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BAE APPLIED INTELLIGENCE – WBS / PROJECT SYSTEMS WITH MAEXTRO
Rochelle Norton | IT Manager
BAE AI adopt Maextro to automate their data processes for SAP project systems and WBS (Work breakdown structures)
INTRODUCTION TO THE CLIENT:
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence (AI) delivers information intelligence solutions to government and commercial customers. They help their customers collect, exploit and manage data so that they can deliver critical business services more effectively and economically.
As a business BAE AI run SAP software to manage their supply chain and financial data. Currently in place is SAP ERP ECC6 EHP7 and SAP NetWeaver Gateway 7.50 and also other peripheral systems like Salesforce and Business Information Systems.
BAE’s strategic search for better master data management and governance led them to contact Bluestonex, in order to review Maextro against their requirements.
BAE AI were using a manual process for maintaining project and WBS data in SAP. Associated sales orders were also created manually in SAP. This data was primarily re-keyed from an external system (Salesforce) and was heavily reliant on key individuals with the experience and knowledge of the SAP master data. BAE accepted that this approach exposed them to inefficiency and the risks associated with errors.
The primary objectives of the project were to enable BAE to generate this SAP data with greatly reduced manual data entry (including, as a minimum, no re-keying) and to automatically enforce the application of BAE’s data rules. Bluestonex and BAE agreed a challenging 4-month timescale for the project.
Having established that Maextro met BAE’s requirements, the solution development process commenced with two workshops.The technical feasibility of integrating Maextro with Salesforce was confirmed and the scope of the functionality finalised. Seven business processes would be built in Maextro, covering the creation and update of projects and WBS’s, along with the automatic creation of associated sales orders. Re-keying of data would be eradicated. Projects and WBS’s could either originate from Salesforce or be raised manually from scratch.
BAE’s detailed requirements were specified within a data model which detailed the field level rules for each of the 7 business processes. Data quality would be assured by incorporating approval steps in all processes and by building business rules within Maextro. This significantly exceeded the range of options available in standard SAP. Business rules would automatically derive field values and provide customised drop-down lists where user data entry was required. In processes involving WBS creation, users would be provided with a template to produce the structure and contents of WBS’s within each project, thus minimising data entry and ensuring compliance with BAE’s standards.
The workflow within Maextro controls the execution of data enrichment and data approval tasks, and also allows tasks to be routed to different users, based on the particular attributes of each project. When a Maextro request was finally approved, SAP could be simultaneously updated with project data, multiple WBS’s and a multi-line sales order, (dependent on the business scenario).
For the technical build of the system, we used Maextro native technology of SAP ABAP. The SAP Screen Personas Slipstream UI5 engine was used for the user interface. This required very little development resource, working largely ‘out of the box’, using data and screens defined in the back-end system.
The fully integrated solution met the detailed BAE requirements and was delivered on schedule and to budget. User feedback has been very positive.
How did we meet the business objective
|Business objective||How did we achieve?|
|1. Consolidate, enrich and reduce data input source.
|Integration between Salesforce and Maextro removed all re-keying. This was further enriched with business rules (default values and data conformity) to create a single source of true data.|
|2. Flexible solution to enforce business rules and master data processes
|Maextro provides comprehensive rule sets which cater for wide variety of business rules. All Maextro rules can be configured via system configuration (IMG)with no programming or changes to the core system.|
|3. Introduce additional authorisation over and above standard SAP authorization.
|Maextro workflow management and field control rules provide an additional layer of security to prevent unnecessary data updates to data views or fields. Again, these are simple rules which can be configured as required by business units.|
|4. Simple workflow management to capture and approve data.||Maextro provides an integrated workflow engine which is directly configured in Maextro.|
|5. Scalable to other master data objects||Maextro provides a comprehensive catalogue of additional objects to deliver an enterprise-wide MDM & Governance solution.|
BAE AI plan to extend the use of Maextro to the other steps in the project system processes, including budgeting and the scheduling of billing.