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Hot-Tip: Cloud Analytics and S/4HANA are Driving Financial Transformation

Posted by Bramasol Financial Transformation Team on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 @ 07:16 AM

FinancialTransformation-HotTip.jpgFinancial Transformation is happening now, driven by new cloud-based technologies that bring together analytics, transactional data and best-of-breed applications within a unified Digital Core.

Most conventional finance management technologies have been in existence for decades and, while they may offer a familiar environment, the lack of unified solutions create significant limitations when it comes to keeping pace with today’s complex and dynamically changing corporate challenges.

Some of the chronic problems that arise from these limitations include:

  • Inefficient separation of analytical capabilities and transaction data
  • Inability to accurately aggregate disparate data for decision-making
  • Lack of support to business transformation initiatives
  • Dependence on IT staff for creating specialized and ad hoc reports
  • Loss of productivity due to users juggling multiple systems and data sources

Because of these issues, most companies are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time coping with mundane but necessary challenges such as “keeping the lights on” and juggling data sources just to keep their head above water. Industry surveys indicate that 72 percent of time is spent on such problems.

Companies that have proactively begun Financial Transformation programs are already experiencing important benefits including:

  • Ability to adopt Best Practices 
  • Real-time and predictive analytics
  • Faster closing processes
  • Improved support for compliance requirements
  • Enhanced productivity through “native” workflow integration

The newest eBook from Bramasol shows how the SAP Digital Core overcomes the challenges of outdated legacy systems by combining transactional data, cloud-based analytics capabilities and integrated best-of-breed applications within a seamless ecosystem that optimizes productivity, ease-of-use and extensibility.

This eBook also includes a step-by-step use-case example showing the seamless interaction of SAP Cloud Analytics and SAP S/4HANA Cloud ERP operational functionality. This example simulates an Oil & Gas industry situation with a revenue discrepancy and illustrates the flow between analytics and operational processes.

Click Here to Download eBook: "Leveraging Cloud-based Analytics, User-Definable Dashboards and S/4HANA Cloud for Financial Transformation".

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Topics: analytics, financial transformation, FinancialTransformation-Hot-Tips

Research Indicates that 70% of Sports Fans that "like or follow" Take Action

Posted by Bryant Bonner on Mon, Oct 14, 2013 @ 07:59 AM

 

 

Fan engagement infogrsnap

 

Social media is becoming one of the most critical areas for you to understand in engaging your fans better to drive the action you are looking for- purchase, recommend and share to keep your operation thriving. Catalyst PRs' annual Fan Engagement Study found:

  • Nearly 7 out of 10 of sports fans who Like or follow brands on social media say they’re willing to take additional action during sports events, such as purchases, commenting on social posts or sharing brand content.

  • More than 50% of all polled sports fans engage on social channels while watching their favorite’s teams play. It’s the first time in-game engagement surpassed the level of 50%.

  • Almost 25% of all NBA and soccer fans say they are likely to view or comment on content of nonsports brands if it’s related to their favorite sports. However, fans will turn away if the contact is too frequent or irrelevant.

  • Nearly 2X as many fans use Facebook compared to Twitter, at 73% to 37% respectively. However, they check Twitter about 1.5 times as often as they check Facebook on game day.

  • The most engaging social content is based on pre-game excitement (72%), historic video (68%), bloopers (66%), Q&A with coaches and players (66%) and game debate/banter (63%).

What is your social media strategy? Are you leveraging the information you have available to drive better engagement that results in sales with your fans? Download the full infographic above for some more insight.

 

Download Infographic


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Topics: cloud, social media, analytics, sports and venue management, fan engagement

KXEN Acquisition Deepens SAP Predictive Analytics and Widens to Business User

Posted by Jennifer Cook on Wed, Oct 9, 2013 @ 06:25 AM

SAP doubled down on their recent foray into the predictive analytics space when they recently announced that they will acquire KXEN, a predictive analytics software vendor based in San Francisco. 

This is significant in that it acknowledges that the relatively new SAP Predictive Analysis solution still had a ways to go in delivering on the promise of taking predictive more directly to the business user.  Predictive Analytics and Data Mining have always occupied a rarefied spot in the corporate analytics portfolio, typically owned by statisticians and PhDs as opposed to analysts in finance, marketing, or operations.  KXEN will enable SAP to truly deliver on the promise of enabling the business functions to own at least a portion of the organization’s
predictive analytics capability.

