Don’t Roll the Dice with Your Future … Find Out What Happened at SAPinsider Financials 2018 …

  The first event of 2018 is under our belt and we’re pleased to say it was a great success. The Hanse Orga Group companies, including Dolphin and e5 Solutions all gathered at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas to discuss the future of Finance for customers running SAP systems. We were thrilled to get the opportunity to meet so many different finance leaders from across the US, Canada and the rest of the world during the week. Everyone we talked to was eager to get the information they needed to adapt their SAP systems and processes to support strategic growth in the coming years. The week started off with a keynote address from Todd McElhatton, CFO of SAP North America on Digital Finance Transformation. He spoke about how CFOs can support digital transformation by leveraging SAP systems to improve cost efficiency, expand digital services, add intelligence to products and services, and proactively identify risk and compliance concerns. According to Todd, CFOs need the right platform and tools in place to do this, and they need to do it now or risk being left behind. CFOs who help lead this change will be able to benefit from more efficient and engaged teams, become more involved in business partnering rather than managing back office operational tasks, and drive greater innovation and growth across the organization. Later that day Hanse Orga CEO, Sven Lindemann was interviewed by Rizal Ahmed of SAPinsider on the biggest challenges facing CFOs right now. According to Sven the three biggest challenges for CFOs are: Transparency, Centralization and managing Risk of Fraud and Compliance. "What we see is a need to automate processes along the entire financial value chain. We see everything ending in a Payment. If you see an Order to Cash or a Procure to Pay process it ends in a payment. For Order-to-Cash this starts with Know Your Customer, credit management, collections, cash application and ends in payment. For Procure-to-Pay, you receive an invoice which ends with a payment sent to the bank. Combining these processes and automating them provides CFOs with essential cash visibility across the organization. And you have to know this as an organization ― how much cash you have on hand.... We at Hanse Orga Group are working on solutions that will help CFOs gain the transparency they need to meet the challenges facing them today.” As in previous years, Financials 2018 was co-located with GRC 2018, therefore, many attendees were interested in learning more about the quickly approaching May 2018 deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR is a new data privacy regulation that applies to European residents for all companies worldwide whether the person is a customer, supplier, or employee. James Baird, Senior Data Consultant of Dolphin, a member of the Hanse Orga Group, was there to let everyone know that there’s no need to panic. “GDPR is similar to many existing privacy regulations such as PII and PCI, so if you already comply with these regulations, you’re off to a good start” said James. “However, there are some differences between these regulations and GDPR. Companies will need to know how to address “the right to be forgotten” and other unique GDPR requirements by the deadline – sorry, no extensions.” Many of his points were reflected in his recent article “Putting a Retention Plan in Place: 7 Steps to Prepare for GDPR”. We learned many other interesting titbits while at the event. For instance, did you know ….?

  • “74 % of companies experienced payment fraud in 2016” according to a recent AFP survey. Brian Shannon and Ingo Czok discussed this statistic as the explained how to control your upstream and downstream Procure to Pay processes to protect against fraud.
  • “42% of companies in the US that delay payment are doing so because of insufficient funds” according to Atradius Payment Practices. Andy Büch discussed this statistic in his presentation on Disputes and Collections. According to Andy it’s important to know if your customer is not ABLE to pay or is not WILLING to pay because how you handle collections will be very different.
  • “73% of Finance organizations see end-to-end O2C processes as critical or very important” based on a recent survey of finance leaders by Hanse Orga Group. Marko Kling brought up this data point when he discussed how to achieve greater automation and centralization of O2C processes using an O2C Factory.
  • “Less than 50% of companies are capturing available discounts from suppliers” according to a recent survey by Dolphin and Shared Services Link. Brain Shannon used this statistic to discuss how automation can be used to auto-post invoices so companies can take advantage of available discounts.
  • "Three ways to protect sensitive electronic payments are 1) Strict and well documented access rights, 2) Strong encryption, and 3) ISO 27001 and SSAE 16 certification” according to Ingo Czok who discussed how it is possible to achieve simple and secure payment solutions in the Cloud or through a Managed Service.
We were particularly proud of our two customers who gave excellent presentations on their journey toward process improvement:
    • Goldcorp recounted how it was one of the first customers to implement SAP S/4HANA Treasury and Cash Management functionality. The session drew a large crowd of people who wanted to know how the company was able to make the transition to S/4HANA and jettison its legacy Treasury Management Systems (TMS). The company’s new SAP-centric treasury system has seamless integration with the company’s various interest/FX rate and trading systems and provides real-time reporting capabilities which are essential for efficient treasury operations. Using a unique sidecar approach, the company minimized its risk and disruption by implementing S/4HANA in parallel with its existing SAP ECC system. With this approach the company was able to continue daily operations on its stable SAP ECC system while benefiting from the new advanced features available with S/4HANA.
    • Vishay Intertechnology shared its lessons on how to cajole users into adopting process improvements. While they say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, Vishay proved that every user has unique needs and provided the audience with creative strategies for getting those “dogs” to embrace change to drive greater process efficiency.
Want more information on what else happened at Financials 2018 and GRC 2018? Check out the following links or email us at contact@dolphin-corp.com to receive a copy of the presentations Hanse Orga Group delivered while at the show.

