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SAP TechEd runs from midday on the Monday to Midday on the Friday, though a lot of people go home early on Friday i.e. before any of the sessions because the parties have run out. Thus it sucks to be a presenter on the Friday. It does mean, as I have discovered, if you do a hands on session on the Friday, you do not have to share with anybody.

I went on holiday for a month directly after TechEd, so these blogs are getting published a while after the event, but even in this break neck world, I don’t think everything will be out of date after four weeks…

I made a whole bunch of notes about every day, so I will split the blogs about this event into five, one for each day. I will try to avoid mentioning dustbins, free drink events or meeting celebrities and the like as I am presuming people are more interested in what I learnt at TechEd that could help them in their jobs, as opposed to what a good time I had.

Dustbins 001

In any event, on the Monday things kicked off at Midday with the “Big Data Event”. It was very well attended, a huge room full of people. Thus comprises assorted people from SAP in New York (including CEO Bill McDermott) talking about a new SAP product, followed by a few live speeches from people in Las Vegas.

Whilst we were all sitting there, waiting for the feed from New York to start, you had adverts from SAP cycling through the screens. You end up looking at them just because they are there. This year they were all about “Leonardo”. So the very first note I wrote was “Is Leonardo an actual product, or rather an abstract concept?”

On the last night a lady asked Graham Robinson what Leonardo was and he said it does not exist, if he cannot touch it and feel it, it is not there. I was very happy someone I respect was thinking along the same lines I was – many years back I felt the same way about the word “Netweaver” and even before that many Microsoft developers felt the same way about the term “DOT NET” – one wrote at the time “it is not that what is there is bad, the problem is that there is nothing there at all”.

So, this was before anyone had said a word. Then the live feed started and a guy who I think was the head of sales for SAP or something, turned out to be an excellent interviewer and he was good at public speaking AND he had an English accent, so all green ticks as far as I am concerned.

Bill McDermott was first. He did not say directly the new product SAP was releasing, he was saving that for someone else, but he did say a lot of buzzwords, and I will list them below. At the mention of each one the audience did a Mexican Wave and shouted out “Oh No! Not a XXXX” where XXXX represents the buzzword.

This is like the film “Monsters vs Aliens” where the woman, Susan gets blown up into a giant, and one of the monsters asks her what her monster name is and she says Susan, and he says you can’t say “Oh No! Here comes Susan!” it has to be something like “Oh No! Here comes Gargantua!”

That is why buzzwords are so important. You cannot say “Oh No! It’s a Business Problem!” though I suppose you could if you wanted, but how much better if it’s a meaningless noise term like “Sonic Oscillator” or “Paradigm Shift”.

BMD buzzwords I noted, in order of occurrence:-

  • Under Armour
  • HANA Revolution
  • Intellectual Renewal
  • Internal Self-Weight
  • Inverse Acquisition Effect
  • Massive Hockey Stick
  • Leonardo De Vinci was a FORCE MULTIPLIER. At this point everyone started singing “Can you Feel the Force?”
  • Dreambox

He did not mention the phrase “One Million Tons of Bananas” which was bit of a disappointment, but you cannot have everything in life.

In the defence of “massive hockey stick” this is a reference to the normal development “s curve” where a new technology starts slowly and then jumps up dramatically in a very short time and then tails off again only getting better very slowly. It has been said that with AI the development will look more like a hockey stick with things starting slowly and then shooting up forever with no tail off.

The question came up about his experience with his recent near fatal accident, and he noted that in Israel all the of health service runs on SAP (so presumably he thinks it’s good) but in the USA there are half a billion disparate systems all not talking to each other so no matter how good the doctor or surgeon is they do not get the information they need. As might be imagined, having seen this first hand, from a patients perspective, and being in a position to do something about what he sees as a terrible situation, he has set SAP on a path to try and fix things up.

It also transpired that on the actual day this “Big Data” event was occurring SAP had finalised the acquisition of a company called “American Gigolo” which is nothing to with health care, or the IOT, but rather identity management (I think). This is where you have your user account in twenty different systems, all with a different job title, and every other fact about you, and someone needs to synchronise this manually, if they can be bothered. In this case I presume the software is supposed to help this situation as opposed to encouraging it.

Next on stage (in New York, where you could see the back of the heads of various audience members, to make it more real I imagine, and they kept standing up) was Mr. Data who then talked about the new product namely the “SAP DATA HUB”.

