Tim Woods Series #3: What Keeps Your SAP ERP Relevant? Data Movement
By Clinton Jones on April 5, 2017
In the 3rd post in our TIM WOODS series, find out how data movement keeps your SAP ERP system moving.
How does your data move through your business and ultimately land in SAP? Is it free-flowing, easy and straightforward data exchanges, or messy, clumsy and cumbersome file sharing with text and Excel files that are difficult to manage? Are the mechanisms used to take these files and upload them to SAP owned by IT or used by the business for self-service? Even if you’re working directly with Excel data, chances are you have to complete an extra step to save that data to a text file and then pass it to IT to upload. Does that stand up to the scrutiny of an audit?
More often than not, the bottleneck to getting data into or changed in SAP is in the cycles of effort the business has to go through with IT to ensure the quality of data uploaded. The issue isn’t really with the actual data load – that goes quite quickly. LSMW is really fast, but when you look at the lack of processes that are in place to support data template distribution, data validation against the SAP configuration and the exchange of the data file with IT, (along with the return of the finished file) – LSMW ultimately falls short.
Friction-free data exchanges
Winshuttle’s approach to data movement through the business contrasts with LSMW. With Winshuttle Studio, the data template can be associated with the upload/change or integration script, and business users who aren’t SAP or Wnshuttle users, but have access to Excel or a browser can be data contributors. When Winshuttle scripts and templates are used with user governance, templates and integration scripts are hosted centrally on a Winshuttle application that is installed on Microsoft SharePoint. In situations where your business wants to use a web form for data collection and approval routing rather than Excel, this is supported. The highest volumes in terms of usage as an alternative to LSMW are for mass data create and change scenarios and Excel is one of the easiest ways to gather, stage and route this kind of batched or bulk data.
Even if the final decision to upload or change the data is made by IT, the whole process of requesting data uploads or data changes can be managed in simple and complex ways with Winshuttle technology. End to end, from the development to modification, and deployment and administration of Winshuttle Studio scripts, business and IT users have many options for easing the flow of data change and creation in SAP. Especially compared to what they would need to do if they continued to rely on LSMW.
Learn more about how you can use Winshuttle Studio instead of LSMW by downloading this Winshuttle white paper: Winshuttle, an easy alternative to LSMW.
Check out other posts in this series:
About the author
Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.
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