Don’t Roll the Dice with Your Future … Find Out What Happened at SAPinsider Financials 2018 …

 

The first event of 2018 is under our belt and we’re pleased to say it was a great success. The Hanse Orga Group companies, including Dolphin and e5 Solutions all gathered at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas to discuss the future of Finance for customers running SAP systems.

We were thrilled to get the opportunity to meet so many different finance leaders from across the US, Canada and the rest of the world during the week. Everyone we talked to was eager to get the information they needed to adapt their SAP systems and processes to support strategic growth in the coming years.

The week started off with a keynote address from Todd McElhatton, CFO of SAP North America on Digital Finance Transformation. He spoke about how CFOs can support digital transformation by leveraging SAP systems to improve cost efficiency, expand digital services, add intelligence to products and services, and proactively identify risk and compliance concerns. According to Todd, CFOs need the right platform and tools in place to do this, and they need to do it now or risk being left behind. CFOs who help lead this change will be able to benefit from more efficient and engaged teams, become more involved in business partnering rather than managing back office operational tasks, and drive greater innovation and growth across the organization.

Later that day Hanse Orga CEO, Sven Lindemann was interviewed by Rizal Ahmed of SAPinsider on the biggest challenges facing CFOs right now. According to Sven the three biggest challenges for CFOs are: Transparency, Centralization and managing Risk of Fraud and Compliance.

“What we see is a need to automate processes along the entire financial value chain. We see everything ending in a Payment. If you see an Order to Cash or a Procure to Pay process it ends in a payment. For Order-to-Cash this starts with Know Your Customer, credit management, collections, cash application and ends in payment. For Procure-to-Pay, you receive an invoice which ends with a payment sent to the bank. Combining these processes and automating them provides CFOs with essential cash visibility across the organization. And you have to know this as an organization ― how much cash you have on hand…. We at Hanse Orga Group are working on solutions that will help CFOs gain the transparency they need to meet the challenges facing them today.”

As in previous years, Financials 2018 was co-located with GRC 2018, therefore, many attendees were interested in learning more about the quickly approaching May 2018 deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR is a new data privacy regulation that applies to European residents for all companies worldwide whether the person is a customer, supplier, or employee. James Baird, Senior Data Consultant of Dolphin, a member of the Hanse Orga Group, was there to let everyone know that there’s no need to panic.

“GDPR is similar to many existing privacy regulations such as PII and PCI, so if you already comply with these regulations, you’re off to a good start” said James. “However, there are some differences between these regulations and GDPR. Companies will need to know how to address “the right to be forgotten” and other unique GDPR requirements by the deadline – sorry, no extensions.”

Many of his points were reflected in his recent article “Putting a Retention Plan in Place: 7 Steps to Prepare for GDPR”.

We learned many other interesting titbits while at the event. For instance, did you know ….?

  • “74 % of companies experienced payment fraud in 2016” according to a recent AFP survey. Brian Shannon and Ingo Czok discussed this statistic as the explained how to control your upstream and downstream Procure to Pay processes to protect against fraud.
  • “42% of companies in the US that delay payment are doing so because of insufficient funds” according to Atradius Payment Practices. Andy Büch discussed this statistic in his presentation on Disputes and Collections. According to Andy it’s important to know if your customer is not ABLE to pay or is not WILLING to pay because how you handle collections will be very different.
  • “73% of Finance organizations see end-to-end O2C processes as critical or very important” based on a recent survey of finance leaders by Hanse Orga Group. Marko Kling brought up this data point when he discussed how to achieve greater automation and centralization of O2C processes using an O2C Factory.
  • “Less than 50% of companies are capturing available discounts from suppliers” according to a recent survey by Dolphin and Shared Services Link. Brain Shannon used this statistic to discuss how automation can be used to auto-post invoices so companies can take advantage of available discounts.
  • “Three ways to protect sensitive electronic payments are 1) Strict and well documented access rights, 2) Strong encryption, and 3) ISO 27001 and SSAE 16 certification” according to Ingo Czok who discussed how it is possible to achieve simple and secure payment solutions in the Cloud or through a Managed Service.

