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IBM Software October 2012Thought Leadership White PaperIBM business process managementfor SAP implementationsOptimize the business value of your SAP implementation withIBM business process management software
2 IBM business process management for SAP implementationsContents G Can the SAP implementation be completed on time? G Can you achieve the targeted return on investment in the 2 Introduction planned timeframe? G Can the SAP platform be implemented or upgraded within 2 Typical SAP implementation challenges your budget? 4 Value in combining IBM business process management with SAP implementations The key question is how do you ensure that you are getting the 5 Key capabilities of IBM business process management most out of your SAP implementation? for SAP implementations 9 Case study: Leading toy company reduces SAP By using packaged enterprise applications for efficiency, you process cycle times by 80 percent are just trying to catch up with the competition. To outpace10 IBM business process management: Summary of the competition, you have to focus on process innovation. business value For driving process innovation, you would require capabilities10 Why IBM business process management? to discover and monitor processes, change processes quickly and identify which process changes are likely to positively11 Planning your path to value impact business performance. Most SAP processes are non-differentiating. However, to gain a competitive advantage,Introduction you must differentiate. Additional tools and techniques that canIn the last few decades, globalization has made operations complement your SAP implementation are often necessary tomore complex at many companies. Companies focus on cutting differentiate. When you consider the costs and effort that gocosts and increasing the efficiency of operations to improve prof- into your SAP implementation, it is preferable to avoid furtheritability. Packaged business applications for ERP, CRM and disruptive, multiyear technology investments to obtain theother targeted business functions help companies aim for higher potential value of your SAP implementation.efficiency and improved competitiveness. SAP is a market leaderin packaged business solutions and the solutions help companies This white paper looks at the challenges you might face withstreamline processes, standardize business operations and your SAP implementation and examines the reasons. It explainsintegrate systems throughout multiple locations. By making how you can help enable the optimization of the business valueinformation easily available and standardizing processes, SAP of your SAP implementation by using a business process man-implementations help organizations make improvement in many agement (BPM) approach. It then suggests how IBM businessimportant business metrics. process management tools are designed to integrate with your SAP implementation to help enable process innovation andConsiderable costs and many hours of employee training are optimized business value.required for implementing the SAP platform or for upgradingto newer versions SAP applications. Naturally, there will be great Typical SAP implementation challengesexpectations regarding the business value of an SAP implemen- To control costs and to achieve return on investment on yourtation. According to a Panorama Consulting Solutions report, SAP implementation in a planned timeframe, you must reduceonly 50 per cent of ERP users realized more than 50 per cent SAP application customizations. Whether you are planning aof the expected benefits of their ERP implementations.1 In the new SAP implementation, upgrading to a new version of SAPSAP implementation lifecycle, you might face these questions: software or you have already implemented the SAP platform,
IBM Software 3at any stage of the SAP implementation lifecycle, you might G How do you identify which process changes are most likely torequire solutions that complement your SAP implementation help improve business performance?to identify actual SAP processes, gain visibility into the SAP G How do you quickly rollout SAP process changes?processes and to integrate, orchestrate and automate the SAPprocesses. Business leaders at most large organizations might Blueprinting cycles can become lengthy with the traditionalfind it difficult to run their entire operations on SAP implemen- waterfall approachtations alone. Most users who implement SAP software use a waterfall approach for process blueprinting. A waterfall approach startsIdentifying actual processes can be difficult with static with goal setting and then moves on to process analysis, design,documentation testing and concludes with deployment. Most users at businessesThe typical approach that is used to implement and run SAP can use a general purpose documentation tool such as PowerPoint,be called documentation-centric. A process is designed using Visio or Aris for SAP process blueprinting. These processdocumentation from a standardized library as a starting point flows are maintained in the SAP Solution Manager, which isand then customized according to the specific needs of the the primary repository for processes in the SAP environment.business. The documentation is used to customize and configure However, SAP Solution Manager is a documentation-onlythe SAP platform. A high level process blueprint, including repository and you cannot run processes directly from SAPtransactions, is defined in Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Solution Manager. This documentation-centric approach canVisio or another modeling tool. For the implementation, users lead to lengthy blueprinting cycles. Although modeling toolsare expected to read, understand and comply with the documen- such as Aris can provide enhanced blueprinting options and ittation by entering the proper sequence of transaction codes. can be integrated with