WALLDORF — SAP today announced new innovations to its line-of-business finance offerings that aim to improve processes used to conduct the financial close and external reporting. Enhancements to the SAP Disclosure Management application and SAP Financial Closing cockpit are intended to deliver increased process efficiency, greater accuracy as well as savings in cost and time.
Increased scrutiny from stakeholders, including regulatory organizations and shareholders, has put more pressure on companies to produce fast and efficient financial closings, with accurate and reliable statements and reports. Many companies still rely on manual processes to conduct the financial close and collect, consolidate, edit and generate statements and reports. These manual processes increase the risk of inconsistencies.
According to Mike Willis, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, “The ability to fully realize reporting benefits depends on how comprehensively professionals consider the tool’s implications for their process and control enhancements.”
New enhancements to SAP Disclosure Management address critical capabilities such as EDGAR HTML, which U.S. companies must file with the SEC. The application helps companies reduce the time, risk and cost of regulatory disclosures by managing the production, filing and publication of financial statements and reports. It also enables finance departments to manage XBRL submissions, to help ensure a comprehensive audit trail and ensuring the consistency of data across reports.
The latest release of SAP Financial Closing cockpit aims to deliver stronger governance, increased efficiency, better insight and faster execution of the financial close process. SAP Financial Closing is a graphical application that helps accelerate the entity financial closing cycle by standardizing and automating the process. It also gives finance professionals greater ability to monitor, control and analyze the financial closing cycle. Additionally, it aims to help companies record closing tasks for full audit support.
“SAP gives CFOs the visibility to lead with a 360-degree view of their organizations so they can drive financial excellence,” said Martin Naraschewski, vice president, Finance Solutions, SAP. “Increasingly stringent compliance regulations and the expanding adoption of financial reporting standards are driving greater financial accountability and internal controls. SAP provides finance professional better insight so that they can develop strategies for increasing total shareholder value, maintaining external and internal confidence by improving finance efficiency.”
The new enhancements to SAP Disclosure Management are generally available. The latest version of SAP Financial Closing cockpit is currently available via the SAP® Ramp-Up program with general availability expected in October 2012.
Examine how current manual report assembly and review processes can be enhanced through effective implementation of disclosure management applications by reading the whitepaper “Disclosure Management: Streamlining the Last Mile.”
For more information on SAP solutions for finance and to learn how SAP helps CFOs and finance professionals transform their businesses, visit www.sapcfo.com and the SAP Newsroom. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.
ORLANDO — SAP today announced intuitive software that turns data into answers for people across organizations. SAP Visual Intelligence software allows employees, departments and lines of business to creatively visualize and analyze information and apply it to individual and group decision-making. A desktop version of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software, SAP Visual Intelligence is powered by the SAP HANA platform and empowers users to perform data discovery regardless of technical skill level. With the new application, business users can take advantage of existing data investments that their IT organizations have built and maintained without tasking IT to produce reports. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE NOW, being held in Orlando, Florida, May 14-16, 2012.
No matter where users sit in a company, they want a way to easily explore, mash up and share information to make better decisions and find new opportunities — without having to task IT to deliver reports. Companies are also looking to maximize existing business intelligence (BI) investments; expanding access allows more people to take advantage of a wealth of existing data and systems to make better-informed decisions.
“The category of visual data discovery has become a must-have component of the BI tool portfolio and SAP has upped its capabilities with its latest product, SAP Visual Intelligence,” said Cindi Howson, founder, BI Scorecard. “Ease of use, time to insight and business agility are key reasons for the rapid growth of visual data discovery that provides users with greater self service with minimal IT support. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer provided ease of use, but the release of SAP Visual Intelligence brings greater flexibility and richer analysis.”
“3M is a diversified company consisting of six different businesses units operating across various industries globally. As a result, we are a data-rich organization that relies on SAP to deliver intuitive BI solutions,” said Jeff Robinson, IT manager, Global Business Intelligence, 3M. “SAP Visual Intelligence puts our people in the driver’s seat because they can truly discover data on the fly. And because SAP handles the work of combining multiple data sources backed by in-memory technology, self-service analysis hits our users’ screens in seconds.”