KXEN, and its InfinateInsight offering, is focused on automating much of the complex and time consuming tasks in the end-to-end predictive analytics workflow.  This workflow includes steps of data preparation, model building, scoring, and deploying.  With over 500 customers across Telecom (COX, Vodaphone, Rogers, US Cellular), Financial Services (Wells Fargo, Discover, Barclays, ING) , Retail (Lowes, Walmart, Sears, TrueValue), and e-Business (Shutterfly, Overstock.com, CBS Interactive), KXEN brings a varied and significant stable of reference customers.  You can find an excellent overview and demo here.

One other exciting thing is that KXEN is already in the cloud as a service.  KXEN offers their solution on the salesforce.com appexchange, enabling organizations to gain customer insight by leveraging all the extensive CRM data and social profile data residing in salesforce.com.  Look for SAP to quickly integrate this cloud capability into their own solutions. 

SAP expect to close on the transaction by the end of the year.  I suspect that it will quickly take a prominent place in the SAP analytics portfolio.  There is breakthrough value here for organizations looking to quickly adopt predictive analytics as KXEN eliminates many of the existing barriers to entry.

Watch KXEN Demo
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Topics: predictive analytics, predictive analysis, CRM, analytics, SAP BusinessObjects, big data, demo, KXEN

Why Analytics is Viable and Affordable for Your Business

Posted by Jennifer Cook on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 @ 12:53 PM

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Recent research from IDC indicates that there is a compelling partner opportunity for analytics. While there is no question that there is a strong partner opportunity, what this information and graphic really represent is how partners can help businesses utilize the data and information they have to make more informed, timely decisions. Businesses that normally would not consider analytics to be a viable, affordable resource can now compete with the larger companies that have been using analytics for years. In the infographic there are key data points for businesses to consider. Given that 68% of companies do not have a stated Business Intelligence/ Analytics strategy and 63% of IT and business executives are not familiar with the phrase "Big Data”, it’s clear that there is a compelling reason for businesses to look to third-party experts on how they can use the most powerful information they have, their own data, to drive better processes and decision-making.

An informative article from Tech Republic guides with ten steps you can take to ensure your analytics project is in step with a successful path. Oddly enough, number ten is probably the most critical and important, "Don't let your analytics do all the thinking for you."

Working with a third party expert that deeply understand big data and analytics to help a business identify what the goals are in using their data is a critical step in success.

For example, with analytics being accessible more widespread throughout an organization, it’s also important to scope out a project in many different levels of the organizations, such as, department, group, management, etc.  Analytics on their own can be powerful, but without a plan for knowledge and guidance, projects can quickly get off track. If you look at the data for the data’s sake without a plan and limit exposure to certain functions or capacities within an organization, you might miss the real opportunity to share and act upon critical data, which becomes knowledge and empowers your organization.

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Topics: business intelligence, analytics

Top Reasons for Rapid Midmarket BI Growth Potential

Posted by Neeraj Dharia on Tue, Aug 6, 2013 @ 01:38 PM

Bramasol BI Growth

 

Not long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, the idea of business intelligence (BI) was as “out there” as Star Wars. Today, millions of businesses are not only familiar with BI, they want their hands on it. For instance in 2011, in a survey of 622 midmarket CIOs, 83% of them stated that the top strategic technology investment during the next five years is business analytics- that trend continues well into today and is only increasing. Gartner's 2012 survey on "top priorities of CIO's" included analytics, mobile and cloud. Analytics and BI once again tops the list.

 

gartnerbi resized 600

According to Information Management, the competition for midmarket business is getting so fierce that competitors are not even talking about it. Vendors don’t want to show their hand to their competitors, in terms of how well they are doing with this market, and whether they need to play catch up.

Why is there is so much buzz for BI in midmarket circles?

Simply, mid-market organizations are seeing the value in BI as way to separate from the competition. Insight analysis—especially into deeper data pools—is allowing decision makers to make informed decisions for their company’s initiatives. Overall, the mid-market is looking to get away from the “gut-based” decision-making process, and harness their data to their advantage. They can accomplish this goal with more sophisticated reporting tools, as opposed to the restrictive spreadsheet formula they’ve been using for years.

As Small Business Trends summed things up, SMBs are always looking for ways to cut costs and improve profitability. Business Intelligence modeled for midmarket organizations is the ticket. 