the SAP Solution Manager, the processMost SAP implementation documentation is thus static and the models are typically optimized for analysis, not execution.documentation might not reflect the processes that are actuallybeing used. You might not be able gain insight into the real Processes can become opaque over time with traditionalprocesses used in production. Initiating and constructing a workflowprocess innovation program or upgrading to new versions of In a traditional SAP implementation workflow, process designersSAP software could become difficult without insight into the create the SAP process documentation and users are trained howreal processes used in production. to use the documents. These documents could be in the physical form such as printed copies or in the electronic form such as inThe documentation-based approach to SAP implementations Microsoft Word or HTML. The success of the process dependsraises the following questions: on human compliance with the documentation; therefore, pro- cesses can become opaque over time. Visibility into backlogs andG How can you know the status of key processes quickly? bottlenecks can be limited and process throughput can also beG How do you always ensure that the processes you designed are affected. the processes that are being run? Process integration and orchestration can involve riskyG How can you have real-time visibility into where workload or application customization other bottlenecks cause business issues? The documentation-centric approach to SAP implementationG How do you assign work to less experienced workers to can also involve a lot of customization. For process orchestration reduce bottlenecks? and integration in the SAP environment, SAP users often find
4 IBM business process management for SAP implementationsthat they have to customize and streamline the SAP interface Human intervention can extend process cycle timesor the SAP process flow. They might also be required to add SAP processes sometimes require human intervention. Despitecomplimentary functions to SAP applications and integrate using a variety of enterprise applications, employees at customer-non-SAP systems to SAP systems. Although SAP provides IT facing divisions of businesses often end up relying on phonedeveloper tooling to meet each of these requirements in separate calls, faxes and emails to support the work they do within antools, customizations are often bound to the specific version of SAP process. The possibility of errors is high in such circum-the SAP application in which the customizations were devel- stances. When frequent human intervention is required foroped. Upgrading to the future releases of SAP applications can running processes, process cycles get extended.become difficult, costly and risky. Excessive application custom-ization can also lead to exceeded budgets and deployment delays. Most of the challenges described here are more about process and less about technology. Although SAP provides a robust plat-Yet another challenge lies in the use of what SAP calls SAP form, you realize that to help drive process optimization and toEnterprise Services. Because many of the enterprise processes unlock the potential business value of your SAP implementationinvolve complex choreography and orchestration, SAP intro- you must deploy additional business process management tools.duced SAP Enterprise Services to facilitate the end-to-endchoreography of processes, reduce customization and to adapt Value in combining IBM business processSAP applications to a particular business environment. SAP management with SAP implementationsEnterprise Services is the term used by SAP for its own web According to a Gartner survey, process improvement is theservices, all of which can be used to automate business processes number one priority for chief information officers globally.2or simplify process execution. There could be hundreds or Contrary to popular belief, introducing new IT-led products oreven thousands of SAP services that are required in an SAP services to customers comes only after process improvement inenvironment. Finding and deploying the right SAP Enterprise their list of priorities. You can take two different approaches forServices required for a particular process optimization task can process innovation. One way of doing it is to rely on packagedbe challenging. You require additional tools to simplify these applications, as most companies do. With this approach you cantechnical tasks. To reduce the time and cost required for the improve hundreds of processes at a time, replace traditional sys-end-to-end choreography of SAP processes and for SAP tems and catch up with competitors. The projects taken up withcustomization you must simplify these technical tasks. this packaged application approach would usually be multiyear projects.Limited decision automation can affect process consistencyand responsiveness The other approach to process innovation involves using busi-Though certain SAP applications use business rules and ness process management tools and a service-oriented architec-business events extensively, the utilization of operational decision ture (SOA) framework. The second approach gives companiesmanagement principles is generally low in SAP applications. the flexibility to adapt quickly to changes and to try to outpaceOperational decision management helps line-of-business person- competition. This approach provides increased visibility andnel to directly define how their business policies are being control over most application systems and the projects arerun and more importantly, enable change in an easier and more smaller and incremental. Although many enterprises dependreliable manner. The low utilization of inline operational deci- on either one of these approaches, the most appropriate path ission management in SAP applications can reduce productivityby limiting process consistency and responsiveness.