Before I go on, here were the buzzwords used:-

  • Tectonic Shift
  • Cyberphysical Systems
  • Corporate Cholesterol
  • Vision for Heaven

Now we have that out of the way, the problem as stated was that generally companies only make use of 0.05% of the data they have collected, when it comes to making decisions.

This is because data is coming from all over the place nowadays, like the IOT (buzz) and Social Media (buzz) and other forms of Unstructured Data (buzz). All jokes aside, I have encountered that problem first hand, where a company sucks in a vast amount of data about real time engine behaviour of the truck fleet and then does not know what to do with it. I would say that is better than not having the data, as one day you will decide what to use it for.

Now, I may have got this wrong, but here is how the SAP Data Hub addresses this problem:-

  • Previously we have copied from the system it originated in, to a centralised system, and then look at all the data from different places all together (All: We look at the data from different places!).
  • With the SAP Data Hub, the data stays where it was created, and you can look at it anyway still as if it all came from one system. Obviously this approach raises a lot of questions about how it works exactly, but this was a generic overview rather than a technical deep dive. Luckily for me, as a Mentor I was able to ask questions later at the media session afterwards. More on this later.

 

Next was the time for a demo to see this in action, using the example of joggers having devices on their wrists which gave you real time information and then you mix this with master data from your ERP or BW system. The next day Ian Kimble was it give the exact same demo and got the audience to go wild, but this time half the audience walked out, which must have upset the original presenter somewhat.

 

As I was writing this, I just ordered another beer, and the barman in the Double Helix bar in the hotel where TechEd was held (Venetian) remembered me from two years before when I was writing my notes in the exact same spot as I am now.

 

Getting back on track next on the agenda was the ever popular customer testimonials, where out come the stools, and various pilot SAP customers are wheeled out to say how great the (insert latest thing) is and how it has changed their lives forever. I don’t think this fools anyone and we had another 50% walkout of the remaining audience.

 

Even use of some buzzwords like DATA JANITOR couldn’t seem to stop the haemorrhaging of the audience.

 

The speakers then switched over from New York to Las Vegas. It was all good at the start with the talk about how it is predicted that in 2018 that 75% of development activity will include AI, and by 2019 natural language interpretation as well. I personally think this is quite likely though there is a lag between development activity and seeing results,

 

Then it seemed that each new person on the stage was saying the exact same thing, causing the remaining audience to slowly drain away.

 

For me the crux point came when a lady gave a 15 minute speech and then said she was going to talk about something else, but which was quite clearly the exact same slides in a slightly different order, with the commentary for each slide being pretty much word for word. At that point I lost the will to live and had to bail out.

Dustbins 002

 

A little later there was a media briefing where assorted journalists (and Mentors) could ask SAP executives difficult questions.

 

I asked about the apparent (to me) disparity between the former approach of moving data from assorted different systems to a data warehouse (i.e. BW) before running queries on that data, and the new approach of keeping the data in the source system. I asked if the new approach was only for IOT type data (where you have so much you probably do not want it bloating your ERP system) or also for the traditional transactional data from SAP ERP and other linked systems we have replicated in BW.

 

The answer was that you still needed an ETL process of some sort of ETL process to cleanse and normalise the data before it gets processed by some sort of query. I can see the logic of that, but I think that was an answer to a different question than the one I asked.

 

Goat 001

 

Next was the drinking. As I was speaking at this event first off was a drinking session for the speakers. It is always good to meet people in person who you have ever only heard of via the internet and this year I got to talk to Karl Kessler who is sort of the “Stevie Winwood” of ABAP programming at SAP, and who writes the “Under Development” section of the SAP Insider magazine.

 

Next was a drinking event for the SAP Mentors. There are two vitally important points to make here. First was that Capra the Goat was present, secondly that each Mentor (or possibly only the new ones) had to sing a song, or at least a few lines of one. I choose “The Laughing Gnome” by David Bowie. If I was Stevie Winwood I would have sang that I was back in the high life again, all the doors now closed to me, will open up again.

 

Goat 002

 

In the next exciting instalment will be the events from day two (Tuesday). Other people have already blogged about this, but there is so much information flooding in from TechEd you need multiple blogs to try and absorb it all.

