Purposeful and targeted use of SAP technologies
The enormous volumes of data generated every day in all sections of a company are increasingly starting to present a problem. There is a growing lack of comparability due to the wide variety of system landscapes and semantic differences. Structured and comprehensible information must be obtained from the disordered volume of data to create good bases for decision-making.
Sulzer therefore relies on a wide range of SAP technologies in many client projects that include appropriate Business Intelligence (BI) solutions. Below is an initial overview of the SAP technologies we employ.
SAP HANA: DATABASE TECHNOLOGY FOR BUSINESSES
SAP HANA (High Performance Analytic Appliance) database technology enables large volumes of data to be analysed within the shortest time. To achieve this, appropriate, easily scalable hardware is combined with our own developed software. SAP HANA is thus capable of filing business data in column-based form and thereby responding to queries in a focused and really fast manner.
These properties combined with internal data compression enable an extremely powerful access behaviour – even with complex scenarios. This is also due to the considerable ability of SAP HANA to perform aggregations and table joins in a high performance manner. Therefore, the calculation of intermediate results in persistent form can be dispensed with in many cases. Furthermore, application logic for data processing can be delegated to the database to achieve even further improvements in performance and/or processing speed.
As a relational database, SAP HANA can also be used in OLTP environments in which transaction security is required. OLTP applications, such as SAP ECC (and its successor S/4 HANA), SAP CRM or any other database application, can all use SAP HANA. Operational reporting can then be carried out in real time. SAP HANA also offers further options that enable data mining, real-time replication, text analysis or even geospatial analysis to be performed within the database.
SAP HANA Studio is the most important development tool within SAP HANA and can be used both for administration and development. Secondarily, the view concept used by SAP HANA also permits the high performance requesting of report data, even on complex data models.
The integration of SAP BW with HANA offers a number of benefits: The new design concepts thus permit the development of analytical scenarios, which stand out on account of their simplicity, excellent durability and lower data volumes, combined with improved speed of updating and prompting. At the same time SAP BW’s powerful concepts are retained.
SAP BASIS: SPECIALIST AND CROSS-PROCESS TOOLS
Time and time again there is the need for SAP Basis knowledge, expertise and services that span all departments and processes in almost all development and operating projects. Sulzer always has the necessary services and solutions tailored to the respective requirements, starting with classic SAP Basis Consulting, conceptual services and their implementation, as well as continuous maintenance and operation of SAP Basis components and content.
Through the efficient use of Shared Services synergy effects, Sulzer succeeds in efficiently fulfilling complex professional and technological requirements at all times and thus significantly contributing to the success of the respective projects.
The services offered by SAP Basis Services include:
- Infrastructure management in the SAP environment
- Development and management of interfaces in the SAP environment
- Analysis, implementation and startup of kernel updates, security patches, SAP releases, revision requirements etc.
- Concept development, development and continuous maintenance of SAP authorisation concepts, roles and permissions
- Operation and maintenance of SAP modules/tools
- Set-up and maintenance of SAP system landscapes
- Development and maintenance of SAP and OPC batch jobs
- Set-up and support of SAP print control and SAP archive solutions
Using the above and other services we are able to cover the majority of the SAP Basis requirements needed today in the automotive sector. Currently our SAP Basis services significantly contribute to the success of projects undertaken on behalf of our clients BMW, Audi, Man and SSB (Stuttgarter Strassenbahn AG).
SAP BUSINESS WAREHOUSE: INTEGRATED BI TOOLS
The SAP Business Warehouse (BW) combines large amounts of data from a variety of sources and prepares it for reporting and analysis, business planning and the flexible distribution of the information. It also helps to optimise business processes, handle them quickly, respond to the needs of the market and secure a competitive edge for companies.
The SAP BusinessExplorer Suite (Bex Suite) includes diverse resources for accessing, visualising and distributing information. It offers user query, reporting and analysis functions and provides for data acquisition and entire planning applications – in Excel or web-based.
The BEx Query Designer defines so-called queries. They form the basis for analysis reports and planning applications and build on the data inventory of the BI system. Fundamentally the Query Designer can be compared to the functions of a pivot table, but provides considerably more functionality.
The BEx Analyzer is the right tool for the presentation and analysis of data for clients who prefer the Microsoft Excel environment. Queries previously created can be accessed using it, or inserted into workbooks. The benefit of workbooks is that the layout and interaction can be individually adapted by drag and drop and all known Excel functions can be used. What is more, BEx Analyzer provides its own design functions and, in addition, self-defined VBA programs can be inserted.
BEx Web encompasses tools that can be used for the web-based presentation of queries:
BEx Web Application Designer
The BEx Web Application Designer enables so-called web applications (web templates made available online) to be visually and functionally prepared. The Web Application is used for flexible layout design and integration of data from the Business Warehouse in the form of simple tables, charts or maps. They are the published using the web browser or SAP NetWeaver portal.
BEx Web Analyzer
The BEx Web Analyzer provides a stand-alone, convenient data analysis web application, which you can access via a URL or as an iView in the portal. You can open a Data Provider (Query, Query View, InfoProvider, external data source) and generate views that can be saved and distributed on BW data by means of ad-hoc analysis.
The BEx Broadcaster allows clients to make BEx applications available to other users, which have been created with various BEx tools. The Broadcasting Wizard helps in defining the necessary parameters.
Queries, query views, web templates, reports and workbooks can be pre-calculated and distributed by email to the portal or printer. Apart from precalculated documents (HTML, MHTML, PDF, ZIP etc.), it is possible to send online links to BEx applications so that recipients can access the latest data.
Accounting and audit content of the BW system can be integrated into the SAP Enterprise Portal. The portal enables you to access applications from other systems (e.g. Knowledge Management) and sources, such as the Internet or Intranet.
The integration of BEx applications enables employees of a company to cooperate closely and promptly by adding notes and comments to KPIs and reports, or automating consent processes. Apart from the opportunity to distribute precalculated documents and online links to BEx applications in the KM folder, the information is provided to users in the company in a role-based manner. BEx applications can also be integrated via the iView concept.
Integration with SAP BusinessObjects extends the possibilities of the Business Explorer with regard to reporting tools. The Business Explorer has proved itself in this respect, above all in conjunction with SAP BO dashboards, Crystal Reports and analysis.