IBM Software 5in fact a middle path, which is a balanced IT strategy of SOA, The IBM solution uses iterative, playback-based modelingbusiness process management and packaged application to help make the definition of SAP processes transparent andconsolidation. to help accelerate process blueprinting. As opposed to the tradi- tional waterfall documentation-centric approach widely usedIBM introduced IBM Business Process Manager and today, iterative playback-based process blueprinting can enableIBM Business Monitor to make business process management process workers and other business experts to directly developeasier for your organization. IBM Business Process Manager is a and test an SAP process. The ability to directly develop andbusiness process management platform that is designed to help test an SAP process can help enable a clearer understandingenhance the visibility and management of your organization’s of packaged SAP processes and the gaps between a standardizedbusiness processes. IBM Business Monitor provides active near- SAP practice from the business process library and thereal time monitoring for SAP and other packaged applications processes actually required to support the needs of the business.and custom solutions. Both IBM Business Process Manager and IBM Business Monitor is designed to monitor SAP processes,IBM Business Monitor are designed to easily integrate with your including the processes you draw in the SAP process diagramSAP implementation. With IBM business process management tool and those SAP processes that are not under the control ofsoftware, you can upload and download processes to the SAP the business process management solution, without intrusion.Solution Manager, monitor and mine SAP Business Events andorchestrate SAP services. With IBM Business Process Manager, you can also provide a way to help simplify the orchestration of SAP and heteroge-The non-differentiating processes of SAP generally help you neous processes through SAP Enterprise Services. The businesscatch up with competition that runs SAP. IBM provides you the process designer can drag and drop these services into theadditional tools that can help enable the flexibility to innovate SAP process diagram to help reduce the amount of technicaland outpace competition. IBM Business Process Manager pro- intervention that is normally required.vides capabilities to streamline or customize the SAP user inter-face or the SAP process flow, add complementary functions and Key capabilities of IBM business processto integrate your SAP environment with non-SAP systems, all in management for SAP implementationsa single tool. The combination of these capabilities in a single IBM business process management software provides you thetool can help you reduce SAP application customizations and capabilities to model, run and monitor SAP processes. An advan-minimize the scope of changes required when you upgrade to a tage of the IBM business process management platform is thatnew SAP release. Reduced customizations can help enable you it can help enable near-continuous process improvement in ato target ROI within a reasonable timeframe. single environment.
6 IBM business process management for SAP implementationsHelping discover and monitor actual SAP processes help build robust predictive analytic models. With the predictiveIBM Business Monitor is an active near-real-time business analytic models, you can help identify problems and reduceactivity monitoring solution that is part of the business process the occurrence of problems. Because IBM Business Monitor ismanagement suite of IBM software products. IBM Business designed to work seamlessly with SAP Business Events, you canMonitor is designed to mine SAP Business Events for discover- help provide your business users access to the full range of SAPing actual SAP processes. By discovering actual SAP processes, transactions for monitoring, gathering insights and for resolvingyou can help determine where your current SAP processes problems.differ from your logical process design. Because SAP processdocumentation is static, to build an effective process innovation Helping accelerate SAP process blueprintingprogram, or to upgrade to newer versions of SAP software, IBM Business Process Manager is designed to facilitate theyou require insight into the real SAP processes in a production two-way exchange of process models with SAP Solutionenvironment. Process innovation must be preceded by process Manager by mapping process elements directly to SAP Solutiondiscovery. IBM Business Monitor has capabilities designed to Manager. Using IBM Business Process Manager, you can design,automatically generate a process diagram from a monitor model build, refine and run processes in a single integrated toolsetbased on SAP Business Events. This capability can provide you a while keeping your SAP Solution Manager repository up toprocess view of the actual SAP transactions which are running date for related configuration and customization work. Withand how the processes work together inside your SAP environ- IBM Business Process Manager, you can automatically accessment. You can utilize this capability without the processes being SAP screens, more effortlessly reverse engineer SAP screens,orchestrated. You can create shadow process views of SAP design customized SAP screens and iteratively call the SAPBusiness Events by associating milestones with changes in busi- screens as part of the process definition exercise. From theness state. The process discovery is non-intrusive to SAP design