Empowering Users in Any Industry or Line of Business to Explore Data and Find Answers
SAP Visual Intelligence draws upon the company’s expertise in 24 industries, 10 lines of business and global footprint to deliver a product that any company can use to deliver answers to users everywhere. For example:
- A loan officer at a bank might wonder how the bank is performing regionally across multiple categories of loans and demographics. Typically this would involve intensive efforts downloading and bringing together information from corporate as well as public data sources to find answers, which would be done manually each time a refresh is needed. SAP Visual Intelligence enables the loan officer to create an automated routine to download census information, combine it with regional loan data as well as additional region and state details to enrich the data. The information could be immediately plotted on a map to discover that loan business had increased 25 percent in the past two years for high-income earners in a specific zip code but new loan applications had slowed significantly. At the next meeting, the team could put together a new campaign targeting sales of loans in the high income areas.
- Responsible for analyzing the numbers of defects across plants and suppliers, a business analyst at a global manufacturing firm could use SAP Visual Intelligence to pull enterprise data as well as external data files sent by suppliers. A mash up of the data might reveal that specific parts and one particular supplier are responsible for 80 percent of the defects. As a result, the engineering team could work with the supplier on correcting the issues.
- A regional manager for a healthy snack company might be tasked with increasing sales of a new health bar in the western region. Working with a business analyst and SAP Visual Intelligence, the regional manager could easily access sales numbers for the last three years and combine this with point of sale data to see that the majority of sales were coming from small stores running a new campaign. On the spot, the regional manager and business analyst could expand the campaign to a broader market and eliminate poorly performing campaigns.
Fast, Engaging Way of Finding Answers Buried in Massive Amounts of Data
Building on SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, SAP Visual Intelligence leverages SAP HANA to help users ignite their creativity with beautiful and interactive visualizations, allowing them to ask any question without the need for predefined queries, reports or dashboards. SAP Visual Intelligence removes roadblocks to information so business users can find real-time answers on any volume of data. The engaging interface increases the usage of data and ability to derive answers and make better decisions. SAP Visual Intelligence enables ad-hoc discovery everywhere, across all data — from spreadsheets to sales, finance, marketing, customer, social, geo-location, third-party and other business data.
Analytics Innovations Revolutionize the Decision-Making Process
Recognized as the BI market share leader by Gartner, today’s announcement is another of example of SAP’s commitment to investing and expanding its analytics portfolio to respond to the needs of customers and the market. Recently announced SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis software is intended to help users improve decision-making by predicting future outcomes. Additional planned enhancements to SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions aim to deliver more mobile analytics options, richer insight, improved collaborative decision-making and deeper SAP applications integration. The improved capabilities are planned to help companies extract the most business value from the massive amounts of data that are generated today.
“SAP Visual Intelligence revolutionizes decision-making by offering every person in an organization a fast and extremely easy to use way of discovering answers from any data,” said John Schweitzer, senior vice president and general manager, Analytics, SAP. “SAP solutions for analytics empower people with precise information anytime and anywhere using beautiful visualizations, enabling rapid response to events as they unfold. SAP delivers a powerful and comprehensive analytics portfolio that helps companies adapt to constant change so they can achieve remarkable results.”
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 14-16, 2012, 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 Events Newsroom at www.events.news-sap.com.
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WALLDORF — Changing the face of social software by making collaboration more pervasive in organizations and business applications and processes, SAP today announced the availability of new analytics capabilities in the collaborative decision-making application SAP StreamWork. Users can upload, explore, analyze and visualize data directly within SAP StreamWork, and collaborate with teams to make fact-based decisions. People can also connect to data stored in SAP HANA to take advantage of in-memory capabilities for rapid analysis of information.
All SAP StreamWork users can benefit from accessible, easy-to-use analytics – there is no training or prior experience required. For example, people can begin by simply uploading spreadsheets to SAP StreamWork activities via their Web browsers and using the exploration tool to quickly filter, sort and work with data. They can then create and save interactive visualizations from many offered chart types; monitor key metrics by setting visual alerts; and add social features such as pro-con tables, rankings, quick polls and checklists. Additionally, enhanced support for SAP Crystal Reports software means users can now embed, view and save interactive report data within SAP StreamWork activities, without having to download files or switch between applications.
“Collaborative work is about getting the right people, data, content and systems together at the right time, in the work context,” said industry analyst Michael Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions Group, IDC. “Bringing business-contextual data together with social capabilities for hypothesizing, analyzing and making decisions enables people to get work done, which increases the relevance and business value of the system significantly.”