 

Cheersy Cheers

 

Paul

Nowadays all IT professionals are working in a very dynamic environment where professional development and learning the whole life is a must if you want to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. The same principles are applicable for SAP professionals – SAP is constantly striving to provide both – more powerful and user-friendly solutions, upgrading existing or releasing new products.

At the same time SAP community tries to keep up with new products. Currently SAP is doing some step forward to make SAP system less complex, though SAP implementations are still heavily dependent on the consultants and integrators.

As most other software vendors SAP provides an opportunity to prove the knowledge of their products via certification program. Though it doesn’t have the reputation as the only way to show your SAP proficiency for wider audience, SAP is trying to boost the popularity and recognition of its certification program.

SAP offers 2 levels of certification – associate and professional.

Associate level requires only technical knowledge that can be gained during SAP organized training academies or through self-studies of SAP provided training material. Certification questions are built in a way that it can be passed mostly if you are learning from SAP books and have some walk-through in the test system at the same time.  Initially it was created to bring additional value for the participants enrolled to the SAP training academies. Currently there is no requirement to be enrolled on the official SAP training course in order to pass an exam. The exam can be booked after self-studies of SAP material.

Professional level exam is much more complex as you cannot directly learn all the answers from the reference materials (as it is with associate exam). The goal of professional exam is to check your abilities to apply your technical knowledge in the practical situations. In other word, it cannot be directly learned from training books or via test system as you need to answer questions on the problems you are facing during different phases of SAP implementations. Because of that exam is much more difficult to pass. Thereby it can prove your excellence more accurately.

SAP recently launched a website that allows to manage your certifications hoping to gather SAP certified professionals in one single place. Company is emphasizing that certification would ensures expected value added to the client if service is provided by certified SAP partners. However I would like to dispel some myths on SAP certification value:

  • Certification no longer guarantees that you will get SAP job if another candidate possesses the right skill set and hands on experience acquired in the SAP implementation projects. Though, it can give you additional advantage applying for the SAP entry level positions if you already have any associate level certificate (as employer can skip initial investment dedicated for new joiners). Small exception can be made if you already have the certificate of the new SAP product where demand and supply of SAP consultants in the market is still not in balance. In this way such certificate can open more doors and does it quicker.
  • Certification no longer ensure you the promotion, additional pay rise or a daily rate increase. The main key driver for your success is your ability to apply the knowledge in the project environment. Similar parallel can be made with the highest education – regardless of the prestige of your university after 10 years your university mates will never be at the same place as your career acceleration heavily depends on your motivation and personal goals.
  • SAP certification cannot secure you long-lasting career. SAP technical knowledge together with your consulting skills must be combined with your creativity and the ability to think out of the box challenging clients’ requirements. In addition, other factors such as your mobility or foreign language skills are also very important.

All in all, SAP certification is an additional way to prove your knowledge and competency together with references from your past projects. It is always worthy to invest some time going through reference books as it could help you not only to pass the exam but also to get additional ideas how to solve client’s requirements using SAP standard. Sometimes it can be much more valuable saving hours of work.

These observations were written after passing 6 SAP certification exams and working in SAP industry over the last decade. They are based on the personal opinion and cannot be associated with any company that I am working on or representing.

Legal rules for travel management in Germany (Privat Sector) state that in case the first/last day of the trip takes less than 8 hours per diem meals is reimbursed only in case the employee has been staying overnight.

In case the employee has either set the flag “per-diem overnight” or recorded an accommodation receipt that fits to the trip date.

With SAP Note 2543016 “DE: Overnight Stay and Calculation of Meals per Diem on the First and Last trip Day” a new category in IMG activity “Specify Attributes for Statutory Trip Types” (Table T702G) called “Business Trip with Overnight Stay” has been delivered. When assigning this category to a statutory trip type it’s automatically assumed that an overnight stay has been taken place- regardless the employee has added an accommodation receipt/ set per diem for accommodation or not.

The world of business accounting is experiencing rapid transformation as technological advancements continue to revolutionize how businesses manage their finances. It’s vital for business accountants across the globe to keep up with the changing trends. Otherwise, your practice may not stand the test of time, but how can you achieve this?

In this article, we explore how to ensure your practice transitions to digital accounting successfully.

Set Aside Time to Strategize

You cannot think strategically about your business while serving your clients at the same time. Hence, it is imperative that you make the time to focus on just your business’ strategy.

