Converting to SAP HANA or SAP S/4HANA? Ease the Transition with a Data Management Strategy That Meets Your Needs

SAPinsider, July 2017 Dr. Werner Hopf The mass transition of SAP ERP customers to SAP HANA or SAP S/4HANA by 2025 requires careful planning, particularly when it comes to managing the data and documents that reside in existing systems. According to SAP, approximately 50% of the data in SAP systems is two years old or older (ITM211 -Data Volume Management in the Context of SAP S/4HANA Conversions, SAP TechEd 2016). Understanding how to manage this information efficiently is essential to managing the cost and complexity of transitioning to this new in-memory platform. While choosing a data management strategy is essential for any company moving to SAP HANA SAP S/4HANA, the need is more urgent for companies that will be converting existing systems. Following the data management best practices for SAP systems is the best way to reduce the size of existing SAP systems and reduce the cost and complexity of the conversion. However, different data strategies can be used depending on the size of the SAP system and the time and resources that are available. In this article, Dr. Werner Hopf summarizes two different approaches that companies can take for managing data and documents as they move to Business Suite on SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA or other platforms.

Converting to SAP HANA or SAP S/4HANA? Ease the Transition with a Data Management Strategy That Meets Your Needs

SAPinsider, July 2017
Dr. Werner Hopf

The mass transition of SAP ERP customers to SAP HANA or SAP S/4HANA by 2025 requires careful planning, particularly when it comes to managing the data and documents that reside in existing systems. According to SAP, approximately 50% of the data in SAP systems is two years old or older (ITM211 -Data Volume Management in the Context of SAP S/4HANA Conversions, SAP TechEd 2016). Understanding how to manage this information efficiently is essential to managing the cost and complexity of transitioning to this new in-memory platform. While choosing a data management strategy is essential for any company moving to SAP HANA SAP S/4HANA, the need is more urgent for companies that will be converting existing systems.

Following the data management best practices for SAP systems is the best way to reduce the size of existing SAP systems and reduce the cost and complexity of the conversion. However, different data strategies can be used depending on the size of the SAP system and the time and resources that are available.

In this article, Dr. Werner Hopf summarizes two different approaches that companies can take for managing data and documents as they move to Business Suite on SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA or other platforms.

Dr. Werner Hopf on the Future of Customizations in SAP Systems

Recently, Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf was asked how companies can prepare SAP Systems for the future. He stated that SAP is “going away from on-premise custom programs more toward the SAP Cloud platform.” Companies, therefore, will need to reconsider how they think about customizations or unique features in the future.

SAPPHIRE 2017 Interview with Dr. Werner Hopf and Brian Shannon

In this interview with Thomas Wailgum of ASUG News, Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Chief Strategy Officer Brian Shannon have advice for companies that are putting a plan together to move to HANA; discuss the importance of managing the lifecycle of information to support emerging audit and compliance requirements; and talk about Dolphin’s recent announcement about joining the Hanse Orga Group.

Jumpstart Process Optimization with an ROI Analysis

In this recorded webinar, Brian Shannon, Chief Strategy Officer of Dolphin discusses how to calculate the potential ROI of accounts payable process optimization projects using standard SAP software reports, detailed questionnaires, and third-party analysis tools. Learn from real-world stories that demonstrate different process optimization options and the resulting benefits.

Please fill out the form to access the webcast:

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SAF-T Solution by Country

The Standard Audit File -Tax (SAF-T) report is an OECD-recommended electronic accounting file to use for tax audit.

Download our country-specific solution sheets to learn more about how to comply with SAF-T Tax Requirements in these EU countries. This standard is now mandatory in the following countries:

– France

Poland

Spain

Norway

Portugal

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Austria

5 Ways to Drive Meaningful Process Improvements in Your Finance Department

2017-02-06_brian_5_process_improvement_goals SAPinsider, January 2017

Setting goals for the finance team — such as improving efficiency and reducing costs — helps drive process improvements across the organization, but it is important to review these goals regularly to ensure they continue to serve the overall strategy of the business. Evolving best practices and new technologies can make it necessary to revisit outdated processes and shift the focus on value. In his latest article, Brian Shannon discusses five ways that companies can drive meaningful process improvements in their finance departments.

  1. Improve Speed and Accuracy of Information Capture
  2. Use Intelligent Automation
  3. Focus on User-Centered Design
  4. Move to the Cloud Where it Makes Sense
  5. Value is More Important that Cost

Read Brian’s article to find out how to organizations can ensure that they are using current best practices and new technology to drive meaningful process improvements that deliver benefits throughout the finance department and beyond.

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Putting a Plan in Place: How the Business and IT Can Work Together to Build a Data Retention Plan

2017-02-06_grc_retentionSAPinsider GRC Special Edition, Fall 2016

A data retention policy is the first step in protecting an organization’s data against financial, civil, and criminal penalties. But a policy is only effective
when it is put into action. Many companies spend time developing and reviewing retention policies, but have little knowledge of how to apply those polices to the electronic data in their SAP systems or how to remain compliant as retention requirements change over time.

Departments such as legal, finance, and HR must have a strong understanding of how retention requirements apply to the business — but they are not alone. The IT department needs to know how and when to apply those retention rules to electronic data.

Read James Baird’s latest article on how to reduce risk in your organization by putting a data retention policy in place.

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The Importance of Information Management and Data Archiving

2016-10-24_infomgmt_archiving_wernerData Informed, October 2016
Dr. Werner Hopf

When an organization is looking to refresh their legacy ERP system, they are faced with a crucial decision ̶ should they upgrade their existing system or implement a completely new system?

Businesses must take a deep look at their current internal processes and business needs to determine the best course of action. To streamline any major system change, implementing an effective data archiving strategy is an important first step. Archiving data before a system change reduces the size of the legacy system and reduces the time and complexity of any future upgrade or new system implementation.

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BJ’s Wholesale Club Simplifies Rebates and Improves Customer Experience with Instant Access to Sales Documents

The complex structure of rebate programs which require multiple pieces of documentation are the reason rebate payments to loyal customers are frequently delayed.

In this webcast, hear how BJ’s, a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States, simplified its rebates program and improved customer experience by enabling sales document management solution that provided:

  • Instant access to all rebate program documents online.
  • Ability to package rebate documents for quick dispute resolution.
  • Reduce storage costs and improved system performance with a best practice-based document management solution.

Speakers:
Jonathan Zink, Financial Analyst – Vistex Group, BJ’s Wholesale Club
Brian Shannon, Chief Strategy Officer, Dolphin Enterprise Solutions

Please fill out the form to view the webcast in PDF format:

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Audit Extraction Cockpit

This whitepaper describes how the Audit Extraction Cockpit can be used to extract SAP online and archived data according to audit and fiscal requirements. The Audit Extraction Cockpit can be used to respond to specialized global audit requirements including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) in the US, Standard Audit Format – Tax (SAF-T) in the European Union (EU), and other emerging audit requirements in Latin America and around the world.

 

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Audit Extraction Cockpit

AEC_ss_thumbnailThe Audit Extraction Cockpit is a certified solution that allows auditors or the SAP Competence Center, under the control of the system administrator, to easily retrieve any table based online or archived data from SAP. Use this solution to respond quickly to requests from a tax auditor or internal/external auditor.

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Automotive Industry Solutions Overview

autoindustryovw_ss Dolphin helps automotive companies improve process efficiency and data volume so they can maximize the performance of large-scale operations across multiple global locations and a complex supply chain.

Dolphin’s SAP-certified add on software solutions enable automotive companies to increase performance, contain costs, reduce risk and most importantly, optimize cash flow.

