A global oil company began a strategic project to design, develop and implement an enterprise-wide data warehouse for its service and technology divisions. The underlying objective of the project was to enhance and streamline their management and operations reporting processes against their centralised data warehouse.
The global oil company had previously adopted SAP BW (Business Warehouse) as its data warehouse solution, fronted by SAP BEx (Business Explorer) for the generation of reports. We had reached a crossroads and essentially had two options: we could retain our existing legacy BEx application or replace it with SAP BusinessObjects™,” explained the Solution Delivery Manager. “In any event, we did not see BEx as being suitable for our longer term objectives and accepted that, sooner or later, this legacy application would have to be replaced.” SAP had acquired BusinessObjects™ some six months previously and whilst this appeared to provide the advanced and complex functionalities that the global oil company required, they were sceptical as to the technological advances that SAP had made in integrating SAP BusinessObjects™ with SAP BW in such a short time.
“We had recognised that BusinessObjects™ was the way forward for us,” added the Solution Delivery Manager. “In major development programmes, our policy is to work closely with partners and augment this by bringing in highly specialised contractors.” Like many major organisations, the global oil company appreciated the benefits of outsourcing specialized expertise rather than go through the expensive and time consuming processes of interviewing, recruiting, training and retaining IT professionals whose specific knowledge would only be required for a relatively limited period.
The global oil company’s partner in this project was a multinational consultancy company but it quickly became apparent that due to the rapid integration of the solutions by SAP, they could not provide integration experts with the appropriate levels of expertise. “Almost from day one we hit integration issues,” said the Solution Delivery Manager. “We started working very closely with SAP which sent a number of its own integration experts to work side-by-side with our teams.”
One of the SAP experts was Nicolas Henry who, a few weeks into the project joined Xoomworks a Consulting and Technology Company that specialises in Business Intelligence, Transformation and Technology Adoption.
“They had run into serious problems in attempting to integrate SAP BusinessObjects™ with SAP BW,” explained Nicolas Henry. “My initial focus was to analyse performance issues and liaise with SAP to identify and implement fixes to move the project forward. This was not a straightforward task as there were numerous issues and resolving one created further problems down the line.”
“There were clear flaws in the integration solution that SAP had developed internally,” continued the Solution Delivery Manager. “This was not particularly surprising since SAP had only acquired BusinessObjects™ a few months ago and our integration project was pushing the boundaries to the very limits.
Working extremely closely with the 38 strong project team, (which included development specialists from the multinational consultancy and SAP as well as other external contractors), and calling upon the internal resources of Xoomworks, Nicolas Henry continued identifying and resolving integration issues between SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects™. “Nicolas is technically extremely competent and is clearly Xoomworks’ resident SAP BusinessObjects™ expert,” added the Solution Delivery Manager.
Nicolas’ work alongside the global oil company’s incumbent development team has successfully moved the highly complex integration project forward. Equally importantly, SAP itself recognised the immense value of the development work being undertaken by the global oil company and has incorporated many of the initiatives into its latest SAP BusinessObjects™ Service Pack so that other organisations can benefit from this pioneering development work. “Much of the work that we have undertaken has been hailed by SAP as a major feature in its Service Pack, which has eased the way forward for other organisations,” added the Solution Delivery Manager. “The solution will also act as an enabler for our planned migration to shared services centres.
Based on this our client was asked by SAP to present the technology innovations behind the global oil company’s integration project at the Frankfurt session of SAPPHIRENOW – a global business resource of over 400 broadcasts that highlight best practice insights. “The presentation was extremely well received and has resulted in the company hosting a number of reference visits,” added the Solution Delivery Manager.
When fully implemented, the global oil company’s programme will deliver unified financial and supply chain reporting standards across some 21 countries and will support around 5,500 users – the largest integration of SAP BusinessObjects™ and SAP BW in the world. “The company has a large range of WebIntelligence and Crystal Report as well as Xcelsius dashboards that are run against the centralised data warehouse at regular intervals,” added Nicolas Henry. “This ensures that everyone receives the same, up-to-date information in the same way at the same time. In addition to these standard reports, users are able to build and run their own reports so that they can get the information they need, when they need it, and in a format that they can understand.
Xoomworks BI are a global leader in Business Intelligence solutions and services, supporting large enterprises and SMBs alike. We have over ten years experience in SAP BusinessObject™, SAP HANA, and many other SAP and BI solutions. More than 70% of our technical consultants have previously worked at SAP holding senior positions.
Our core competencies are implementations, integrations, migrations and optimisations, post go-live and managed services, crisis management, knowledge transfer, cloud BI and, of course, strategic advice.