Nov 23

Series: Leveraging SAP Business Suite for HANA and DataXstream OMS+ to Build a Future Proof Omni-Channel Retail Platform

Leveraging SAP Business Suite for HANA and DataXstream OMS+ to Build a Future Proof Omni-Channel Retail Platform

The world of commerce and retailing is rapidly evolving and the retail customer experience is front and center in this evolution! Retailers must  reinvent their systems and processes to remain  relevant to customers and stakeholders. Building a system  that is flexible and provides consumers with a consistent Omni-Channel retail experience is critical  to remain competitive!

I have been working with SAP ERP and its technology stack for over 20 years, with a very diverse set of customers across a variety of industries; Aerospace and Defense, Manufacturing, Wholesale Distribution, Insurance Industry, Pharma, Retail, and others. Each time my organization engages with a new customer I marvel at the power and flexibility of SAP.  From the days of R/3 to their most innovative platform yet, SAP S/4 for HANA    SAP’s  power to streamline and transform business’s operations is truly impressive.

SAP solutions lead the market in capability, flexibility, stability and technology innovation. Over the last 6 years my organization has more narrowly focused on projects that involve customer facing order processes, in the retail, wholesale, and public sector. During this time we have helped our customers develop a number of custom Order Management Systems (OMS) / Point of Sale (POS) overlay solutions for SAP Sales and Distribution (SAP SD). The experience my organization and I gained working with these customers and their SAP solutions has allowed me to see just how powerful a platform SAP is for developing a highly capable, streamlined end to end Omni-Channel retail delivery platform.

This experience became the catalyst that has led to the development of DataXstream’s OMS+ solution for SAP. OMS+ overlays SAP’s vast backend ERP capabilities and enables complex end to end order processes in a simple but highly capable interface. Allowing users with minimal training to execute complex customer transactions with complete end to end visibility into the order process and giving the business real time visibility into every order it transacts.

The power of SAP and DataXstream OMS+ creates a multiplier effect for businesses, by bringing the feature rich, highly configurable, tightly integrated SAP ERP backend platform to the store, call center, and e-commerce site in a UI that is simple to use, a backend process that is easy to maintain and change, and enables new levels of customer interaction not possible with traditional OMS and POS approaches.

If you cannot tell I am a fan of SAP and you could say I have a small bias.  In this series I am not going to argue the pros and cons of other platforms and combinations of products, I am going to give you a view of what is possible with SAP and OMS+.

If your organization already runs SAP then you will understand what I am about to say. If you are new to SAP this is where the foundation of my story is built. There a number of critical attributes that sets SAP Business Suite apart from other solutions; its ability to scale to any size organization, its stability when productive, its deep feature set, ability to adapt to any business process, and its tight end to end integration of transactions across business functions. These are the core building blocks for developing an organizations business system platform. While all of these attributes are important to building a solid business system platform the key attribute for building an Omni-Channel retail system is the tight end to end integration of transactions across business functions.

In SAP when you do a simple transaction like deliver goods from an order you trigger in the background a complex series of events across multiple modules. The system updates inventory within the store, it updates the inventory on the financial ledger, it updates AR in the case of an on account order or recognizes revenue in the case of cash transactions, it also updates profit center, cost centers ledgers and in certain cases will trigger replenishment processes. This entire chain of events started with a simple delivery. This same level of tight integration applies across all SAP transactions and when you string them together the various SAP transactions they become the building blocks for creating any business process you can design.

So you might be asking if SAP has all this amazing capability  what value does DataXstream’s OMS+ solution add to the equation? The answer is Simple! Yes, I shamelessly stole that from SAP HANA advertising. While SAP has all the transactional building blocks required to implement any process you can think of, stringing those building blocks together to create consistent customer facing sales process is complex and anything but simple. OMS+ removes this complexity by simplifying the interface, interpreting the building blocks, and adding the required controls to allow anyone with basic order management skills to run complex highly integrated order processes. Combined, the two products give your organization the tools it needs to meet the expectations of your customers today and the flexibility to adapt to their needs in the future.

So, what are customers looking for from retailers today? They want to shop at any time, understand products and features, know inventory availability and lead times, pay using current and future forms of tender, have flexible delivery options and lead times, and get the same answer regardless of where the question is asked; store, call center, or ecommerce site. I am no different from any other consumer. These are exactly the things I am looking for in my shopping experience. Nothing is more frustrating than researching something online and going to a store to find out that the information I was acting on does not reflect reality.

In my up and coming posts I am going to outline and demonstrate how to combine SAP and OMS+ to enable your organization for the future of retail. We will look at the foundation SAP Business Suite, the game changing capabilities of leveraging SAP HANA in memory computing, the ability of OMS+ to pull all the pieces together to create a simple, flexible, tightly integrated end to end retail platform and customer experience. In my next post we will explore building the foundation of an Omni-Channel retail platform leveraging SAP. Check back soon or sign up below to get updated on future series posts. Also feel free to leave me comments or questions and I will be happy to respond. Thank you for your time.

 

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About The Author

Tim has over 25 years of business experience with the last 20 focused on SAP systems architecture and program delivery. He has a broad range of experience with a pragmatic, get the job done approach to engagements. Tim specializes in development of SAP technical strategies and services for clients having successfully lead multiple programs and projects. His extensive SAP technical and functional background has enabled him to thrive in environments of all sizes and complexities.

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