Nexeo Solutions’ Data Archiving Strategy Ensures Security and Improves Performance

Nexeo Solutions – worldwide distributor of chemicals, plastics, and environmental services – needed to ensure reliable and timely same-day or next-day deliveries to roughly 28,000 customers worldwide after divesting from its parent company in 2011. To continue creating and tracking purchase orders in the most efficient and effective manner, Nexeo Solutions underwent a phased data management journey over the course of several years. Learn how Nexeo Solutions methodically encrypted and archived data to increase user efficiency and performance of key user transactions, and reduced database size to establish a sustainable and secure archiving strategy that would accommodate future growth.

Nexeo Solutions’ Data Archiving Strategy Ensures Security and Improves Performance

Nexeo Solutions – worldwide distributor of chemicals, plastics, and environmental services – needed to ensure reliable and timely same-day or next-day deliveries to roughly 28,000 customers worldwide after divesting from its parent company in 2011. To continue creating and tracking purchase orders in the most efficient and effective manner, Nexeo Solutions underwent a phased data management journey over the course of several years.

Learn how Nexeo Solutions methodically encrypted and archived data to increase user efficiency and performance of key user transactions, and reduced database size to establish a sustainable and secure archiving strategy that would accommodate future growth.

Be Compliant, Stay Compliant: How Policies, Procedures, Protocol, and People Help You Tackle the GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new privacy regulation in Europe that protects the personal data for any individual based in the European Union (EU), regardless of citizenship or where the data is held. It applies to any organizations located inside or outside the EU if they offer goods or services to — or monitor the behavior of — EU data subjects. The GDPR will be enforced in May 2018 and outlines strict fines for companies found to be out of compliance. Now is the time for SAP customers to establish a process for adhering to the necessary requirements. To be compliant — and stay compliant — with the GDPR, companies need to be mindful of four critical areas: policies, procedures, protocol, and people.

Gearing Up for GDPR: Don’t Get Left Behind

Data Informed, Sept 2017
James Baird

We operate in an increasingly global business environment. There are clearly myriad benefits to global expansion, but – as many organizations are increasingly becoming aware – there are equally as many regulations and standards, based on the number of countries they operate in. Lately, the rapid introduction of new regulations has many companies worried about audit and compliance. Emerging compliance requirements in Europe, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), have pushed companies to understand where they store and manage data over the residual life cycle to be compliant with these requirements.

GDPR is a new privacy regulation in Europe that protects the personal data for any individual based in the European Union (EU), regardless of citizenship or where the data is being held. It applies to any organization located inside or outside the EU if it offers goods or services to, or monitors the behavior of, EU data subjects. This regulation will be enforced in May 2018 and outlines strict fines for those companies found to be out of compliance. With the deadline just under a year away, now is the time for organizations to begin to establish a process for adhering to the necessary requirements….

Data Management Strategies for Moving to SAP S/4HANA® or SAP Business Suite on HANA

Whether you are planning a move to SAP® Business Suite on SAP HANA® or to SAP S/4HANA®, the same principle applies: a sound information management strategy is key to your success. A well-crafted strategy will help you reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for these new in-memory systems, decrease downtime during the migration, and minimize risk by enforcing compliance with internal and external retention requirements.

Read this recent transcript from Dr. Werner Hopf and Ken Campbell for answers to your questions about how to manage data and documents as you move to the SAP HANA platform.


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.

How a Hybrid Cloud Scenario Leverages the Agility of the Cloud and the Security of On Premise

SAPinsider, April 2017
Vishal Awasthi

Many chief technology officers (CTOs) have already embraced the idea of cloud technology in some aspect of their business. Cloud storage and cloud hosted applications, for example, have long been popular options for organizations. Despite the numerous benefits of cloud solutions, a complete transition can seem risky, and many companies are reluctant to take the leap and implement a cloud-only strategy. This is why many organizations are choosing to adopt the
best of both worlds: a hybrid cloud approach that takes advantage of the benefits of cloud while keeping certain applications on premise.

Today, the question isn’t if hybrid cloud is a smart approach, but rather, what is the smartest way to implement a hybrid cloud strategy? Forward-looking CTOs recognize this shift and must now evaluate their organization’s cloud readiness and the best way to make the transition for their company.

5 Ways to Drive Meaningful Process Improvements in Your Finance Department

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.

