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SAP Opens Next Chapter of Business Analytics Vision With Enterprise Performance Management Solutions

Monday, May 16, 2011

Following major new releases in its business analytics portfolio, SAP AG today announced the latest version of its enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions — software that helps companies ensure decisions and actions are aligned with business aims. The 10.0 release moves EPM best practices beyond the finance department to managers throughout the company, helping people make risk-aware decisions that can positively impact enterprise-wide performance. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE® NOW, being held in Orlando, Florida, May 15-18, 2011.

As companies need to decide and act with increasing speed, now more than ever they should ensure that all decision-makers are guided by the same game plan and have a full understanding of potential risks involved. The 10.0 release of SAP® BusinessObjects™ EPM solutions fills this need by allowing users across the company to contribute to managing enterprise performance. The new release can also take advantage of SAP® In-Memory Computing technology, enabling more detailed and agile planning scenarios that can dramatically increase people's ability to sense and respond to changes as they occur. Moreover, with new mobile capabilities people can get this real-time performance data on any kind of mobile device.

The EPM solutions open the next chapter of SAP's business analytics vision, which is to enable people to make timely decisions that are well-informed and guided by corporate strategy, the current state of the market and the company itself. SAP has been releasing a set of tools to power this shift in the way people work:

  • In December, SAP launched the SAP® In-Memory Appliance software (SAP HANA™), which lets people analyze huge amounts of data in real time and any level of detail.
  • In February, SAP launched the culmination of three years' development in business intelligence (BI) and enterprise information management (EIM) software to help ensure people base their decisions on real-time information that is reliable, easy to consume and apply, and available on any mobile device.
  • In March, SAP launched solutions to help organizations move governance, risk and compliance (GRC) practices out of the hands of a few so everyone in the organization can participate in mitigating risk and helping to increase corporate compliance.
  • Beginning in fall 2010, SAP introduced its family of SAP® BusinessObjects™ analytic applications and has continued to build out the portfolio for specific industries and lines of business.

The 10.0 release of EPM complements these tools by helping organizations ensure that central corporate strategy and an understanding of risk guide all decisions and actions. This enables companies to achieve goals with greater speed and fewer resources.

Companies Move Beyond Traditional Utilization of EPM Applications

With new, shared user interfaces that offer a seamless experience across many applications, learning curves are reduced and people can quickly become productive with the tools. New features include:

  • BI workspaces with embedded EPM content to more easily track key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Delivery to mobile devices and the platforms they run on so that even people on-the-go can gain visibility into how their organizations are performing, analyze different scenarios, update plans and collaborate with colleagues. Using mobile devices un-tethers workers and provides them more interactive ways to explore data and plan for the future with gesture-driven actions for scenario planning.
  • New bill of materials (BoM) costing to link EPM activities down to the production level.
  • Business area scorecards for areas such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human resources (HR) for better alignment across the organization.
  • Automated variance analysis, saving time in determining root causes between plan and actuals, and predicting possible future scenarios.
  • Deeper integration between EPM and GRC applications delivers risk-adjusted planning capabilities.
  • Extended capabilities for financial consolidation, including consolidation monitoring, enhanced control and validation capabilities, incremental consolidation and new journal features.
  • Deeper integration with the SAP NetWeaver® technology platform, the SAP® ERP application and SAP BusinessObjects solutions — as well as support for non-SAP environments — help improve manageability, reduce total cost of ownership and empower people to better support the business.

Faster Financial Close

In addition, the 10.0 release encompasses the new SAP® BusinessObjects™ Disclosure Management application, designed to be able to establish a collaborative, flexible and compliant process for filing financial and non-financial statements and regulatory disclosures, as well as corresponding extensible business reporting language (XBRL) submissions. It helps organizations ensure a timely, accurate financial close process with decreased risk. Collaboration capabilities and integrated workflows let customers work quickly across organizational hierarchies, geographies and systems to manage approvals and deliver statements to stakeholders in required output formats.

"GEA is very excited about the release of SAP BusinessObjects Disclosure Management as part of its 10.0 EPM release," said Dr. Hans-Jorg Harth, head of Group Reporting, GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft. "We were able to introduce the solution into our business in a very short timeframe thanks to its highly intuitive user experience, which required little upfront training. Our team is now able to collaborate and work in parallel on the creation of our financial statements with full confidence that we are working with the current version, complete with a full audit trail. As a result, we have been able to realize significant time savings during the final publication and formatting of our regulatory reports."

EPM For the Whole Company

SAP BusinessObjects EPM solutions are recognized by leading industry analysts as delivering one of the most complete and mature sets of solutions for the office of finance, spanning strategy management; planning, budgeting and forecasting; financial consolidation; and profitability and cost management. The 10.0 release, however, extends these leading EPM capabilities to new groups of users beyond the office of finance. In fact, many features of the new EPM release already power a number of newly launched SAP BusinessObjects analytic applications designed for role-specific users in diverse industries and lines of business.

Building on the previous release of the SAP® BusinessObjects™ Spend Performance Management and SAP® BusinessObjects™ Supply Chain Performance Management applications as well as a number of industry-specific planning applications from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, the 10.0 release encompasses new offerings such as the SAP® BusinessObjects™ Sales and Operations Planning rapid-deployment solution, which helps sales and operations teams establish a single, unified plan to drive their businesses forward. Using the SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation application, it provides an easy-to-implement tool for consolidating data, supplying predefined analytics and managing sales and operations planning processes.

"As is the case with many of our contemporaries in the highly competitive apparel and footwear industry, our challenge is to quickly gain insight into our financial and operational performance to help drive strategic decisions throughout our organization," said David Roberts, corporate manager, Financial Planning and Analysis, Under Armour Inc. "Implementation of SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation has been a huge needle-moving initiative, which has helped us improve production of detailed financial models rapidly, analyze performance and 'what if' scenarios on the fly and disseminate information throughout our organization at the appropriate level based on audience, with ease. We are extremely excited about the 10.0 release, which will build upon our existing financial models by adding the ability to perform greater scrutiny of margins, partner/vendor performance and global financial performance with consolidations."

"The new release of our EPM solutions and analytic applications reinforce our market leadership and bring SAP's vision for business analytics full circle," said Bryan Katis, vice president, Enterprise Performance Management Solutions, SAP. "This is the latest example of how we are working to deliver solutions that help individuals, teams and entire business networks unlock valuable knowledge to uncover new opportunities, anticipate change and make better decisions as a whole to achieve remarkable results."

SAPPHIRE® NOW

With SAPPHIRE® NOW, SAP offers its customers, partners and prospects even more opportunities to engage in dialogue with peers, participants and thought leaders around the globe. Being held in Orlando, Florida, May 15-18, 2011, this enhanced, real-time event connects attendees on site with global participants through state-of-the-art broadcast studios and an online experience that incorporates the latest social media and community functionality. Whether on site or online, participants can gain insight as to how SAP is delivering on its product strategy and helping organizations around the world to run better For more information, visit www.sapphirenow.com. Follow SAPPHIRE NOW on Twitter at @SAPPHIRENOW and visit the event newsroom at www.sapphirenow.news-sap.com.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 170,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of Sybase) to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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