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Oil and Gas Industry Solutions

OG
Dolphin helps Oil and Gas companies maximize operational efficiency with solutions to manage the data that fuels the business and the processes that run it. Our SAP-centric and SAP-certified solutions help increase performance, reduce risk, and lower the total cost of ownership of SAP systems. That’s why one-third of all Fortune 100™ companies that run SAP®, including leading Oil and Gas companies are Dolphin customer

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Dolphin Accelerated Archiving

accelerated_archiving_ss_iconOrganizations with large volumes of data and documents can use archiving to improve system performance, reduce risk, and lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of SAP systems. However, organizations can be reluctant to start archiving if they have to dedicate expert resources to such “housekeeping” tasks.

Dolphin Accelerated Archiving takes the manual effort out of archiving by completely automating the configuration, running, and long-term management of archiving tasks for ECC and BW systems. With Dolphin Accelerated Archiving organizations can move static data out of SAP systems to support strategic objectives, increase the speed of transactions and reporting; comply with data retention policies; and reduce operating costs.

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Dolphin Advanced Approvals on SAP S/4HANA Cloud Platform

Advanced Approvals Add On for Accounts Payable

Dolphin Advanced Approvals is an add on solution for Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable. The application enables business users to approve or manage exceptions on vendor invoices using the web or a mobile device. Listen to Dolphin CTO Vishal Awasthi explain the benefits of using this application and watch a demo to see how it can:

  • Reduce costs
  • Improve efficiencies
  • Reduce cycle time for processing invoices

Video Transcription

PO and Invoice on SAP HANA

Dolphin is an AppDev partner with SAP. We help our customers improve the performance of their business processes by giving them the solution that optimizes and automates them. At the same time, we also help them improve the performance of their SAP systems through data volume management.

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The solution that we are going to show here is called the Dolphin’s Advanced Approval for Accounts Payable. It runs on the HANA Cloud Platform. This solution is essentially an extension app for our on premise accounts payable application (PTS-AP). The app allows us to extend the reach of our on-premise solution to the new user base.

In this demo we’re gonna see the example of Dolphin’s advanced invoice approval application that runs on the HANA cloud platform.

Here we’re going to take the example of the invoice that has just been sent by the accounts payable team for approval and the verification of the accounting information.

To take an action the user can actually click on this web approval link which you can see down here. That link essentially points to the HANA cloud platform base UI5 app. When they click on that app link using the single sign-on option, they might be taken to a screen like this here.

I can see the image side-by-side with the invoice information, which is shown here on the left-hand side.

We can see information like the PO number, the invoice number, the date, the amount, the reason code, why the invoice was sent

This application isn’t just limited to the invoice approvals, so it can also be used to resolve the exceptions such as the price mis-match between the PO and the invoice.

I can scroll down and I can see the notes from the accounts payable team in case they have some special notes about this invoice.

I can see where the invoice is going next.

I can see the invoice history as to what has happened to this invoice from the point it came into the accounts payable team.

I can upload any extra attachments.

I can put some notes of my own.

But finally, I can simply approve or reject the invoice using these two options.

When that happens, at that point, I can say accept and now basically the invoice will be approved. This actually will be sending a real time approval to the Dolphin add on solution (PTS-AP) that runs on the ECC which will then allow the accounts payable [team] to post this invoice or if you have the rules configured to auto post the invoice, the invoice will actually post automatically in the finance module in SAP.

We offer deep integration to SAP and at the same time we bring deep domain knowledge in accounts payable.

Our solution really plugs into SAP and now with the HANA cloud extension app we can bring the innovation at a much faster pace in the cloud and also extend the reach of our on-premise application (PTS-AP).

We chose to go with the HANA cloud platform because it really does offer us seamless access to the on premise components of the Dolphin solution. It allows us to give our customer the options for the user authentication and it really makes it very easy for us to manage the deployment and the ongoing maintenance of the solution.

Data Management & Digitization in the Energy Industry

Electric Energy T&D Magazine, May/June 2016
Brian Shannon

Organizations are continuously adapting to manage the ongoing stream of data, implementing strategic business plans to ensure that the company remains on top of current trends. But data volume management can be an arduous undertaking, specifically in highly regulated industries such as the energy industry.

Without implementing some sort of data volume management strategy, organizations leave themselves vulnerable to risk from retaining data beyond corporate policies or penalties incurred from not responding properly to an audit request. Audit requests from tax authorities and regulatory organizations can be challenging, and data volume management needs to be a priority for finance and IT departments so that the organization can remain compliant with data retention policies and then quickly and simply extract data to respond to these requests. While some organizations implement an archiving strategy to retain data after the fact, an increasing number or organizations are digitizing business processes such as accounts payable and journal entry approvals to ensure that information is being stored properly from the beginning.

Read more by downloading the article.

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Simplify Your SAP Landscape and Reduce Costs with a Modern Content Management System

SAPinsider, April 2016
Dr. Werner Hopf and Vishal Awasthi

SimplifiedConentManagementROIAs more organizations look for ways to simplify the SAP landscape by moving to SAP HANA and retiring aging systems it’s time to look for a more modern approach to content management as well.

In a this Q&A with SAPinsider Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and CTO Vishal Awasthi discuss how organization can adopt modern content management strategies that will enable organizations to remain agile for future growth and change.

Dolphin’s lightweight, service-based Content Archive Service (CAS) enables companies to store unstructured data wherever it makes the most sense for the business, in the cloud or on disk, yet still access it easily from SAP applications – thus lowering storage costs and simplifying access.

Customers who have adopted the Content Archive Service have saved 50% on maintenance costs for legacy ECM systems and report that the solution is much easier for both the IT department and users to manage.

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Hybrid Cloud: The Future of Enterprise Application Strategy

CIO Review, April 2016
Vishal Awasthi

hybridcloud_article_coverThe shift to hybrid cloud solutions is undeniable. According to MarketsandMarkets, the hybrid cloud market is expected to reach $85 billion in 2019, up from $25 billion in 2014. As CIOs look to make organizational changes in an effort to lower costs and reduce IT complexity, many will evaluate the decision to move to a hybrid cloud solution. While cloud storage and cloud hosted applications have long been popular options for many CIOs, many organizations are still reluctant to abandon the safety and security of on-premise systems, installed and controlled on-site rather than remotely, or relinquish control of key business assets. As the future of enterprise IT, a hybrid cloud solution provides CIOs the best of both worlds.

The benefits of a hybrid cloud solution are apparent at any level within the organization, in particular offering significant advantages to finance departments. However, it is important that all potential risks be evaluated before making the leap. . . .

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University of Toronto Masters Invoice Processing

The Facilities and Services Department of the University of Toronto was looking for a solution to enable more efficient invoice capture and routing so it could reduce errors, eliminate paper-based processes, and shorten the payment cycle to vendors. The department, which is responsible for maintaining the downtown campus of the 4th largest university in North America, wanted to gain greater control over the large number of Non-PO invoices the university processed each month and benefit from better pricing/discounts from its wide network of vendors. Due to the unique audit and compliance requirements of this institution, the university also wanted to improve visibility into the entire invoice lifecycle from capture through posting and payment through the use of unique vendor spend reports.

Solution
After a detailed search for a solution that could meet the university’s needs, it selected the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable (PTS-AP), which enabled the university to achieve significant cost savings through the following key capabilities:

  • Flexible invoice capture to capture invoices electronically, improve invoice accuracy, and eliminate paper
  • Automated approval and exception handling workflows to shorten the payment cycle to vendors
  • Real-time invoice information to improve visibility into invoice processing, including Non-PO invoices
  • Ability to view invoices by vendor to reduce the time spent on vendor inquiries and report on vendor spend
  • Web and email notifications and escalations for approvals and exception handling
  • Ability to delegate approval authority to multiple individuals over a selected time period to accommodate employee sabbaticals
  • Report on utility consumption, spend trend, and more to improve compliance with the university’s policies and regulations

Results

Since implementing the solution in late 2014, the university has been able to:

  • Gain complete transparency into invoices on spend by individual, departments, etc.
  • Fast capture and processing improves consistency of payment process, resulting in more discounts and avoidance of penalties
  • Capture of utility consumption is a huge gain for the department
  • Online processing results in no duplication of effort, freeing employees to do higher-value tasks instead of low-value clerical work
  • Sustainable online solution: the university is removing 80K sheets of paper, reducing office and storage space, etc.