Pause and take an objective look at your accounting practice as you try to answer these questions:

  • Do I have the right clients?
  • Do I have a good team?
  • Do I have right workflows and processes that guarantee success in the next decade?

Evaluate the Services You’re Offering

With digital accounting, you have the opportunity to offer a wider selection of more lucrative services. In fact, you have the chance to take a break from compliance services and take up the more valuable advisory role. What does this mean?

By investing in digital accounting, you will be able to not only broaden your services but also incorporate new revenue streams into your business. The UK’s average revenue growth is 3%, and digital accounting is having a significant impact on revenue growth with some businesses having double-digit percentage growth.

Invest in the Right Technology

Technology is an integral element of any digital strategy. Hence, it’s imperative that you choose the right software for your practice if you want to prosper. How you use the software will depend on several factors, including:

  • The size of your business
  • Your areas of expertise
  • Your client’s sector and niche requirements

You should take the time to do a cost-benefit analysis and be sure to consider where your firm will be in the next couple of years. You may be scared of the fact that changing software could disrupt your business at the beginning.

Simply plan for interruptions and some challenges. It is also important to manage your team’s expectations. Let them understand the benefits that the change will deliver. Likewise, your clients should be prepared for the changes.

Train Your Team

Once you have the right technology, it’s imperative that you have your team trained up. The good thing is that many digital accounting solutions offer free online learning resources to get your team trained up and ready to serve your clients in the best possible way. You should allow your team enough time to get the right training for their role and evaluate progress along the way.

Segment Your Customer Base

If yours is a small business, you may not have the capacity to handle all your clients at once. Hence, it’s advisable to segment your client base and be sure they are ready to embrace digital accounting. You should start with in-house clients. This is an excellent way to enjoy immediate gains without the need for clients to alter their own setup.

Then, you can move to clients who handle their own bookkeeping. These clients will be ready to capitalize on a software that promises to streamline how they work and allow them more time to concentrate on their business.

In the next couple of years, every business accountant will have to embrace digital accounting in order to thrive in their practice. This article outlines how they can do that successfully.

Because you will see and learn where the voyage is going in using innovative digital approaches! Be one of the first to get a glimpse of our product-to-be “SAP Cloud Platform 3D Visualization* and find out what we are currently planning in the area of 2D and 3D models and digital publishing.

Learn about when you can benefit from using our authoring and visualization-asset management.

Screenshot of 3D model by courtesy of Haver & Boecker, Germany

Get answers on your questions how you will be working with:

  1. Holistic 3D product experience
  2. Digital publishing services
  3. Visualization micro-services in Cloud Foundry

Here you go:

Session DX102 Digital Transformation of Product Information Publishing  Thursday, October 26 10:15 am to 11:15 am L5
Session DX711 Focus on Visualization in the Cloud,  Friday, October 27 12:15 pm to 12:45 pm Code Review

 

Looking forward to seeing you at SAP TechEd Bangalore!

Sylvia Barnard – for the Visual Enterprise Product team

*Product status is pre-Beta! More information will come closer to our Beta-release date. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates, and they should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.

In a previous article, ‘Digital Transformation (DX) – It’s Happening!’, we explored what Digital Transformation (DX) is and how instances of DX, both at a large and small scale is impacting our daily lives. In this article, let’s try and take a stab at developing the building blocks of Digital Transformation.

Below is a crude representation of the building blocks that will help enable the digital transformation for most organizations.

Logically we can group the blocks into;

a.      Core and extended Enterprise landscape

b.      Integration & automation

c.      Information Management & Analytics

d.      User experience

As I was developing this model, it reminded me that perhaps we haven’t come a long way from traditional reference architecture models for enterprises. What is represented in the diagram is pretty much the enterprise capability model one must have repetitively come across over the last few decades. Perhaps DX is nothing but a glorified evolution of the traditional model?

Beyond certain trends (refer: Transform… What are you waiting for? Time is NOW!) that are important to enterprises to kick start the DX journey, to me, it seems there are key technology capabilities that forms the foundation to DX. Let’s explore them in the context of the logical blocks that were defined earlier.

Core and Extended Enterprise Landscape

The enterprise landscape is extending to the cloud and many organizations have completely transitioned to the cloud. IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), Storage, Database, Information, Workflow, Application, Integration, Security, Management, Testing-as-a-service – these different flavors are providing enterprises the flexibility and speeding up the pace of transition to cloud.