Reenergizing the Utilities Industry through Data Archiving

Electric Light & Power Magazine, November 2016
Dr. Werner Hopf

Today, “big data” is more than just a buzzword: for many companies, it is a daily reality. Businesses across virtually every industry – and the utilities sector in particular – are witnessing an explosion in the amount of data being generated, creating a critical need to manage it effectively and efficiently.

Although this rapid growth of data generates enormous opportunities for analytics and business insights, the sheer volume can also create problems that not only impede system performance, but also increase the total cost of ownership for utility companies running large ERP systems. From invoices to meter reads, utility companies often find themselves faced with simply too much data.

To navigate today’s challenges brought on by the ever-increasing influx of data, organizations are implementing rigorous data archiving strategies to free up space, improve compliance with retention requirements, increase productivity and save money.

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

SAPinsider 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.

Better Journal Entry Transparency with Digitized Approvals

insiderPROFILES, Volume 8, Issue 1. While digital transformation has been a revolutionizing force for many aspects of the organization, this isn’t always the case for the journal entry process. Routings and approvals are still often handled manually through emails, spreadsheets, and physical signatures, which can cause delays and a lack of transparency into financial close processes. And when it is time for an audit, the finance team must scramble to find all the missing pieces to the journal entry puzzle.

During a recent SAPinsider Online Q&A session, Dolphin’s Chief Strategy Officer Brian Shannon and Chief Technology Officer Vishal Awasthi answered live questions from attendees on the journal entry process, including best practices for achieving a single view across the enterprise, opportunities for simplification and automation, tips for efficient compliance and reporting, and how the Dolphin Journal Entry solution can help organizations achieve a faster, more secure financial close.

Great-West Financial Establishes Its Mobile Footprint

insiderPROFILES, Volume 8, Issue 1. In today’s fast-paced, digital world, employees are more likely to prefer the convenience of a smartphone app than the rigidity of an on-premise one. This was certainly true at Great-West Financial, a life insurance and retirement services provider that hundreds of thousands of customers rely on. Executives and managers could only access their invoice workflows via a desktop connected to the office’s system, which limited the ability to speed Accounts Payable (AP) processes. Learn how Great-West implemented the company’s first mobile app for invoice approval to bring greater speed, efficiency, and controls to its AP process.

The Importance of Information Management and Data Archiving

Data 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.

SAP HANA big data strategy leans heavily on open source Hadoop tools

The amount of digital data created annually is exploding. To process the massive volume of data generated by enterprise applications, as well as the information flowing in from a variety of external sources, organizations need a broad range of analytical capabilities. Some are now turning to the HANA big data tools offered by SAP.


Achieve the Next Step in Your Digital Vision with Cloud-Based Smart Applications

SAPinsider, July/August/September 2016. For companies looking to achieve the next step in their digital vision, the cloud-based smart applications that are available on SAP HANA Cloud Platform provide an ideal solution. These applications can be quickly rolled out to users even before a full business suite migration to SAP HANA, which means they can be strategically used to add new capabilities and address key business pain points in existing SAP environments. Because the applications run on a cloud-based, in-memory platform, users can benefit immediately from the applications’ modern user interface, powerful computing capabilities, and seamless integration with on-premise systems. They are faster and are easier to use, deploy, and maintain than legacy solutions.

Taming the Data Beast and Taking Back Control

Hybrid cloud-based solutions are increasingly becoming the cornerstone of modern enterprise systems as they enable organizations to bring innovative solutions to customers in weeks vs months.

Digital Optimization Makes Midstream Management More Efficient

Finance departments are tasked with ensuring that their organizations maintain a steady cash flow without succumbing to financial risk, putting the organizations in positions to respond to immediate business challenges and opportunities. Successful management of near-cash processes will also allow for future scenarios—such as an acquisition, divestiture or expansion—to occur without detrimental interruptions to the current operations. The midstream market is also particularly expensive to operate in and requires organizations to keep cash accessible, so that they can react quickly to changing market demands.

Read Full Article Online

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.

