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Author's profile photo Martin Guther

Week 3: Inside SAP – How SAP monitors financial performance with SAP Business Technology Platform

Summary. In this article of the series “Give Data Purpose Weekly” I share how SAP monitors its financial performance in real-time. Carl-Christian von Weyhe, SAP CFO for MEE, and Christian Hecker, SAP Chief Data & Analytics Officer, share how they translated the financial business requirements into a great solution.


Does SAP use its own solutions?

This question I have been asked many times by customers. YES, of course we do.

As we are a software company, our requirements are different to e.g. an automotive company, but thanks to the broad portfolio and business-specific solutions, our e.g. HR, Finance or Sales department work with SAP solutions tailored to their needs. Still I realized, that this question is one of the burning questions. This is not surprising, because it describes the perfect use case, since business processes and requirements, as well as the technical realization and capabilities are known.

Therefore, I’d like to share with you in the first part of “Inside SAP” on how we are using our own solutions – starting with our finance use case. In order to pass on first-hand experience to you, I have asked two field experts to provide insights on their work.

In our latest video Carl-Christian von Weyhe, CFO for SAP Middle and Eastern Europe, and Christian Hecker, SAP Chief Data & Analytics Officer, share how they translated the financial business requirements into the great solution SAP Digital Boardroom.

Real-time exploration of financial KPIs is crucial

In his role Carl-Christian von Weyhe is responsible to keep a close look at the financial performance of SAP. This includes not only monitoring costs and revenue. It also comprises tracking indicators of governance & compliance and risk management. This is the foundation for any trustworthy communication with financial markets, shareholders and other important stakeholders – inside and outside SAP.

To be able to successful monitor such a wide range of numbers, KPIs and processes, it is important to have one compact overview with:

  1. centralized real-time access,
  2. interactive drill-down, and
  3. collaborative working mode.

In response to this, Christian Hecker, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, introduces SAP Digital Boardroom with the words:

“Imagine you had only 2 minutes to report the margin of your top 5 products and the revenue of each product across countries, regions and quarters. What would the perfect tool display?”

Interactive data access with SAP Digital Boardroom


1: Business specific KPIs and major indicators at a glance

In our use case, we are mainly interested in the financial numbers (see picture 1 – top left). For this, we can easily drill down by clicking on the KPIs and immediately receive detailed information about the current value, but also about the evolvement over the past quarters. Since many financial KPIs are interdependent, the impact on the overall profit and margin can be quickly identified.

Our long-term planning tool also allows us to forecast based on certain assumptions. For this purpose, various parameters and their interrelationships are mapped in a value driver tree. By changing a key number or parameter, you can directly simulate certain what-if scenarios and, as a result, determine the impact on your e.g. overall profit and renewal rate (see picture 2).


2: Modify different parameters in your value driver tree to simulate what-if-scenarios

To sum it up: with SAP Digital Boardroom our CFO is able to dive into most critical financial numbers and explore which factors influence them the most. Thanks to the managed service of SAP Business Technology Platform an immediate access to a broad range of integration capabilities with real-time access to data is possible – from SAP and non-SAP systems.

Do you also want to give more purpose to your data?

Join us for our #GiveDataPurpose Trusted Data Workshop where we work together with you to align your business goals and your data management capabilities in order to provision the right platform.

Have a look in our popular paper “12 ways to give data purpose in a multi-cloud world”, where we provided a quick preview into 12 main ways to overcome typical hurdles that keep companies from using their data.

If you have any questions about SAP Business Technology Platform or specific elements of our platform, leave a question in SAP Community Q&A or visit our SAP Community topic page.

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