Based on the current volume and cost of invoice processing in the department, the department expects to save 250K in the first year.

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¿De SAP ECC a SAP HANA? Mejorando costos de migracion con Data Archiving

¿Cómo aprovechar la plataforma SAP ya existente para optimizar la inversión que en el futuro muy cercano requiere el desafío de migrar a Hana?

Patricia Rolón (Sapiensys) y Patrick Keough (Dolphin) presentarán en forma muy sencilla las estrategias relacionadas con SAP Data Volume Management, Data Archiving, e Information Lifecycle Management: mejores prácticas traducidas a una inversión más inteligente.

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Advanced Approvals on SAP HANA Cloud Platform

advanced-approvals-ssFast invoice approvals allow organizations to control cash flow and capture early payment discounts from vendors. To do this, busy users need an application (app) that will let them approve and handle exceptions for Accounts Payable invoices anytime, anywhere using any device. Organizations, however, need an app that does more than that. They need an app that provides users with a simple and consistent user experience from their desktops to their mobile devices. They also need an app that is tightly integrated with sophisticated Accounts Payable processes and workflows, cost effective, and easy to deploy to thousands of users. Dolphin Advanced Approvals is the first cloud-based app that provides such a solution.

Available on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, Dolphin Advanced Approvals is a modern and responsive app that ensures organizations can deploy an innovative app for approving invoices and managing exceptions in days, not months, without breaking the budget or increasing support efforts.

Individuals can use the Dolphin Advanced Approvals app to quickly review, correct, and approve invoices on a mobile device or on their desktop. The app’s simple and modern user interface makes it easy to use, even for those who are unfamiliar with SAP® applications.

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Faster Invoice Approvals on SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Fast Invoice Approvals & More Discounts with a Modern and Responsive App on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Want to capture early payment discounts from vendors and have better control over cash flow? Dolphin Advanced Approvals enables companies to quickly and easily approve Accounts Payable invoices and manage exceptions anytime, anywhere using any device.  Available on the HANA Cloud Platform, Dolphin Advanced Approvals is a modern and responsive web-based application that is both easy to deploy and use.

In this Webcast:

  •  Learn how enabling users to approve invoices quickly ensures the organization can capture more vendor discounts and lower invoice processing costs
  •  Discover how extending SAP applications with invoice approval solutions can improve transparency and control over organizational spending and cash flow
  •  Leverage the power of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to quickly transform outdated, manual processes with minimal administration and support effort
  •  Increase user adoption with modern, responsive solutions that provide a consistent user experience on a desktop or mobile device

 

Please fill out the form to access the webcast:

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Oil + Gas Monitor – Best Practices for Managing Data Through Corporate Transformation

February 25, 2016
Dr. Werner Hopf

Big Data, while still in its relative early stages as a trend in the Oil and Gas industry, is forcing midstream organizations to evaluate how best to handle it now and in the future. At the same time, the industry is realizing the current industry climate, while challenging, is allowing for a period of strategic transformations. Organizations must take control of unsustainable database growth and other difficulties presented by Big Data, however, if they want to be able to respond quickly to changing market conditions. Rather than letting too much data become an expensive and time consuming problem that prevents necessary corporate transformations, organizations should ensure that they are taking the proper steps towards successfully managing data now and in the future.

Find out what Dr. Hopf says about how companies can:

  • Identify Legacy Data and Move it to Less Costly Storage
  • Consolidate Redundant Systems to Prepare for the Future
  • Lose the Manual Processes

Read online at Oil + Gas Monitor.

University of Toronto Masters AP Invoice Processing

uotinfographic2016This infographic demonstrates how the University of Toronto Facilities and Services Department was able to have savings add up quickly by implementing a centralized and standardized Accounts Payable solution for SAP systems. This award-winning solution has saved the team hundreds of hours and thousands of pages of paper as were able to increase the percentage of electronic invoices and enable online approvals for more than 100 staff located across Canada’s largest university that is like city-within-a-city.

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Kraft Foods Archiving Reduces Costs, Improves Performance and Simplifies Corporate Transformation

Kraft, one of North America’s largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, needed a data archiving solution to keep its large and fast-growing database in check. The company wanted, as much as possible, to use the same solution and approach for archiving data for its grocery and confectionary divisions even though each division had different business processes and data volumes. This approach became even more important in 2012 when the company decided to split the two divisions into separate companies.

Kraft needed to complete the spin off within a one year timeline. It needed a solution to:

  • Archive key data in preparation for system split
  • Automate the manual data archiving tasks
  • Improve retrieval of archived data to facilitate audits

As part of the spin off, each company would assume different tax reporting responsibilities, so access to archived data needed to comply with each business’ fiscal requirements. The company also wanted to ensure that archiving continued during this busy period so it could to maintain SAP system performance, but it wanted to automate archiving so key business and IT resources would be free for other, more pressing tasks.

Solution
Kraft worked with Dolphin to create flexible archiving strategy that would meet the needs of both divisions pre-spin off and facilitate the division of data while keeping the company’s SAP systems performing at optimal levels throughout the corporate transformation. The solution included:

  • Implementation of standard SAP archive objects: 20 ECC, 5 Plant Maintenance, and 30 BI
  • Separation of archived financial data according to fiscal reporting requirements
  • Automation of archive tasks using Archive Sessions Cockpit
  • Improved retrieval of archive data for audits using 9 PBS Archive Add-on Modules

During the system split period, the Dolphin Archive Migration Tool to securely migrate unstructured documents from source to target systems, as needed. Dolphin also archived the company’s legacy Plant Maintenance modules, so that the company could upgrade its SAP systems.

Results
With Dolphin’s archiving solution in place, Kraft realized faster system performance and faster back up, upgrade, and recovery times. Key accomplishments include:

  • Ability to quickly separate data according to spin off terms
  • Reduced 32TB down to 10GB of ECC data and online data residency periods to 6 months
  • Reduced cost of hosted data storage service based on newly reduced data volume
  • Increased efficiency of business and IT staff through automation of archiving tasks

The company continues to monitor its data growth and implement new archiving objects as needed to continuously improve system performance.

Watch the Kraft Evolution of Archiving Webcast

The Growing Problem of Big Data

Big-DataThe explosion of Big Data is a major reason why, despite faster technology and lower hardware costs, IT budgets are actually rising. With more than 20 years of data volume management experience in SAP systems, Dolphin has the expertise that companies need to manage the problems of Big Data.

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Data Archiving: The First Step Toward Managing the Information Lifecycle

Data archiving strategies are designed to improve performance and manage costs, moving static data from the online database to offline archives. Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) adds a new level to
the performance – cost dynamic: manage data in compliance with outside and corporate retention rules and business requirements; maintain ready access to data and documents; protect the organization from
legal and business risk.

This white paper discusses best practices for managing data in SAP systems and how data archiving can be used as part of an information lifecycle management strategy.

 

Oil and Gas Industry Overview

Dolphin helps oil and gas companies keep operations flowing with process and data management solutions for SAP® systems.

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Managing Data During Growth And Change

Midstream Business, October 2015

Dr. Werner Hopf
 
The problems of Big Data are difficult enough to overcome on a daily basis— but many midstream organizations that underwent a merger, acquisition or divestiture during the modern big data boom actually found these headaches multiplied. What’s a chief information officer to do? Here are three missteps to avoid when considering a corporate transformation.

