5 SAP Trends We Saw in 2015 and to Watch for in 2016

  As we reach the end of 2015, we thought we'd take the time to look back on the past year and see what recent developments we've seen in the SAP® ecosystem. Here are just a few of the highlights from the past year.   1. Strategic Business Transformations Change the SAP System Landscape In 2015 businesses were eager to transform themselves to support planned consolidation, modernization and future growth. These plans had a wide ranging impact on SAP systems. In some cases, companies consolidated systems into new data centers or improved their existing processes to support new products, locations, and business models. The biggest transformation, however, was the continued adoption of SAP HANA and cloud solutions. At SAP TechEd 2015, Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf spoke with Thomas Wailgum of ASUG News about how companies can prepare for these large scale business transformations. According to Dr. Hopf, by employing data archiving to reduce data in online SAP systems companies can greatly reduce the time and effort needed to realize their strategic business goals.  

  
  2. Increasing Importance of Corporate Governance, Risk and Compliance Initiatives Corporate governance, risk and compliance initiatives remained a high priority for many companies in 2015. Companies were looking for ways to ensure the correct retention rules and process controls were in place to prove that they were in full compliance with legal, fiscal, and industry regulations. On the data side, leading retailer Big Lots leveraged Dolphin's data archiving solution with nearline storage to provide fast access to archived data to improve its retail operational reporting and respond quickly to sales tax audits. On the process side, GE Water and Process Technologies and Pepco Holdings, two customers in the highly regulated utilities and related industries implemented Dolphin's Accounts Payable solution to centralize and standardize processes and provide greater transparency across the procure-to-pay process.   3. Continued Growth of Global Shared Services Throughout the year companies continued to consolidate financial and HR processing in shared services centers. Many companies successfully used Dolphin solutions to centralize and standardize processing across multiple business units and regional shared services centers in 2015. Most recently in an ASUG webcast,  Honeywell International spoke of the benefits of using Dolphin's Accounts Payable solution across its multiple strategic business units processing over 5 million invoices per year. Tennant Company also spoke about the flexibility that moving to a shared services model  has afforded the company, allowing them to "lift and shift" resources to meet different global and seasonal demands.   4.Business and Industry Trends Drive the Need for Specialized Data Management There were several business trends in 2015 that had certain industries seeking solutions for their unique data management needs. In the Retail and Utility industries, big data is pushing systems to the limit, requiring frequent archiving and flexible storage solutions including nearline and cloud storage. In the Oil and Gas and Life Sciences industries, the trend towards divesting major business units had companies looking for ways to economically "carve out" or "cleanse" data from SAP systems. Not only did these companies need to protect corporate intellectual property but they also wanted to reduce the footprint and cost of maintaining SAP systems to secure the value of these deals after the divestiture was complete. In Manufacturing and many other industries we saw companies look to decommission older systems and content management repositories so they could modernize aging infrastructure and lower IT costs.   5. New Technology Options Add Flexibility and Facilitate Innovation This year we saw stronger adoption of SAP Fiori and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform solutions. These two technologies help companies add flexibility and advanced functionality to their existing SAP implementations without significant additional overhead. The advanced, modern user interface available with SAP Fiori provides users with a more intuitive entry point for SAP applications, making it easier for casual SAP users to use these powerful tools. It also enables users to access applications from mobile devices and tablets, which is ideal for today's mobile workforce. Best of all, Fiori applications, such as Dolphin Advanced Approvals can be hosted on the HANA Cloud Platform. This platform enables organizations to quickly add new, innovative HANA functionality on top of their existing on-premise SAP systems, without having to make the full transition to SAP HANA.   We look forward to seeing what other new trends will emerge in 2016! On another note, the Dolphin team updated our website in 2015. We hope you like the new look and feel and that it is easier for you to find the content you're looking for on emerging trends and best practices for data and processes for SAP systems.

5 SAP Trends We Saw in 2015 and to Watch for in 2016

 

As we reach the end of 2015, we thought we’d take the time to look back on the past year and see what recent developments we’ve seen in the SAP® ecosystem. Here are just a few of the highlights from the past year.

