SAP SMART Business Cockpits – A Battlefield For Positive Outcomes

Suresh Ramanathan

Posted by Suresh Ramanathan on November 21, 2013

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Definitions of Cockpit /ˈkäkˌpit/

– where an airplane pilot sits and controls the aircraft

– a place where a battle or conflict happens

The airplane cockpit is something everyone is all too familiar with. I see the upcoming (RTC Q4 2013) SAP Smart business cockpits analogous to a battlefield where key stakeholders such as a strategic buyer, a sales operations manager, a warehouse manager, a project controller or a financial manager would go to war on a daily basis to resolve conflicts affecting their businesses. Except that there is no real battle here in the true sense of the word, only exception situations that need their immediate attention enabling them to make timely decisions for positive outcomes.

Imagine the scenario where a sales operations manager gets notified of delivery issues or billing issues that need his/her attention first thing in the morning or during the course of the day before things get escalated. In reality this is only possible by running several reports or executing several transactions and then combining the results manually to derive meaningful insights before making any decisions.

What is our Vision?

  • Deliver cockpits that are role based, truly intuitive, consumer-grade user experience to enable real-time decision making.

What is our Mission?

  • Developed based true customer demand using design thinking methodology.
  • Pervasive access (desktop and mobile) with a consistent theme, consistent design principles, branding and visual identity across all cockpits.

What are the SMART business cockpits which will be available soon?

  • SAP Smart Business for Access Control Management
  • SAP Smart Business for Cash Management
  • SAP Smart Business for Event Management
  • SAP Smart Business for Financial Close
  • SAP Smart Business for Inventory Management
  • SAP Smart Business for Project Execution
  • SAP Smart Business for Purchasing
  • SAP Smart Business for Sales Performance Management
  • SAP Smart Business for Transportation Management

Some sample screens (Lab previews)



What is the technology behind these cockpits?

  • SAP Business Suite (7i2013) applications – primarily ECC running on HANA as primary database
  • HANA Live and pre-delivered virtual data models
  • KPI framework, UI Add-on and Netweaver Gateway

What is different?

  • Powered by HANA is a key differentiator.
    • With all the transactional and operational data directly stored in memory, analysis is significantly faster than traditional databases – especially aggregating data to calculate key KPI figures for various cockpits literally on-the-fly!
    • Bridging the gap between insights to decisions. The ability to execute an action in the system right away (e.g. remove a billing block)
    • HANA Live and pre-delivered virtual data models that facilitate analytics. Customers do not have to build this from scratch.
  • KPI modeler that allows you to define KPIs that are relevant for your business

What is the future?

  • SAP Smart Business provides a new working model based on SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. SAP plans to develop and deliver more of these role based insight to action scenarios

Why should you care?

  • Faster, smarter, simpler way of doing business is becoming a reality now with Suite on HANA. Why would you continue to do business they way you did in 1990s?
  • The Smart business cockpits are more examples of “Sweet spots on Suite on HANA” and “Smarter” applications that I have blogged before.

Me and my colleagues will follow-up with more detailed blogs on individual smart business cockpits as time permits.

In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me and we will be happy to assist with more information.

Suresh Ramanathan | | @sapsuresh

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