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Travel and Expense Reporting for Dolphin Process Tracking System

Simplify Expense Reporting, Comply with Expense Policies, and Improve Transparency
Submitting expense reports can be time-consuming and frustrating for employees and a challenge for accounting departments. Dolphin’s Travel and Expense Reporting, which is available as an option with the Dolphin Process Tracking System, makes it easier for employees to enter expenses while on the road, using web or mobile clients.
Simplify Expense Reporting

  • Capture and attach receipts from a mobile device.
  • Auto-populate expense items from corporate credit card statements or enter details manually.
  • Ensure expenses comply with corporate categories, properly recover VAT and other input tax.
  • Enter line or header notes to facilitate processing.

Enforce Expense Policies & Procedures

  • Automatically route expenses to approvers based on SAP hierarchies and approval authority levels.
  • Flexibly approve expenses in SAP, by email, on the Web, or using a mobile device.
  • Set up substitute approvers or forward to other approvers to ensure quick, consistent processing.
  • Automatic reminders and escalation if expenses are not filed or approved in a timely manner.

Improve Transparency & Auditability

  • Track expenses in real-time by expense type, user, or date, either online or using configurable reports and dashboards.
  • Analyze expense reporting patterns to prevent rogue spending and fraud.
  • View supporting documents instantly, from a secure,low cost, SAP-compliant content repository.
  • Maintain a comprehensive trail of expense approvals to support audit inquiries.

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Journal Entry Processing for Dolphin Process Tracking System

Improve Journal Entry Processing with Automated Input, Workflow and Document Management

Dolphin Process Tracking System for Journal Entry (JE) solution breaks down the silos of information that make it difficult to create, manage and control journal entries in SAP systems. The solution helps organizations:

  • Automate and track complex journal entry approval chains
  • Digitize and enforce the inclusion of journal entry supporting documentation
  • Quickly escalate journal entry approvals during critical financial close periods
  • Comply with fiscal regulations such as SOX
  • Report on and measure the efficacy of the entire journal entry process

For companies that want to ensure greater transparency and auditability of their financial close process, it provides a better way for companies to complete journal entry approvals and mitigate the associated risks. With this solution, organizations can create, track and report on journal entries directly in the system of record, SAP.

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GE Water & Process Technologies Maximizes Procure to Pay Efficiency with Dolphin

Hear Gretchen Kincade of GE Water & Process Technologies speak about how the company created a global center of excellence for controlling accounts payable activities across a broad multi-national organization to ensure maximum performance, achieve superior match rates, and capture all available discounts.

By integrating the Dolphin Accounts Payable solution with Ariba, GE Water has been able to gain better cost control over the procure-to-pay process with:

  • Increased visibility and global metrics enables centralized oversight of an off shored Accounts Payable process
  • An optimized the entire Buy-to-Pay process to meet and surpass corporate document retention and compliance standards
  • Coordinated large multi-national project with a change leadership strategy to put the right pieces in place for success

 

 

Hubbell Inc. Gets Electrifying Results from Data Archiving

Hubbell Incorporated, an international manufacturer of quality electrical and electronic products since 1888, had grown for over a century through acquisition. This left the company with many legacy systems across its many business units. To increase efficiencies and lower costs, the company wanted to standardize its systems and use one solution so they could have a single source of truth across the organization. The company decommissioned it 18 legacy systems and moved onto a global single instance of SAP in 2006.

With many products and business units running on the same SAP system, the company quickly found that transactional data was growing rapidly. Hubbell estimated that the system would reach 3 TB of data in less than 2 years. This amount of data would be very costly as the company’s SAP instance was outsourced. The company was therefore billed for each GB of data storage. They were also billed for the length of time necessary to do system back ups, which was growing longer as the system’s data volume grew. In addition, business users, who were used to running queries quickly against the legacy systems found that their query response time in SAP systems were much slower than expected.

The company decided it needed to start archiving right away to improve performance and lower the total cost of ownership of its outsourced SAP systems.

Solution

The company turned to Dolphin to devise a data management strategy. The Dolphin solution leveraged Hubbell’s existing SAP system infrastructure and storage and Dolphin consultants helped Hubbell implement data archiving to reduce data volume. The solution included:

  • Standard SAP archiving objects
  • PBS archive add ons
  • PBS ContentLink

Phase one was completed in 2007 and focused on archiving data from the areas with the company was experiencing the largest data growth: MM, FICO, and iDocs. Subsequent phases focused on archiving data for other areas. Phase two (2008) focused on sales and billing data. Phase three (2010) focused on archiving master data. Phase four (2012) focused on archiving BI data.

Results

The company experienced immediate benefits from archiving. It was able to keep data under the 3 TB limit and enable:

  • Reduced data storage and hosting costs
  • Faster user queries for online and archived data
  • Faster backup of SAP systems
  • Simplified upgrade to new SAP systems and databases
  • Reduced risk with secure storage of retained data

 

Tenneco Inc’s Data Archiving, Migration and Decommissioning Project Delivers Positive ROI & Simplifies Global Audit Reporting

Tenneco is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of clean air and ride performance products. The company needed to respond to various international audit requirements and was using a manual and inefficient archiving process to retain its historical data. The process was made even more difficult because the company was storing a large volume of data from multiple SAP systems that were located around the globe. The company stored data and images in two separate content management systems which were old, out of date and becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to support. Also, a large amount of the unstructured information (images) was difficult to access because it was stored in a completely separate system that was not integrated with SAP systems.

The company wanted to automate archiving and move to a single content management solution to reduce the cost and complexity of retaining historical data and facilitate its international audit reporting requirements. Audits represented the most complex and time-sensitive information queries, so despite the fact that company had previously implemented SAP DART, it wanted to find a solution that would reduce the time and effort involved in extracting data for audits.

Solution

Dolphin worked with the company to develop a comprehensive solution that incorporated data archiving, migration, and decommissioning with audit extraction tools.

To start, the company migrated its existing data out of its two legacy content management systems and moved it into a single solution, the Dolphin Content Archive Service for Disk. With this new, lean repository users were able to easily access all data and documents directly through SAP systems.

The company then archived an additional 3.5 TB of data out of its production system and into the new repository, saving considerable space and improving SAP system performance.

To improve audit response time, the company chose to implement the Audit Extraction Cockpit which facilitated the extraction of data for audit inquiries and other ad hoc extraction requests.

Results

With this project, the company was able to achieve the following benefits:

  • Reduced data in online systems by 3.5 TB
  • Reduce system complexity and cost by moving to a single content repository
  • Faster audit response time
  • Easier access to archived images in SAP systems

 

Honeywell’s Flexible and Scalable Approach to Global AP Processing – One Process, One Solution

Honeywell International, a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, was looking to improve its AP efficiency with a solution that could be used across its six global business groups. Everyone, everywhere should be able to use the same process and the same solution, so the company could more accurately track and report on invoice status. The global and diversified nature of the business required a solution that was also flexible enough to allow the company to extend its common core process to accommodate local business needs and regulations where necessary.

