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Best Cash Management Solution Highly Commended: SAP

Published: Aug 2012

 

Photo of Remko Streng RBS, Andreas Knopf and Damian Preisner, SAP and Maha El Dimachki, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

 

With more than 183,000 customers and 55,000 employees worldwide, automation has been a major goal of SAP’s global treasury in recent years. With the aim of reducing the support, effort and the total cost of ownership, the company wanted to implement one global payment format for the multiple banks it deals with across many different countries. At the same time, SAP was looking to promote flexibility in its bank partner selection, thereby reducing counterparty dependency.

Damian Preisner

Treasury Operations and Processes

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. The company‘s applications and services enable customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. The company‘s customers include more than three-quarters of the Global Fortune 500. SAP received a Highly Commended Award in Best Corporate Debt Solution in 2010.

in partnership with

        RBS logo

The acquisition of Sybase Corporation and its subsequent integration into SAP’s ERP system allowed SAP the opportunity to further improve its treasury efficiency. The first step then was the implementation of cutting-edge XML CGI formats. SAP accomplished this with the assistance and consulting support of BPI Business Process Integration GmbH. Using one global payment format and payment status report for all banks across every region reduces processing time – at corporate and bank level – significantly. It also supports the concept of end-to-end processing and considerably increases central control of external payments within the running payment factory.

SAP is centralised and automated through the running of a global payment factory that handles thousands of daily payments for 55 subsidiaries across more than 45 countries. Payments are signed in the SAP ERP system and payment orders are transmitted to the banks out of the ERP System directly via SWIFTNet SCORE. The same flexible, secure and cost-efficient channel is used to collect the bank statements for SAP Group.

Bearing in mind that SAP intended to cover 18 countries with this brand new XML standard, the key challenge was to incorporate the new format into the already established payment factory. SAP used SAP Bank Communication Management (SAP BCM) solution in cooperation with SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NW PI) and SWIFT with SWIFT Service Bureau for the entire end-to-end process which runs in the global payment factory. The XML payment file itself will be created in the SAP standard software SAP Payment Medium Workbench (SAP PMW) and to be precise here in the Data Medium Exchange Engine (DMEE). Very helpful was the support of SAP colleague Marton Luptak from Globalisation Services who is a SAP representative in Common Global Implementation (CGI) Workgroup together with Mark Crawford as a driver of the SAP-CGI Collaborative Development Workgroup. This solution solves the corporate pain points of multiple payment instruments with regional/local differences and multiple bank relationships.

SAP partnered with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for enabling full implementation roll out across its subsidiaries. RBS managed the European roll-out from walk-through testing to final implementation for ten countries in just six months while BAML supported the Asian roll-out from walk-through testing to final implementation for eight countries within a six month timeframe.

Despite a challenging financial environment in which budget, time and resources were extremely stretched, the appropriate partnerships enabled a seamless delivery, allowing SAP to become one of the first large multinational corporates to deploy such a solution on this scale. The function of the credit transfer format is to issue payment orders and this is supported by the payment status report which monitors these payments and provides excellent status details. Seen as an important strategic technological support for SAP’s future growth, the new CGI solution ensures greater efficiencies and enables the company to operate at the lowest cost possible. Additionally, by using this functions compliance and transparency levels have been greatly improved.

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