 

1. Strategic Business Transformations Change the SAP System Landscape
In 2015 businesses were eager to transform themselves to support planned consolidation, modernization and future growth. These plans had a wide ranging impact on SAP systems. In some cases, companies consolidated systems into new data centers or improved their existing processes to support new products, locations, and business models. The biggest transformation, however, was the continued adoption of SAP HANA and cloud solutions.

At SAP TechEd 2015, Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf spoke with Thomas Wailgum of ASUG News about how companies can prepare for these large scale business transformations. According to Dr. Hopf, by employing data archiving to reduce data in online SAP systems companies can greatly reduce the time and effort needed to realize their strategic business goals.

 

  

 

2. Increasing Importance of Corporate Governance, Risk and Compliance Initiatives
Corporate governance, risk and compliance initiatives remained a high priority for many companies in 2015. Companies were looking for ways to ensure the correct retention rules and process controls were in place to prove that they were in full compliance with legal, fiscal, and industry regulations.

On the data side, leading retailer Big Lots leveraged Dolphin’s data archiving solution with nearline storage to provide fast access to archived data to improve its retail operational reporting and respond quickly to sales tax audits.

On the process side, GE Water and Process Technologies and Pepco Holdings, two customers in the highly regulated utilities and related industries implemented Dolphin’s Accounts Payable solution to centralize and standardize processes and provide greater transparency across the procure-to-pay process.

 

3. Continued Growth of Global Shared Services
Throughout the year companies continued to consolidate financial and HR processing in shared services centers. Many companies successfully used Dolphin solutions to centralize and standardize processing across multiple business units and regional shared services centers in 2015.

Most recently in an ASUG webcast,  Honeywell International spoke of the benefits of using Dolphin’s Accounts Payable solution across its multiple strategic business units processing over 5 million invoices per year.

Tennant Company also spoke about the flexibility that moving to a shared services model  has afforded the company, allowing them to “lift and shift” resources to meet different global and seasonal demands.

 

4.Business and Industry Trends Drive the Need for Specialized Data Management
There were several business trends in 2015 that had certain industries seeking solutions for their unique data management needs.

In the Retail and Utility industries, big data is pushing systems to the limit, requiring frequent archiving and flexible storage solutions including nearline and cloud storage.

In the Oil and Gas and Life Sciences industries, the trend towards divesting major business units had companies looking for ways to economically “carve out” or “cleanse” data from SAP systems. Not only did these companies need to protect corporate intellectual property but they also wanted to reduce the footprint and cost of maintaining SAP systems to secure the value of these deals after the divestiture was complete.

In Manufacturing and many other industries we saw companies look to decommission older systems and content management repositories so they could modernize aging infrastructure and lower IT costs.

 

5. New Technology Options Add Flexibility and Facilitate Innovation
This year we saw stronger adoption of SAP Fiori and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform solutions. These two technologies help companies add flexibility and advanced functionality to their existing SAP implementations without significant additional overhead. The advanced, modern user interface available with SAP Fiori provides users with a more intuitive entry point for SAP applications, making it easier for casual SAP users to use these powerful tools. It also enables users to access applications from mobile devices and tablets, which is ideal for today’s mobile workforce. Best of all, Fiori applications, such as Dolphin Advanced Approvals can be hosted on the HANA Cloud Platform. This platform enables organizations to quickly add new, innovative HANA functionality on top of their existing on-premise SAP systems, without having to make the full transition to SAP HANA.

 

We look forward to seeing what other new trends will emerge in 2016!

On another note, the Dolphin team updated our website in 2015. We hope you like the new look and feel and that it is easier for you to find the content you’re looking for on emerging trends and best practices for data and processes for SAP systems.

2015 Data and Process Trends with Dr. Werner Hopf & Brian Shannon

While at the recent SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference, Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Brian Shannon, Chief Strategy Officer were interviewed in the ASUG Hub about recent trends Dolphin is seeing in data and process challenges faced by SAP customers.

 

Tom Waiglum of ASUG News interviews the Dolphin team about how organizations can reduce the cost and footprint of SAP systems with the latest data and process solutions.

