complicated beast, and more often than not solving real business issues with the provided tools can be expensive and take time, a multi phased business process approval involving all 300 fields in the Vendor Master, with varying business logic and rules can take time and cash!

If that doesn’t sound an attractive proposition, there are multiple ways to utilise the investment in your SAP system QUICKLY and EFFECTIVELY using some of the tools provided by SAP over the past 5 years.

This blog will hopefully make you look internally at your own business, recognise small opportunities for change and then understand how you could quickly act on the small pain points identified.

10 Small changes can be as effective as 1 MONSTER change !!!

It may seem a daunting challenge to ask the business to stump up £XXX for a three tier SAP Netweaver PO (Process Orchestration) landscape for 1 Business Process allowing automatic creation of Vendors (for example), but the next process will cost a fraction of that and the next and the next, Hopefully you can see the point I’m trying to make.

Purchasing this years must have Playstation / xBox will be expensive if you never buy more than the one game its shipped with, but when you start adding games and capabilities like xBox Connect you start to get great value for money.

These small opportunities I’m referring to are often overlooked as ad-hoc processes that have been put in place and developed as years have gone on, usually by the people who know that area best. What those employees don’t know is whats out there from a technology point of view that could be used to complete their tasks more efficiently, more accurately and in greater volume.

These manual and sometimes convoluted processes can be inefficient and have multiple manual elements. Every day Business Process like this that have been

·        hand cranked in complicated Spreadsheets

·        Added incorrectly to an unsuitable system (e.g. Lotus Notes)

·        Adapted over time to misuse its original platform

These issues can be addressed quickly and efficiently with the tools available in the PRO (Process Orchestration) offering from SAP.

BPM

Emailing scanned forms /  Passing around / mailing hand written requests / Chasing individuals for a required data entry / Telephone calls and Mails to confirm an action !! all these current time consuming process steps can be BUILT / IMPLEMENTED and CONTROLLED using the tools available in BPM. Hook straight into standard SAP RFC’s / Webservice to push and pull data from your SAP systems. Use embedded Interactive Adobe forms to automatically send a branded formatted Success notification outside your network to the supplier. Send out email reminders when someone has not entered the essential data on time.

SCN BPM Site – http://scn.sap.com/community/bpm

All these controls come out of the box and can be modelled to fit your business.

Visual Composer

If your only experience of VC is 7.0 please check out the VC SCN page to understand its current state and its future plans, for example the UI5 runtime that will be hitting our screen in the new year. – http://scn.sap.com/community/netweaver-visual-composer/blog/2013/06/04/vc-back-in-the-spotlight-with-ui5-runtime-vc5

VC is a great way that you can Model UI’s to fit BPM’s processes or even a single state application, using its drag and drop development framework, within minutes you can have a nice looking screen talking to your backend. If the UI’s are for a BPM, you can even generate the VC models and all the fields needed on it in seconds, all you have to do then is move the fields around and to the required layout.

Just understanding how to use these two modelling tools could open up a large amount of opportunities to better business process in your organisation.

Hope you enjoyed reading the blog 🙂

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  1. Mariana Mihaylova

    Thanks for another excellent overview, Thomas!

    I completely agree that small incremental changes can be as effective as one monster change, but with the advantage of minimal disruption.

    Keep sharing!

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