Connecting the business
As a next step, AES evaluated its existing analytics infrastructure, and mapped the changes required to transition to a new approach to manage, consolidate and leverage its global business data. The company determined that its existing database for its SAP Business Warehouse application was unable to provide the performance it needed to realize its enterprise-wide reporting vision, and decided to search for a new solution.
“After evaluating in-memory database solutions from a number of vendors, we decided that powering our SAP Business Warehouse application with SAP HANA would provide the rapid reporting capabilities we needed,” recalls Gogita Gogiberidze.
Following a request for proposals that involved a number of leading solution integrators, AES selected IBM Global Business Services to drive its migration to SAP HANA.
Alvaro Alegria comments: “Because SAP HANA was going to be the foundation for our global reporting environment, it was crucial that our database migration was as fast and straightforward as possible. IBM Global Business Services delivered all of the capabilities that we needed to ensure the success of our migration to SAP HANA.
“As well as possessing deep experience of similar projects in our industry, IBM offered us the global reach we needed to coordinate the migration efforts across all parts of our business. Crucially, AES considered that IBM had the technical expertise to complete the entire process more efficiently than any other vendor we evaluated.”
In parallel to its analytics transformation project, AES had taken the decision to migrate its SAP solutions from its in-house data center to a cloud-based platform. The aim was to reduce the cost and complexity of managing a physical infrastructure, and enable the business to focus on its core competencies. AES realized that outsourcing the hosting and management of its SAP solutions to a single vendor would enable it to achieve greater cost-efficiencies, and selected the IBM Cloud for SAP Applications platform—a fully managed and highly secure platform designed specifically for SAP Applications.
“Supporting our environment with the IBM Cloud for SAP Applications platform enables us to achieve the optimal balance between operational and capital spend,” says Gogita Gogiberidze.
“Working together, the team from IBM Global Business Services helped us to run the existing database environment and SAP HANA side-by-side throughout the testing and quality assurance phases, which enabled us to remediate potential issues before we moved our SAP HANA environment into production. The migration was a great success, and we are now preparing to decommission our legacy databases.”
Benefits in detail
- Faster data processing for month-end closing will enable deeper insights into enterprise-wide profitability.
- Granular reporting helps business analysts to drill down to identify growth opportunities.
- Improves monitoring and control for USD23 billion in annual spend and helps optimize inventory levels for up to USD550 million in assets.
- Better-informed decision-making will drive lower operational costs and greater efficiency.
- Achieves optimal balance between operational and capital spend by supporting the SAP environment with the IBM Cloud for SAP Applications platform.
Closing faster for deeper insights
Today, AES is building a truly global analytical and reporting platform that will enable it to analyze data generated by 1,000 legal entities in 17 countries faster than ever. The platform extracts and homogenizes source data on vendor spend from six SAP applications and two Oracle applications automatically, substantially reducing manual reporting work for AES employees.
“Our work with the new SAP solutions is just starting, but we are already seeing promising results,” says Alvaro Alegria. “Leveraging SAP HANA, we have been able to develop fast and robust analytics solutions, which include dashboards and reports that enable our procurement and supply chain teams to monitor and control USD23 billion in annual spend, and measure procurement cycles for purchasing, planning and inventory management.”
Alegria continues: “These new insights are helping us drive year-on-year improvements in inventory-level optimization for up to USD550 million in assets. Better still, by automating time-consuming month-end data processing tasks, we are freeing our finance teams to spend less time on low-value activities and more time drilling down into our financial results.”
AES is confident that SAP HANA will support the reporting requirements of more than 1,000 employees across its business—empowering its people to make better budgeting decisions on everything from its supply chain and plant maintenance to substantial investments in new generation and storage facilities.
Gogita Gogiberidze says: “We believe that the new SAP solutions delivered by IBM Global Business Services will offer our decision-makers the information they need to make better-informed strategic decisions.
“For example, by pinpointing the actual operational cost of our global inventory management and procurement processes, we will be able to shape best-practice approaches to reduce waste and shrink spending. And most importantly, it will be easier than ever to determine our most profitable activities, and make them the focus of our ongoing growth efforts.”
He concludes: “Our journey with SAP HANA is just beginning. Looking ahead, we predict that our SAP solutions from IBM will foster a culture of data-driven decision-making that will power our growth for years to come.”