By Bill Rojas, SAP Digital
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think about currency exchange rates? How about “international”? To me, there’s no better term to describe Brisken Market Data Hub, a new tool now available on the SAP App Center. Brisken Market Data Hub automatically loads current exchange rate and other market data from central banks and external providers like Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, Oanda and even Twitter and Facebook. Then it integrates the data directly into SAP ERP, SAP S/4HANA, SAP Hybris Commerce, Concur spend management solutions, and more – monitoring the incoming data quality to ensure accuracy and consistency.
For any company doing business across borders, procuring supplies from different countries, or even with employees traveling on business abroad, this is a great solution. For any company concerned about data governance and compliance, I’d call it essential. And because the solution has such broad cross-industry appeal, I think it’s great to know that you can find it on SAP App Center, the SAP digital marketplace where customers can discover, try, and buy this solution with just a few clicks.
Making global connections
I also like the term international to describe Brisken the company, because of the story I heard about its origins from Dirk Neumann, one of the company’s founders. I spoke with him from Barcelona, where I was attending an SAP event. Dirk was dialing in from Sunnyvale, California, where he was on a business trip of his own. Dirk, a multicultural entrepreneur, started his career in London; moved to Miami; started a company in Sao Paulo, Brazil; relocated later to Houston, Texas; and now lives in Karlsruhe, Germany – although his co-founder and business partner Juliano Brugnago lives and works in Brazil.
Got that? Needless to say, this is an international – and multilingual – company on many levels.
However, the idea for Brisken Market Data Hub did not arise from any issues Dirk or Juliano had with filing expense reports. Dirk has a banking background, with a career as a consultant in financial risk management, supporting clients on extending the functionality of SAP core finance solutions – which is exactly what Brisken Market Data Hub does.
Covering the “last mile” gap for accuracy and compliance
During his work as a consultant, Dirk had identified a missing-link issue for his clients. “The problem is that, even with customized solutions, it is too cumbersome to configure systems for keeping up to date with incoming market data,” Dirk explained, “with no way to ensure data accuracy. The incoming data is vulnerable to tampering, so the compliance piece was missing. It was a ‘last-mile’ gap in the APIs.”
Today, customers must manually upload data from many central banks and external providers into the SAP software. In most cases, the connector is configured to handle only a single provider. Any changes must be programmed. The market data must be distributed across multiple systems, creating the risk of discrepancies – all the way to restatement of earnings – because of the lack of integration points.
Teaming up with a back-of-the-napkin idea
During Dirk’s time in Brazil, he had crossed paths many times with Juliano Brugnago, a self-described hardcore database developer and an expert in business intelligence software. “I’d talked to Juliano about doing something as a team, although we’d never actually worked together, and he didn’t have any background with SAP software,” he told me. “But a few years ago, Juliano began following SAP, and independently took an openSAP course focused on SAP Cloud Platform. The rest is the old back-of-the-napkin story, with the two of us casually sketching out this idea for a market data hub that could be offered at a reasonable price point in the cloud. Juliano had discovered an SAP Run competition for cloud application development. After sobering up from the previous night’s happy hour, Soon thereafter we submitted our use case, and we were invited to a boot camp in Chicago to try out and showcase the concept. That’s how we got started.”
Smoothly integrating a universe of financial data
Brisken Market Data Hub offers peace of mind throughout the external market-data-provisioning process, Dirk explained. “Now, you have complete governance with data validation and anomaly detection, exception workflows, data analytics, and an audit log. Never before has it been so simple to set up a governance structure for market data that lets you detect issues before they affect your accounting processes and analytics. And it’s a single source of truth across the entire system landscape.”
Gaining access to a worldwide market through SAP App Center
I asked Dirk about the development aspect, and what Juliano thought about working with the SAP software. “Juliano analyzed various platforms and kept coming back to SAP,” Dirk noted. “Juliano was looking for a modern and easy-to-work platform for business apps development, and after a lot of research he reached the conclusion that SAP Cloud Platform with SAP HANA and SAP Fiori was the best by far. He programmed everything inside SAP HANA for a dynamic database that can be adapted to any use case, with SAP Fiori as the user interface.”
Dirk continued, “The reason we could develop and offer this application is because of the cloud, and SAP Cloud Platform gave us a bandwagon to jump on. Running it on SAP software helps ensure redundancy and uptime, and it’s ISO certified. Now, with our solution on the SAP App Center, we have access to thousands of SAP customers worldwide. And for them — our customers — it’s fully configurable and immediately consumable once installed.”
I invite you to take the tour, no matter where you are in the world and visit the SAP App Center. Let me know what you think.
# # #
Bill Rojas is senior director of Digital Transformation and Partner Engagement on the SAP Digital team. Contact him on Twitter | LinkedIn. He kicked off this new series of blogs on partner apps on the SAP App Center in December 2017. To read more, click here.