Extending Process Innovation to the Cloud: The Future of Enterprise Application Strategy

By Vishal Awasthi | SAPinsider, Volume 17, Issue 2 April 26, 2016
For many companies, moving to the cloud can seem like a risky move. Whether they fear a lack of security or have invested too much in their on-premise systems, companies are reluctant to make the leap. But what if they could have the best of both worlds? By adopting a hybrid cloud approach and leveraging SAP HANA Cloud Platform, companies can simply extend their business processes into the cloud while leaving their SAP systems on-premise. Hear the benefits of a hybrid approach in terms of process efficiency, business agility, and growth scalability as well as how security can be factored in to protect your business.

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

SAPinsider, April 2016
Dr. Werner Hopf and Vishal Awasthi

As 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.

Hybrid Cloud: The Future of Enterprise Application Strategy

CIO Review, April 2016
Vishal Awasthi

The 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. . . .

Automating Accounts Receivable Maximizes Cash Flow Minimizes Risk

Wards Auto, March 25, 2016

Brian Shannon

The automotive industry is built on innovation and speed, externally by the continuous advent of new vehicles and internally through improved data and process solutions.

The industry currently is experiencing a shift in the order-to-cash process, steadily moving toward automation of these important business transactions. This shift is minimizing paper’s impact in accounts receivable, allowing organizations to automate each part of the order-to-cash process from upstream sales orders to delivery documents, payments and rebates downstream…

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.

Managing Data Through Food and Beverage Industry Corporate Transformations

February 2016, Manufacturing Business Technology
Dr. Werner Hopf

Recent high-profile mergers, acquisitions and divestitures in the food and beverage industry highlight the tremendous growth potential the industry has to offer. And while typically viewed as favorable strategies for achieving growth and improved profitability, sizeable business and information technology changes that accompany corporate transformations place emphasis on ensuring that data is protected and systems are running efficiently. The recipe for success in the food and beverage industry begins with a system that effectively handles high volumes of data, and is adaptable to ever-changing demand and regulation.

3 Questions to Ask Accounts Payable Today to Plan for Tomorrow

The top priority among the many responsibilities of the CFO is managing the organization’s cash flow, costs, and financial risk. To accomplish this, processes must be both flexible and scalable in order to respond to immediate business challenges and opportunities as well as to future scenarios — such as potential acquisitions, divestitures, and expansions into new territories — with minimal disruption to operations. Processes must also be user friendly and closely aligned with the overall business roadmap to ensure buy-in across all departments. Read more

Transforming The Finance Department With An Optimized Maturity Model

January 2016, Manufacturing Business Technology
Brian Shannon

Take a step back and consider your organization’s finance department for a moment. Is it a paper-based, manually driven process prone to errors? Does it feature some automation, but still require loads of time on exception handling? Global Process Owners (GPOs) are expected to ensure the company gets paid, and to pay the company’s bills on time. The sophistication with which this is completed varies wildly from organization to organization. However, in prior years, one thing was constant: generating revenue typically was not part of the equation for this group.

At Bourns, Inc., a global manufacturer of electrical components for the automotive, industrial, consumer products, and communication industries, revenue generation become an expectation as recently as 2012. Read more

3 Tips for Establishing an AP Process Maturity Model

In this guest article, Brian Shannon Principal Business Process Management Strategist at Dolphin, an SAP solutions provider explores the stages of organizational maturity, and offers 3 crucial considerations for businesses looking to achieve and sustain optimized processes.

The concept of implementing a process maturity model in Accounts Payable can be daunting and confusing:

  • What constitutes a process maturity model?
  • How can the current state of the organization be evaluated?
  • When is the best time to implement an action plan to reach maturity?

These are questions that we’ve heard from Global Process Owners lately, particularly after our session on maturity models at this year’s North American GPO Summit. Read More

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.

IoT Momentum Drives Push for Big Data Applications

Search Manufacturing ERP, 2015

Dr. Werner Hopf, CEO of Serrala Solutions US Corporation in Malvern, PA, explained that an international bottling operation for a leading beverage manufacturer was tasked to help reduce the total cost of ownership of its ERP system, SAP ECC.

“The organization has archived more than 11 terabytes of data, which has facilitated the consolidation of international operations, a major replatforming of their systems, and led to an overall increase in reporting performance.” His firm implemented a phased approach across both its ECC and BI systems. It also required a strategy that could accommodate two very different business models.

