How to Realize a Future-proof Business Intelligence Platform Using SAP’s Cloud Services

Markus Hartmann, IT Project Lead at Porsche, reveals Porsches learnings concerning Data analysis and Data processing. He explains how constructing a new Business Intelligence Cloud not only made the Customer Relationship Management way more fruitful, but also made internal reportings much more efficient.

Data is on everyone’s mind these days and increasingly perceived as a key resource. Before its value can be unlocked, however, it needs processing, refinement and analysis. To effectively manage and utilize large volumes of data, it is imperative to have a solid business intelligence strategy in place. At Porsche, we have recently given a lot of thought as to how to approach this matter. One thing that became clear to us is that we needed to expand our business intelligence. As a result, the department of customer relations has overhauled its reporting and analytics capabilities. The partnership with SAP, which spans over twelve years by now, has been instrumental in this process.

A Porsche in front of an SAP sign.
How to Realize a Future-proof Business Intelligence Platform Using SAP’s Cloud Services

Porsche C@P and SAP: A Roadmap for Customer Experience

In 2007, Porsche established a new Customer Relationship Management program, called CRM @ Porsche (or simply C@P), to facilitate global standardization and harmonization of sales and customer service processes. Porsche envisioned C@P as a comprehensive process platform that would allow the organization to better manage the customer journey and further strengthen the buyer-seller relationship. One major milestone was when we suddenly became a service provider for other brands in the Volkswagen Group. Bentley and Skoda are now also using our CRM services and processes. However, it wasn’t until the mid-2010s, that we fully embraced the latest CRM technologies.

In 2016, when I joined Porsche, we all agreed that we needed a state-of-the-art business intelligence, reporting and analysis solution — something that allows us to visualize data in real-time, is flexible and offers dashboards instead of just raw data. After all, we’re interested not simply in data, but rather in insights. SAP’s Cloud services, the HANA Enterprise Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud, were an ideal solution for a number of reasons. SAP’s technology is user-friendly, intuitive, offers advanced features, easy scalability and integrates seamlessly in our C@P landscape. What is more, thanks to SAP, our Business Intelligence Cloud now organizes all data in one place, giving us the tools we need to effectively respond to our customers’ needs.

But things haven’t always been plain sailing. For example, previously, our reporting methods were mainly relying on static spreadsheets and PDFs.

Traditional Reporting vs. Business Intelligence Cloud

In fact, traditional reporting was time-consuming and cumbersome, as each report relied on manual processing. Often, we would hire outside specialists to create reports. But that meant that we were always lagging behind by at least thirty days. Furthermore, the worldwide reporting for all our Porsche dealers was not optimal, as requested reports were no more than tables and raw data. We left it to the sale representatives to download the CRM information, extract it, aggregate it and visualize it.

The solution, then, was to integrate everything onto one platform. We wanted to make CRM information accessible for our users, from anywhere in real-time, and let them share reports easily with others. When I showed our first prototype to sale representatives in 2016, they were exhilarated. What previously took two days could be done in real-time. After completing the original pilot, we rolled out the new service across the company.

Blue LED font hanging on a wall in front of the view of a city saying “Data has a better idea”
Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

Delivering Insights in Real-time

Today, we have a future-proof solution. It was amazing to see how the Cloud service advanced over the years. Our Business Intelligence Cloud features full functionality across all platforms and devices, and all CRM data is available in real-time. If you come to a Porsche Center and are interested in buying a new sports car, the sales advisor enters your data into the CRM system, and everything is immediately available and visualized in interactive dashboards in the cloud. Whether in Zuffenhausen, Los Angeles or Tokyo, every sale advisor in every Porsche dealership around the world uses this service. So, coming from throwing raw data at our end-users to really delivering insight in real-time, that is real progress.

Indeed, Porsche now has a clear vision for its Business Intelligence Cloud, and our tools have grown ever more efficient, giving Porsche employees more ways to act on customer information.

To conclude, SAP plays an important role in the field of business intelligence, influencing how we generate insights, keep track of our customers (both existing and potential), and manage and analyze interactions with contacts. More about the strategic partnership with SAP can be found on the Porsche Newsroom.

Markus Hartmann is IT Project Lead at Porsche.
Markus Hartmann is IT Project Lead at Porsche

Markus Hartmann is IT Project Lead at Porsche.

About this publication: Where innovation meets tradition. There’s more to Porsche than sports cars — we’re tackling new challenges, develop digital products and think digital with focus on the customer. On our Medium blog, we tell these stories. It´s about our #nextvisions, smart technologies and the people that drive our digital journey. Please follow us on Twitter (Porsche Digital, Next Visions), Instagram (Porsche Digital, Next Visions, Porsche Newsroom) and LinkedIn (Porsche AG, Porsche Digital) for more.

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