If you read my blog post back in September, then you’ll know that one of my focus activities at that time was preparation work for the SAP Conference for EPM, which took place in Chicago on October 13 & 14. In that earlier blog collaboration was cited as a key success element in preparing for the conference. Little did I realize at the time just how relevant this topic would be.
Collaboration has been a theme running through a number of blog postings this year, not the least from Steve Player in which he cited this as a key success factor for Finance transformation. Much focus has been placed on real-time collaboration, which has potential to help improve productivity and efficiency of workgroups, organizational alignment, enterprise performance management and a successful execution of strategic goals.
At the EPM Conference last month we heard the announcement of SAP Cloud for Planning. I was struck by one thing in particular; the collaborative opportunity. Of course this new Cloud solution is visually stunning and appears to offer all the user and organizational benefits of hosting a planning solution in the cloud, and should provide the potential for speed and efficiency improvements through the SAP HANA Cloud platform and integration with other SAP solutions, and these are sure to be significant benefits. But for me, with an eye for the business user and worker benefits, it’s the opportunity to collaborate in real-time that’s really exciting.
Not just words…Action!
It wasn’t just the words which struck that message home for me, but rather it was the software demonstration that was given on stage showcasing the new collaborative features, while we watched in awe. A real discussion between two parties involved in a planning process, happening via the system in a conversational-style manner. No hold ups, no waiting, just working.
Having managed and contributed to the budgeting and planning process over a number of years, I am well aware that a major limitation to progress is time-lag, between seeking information and gaining response. And even after response there are clarifications to be sought, changes to be made and then checked and possibly re-checked…and all of this takes time. Having seen how SAP Cloud for Planning works, I think that the truly “collaborative” nature of this solution will help propel the efficiency and performance of business planning to a new level.
Don’t just take my word for it – see for yourself!
With the miracle of modern technology…and a video crew that hid at the back of the room…we recorded the main stage sessions at the EPM Conference last month so that we could share them with you.
I’ll start by sharing videos of the conference day-1 keynote. There are two video links here. You’ll need to set aside around 30 minutes time to watch them fully, but they’re well worth it, especially if you weren’t able to join us at the conference. The first is an introduction to the conference and announcement of SAP Cloud for Planning, given by Ivo Bauermann, SAP VP & GM for EPM. The second is a software demonstration given by Gerrit Kazmaier, VP of EPM Development at SAP.
And please do stay tuned because there’ll be more to come, as we kept the camera rolling for some customer sessions, as well as some short interviews with customers and partners. But I’ll share those with you later.
For now I hope that you enjoy the videos of Ivo and Gerrit…and do watch out for them collaborating in real-time in the second video!
Article originally published on CFOKnowledge. Reprinted with permission.