City of change: Vienna uses SAP

Vienna’s city administration has shifted to SAP ERP (photo: jupiterimages)

Completing formalities with government agencies is time-consuming – not only for citizens, but also for the employees who deal with the forms, because they have to observe strictly defined processes across all departments and comply with official regulations.

Vienna’s municipal administration comprises 80 offices, with around 35,000 employees serving some 1.65 million inhabitants. City employees handle approximately 20 million financial transactions every year. To modernize its administration and become more citizen-friendly, the city of Vienna shifted its IT landscape step-by-step to SAP ERP, replacing the 20-year-old UNIX-based legacy system known as UHU over the course of seven years.

The SAP application helped streamline workflows spanning different areas such as the city gardens administration, building and land use management, and the health authority. When, for example, a law is amended, any necessary changes can be made in several areas at the same time – right away and without using any paper. This not only improves cross-departmental communication, it also makes the costs more transparent. The SAP software provides a range of evaluation and analysis options giving staff an overview of ongoing projects and expenditure in all areas.

In tandem with the municipal government’s computer center, the city’s audit office now manages its accounting activities using SAP. All invoices from suppliers are now processed electronically, with online invoices linked to a Web portal that also supports non-XML formats.

SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NetWeaver PI) retrieves all the invoices from suppliers, archives them, and then sends them to the relevant departments through the various back-end systems. What’s more, SAP NetWeaver PI can integrate different protocols and track supplier invoices. And now there’s no need for employees to enter invoice data manually – everything is done automatically. All this means that invoices are processed faster, so suppliers are paid sooner, too.