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Author's profile photo Tom Woodhead

The BEx Broadcasting Need and SAP Analytics Cloud

Digital transformation is essential to meeting the future, but there will always be challenges, and those responsible for implementing transformative technology must also look at users’ needs and expectations in the present as well as in the future.

Digital transformation should be driven by business process transformation. While the new technology’s core capabilities are essential to transformation, they do not necessarily account for all of the very specific business process workflows embedded in the outgoing technology platform.

BEx Broadcasting & SAP BW/4HANA

BEx broadcasting has been an important tool for organizations using BW. It has effectively served important communication workflows over the past twenty-plus years, allowing organizations to distribute reports to a wide variety of users, partners and customers. However, with the need to push content out to stakeholders continuing to be a critical requirement for many of these organizations, and with this capability not available in SAP BW/4HANA, such organizations need to deploy an alternative to BEx broadcasting as part of their move to BW/4HANA.

One compelling option for these organizations is to build SAP Analytics Cloud stories from BW/4HANA and broadcast these stories to fulfill their business process workflows. If an organization implements SAP Analytics Cloud in this scenario, but has specific requirements with regard to data-driven, personalized, or conditional broadcasting, or with high-volume distribution, or delivery to partner organizations, then that’s where the SAP partner ecosystem comes into play.

Use Case – SAP Analytics Cloud & APOS Publisher for Cloud

In our work with customers, we encounter many organizations that are well pleased with the core capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud, and with the direction of its development, but are unable to meet their broadcasting requirements using only those core capabilities. Whether an organization uses broadcasting, bursting, publishing, or any other content distribution processes, the objective is always to get the right content (and only the right content), to the right person, at the right time, and in the right format.

Learn more about on-premise and cloud-based publishing concepts…

Such was the case with a particular customer that was moving their business processes to SAP BW/4HANA, but needed to replicate the report distribution capabilities of BEx broadcasting to meet workflow requirements and user expectations.

This customer, a leading, highly diversified agricultural sciences manufacturer, has been using BEx Broadcaster to keep its large network of customers, partners and resellers informed. The company planned to move their SAP BW deployment to SAP BW4/HANA, and needed to replicate BEx broadcasting capabilities on the new platform.

More specifically, they needed to broadcast hundreds of targeted reports to their partner and reseller networks. They needed their analytics to reach stakeholders outside of the SAP Analytics Cloud environment to fulfill their business process workflow requirements, and to meet user expectations.

Key solution functionality drivers identified by this customer included:

  • Formats
    They needed to broadcast multiple formats such as Excel and PDF, and to be able to include multiple formats per email.
  • Dynamic Formatting
    They needed a large number of columns to fit within a landscape-mode PDF, and include color coding to emphasize key KPIs. Requirements also included a dataset that would vary in the number of rows being distributed, and formatting needed to adjust accordingly dynamically, with accurate pagination.
  • Targeted Distribution
    They needed to achieve broadcasting automation through data-driven bursting, and emails constructed through story filters.
  • Scheduling
    They needed to schedule targeted reports to a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders, including executives, partners and resellers.
  • On-Demand Bursting
    They needed to be able to burst on an ad-hoc basis to ensure they could meet the informational requirements of their recipients.
  • Volume
    They needed confidence that they would be able to deliver hundreds of reports in a timely manner both internally and externally.
  • Printing
    They needed to be able to print SAP Analytics stories as they are displayed in the SAP Analytics Cloud stories, including Excel tables with all columns and rows.

Watch this video to see how APOS Publisher for Cloud allows you to personalize bursting to recipients:

This list is a summary of the most critical requirements. In total, they had nearly 20 individual requirements that the broadcasting solution had to meet. The expanded list of requirements included:

  • Support for both Acquired data connectivity and Live data connectivity
    They needed to be able to broadcast a report, regardless of whether the report is using a live connection or an acquired data connection.
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
    They needed the broadcast process to access and distribute report content using their SSO technologies.
  • Emailing with distribution lists
    They needed report distribution to support both individual recipients and email group recipients.
  • Emailing from different senders
    They needed broadcasting to support emailing ‘on behalf of’ different senders.
  • Dynamic file-naming
    They needed a way to assign naming conventions dynamically for the attachments that would be sent with the broadcast email.
  • Ease of configuration and maintenance
    They needed to optimize automation, and limit ongoing manual intervention.

Their SAP account representative pointed them toward the SAP partner ecosystem for potential resolutions to their broadcasting challenge.

APOS demonstrated support of these key concepts, and assisted the customer in their hands-on testing and due diligence. They selected APOS Publisher for Cloud as the means to fulfill their broadcasting requirements moving forward, and have moved into Production usage to meet their users’ needs and expectations now and into the future.

Watch this video to see how APOS Publisher for Cloud extends your formatting capabilities:

If your organization is currently using BEx Broadcasting and wish to use SAP Analytics Cloud, then APOS Publisher for Cloud can help you emulate those BEx Broadcasting workflows and remove barriers to access for a wide variety of recipients. Publisher for Cloud helps you ensure the right data gets to the right people, in the right format, and at the right time.

Here are some APOS customer success stories that illustrate how similar broadcasting, bursting and publishing needs have been addressed:

SAP Analytics Cloud:

SAP BusinessObjects:

Watch this video to see how APOS Publisher for Cloud expands your ability to send to many destination types:

 

 

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