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Implementation of a Performance Management architecture & setup of a BICC within an SAP BI Context

In this case study, an insight is given on element61's role in designing and building a Performance Management architecture in SAP Business Intelligence 7.0 and assisting in setting up a Business Intelligence Competence Center (BICC).

The Customer

Tessenderlo Group is an international group operating in 3 sectors of activities: Chemicals (fertilizers, animal nutrition, PVC / Chlor-Alkali), Plastics Converting (profiles, plastic pipe systems & compounds) and finally Specialties (pharma, gelatin & natural derivatives). It is a world and European leader in most of its product areas. The products manufactured by Tessenderlo Group are scarcely noticeable yet ever present in every-day life. A little piece of the group can be found in items as diverse as chewing gum, crop fertilizers, car dashboards, medical blood bags, drugs, plastic pipes and rubber grip on pens.

The entire group has 8.200 employees working in more than 100 sites across 20 countries establishing a worldwide presence (Europe, North & South Americas and China). Tessenderlo Group had a consolidated revenue of 2.8 billion Euro in 2008. The headquarters of Tessenderlo Group are situated in Brussels.

The Challenges

Mid 2007, the newly appointed CIO of Tessenderlo Group ordered a strategic ICT study at Gartner. This study contained all ICT aspects, ranging from ICT processes & governance, ICT organization to technology & standards.

The Performance Management and Business Intelligence subject area was entrusted to element61. Based on an extended analysis of the company objectives and priorities, organizational changes, management team changes and company culture (towards a centrally lead organization looking for synergies between different divisions) and based on an ICT architecture and an accompanying roadmap, element61 has assisted Tessenderlo Group in developing a strategic Business Intelligence & Performance Management vision ‘2008-2011', including a roadmap. Today element61 is still involved in supporting the Performance Management & Business Intelligence ‘journey' at Tessenderlo Group.

The Tessenderlo Group was amongst others coping with the following difficulties:

  • How to organize for Performance Management & Business Intelligence from a central perspective ? No dedicated capacity was present to increase skills, knowledge or projects. Communication, process and organization were to be defined in this area.
  • How to improve the return on investment of past SAP BW (3.5) investments. The initial SAP BW deployment was IT driven, with no real business input, nor steering which resulted in a stove-piped, departmental solution. Furthermore no decent user-interface was present to stimulate an increased usage or even to promote self-service.
  • How to move away from isolated information systems and Exc-el-dorado?
  • How to enable a more effective intake process for new projects and requests. A need for streamlining and reducing the time required to start up and afterwards implement new projects was required.

Solution & responsibilities

Within the solution that element61 has helped establishing, the following components are definitively worthwhile being mentioned:

Technology & architecture

  • Complete re-design & re-implementation of the existing data warehouse environment; definition of a central architecture (in- & outflow of data between source systems, data warehouse, BI components & CPM applications)
    • Migration of SAP BW 3.5 islands to an integrated SAP BI 7.0 environment
    • Migration of SAP Bex Analyzer 3.5 to Bex Analyzer 7.0
    • Deployment of nearly all SAP BI business content
    • Architecture framework for a layered SAP DW; taking into account best practice guidelines, future requirements & master data
    • A solution for a combined SAP & non-SAP sources KPI reporting system
  • Selection of a new front-end Business Intelligence solution, followed by a near to full Business Objects deployment & configuration used by a diverse group of business users
  • Migration of the current SAP BPS planning & budgeting application
  • Guidance in RFP, POC and first go-live of the solutions
  • Establishment of group hosting facilities based on Microsoft SQL Server, Hyperion Essbase & SAP Business Objects
  • Creation of a detailed SAP Bex 7.0 training, completed by a training environment, an interactive CBT, evaluation-forms & post-processing of all feedback

Organization, roles & responsibilities

  • Setup of a BICC. A choice was made in terms of which functions were going to be offered by the BICC. Based on these functions, detailed RACI matrices were established, detailing all activities, associated processes, roles & responsibilities
  • Based on the missing roles, appropriate job descriptions were defined
  • Coaching of BICC team members on BI & Performance Management concepts
  • Assistance in BICC planning, communication & internal presentations, in-depth CPM/BI tooling knowledge, creating an overall awareness on topics such as an business information models, master data and project methodologies
  • Definition of BICC role in interaction with business on the one hand, and with remaining ICT organization on the other hand
  • Interaction of BICC with Corporate Control & Finance divisions, which owns CPM (Planning, Budgeting & Consolidation) under the umbrella of a PMCC
  • Definition of future roles within the BICC within the timeline 2008-2011

Processes & governance

  • A BICC cookbook was created in order to promote the use of a project methodology. This cookbook clearly describes what, when & why something needs to be done within a typical BICC project. By splitting up a project into phases that can be managed more easily, it supports true project management. Each phase has a clear set of deliverables which were turned into templates providing a head start within new projects. By providing a checklist it answers questions such as what is still missing at a certain phase, what needs to be done next and what can be left out. Furthermore it secures what has been built, since people might move within different functions or after some time it can get difficult to keep a clear and/or original picture.
  • One of the essential elements within the BICC cookbook was the creation of a project intake template which functions as an introductory checklist for any new BI or planning & budgeting project.
  • A second essential element within the BICC cookbook was the creation of a user requirements analysis template.
    This template is a further detailing of the intake document, in function of three main axes:
    • business (what) – what information is required in relation to the business needs of the organization. Topics covered included : conceptual information model (dimensions, facts & their relationships), scope of data, security, reporting requirements …
    • secondly, technical (means) – what are the surrounding requirements ? How will the technical solution look like ? Topics here cover: BI-tool requirements, availability, performance, data retention, frequency, data rules, data quality, interfacing …
    • finally organizational (how) – how will the solution be managed? In which way is the information gathered and put into the organization? Topics here cover: service level agreements, learnability, operability, monitoring, communication, support, standards …
  • Project & portfolio management processes
  • Incidents & change management processes
  • Processes concerning data definitions, master data management & data quality
  • An internal portal has been defined in order to establish an efficient way of communication between the (potential) business users and the BICC. This included amongst others, direct access to different end-user tools, status of all project initiatives, overview presentations, information model, operational status & load schedules, end user tool documentation, FAQ, support pages, various trainings & a corresponding instructor led training calendar.

Technology used

The architecture of the project mainly combines SAP Business Warehouse with Business Objects

  • SAP BI 7.0 is used as back-end environment
  • Business Objects is used together with SAP BI as BI front-end environment:
    • BO Web Intelligence Xi 3.1 format driven reporting
    • BO Xcelsius dashboarding
    • Bex Analyzer analysis

Conclusion

element61 has helped Tessenderlo Group in setting up a BICC in terms of organization, roles & responsibilities, governance and processes. Furthermore the element61 internal SAP BW Competence Center has been leading & resourcing a SAP BW 3.5 redesign to a SAP BI 7.0 implementation. This combined effort is the foundation for using BI, not as a commodity, but as a way to differentiate and as such move from isolated tactical BI to integrated strategic BI, and as such leveraging information within the entire Tessenderlo Group.

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