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SAP EMEA Customers Use SOA to Thrive in Changing Markets
Companies Including Bezeq, Dolnoslaski Operator Systemu Dystrybucyjnego and Vinzenz Gruppe Employ SAP(R) Solutions to Establish New Business Processes Across System and Organizational Boundaries
Newly released research has helped document how companies leverage SAP solutions to tackle reducing the cost of IT while increasing business process efficiencies, helping them better weather the increasing challenges in today's economic climate and be better prepared for tackling strategic initiatives and meeting future business requirements. In a joint research effort conducted by SAP and the University of St. Gallen (see May 19, 2008 press release, titled "University of St. Gallen and SAP Prove Business and Technology Value of Service-Oriented Architecture for SAP Customers"), SAP and non-SAP customers were evaluated and findings show that companies running SAP are better equipped to show how SOA helps generate true business value with quantifiable benefit statements.
These newly released findings support the bolstered momentum SAP has seen for its solutions that enable SOA, with more than 42,500 productive SAP NetWeaver systems and more than 10,000 SAP(R) ERP 6.0 installations running around the world. In addition, to date there have been more than 2,800 enterprise services and 1,000 SOA roadmaps delivered by SAP globally, helping customers establish and follow strategic blueprints.
The following three success stories illustrate this and how SAP customers in EMEA are using SAP technology to maximize their SOA investments.
Dolnoslaski Operator Systemu Dystrybucyjnego Fuels Poland's Utilities Market With Information and Collaboration
Facing a deregulated gas and energy market, Poland's Dolnoslaski Operator Systemu Dystrybucyjnego (DOSD) needed a way to better manage and separate the critical organizational processes of gas sales and distribution. By doing so, DOSD aimed to provide higher-quality services to the gas-selling companies it works with, and to improve cooperation among its partners and gas network-engineering companies -- all while adhering to the network-restructuring process that was already underway by its parent company, Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (PGNiG SA). Through setting up an open, flexible and standardized platform across its entire organization, DOSD sought to redefine its own business model and establish a more streamlined approach for serving and managing its broad customer base by automating core company backend processes like gas connections, network investments and third-party engineering services.
Using the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, DOSD automated these important processes for full integration with other organizations - including multiple systems that historically lacked integration with DOSD -- while remaining in line with its business and IT strategies. As a result, more than 1,300 DOSD users now have access to integrated and up-to-date customer, sales and corporate information that was previously unavailable. Additionally, user productivity has increased, customer-service times have diminished, processes that were once paper-based are now paperless, and DOSD has better process visibility and traceability throughout its entire network.
"SOA is at the crux of our IT strategy and SAP is the strategic partner that makes it possible for us to bring this framework to DOSD seamlessly," said Andrzej Krzeminski, SAP implementation coordinator, Dolnoslaski Operator Systemu Dystrybucyjnego. "SAP NetWeaver has helped us reap the rewards of SOA. To date, we have successfully automated our processes end-to-end, across all DOSD offices and plants, and have realized a higher ROI on our IT investments in the process."
Vinzenz Gruppe Adapts to National Health Care System Changes in Austria
Today, Austrian health care providers like Vinzenz Gruppe are preparing for forthcoming changes to national health care policies, known as Elektronische Gesundheitsakte (ELGA), that require providers to retain electronic copies of health records, prescriptions, referrals, medication history and other related patient data. Viewing these changes as an opportunity to re-evaluate its IT strategy, Vinzenz Gruppe decided to lay the foundation for SOA across its organization to meet the new mandates and improve cross-institutional collaboration among key groups, such as external physicians, business partners, patients and the more than 4,500 internal Vinzenz Gruppe users.
Using SAP's flagship enterprise resource planning application, SAP(R) ERP, along with key components of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, Vinzenz Gruppe was able to extend to its users personalized, real-time and secure access to services offered on the shared Vinzenz Gruppe collaboration portal; eliminate errors and security risks by automating patient processes and switching from physical to digital records; reduce administrative overhead associated with manual processes; and comply with the latest ELGA regulations. It was also able to achieve all of this without compromising mission-critical clinical operations -- a necessity for the industry and the sensitive data being handled.
"With SOA powered by SAP, we can provide secure access to important medical documents -- anytime, anywhere -- to all of our stakeholders, and ensure that we are meeting the latest specifications set by the government," said Dr. Christian Gierlinger, head of IT, Vinzenz Gruppe Krankenhausbeteiligungs- und Management GmbH. "This enables our health care organization to improve the quality and contain the costs of our services, while modernizing our IT landscape in the process. The SAP NetWeaver technology platform is so flexible and fast that we knew it was capable of handling and adapting to accommodate all of our future SOA initiatives."
Bezeq Empowers Telecommunications Technicians and Developers in Israel
In the highly competitive, highly regulated telecommunications industry, Bezeq had to take into account both retaining its leading market share and upholding its new customer-facing vision when deciding to revamp its legacy-based business model. Bezeq found that its field teams and application developers lacked the mobility and resources necessary to optimize their efficiency, and, as a result, decided to architect an IT environment that would enable real-time monitoring and enhancement of all field procedures.
SAP helped Bezeq make these initiatives successful ones. Having already used SAP ERP in its warehouses, Bezeq turned to SAP once again, this time selecting the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, which enabled the telecommunications service provider to apply SOA across its organization. By doing so, Bezeq was able to eliminate the constraints of location by equipping its field technicians with mobile devices and communications systems and its application developers with a reusable set of Web services that can function throughout heterogeneous IT applications and logistics processes.
"As the largest telecommunications service provider in Israel, we needed a way to maintain our brand and serve our customers while making important changes to our existing IT environment," said Yaki Zano, head of software development, Bezeq. "SAP enabled us to do to just that. SAP NetWeaver helped us to optimize the use of our field technicians by saving them huge amounts of valuable time, and it also made programming that much easier for our software developers. We now have the tools in place to assure that our technicians and programmers have the proper resources to make the most of their time -- wherever they are working from."
"In 2008 we have seen an extraordinary pace of adoption for SAP NetWeaver, and there are many compelling showcases of how our technology platform is helping customers around the world conduct business more efficiently," said Herve Couturier, head of Development for SAP NetWeaver, SAP AG, and executive vice president, Product Group, Business Objects. "As the industry's most prominent open technology platform, SAP NetWeaver is the perfect way for organizations to start using SOA in order to orchestrate new business processes across system and company boundaries. In an age where the rules are constantly changing, SAP NetWeaver and SOA help our global network of customers create flexible IT landscapes and business networks that respond rapidly to shifting business requirements."
Starter Kit for SOA from SAP
SAP is launching the second version of its starter kit for SOA, which includes several additional examples of successful SOA customer and partner projects. The starter kit for SOA is a customer-oriented kit that provides step-by-step guidance for initial SOA projects. For more information on the starter kit for SOA, please visit: https://www.sdn.sap.com/....
SAP(R) TechEd 2008 in Las Vegas, Berlin, Shanghai and Bangalore
More than 16,000 SAP customers, partners and technical experts are convening at SAP(R) TechEd 2008 to learn how to transform existing business processes and IT landscapes and take advantage of the power and flexibility of service-oriented architecture. Celebrating its 12th anniversary, SAP's largest ecosystem education event of the year offers more than 1,000 hours of lecture-driven and hands-on sessions. SAP TechEd 2008 was held in Las Vegas on September 8-12, and is being held in Berlin on October 14-16, Shanghai on November 5-6 and Bangalore on November 12-14. For more information, please visit http://www.sapteched.com.
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