Instead of customizing the core, with PaaS, IT is strategizing on extensions and customization outside the core. This helps in benefiting from one of the strongest of value propositions of the cloud i.e. the automatic software updates – Your core is always on the latest that innovation can provide.

Integration & Automation

In the key trends mentioned earlier, we saw how a landscape consolidation centered around integration is driving process optimization and automation. This logical block in the age of DX packs in technology capabilities like device integration (mobile, IoT etc), robotic process automation (RPA), real time data sync supporting in-memory & real time analytics led scenarios, connectors to the cloud (cloud to cloud, cloud to on-premise etc), API management etc.

The consideration is towards coming off from point to point integration into a centrally integrated rationalized landscape (hybrid in most cases), automating manual touch points wherever applicable.

Introducing API management, businesses are opening their data to more and more external entities securely, enhancing the digital experience while monetizing such assets and driving governance.

Process and Operational excellence becomes pivotal and by enabling such a foundation, helps IT and Business morph into a predictive, insight to action based operations than a reactive one.

Information Management & Analytics

Modern analytics is one of the most exciting aspect of DX. Combined with big data, streaming data, data that is structured and unstructured, from numerous sources including IoT, decision making has now escaped the confinement of the traditional silo to being available anywhere anytime. In-Memory computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence is now transforming the art of decision making. Cloud is further taking analytics beyond the geo special boundaries of the enterprise.

Data mining and now with algorithms that can overlay process models on top of the ‘mined’ data has started to provide businesses a new perspective into their core processes. Data now makes more sense than ever and provides avenues for real transformation.

User Experience

Is user experience (UX) the key to digital transformation? One cannot downplay the relevance for UX since user adoption is directly linked to the RoI of your investments in a digital transformation journey. It is poor UX that drives users to quickly fall back to legacy solutions endangering DX.

UX is now extended to the user interface of a wide range of devices. Mobility is not anymore a nice to have, but a must have for most modern enterprises. From engaging customers, partners and suppliers to enhancing the work experience of employees, UX becomes the differentiator. Bringing aspects of gamification has also provided enterprises an edge in this engagement.

With features such as offline and applications leveraging the native capabilities of devices, innovation now has no limits. IoT has opened possibilities of a new world order of automation, with the relationship between humans and devices now becoming more relevant. Collaboration, insights, data, reports and actionable work items on the go has given organisations the capability to be agile as never before.

So, with this I hope to possibly have covered what I think are the building blocks of DX and the key capabilities in these building blocks that is truly driving transformation at unprecedented levels. Do add your thoughts and share your insights into what could possible enhance this logical model of the building blocks for a successful digital transformation. Looking forward to making this article an interactive one 🙂

Note: The original article can be found on my LinkedIn page.

Banks face a number of unique challenges in 2017. The financial crisis of 2008 all but ruined customers’ trust in banks, and that trust hasn’t exactly increased over the past decade. In addition, customers aren’t taking advantage of all the financial services that banks provide, or aren’t taking advantage of them with enough education to make use of them. On top of that, general ignorance or willful dismissal of security best practices is leading to more data breaches, which banks handle directly or indirectly, depending on the nature of the breach.

All of these problems could be either resolved or improved by banks taking a more proactive role in educating their customers—and fortunately, there’s plenty of tech available to help them do it.

How Tech Improves Customer Education

These are just some of the ways your bank can use more tech to improve customer education:

  • Customer portals and knowledge banks. Nearly all modern banks have some kind of online component, allowing customers to log in and view information on their accounts. You can consider this a “customer portal,” designed specifically for providing information to your current customers. You can improve education by developing and publishing more content here, such as tips to build a credit score, how to start a budget, or more advanced topics for your more experienced customers.
  • Ongoing newsletters. While you’re at it, try to get as many email addresses from your current client base as possible, and start an initiative to send out regular newsletters (either weekly or monthly). Provide information on your bank’s latest financial products, and helpful tips on how to improve both security and financial standing. Just make sure it’s not too promotional, or customers might tune you out.
  • Awareness initiatives. You can also use tech to start awareness initiatives related to complex financial topics that the average bank customer might not understand, like spread trading. These can constitute a combination of customer portal content, email newsletter reminders, and even in-person workshops that you plan and organize via social media and meetup sites. The key to success here is generating enough initial interest, which means emphasizing not just the financial topic, but also why it’s important to the average consumer.
  • Marketing campaigns. You can (and should) invest in digital marketing campaigns, leveraging search ads, social media ads, onsite content, and other digital outlets to improve visibility of your efforts. Focus on what you’re doing to improve the lives of your customers, and what type of information they can get by reading and engaging with your content. Then, offer opportunities for comments and discussion.

