SAP (NYSE: SAP) today announced that Zions Bancorporation has implemented SAP BusinessObjects enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions and is now following SAP's closed-loop performance management model, resulting in greater transparency, tighter operational control and profitability that exceeds industry standards.
Zions Bancorporation is one of the nation's premier financial services companies, consisting of a collection of banks in select high-growth markets. Under local management teams and community identities, Zions operates approximately 500 full-service banking offices, offering a variety of banking services, including investment, mortgage and electronic banking services.
The company has recently deployed two EPM solutions from SAP - the SAP BusinessObjects Profitability and Cost Management and SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation applications - to pass information and processes between formally siloed applications. Zions Bancorporation has produced resource requirements and unit costs modeled in the SAP BusinessObjects Profitability and Cost Management application and plans to seed them in the SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation application, resulting in more accurate expense planning and a shorter budgeting cycle. The coordination between the applications will give the bank the insight and agility it needs to respond to changing conditions and help ensure that operating expenses are tightly aligned with revenues.
Zions turned to SAP because it had a limited degree of insight into the profitability of its accounts and a cumbersome budgeting process that required individual managers to make their best assessments of annual budgeting forecasts. Since implementing the SAP BusinessObjects Profitability and Cost Management application, the company can now determine the profitability of each customer, account, channel and product - information it uses to shape the pricing of new services and loans.
In addition, Zions Bancorporation will be using the SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation application to gain a higher-level view of all activities happening within the bank, to track trends and cycles across all activity areas of the bank and then use this information to create quarterly budgets that tie resource allocation to predicted activity levels. Using SAP BusinessObjects software, Zions' budgets and resource planning will become far more accurate, which in turn will help reduce costs and help them to achieve rates of profitability that exceed that of its peers.
"We now have more than 2,350 people using SAP BusinessObjects EPM solutions, which has resulted in a multi-dimensional view of our data and significant savings in the number of hours employees spend to collect, process and analyze the data we need to run our business," said H. Walter Young, Finance Director, Zions Bancorporation. "Using the SAP BusinessObjects Profitability and Cost Management application, we have been able to identify, measure and manage excess capacity to make sure our organization is running as efficiently as possible. In addition, the ability to use cost modeling to rapidly assess how changing business volumes impact resource needs and the ability to seed this information into the budgeting process will transform the process for business managers. They will no longer have to build their budget alone, since we will do most of the work for them. In addition, the streamlined budgeting process will free up our time to focus on our numbers and ensure that operational plans are on track."
Closed-Loop Enterprise Performance Management Enabled by Latest Release of SAP BusinessObjects Solutions
The latest versions of the SAP BusinessObjects EPM solutions, which were released in late 2009, continue to deliver on the company's road map promises of unifying the disparate disciplines of EPM, business intelligence (BI) and governance, risk and compliance (GRC), and creates the platform on which companies like Zions Bancorporation will deliver closed-looped performance management processes. Woven together, these capabilities will comprise the most mature and functional EPM suite, helping to deliver reduced total cost of ownership; faster and more accurate close cycles; more accurate and reliable forecasts and plans; and increased compliance, trust and control.
One such company that has implemented SAP's latest release is Viareport, which hosts the SAP® BusinessObjectsTM Financial Consolidation application for its customers and helps them drive more efficient financial close processes. Commenting on the latest release, Emmanuel Amon, CEO of ViaReport, said, "We wanted to take part in the ramp-up program for the latest version of SAP's EPM solutions so that we were among the first to offer the latest version of this application to our customers. Viareport believes that SAP's vision for closed-loop performance management is market-leading; in addition to providing many ease-of-use and functional advances, their latest release, which optimizes integration with SAP BusinessObjects BI tools and transactional systems like SAP ERP, delivers on this promise."
Recently, industry analyst group IDC validated this position, ranking SAP as a leader in the combined worldwide financial performance management and strategy management analytic applications(1) market according to software revenue in 2007 and 2008 (see "SAP Ranked Leader in the Combined Performance Management and Analytic Applications Market for Second Consecutive Year by Leading Analyst Firm"). In addition, independent analyst firm Forrester Research Inc. cited SAP as a leader in business performance solutions (BPS) in the November 2009 report, The Forrester WaveTM: Business Performance Solutions, Q4 2009 (see "SAP Named a Leader in Business Performance Management Solutions by Independent Research Firm").
"Our customers have indicated that the consistent execution of strategy is a challenge of the greatest concern in their organizations," said Stephanie Buscemi, vice president of Marketing, Enterprise Performance Management and Governance, Risk, and Compliance, SAP AG. "We are finding this to be true across industries as we work to adapt our solutions to industry-specific needs. By delivering on our road map and vision to enable true closed-loop performance management processes, we are helping executives to share information across silos and form a more complete picture of the performance and potential of their enterprise. Companies like Zions Bancorporation are an excellent example of how many companies are embracing our approach to EPM to effectively deliver against corporate strategy."