Tsogo Sun Case Study

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Tsogo Sun Case Study
CUSTOMER CASE STUDY
2014-2015
Tsogo Sun Streamlines and Simplifies
SAP Financial Reporting with GL Wand
“No systems or solutions
[other than GL Wand] were
considered as the demonstration
of the solution gave us complete
confidence that it could solve
issues that had plagued us
for years.”
- Cilliers de Klerk,
System Support Analyst, Tsogo Sun
CUSTOMER CASE STUDY
2014-2015
When Tsogo Sun upgraded its
Enterprise Resource Planning
software to SAP’s ERP Central
Component, the company soon
identified a deficiency in its
ability to rapidly generate adhoc reports to meet business
requirements. With a department
staffed by Excel experts who
were under pressure to meet
reporting deadlines, the
introduction of Excel4apps’ GL
Wand has transformed the ability
of the company to gain insights
into critical performance data,
substantially reducing the time
and effort for ad-hoc
report creation.
GL Wand is an intuitive solution which is immediately
familiar to Excel users and requires little training.
As a result of using GL Wand, Tsogo Sun enjoys a
competitive advantage thanks to the ability of
business users to quickly receive crucial insights into
rapidly changing operational situations – and make
informed decisions based on reliable data.
Founded in 1969, Tsogo Sun is South Africa’s largest
hotel chain, providing accommodation, restaurants
and entertainment across all market segments and
regions of the country, servicing both the local and
international traveller. The company has a portfolio
of over 90 hotels and has also grown to be a leader
in the gaming and entertainment industry, since
opening its first casino in Nelspruit in 1997.
Cilliers de Klerk, System Support Analyst at Tsogo Sun
says, “Given the sheer size of the hotel chain and the
obvious complexity of its business structure, having a
constant and clear picture of its finances is crucial to
the effective operation of the business.”
“When we upgraded our old financial system to SAP
ERP Central Component 5, there was a requirement
that all reporting had to be based on a ‘like for like’
basis, that is, the same sort of reports were expected
by management as those to which they had
become familiar,”
he explains.
Providing more insight into Tsogo Sun’s operations,
de Klerk says the company is headquartered in
Fourways, Gauteng, South Africa. “We are in the
Gaming and Hospitality Industry; the Hotel Division
consists of 94 properties with 4 regional offices, across
which the SAP system is used. In total, we have some
450 users of this business system.”
Essential Reporting
The reports required by management include
Hotel Management Reporting, which is created in
SAP Advanced Business Application Programming
(ABAP), which de Klerk describes as a hybrid of
SAP data and data-warehouse reporting logic.
In addition, he says, all ‘standard reports’ have to
be created in SAP ABAP, but have to reflect the
familiar way in which reports were delivered from
the previous system which had been
replaced by SAP.
“Because GL Wand is Excel
based with all the bells and
whistles, it delivers a major
advantage for our users, as it
is a familiar tool which works
the way they do.”
- Cilliers de Klerk,
System Support Analyst, Tsogo Sun
GL Wand for SAP shown
www.excel4apps.com/sap
“We purchased 20 licenses and assigned them to people who are all
experienced Excel users. With their knowledge of the spreadsheets,
the level of training was basic. Once we presented them with a demo,
there was zero resistance to the new system as the users could easily
see the benefits of working with GL Wand.”
- Cilliers de Klerk, System Support Analyst, Tsogo Sun
However, those tasked with producing the business
intelligence faced several challenges, as de Klerk
explains, “The nature of the hospitality business,
especially across such a diverse and large
organisation, means there are constant requests
for ad-hoc reporting directly from SAP. That meant
bulk downloads from the SAP business system for
one thing; for another, we have no in-house ABAP
skills, so we had to rely on costly third parties to
provide the necessary expertise.”
He adds that the creation of ABAP reports itself is
a time-consuming process, depending on several
steps including the creation of a specification,
creation of the report, testing of the report, and
then deploying the report.
These issues meant the analysts tasked with
producing reports were under pressure, while
the consumers of the report – business people in
charge of operational issues – were experiencing
frustration in delays to receiving the information
required to make accurate and sound decisions.
