Leveraging cloud technology to lower cost and boost efficiency

Our client, a national U.S. retail corporation with ‘brick and mortar’ locations and online e-commerce sales, was looking to expand and upgrade its financial processing, inventory, supply chain, retail sales and distribution systems and processes and take advantage of the efficiencies and lower costs that are leveraged using a robust and scalable cloud-based framework. Check the importance of Cloud computing in the manufacturing industry

Our client’s objectives were quite simply to provide self-service and real-time connectivity to marketing, sales, financial, operational, and net income data at a granular level across the client’s physical stores’ business and online e-commerce presence. The impact of cloud computing in the retail industry is massive. The key parameters of this engagement had to account for the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) data privacy and security rules, implementation, access and identity management at all retail locations, and provide for a dynamic structure capable of flexibility and efficiency to allow for continued modifications for likely industry governance changes, technology upgrades and enhancements in the future.

Based on our recommendations, our client selected the SAP commercial enterprise suite housed in the SAP HANA cloud platform, which provided our client with a centralized, standardized data source for operational and analytical workloads. Our client selected Intone to develop a comprehensive plan and manage the migration to SAP HANA. The SAP HANA platform is a flexible, data source-agnostic in-memory data platform that allows our client to analyze large volumes of data in real-time.

The database services of the SAP HANA platform, provide the data store and access to data (in-memory and column-based). SAP HANA provides online transaction processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP) on one system, without the need for redundant data storage or aggregates. Intone configured the application services of the SAP HANA platform to develop key business intelligence applications and built custom applications on SAP HANA, to effectively manage the applications’ lifecycles.

Following the initial implementation, Intone’s team then selected and implemented the SAP® BusinessObjects™, a business intelligence platform, in the SAP HANA cloud-based infrastructure, as the BI solution based on its robustness and flexible architecture. Finally, using an Agile iterative process, in collaboration with our client, the Intone team built custom dashboards that provided sales and marketing executives with a consolidated view of key performance indicators using real-time sales, financial, and operational data.

Intone leveraged the SAP HANA operational data marts’ real-time analytics and reporting on data replicated from the transactional system’s database to build the custom analytics applications. Intone mapped our client’s workflow processes to maximize the implementation’s data management methodology.

The SAP methodology adds new data into the relevant tables in the transactional system’s database, copies of those records are automatically transferred immediately into SAP HANA using replication technology. These replicated tables become the basis for specialized views that are created for analytics purposes. Check out digital transformation in the automotive industry to get a better idea. Intone has the knowledgeable, experienced, professional technical architects, business and data analysts our client needed to develop the data modeling views to convert raw transactional table data into a form best suited for analytics.

The successes and innovation resulting from the SAP implementation project were a result of the professional collaboration between the client’s IT leads and Intone’s Program Management structure, IT enterprise architects, IT integration leads, business analysts and training, and quality assurance leads all well experienced in SAP configuration and process transformation. We successfully led the implementation/integration engagement team in completing the implementation in just over 9 months providing for an automated, more simplified and cost-effective global customer engagement protocol, sales & returns details, financial processing, tracking, inventory, and supply chain and retail store real-time reporting and processing capabilities.

An example of the analytic project’s information production is the ability (with the push of a button): to assess the relevant markets to determine the products/services that are needed or wanted by customers; carry out quantitative and qualitative analyses to capture and investigate products/services sales and buying patterns; and employ creative techniques that allow for a closer understanding of customer demand patterns and the related fulfillment of retail products and service solutions.

Intone achieved our client’s goals through customization of analytics using SAP® BusinessObjects™ business intelligence platform, in the SAP HANNA cloud-based infrastructure, and provided training teams to all required sales facilities and locations for training and support to ensure a permanent sustainable solution was in place.

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