We were particularly proud of our two customers who gave excellent presentations on their journey toward process improvement:

    • Goldcorp recounted how it was one of the first customers to implement SAP S/4HANA Treasury and Cash Management functionality. The session drew a large crowd of people who wanted to know how the company was able to make the transition to S/4HANA and jettison its legacy Treasury Management Systems (TMS). The company’s new SAP-centric treasury system has seamless integration with the company’s various interest/FX rate and trading systems and provides real-time reporting capabilities which are essential for efficient treasury operations. Using a unique sidecar approach, the company minimized its risk and disruption by implementing S/4HANA in parallel with its existing SAP ECC system. With this approach the company was able to continue daily operations on its stable SAP ECC system while benefiting from the new advanced features available with S/4HANA.
    • Vishay Intertechnology shared its lessons on how to cajole users into adopting process improvements. While they say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, Vishay proved that every user has unique needs and provided the audience with creative strategies for getting those “dogs” to embrace change to drive greater process efficiency.

Want more information on what else happened at Financials 2018 and GRC 2018?

Check out the following links or email us at contact@dolphin-corp.com to receive a copy of the presentations Hanse Orga Group delivered while at the show.

Our Executives Predict What’s To Come in 2018

It was a record setting cold start to 2018 but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t burning issues that IT and Business leaders need to keep watching over the next 12 months.

We asked our executives what their predictions were for 2018 and this is what they had to say.

 

Sven Lindemann: Centralize Payments to Control Cash Flow, Improve Compliance and Prevent Fraud
“Centralization, fraud prevention and compliance are all major topics that clients are focusing on at the moment. Everyone wants to discuss these issues, and organizations are increasingly open to moving to the cloud in order to address these areas more effectively…. Increasingly we see companies wanting to approach [Payments] in a centralized way so that they can make sure they are working with the right partners, paying the right amounts and receiving the expected sums.”

Learn more about the payment challenges facing global organizations by reading Sven’s latest article in Treasury Today.

 

Dr. Werner Hopf: Risk and Compliance: Driving the Need for Chief Data Officers

“With the impending onslaught of compliance requirements, the regulation of data will be paramount in 2018.  Companies needs to be keenly aware of where they store and manage data over the residual life cycle to not only be in compliance, but – more importantly – to protect their organizations and customers from unnecessary risk and associated costs. We will see a spike in the specific need for Chief Data Officers, as this role becomes paramount and perceived as highly valuable within the enterprise.”

Read Dr. Hopf’s predictions and other data-related predictions from industry leaders at “Analytics in 2018: AI, IoT and multi-cloud, or bust”, ZDNET

 

Vishal Awasthi: Robotics and RPA: Use Wisely

“Robotics is here to stay, yet it is not the panacea.  Robotics and RPA can offer great value to the enterprise by cutting costs, eliminating manual errors and freeing up high-value employees. However, it’s imperative to understand that there is a threshold and “dark side,” if not managed properly. For the classic rules based RPAs, if the rules get too complex, or get setup by business analysts not familiar with all the nuances of the processes, RPA can produce incorrect results and put companies at risk. This is a classic case where you gain efficiency at the cost of effectiveness. Since people put machines to higher levels of accountability compared to humans, this could be a deathblow to such systems. This problem could be even worse for the Machine Learning based Robotics systems as the Machine Learning models are notoriously opaque.  Therefore companies need to be aware of both the pros and cons of RPA to ensure they’re implementing it for processes that will truly benefit from RPA – and properly balancing it with human oversight and processing.”

To find out more about Vishal’s latest thoughts on the latest technology trends on Robotics, AI, and more follow him on Twitter @vishalaw

 

Brian Shannon: Transparency and Secure Access with Blockchain
Blockchain is here and now, and it will continue to gain traction as it provides transparency to the supply chain – especially in complex supply chain industries, such as the automotive and retail industries. Blockchain securely grants access to all transactions that are taking place across the entire ecosystem. We used to think of blockchain within the context of the banking industry, yet the technology is rapidly gaining traction in the automotive and retail world.  Blockchain-ready transactions is a concept we will talk more about in 2018.”