In the interview, Dr. Hopf discusses how SAP HANA and HANA Cloud are driving the need for data archiving to reduce the cost of systems and keep the data footprint small, so organizations can make an easier transition to these new systems.  Other trends include the increasing need for organizations to “carve out” data from SAP systems when they divest business units. Increasingly, Dolphin is working with customers that want to use archiving to protect intellectual property as they  hand over copies of SAP systems that contain sensitive master customer, vendor, and material master data.

Brian Shannon discusses how Dolphin’s expertise in SAP systems enables organizations to streamline business processes to reduce cycle time and  centralize and standardize processes across global organizations. He discusses how Dolphin is helping business users discover ways to drive additional cost savings from their SAP systems with automation and shared services solutions that support long term business goals.

 

Sapphire NOW + ASUG Annual Conference – Day 1 Report

Today was a great kickoff to the conference, as Bill McDermott addressed the crowds at the conference during his keynote speech. Canadians in the crowd went wild as Bill brought the Stanley Cup, hockey’s most prestigious award, on to the podium — continuing SAP’s recent theme of winning in sports and winning in business.

Later in the day Jason Boyer, Dolphin ILM Consultant and Enrique Suarez of Coca-Cola Enterprises presented details of CCE’s archiving projects. The crowd heard about how CCE used a comprehensive archiving strategy, incorporating nearline storage and automation to improve system performance and ensure that critical supply chain systems were up and running to support CCE’s demanding global business. As part of this project, CCE was able to archive almost 6 TB of data in only 3 months – a truly remarkable achievement!

Back at the booth, the Dolphin team was busy giving attendees demos of our mobile approvals app. In only a few simple steps users were able to select an invoice for approval and see how it could be approved using the mobile app in the nearby Innovapptive booth.

The day ended off with Dolphin’s annual Customer Appreciation dinner at Cuba Libre restaurant. This year, the event was particularly special as Dolphin celebrated our 20th year in business. Customers, partners, and Dolphin team members all enjoyed the cuban food, drinks, and birthday cake pops as we discussed the best sessions we’d seen during the day and our plans for the rest of the event. All in all, it was a great ending to a great day!

Get Ready for SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference 2015!

Well the biggest SAP event of the year is finally here!The Dolphin team has arrived in Orlando FL to spend the next few days at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference. On Monday, the team spent the day at the SAP Partner Summit with other SAP partners and had the chance to reconnect with our partners including PBS Software, who were also at the event.

We are also pleased to congratulate our partners Innovapptive who were presented with 2015 SAP® Pinnacle Award for Application Development Partner of the Year while at the event.

Early Tuesday morning, the team will be on site as SAP CEO Bill McDermott makes the opening keynote. For those of you who cannot join us, you can live stream the event. The action starts at 9 AM ET and goes until 10:30 AM.

We are thrilled that several Dolphin customers were selected to present at this year’s event and encourage everyone to attend and find out more about the way these customers are using Dolphin data solutions to improve business performance. The sessions will be held at the following days and times:

Tuesday, May 5 | 12:30 pm | Room: S331C
Coca-Cola Enterprises’ ILM Strategy that delivers Faster Performance, Easier System Migrations and Improved Transparency

Wednesday, May 6 | 4:15 pm | Room: S319
Big Lots will present on Simplifing Sales Audits by Associating POS Receipts Directly with SAP Financials

For those that drop by the Dolphin booth (427) during the show, we’re sure you’ll love the contest we’ve planned with Innovapptive. Individuals can create an invoice @ the Dolphin booth and then approve it @ the Innovapptive booth (431) using the Dolphin Mobile Approval App, powered by Innovapptive. Contestants have the chance to win an Apple Watch – Sport – so be sure to drop by and qualify for this great giveaway!

Hope to see you in Orlando.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Leonardo da Vinci

April 15th is a significant date. It matters not if the letters I, R, or S are present in your email address, to do list or worry box. For April 15th marks the birthday of a true thought leader. A moment or two spent considering his accomplishments and contributions to our collective knowledge base may help us to become better thinkers ourselves.