Why a Strong Brand Is Your First Step

Technology should be used as a conduit to help your brand reach more customers; if your brand doesn’t have a strong foundation to start, it may not be as effective. Your new education initiatives should start with an audit of your current brand standards, to determine how you’re currently viewed by customers, and how you’d like to be viewed in the future.

Pay close attention to your mission, your core values, and key characteristics you want to be associated with the brand. Then, take special care to incorporate those brand markers in all your educational collateral—whether it’s tech-based or not.

If you’re looking for a better tech solution to reach your customers, consider SAP’s lineup of software products for banks. It can improve your communication, provide more transparency to your customers, and eventually help you build the consumer trust you need to succeed.

Foreword: The original article can be found on my LinkedIn page. The reason I chose to publish it here is because I believe that as my thoughts unfold, there is a good opportunity to contextualize it with the technology innovation that SAP is unraveling. We could explore how embracing SAP can enable digitization.

After almost 8 years being abroad, I decided to move back home towards the end of 2015. India was on the cusp of a revolution, being one of the largest growing economy, more and more of her citizens were having access to the internet and devices (phones); moving to accessing and delivering services online. The government had launched a digital India campaign, the objective to provide the country with a stable digital infrastructure, making the citizen’s digital literates and moving government services online.

In a couple of months after being back home, I realized that most major cities in the country (esp. Bangalore) was hosting in many ways the cashless economy I had experience in Europe & North America. Groceries, Shopping, Banking, Tax, Investments, Entertainment, Transportation and so on – every major touch point had a digital variant.

There is an incident I remember the most. Unlike in the US or the UK where one picks up milk from the nearest Tesco or Walmart, in India, we prefer the milk to be directly delivered to our homes from the diary. If you are not one of those who buy milk off the shelf, then you are one who has it delivered from your preferred diary to your doorstep by the milkman.

Almost in all cases, this is how it works. You move into your new residence and ask around how people get milk delivered. Someone gives you a number or offers to tell the milkman to drop by at your home. So the milkman then turns up and you buy off him ‘milk coupons’ (monthly or quarterly). Before going to bed, you keep a container for your milk along with the coupons and the next morning the milkman drops off packets of milk equivalent to the coupons you leave. Once you run out of coupons, you give him a call. He comes over, you pay him cash, get your new set of coupons and life goes on.

But then one Sunday the milkman shows up at the door and asks me to install an app on my phone. He takes all the coupons I had at home and credits the ‘wallet’ in the app with equivalent money. Suddenly my milkman went digital. Here I was looking at an app where I could schedule, reschedule, change the type of milk and even order eggs along with my milk for breakfast – everything with the promise of being delivered between 5-8 AM next day on orders placed before midnight. Heck, I now even have a call center and chat bot to interact with for my milk delivery!

 

 

I like the above-mentioned ‘experience’ because it is a great example of how a very basic touch-point in life was bettered due to digitization. This is just a one of the (minor one this) examples of how my country is undergoing a digital transformation.

Almost all major economies of the world are undergoing this transformation. Enterprises are the core of every economy and today every CXO globally is leading initiatives around digital transformation. So what does Digital transformation really mean?

There are multiple definitions. Some of the popular ones being;

Digital transformation (DX) is the reworking of the products, processes, and strategies within an organization by leveraging current technologies. [TechTarget]

Digital transformation involves a change in leadership, different thinking, the encouragement of innovation and new business models, incorporating digitization of assets and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organization’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners, and stakeholders. [The Agile Elephant]

Digital transformation is the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. [Wikipedia]

 

 

These definitions hint at one thing and it is the convergence of technology and people on a quantum scale. In the next article, I will try to explore this topic further and how using the various facets of emerging trends both social and technological are becoming the foundations to digital transformation. We will take a stab at how organisations can develop a strategy and embark on this journey that is DX.

Hope you had a good reading!

PS: Do leave your thoughts on where you think the digital revolution is leaving a significant mark in your life.

