A Journey into the Cloud
I recently had the privilege of working with one of SAP’s manufacturing customers to solve a business challenge. There are a number of reasons this experience was special to me. The first is that the customer was the first to successfully use a lean localization approach for non-SAP Business ByDesign localized countries. And the second is that it was the first cloud project I had the opportunity to work on.
Navigating the customer’s solution
Our customer had quite a complex solution that included:
- Running sales, repair services, purchasing, and financials processes with SAP Business ByDesign, version 3.5
- Integrating SAP Business ByDesign and SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) to connect purchasing and sales modules
- Adapting and localizing SAP Business ByDesign processes for financials and tax reporting for different countries and approved by local auditors
- Extracting reporting data from SAP Business ByDesign into the company’s central BI data warehouse
What’s remarkable is that the ramp-up time for the end users was shorter than expected, and they run their complete daily business with SAP Business ByDesign.
Understanding the challenge
In order to be compliant with the local legislation for the different countries in the first roll-out, the customer needed to have tax reporting processes that would be approved by the auditors and that would be designed according to both the legal and business requirements.
The challenge was that the tax data source, upon which we had to build the legal tax reports, was not public. Therefore, we needed a solution that would be able to meet the customer’s requirements. As the tax topic was a quite sensible topic, the workaround of making this data source public was not to be taken into consideration. As these tax reports were country specific and needed to be designed according to each country’s legislation, the standard tax reports were not sufficient for the customer.
Accepting the challenge
The issues we were facing needed to be solved in order to meet the customer’s expectations and deliver these reports with high quality. Here is where a team of SAP consultants (both functional and technical) stepped in and took this challenge and managed to meet the customer’s requests.
As it was important to put down every aspect of the issue, it was of high importance to sit down and understand all the aspects of these from both a business perspective and from a technical perspective. There was an amazing collaboration between the functional team and the development team. The solution that we found was to create a customer-specific data source via the Studio Development Kit (SDK). In this way, we managed to accomplish two major things: meet the customer’s requirements and avoid publishing a data source that contained sensitive information.
After this customer-specific solution was created, we were able to build and test the tax reports that were both legally and business compliant.
Delivering a customized solution in the cloud
At the end of the project, the customer was very pleased with the solution we found, and we were able to make their business run better….in the cloud!