Solution

The company initially rolled out Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable in 2006, at the same time the company was rolling out its global SAP system. At this time, the company used the Dolphin solution to provide a centralized view of scanned invoices received from across the company. Gradually, over time the company expanded the functionality of the solution in phases to include capabilities such as:

  • Increased electronic invoice capture, including OCR (paper, fax, or email) and EDI (large vendors or inter-company transactions)
  • Automated the processing and coding of non-PO vendor invoices (i.e., Utilities, Rent)
  • Configurable business rules to increase ability to auto-post invoices
  • Tight integration with SAP OM to support billing documentation requirements
  • Flexible document search and batch output to support internal and external inquiries and local document storage requirements

Separate phases and functionality were rolled out in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

Results

Now that the company is using one common process and one common solution for Accounts Payable, it has achieved many benefits including:

  • 40% auto-posting of invoices
  • Real-time view of invoices across all six business units
  • Ability to increase volume without increasing headcount
  • Fewer keystrokes required for invoice entry and validation
  • Faster processing of Non-PO invoices, such as utility invoices
  • Ability to support international documentation requirements quickly and easily
  • Compliant with EU payment directive and other regulations
  • Multiple shared service centers running on the same IT infrastructure

Collier County Clerk of Courts Implements an Audit-Ready Invoice Processing Solution

The largest county in Florida wanted to centralize and automate the processing of more than 7,000 invoices a month. The county had implemented SAP ERP more than a decade before and used the software for many of its financial processes; however, the AP department still relied on a paper-based invoicing process. Vendors mailed invoices to the county’s various offices and departments, and these invoices were then routed for manual approval. For an organization that manages massive projects like constructing roads and buildings, accurate financial planning is crucial. Also, Florida Statute requires the Collier County Clerk of Courts to audit these documents to ensure legality of payment, which can increase the timeline for processing invoices.

“We had manual processes in place for receiving and processing invoices,” says Jane McDonald, Senior Project Manager for Collier County Clerk of Courts. “Workers used email and interoffice mail and didn’t always send the invoices to the AP department right away. We didn’t have visibility into an invoice’s status until it was approved and entered into SAP ERP at the very end of the process. Because our projects sometimes continue for months, workers often had to search through file cabinets (files are kept on site for two years) or warehouse archives to locate older invoices.”

The Clerk of Courts management information system (MIS) and AP organizations knew it was time to research new technology that would leverage the SAP workflow. A cross-functional team was assembled and began to evaluate how much work would be required to build and maintain a custom solution from scratch. At the same time, they also considered third-party vendors that might be able to provide an appropriate solution. Key capabilities the county identified include:

  • Ability to integrate the chosen technology with the organization’s current SAP environment
  • Digital storage of invoices
  • Easy extraction of information for auditors

Solution

The county’s vendor selection team chose Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable (PTS-AP), which went live in August 2012. The project involved instituting a new accounts payable workflow aimed at centralizing the AP process countywide. Key feature are:

  • Automated invoice capture, with scan and capture
  • Powerful InfoCenter to facilitate invoice processing and troubleshooting by the AP staff
  • Automated workflows to route invoices to the appropriate department that, in turn, can route it for additional approval(s).
  • Improved exception handling for If an invoice is rejected during that process, it can be easily returned to the vendor with a rejection code along, with any backup documentation to explain why it could not be paid.

“All of these steps in the invoice approval process have a predefined status within the system’s workflow,” explains Frank Bodino, Senior Systems Analyst at Collier County Clerk of Courts. “In this new process, all of the steps are visible. We know where each invoice is at all times, we know who looked at it, what notes they put down, and when it was approved. If the invoice was rejected, we know why.”

After the invoice is approved, the goods receipt is matched, and the AP audit is performed, then the invoice can be posted to SAP ERP. “All the information we need to post the invoice is there, so there’s no dual-keying or duplication of data,” McDonald says. “We just hit the button, and the invoice information posts.”

Improving the AP business process required changes across the entire organization. For example, since invoices now come into the AP department as the first step of the new process, the various departments within county government had to adapt to a new workflow where AP clerks scan the invoices.

While the new workflow for invoice processing is much more streamlined and intuitive, it did require training users on the new system and getting their buy-in on the updated processes. “Just like with any training, some people caught on very quickly and others struggled with the new processes,” says McDonald. “The project team created training documents to help explain the process in a way users could understand.”

Results

According to McDonald, the new solution has delivered all of the benefits advertised and more.

  • Easy access to and cost effective storage of invoice documents
  • Simplified approvals process
  • Ability to track how many invoices are processed in a given period is helping the organization measure its own performance.
  • Improved visibility both internally and externally.

“Now, we can provide our external auditors with invoice information, purchase order (PO) information, and backup documentation more easily than we could with the paper-based system,” says McDonald. “In the past, we had to go back to the paper files and dig out the invoice which was time consuming. A significant time and cost savings benefit was our ability to search by check number or the clearing document and instantaneously receive the information associated with the invoice.”

The improved metrics have also pinpointed any delays in the AP process. For example, the new process showed that many invoices are rejected because vendors don’t provide PO numbers on their invoices. Without the PO number, AP clerks were forced to try and find out which department and what purchase generated the invoice. By requesting that vendors provide the PO number on their invoices, the AP process has been streamlined even further.

According to Bodino, the county has become more efficient thanks to the new solution. “We have been able to fix and change processes that, while they worked, were cumbersome at best,” he says.

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Johns Hopkins University Data Archiving from Start to Finish

Running SAP systems since 1997, Johns Hopkins University had never archived any data. When performance issues started impacting their users, the University was told that that they should consider archiving. Some of the challenges the University faced were:

  • Too many records in the tables
  • Queries on transactional data were slow
  • System administration was taking too long and costs were too high
  • Storage needs and costs were increasing
  • Starting to see system performance degradation
  • Unique data issues in ECC, BW, and SRM systems

Solution

The University developed an Information Lifecycle Management strategy, which defined the policies, processes and tools for data and information from conception to destruction. They turned to Dolphin to help them with the project which included:

  • User friendly access to archived data
  • Transparent access to archived data
  • Archiving in ECC, BW and SRM
  • Ability to retrieve archived workflows with the documents
  • Defined residency and retention periods based on the type data
  • Ability to perform ad hoc queries

Results

Johns Hopkins continues to see success with their archiving project, which was rolled out in phases, gradually adding more arching objects. The University is especially pleased that the end users have been able to adapt to the new system so quickly and with very little training. The project provides:

  • Reduced DB size
  • Dramatically reduced the DB rate of growth
  • Additional archive objects added easily
  • 30% reduction in table size on average
  • Greater than 350M records archived and growing
  • End users satisfied and have had no problems accessing data

Managing Big Data in SAP Systems

The explosion of Big Data is a major reason why, despite faster technology and lower hardware costs, IT budgets are actually rising. With more than 20 years of data volume management experience in SAP systems, Dolphin has the expertise that companies need to manage the problems of Big Data.
 

 

Optimize SAP Processes to Enable Innovation in Your Business

Dolphin’s SAP-certified solutions for Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Sales and Distribution, and Finance and Administration ensure that you get the innovative capabilities you need. Dolphin solutions let your business adapt quickly to new requirements and continue to benefit from running the world’s leading enterprise applications – SAP.
 

 

Benefits of an Employee Owned Company

As a 100 percent employee-owned company, Dolphin employees have singular focus on delivering process and data solutions for SAP systems that meet our customers’ unique business requirements. Customers who work with Dolphin benefit by our team’s relentless dedication to customer satisfaction.
 

 

Pacific Drilling Addresses International Growth with Optimized AP Solution for SAP HANA

Pacific Drilling, an international offshore drilling company that provides ultra-deep water drilling services to the oil and natural gas industry, wanted to have an automated, more controlled accounts payable process that would work with the company’s SAP HANA systems.

The existing accounts payable (AP) process was completely manual necessitating many emails, phone calls and the collection of manual signatures. The global oil and gas company required 24 hour access to information and the company’s manual reporting methods could not keep up with its rapidly growing needs. The company needed a solution to improve the accuracy, productivity and timeliness of its invoice processing. The solution also had to be very scalable. Due to extremely rapid growth, the company wanted to be able to support the increased global invoice volume without adding more AP headcount.

Solution

The company began the project focusing on the US business operations. The Houston head office was processing 4200 invoices per month of which 44% were non PO and 57% were PO based. They chose Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable for several reasons:

  • Flexible capture of invoices
  • User intuitive interface required little training
  • Small system footprint that leveraged their SAP investment
  • Easy to configure for changing business rules
  • Simplified approvals
  • Automated workflow

Additionally the supplier portal greatly helped to reduce the amount of emails and phone calls that the AP department had to manage.

