On Sunday, September 23 a distinguished panel tackled trends and the future of SAP Controlling and Financials functionality from the perspectives of customer innovation, innovations in SAP HANA, and user influence. With the functionality now available with SAP in-memory technology, SAP HANA, Controlling in the SAP sphere is once again a “hot” topic.
Eric Chinchilla, IT Director of Global Finance Strategy & Execution at Johnson & Johnson, presented on the future of Enterprise architecture and its impact on Controlling functionality. Mr. Chinchilla discussed the “Back to Basics” initiative at Johnson & Johnson and mapped out where J&J envisions their enterprise-wide SAP landscape in 2020 including master data configuration, tax strategies, currency, and inter-company transactions. Mr. Chinchilla discussed the challenge of taking a decentralized company with multiple ERPs and disaggregated processes and aligning them across the J&J business landscape. By 2020, J&J will have significantly increased planning and leveraging of resources far beyond current practices. In addition, they are enabling cross-regional analyses within and across sectors using powerful standard material-oriented SAP tools: CO-PA, Material Ledger, and Product Hierarchy.
Carsten Hilker, Solution Manager at SAP for the Cost and Performance Management portfolio of solutions within ERP (CO) and EPM, presented on revolutionary product innovations and trends in SAP Controlling. SAP Controlling and management accounting functionality have gone through a radical rebirth with the introduction of SAP HANA. HANA is a powerful, in-memory computing platform that that analyzes massive quantities of data in local memory so that the results of complex analyses and transactions are available at your fingertips and business decisions can be executed without delay.
Julien Delvat, Principal Consultant at Alta Via Consulting and Chair of the ASUG Managerial Accounting Special Interest Group, discussed trends in leveraging the ASUG Influence Framework to impact SAP's future solutions. Mr. Delvat shared an example of how ASUG has been used to shape SAP products with SAP Net Margin Analysis powered by HANA. SAP HANA is being leveraged to understand the origin of uncontrolled costs, identify less profitable customers and products and benchmark and simulate the impact of future actions on margins. A working group has been formed to hold regular phone calls, workshops, and discussions with end users in order to impact this tool.
Controlling Conference Founder and leading SAP Controlling Consultant John Jordan emphasized the importance of data integrity with the dawn of new technologies. Mr. Jordan noted the importance of leveraging standard SAP tools such a CO-PA to form a solid foundation to prepare organizations for future SAP reporting functionality. In particular, he focused on the use of Profitability Analysis (CO-PA) as an excellent method to export data directly to other systems such as BI and noted that setting up CO-PA is often neglected since it is often not seen as critical during initial implementations. CO-PA gives excellent visibility to configuration and master data issues directly from within SAP.
Stay tuned for the next Controlling 2012 highlights blog post on conference hot topics.