Solving SAP BusinessObjects Challenges
with 360Suite Solutions
at Johnson Financial Group
Johnson Financial Group is a privately held, full-service financial services company based in Racine, Wisconsin. The Chairman of the Board, Helen Johnson Leipold, is the daughter of founder Samuel C. Johnson and a fifth generation member of the Johnson family. Today, more than 1,300 Johnson Financial Group associates provide banking, wealth, and insurance solutions to customers in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Minnesota.
As Johnson Financial Group matures and evolves, it has required more sophisticated business intelligence reporting and, in 2013, the company licensed SAP BusinessObjects. Although the SAP BusinessObjects environment at Johnson Financial Group is modest in size, with about 375 users, 140 Universes, and 900 reports in production, it’s growing and touches nearly every part of the business, from operations to sales to human resources. Due to Johnson Financial Group’s growth, managing SAP BusinessObjects using native resources became challenging, and BI managers found user questions increasingly difficult to answer. An internal SharePoint upgrade project finally brought the situation to a head.
In 2018, a Johnson Financial Group Assistant Vice President and Business Intelligence Application Specialist bumped into a counterpart from another bank, who sang the praises of 360Suite. 360Suite software offered a potential solution to the SharePoint upgrade problem, so Johnson Financial Group calculated the return on investment, gave the software a trial run, and ultimately embraced several 360Suite solutions, including 360Eyes, 360View, 360Cast, 360Plus, and 360Bind. In the first few months of implementation, Johnson Financial Group experienced several successes with 360Suite, as highlighted in the following cases.
Use Case #1: SharePoint Upgrade
Johnson Financial Group schedules a large number of SAP BusinessObjects reports by exporting and saving them as Excel or PDF files, and then delivering them somewhere on the network, often to the SharePoint platform. As a result of the Johnson Financial Group SharePoint upgrade project, hundreds of scheduled report instances required a path change from the old SharePoint environment to the new one. Johnson Financial Group calculated that it would take at least 78 man hours to perform this task manually. Instead, the company was able to perform the task in just a few hours by using 360Suite to: 1) identify all 400 report instances that were scheduled to publish to SharePoint, 2) pause the scheduled jobs while SharePoint was being updated, and 3) update all SharePoint paths in bulk before resuming the scheduled jobs.
Use Case #2: Universe Maintenance
Johnson Financial Group recognized the need to clean up a particular SAP BusinessObjects Universe that contained repetitive field names and tables with duplicate fields, but cleaning up the Universe was complicated by a lack of understanding about when, how, and where fields were being used. Without this information, BI Administrators couldn’t predict how changes would impact existing reports or ensure that, by fixing one problem, they wouldn’t create another problem. It was virtually impossible to unravel this mess manually, but 360Suite made it easy for Johnson Financial Group to analyze impact down to the object level, and clean up the Universe without breaking any reports in the process.
Use Case #3: Information Gathering & Reporting
At Johnson Financial Group, every report in production must have a corresponding SharePoint Wiki detailing the contents of the report, and a quarterly audit ensures compliance with this requirement. Until recently, Johnson Financial Group relied on the SAP BusinessObjects Query Builder to gather information needed by the auditor, a process that was long, tedious, and complicated. Now, Johnson Financial Group takes advantage of 360Suite platform to identify all reports located in public folders and the instances attached to them.
Use Case #4: Data Extract Conversions
Johnson Financial Services uses SAP BusinessObjects to create data feeds — about 120 file extracts per month. Although the data warehouse team prefers to receive data as pipe delimited text files, it’s impossible to create this format with SAP BusinessObjects, so BI administrators were forced to drop Excel files. The data warehouse team converted the Excel files to pipe delimited text files using a conversion tool it developed for this purpose, but the process was slow — up to two or three hours per file in some cases. Now, Johnson Financial Group uses 360Cast to convert data extracts to CSV with a pipe delimiter. The result is a significant decrease in loading/processing time, and a corresponding boost to efficiency.
At Johnson Financial Group, 360Suite had an immediate and positive impact that extended across the organization. By adopting a suite of solutions that integrate seamlessly with SAP Business Objects, Johnson Financial Group BI administrators simplified and automated tasks, accessed metadata, and saved data extracts to different file types. Best of all, they obtained the ability to answer 95% of questions posed by SAP BusinessObjects users — with ease and confidence.
As a new customer, Johnson Financial Group is still discovering the many ways that 360Suite makes it easier, faster, cheaper, and safer to harness the power and maximize the value of SAP BusinessObjects. The entire 360Suite team looks forward to supporting Johnson Financial Group as it expands four initial use cases into a lengthy series of successes.
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