As we hurtle towards the end of December, it is hard to believe that 2017 is almost over. It has been an eventful year for us at Dolphin. In May, we joined the Hanse Orga Group and we began the transition from being a North American-based company to a truly global enterprise. We are very excited about the possibilities that the future holds as part of this larger organization as we bring our data and process solutions to the rest of the world. However, as the year winds down, we thought we would take some time to review the biggest trends we saw over the past 12 months.
SAP HANA and S/4HANA Still Dominate the Conversation for SAP CustomersFor those of us in the SAP ecosystem, SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA continue to be the main topic of conversation. In 2017 we had several customers share their stories about the move to HANA both at ASUG events including the ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando and at SAP TechEd. One thing we learned from these customers is that whether you are moving quickly to SAP HANA (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) or taking a few years to make the transition (Lanxess), good data hygiene, including data archiving, is an important prerequisite for moving to the next generation of SAP systems. Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Sr. Solution Architect Rob Jackson both had events this year discussing various strategies for making the transition to SAP HANA easier. We also received SAP Certification for the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable. Dolphin is very proud of our dedication to keeping our products aligned with the latest SAP technical innovations so we can help our customers make the transition to SAP HANA or S/4HANA as seamless as possible. Learn More ...
- Read about these different approaches to moving to SAP HANA in Dr. Hopf's article: Converting to SAP HANA or S/4HANA? Ease the Transition with a Strategy that Meets Your Needs.
- Listen to our latest webinar discussing these strategies: No Data Left Behind: Strategies for Moving to SAP HANA and S/4HANA
- View a complete list of Dolphin products that are SAP-Certified at: https://www.sap.com/dmc/exp/2013_09_adpd/enEN/search.html#recordid=86290001
Corporate Mergers and New Regulations Require New Strategies for Managing Data and DocumentsThe trend for large companies that run SAP systems to acquire new companies or divest divisions that are not part of the company’s core business continued in 2017. This rapid onboarding or separation of businesses requires companies to re-evaluate the way they manage and retain data and documents across the new enterprise. Both Lanxess (formerly Chemtura) and Nexeo Solutions discussed the impact of recent corporate changes and the benefits of selectively retaining or carving out data that was no longer required by the new company. New regulations also pose a challenge for many of our customers. In 2017 many companies became aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May 2018. This regulation will require any company that does business with an individual in Europe to protect the privacy of the data it collects from that individual whether they are a customer, supplier, or employee. Unsure if the GDPR will affect your organization? Learn More ...
- Listen to the recent webinar from Lanxess on how it was able to carve out data from its SAP system after a corporate divestiture.
- Read our latest article from James Baird, Sr. Data Consultant on how to prepare SAP systems to comply with the GDPR.
The Robotic Revolution is NOWRobots, which seemed like science fiction only a short time ago, are now a reality in many companies. The Robotic Revolution, which started with robots automating tasks on the manufacturing floor have moved to the back office and are quickly taking over. According to Hanse Orga Group CEO, Sven Lindemann,
“We are witnessing a strong trend towards process automation. Robotic process automation, for example, is a term that started to become popular about a year ago. Today you cannot avoid it, because digitization increasingly dictates how we work. That’s why it is so important for companies to stay on the ball here and maintain their edge through technological innovation.”This is especially true in the Finance department where Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Blockchain are being rapidly adopted to improve the speed and accuracy of invoice processing:
- RPA can be used to capture information from inbound documents – such as invoices and goods receipts – providing the AP team with much greater insight into the “back story” of the transaction. RPA can also be used to automate many simple tasks, freeing users to do more complex and valuable work.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning help extend the automation provided by RPA into decision making support and can suggest next steps to users based on past behavior, further reducing the time and effort required to process an invoice.
- Blockchain is a relatively new technology for enterprises that will enable companies to quickly and securely conduct transactions on shared ledgers with suppliers and other business partners.
- Read Hanse Orga Group CEO Sven Lindemann's blog on changes to technology used by the Finance department.
Payments FraudAnother rapidly emerging business requirement we saw this year is fraud prevention. According to the Association of Finance Professional’s Payments Fraud and Control Survey (2017), almost three-quarters of organizations (74%) have experienced actual or attempted payment fraud in 2016. In response to this high level of fraud, many organizations are urgently introducing new process controls, including supplier information management and supplier scoring. However, until organizations move to completely digitized and transparent business processes it will still be very easy for a savvy criminals to continue this pattern of massive payment fraud. Learn More ...
- Read the AFP 2017 Payments Fraud and Control Survey
- Read our latest whitepaper on Fraud: Strategies for Reducing the Risk of Fraud
Emergence of New Roles: Global Process Owners and Chief Data OfficerAs many companies deal with rapid changes and increasing business complexity, they are creating new roles to provide the company with enterprise-wide oversight of data and processes. These Global Process Owners and Chief Data Officers require a broad understanding of both business process and technology as well as specialized solutions to help them meet their company’s strategic goals. We spent a lot of time this year speaking with Global Process Owners at SAP conferences and other specialized events about the importance of digitizing processes across SAP and non-SAP systems to provide global view that increases efficiencies, lowers costs, and reduces risk. We were thrilled when our customer Adient, was able to speak at the Hanse Orga User Group in Hamburg this year to discuss how the company was able to manage its global invoice processing operations, handling over 25 languages across 40 countries from its in-house Shared Services Center in Brataslava, Slovakia. While the role of the Chief Data Officer is relatively new, it is becoming more common as new regulations such as GDPR require companies to make data stewardship a corporate priority. We attended several events this year where we were talking about the importance of managing the lifecycle of data and documents, to comply with legal, fiscal and industry regulations and to provide greater transparency across the organization for analytics and reporting and were pleased to have our CEO, Dr. Werner Hopf introduce the topic at the Hanse Orga User Group this year. Learn More ...
- Read Adients's global shared services center customer success story
- Watch our latest webinar: Be Compliant, Stay Compliant which discusses the need for a Chief Data Officer