Guide to Accelerating your SAP Central Finance Implementation

The value of using pre-built integrations for non-SAP data sources was the focus of a previous post on Third Party Integration for SAP Central Finance. Here is a follow-up, providing an overview of the main components of the Magnitude SourceConnect for SAP solution set, which provides solutions to both physical and logical data integration into SAP Central Finance:

Magnitude SourceConnect Transaction – This core module provides physical connectivity from non-SAP source systems. Pre-built connectors extract transaction details from the source systems and transform them into the financial journal entries required by Central Finance. It is worth noting that there are as many as 23 common transaction types that must be interpreted and transformed for extraction and load – and of course each source system supports all of these in different ways, which only reinforces the reasons to avoid building this capability and go for “buy”!Once extracted and interpreted, financial journal transactions are loaded into SAP SLT (SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server), per design best practices from SAP, and from there loaded into SAP Central Finance.

Magnitude SourceConnect Harmonization – Loading transactions into Central Finance is only the beginning though! Ensuring that the aggregated information is consistent and can be properly grouped and interpreted is just as important. For example, if your various source systems have “Dell”, Dell, Inc.”, “Dell Corp.” and “Dell USA”, then unless it is told otherwise, Central Finance will treat these as four different customers (or suppliers, or whatever they are). This type of master data mismatch is very common and plagues customer, supplier and material records. To overcome the issue, Central Finance includes a “Business Mapping” table where these mappings can be declared. The problem for customers is how to populate that table, and that is essentially the purpose of the SourceConnect Harmonization module.

At its core, SourceConnect Harmonization uses unique harmonization algorithms to match and merge master data from multiple sources (including SAP sources) and then load the Business Mappings into Central Finance. A couple of things are worth noting here:

  • Although it is built on Harmonization technology, it is highly configured and should not be considered a general-purpose MDM System. If you already have an MDM solution like SAP MDG this would be complementary to that, not redundant.
  • Since SourceConnect Harmonization has access to all ‘raw’ master data from the source systems, it can review current data quality, consistency and completeness, and provide a dashboard that’s useful in estimating any manual data remediation work that may be necessary in the course of the implementation. This is incredibly useful information to have when scoping the implementation project.

Magnitude SourceConnect Drilldown – SAP Central Finance aggregates financial information and provides for a variety of financial planning and analysis requirements, but this leaves out quite a bit of transaction detail, which – though available from the source systems – is not loaded into Central Finance. SourceConnect Drilldown stores this broader transaction information in a DataMart (in HANA) for future use without having to go all the way back to the source system. This can be useful for reviewing transaction details as part of a reconciliation process, and can even be used for reporting if non-financial information, such as dates, status codes, etc. is required.

This approach also allows the user to see the details of a transaction utilizing the SAP tools they have been trained in without having to go back to a non-SAP source system for which they most likely have not been trained in and understand how to use it to get the details of a transaction such as data in Oracle EBS, QAD or Infor LN.

Another related use for these transaction-level DataMarts is that they can preserve transaction detail from systems that are being deprecated or are otherwise unavailable. It’s not a full system backup, but having quick access to transaction details can be a significant convenience.

The chart below shows how these three modules work together to ingest and align both SAP and non-SAP data into Central Finance so it is usable in the minimum amount of time, with the minimum of risk.

SourceConnect solution set for SAP Central Finance

You can find more information, including overview and module walkthrough videos at http://www.magnitude.com/SAP