As a result, the project reduced online data residency periods to just six months, implemented automatic archiving to allow the organization to catch up on historic archiving and meet targeted residency periods, and resulted in faster system performance, backups, upgrades and recovery times. “SAP ECC data was reduced from 32TB to just 10GB, which increased job performance. It helped modernize plant maintenance systems and improve the performance of the business intelligence report,” Hopf said. “Lastly, it created an easy separation when the organization decided to spin off one of its business units into a separate entity.”

Read more  of the article on Search Manfacturing ERP.

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

Managing Cost, Cash and Risk through Process Innovation

Supply & Demand Chain Executive, May 21, 2015

In many organizations, the finance department is viewed as a cost center. At first glance, there do not seem to be many, if any, opportunities for accounts payable (AP) or accounts receivable (AR) to contribute to meaningful business objectives. This business unit is traditionally tasked with billing customers and paying vendors. It is responsible for getting the company paid and paying the company’s bills. Generating revenue typically does not factor into the equation.

That was the situation at Bourns, Inc. as recently as 2012. As a global manufacturer of electrical components for the automotive, industrial, consumer products and communication industries, Bourns handles about 100,000 invoices per year. AP department functions are decentralized with nine separate manufacturing plants each handling individual AP responsibilities. As many as 80 percent of invoices are purchase order-based because the company purchases such a high volume of raw materials, further complicating the process.

The process was mostly paper-driven, required hands-on attention and was extremely labor intensive. When Bourns’ chief financial officer (CFO) saw the day-to-day actions required to manage this, the inefficiencies were both obvious and startling. He issued a challenge to the AP team at the Riverside, Calif. plant: It had one year to implement a touchless processing program that would see at least 60 percent of all invoices being processed with no AP involvement once invoices entered the work flow.

Read the full article on Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

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.

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

Change Leadership Key to Success of AP Projects

Paytech Magazine, February 2015

The Heraclitus axiom, “change is constant,” is an absolute truth for businesses today. Change is important because, without it, businesses are at risk of serving customer needs with antiquated and inefficient approaches and technologies, losing an important competitive edge. One should look no further than organizations such as Blockbuster and Kodak as examples. These former titans are now nothing more than a memory of times gone by, when movies meant videotape and photography meant film.

Ushering in meaningful, institutional change is difficult. John Kotter, the well-known leadership scholar, states that 70% of all major change efforts in organizations fail. The primary reason, he says, is that organizations often don’t take the holistic approach necessary to see change through to the final results. Failed projects often lack vision, leadership, and engagement — all key traits of an effective change management approach that begins in the highest echelons of an organization.

Despite the difficulty of implementing change, high performance finance departments must be in a constant state of change. They must be fast and flexible, adapting to evolving economic and environmental conditions, to strategically keep cash flowing into and out of the organization. Optimizing financial processes such as near-cash processes like accounts payable and accounts receivable can help companies make more agile decisions and grow the bottom line. But, these areas are often ineffective, slow to make and collect payments.

Stuck in the mindset that “we’ve always done it this way,” implementing change can be especially challenging. However, an effective change management strategy—beginning, according to Kotter, with an engaged leader such as the CFO—will dramatically improve the success of financial projects. What else must that leader do and why is change needed?

Big Data Jolts Utilities – Why Harnessing Big Data will Help Companies Surge

POWERGRID International, Feb/March 2015
Dr. Werner Hopf

Big data is everywhere, and utilities are creating more of it every minute. Delivering power is all about efficiency, which is why the energy industry is among those that have fully embraced that big data can unlock insights into how energy is distributed and consumed.

Applying analytics to big data is important, but in the rush to parse and dissect mountains of information, many organizations fail to address the big problem created by big data: There is too much.

Too much data is a drain on many important resources and necessitates a data volume management strategy to ensure high system performance.

Read this article for tips on how to improve performance of SAP systems with a data volume management strategy.

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

3 Trends to Watch for in Enterprise IT in 2015

Innovation Insights – Wired Blog, January 2015
Dr. Werner Hopf

An interesting transformation continues to take place throughout the enterprise – IT is no longer being viewed as a necessary evil or burdensome cost center. Instead, in high performing organizations, IT is morphing into a department that plays a big part in the customer experience capable of delivering a competitive advantage.