“Collaborative analytic capabilities are critical to how we execute our vision for what social software should be for SAP customers,” said Sameer Patel, global vice president and general manager, Social Software Solutions, SAP. “Our belief is that true collaboration to drive action goes beyond just connecting people well – it requires access to and manipulation of critical data and exception handling in business processes. As social networks become more pervasive, collaborative analytic capabilities enable our customers to bring process, data and content to where employees, customers and partners work. Business users can now easily interact with a variety of critical data, such as sales pipeline analysis, sales and operations planning, or supplier assessment and management.
WALLDORF — As organizations evolve their business strategies to remain competitive in ever-changing markets, they rely on today’s information to make choices for tomorrow. Empowering them with the ability to improve decision-making by predicting future outcomes, SAP today announced SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis software. The new offering aims to equip more people with a modern, user-friendly, graphically stunning tool for predictive modeling and advanced visualization. The software is intended to harness and unleash the full value of “Big Data” when coupled with the power and speed of the SAP HANA platform, enabling organizations to reveal and act upon untapped opportunities and hidden risks.
“There is a lot of untapped insight that could be exposed from exploding internal and external, structured and unstructured data sources,” said Dan Vesset, vice president, Business Analytics solutions, IDC. “Predictive capabilities help businesses explore and identify the opportunities and risks hiding in the sea of all that big data. SAP’s integrated approach to predictive analytics helps more users learn not only what has happened, but also understand why it happened, what might happen and what the best course of action is.”
Predictive modeling has traditionally been the domain of statisticians and data scientists. However, the intuitive interface and stunning visualization of SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis are intended to bring predictive insight to an under-served user community – the business analyst. With the software, analysts can create models either by using the predictive algorithms included or can integrate and use algorithms from the widely-used R open-source data analysis and statistical language. SAP plans to enable customers to use the software for instant insight into large data volumes to anticipate future opportunities and risks. Examples include:
- Understanding how historical sales, costs and other key metrics translate to future performance
- Seeing how predicted results compare with goals
- Revealing the causes of customer satisfaction and employee turnover
- Showing how past and emerging trends impact the bottom line
- Finding correlations in data for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
- Locating anomalies and clusters for targeted analysis
Unleash the Value of Big Data With SAP HANA
While SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis is planned for availability via standalone deployment, the software is also intended to uniquely unlock the value in “Big Data” when utilized with the SAP HANA database, which provides a data mining and statistical function library. Access to data sources outside of SAP HANA is planned, including universes, SAP Sybase IQ server and more.
Once data – structured, unstructured or both – is loaded into SAP HANA or an alternative data source, data and business analysts will be able to benefit from intuitive predictive modeling, beautiful advanced visualizations and data exploration, all with a drag-and-drop interface for data selection, preparation and processing.
Insights can then be delivered to dashboards, alerts and mobile devices, or accessed by other analytics solutions from SAP such as the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) platform, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence software, as well as Microsoft Office applications.
Bring Predictive Analytics to Everyone in the Business
SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis and SAP HANA are important steps in SAP’s goal of bringing predictive insight to everyone in the organization – not just the analysts. This means extending predictive capabilities to where people work: into business applications, BI and collaboration environments, and on mobile devices.
SAP has already delivered predictive applications powered by SAP HANA to numerous industries, and is aggressively expanding its predictive applications portfolio.
Utilities companies, for example, use SAP Smart Meter Analytics software to identify energy-consumption patterns and perform customer segmentation. Retailers use predictive algorithms in SAP HANA to hone in on product relationships and their associated financial performance in achieving corporate targets, as well as view store-level performance and conduct what-if demand model scenarios. Sales teams, similarly, use predictive capabilities extended into SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions to generate up-to-date pipeline reports, drill down on individual leads and make projections for the end of the fiscal period.
“Analytics solutions from SAP are powering a decision-making revolution for businesses that recognize the future starts a second from now, not a week or a year from now,” said John Schweitzer, senior vice president and general manager, Analytics, SAP. “That’s why predictive applications must be intuitive, where people work and powered by real-time performance. With SAP’s comprehensive approach to predictive analytics, more people in the business can explore, visualize and share insights from exploding volumes and varieties of data.”
SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis is currently available via the SAP Ramp-Up program.
For more information, including a blog post by Mani Gill, vice president and general manager of business intelligence solutions, visit the SAP Newsroom. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and @businessobjects, and participate in the conversation using the hashtag #sapanalytics.
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