Results

The company implemented the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable solution with e-Invoicing, which significantly reduced the amount of time the AP department spent on manual entry of invoices and  answering supplier queries. The accuracy of invoice processing increased and the company was able to:

  • Post 20% of their invoices automatically; this number continues to increase as they refine their process.
  • Use flexible work centers to meet their business requirement for multiple individuals to share responsibility
  • Set up Multiple Approver levels in the automated workflow
  • Search easily search for invoices with holds or exceptions allows for faster processing
  • Roll out the system to remote locations with little user training because of the intuitiveness of the system
  • Use existing staff able to handle the increased workload

 

Big Lots Reduces the Problems of Big Data and Sales Audits

Shortly after Big Lots, the nation’s largest broadline closeout retailer, implemented SAP IS-Retail the company noticed that its retail stores were generating a lot of data.

In fact, data was growing two to three times faster than what the company had initially estimated, and would reach 30-40 TB by the end of the year. This incredible increase in data volume was already causing performance problems, which would only get worse over time. Due to the year-round, high pressure nature of the retail business, the company needed to find a solution immediately and it needed to be able to be implemented quickly, during the company’s very short SAP system maintenance windows.

In addition, the large amount of data that was being generated with each retail sales transaction also made it difficult for the company to retrieve data for sales tax audits. The data extraction process was very manual and complex. Each audit inquiry required seven separate steps to extract data from both the SAP BW and the SAP ECC systems. To be able to respond within the 2 week time frame provided by auditors, the company needed to find a better, faster solution for extracting data.

Solution

Big Lots engaged Dolphin to help develop a Data Volume Management strategy to control growth of data in the SAP BW and ECC systems, enforce data retention requirements and improve performance. The solution provided:

  • Secure, low cost storage for archived data
  • Nearline storage for fast retrieval of archived data for analytics
  • Common infrastructure to support both BW and ECC
  • Fast and easy retrieval of data by users
  • Simplified reporting for Sales Audits
  • Data retention compliance with business requirements

The solution was implemented in phases. In the first phase, the company controlled its data growth by archiving its business complete data. In the second phase, the company addressed the performance issues by adding fast and flexible retrieval access to the archived data and custom reports. The sales tax audit report was created as part of this phase.

Results

The company was able to stabilize data volume growth in both the SAP BW and ECC systems and improve user productivity through faster system performance and elimination of manual steps in reporting. Benefits of the solution include:

  • Stablized database growth
  • 97% reduction of data with archived and nearline technology
  • Reduced time to complete sales queries to 5-10 seconds
  • Improved Sales audit responses to 1 day from 2 weeks
  • Improved sales reporting 200%
  • Reduced data growth rate by 90%
  • Increased user productivity with faster system performance and automated reporting
  • Satisfied retention and tax reporting requirements

Pepco Holdings: Optimizing Accounts Payable Processes

Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) is one of the largest energy delivery companies in the mid-Atlantic region wanted to centralize its accounts payable processing to increase efficiencies and lower processing costs. The company had grown gradually through acquisition, and as a result, was receiving, reviewing, approving and processing invoices at more than 20 locations in four states and five jurisdictions. The accounts payable processes were disjointed and very manual, which increased the company’s cost of paying invoices and made it difficult to stay in compliance with the highly regulated industry’s stringent data retention requirements.

Solution
As part of PHI’s Invoice Improvement Project (IIP), the company implemented Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable (PTS-AP) solution with the Supplier Portal by Taulia, for the following key capabilities:

  • Advanced imaging and digitization of invoices
  • SAP-enabled workflow solutions to automatically post or route invoices based on the company’s multi-tiered corporate approval policy
  • Centralized, efficient storage of invoice images for easy access
  • Self-service portal access for self-service invoicing and online inquiries
  • Real-time analytics and reporting on invoice processing metrics for productivity, cash flow, and status tracking.

The solution was rolled out across all three of PHI’s utility companies, Delmarva Power & Light, Atlantic City Electric, and Pepco, in a comprehensive process-driven initiative unlike any other accounts payable project in the utility industry.

Results

The company was able to achieve over $3 million in savings for 2014 – an incredible return on investment. Mary Gabriel, Manager of Accounts Payable and Sarbanes-Oxley stated “Enhanced controls, increased transparency and shortened cycle times are a direct result of the process-centric innovation the solution provides”. Key results include:

  • Reduce the average invoice processing time from 30 days to less than 10
  • Automated the processing of low-dollar, high-volume invoices
  • Improved reporting and compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Reduced document storage fees by 39% for savings of more than $100,000 each year
  • Increase transparency with their suppliers and strengthening their relationships
  • Captured nearly $2 million in discounts in by offering early payments to their suppliers through the intuitive supplier platform

In June 2015, the company received the Supply Chain Excellence award from Southeastern Electric Exchange for its innovative Accounts Payable project.

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Managing Data through Corporate Transformations

DataInformed, August 2015
Dr. Werner Hopf

Pick up the business section of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or USA Today and what do you see? It’s hard to go more than a day without spotting a news item about a company merger, acquisition, or business unit divestiture. All three are typically viewed as favorable strategies for achieving growth and improved profitability, but in today’s age of big data, executives have a lot more to worry about than final regulatory approval.

Managing the transfer of intellectual property (IP), where much of the value of a deal may be derived, has always been a concern. Now, with the ubiquity of big data and the rise in cloud computing, this concern is greater than ever. Each business transaction carries its own challenges and requirements to meet the desired outcome, but there are important steps that can be taken for mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures that will help to ensure that the big data changing hands does not turn in to a big problem.

Read more of the article on DataInformed.com

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Winning the Global Order to Cash Process Transformation Race

The Order-to-Cash process is at the heart of your business. And yet, this process is often surprisingly disjointed, inefficient and difficult to track. In theory, order-to-cash is a single “mega” process that moves an order through the organization from sales through delivery, billing and finally to payment processing. In reality, however, order-to-cash touches many different departments which are either unable or unwilling to work together.

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Managing Explosive Growth of SAP Data across Multiple SAP Systems

A world-renowned manufacturer and retailer of revolutionary consumer electronics needed data strategies that would enable them to manage its explosive online retail growth while keeping customer data secure and available for reporting and audit requests. With 25 Billion transactions per year, the company’s existing infrastructure could not support the volume of data and system performance, stability, and functionality were being negatively impacted. The data volume also posed a significant risk, because the company was responsible for keeping the data secure for long periods to support tax and data privacy audits.

To manage its enormous volumes of data, the company needed a comprehensive data volume management strategy that would enable it to:

  • Move static and business complete data out of production systems into archive storage
  • Scale to support potential future data growth
  • Support analysis with fast, flexible access to historic sales data
  • Secure legacy data according to current legal requirements
  • Enforce data retention policies for fiscal and consumer data
  • Enable fast response to audit inquiries

Due to the volume of data, the company needed an aggressive archiving strategy to keep production systems running at optimal levels. In addition, new privacy regulations required the company to go back through historical, archived data and ensure that it met current consumer data privacy standards.

Solution: Archiving to Hybrid Storage with Data Retention & Audit

Dolphin provided the company with data strategies that would 1) help it meet current demands and scale to meet future growth and 2) stay compliant with retention and audit requirements. Key capabilities include:

  • Implementation of Standard SAP Archiving Objects with PBS Archive Add On modules for seamless access
  • PBS Nearline storage for fast access to archived sales data used in analysis
  • Dolphin Data Management and Archive Management Cockpit for encrypting production and archive data
  • Dolphin Archive Retention Cockpit to enforce corporate retention policies
  • TJC Audit Extraction Cockpit (AEC) for flexible audit reporting

Dolphin used an aggressive archiving strategy and a hybrid storage model. Frequently accessed sales data was moved to nearline storage for additional compression and fast access. Dolphin also employed data security and encryption to protect sensitive customer data and added audit tools to facilitate responding to fiscal and legal requirements.