During this year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, I was struck by the lack of discussion surrounding traditional backbone enterprise resource planning systems, such as SAP. Instead, there was a focus on mobile, the cloud and the overall ubiquity of information, among other topics. It makes sense, too: these are the tools of the future which will propel the enterprise forward.
Changes in enterprise IT rarely occur overnight. Instead, adoption is slow — sometimes tediously so. Still, many trends emerge each year. Here are three to watch for in 2015.

To read the full article click here

Holiday Data Healthcheck

Retail TouchPoints Blog, December 2014
Dr. Werner Hopf

Believe it or not, the holiday shopping season is upon us all. For retailers – both brick and mortar and online-only alike – this is the time you’ve been working towards all year along. The National Retail Federation is predicting that combined November and December spending will increase more than four percent this year to top $616 billion. In addition, online sales are expected to jump as much as 11% year-to-year.

In 2014, data is the lifeblood of a retail organization. It has the power to propel you ahead of the competition, but it can also grind business to a halt. In the SAP environment – one quite familiar to many retailers– the difference between the two is an effective Data Volume Management strategy for your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform. Without a Data Volume Management strategy in place, database growth is left unchecked which can result in three distinct problems. If your company is besieged by one or more of these issues, it is time to consider a new approach.

To read the full article click here

3 Key Elements to Bolster your Risk Management Strategy

SAPinsider, Oct/Nov/Dec 2014

Risk is unavoidable in your business decisions and operations, but it can be managed with the right technology and the right strategy. SAP solutions for governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) enable organizations to manage risk and comply with highly complex financial, compliance, and regulatory audits. However, rapidly evolving audit requirements are changing the way that organizations do business, and merely implementing GRC solutions is not enough. By putting a comprehensive risk management strategy in place now, organizations can protect themselves from future risks. A successful risk management strategy incorporates three essential elements: roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures, and technology.

Rethinking Business Processes to Boost Margins

Food Manufacturing, August 2014
Brian Shannon

Many food manufacturers struggle to keep profits high amid thinning margins and must continuously seek new and innovative ways to reduce costs. Companies across the spectrum of food manufacturing, whether it be a purveyor of customized ingredients for the food and beverage industry, a leading spice manufacturer, or a multi-national food and beverage company, have all found a recipe for success and profitability by optimizing their near-cash processes.

Follow the Money
Near-cash processes, such as Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR), are responsible for moving cash through the enterprise and provide a very direct way to control the flow of cash and drive greater profitability. While many manufacturers are quick to introduce modern manufacturing techniques and advanced distribution systems in a bid to stay competitive, they often overlook the fact that near-cash processes require innovation too. Unlike other changes in manufacturing that can be very resource intensive, simple improvements to near-cash processes can make an immediate impact on the bottom line.

Align Process Changes with Corporate Objectives
Successful process optimization projects starts by aligning any process changes with current corporate objectives. If reducing costs is a corporate goal, it is important to find ways to leverage existing infrastructure investments and build simple, sustainable processes. Making optimal use of your human resources is also important. When processes are truly optimized, human resources provide the skills and critical thinking that is needed to support continuous process improvement and larger organizational goals.

To read the full article on Food Manufacturing 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 click here.

Interview: Dolphin Speeds Business with Data Volume Management for SAP HANA

insideBIGDATA, July 2014

Serrala Solutions US Corporation offers business performance improvement for companies running SAP solutions by helping manage both data and processes. To learn more, we caught up with Dolphin CEO, Dr. Werner Hopf.

insideBIGDATA: Dolphin is playing an important role in HANA’s budding ecosystem. How did this relationship come about?

Dr. Werner Hopf: Dolphin identified data volume management as a critical component of SAP solutions almost 20 years ago. Founded in 1995, Dolphin started as a data archiving service provider for SAP systems.
Over time, Dolphin began to develop our own SAP add-on solutions, such as Archive Management Cockpit and Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable, and we expanded to provide software and services for business process optimization solutions as well as data volume management solutions. Our strategy since that time has been to help our customers manage both the data that fuels the business and the processes that run it, so they can improve the business performance of their SAP systems.

We continue to partner with SAP and with other leading software and hardware vendors to deliver flexible, yet comprehensive, business performance improvement solutions for our customers. Our SAP-centric and SAP-certified solutions help increase performance, reduce risk, and lower the total cost of ownership of SAP systems.

To read the full interview on insideBigData click here.

