I work as SAP BW consultant and have not really much experience in business process modelling. But with my clients I often have the discussion, the BW system is not so important, It’s an reporting system only. The real important system is ERP, because there are the processes. If the processes don’t work properly or return the wrong results, it’s the bigger error.

I then argue, that a report is the outcome of many processes. Take month close for example. You put all the financial data of your different companies together, consolidate it. You define a business process how the consolidation of your companies should be done and which business rules have to be taken into account. And at the end you get your formatted financial statement in the colours and look and feel of your company. Every one is happy.

The second fact, if the report returns the wrong figures because of a wrong business process implemenation no one is happy. Sometimes the report at the end reveals that are some open issues in the business process, which have not been foreseen.

I think most of the business processes create documents in the normal process flow. Some of the created documents are used for a corporate reporting.

From my point of view there is a strong dependency between ERP and BW system even from process modelling view and that you should think of integrating reporting in business process modelling.

My questions are:

What are your experiences with integration of reporting into bussiness process modelling?

How is your argumentation pro or con to integrate reporting in business processes modelling?

I’m tensed to read your comments and arguments.

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  1. Tammy Powlas

    It should be but I am not sure it is

    I remember on my last job there was a dictate to pay all travel expenses to employees within 5 days of submission of expense reports

    We implemented SAP’s Travel module

    After a few months, we were asked to measure that – of course it was a BW report that showed the time to pay was 4.63 days (fortunately within the 5 days)

    I think this is where embedded operational reporting should fit, and be a part of the process.

    I expect to see more of this in SAP’s Smart Accounting (still in ramp-up) as BW is embedded into ehp5, 6 & 7 and you can then report on processes in “real-time”.

    You raise an important point/topic  – I am looking forward to hearing other responses.

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    1. Jürgen Noe Post author

      That’s where I’m also not sure if reporting related topics are integrated in BPM.

      With HANA integration in EHP & BW you can get answers now in near real-time. It opens doors to new questions, but also throws new questions reagarding architecture and modelling.

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      1. Tammy Powlas

        What’s old is new again – I recall back in 2007-8 attending a SAP TechEd session with SAP’s Ingo Brenckmann

        Back then it was Visual Composer embedded in your process as real time and that would be part of the reporting solution

        I don’t think this was widely adopted ( we did some VC in my last job, successfully I thought)

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        1. Jürgen Noe Post author

          Yes, I saw VC adopted at some of my clients. Recently a new version VC5 with HTML5 support was announced.

          Maybe you can combine BPM and VC5 together?

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          1. Jocelyn Dart

            Hi Jurgen, I think that’s reasonable – BPM passes the data across to VC – so the UI technology used for the analytics shoudln’t be any barrier. Y

            Btw you can use the BI Java as a go-between from BPM to BW as well.

            I have been on sites where we have used BPM and VC for reporting – but it was pre VC5.  There’s a few limitations on reporting that way – it’s ok for simple stuff but there are some gotchas. 

            A better option for more effective reporting on processes these days would probably be Process Observer and Operational Process Intelligence (powered by HANA solution).  Op Proc is really nice.

            Process Observer is quite handy because it lets you take non-workflow and non-BPM data and treat it as process data as well… and then feed it to other places such as Op Proc for fancy reporting.

            Mind you if I was at a site still with a minimal environment I’d give the  BPM/VC5 combo a go.

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