Results

The company has been working with Dolphin for almost 10 years to keep their data growth under control. To date the company has realized the following benefits:

  • Archived more than 250 TB data
  • Improved system performance
  • Compliant with data privacy and security regulations
  • Improved response time for internal and external audits

 

Improving Financial Compliance using DART

DART is not just an IRS tool. Learn how to get the most from it.

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Southern California Edison Migrates SAP BW to HANA adding Nearline Storage and Archiving

Hear Ron Grabyan, Manager Data Warehousing Services, describe how Southern California Edison approached migrating BW to HANA and its HANA implementation, and why SCE added an NLS strategy to control growth and achieve payback.

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University of Toronto Optimizes Accounts Payable and Moves to the Head of the Class

The University of Toronto, one of the top-ranked research universities in the world, is used to being at the head of the class. So, when the Facilities and Services department was looking for a solution to optimize its accounts payable processes and increase savings and efficiencies, it wanted a “smart” solution that could meet the University’s unique requirements.

In this webcast, Ron Swail, Assistant Vice-President, Facilities & Services and Darrel Fernandopulle, Director, Financial Services – Facilities & Services from the University of Toronto and Brian Shannon of Dolphin will discuss how the department was able to implement an SAP-centric solution that could automate and standardize its manual accounts payable processes and also support the University’s unique business processes and diverse vendor community.

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Can you Continue to Ignore Data Encryption in SAP?

presentationDolphin’s encryption solutions that help to control access to legally protected data (PII, PCI DSS) as well as sensitive business data in order to strengthen legal and governance compliance and reduce risk. The solution encrypts data that resides in either the SAP solution database or the SAP archive repository at the field level, for example, credit card or Social Security numbers.

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State of Supply Chain Management

SupplychainManagerChallenges2014SAPinsider conducted a survey on priorities for Supply Chain managers in 2014. They found a majority of organizations (53%) are looking to optimize processes. This infographic illustrates these concerns and other issues facing Supply Chain managers today.

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Dolphin Improves Business Performance for SAP Systems

dolphinBPIDolphin helps companies manage data and processes to improve business performance. Our process solutions improve the efficiency of solutions to improve productivity and reduce costs.  Our data solutions enable comprehensive management and disposition of information across its lifecycle to mitigate risk and reduce the total cost of ownership of SAP systems.

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Multi-media Retailer Implements SAP Accounts Payable Automation and Workflow

One of the largest multi-media and on-line retailers in the world was struggling with a very paper driven Accounts Payable process. The time to process invoices was long and labor intensive. The staff was spending too much time handling exceptions causing lost invoices, duplicate payments and other inefficiencies. The decision was made to automate as much of the process as possible.

There were several unique requirements for the solution. The company decided to roll out the solution in the UK; however the technical team was in the US. Also, not all approvers were SAP users and there was no budget for additional licenses. In addition, the company needed a solution that would:

  • Work with SAP Apparel and Footwear (AFS)
  • Enable auto-posting of invoices
  • Use SAP workflows

Solution
Dolphin implemented our best practices solution for Accounts Payable (AP) that leveraged the company’s existing SAP environment. The solution included key features the company needed including:

  • Visibility into invoice status throughout the invoice-to-pay process
  • SAP workflows and automated invoice capture to speed up and automate the manual processes
  • Web-based approvals for both SAP and non-SAP approvals.

Manual processes were replaced with automated ones reducing risk by eliminating errors, duplicate payments and lost and/or misplaced documents. The company transitioned from a completely paper-driven, manually intensive AP vendor payment process to an automated, streamlined and flexible workflow solution thereby reducing costs and improving inefficiencies.

Results

The company has realized many benefits since implementing the solution:

  • Reduced average invoice processing time from 20 days to 9 days
  • 40% reduction in processing staff
  • Improved productivity through all processing steps
  • Eliminated errors and redundancies
  • Invoices are handled only once
  • Simplified approval process
  • Decreased number of vendor inquiries
  • Provides complete visibility, control and audit trails from point of entry into SAP to payment

Other Solutions
The company also implemented SAP’s Data Archive Retention Tool (DART) for the UK and Germany, and data archiving in the US, for FI and MM. Ongoing data archiving is ensuring optimal system performance and compliance for structured and non-structured data and documents.

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Real Estate Giant Transforms Its Manual Invoice Process and Improves Visibility

A 140-year-old privately held real estate investment company best known for the balanced, sustainable communities in Southern California and the Silicon Valley was in the process of rolling out SAP. The company had grown quickly and consequently had very complex Accounts Payable (AP) processes. With over 400 managed properties, there was no visibility into invoices needing approval, and the process needed to be re-engineered. The company decided the best approach is to automate its existing AP process, concurrent with the SAP rollout, so it could have a more centralized invoice process that provided greater visibility.

Solution 
Dolphin provided complete blueprint, implementation and training services for the company’s invoice process for Accounts Payable. The solution included Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable, along with archiving to retain the invoice images in PBS ContentLink, an SAP ArchiveLink certified document repository. Dolphin designed and implemented the capture management system consisting of Kofax Ascent and Ascent for Payables Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Custom workflows were created using SAP Business WorkFlow to provide seamless integration and to complement the entire procure-to-pay process.

Key decision points were:

  • An end-to-end solution with one vendor
  • A complementary rollout in conjunction with SAP Procure to Pay
  • Maximum leverage of their SAP investment with minimal additional Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Best practices-based solution tailored to their specific environment
  • Web-based approval and coding of invoices
  • Automatic routing of invoices for approval and coding based on rules, without AP processor intervention

Results 
The project from blueprint to implementation successfully went “live” in conjunction with their SAP application providing a seamless procure-to-pay solution.

  • An enterprise-wide view to invoices
  • Automatic process time monitoring and escalation as needed
  • Improved efficiencies and visibility to invoices reducing lost or misrouted invoices

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Cobra Electronics Improves Time to Payment With Easy Access to Sales Orders

Cobra Electronics, a leading global designer and marketer of communication and navigation products, found that customer billing questions were impacting the company’s time to payment. Resolving billing questions often took multiple calls and the staff had to search for and assemble sales order related documents from many areas.  This problem was even greater when large customers had billing questions, as delayed payments on large orders significantly impacted the company’s cash flow.

At the time, the company would manually key in all order information, hand write the SAP document number on each order, the copy the order, file it and then send it to be scanned and indexed in SAP applications.

The company wanted to automate this process to reduce the manual, time consuming parts of the order entry process and reduce the time required to respond to billing questions. The goal was to be able to answer questions in a single call. To do this the company would need to be able to:

  • Search for and instantly access all sales order related documents – bills of lading, credit memos, sales orders – regardless of where they resided in SAP.
  • Access customer-related non-SAP documents that are covered under Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) policies.

The new solution would replace the existing, homegrown imaging system with a solution that would be capable of managing all customer order related documents and flexible enough to scale to meet the needs of other business process areas.

Solution
Dolphin implemented a solution that included Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Receivable, Dolphin Document Navigator and Output and Dolphin Cloud Archive Service. The solution, would enable every sales representative (SR) to have a complete 360 degree view of all sales order related documents by enabling:

  • Intelligent scanning of sales orders
  • Linking of scanned images and bar codes to SAP transactions
  • Searching for customer-related documents across all of SAP
  • Ability to select and assemble all customer-related documents in a single PDF
  • Ability to print, fax or email selected documents

With this information close at hand, sales staff can easily engage customers in a real-time discussion and answer inquiries or resolve disputes on the spot.