environment you can play back SAP or heterogeneousbecause you only have to turn on the SAP Business Event that process regardless of the level of detail and completion at almostis in demand to discover the process. any time. This iterative method of blueprinting is designed to help you view the actual process as it is being run. By playingIBM Business Monitor also provides an easier-to-use set of tools back SAP processes, you can design SAP processes experientiallyto actively monitor your SAP environment in near-real time. and open up the blueprinting process to a broader range ofAfter the basic technical connections have been made by your IT participants while helping reduce blueprinting time and costs.department, your business users can more quickly design and Before deploying the process into production, playback-basedbuild a sophisticated set of dashboards, alerts and reports that blueprinting can help enable you to empirically understandprovide useful analytics to help you respond faster to important how the process can meet KPIs and SLAs and simulate changesbusiness needs. While your data warehouses, operational data without changing the process model you are planning to deploystores, the SAP Business Warehouse and your business intelli- into production. You can use live process execution to designgence reporting tools provide access to historical and trend- and test SAP business processes and then implement your SAPcentric data, you can help enable complementary insights process inside the same tool. This approach to blueprinting caninto operational data by using IBM Business Monitor. With help you to position your SAP implementation for enhancedIBM Business Monitor you can not only help react to business process optimization using orchestration and continuous processevents faster, but you can also use the same set of capabilities to improvement techniques.
IBM Software 7 as e-mail, instant messaging and voice mail. With IBM Business Process Manager, you can capture dialogues, comments and attachments at the process instance level to help provide improved visibility into how, when and by whom process work gets done and into which process steps typically incur the highest levels of exception activity. With guided workf low, you can more effortlessly convert documented SAP processes into orchestrated SAP processes. Using guided workflow can help you detect bottlenecks, re-route process instances with capacity overload, escalate problem processes and initiate and track exception processes to help enable near-continuous process improvement. Helping reduce customizations with process orchestration and integration IBM Business Process Manager provides capabilities to meet requirements such as customizing and streamlining the SAP interface or the SAP process flow, adding complimentary func- tions to SAP applications and integrating non-SAP systems to SAP systems in a single tool that utilizes process definitions to reduce SAP customizations. IBM Business Process Manager can help you simplify the usage of SAP Enterprise Services and Business APIs (BAPIs), so that SAP services can easily be used by process designers without requiring them to know the complex technical details of the service itself. With IBM Business ProcessHelping enable near-continuous process improvement with Manager you can easily browse the SAP Enterprise Serviceguided workflow repository and encapsulate and bind any SAP service accordingIBM Business Process Manager is designed to interactively guide to the standards of the technical environment. The processusers through default SAP screens according to the SAP process designer can drag and drop these reusable service moduleshierarchy. Because IBM Business Process Manager is designed to into an SAP, heterogeneous or end-to-end process diagram.call the correct SAP screen and transaction sequence for each The key advantage that this capability helps enable is that pro-process instance, you can obtain a set of building blocks that cess designers who do not have technical knowledge of SAPcan help you to effectively orchestrate virtually any SAP process Enterprise Services can use these services directly in the processhierarchy with minimal technical work. You can also help enable diagram. For business users, this feature can help simplify theinsight into business performance issues and opportunities as process interactions with the SAP environment and speed timethey happen. With IBM Business Process Manager you can also to deployment while reducing SAP customizations. Processhelp support an in-process collaboration environment that can orchestration techniques can also be used to simplify userreduce the reliance on informal communication platforms such interactions with the SAP implementation and to improve
