Langenfeld, Germany. June 11, 2008 – arcplan, a global provider of enterprise performance management solutions, provides demonstrable added value for business intelligence (BI) applications running in a SAP environment. The BI Survey 7 (www.BI-Survey.com), previously known as the OLAP Survey, recently confirmed for the fourth time in a row that arcplan Enterprise is the most widely-used third-party BI front-end in the SAP BW and SAP BI environment. SAP users report that the solution is especially useful for highly complex applications because without programming, they can create reports, planning scenarios, and analyses that are tailored to the requirements of the company.
arcplan Enterprise is often used in executive information systems, management cockpits, sales information systems, and analytical applications used for operational performance management. By constantly enhancing its product range and providing new solutions such as arcplan CFO Cockpit Premier, arcplan Excel Analytics, arcplan Analytic Services and arcPlanning, arcplan offers its customers a high level of flexibility in their BI strategy.
Easy amalgamation of different data sources
When developing BI applications in a SAP BW environment, integrating additional, non-SAP data or integrating several SAP BW and SAP R/3 systems in one BI application can take a considerable amount of time. Complementary data sources and databases are usually added by modeling data structures as well as ETL processes (extract, transform and load), and this often involves increased expenditure for external consultants.
Companies experience tangible added value from their existing IT resources when they place arcplan solutions on top of SAP and non-SAP databases – including Applix, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle/Hyperion, which does not require them to program any interfaces. In addition, with arcplan Analytic Services any web service can be included as a data source. By enabling users to directly access the data sources they need whenever they need them, companies avoid unnecessary ETL processes while saving IT resources.
High level of flexibility for graphics, print processes, annotations and usability
The more complex the BI application, the more it will generally cost to develop because even simple things like the colors of data displays need to be programmed. Using arcplan Enterprise, on the other hand, does not require any knowledge of Java or ABAP programming. So a financial controller with average IT skills can use drag and drop functionality, familiar from Microsoft applications like Excel and PowerPoint, to create web-enabled reports and planning folders that meet the company’s needs. In addition, the InfoProvider and Queries from SAP BW’s business content can be used as data sources without the need for time-consuming and costly modeling.
The arcplan solution also provides users with flexible output and printouts in all common formats including Microsoft Excel and PDF. The solution’s customizable presentation folders enable users to save time because tables of contents, page numbers etc. are generated automatically only need to be defined once and can then be stored as personal favorites. For Excel users, the product module arcplan Excel Analytics provides dynamic output of spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel along with the option of processing them further within analytical applications or planning folders. arcplan Enterprise’s special annotation options enables users to easily add comments on discrepancies or planning in a specific row or column in a table, and to create graphs from concrete menu selections. With its personalized design of navigation and user interface elements, users can select actions like ‘jump to’, ‘drill down’ etc.
Complex planning scenarios and models
Planning scenarios and preview models have a strategic importance in the enterprise. The development of the business depends on multiple internal and external preconditions and factors, such as raw material costs, currency exchange rates, and market behavior. With arcplan Enterprise, users can depict complex planning scenarios and models quickly and easily. Plan figures can also be copied back into the source database, such as the planning module of SAP SEM BPS.
Personalization of the Front-End and Integration in the Portal
The options for individual settings are among the reasons many SAP customers, including Thyssen Krupp, Stadtwerke Bremen (the city of Bremen’s public utility company), EnBW (the state of Baden-Wurttemberg’s energy utility company), and Bayer, use arcplan Enterprise as their BI front-end. Users can personalize their desktops with their choice of favorite menu and language settings. Work is also simplified by user-defined messages, alerts, and help information. In the same way, individual access permissions can be granted to each user of the application down to the level of reports, tables or cells. As a result, companies can implement highly sophisticated access policies in areas that have traditionally been very sensitive, such as personnel controlling. In addition, arcplan Enterprise automatically adopts the role-based access permissions defined in SAP and can be fully integrated in the SAP NetWeaver portal’s SSO (single sign-on) framework.
Web Capability and Upgrades
For enterprises, upgrading from one software version to its successor often means a complete reorganization due to the remodeling and redesign of reports that becomes necessary. As arcplan Enterprise is not tied to any specific database, the underlying database can be completely replaced if need be. A further advantage of arcplan Enterprise is that it fully supports all common web browsers.
“With arcplan Enterprise, customers can complement the SAP Product Suite’s existing functionality with whichever configurable BI applications they want,” explains Gerhard H. Fiss, Director of Services at arcplan. “This enables users to react faster to managers’ and departments’ requirements. Unlike other solutions, it doesn’t need any external consultants to implement it – all needs can be met in-house by the company’s own IT department.”
arcplan is an established independent business intelligence solution provider delivering timely, contextual and actionable information that empowers businesses to improve business perfor-mance while leveraging existing infrastructure. Since 1993, arcplan has enabled more than 2,800 customers worldwide to achieve organizational efficiency through the powerful combina-tion of information and analysis proving beneficial to the bottom line. Get more information at www.arcplan.com.
arcplan’s flagship product arcplan Enterprise® was rated the #1 3rd party tool for SAP BW, Essbase, and TM1 in The BI Survey 9 (2010).
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