Control Data Growth and Maximize SAP HANA’s ROI with a Data Volume Management Strategy

SAPinsider, July/August/September 2014
Dr. Werner Hopf

As more organizations migrate to SAP HANA, it is increasingly important for them to understand the role that data plays in supporting operational and strategic goals, as well as its impact on IT resources and budgeting. As big data grows, so do IT budgets. But despite better technology and lower storage costs, rapid data growth can quickly consume the benefits produced by technology.

Click here to read the article on SAPinsider.

Control TCO in SAP HANA with a Data Volume Management Strategy

DataInformed, July 2014
Dr. Werner Hopf

Big data analysis has given organizations richer information about their business than ever before. With real-time access to detailed info, executives have greater insight into and can exercise greater control over their day-to-day operations and trends. Advanced technologies such as SAP HANA open up new possibilities for powerful analytics and innovative processes, but these technologies are priced at a premium

Click here to read the full article of

Data Archiving Benefits

SC Magazine, April 2014
James Baird

Despite the buzz around Big Data’s potential to transform business, many organizations must still deal with practical concerns related to storing such large volumes of information. All of this data is heavily regulated by numerous outside entities, each with a say in how long it is kept, in what format it must be stored, and other governance regulations. However, many CIOs are still unsure what role governance should play in their data archiving strategy.

Click here to read the full article on SC

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.

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

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.

3 Tech Trends for 2014

IT Knowledge Exchange, January 28, 2014
Dr Werner Hopf

Look for Big Data to get more strategic and more important in 2014. With the New Year in full swing, leading industry prognosticators are predicting that IT spending on Big Data will continue to grow as even more businesses continue their quest to gain a competitive edge through newfound insights enabled by Big Data. What level will this spending reach? How will these efforts affect the distribution of power in the C-Suite? And most importantly: where are the areas of Big Data that are truly impacting cash flow and the all-important bottom line?

Big Data: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Information Management, January 2014
Dr. Werner Hopf

Lauded as the next powerful driver of innovation, competitiveness and operational productivity, big data is increasingly being leveraged by forward looking organizations of all sizes to gain a competitive advantage. Big data contains a virtual treasure trove of information about customers, trends and countless other valuable insights which may have the potential to transform businesses. However, in the race to unlock this promise, many enterprises now find they have more data than they are capable of handling. Here’s how CIOs, data warehouse managers and others can build the business case for data volume management to help them more effectively manage this data deluge.

The Big Challenges of Big Data for Oil, Gas

Rigzone, December 23, 2013

The industry’s need to better understand subsurface has driven oil and gas companies to collect a greater volume of data overall, more types of data, and is gathering data more frequently and at higher speeds. As a result, oil and gas companies are grappling with how to leverage Big Data to improve their business strategies.

Now that the oil and gas industry has addressed the challenge of storing Big Data – the collection of data sets so large and complex that processing it with traditional data applications is difficult – oil and gas companies are seeking how to leverage Big Data to improve their business strategies.

Read the full article at Rigzone Magazine

Extending The HANA Journey

IT Knowledge Exchange, December 12, 2013
Dr. Werner Hopf

The value of HANA is unsurpassed when it comes to faster analytics, modeling flexibility, near real-time data replication, faster reporting and data loading, and many new applications and enhancements. Most of all, it can help optimize the power of Big Data.

So Far Yet So Close

Philadelphia SmartCEO, December 2013

As you plan your next big move, take a cue form CEOs who have mastered the art of maintaining long-distance business relationships.

Please refer this Link

Big Data’s Big Leap: Energy Providers Invest in SAP HANA to Enhance Data Insights

Electric Energy T&D Magazine,, November/December 2013
Dr. Werner Hopf, CEO of Dolphin

The energy industry is among those which have fully embraced the concept of Big Data with gusto – and why not? Virtually every aspect of the operation creates data which can be saved, culled and analyzed to mine important business intelligence that assists with future decision-making by identifying business opportunities and locating expensive inefficiencies. Big Data can help break down sales trends, find patterns through customer service interactions, weed out waste from the supply chain, and even help to optimize cash flow by optimizing important business processes like procure-to-pay and order-to-cash.