Results
The solution was implemented in 37 days using very few IT resources. Thus far the company has significantly improved time to payment. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced time to resolve customer billing inquiries from 3 days to minutes
  • Faster payment and reduced Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
  • 50% reduction in time to resolve collection issues
  • Instant access to customer-related documents from SAP and non-SAP systems
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Faster audit response time
  • Improved compliance with secure document retention

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IMS Health Streamlines Throughput and Trims Waste from AP

IMS Health, a leading provider of market research services for pharmaceutical and healthcare industries relies on robust processes and innovative technology to support its Healthcare Measurement, Consulting, and Analytics & Services business divisions. With an active acquisitions team, the company was growing quickly and sometimes struggled to merge disparate organizations and fractured processes. The company is continuously striving to deliver exceptional service as it tracks more than 80% of global pharmaceutical activity annually for the pharmaceutical and related industries.

The company, which runs SAP ERP, needed an Accounts Payable improvement solution that:

  • Supports the strategic imperative of exceptional customer service
  • Improves processing of time-sensitive invoices from the global supplier base.
  • Enables centralization/outsourcing of processing capable of handling the company’s many foreign language transactions
  • Automates the capture of invoice data with accuracy and reliability
  • Fits into the company’s new SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) module

Solution
Optimizing the business process was critical to the success of the solution. The team chose to leverage Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable and its capabilities including:

  • Intelligent document capture of digitized images
  • Data validation and line-item matching to enable hands-free posting of transactions
  • Intelligent workflows to route transactions for exception handling, coding and approvals based on the organization’s business rules
  • Real-time information on invoice status for improved transparency across the company’s shared service centers and the centralized corporate management team
  • Reporting and metrics, such as invoice cycle time, to identify areas for improvement across the business process

Results
Language issues and remote processing concerns evaporated once Dolphin’s solution was implemented. With an invoice recognition rate of over 90%, the solution delivers significant auto-posting success rates that previously required manual touch points. The organization has experienced tangible cost savings and greater control over their cash flow as well as mitigating the risk inherent in the AP process.

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Harness the Potential of Unlimited Data Storage

SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 2, April 2015.

Organizations are collecting data at an ever-increasing rate. In the past, it was simply too expensive to store every bit of data, but the real-time processing capabilities of SAP HANA makes it possible to lift this limitation.

In this article, learn how a data storage strategy based on SAP HANA allows you to retain virtually unlimited amounts of data at a fraction of the cost, enabling you to answer previously unanswerable questions about your business.

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Launchpad Demo

The PTS Launchpad provides users with a graphical dashboard that acts as a centralized reporting hub for reporting on Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Sales and Distribution and Finance and Administration processes in SAP systems. Users can monitor business processes from start to finish with the vast library of reports and key performance indicators that are available out-of-the-box with the Dolphin Process Tracking System. The Launchpad enables users to view any Dolphin, SAP, or custom report; group reports by categories; and save personalized report variants so they always have access to the information they need.
 

 

Archiving Big Data to Support GRC Initiatives

Enterprise CIO Forum, February 2015

While many organizations are racing to figure out the best analytical approach to extract business value from Big Data, most are still trying to determine how to deal with very practical concerns related to storing such large volumes of information. Further complicating matters is that much of this data is heavily regulated by numerous outside entities, each with a say in how long it must be retained and in what format it must be saved. While many CIOs and their teams remain unsure what role governance should play in their data archiving strategy, there are several clear benefits attained through archiving.

All too often, the concept of archiving still conjures up images of either IT or end users taking information offline to be stored away in a dusty basement where it might be safe from disaster, but extremely difficult to organize and ultimately, access. That’s not the case. Archiving today simply refers to the process of moving data from an active database to a more cost-effective storage platform. With a well-planned strategy, the data remains easily accessible to users.

To read the full article on Enterprise CIO Forum click here

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Differentiating Good from Great. Transform Key Financial Processes to Gain Competitive Advantage and Drive Results

SAPinsider, Jan/Feb/March 2015

Strong financial leadership means more than cost-cutting and performance management. Customers and vendors are looking for reasons to do business with your company — they are differentiating the good companies from the great. To find out where your organization falls on the spectrum, start with this question: Are your finance processes optimized for internal and external business drivers?

Successful finance organizations distinguish themselves in many ways, but the most strategic and successful start by improving service levels and transforming the business to adapt to changing market conditions. Let’s look at three ways companies can adopt a relentless approach to business transformation that drives results.

To read the full article click here

9 Tips for Selecting and Implementing an ERP System

CIO, July 2014

Experts in ERP and change management share their tips on how to choose and deploy an ERP system to maximize your monetary and time investment. Plus steps you can take to improve the chances of workers will actually use the software.

Deploying an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is an expensive proposition, not just in terms of licensing dollars (SLA) and maintenance, but in terms of dedicated resources and time. And yet all too often, organizations, dazzled by vendor promises and hype — Deploy our ERP software and your manufacturing business will instantly run smoother and increase profits! — fail to come up with a viable long-term (or even short-term) roadmap.

Make a clear and extensive list of requirements before you start looking at vendors

“Begin by carefully defining the scope of your project,” says Ed Talerico, director, Industry & Solution Strategy, a provider of enterprise applications. “Focus on specific business processes and system requirements. The more specific you can be upfront, the more detailed your vendors can be in their proposals.”

“If you get one thing right, make it the up-front requirements gathering process,” says Brian Shannon, principal business process management architect, Dolphin Enterprise Solutions. “Few things derail project budgets and timelines as the ‘assumptive’ or absent requirements.” So make sure you engage with end users, IT and senior management.

“Too often, people select an ERP system based on factors such as price, current technology buzz or the system that is the flashiest,” adds Fresca. “But without a good fit, companies are left with expensive customization and bolted together solutions,” she notes. The solution: “Find an ERP system that is industry-specific, with tools and features designed to solve your business requirements. The ROI and long-term benefits of a good fitting system are extensive.”

To read the full article on CIO.com click here.

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5 Ways to Energize Your SAP Back Office

SAPinsider, April/May/June 2014
Brian Shannon

Are your back-office processes cumbersome, error-prone, and lacking in corporate-wide visibility?

Perhaps the fundamental issue is that you refer to them as “back office,” affixing what could be considered a derogatory label to a staff of valuable contributors. Using such seemingly unimportant labels, you are also likely neglecting a potential area for improvement that could help your operation significantly reduce cost infrastructures, improve cash flows, and mitigate the risks inherent in such processes.

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Return on HANA investment – Two SAP Partners Weigh In

Diginomica, March 2014
When it comes to return on data, enterprise customers have a sticky wicket indeed: solutions for better results are everywhere, but the proliferation of data is also expanding at an intimidating rate. Net-net: the cost of getting a return on data remains a considerable problem. In SAP’s case, HANA use cases are maturing to the point where we can talk numbers, not just speeds.

Click here to read the full article on Diginomica.com.

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Gain a Competitive Edge by Optimizing Your Core Supply Chain Processes

SAPinsider Special Report, January 2014.
Brian Shannon

Improving customer service and responsiveness, particularly related to exception processing, while reducing costs is one of the biggest supply chain challenges that SAP customers will face in the coming year. Companies need to get a handle on business processes and data within their supply chains.

This undertaking can be overwhelming. Companies need real-time visibility so they can adapt their processes to changing economic and commercial environments, ensuring they have the right information at their fingertips to make informed decisions. It is also critical that solutions intended to enhance the supply chain integrate with existing SAP systems and applications, so they improve overall business performance instead of hinder it.

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Building a Bridge to SAP HANA

SAPinsider, Jan/Feb/March 2012
Dr. Werner Hopf

Today’s business intelligence (BI) systems — like SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) — are experiencing record levels of data growth. As more data accumulates in these systems, they can become difficult to maintain, resulting in slow queries, reduced productivity, and increased TCO.

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