8 IBM business process management for SAP implementationsprocess f lexibility. Using IBM Business Process Manager youcan replace complex flows of multiple SAP transactions with ahighly optimized single screen to help improve process cycletime, reduce errors and to help simplify the operationalenvironment.Supporting higher process consistency and responsivenessby automating complex decisionsYou can increase the consistency and responsiveness in SAPprocesses by using operational decision management principlesextensively. For enhanced management, you can externalizedecisions from business processes. By combining IBM BusinessProcess Manager, IBM Business Monitor and IBM OperationalDecision Manager, you can automate both immediate andlong term decisions or at least reduce the amount of manualintervention required for both routine and exception decisions.IBM Business Process Manager and IBM Operational DecisionManager share a common business rules language. UsingIBM Operational Decision Manager you can also help separate Helping enable reduced process cycle times by automatingbusiness process management and decision governance life processescycles. By separating business process management and decision By using IBM Business Process Manager for your SAP imple-governance life cycles you can make business policy changes, mentation, you can also more effortlessly automate highly repet-which usually happen every few days or weeks, independent of itive process steps by using the same SAP Enterprise Servicethe process changes which usually happen every few weeks or calls used by custom user interfaces. By automating some ormonths. IBM Business Process Manager provides integrated most of these repetitive SAP processes you can help reducebusiness rule authoring capabilities to help enable enhanced process cycle time, improve process reliability and enable processdecision management using a syntax that is closer to natural workers to focus on improving exception scenarios and complexlanguage compared to technical languages such as Java Script. non-repetitive process steps.For more robust rules authoring and management, you caneffortlessly upload these rules to IBM Operational DecisionManager as part of your enterprise business decision strategy.
IBM Software 9Case Study: Leading toy company reduces SAP process US Customs regulations, the company had to maintain billcycle times by 80 per cent of lading documents and associated exporter invoices. Information stored in multiple systems was pulled togetherCompany to gather this documentation, resulting in processing delays.The company is a US-based toymaker that is a worldwideleader in children’s toys, family entertainment products and IBM solutionservices. The company designs, manufactures and markets The company considered SAP portal technology and othergames and toys. web solutions before opting for business process manage- ment software from IBM. Using IBM software the companyChallenges was able to take the following actions:The company had started an enterprise-wide initiativeto improve supply chain processes and to reduce costs. Automate task management for more than 1000 users andThe company wanted to develop new processes to support provide near real-time process visibility for employees andoutsourced manufacturing while optimizing the value of its vendorsinvestments in enterprise applications. Automate the reconciliation tasks required for the US customs documentation such as gathering the bill of ladingThe company’s vendor order management process requires from freight forwarders and the corresponding invoiceinteraction between the offices in North America, Hong Kong data from the SAP system while updating the SAP systemand customers and vendors. When a customer order arrived, at each milestoneit would be processed through the company’s SAP system Improve and unify communication with a web interface thatand then go through to the Hong Kong office where inquiries reduced the dependence of the employees on faxes, emailswere created. Request for quotes would then be sent to and phone callsseveral of the approximately 100 vendors in the Far East. Improve exception handling by sending employees anAfter a quote was generated, the quote would be sent back electronic process coach that provides them the requiredto the company’s Hong Kong office and then back to the information and guides them through the steps to resolvecustomer. The company’s employees used faxes, emails and the problemphone calls to run the whole process and the cycle time was Automate the vendor inquiry and response process so thatusually around 12 days. 80 per cent of process went straight through the system with minimal use of faxes, emails or phone callsOrder processing was time-consuming and the processinvolved multiple parties. Moreover, employees at the BenefitsHong Kong office had to manually check and review all of The company reported a 250 percent productivity increasethe responses from the vendors. Tasks such as flagging without investing in additional resources. The toymakerexceptions and delivery delays were slow and tedious. also reported an 80 percent reduction in cycle time from 12 to one to two days. After the success of the project, businessBecause employees used faxes, emails and phone calls to process management software from IBM was deployed incommunicate with vendors, it was difficult to have a complete other areas of the company’s supply chain.picture of any given order or request. Documentation of ordersand responses was time-intensive. To be compliant with