Big Data’s Big Benefits: How Managing Data Can Mitigate Risk

Clinical Leader, Outsourced Pharma and Pharmaceutical Online, October 8, 2013
Dr. Werner Hopf

Few would argue that the age of Big Data has arrived. Businesses across virtually every industry especially the Life Sciences sector–are witnessing an explosion in the amount of data being created and therefore managed. Whether it is analytical, operational, transactional, structured or unstructured, more data is being created and stored today than at any other point in human history. While much debate is taking place about the potential value of analyzing these vast stores of information to identify research trends, business inefficiencies and even predict future behavior, the simple truth remains that there are very practical problems related to having large amounts of data, and accessing the data, which should concern Life Sciences executives.

The Business Intelligence Balancing Act: Get a Grip on Big Data

SAPinsider, October/November/December Issue 2013
Dr. Werner Hopf

The promise of never-before-seen insights and previously unattainable analytics is a driving factor behind the rapidly evolving proliferation of big data. Senior decision makers from across the business unit — from finance and marketing, to product development and sales, and all the way up to the C-suite — are enthusiastic, excited, and empowered by the business opportunities offered by big data.

Treasury & Cash Management: Payables And Receivables: In the Driver’s Seat

Global Finance Magazine, September, 2013

Companies taking a best-practice approach to AP and AR management are seeing big cost savings and much-improved cycle times. But revamping processes is no mean feat. Like other former back-office financial processes, accounts payable and accounts receivable have come to t he fore in recent years to t ake a place of prominence within t he broader scope of supply chain and working capital management. That’s because accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR} are critical parts of the bigger financial picture, when it comes to understanding and improving working capital and improving relationships with suppliers.

Click here to read the full article on Global Finance Magazine.

Does ECM Still Add Value to your ERP Environment?

IT Knowledge Exchange, August 28, 2013
Dr. Werner Hopf

SAP has been at the forefront of ERP providers with its vision for supporting the “real-time enterprise.” For the last several years, the company has consistently been introducing technologies that are steering business strategy in this direction. Data, obviously, is at the core of this vision. More specifically, SAP’s vision is predicated upon helping businesses store, organize and leverage all this data in ways that dramatically enhance understanding, engagement and responsiveness to strategic objectives.

Find Your Missing Link: An Integrated Approach to Business Performance Improvement

SAPinsider, July/August/September 2013
Brian Shannon

Many CIOs find their businesses drowning in data, yet starved for insight. As companies struggle to tackle the challenges associated with conquering big data, it becomes even more critical to create and implement a clear business performance improvement strategy for handling both the data that fuels the business and the processes that run it. Although operating at this level of systemic synergy may seem like a daunting and expensive proposition, the end result is well worth the efforts, and will actually allow for big savings.

Leveraging Big Data While Preparing for SAP HANA

ITBusinessEdge, May 9, 2013
Dr. Werner Hopf

Few would argue that we’ve entered the age of “Big Data.” Companies in arguably every industry are witnessing an exponential increase in data creation with data taking many forms- analytical, transactional, operational, structured or unstructured.

Concurrently, concerns about where Big Data resides in the hype cycle have recently surfaced. However, the CIOs and business unit leaders that I speak with daily universally agree that their approach to implementing Big Data strategies and solutions is not a question of whether they go down this road but when and how they best navigate the journey. They grapple with questions such as these: How does my organization tap the tremendous potential for Big Data? How much do I have to invest in new infrastructure? Can I leverage the tools, technologies, systems and software that we’ve only recently deployed?

Click here to read the full article on IT Business Edge.

CEO Forum: Innovation and Ideation

Philadelphia SmartCEO, May 2013
Dr. Werner Hopf

Learn how Dolphin CEO, Dr. Werner Hopf safeguards the quality of the Dolphin brand, despite stiff competition from much larger SAP consulting firms.

Click here to read the full article on Smart CEO.

Proven Strategies for Ensuring Successful Financial Projects

SAPinsider, April/May/June 2013
Brian Shannon

The old axiom, “change is constant,” is absolutely true. For high-performance finance organizations, this adage underscores the need to be flexible and adaptable to varying economic and environmental conditions. Optimizing financial processes, especially near-cash processes like accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR), can help companies achieve this adaptability. The trick, of course, is getting the project right.

Nearline Storage Solutions: Manage Data Volume and Prepare the Business for SAP HANA

SAPinsider, Jan/Feb/March 2013
Dr. Werner Hopf

In the information era, you’re only as good as what you know right now. And for the majority of companies, what they know is largely based on the data they have access to. That’s why accurate, real-time information is so vital for making informed business decisions, and why it’s important that employees be able to access that information at all times.

