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Introduction to Workflow

Introduction to Workflow

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Introduction to Workflow

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  1. Introduction to Workflow

  2. Overview • What is workflow? • What is business process management? • Common workflow and process problems • The functional organizational structure • The role of enterprise systems • Introduction to SAP R3

  3. What is Workflow (1)? • Workflow is a depiction (model) of a sequence of connected steps • Many see workflow as an abstraction of actual work • Examples: • The route you take to work • The exact steps to make a Twinkie • The steps to procure raw materials for manufacturing

  4. What is Workflow? (2) • We model workflow in terms of • what steps are performed • who performs those steps • what dependencies (relationships) exist between those steps • what external resources (information, materials, etc.) are required to complete the set of steps

  5. Modeling Workflow • We have tools to model workflow and implement workflow-based software systems • BizAgi models business processes • UML and UML tools (Visio) model workflow and various types of processes • There are several tools and there are different models too • We will use BizAgi in this course and a bit of Visio

  6. Modeling Workflow (BPMN) • The Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is used to depict business processes • There are formal symbols to depict the actors in the process, the tasks performed, and the relationships between those tasks

  7. A First Workflow Diagram

  8. Modeling Workflow (Visio) • Visio supports several modeling tools for workflow • Data Flow diagrams model the flow of data through an information system • UML diagrams model process state, sequence, and structure

  9. What is Business Process Management? • I like this definition: • Workflow is concerned with the application-specific sequencing of activities via predefined instruction sets, involving either or both automated procedures (software-based) and manual activities (people work) • BPM is concerned with the definition, execution and management of business processes defined independently of any single application

  10. Non-normative Definitions? • But let’s not get bogged down in formal definitions • I can find several definition of the following terms: • Workflow • Business Process • Business Process Management

  11. Common Workflow and Process Problems • Lack of workflow integration across functional units • This leads to a silo effect • Workflow that is not well understood

  12. The Functional Organizational Structure • Purchasing • Production • Warehouse / distribution • Sales and marketing • Finance and accounting • Human resources • Information systems • Research and development

  13. The Role of Enterprise Systems • Enterprise Systems (Enterprise Planning Systems) ERPs • Use best practices to implement cross-functional workflow systems for various industries • We try to • Eliminate information silos • Create a real-time or near real-time view of an organization • Establish strong internal controls over data • who can access it and who can change it

  14. Common ERP Systems • Oracle (JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Siebel) • SAP • Microsoft Dynamics • IBM • BAAN • Sage Group • Sage, Accpac ERP, Peachtree • There are also open source solutions

  15. Introduction to SAP • SAP R3 (System Analysis and Program Development) is a client-server application made up of core business modules and optional add-on modules • A central relational database sits behind the server ( SAP HANA, Oracle, SQL Server, …)

  16. The SAP Business Suite • SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (SAP ERP) • SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM) • SAP Customer Relationship Planning (SAP CRM) • SAP Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM) • SAP Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM) • SAP NetWeaver supplies the client user interface

  17. SAP – The Company • SAP AG • Founded in Walldorf, Germany in 1972 • World’s Largest Business Software Company • World’s Third-largest Independent Software Provider • Company Statistics • Over 45,000 employees in more then 50 countries • 1,500+ Business Partners • 95,000+ customers in more then 120 countries • 12 million users • 100,000+ installations

  18. SAP – Industries (1) • Designed to satisfy the information needs for all business sizes (small local to large all international) • Multi-lingual • Multi-currency • Multi-balance (parallel G/L Accounting)

  19. SAP – Industries (2) • Media • Mill Products • Mining • Oil & Gas • Pharmaceuticals • Postal Services • Professional Services • Public Sector • Railways • Retail • Telecommunications • Utilities • Wholesale Distribution • Aerospace & Defense • Automotive • Banking • Chemicals • Consumer Products • Defense & Security • Engineering, Const. • Healthcare • High Tech • Higher Education • Industrial Machinery • Insurance • Life Sciences • Logistics Service Prod.

  20. SAP – Architecture (1) • Client/Server Environment • Client – hardware/software environment that can make a request for services for a central repository of resources • This is the NetWeaver program that you see • Server – hardware/software combination that can provide services to a group of clients in a controlled environment • This is the back-end server that you connect to through NetWeaver

  21. SAP Architecture (2) • Three-Tier Architecture • GUI • Graphical User Interface (NetWeaver) or Web Interface (WebDynpro) • Application Server • One or more, help distribute work load • Database Server • One single data repository

  22. SAP ERP Components • And get used to all of these codes! • Core • Financials (FI) (“Track”) • Materials Management (MM) (“Buy Materials”) • Sales and Distribution (SD) (“Sell Goods”) • Production Planning (PP) (“Make goods) • Human Resources (HCM) • Add-on • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) • Supply Chain Management (CRM)

  23. SAP Database • It’s huge (over 25000 tables) • There is little or no data redundancy • Terminology and data definitions are consistent and accurate throughout the database

  24. PCs, Laptops, etc. Browser Client Network Internet Transaction Server Presentation Web Server Application Servers Application Database SAP R3 Implementation © SAP AG - University Alliances and The Rushmore Group, LLC 2008. All rights reserved

  25. SAP Configuration vs. Customization • SAP is configured by editing various configuration tables • Configuration does not require software code changes • Customization is possible through a programming language called Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) • Customization is a contested practice