Looking Back on 2017: Increasing Global Business Complexity, New Regulation Concerns, Payment Fraud and Robots!

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 Customers

For 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 ...

Corporate Mergers and New Regulations Require New Strategies for Managing Data and Documents

The 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 ...

The Robotic Revolution is NOW

Robots, 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.
Finance leaders must quickly educate themselves about these technologies, so they are prepared to help their companies grow in the coming years. Learn More...

Payments Fraud

Another 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 ...

Emergence of New Roles: Global Process Owners and Chief Data Officer

As 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 ...

Conclusion

Whatever 2018 will hold remains to be seen, but we are very proud of the success our customers have been able to achieve in 2017. For now, we are looking forward to the continued opportunity to provide our customers with the solutions and strategies necessary to meet the constantly changing needs of global business. All the best for the New Year! The entire Dolphin team wishes you a very happy holiday and peace, joy and prosperity in 2018.  

Looking Back on 2017: Increasing Global Business Complexity, New Regulation Concerns, Payment Fraud and Robots!

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 Customers

For 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 …

Corporate Mergers and New Regulations Require New Strategies for Managing Data and Documents

The 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 …

The Robotic Revolution is NOW

Robots, 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.

Finance leaders must quickly educate themselves about these technologies, so they are prepared to help their companies grow in the coming years.

Learn More…

Payments Fraud

Another 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 …

Emergence of New Roles: Global Process Owners and Chief Data Officer

As 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 …

Conclusion

Whatever 2018 will hold remains to be seen, but we are very proud of the success our customers have been able to achieve in 2017. For now, we are looking forward to the continued opportunity to provide our customers with the solutions and strategies necessary to meet the constantly changing needs of global business.

All the best for the New Year! The entire Dolphin team wishes you a very happy holiday and peace, joy and prosperity in 2018.

 

Can You Fit a 20 TB SAP ECC System onto a 4 TB SAP HANA System?

The short answer is no. Even with the greater database compression available with SAP HANA, some legacy SAP systems are simply too large to move onto the available SAP HANA appliances. And the larger the system, the more time and effort it requires to make the transition to HANA.

Recently, Dolphin encountered a large food and beverage company that was experiencing this very problem. With a 20 TB database, the size and complexity of the company’s existing SAP systems made it impossible to move to SAP HANA easily.

However, using Dolphin Accelerated Archiving, the company was able to quickly shrink the size of its 20 TB SAP ECC system so they could:

  • Retain the data they needed and purge the data they did not
  • Complete the transition to SAP HANA faster and with less difficulty
  • Reduce the size of the new SAP HANA system to only 4TB, saving significant costs and improving the ROI from the move to HANA

Want to find out more? Watch our webcast here where we’ll discuss this case study and other real-world strategies for managing data to simplify the move to SAP HANA.

 

Simplifying the SAP Landscape with Lightweight Content Management

Traditionally organizations that run SAP systems have implemented separate enterprise content management (ECM) systems as a repository for unstructured information (documents and images). However, this approach adds cost and complexity to the environment because it:

  • Requires a completely separate and parallel server infrastructure, with associated licenses and maintenance costs.
  • Requires users leave SAP applications to access the information they need from the ECM systems.
  • Requires additional IT staff to support this separate infrastructure.

As more organizations are looking 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 recent 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.

Want to find out more? Read “Simplify Your SAP Landscape and Reduce Costs with a Modern Content Management System” in the Spring 2016 edition of SAPinsider.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

  

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Download “Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement” Report from Gartner Inc. Courtesy of our Partner PBS Software

If you weren’t able to join Dolphin and our partner PBS Software during our recent Data Archiving Day event, you can still download a copy of the Gartner Inc. report “Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement” for a limited time only.

[Continue Reading]

Top 5 Ways to Get Business Users Excited about SAP® Data Archiving

Data archiving is an essential part of any data volume management strategy. It reduces the amount of data in online systems, driving faster system performance and lowering system costs. However, it can be difficult to convince business users of the importance of data archiving if they are worried they won’t be able to access the data when they need it.

To get business users support for data archiving, it is important to address their concerns about data retrieval after archiving.
[Continue Reading]

Data Archiving in SAP CRM? Absolutely!

Archiving data from SAP environments has become standard operating procedure at a large percentage of companies today. Usually, however, the systems that become candidates for data archiving are typically SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and SAP Business Warehouse (BW). Few think beyond that to SAP systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM).[Continue Reading]

Is your SAP GRC Firefighter database building up?

When data builds up it can affect SAP system performance. The best practice for this situation is data archiving. This moves the data out of the production system in order to manage database growth while allowing business users direct, transparent access to it. But what about data created by the GRC system? It is imperative that data needed for any audit or legal requirement be immediately available.[Continue Reading]

The Business Case for Data Archiving

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? I just Googled ‘What is an Infographic?’ I immediately received a very long list of hits. One of the first ones—and my personal favorite—is the Infographic that explains what an Infographic is. Pretty cool.

And this brings me to the topic of Data Archiving. A stretch? Maybe not if you look at data as a ‘picture’ as does the Infographic referenced above. In ERP systems there are great volumes of data that need to be tamed so that it can be sorted, arranged and presented. But in ERP systems, the data is more complicated and how to manage it can get dicey depending on the stakeholders involved and their requirements. For corporate databases, growth must be kept in check or it becomes unmanageable. And, for those using the data, it must be available instantly whenever and wherever it is needed.

So it begs the question: Why not archive it? After all, archiving saves money on a variety of levels! Isn’t that what the boss wants? Ahh. You have to build a Business Case for Data Archiving? Enough said. Let’s go back to the picture concept. Check out the infographic below and let me know if this helps. Also, if you’d like to share this infographic on your own blog or webpage, please use the “embed code” below the graphic.

Copy & Paste the Embed Code below to host this infographic on your own page or blog!

 <code><a href="https://www.dolphin-corp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CaseForDataArchiving.jpg"><img src="https://www.dolphin-
corp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CaseForDataArchiving.jpg"
 alt="The Case for Data Archiving Infographic" width="600"
 border="0"></a><BR>© 2013 <a href="https://www.dolphin-corp.com">
Dolphin</a></code>

Does cloud storage fit into smart SAP archiving strategies?

The SAP world is all abuzz about cloud computing these days, and for good reason. During last fall’s TechEd conference, SAP announced a number of tools to help companies run SAP solutions on private cloud architectures. But amid all the buzz, there hasn’t been much talk on one aspect of cloud computing highly relevant for any user of SAP solutions: incorporating cloud storage into SAP data archiving strategies. Except by Dolphin.

[Continue Reading]

The top three myths about SAP Data Archiving

Data archiving is an event—Wrong. Data archiving is a process, not a project. Many companies archive their critical business data on an arbitrary schedule—whenever someone thinks of it, once a year, or even just once. But proper data archiving is a constant, ongoing process. Effective data volume management requires consistency, especially considering the pace at which contemporary corporations generate new transactional data. Whether an hourly, daily or weekly archiving schedule is appropriate for your business needs, archiving is an ongoing process and should never be considered a special occurrence.[Continue Reading]

SAP Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA): Are the benefits worth the cost?

In a searchSAP.com story, editor Courtney Bjorlin reports that many users are upset about the cost of improving SAP NetWeaver BW performance with its BW Accelerator. In the article, Dolphin’s CEO Werner Hopf offers insight into how to assess your own needs for speeding up queries, and into the need to make your choices in the context of your company’s information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy. [Continue Reading]