10 IBM business process management for SAP implementationsIBM business process management: IBM business process management software can help youSummary of business value to quickly know the flow and status of key SAP processes.Using IBM business process management tools, you can The IBM solution can also help you change your process fastermine SAP business events to discover actual processes. With and quickly integrate new process workers into your business.an iterative, experience-based approach you can help accelerate The software can also help ensure that the processes that youtraditional blueprinting. You can guide users interactively designed are the processes that are being run. IBM businessthrough SAP screens for a guided workflow that can help process management software can help enable faster responseenable process visibility and productivity. IBM Business Process to business changes by automatically escalating problem processManagement can help enable enhanced process orchestration instances and modifying queued and running processes as theand integration by reducing application customizations and processes happen. The software can help you apply the correctoptimizing process steps. By automating decision management, level of process integration and automation and know whichyou can help enable enhanced process responsiveness and process changes are most likely to help improve business perfor-consistency. With process automation capabilities, you can help mance. Using IBM business process management platform youreduce process cycle times. can help enable enhanced customer experiences, reduced costs and optimized business performance by improving the visibility and agility of your SAP processes. Capabilities of IBM business process Why IBM business process management? management for SAP implementations IBM is a market leader in both business process management Process Discovery Mine SAP business events to discover actual processes and to help respond to business challenges as they happen software and SAP implementations. IBM has provided business and Monitoring process management solutions for 15 years and has won numer- Process Blueprinting Interactively guide users through SAP screens to help enable improved productivity, visibility and consistency ous awards from SAP for its SAP implementation innovation and expertise. IBM can combine market-leading products, SAP Increasing Integration Guided Workﬂow Use an iterative, experiential-based approach to help implementation-specific process improvement methods and the accelerate traditional SAP blueprinting expertise of IBM service professionals to help enable positive Process Integration and Orchestration Optimize process steps to help improve cycle time, manageability and visibility of key processes results for implementing the SAP platform, upgrading to newer versions of SAP applications or for a process innovation project. Decision Automation Automate complex decision making to help reduce IBM can help enable optimization of the business value of your bottlenecks and enable improved business outcomes SAP implementation by using the combination of the SAP Process Automation Reduce the cycle time of high volume processes signiﬁcantly implementation expertise of IBM® Global Business Services® by reducing or removing human interaction and the business process management capabilities of IBM.
IBM Software 11IBM business process management is designed to create process business and to put you on a suitable path for your businessmodels that can run the processes while capturing process met- process management journey. IBM specialists can work withrics and key business data to help enable improved visibility and your team to define a process improvement solution using busi-control. IBM business process management provides a common ness process management software in 90 days. The IBM special-software platform that can help enable process improvement and ists then collaboratively scope a subset or pilot of the overallbusiness process management lifecycle governance. This soft- solution that can be produced as the first step in an approachware platform is designed to offer the robustness required that targets value incrementally. The aim is to provide yourfor mission-critical enterprise solutions while combining the team with a deployable business solution that has a highsimplicity and ease of use required for deeper business engage- level of business acceptance. To learn more about ourment. Moreover, most business process management projects capabilities and offerings, or to speak to a client partner, visit:using IBM business process management solutions do not ibm.com/websphere/serviceszonetypically require disruptive, multiyear technology investments. For more informationPlanning your path to value To learn more about the IBM business processTo help you decide your business process management priorities, management, please contact your IBM representative orIBM specialists can conduct an SAP process improvement dis- IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website:covery workshop at no charge at your location. IBM can bring ibm.com/software/products/us/en/category/BPM-SOFTWAREtogether IBM product, SAP and business domain experts withyour business and IT stakeholders to define business needs, Additionally, IBM Global Financing can help you acquirearchitecture and the implementation process for a potential the software capabilities that your business needs in the mostbusiness process management solution. At the conclusion, a cost-effective and strategic way possible. We’ll partner withsummary of key findings and recommendations can be pre- credit-qualified clients to customize a financing solution tosented, followed by a detailed report for stakeholder analysis suit your business and development goals, enable effectiveand decision making. To know more about the process improve- cash management, and improve your total cost of ownership.ment discovery workshop, contact an IBM representative. Fund your critical IT investment and propel your business for- ward with IBM Global Financing. For more information, visit:If you have decided on pursuing a business process management ibm.com/financingapproach, you can consider the IBM Quick Win Pilot, whichis a prescriptive approach to help enable a quick win to your