Amcor Rigid Plastics Manufactures a Winning Archiving Strategy

SAPinsider, October 2012

Like many companies, Amcor Rigid Plastics has gone through enormous change in the last decade with technology advances, acquisitions, and sales revenues. Its ERP database was getting too big, so Amcor implemented an archiving strategy to reduce costs, stabilize database growth, and increase SAP ERP system performance and availability.

Click here to read the full article on SAPinsider

How Back Office Efficiencies Sweeten The Bottom Line

Food Manufacturing, August 2012
Dr. Werner Hopf

The complex processes that characterize the food and beverage industry pose a variety of challenges including low profit margins, perishable products, stringent government regulations and changing consumer tastes.

Click here to read the full article on Food Manufacturing.

Maximize Big Data Opportunities

SAPinsider, July/Aug/Sept. 2012
Dr. Werner Hopf

The age of “big data” is upon us. CIOs are now dealing with business intelligence (BI) systems that are experiencing record levels of data growth, from terabytes to petabytes and beyond.

Store SAP Archived Data and Documents to Cloud

Computer Technology Review, June 13, 2012

You can deliver performance and hold the line on costs.

Can you win the war against data volume growth? Data is being created faster than we’re willing-or able-to destroy it. And that rising data volume requires management. What’s more, our appetite for real time information demands that it be accessible whenever and wherever it is needed.

Effectively Leading Change in the Finance Organization

Business Finance, May 2012

Change is constant, and it’s critical that financial organizations adapt to meet the needs of current economic conditions. This article will discuss how to become a catalyst for change by reinventing key processes within your finance organization, including accounts payable, accounts receivable and general ledger activities. It will demonstrate how optimizing back office functions like accounts payable and accounts receivable can deliver real value to an organization, and provide insight into how to effectively drive this change.

Click here to read the full article on Business Finance Magazine.

5 Tips for Optimizing Your Finance Processes

SAPinsider, April/May/June 2012
Brian Shannon

CFOs are constantly bombarded with questions that are essential to the survival of the business.

  • How can we improve cash flow?
  • How can we preserve our cost structure as we exit the economic malaise?
  • Will the company’s manual processes and bloated databases put us at unnecessary financial risk?

Yet too often, competing priorities — such as global business strategy concerns, merger and acquisition activity, and the need for lightning-fast market reactions to macroeconomic news — relegate process optimization efforts that could help the CFO address these issues to the back seat. This article outlines five simple process optimization opportunities that can help elevate the overall performance of your finance organization.

SAP Data Archiving Success: Phased Approach, Ease of Use Are Key

ASUG News, Jan 12, 2012

When Amcor Rigid Plastics set out on its SAP data archiving journey in 2007,it had one big business driver in mind:Improving its SAP system performance.With one SAP instance for the entire division—that includes 11 countries, 69 plants and 550 concurrent users (2,000 named ones)—there was simply a lot of data to read. And that necessitated a lot of processing time to get users their reports.

Click here to read the full article at ASUG News.

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.

Can You Win the War Against Data Volume Growth?

Dolphin’s Cloud Solution for Archived Data Can Help You Negotiate a Truce
Vishal Awasthi

In today’s dynamic business environment, data is being created faster than companies are willing — or able — to destroy it. What’s more, the appetite for real-time information commands IT to make data accessible whenever and wherever it is needed.

Lowered Costs or Improved Performance?

SAPinsider, Feb/Mar 2011
Dr. Werner Hopf

Every company wants to make better business decisions. That’s why enterprises are implementing business intelligence (BI) applications like SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) and using them to consolidate vast quantities of information, facilitate reporting and analytics, and enable smarter decision making on the business side. But what about IT?

Take Control of Your Business Information

SAPinsider, July 2011
Vishal Awasthi

Developing a sound data and document management strategy can truly be a challenge; the types and amount of data and documents are constantly evolving while the need for information is greater than ever. Companies are also demanding accelerated efficiencies in back-office operations to automate business processes and keep IT costs to a minimum. It has become a balancing act to organize and control the processing, storage, and delivery of structured and unstructured information. The bottom line is this: All data needs to be readily available — in the right place, at the right time, for the right people.