SAP Digital Boardroom and SAP BW/4HANA — The Perfect Fit

Thierry Audas

Posted by Thierry Audas on

Sr Director, Product Marketing

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I trust you’ve already heard or read about SAP Digital Boardroom. Or maybe you’ve even seen one of the many demo showcases we’ve been running at customer events across the globe (always, with fantastic feedback on this amazing solution)? In case you missed it, you can easily enjoy a glimpse of this awesome experience with an overview of how Northern Gas Networks monitors operations with SAP Digital Boardroom in this video or see how it enables the SAP board to run the business in real time (you can watch a short video or a longer version).

Instant Insights into Corporate Performance

Businesses determined to compete effectively in the digital economy need to make rapid, well-informed decisions so they can stay ahead of the competition. In too many boardrooms, however, meetings include static content and lengthy presentations that make it difficult to understand past transactions, assess the company’s current status, or anticipate next-best decisions. This is where SAP Digital Boardroom can help.

A key strength of SAP Digital Boardroom lies with its ability to replace typical static slides and presentations with access to current data— from the big picture to the lowest level of detail. Equipped with such instant insights into corporate performance, executives and business leaders can make board-level decisions during meetings, including running simulations and ad-hoc analysis to visualize the impact of business decisions on the fly. This is truly the end of “I’ll get back to you.

SAP Digital Boardroom – Sample live Content

Simplified Data Management Architecture

At the heart of this key strength is the SAP HANA real-time data management platform which powers SAP Digital Boardroom and the underlying business transaction applications (should you decide to run SAP Digital Boardroom with SAP S/4HANA to maximize its business value). The resulting simplified data management architecture benefits from SAP HANA support for both OLTP and OLAP requirements.

This diminishes dramatically the need to move, replicate, and pre-aggregate business transaction data into separate data marts or data warehouses to gain visibility into consolidated key performance indicators, budget compliance, and value drivers across board areas. Executives and business leaders keep the pulse on the business in real time and make confident decisions with trust in data.

That being said, SAP Digital Boardroom isn’t limited or predicated on SAP S/4HANA. It can source data—online access or acquisition—from many other data sources (SAP and third parties) and combine it for a consolidated view of corporate performance. For example,  the head of human resources who wants to combine cost center information pulled from SAP S/4HANA Finance with HR data from SAP SuccessFactors, can. They can also simply show talent and demographic information from SAP SuccessFactors. The same goes for other lines of business leaders and applications across the organization.

Enter SAP BW/4HANA

Many of my esteemed SAP colleagues have written extensively about the combined value of running SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA together. SAP S/4HANA clearly doesn’t mark the end of data marts and data warehouses. You can read Jürgen Butsmann’s post on the respective use cases  and Thomas Zurek’s post on customer examples.

SAP Analytics Solutions

So, not only is SAP Digital Boardroom not limited nor predicated on SAP S/4HANA, but also SAP BW/4HANA is a perfect fit. First, it runs on the SAP HANA platform so that you can consolidate on one common real-time data management platform. Then, SAP BW/4HANA as a persistent modeling layer can surface extended insights to executives and business leaders via SAP Digital Boardroom with the following use cases (to list a few):

  • Harmonization and consolidation of KPIs across multiple lines of business to get a comprehensive overview of corporate performance
  • Detailed historical data analysis to compare the state of the business with that of a series of years ago
  • Business trends forecasting with high confidence based on detailed historical data set processing
  • Enrichment of quantitative information pulled from transactional systems with sentiment analysis pulled from social networks to get a 360° perspective of the customers

We see many SAP customers across industries and geographies embracing this end-to-end solution to support their digital transformation. Are you considering SAP Digital Boardroom yourself? Is SAP BW/4HANA in your roadmap? I’d be very interested in your perspective and feedback on the role of data warehousing and SAP BW/4HANA in your planning. We can continue the discussion here, by email, or on Twitter @taudas

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