Close up of vintage movie film strips

Leonardo da Vinci would be something on the order of DLXIII years old on the 15th day of this year’s fourth month. To put things into perspective, there was of course no internet nor Google, no television nor radio, and the printing press was celebrating just its tenth birthday. The United Nations estimates the total earth’s population was 500 million then, or roughly that of present day North America. Leonardo had already drawn the iconic Vitruvian Man by the time America was even ‘discovered’. Yet his achievements dwarf those of any today in spite of the latest technological and scientific advancements.[Continue Reading]

Dolphin Goes Global at Financials 2015 & SAP Forum Brazil

Well the Dolphin team is going to opposite ends of the earth today to find out what’s new in SAP. You can find the Dolphin team at either of these premiere events:

  • SAPinsider Financials 2015, Las Vegas, NV
  • SAP Forum Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Be sure to stop by our booth at either event and say Hi!

SAPinsiders Financials 2015, Las Vegas, NV

Drop by the Dolphin Booth (#1025) and learn about Dolphin’s latest customer success stories in the optimizing processes for Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Order Management, and Finance and Administration.

A highlight of the SAPinsider Financials show will be:

Gretchen Kincade of GE Power and Water’s presentation
How GE Water is turning accounts payable into a strategic corporate entity
Thursday, March 19, 2015
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Room: La Tache

We also have several Dolphin sessions while at the show:

Brian Shannon, Principal Process Consultant
Streamline cash management with improved invoice-to-pay processes

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Room: Mouton 2

See Brian’s Ask the Experts Session:
Wednesday, March 18, 6:00 pm – 6:45 pm

Terri Bold, Principal Solution Delivery
Strategies and lessons for automating and optimizing accounts payable

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM
Room: Alsace 1

See Terri’s Ask the Experts Session:
Tuesday, March 17, 6:15 pm – 7:00 pm

 

SAP Forum Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Werner Hopf, CEO of Dolphin will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil with our partner Sonda, to introduce Latin America’s SAP users to its industry-best Data Volume Management and Business Process Optimization solutions.

We look forward to meeting everyone at these shows this week and will be updating you on what is new and exciting in the world of SAP shortly.

 

Change Leadership – Key to Success of AP Projects

The Heraclitus axiom, “change is constant,” is an absolute truth for businesses today. Without change businesses are at risk of serving customer needs with antiquated and inefficient approaches and technologies, losing an important competitive edge. One should look no further than organizations such as Blockbuster and Kodak as examples. These former titans are now nothing more than a memory of times gone by, when movies meant videotape and photography meant film.In his latest article “Change Leadership: Key to Success of AP Projects”, in Paytech Magazine, Brian Shannon discusses how teams can look at change as a growth opportunity not only for the organization but also for employees. It allows employees to learn new skills, explore new ideas, and exercise their creativity in ways that ultimately benefit the organization through increased commitment.

Read Article

 

Big Data Jolts the Utility Industry

The increasing ubiquity of smart home meters and other remote sensing technologies is creating a torrent of data for the Utility industry. Many companies are shocked to see the impact that Big Data has on systems: performance degrades and the cost of storage skyrockets. At the same time, the industry is searching for ways to capitalize on this new found information to transform their business and deliver better service to their customers.

In his latest article, Dolphin CEO, Dr. Werner Hopf discusses the impact of Big Data in the Utility industry. He emphasizes the importance of having a data volume management strategy in place to control the flow of information through SAP systems.

Read the article in this month’s POWERGRID International magazine.

 

Running simply every day . . . in Life and in SAP

I like to run. I like simple. Ergo…oh wait, let’s not jump there just yet.

There is something calming about running for me. My runner’s closet is equipped with a multitude of patterned footwear. Selecting the right shoe for the weather, the terrain and the distance are decisions I love to make. The route – that’s usually easy – hills or no? Short or long run? Outside or treadmill? Throw in a handy phone app that logs miles and prioritizes music, and I am ready for the run. A few decisions must be made, but for the most part it is an opportunity to undertake an activity that yields great results but hazards few input conundrums.
[Continue Reading]