Make Profitability Management More Proactive with the SAP CO-PA Accelerator

  • by Carsten Hilker, Solution Manager, SAP Labs
  • Dr. Karol Bliznak, Vice President, SAP AG
  • December 16, 2011
The SAP CO-PA Accelerator is the marquee example and use case of an SAP HANA-based solution that accelerates existing SAP ERP-based business processes — in this case profitability management. See how using the SAP HANA-based CO-PA Accelerator to access and process nonaggregated data instantly can change your approach to profitability management.
Key Concept
SAP HANA is SAP’s in-memory appliance that orchestrates the latest hardware and software technological innovations to help you analyze real-time information on large volumes of nonaggregated data at unprecedented speeds. With many businesses focusing on after-the-fact analysis today, the SAP HANA-based CO-PA Accelerator allows SAP customers to use CO-PA as a much more proactive and opportunistic profitability management tool. Access to SAP HANA-based profitability data becomes instant, and users can access all the CO-PA data ever posted on a line-item level.

The SAP HANA-based CO-PA Accelerator brings current profitability data — in real time — to business users. This data is ready for ad hoc analysis in a self-service fashion, rendering hundreds of millions of line items in subseconds. With the processing power of SAP HANA and its real-time capabilities, managing profitability shifts from period-end reviews to business-in-the-moment actions.

The SAP CO-PA Accelerator uses SAP HANA as a secondary database. Revenue and cost data are gathered within CO-PA in SAP ERP as before. Subsequently, the CO-PA line items — scheduled as an extract, transform, and load (ETL) process or via real-time replication — are copied onto HANA. Existing SAP ERP processes such as allocations and drill-down reporting are redirected to read data from SAP HANA instead of the traditional database, dramatically improving the performance of those processes. In addition, flexible, business user-driven analytics can be set up as well directly on top of SAP HANA with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) 4.0 front ends such as SAP BusinessObjects Explorer (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Architecture of the SAP CO-PA Accelerator

A virtual information provider that works specifically for CO-PA (in development) will soon allow you to directly access profitability data in SAP HANA from within SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) queries to accelerate BW-based reporting as well.

Carsten Hilker

Carsten Hilker is solution manager for finance and performance management solutions at SAP. He has been working with SAP systems for more than 20 years. He is an active member and advisor to a number of think tanks and professional communities focusing on management accounting and performance management. Carsten is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Carsten will be presenting at the upcoming Central Finance Bootcamp November 7-8 in Chicago and November 27-28 in Orlando. For information on the event, click here


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Dr. Karol Bliznak

Dr. Karol Bliznak is vice president of the Rapid Innovation Group (RIG) within the mobility division at SAP. He focuses on converging SAP’s strategic innovation categories, such as mobile solutions, SAP HANA, business analytics, and the cloud. He works at the SAP AG headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. He has more than 14 years of SAP experience in business intelligence, mobility and in-memory technologies, enterprise performance management, financial accounting, controlling, governance, risk, and compliance.

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