Reducing Costs and
Maximizing SAP BusinessObjects
Investments at EPA
History of SAP BusinessObjects at EPA
The EPA Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) implemented SAP BusinessObjects more than 10 years ago. In 2017, the OCFO launched a shared service center within EPA to maximize its SAP BusinessObjects investments and reduce costs. In its short existence, the shared service center has accomplished many objectives.
Centralize SAP BusinessObjects & Licensing
One of the first shared service center initiatives was the implementation of a consolidated resource plan. By consolidating, EPA was able to manage SAP BusinessObjects from a single location and save more than $500K.
Clean Up the Environment to Optimize Performance
A clean environment is important because it reduces maintenance costs, improves system performance, and paves the way for future upgrades and migrations. Recognizing this, the shared service center assessed the SAP BusinessObjects environment at EPA, identified areas for cleanup, and determined rules for purging content. After notifying users, they removed unused documents from user inboxes and personal folders, as well as from root folders. They also removed obsolete instances and unnecessary Universes. Initial efforts reduced the size of the environment by 35%.
Because environments never stop growing, the shared service center also established auto-clean policies and procedures. EPA now automatically archives documents in unused folders after 390 days, and eventually deletes them. The organization also automatically deletes instances older than 60 days and inbox items older than 30 days. Through ongoing efforts, EPA aims to reduce the size of their environment by 70%.
Implement a Chargeback Strategy
The shared service center gathered metrics about who was consuming (or not consuming) BI applications and content. It also analyzed EDW connection activity. Not only did this reinforce efforts to optimize licensing and clean up the environment, it also made it possible to analyze the cost of developing and maintaining reports in the context of benefits to end users. The ultimate goal of EPA was to accurately allocate the cost of BI resources to the groups that consumed them.
Implement a Disaster Recovery Strategy
Another important goal of the shared service center was to design, implement, and validate a disaster recovery (DR) strategy. To satisfy their continuity of operations (COOP) requirements, the DR strategy had to provide a way to restore content in a matter of hours, not days, which required an understanding of when documents were last modified or deleted.
New Solutions to Age-Old Problems
The many accomplishments of the EPA shared service center were made possible, in large part, by 360Suite, a set of software solutions that access and leverage SAP BusinessObjects metadata. By providing insight into usage and non-usage, 360Suite makes it possible to optimize licensing, clean up content, charge back groups, recertify user accounts, and determine when content was modified or deleted. 360Suite also introduces automation that supports the auto-clean process by making it possible to bulk-purge documents. Finally, 360Suite offers incremental, object-level backups, making it possible to restore any version of any object at any time, something that is not possible with VM or the cloud. By using 360Suite, EPA was able to shorten the time required for administrative tasks by up to 90%, reduce upgrade time by 2/3, save money on operating costs, and boost the performance of their SAP BusinessObjects deployment.