Find out more about Blockchain trends in “Predictions 2018: Why Blockchain is Ready to Break Out in the Enterprise”, eWeek

 

 

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.

 

Top Trends from SAPPHIRE 2017

 

We’re finally back from SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 + ASUG Annual Conference and we wanted to give everyone an update on what happened. First, let’s start with a few words from Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and CSO Brian Shannon from the show floor.

There were several trends that we saw at this event that will impact our customers – here are five things you need to know.

SAP HANA and S/4HANA are No Longer Just for Early Adopters

The biggest trend we saw this year is that SAP HANA and S/4HANA have moved out of the “early adopter” phase and these platforms are now being widely adopted by many companies. According to the ASUG Member HANA Adoption Survey, 33 % of companies have purchased SAP S/4HANA and 28% plan to purchase S/4 in the next 12-18 months. Approximately 8% of these customers are currently live on S/4HANA – but this number is growing quickly.

In addition to companies that are upgrading their existing SAP systems to S/4HANA, we talked with many people at SAPPHIRE who were net new SAP customers, moving to SAP S/4HANA from other legacy solutions. For our customers, we know that many of them are just starting on their own journey to HANA – so hold on to your hats people – from now until 2025 things are going to get interesting!

Digitization is Transforming SAP from the System of Record to the System of Innovation

Anyone who heard Bill McDermott’s keynote speech knows that the move to HANA is all about enabling the digital business of the future. New technologies such as cloud, mobile, internet of things, blockchain and more are opening up a new world of business opportunities and SAP wants to ensure that companies can leverage these technologies as soon as possible. To this end, McDermott used his keynote to introduce the world to SAP Leonardo which is a platform that will enable companies to harnesses the power of the Internet of Things. This is just one of many new developments available with SAP HANA that, as McDermott said, are helping transform SAP from its current position as the enterprise system of record – to becoming the system of innovation.

Audit & Compliance is on Everyone’s Mind

The rapid introduction of new regulations had many companies worried about Audit and Compliance. We had a lot of discussions about how to support emerging compliance requirements in Europe and Latin America such as Standard Audit File -Tax (SAF-T) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As Dr. Hopf says “Companies really need to get their arms around where they store data, how they manage data and information over the residual lifecycle in order to be compliant with those requirements.”

The SAP Community is Hungry to Hear Real-World Success Stories

As always the ASUG Education Zone was buzzing with activity and Dolphin was extremely proud to support our customers who were sharing their stories about their recent experiences.

Our data customers presented several different ways to tackle the migration to SAP HANA.

  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group talked about how they were able archive terabytes of data from their 24TB ECC system in only 4 months so they could move to HANA before their competitors.
  • Chemtura (now Lanxess) spoke of the importance of using data management to reduce system size to controls the costs associated with the move to HANA.
  • AbbVie spoke of the broad set of information management solutions and techniques they employed on their journey to HANA to ensure their systems were lean and still compliant with strict pharmaceutical regulations.

Our process customers presented different stories about improving processes in a rapidly changing business and technology environment.

  • Adient spoke about its experience standing up a global shared services center to process 3 million invoices a year from a single global accounts payable invoicing hub running the Dolphin Process Tracking System.
  • Collier County talked about the ease of rolling out a Cloud-based invoice approval solution to its users. The county discussed its plans to expand the use of apps on the SAP Cloud Platform to provide their constituents with greater access to information.

Companies Still Need to Solve Immediate Business Issues and Improve the ROI of SAP Systems

While the simplified applications on S/4HANA provide companies with new and exciting capabilities, we continue to see a strong need for solutions that solve immediate business problems and improve the return on investment from SAP systems. As companies begin the transition to the new digital core, they need to make their existing environment as effective and as low cost as possible. Choosing SAP-Certified solutions such as those provided by Dolphin and our trusted partners PBS Software, TJC Software, and Hanse Orga will help companies weather the changes to the business and technology that will come their way in 2017 and beyond.

These were only a few of the topics people were discussing at SAPPHIRE this year. Did you see something we missed? Let us know!

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.

 

Dolphin Advanced Approvals for SAP HANA Cloud Platform Highlighted by SAP PartnerEdge

 
One of the biggest trends we saw in the SAP market in 2015 was the continued transition of customers to Cloud-based solutions and to SAP HANA.

Recently, Dolphin CTO Vishal Awasthi spoke about how Dolphin is helping accelerate this transition with solutions such as Dolphin Advanced Approvals, which is available on the SAP® HANA Cloud Platform.
 