Download the Aberdeen report on packaged analytics and learn more about how analytics can give you a competitive advantage in the midmarket and deliver immediate value to your business.

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Topics: business intelligence, analytics, CIO

Hot Tips for Business Planning and Forecasting Strategy

Posted by Ron Martinez on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 @ 02:35 PM

 

Just two short years ago, “forecasting” was more of a buzzword than an essential component to performance management. Back in 2010, the Big Fat Finance Blog covered the high ground of forecasting and how every department within a company needs an estimate of what the future looks like to build their organizational plans. Fast forward to today, and forecasting and planning has leaped to the forefront of “essentials” for midmarket organizations.

For the seventh consecutive year, SAP has been positioned as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Corporate Performance Management Suites. The goal of this Gartner Magic Quadrant is to present a global view of the main vendors that offer broad corporate performance management (CPM) suites that should be considered by organizations seeking to implement a CPM strategy.

According to Gartner, "Leaders possess a large percentage of the market share in the CPM suite market and demonstrate superior CPM sales levels. They can deliver breadth and depth of CPM suite functionality, as well as provide enterprise-wide implementations to support a broad CPM strategy. Leaders excel at vision, successfully articulate a business proposition that resonates with buyers, are well-recognized in the space, have broad international presence in execution, and are supported by the viability and operational capability to deliver on a global basis."

Why are midmarket organizations in search of more accurate and timely information? It’s simple. Decisions makers need the right data, at the right time, to make the most impactful decisions for their business. Midsize organizations in particular are looking for cost-effective ways to manage and harness their data to gain a competitive advantage.

SAP announced a number of enterprise performance management (EPM) innovations in 2012. There are many benefits to implenting SAP EPM solutions:

  • Better decision making based on what-if analysis and scenario planning
  • Increase collaboration for improved accountability and planning accuracy
  • Reduce cycle time, close the books faster, and align plans with strategic goals
  • Minimize risk by meeting statutory and management reporting requirements
  • Plan better and act faster with instant insight into all relevant data and real-time planning capabilities powered by SAP HANA

This solution is also available in a version for the Microsoft Platform and a version for SAP NetWeaver. Read the SAP solution brief on SAP Planning and Consolidation, "Streamlined Planning and a Faster, More Compliant Close", for more information about steering your company to a more sophisticated planning and forecasting vehicle—and Bramasol has the solution. SAP BusinessObjects Planning & Consolidation is changing the game for the midmarket.

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Topics: analytics, SAP BusinessObjects, HANA, business planning and consolidation, forecasting

IAVM VenueConnect 2013: Breaking the Silos, Increasing Efficiency

Posted by Bryant Bonner on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 @ 10:49 AM

Silos of Information

Does that picture above look familiar? Are you feeling like your venue operates in silos of information? We'd like to change that. Pop by the Bramasol booth 845 at IAVM this weekend and learn more about how to improve operational efficiency across your organization and address these challenges with insight to win:

  • How to get fans in seats when 52% of Americans now say they would rather watch a sport on TV versus attend in person (ESPN Sports Poll)
  • Implement better methods for documenting security offenses and identifying repeat offenders
  • How to optimize interactions in marketing when only 16% of organizations have a 360-degree view of customers
  • Get real time visibility into key business segments (ticketing, secondary ticketing, merchandising, food & beverage) and drive higher business performance

Whether you're a venue manager or an systems administrator, we can help you figure out what your pain points are: lack of visibility over the organization, scattered data, fan engagement, or any variety of unique issues to your organization.

Come see us at IAVM to learn how we can break through the silos and help your organization achieve maximum efficiency and run more like this: 


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Topics: social media, IAVM, sports, venue, analytics, ERP

"The Subscription Economy" Webinar Recap

Posted by John Froelich on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

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In case you didn't get a chance to join us, here's a wrap up yesterday's webinar.

Ron Martinez, our telco analyst on the Bramasol team, and I presented on some key market trends related to recurring revenue or subscription based businesses, implications for your company, some what if scenarios, and closed with a high level presentation of the Bramasol Customer Retention and Analytics Solution.

As a veteran of the Telecom Wars between AT&T, MCI and Sprint and as the leader of several eBusiness initiatives for IBM, I understand how important accurate, deep and robust analysis are to subscription based companies. Knowing where to spend and not spend your resources to maximize ROI, grow revenue and/or lower costs is critical.

