Third Party Data Solutions for SAP Central Finance

The power of SAP S/4HANA Central Finance is that it aggregates all financial transactions into a central system for advanced reporting, scalability and ultimately transformation of the finance function. This is a major strategic advantage for companies who adopt the system, however, to realize these benefits, data from multiple source systems must be effectively and efficiently interfaced with Central Finance – which is where Magnitude SourceConnect for SAP can help.

Magnitude SourceConnect for SAP is a suite of applications that enables the fastest, lowest cost and lowest risk integration of 3rd party data into Central Finance by streamlining key aspects of the data integration process. Magnitude SourceConnect for SAP is co-innovated with SAP as a complementary solution to Central Finance, and is in four parts:

Magnitude SourceConnect Transaction  allows rapid connection to any source system, whether through a direct connection or through flat file import.

  • Pre-built source connectors are available for an expanding library of systems, covering key vendors including Oracle, Microsoft, Infor and many others.
  • Additional source connectors can be developed on demand in as little as 4-6 weeks each, and new sources can typically be brought on-line in 2-3 weeks each.
  • Data connection via flat file is available to cover any source where a direct connector is not available, or where access to source ERP is not available.

Each source connector supports up to 23 transaction types (depending on the source system) which are extracted from the source, mapped into the required format for Central Finance, and loaded into the Universal Journal via the SAP-recommended SLT interface.

Magnitude SourceConnect SyncBack enables clearing of customer and vendor invoices in source ERPs as payments are executed in Central Finance. This capability supports what many view as the ultimate goal of Central Finance, which is to become a central shared services platform. In this case, Central Finance provides not only central visibility, but also allows management actions such as allowing payment processing, Cash Applications and AP Payments to be performed in Central Finance instead of source ERPs. This in turn requires that incoming and outgoing payment transactions are written back to source ERPs, associated with the original invoice and balance is cleared out. In this way, the source systems are kept in sync with Central Finance.

Magnitude SourceConnect Drilldown stores source system transaction details directly in HANA to allow seamless drill down from summary journal entries in Central Finance. Even though the key financial information is loaded to the Central Finance Universal Journal, there is often a need to refer to the original complete transaction details for confirmation or reconciliation. In this case, a Drilldown capability allows for quick research and additional reporting. Loading transaction detail information into HANA allows for fast and seamless access to the data while avoiding the need for training end users in the use of multiple systems.

  • View original transaction detail for non-SAP sources, right within the Fiori applications
  • Enable complementary reporting on non-financial data (or combination of financial and non-financial data)
  • Maintain persistent transaction history even when source systems are not available

Magnitude SourceConnect Harmonization quickly handles many of the issues of master data consistency across diverse sources, including SAP sources. It is a fact of life that there will be inconsistency in master data across multiple systems, and unless this is resolved, subsequent analysis in Central Finance will be suspect at best. SourceConnect Harmonization identifies and builds a master data mapping to connect and standardize disparate data from all sources. Harmonization is therefore a crucial step in enabling Central Finance.

  • Extract, review and match key master data (customer, supplier, material/item, GL account) across all connected systems (including SAP sources). Similar items are automatically matched and merged to build a complete master record, subject to human checking, as required. Based on these matches, the Business Mappings (complete master records as well as cross-system key value mappings) are created and loaded in Central Finance to bridge the data differences between systems, ad enable proper transaction posting.
  • Chart of Accounts parent-child hierarchies are loaded from source systems and loaded into a hierarchy browser, so GL account codes may be properly matched and reflected in Central Finance.
  • Project planning dashboard automatically analyzes key data from each source and creates metrics to plan implementation based on measured data consistency and data quality in source systems.
  • SourceConnect Harmonization quickly creates master data mappings, but it is not a full-featured MDM system. Rather it is complementary to MDM and can be used as a starting point for a more comprehensive and long term master data management initiative, using SAP Master Data Governance or another MDM solution.

Time, cost and risk  without Magnitude SourceConnect for SAP, companies may be tempted to develop their own data integration and harmonization capabilities, but in most circumstances, this would be a mistake for a number of reasons:

  • Intimate knowledge of every source system is required, including both data structures (how the data is stored) and data standards (how to interpret the data), and how to apply change data capture to each
  • Intimate knowledge of the many transformations required to correctly interpret, map and load financial documents and master data into Central Finance, including very many document types, tax document handling, balance migration, as well as performance optimization to manage high transaction volumes, to name only a few examples.
  • Intimate knowledge of SAP Central Finance data requirements, restrictions and methods to extend the Central Finance data structures
  • Very few people have the broad skill required to manage the above for both initial development and ongoing maintenance. If these people can be found, what are the chances they will be available to be dedicated to this project on a long term basis?

Each individual integration requirement contains inherent complexity, but taken together, the difficulty of integrating third party data sources into SAP Central Finance is considerable and makes most home-grown integration efforts impractical and risky.

Magnitude SourceConnect for SAP offers pre-built solutions to connect and harmonize multiple source systems for the fastest, lowest cost, and lowest risk implementations of SAP S/4HANA Central Finance.

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As Chairman and CEO, Chris leads Magnitude Software’s corporate vision and strategic direction, driving the company’s acquisition, integration and growth strategies to extend the company’s global reach. Under his leadership, Magnitude Software has developed an unparalleled customer experience, strengthened its culture of innovation, and greatly increased profitability and shareholder value. In September 2014, Chris successfully secured up to $100 million in capital to further build Magnitude Software through product innovation, organic growth and strategic acquisitions.

Ney was previously Co-Founder and President of Silverback Enterprise Group, where the team completed the strategic acquisition of nine industry-leading enterprise software companies and leveraged their synergies to build two powerful new entities: Magnitude Software and Upland Software. Magnitude Software offers a family of award-winning solutions for enterprise performance management, master data management and data connectivity. Upland Software (Nasdaq: UPLD) went public in late 2014 and is a leading provider of cloud-based enterprise work management software with over 2,000 active enterprise customers and more than 235,000 active users in more than 50 countries.

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Rik spent 25 years in various executive finance and strategy roles at a number of well-known public and high-growth private companies, including Electronic Arts, Equinix, and Levi Strauss; he was also CFO of Plastic Logic, Meltwater and Mirantis. He started his career at PwC where he became a partner in the global technology practice based in the Amsterdam office. In 1999 he moved to the San Jose, California office where he served as partner in the Software and Internet practice. Following the path of many expatriates he, his wife and three children decided to call the San Francisco Bay Area their home ever since.

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