 
In his interview with SAP PartnerEdge, Vishal discusses why the HANA Cloud Platform’s platform-as-a-service model is the future for many SAP customers. He discusses how the platform enables organizations to quickly introduce new cloud-based, highly scalable, innovative solutions while maintaining tight integration with existing on-premise SAP systems. Dolphin customers can benefit from SAP HANA Cloud Platform solutions, because the solutions allow them to lower the cost and complexity of innovation while also addressing urgent business needs.

Dolphin was one of the first SAP partners to develop a solution on the platform and we are proud that our solution, Dolphin Advanced Approvals was highlighted this month by SAP as part of its PartnerEdge program.

Find out more about Dolphin Advanced Approvals.

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.

 

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Leonardo da Vinci

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

Close up of vintage movie film strips

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

Dr. Werner Hopf Speaks on Controlling Explosive Data Growth at TechEd && d-code

This week the Dolphin team is busy at the SAP TechEd && d-code conference, where we’re meeting with SAP developers and experts and learning about the latest and greatest updates that are coming to the SAP ecosystem.

CTO, Vishal Awasthi presented on Dolphin’s Imaging and Document Management solution at his session “Lightweight Document Management: Lower Cost, Less Complexity, Improved UX”, which was well attended.

CEO, Dr. Werner Hopf presented on “Big Data Management and Storage Strategies Critical to SAP HANA Performance”, where he discussed strategies for controlling explosive data growth in SAP systems. If you couldn’t make it to the show and see Dr. Hopf present in person, be sure to take a look at his interview with ASUG News on the show floor, where he discusses this pressing issue for today’s organizations.

Does the thought of Disruptive Innovation Have you on Edge?

In his keynote at Sapphire NOW, Hasso Platner spoke about change in SAP systems and applications not only being a good thing, but essential. He used the term,  ‘Disruptive Innovation’, an expression that often has management and staff alike shuddering at thoughts of what this means to their daily work existence.

As SAP solutions evolve and take advantage of new technologies, customers evolve as well. And, the change can be disruptive in a good way. What everyone wants to avoid is true disruption of ‘business as usual’. How do organizations avoid the pain of change?  They don’t. They plan for it. By planning, they can avoid the worst of disruption and cultivate a formula for transition.

[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]

Tactics for Reducing TCO of SAP HANA

Recently, at SAPinsider’s BI/HANA/Admin & Basis 2014 conferences, Dr. Werner Hopf talked to Jon Reed of Diginomica to talk about Dolphin’s approach to reducing the TCO for SAP HANA. Werner discusses how with proper information management, including savvy use of near-line storage, SAP customers can bring the TCO of SAP HANA in line with the BW on HANA benefits.

[Continue Reading]

Big Data in 2014

We’re one month into 2014, and many enterprises we work with are now moving full speed ahead to shift their Big Data projects for this year from the planning and proposal stage to actual execution. For the past few years, Big Data has generated an increasing amount of discussion in board rooms, blogs and the IT press. Rightfully so, too. Big Data holds the promise to unlock valuable new insights that can help drive customer sales and grow the bottom line.[Continue Reading]

Spotlight on Oil & Gas Industry: Managing SAP Data and Processes to Maximize Business Efficiency

Harnessing the power of Big Data is an overwhelming challenge for even the most disciplined enterprise. However, the task grows more complicated in highly regulated industries such as Oil and Gas / Energy Services, where incredibly large volumes of data are simultaneously being created, shared and processed from locations across the globe. System performance is paramount, and it’s critical that all data be available and accessible when needed, or the process can break down.[Continue Reading]

Big Data, Data Growth—Too much of a good thing

Too much of a good thing typically hurts. Gorging on a second serving of pumpkin pie; guzzling a third hot toddy at the office holiday party; doing dozens of sit-ups as penance for it all.

Data is no different despite its obvious value to your business. Most major corporations today rely on real-time information to operate effectively, but the data being collected—Big Data—is growing faster than many companies can manage it. [Continue Reading]

Big Data: Realize significant benefits now while building a bridge to SAP HANA

According to industry analysts we have entered the age of “Big Data”. On one hand, Big Data relates to the fact that today’s business intelligence (BI) systems—like SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW)—are experiencing record levels of data growth from terabytes to petabytes and beyond. Conversely, tools such as SAP HANA are becoming available to transform this mounting data into a powerful asset. The real challenge of Big Data is figuring out how to maximize the opportunity for never before realized real-time business intelligence while minimizing the impact of exploding data volume on productivity and total cost of ownership (TCO).[Continue Reading]