To provide, to protect, and to prosper are the core values of every government and governmental agency.
To provide is the topic I want to address in this blog by only taking out one little piece of the whole puzzle. But it’s a piece that is growing in importance as every government want to have transparent assessments and clear view of legislation.Run by thousands agencies around the world, social benefit management is one of the core processes in Public Sector. Social benefits may be pretty different based on benefit area and country. While the underlying processes are very similar for all social benefits, the key differentiator is the decision making processes. When processing a social application many decisions need to be made. Examples for such decisions are
- data validation,
- assigning a case worker,
- eligibility determination,
- entitlement calculation,
and many more. To process all these decisions automatically, user friendly, business driven, scalable, reliable, and transparent SAP Decision Service Management (DSM) is being used.
SAP Decision Service Management
DSM is a Business Rules Management System that is used with many SAP solutions as well as with custom projects. DSM allows for maintaining business rules in a central designtime system, deploying the rules to and executing them in any system of the system landscape. Creating, enhancing, adapting, and testing rules are business tasks that can be performed quick and easily by business domain experts who do not necessarily have IT expertise. The rules are being displayed in natural human language in any SAP supported language. So business experts are able to understand and digest the rules.
Find here two screenshots, illustrating how business rules and expressions look like.
The first screenshot shows a ruleset, describing the rules flow.
The second screenshot shows a decision table, which is a popular expression type. Expressions are the building blocks for business rules. There are about 20 expression types available, like formulas, loops, table operations, and many more. Additional custom specific expression types can be plugged in if needed.
Compared to other business rules management systems DSM has quite some advantages.
- DSM generates code (ABAP or HANA) from the rules, which provides for outstanding performance.
- The generated code is being executed within the system using the rules. So the designtime system does not become a single point of failure.
- The concept of having a central designtime system where business rules for the whole system landscape are being maintained provides for the ability to apply changes quick and easily. It is no longer necessary to transport objects to other systems (waiting 3 weeks for the next scheduled transport) or applying changes directly in a productive system (putting that system at risk in case of any mistake).
- Backend data (data base tables, data dictionary objects, methods, …) from productive environment can be used for designing and testing business rules. There is no need for data replication or working with inadequate data in a development system.
It’s all about counting on results. Like other industries, social agencies need to rely on the underlying business rules management system. So here are some examples based on actual customer projects.
There are several thousand DSM customers from all industries. Most of them are quite enthusiatic about DSM as the following quotes show. According to James Dragos, Senior SAP Technical Officer, Dept. of Human Services in Australia “the greatest benefit of SAP Decision Service Management is that we can significantly reduce the maintenance effort of our processes since we now manage all business rules via a centralized repository.” Jim Sudlow, COE Account Executive, Cintas Corporation stated “We manage our service business with SAP software. SAP Decision Service Management will allow us to incorporate flexible business rules into our SAP applications. We believe it will be a valuable tool to quickly react to customer change requests.” And Ravinder Masuta, Technical Consultant at ExxonMobil said “SAP Decision Service Management allowed us to transition from a scattered to a central management of business rules that we use in our system landscape.”
When will you start using SAP Decision Service Management to avoid manual, error prone decisions and to enable rule based mass decision making? Please contact me if you’re anxious to hear more about your specific situation.