24 May HANA Optimized Content for Fixed Assets
In this article, I’ll tell the story of how we were able to dramatically improve the Fixed Assets reporting capabilities for a local firm using SAP HANA Optimized Content for Fixed Assets.
The Fixed Assets team at a local firm had the following requirements when the Fixed Assets (FA) module initially went live.
- Daily balances and activity transferred to BW for reporting (delta enabled) to support daily analysis needs and month-end processing
- Daily updates for all FA master data
- Reporting capabilities across all company codes and depreciation areas
- Simulated depreciation
Initially, it was decided to use SAP’s standard content datasource 0FI_AA_20 for dual purposes. Those being: Simulated forecast and daily transactions. The attempt to use 0FI_AA_20 for reporting on daily activity with full delta capabilities was not successful. The volumes of data and performance issues (both loading and reporting) made this approach unsustainable.
Our solution to the problem was two-fold:
- Keep the 0FI_AA_20 up and running for the sole purpose of simulated depreciation only.
- Install SAP’s HANA Optimized content for 0FI_AA_11 “Transactions” and 0FI_AA_12 “Posted Depreciation”.
Soon after the go-live of 0FI_AA_20 the business and support teams quickly learned that the volumes of FA data were going to be a problem for their new BW structures. Even with partitioning and partial loads of the most critical depreciation areas, the FA cube was taking three days to load. The business was forced to accept a weekly load only and inadequate report performance. Due to these challenges with volume and processing only partial reporting was possible out of BW. All other analysis was conducted directly in ECC. This situation resulted in countless hours of wasted time used to pull together data from both BW and ECC in order to make the appropriate decisions.
Then, in September of 2014 SAP released (in ramp up) HANA Optimized Content for Fixed Assets. The content is packaged within SAP BI Content 747 SP10/ 757 SP03. SAP’s description of the content:
“Migration of FI-AA data flows (master data & transactional) to the new HANA optimized flows”
SAP’s further description of the update:
This content update provides a new best practice data model in BW for the Fixed Assets component leveraging SAP HANA as underlying database following the Layer Scalable Architecture or LSA++ for BW on HANA.
From a reporting perspective the users have so far cut their analysis down from hours to minutes in most cases.
The transactional and posted depreciation reports were previously pieced together from BW reports that had partial data for a subset of depreciation areas and ECC reports that had to be run in batches for very narrow criteria (company code, fiscal period, depreciation area, asset class). The entire process at month-end would take 8-10 hours.
With the new HANA optimized content the Fixed Assets team can now report across all company codes, all depreciation areas, all fiscal periods and all asset classes and view results within 10 seconds or less. The issue with reporting now has turned into one where the users have so much data at their fingertips, they are overwhelmed with the analytical possibilities. This is a good problem to have and I look forward to seeing how they evolve in this area.
It was all made possible by SAP’s HANA optimized content for Fixed Assets.
Nate Crawford is a SAP Business Intelligence Developer. Over the years, he has helped numerous companies build robust and efficient reporting solutions. Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org