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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Simplifying Finance in an Increasingly Complex World SAP Insider Keynote Notes

I watched this online yesterday and these are my notes.  This was at Financials 2015 in Las Vegas, produced by SAP Insider.

SAP’s Thack Brown lead the keynote.  He heads line of business finance which is “suite of solutions that help the corporate finance professional to do job better”.  He is the former SAP CFO for Latin America


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Finance is under pressure, and forced to change

Every finance organization has to evolve to meet challenges

He said to leave for Las Vegas, he used Uber, Concur, Waze, all real time on cell phone, which allowed him to use  predictive analytics, paid invoices wirelessly, checked bank balance

He said it was the 17th of month – could he tell if he met his numbers?  He said they cannot wait until the end of the month

Finance has to rethink way operate, how get to real time in finance


Figure 2: Source: SAP

The “Future has arrived” SAP said, as shown in Figure 2.


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Today ad hoc reporting is needed in a matter of seconds

You need the ability to analyze questions on how to think

We live in a consumer world and want to interact in a dynamic way

Evolving targets at Finance, create information process and structures to support business analysis is challenging

A high priority is to look at underlying technology systems that are poorly integrated and we need to “react and respond to changes to market”

In 2008 we learned it “comes back to finance fundamentals – liquidity, receivables, controlling costs” with fierce competition, price pressure

Today we have a new level of complexity today to respond to challenging price pressure forces


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows the results of an interactive poll.

First to the cloud was sales /CRM – in cloud; today with marketing – 60% decisions are cloud-based

Second wave is to the cloud is HCM Successfactors


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Finance is a complex migration to the cloud

Mergers and acquisitions are “back on the radar” with cloud solutions to help bridge 2 separate organizations


Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows “today’s reality” including usability, recruiting and retention

90% of executives are looking for greater ways to analyze data; looking for 1 source of the truth

Evolution of Office of Finance includes going from closing the books to becoming a strategic adviser

Finance has to support new mandates – often around data, analysis, and insight creation

Finance should also look for broader vision of how support business in business analysis


Figure 7: Source: SAP

S/4HANA is part of the perfect enterprise as shown in Figure 7 as a  “real time entity, focus on customer and innovation, an ongoing objective”

SAP HANA a single data platform, single source of the truth, source of data across the enterprise, information is the most valuable asset you have

You work in a different way in real time

It is a native suite on top of HANA

Business Network including how to extend beyond company into providers

Ariba is  B2B acquisition of suppliers, contracts, digital environment

Concur covers travel

Fieldglass helps contingent labor force

This is all paperless

Circque du Soleil uses Ariba, Concur, Business Suite, moving to Simple Finance


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Simple Finance helps remove some difficulties including reconciliation


Figure 9: Source: SAP

Figure 9 shows the financial roles that play in Simple Finance which is “real time”


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Real time in finance, using predictive to “think forward”

They showed a demo that “Will tell you best chart/KPI”


Figure 11: Source: SAP

Cash Manager uses Fiori, device independent

See the SAP video below

Closing Comments

Celina Rogers, panelist said the evolution of finance to a more strategic function, turn finance into organization that looks forward

Technology can support aspiration, a promise for finance

The other panelist Bill (didn’t get last name) said if think of moving to new solutions, don’t do it for the money; execs talk about agility; security is an important issue; will be better in cloud than on premise, mind the gaps  – get quick hits


Customer Journey Map

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good one, Tammy.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Terrific summary, Tammy. Much appreciated. I was at the event and summarized it (with lots of content - including a link to your blog post) here: In Case You Missed SAPinsider #Financials2015 & #GRC2015 in Las Vegas…