The traditional models that we think of when we hear “subscription based business” are changing. No longer are they restricted to Telco’s, Internet providers, cable companies or magazines. LinkedIn, Match.com, SheKnows, Angie’s List and others companies that are member based have changed the face of business, as have iTunes, Hulu, and even AngryBirds. Companies thought of as more traditional, such as SAP, IBM, GM, and Discount Tire offer subscription or member based services.

47% of businesses are developing or interested in developing recurring revenue models today, meaning that companies must weigh out the risks and opportunities associated with adopting a new model for revenue recognition.

Click the button to watch the recording of our webinar, where we tackle the next steps for businesses to take in order to see what HANA can do with your company's rapidly changing data. We will also walk you through some "what-if" scenarios and show you an overview and brief demonstration of how our Customer Analytics and Retention Solution works.

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Topics: analytics, SAP HANA, webinar, customer retention, big data

Webinar 7/17/13 1PM EST, 10AM PST- "The Subscription Economy- How to Use Real-Time Data to Maintain Customers"

Posted by John Froelich on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 @ 10:10 AM

Churn and Burn No More


sapinsiderbramasol2With all the data you have available about your customers today, are you really maximizing the information to keep them as your customers for tomorrow? Does your data empower you to take action on customer activity in real-time? According to Gartner, 35% of global 2000 companies will generate a significant portion of their revenue through subscription-based services by 2015, therefore, leveraging the data you have for competitive advantage is more important than ever.

What does that mean to you? It means the competition just exploded. With more businesses trying to capture a piece of your pie, how can you ensure you retain the customers you have? To thrive in this new economy, where it only takes a click to unsubscribe, you need to capture more dollar share per customer and develop better approaches to target new customers.

Watch this webinar to learn more about the trends and growth in subscription-based and recurring revenue based business models. Learn how to gain actionable insight that will help you understand your customers to better deliver customized offers, incentives, and packages.

Some key aspects of this webinar are:

  • How to identify your best and most profitable customers and what makes them unique
  • 16 key performance indicators (KPIs) that provide visibility across key customer segments and give further insight into which customers require attention
  • How to understand behavioral patterns and outcomes across value-based and demographic segments
  • Experience business scenarios on how different roles in your organization can use real-time analytics to empower decision making

 

Sign up for this webinar today!

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Topics: analytics, SAP HANA, webinar, churn, customer retention

Analytics in the Cloud: Are we at an inflection point?

Posted by Ron Martinez on Thu, May 23, 2013 @ 11:06 AM

I was just listening to an interview from last week’s SAP’s Sapphire user conference where SAP’s Co-CEO, Bill McDermott reported that SAP’s cloud business grew by 380% in Q1.  He didn’t break it down, but one can reasonably assume that the bulk of this growth occurred in business applications like core ERP, SCM, SFM, HCM solutions.  It got me thinking about where we are with Analytics in the cloud.  A report published last fall by noted BI analyst Howard Dresner tells how adoption of analytics in the cloud is still in the early innings.  This makes sense.  As business applications move to the cloud, more businesses get familiar and comfortable with this new computing model.  Perhaps more importantly, it puts business data—the lifeblood of analytics—out in the cloud making the move to cloud BI a natural next step. 

A recent Aberdeen white paper, Software-as-a-Service Helps Deliver Satisfied Analytics Users illuminates the positive results adopters of cloud BI are realizing.  They experience superior results as compared to companies that deploy BI on-premise.  Users are more satisfied with the available tools, enjoy less data latency, and are more likely to have in-house BI training. In addition, they have strong analytic knowledge within the business functions, and probably the most impactful outcome, their BI projects are driven by the business, not IT. 

This is all good stuff, but it got me thinking as to why this is the case.  We have to be careful not to confuse correlation with causality.  Is it the implementation of SaaS BI that delivers these results, or perhaps the companies that make the choice to deploy a cloud-based analytic solution bring these superior traits and approach to their BI projects to the table?  My suspicion is that it is driven more by the latter.  I believe that these high-performing organizations are so convinced of the value of fact-based decision making and the analytics that enables it, that they are self-selecting into the SaaS BI cohort.  These are the companies that understand the potential value and find a new, more cost effective way to make it happen.  Clearly the deployment of a SaaS BI solution gets them there faster, cheaper, and with less risk.  What do you think?  Read the paper here, and weigh in with a comment.

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Topics: cloud, Aberdeen, analytics

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