Road Map for Finance

Feature Article | July 21, 2011 by Heather McIlvaine

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SAP’s road map for finance: Mobile apps, SAP HANA, e-invoicing, and more (image: Fotolia)

The global financial crisis left an indelible impact on the finance industry. Volatility, pressure on margins, increased regulation, and awareness of risk are new challenges for the industry, while globalization and adoption of new technologies have been increasing complexity within the financial sector for some time.

SAP offers a road map to help businesses address these challenges. The road map for finance focuses on three areas: ensure regulatory compliance and effective risk management, outperform stakeholders’ financial expectations, and deliver superior service at reduced cost. SAP.info tells you about the SAP solutions that will help your business achieve those goals.

SAP HANA shows you the money

SAP plans to release two innovations this year that will put in-memory analytics to use in the finance industry, according to a session held at SAPPHIRE NOW session in Orlando by Martin Naraschewski, Strategic Marketing Director of SAP.

One of these releases will enable the SAP Controlling Profitability Analysis module (COPA) to run on top of SAP In-Memory Appliance software (SAP HANA). COPA allows companies to analyze business information from different platforms like sales and distribution, materials management, production, and others, providing comprehensive insights that you can’t get with basic financial reporting. This release will enable companies to run analyses with much more data and at much faster speeds.

The second release involves a new solution that will extend SAP Cash and Liquidity Management within SAP ERP. The solution will use SAP HANA to improve cash forecasting, tying into more data and enabling drill downs.

BusinessObjects EPM 10.0 and finance

The latest version of SAP BusinessObjects EPM solutions brings many benefits to the finance industry. For starters, BusinessObjects EPM 10.0 offers a number of new analytics solutions for Planning, including Planning for Banks. The solutions are pre-configured for business situations relevant to many industries.

SAP BusinessObjects EPM 10.0 also delivers improvements to Notes Management and Disclosure Management, which helps companies create financial statements. The enhancements in these areas automate the process of collecting both text and numerical information from company data and integrating that information into text. BusinessObjects EPM 10.0 also supports a collaboration function that allows multiple users to work on the same project and see the status of what different people are working on.

The latest version of BusinessObjects EPM also includes unified user interfaces, a brand new user environment, and most importantly, better integration with SAP Business Suite. The Financial Management integration component delivers more Planning and Consolidation functionality in the EPM suite.

Other innovations

Another innovation for the finance industry is on the operational side. SAP’s Shared Service Framework software makes it possible to share information between a typical interaction center, financials, and even human resources. Call center agents are able to navigate between different applications but still have one common user experience.

SAP now also has two mobile applications coming this year that are relevant for the finance industry: mobile payment approval and mobile travel expense management.

Further, e-invoicing technology helps companies comply with legal regulations and also saves them time and money by making data exchange more fast and accurate. As we reported in June of this year, SAP now offers an e-invoicing application by Crossgate as a solution extension. Read our article on “SAP E-Invoicing for Compliance” for more information.

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