Your company’s supply chain is one of its most important components—but that also makes it one of its most vulnerable components to loss. Understanding why your supply chain is so vulnerable can give you the insight you need to make it stronger, and ultimately improve your business’s bottom line.

Why the Supply Chain Is a Point of Vulnerability

Your supply chain is especially vulnerable for several reasons:

  • Many moving parts. As explained by the Clunker Junker, “your supply chain depends on so many different moving parts, including costs, operations, and management for each of your different suppliers, all it takes is one issue to collapse the system.” Supply chains are vulnerable simply because there are so many different things that can go wrong with them.
  • Large-scale operations. The larger your organization is, the larger and further reaching your supply chain is. You’ll be dealing with thousands, if not millions of dollars of transactions, so even a per-product cost increase of a few cents can have a drastic impact. Since supply chains are also responsible for forming your cost basis, this makes them even more important.
  • In the words of Masaaki Imai, “It is impossible to improve any process until it is standardized. If the process is shifting from here to there, then any improvement will just be one more variation that is occasionally used and mostly ignored. One must standardize, and thus stabilize the process, before continuous improvement can be made.” Finding a way to make your supply chain completely consistent is exceptionally challenging, which means it’s hard to learn when and how it’s profitable.
  • The cost of mistakes and hiccups. Deviations from your standard process can interfere with an entire shipment of goods, or an important timeline for your clients. And with so many hands in the ongoing movement of the supply chain, mistakes and hiccups are relatively common.
  • The man-hours necessary to secure operations. Today’s world of big data and predictive analytics makes it easier to understand how your supply chain works (and how to improve it), but you’ll still need lots of man-hours tied up in the management process if you want to be successful. A handful of salaried employees can increase your supply chain costs further—but may be able to optimize to save money in excess of what you’re paying them.

How to Reduce Profitability Loss

So what strategies can you use to reduce the potential profitability loss in your supply chain?

  • Choose the right people. Make sure you hire the right people to manage your supply chain. Ideally, they’ll have supply chain management experience and will be able to demonstrate—and measure—their results.
  • Invest in long-term supplier relationships. Look for suppliers that you can build a long-term partnership with, rather than ones that simply offer a more attractive bottom line. The more consistent and the stronger your supplier relationships are, the more you can control your supply chain outcomes.
  • Buy the right software. Finally, make sure you invest in the right supply chain management software. It should feature an easy-to-understand user interface (so it takes less time to train people), insights on hundreds of data points, and integrations with other systems you’re already using. Take a look at SAP’s supply chain management software if you’re interested in trying a new system and don’t know where to start.

Supply chain optimization should be one of your highest business priorities due to its sheer potential. Be as proactive as possible in your ongoing supply chain management.

You have followed the guide described in note “2047259 Trouble shooting guide about word document merge with web service” to get the content of word template which is used to create attachment in the runtime. For trouble shooting purpose you want to check whether a given element in your word template is bound to a certain node in web service or not.
There are two approaches to achieve your requirement.
We use one example below to illustrate the two approaches. Suppose you want to check whether the element “Subtotal 6” and “Net Value” in table is bound to any web service node or not.

Approach1

put your mouse onto the table area, and you can see there are shadows onto the table area.
Single click on the shadow area outside the table, you can see a hint “Allitemsoforder”, and there are a solid border which wraps the table.
This tells you that the whole table is bound to a node named “Allitemsoforder” in your web service.
Single click on table column field under table column header “Object-ID”, ( the field with content 0400000207 in this example), and you could see another hint “ObjectId”. This tells you the table column field under header “Object-ID” is bound to web service node “ObjectId”, which is a child node under web service node “Allitemsoforder”.
When you single click on table column field under header “Subtotal 6” and “Net Value”, nothing happens.
This means the table column field “Subtotal 6” and “Net Value” is NOT bound to any web service node. As a result once an attachment is created  based on this word template, these two fields will always remain empty.

Approach2

Create a local copy of your word template.
change the postfix of your copy from .docx to .zip.
double click on the zip file, you should see the following windows:
double click on folder “word”, and then double click on “document.xml”:
This xml contains the layout design of your word template.
Any UI elements which are bound to web service node would have a corresponding entry ( the entry contains the complete path of bound web service node ) in this xml file, for example the field “Number Int”:
example of “Number Ext”:
For field “Subtotal 6” and “Net Value”, there is no such entry in document.xml, which means these two elements are NOT bound to web service node at all.