SAP Business Warehouse Review

Budgeting, fund management and payroll functions take place in the FI module.


What is most valuable?

Note: My opinion here is NOT specifically focused on SAP BW. It is based on overall experience I have on SAP software. As we know BW user always involve in different SAP modules for data extraction, transformation and load process for analytical reports. From this I have learned so much on how SAP software is being used in my organization and hopping that it's worth sharing with thers.

Some of the most valuable features are:

SAP ECC Finance – AP module

  • Payroll and Procurement
  • Human Capital – Organizational Management
  • PA and Benefits
  • BW/BO – SAP Webi

Finance and Human Capital modules are the core departments that support the overall organization and we run SAP ECC system in this area.

HR module – Starting from the process of hiring the employees and their benefits, all of this happens within the SAP system.

FI module – All the budgeting, fund management and payroll functions take place in the SAP Finance module.

SRM – The procurement process such as to create a purchase order for schools and departments, also takes place in this system.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped our financial transactions and the HR-related functions to communicate across our organization. All our processes such as funds management, grant, payroll transactions are processed automatically through this system and BW helps to collect the data for analytic needs of the department users and board members.

We are an educational organization. Our core value is to concentrate on the children’s education and their well-being. Sometimes, we find ourselves moving away from the core value. The reason for this could be that the business process is not simple or clear enough for the administrator to do their daily tasks. It could also be that the software is complicated or not capable/scalable to do certain tasks/new functions or maybe there are no right skill sets/human capital in the right place. All these are key factors that play a big role to achieve the overall goal of our organization.

With the SAP ECC upgrade, we are hoping that it will streamline the existing business process and provide opportunity for new functions, increase the user performance and satisfaction and lower the overall costs which can be used for the children’s education.

What needs improvement?

Our system is old. After the system upgrade, it will open opportunities to explore so many new functions in the FI and HCM modules that could be very valuable to our organization.

The upgrade will allow improvement in the below-mentioned three areas and there are many more that we have yet to discover.

  • Business Functionality
    • Implementing the SRM’s procurement function for the public sector such as the supplier registration, strategic sourcing, contract management, plant maintenance and MRP. The key features that we would like to achieve are a simple interface for the user and supplier, support on both the supplier and buyer-end solutions, future enhancement capabilities and cost saving benefits.
    • Travel Management - To support travel-related functions and lower the travel costs.
    • Human Capital - To allow integration between SuccessFactors and SAP ECC. It needs to allow reporting capabilities using BI/BOBJ modules.
  • Technical support
    • It will maximize the system performance and allow continuous support and enhancement of new functions. Hence, there will be reductions in the overall support cost.
    • Take advantage of updated Solution Manager functionalities.
  • UX - demand (Screen Personas and SAP Fiori)
    • The current SAP ECC version does not support SAP Screen Personas or SAP Fiori.
    • With the help of these UX capabilities, we would like to simplify the user experience, increase user performance and reduce the manual process/errors.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product since 2005.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have a handful of experts to administrate the overall working of the SAP system; it is stable.

In order to address known issues in SAP System, SAP release SAP notes that has issue details and instruction to fix the issue or workaround solutions. If it is relevant to our SAP system, we review the SAP Notes and follow the instruction to correct the issue.

It could be changes in code or apply recommended patches and should fix the issue but if it goes wrong all these activities could deteriorate or defect the system and it could lead to catastrophic system failure.

As of today, we do not have any system failure and we received very minimum user complaints regarding errors. Taking this evaluation, I would say our SAP system has no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are running an older version. It is doing what we need it to do but there is some limitation due to its version.

How is customer service and technical support?

SAP has been providing support that we need based on the severity of issue that we face. Sometime, it is not the way we need but it is same across any other software vendor.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Since I have joined this organization, they have always been using the SAP solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is expensive but you will get the value for it.

What other advice do I have?

SAP offers so many solutions based on the type and size of the company.
I would advise to always use best practices, establish strong project governance, define the scope of the project, maintain a project plan, etc.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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