Rapid Deployment, Immediate Results
When de Klerk and other members of the Tsogo
Sun technology department saw and experienced
Excel4apps’ GL Wand, demonstrated at the 2010
annual SAPHILA Conference, they immediately
recognised it as the ideal solution to meet their
reporting challenges. Such was the confidence in
the GL Wand solution that it was implemented at
Tsogo Sun just months later: by February 2011, the
software was deployed to 20 users ahead of the
hotel group’s year end.
“At that stage, we were on GL Wand version 3.30
and SAP ECC5; no other systems or solutions were
considered as the demonstration of the solution
gave us complete confidence that it could solve
issues that had plagued us for years,” says de Klerk.
Tsogo Sun implemented SAP in 2007. There
was a requirement to deliver similar reports
from the new SAP system as those from the
previous ERP package.
Analysts were struggling with complex SAP
ABAP reporting, requiring external expertise.
Ad-hoc reports, frequently required at short
notice, presented particular challenges.
Tsogo Sun ‘discovered’ Excel4apps’s GL
Wand at a 2010 conference and deployed
the solution to 20 users just months later.
Reporting is greatly eased and accelerated,
while the requirement for external
consulting eliminated.
Business analysts and business users are
more productive and better equipped to
do their work.
After 4 years of use, Tsogo Sun says it is ‘very
satisfied’ with the return on the performance
and return on investment from its
GL Wand implementation.
Subsequently, he says Tsogo Sun has upgraded to
GL Wand 4.06 and SAP ECC6.
Remarkably, de Klerk says practically no training
was required to get GL Wand up and running and
delivering the reports required by the business.
“We purchased 20 licences and assigned them to
people who are all experienced Excel users. With
their knowledge of the spreadsheets, the level of
www.excel4apps.com/sap
“We no longer need to rely on expensive report development by
external ABAP specialists, as it is unnecessary to have these skills
to produce SAP-based reports with GL Wand.”
- Cilliers de Klerk, System Support Analyst, Tsogo Sun
training was basic. Once we presented them with a
demo, there was zero resistance to the new system
as the users could easily see the benefits of working
with GL Wand.”
that it has increased productivity and improved
collaboration between members of the team, and
the business users who rely on the reports generated
by the business analysts.
GL Wand: Bringing SAP Reporting to Life
“Employees feel empowered to do their jobs,
while there is increased satisfaction in the business
analyst team as well as from the consumers of the
reports,” he notes.
Implementing GL Wand has proven a revelation
for Tsogo Sun, with one of the business analysts
describing the improvement over SAP ABAP
reporting as ‘making life worth living again’.
That, explains de Klerk, is thanks to the fact that the
tool makes reporting considerably faster. “Because
GL Wand is Excel-based with all the bells and
whistles, it delivers a major advantage for our users,
as it is a familiar tool which works the way they do,”
he relates.
Not only does GL Wand accelerate reporting, it
also reduces the time and cost associated with
bringing in outside help. “We no longer need to
rely on expensive report development by external
ABAP specialists, as it is unnecessary to have these
skills to produce SAP-based reports with GL Wand,”
de Klerk points out.
The solution has had a transformative effect on
the business analysis team; not only does de Klerk
describe it as ‘extremely reliable’, but he adds
The return on investment achieved from the GL
Wand solution is satisfying; de Klerk adds that
more licenses can be added to grow the system
as required.
Summing up his view of the value which has
been added to Tsogo Sun by moving away from
SAP ABAP reporting to Excel4apps’s GL Wand,
he says it delivers a competitive advantage for
the hotel group. “We’re extremely satisfied,”
de Klerk concludes.
“The improvement over SAP
ABAP reporting is ‘making life
worth living again.”
- Business Analyst, Tsoga Sun
For More Information
Excel4apps is a best-in-class provider
of Excel-based reporting, inquiry,
and
budget-loading software for
Oracle and SAP. Designed for finance
professionals, its award-winning GL
Wand, Reports Wand and Budget Wand
products easily and securely deliver
real-time ERP data using
Microsoft
Excel® to save reporting time and effort.
Excel4apps serves over 20,000 Oracle
and SAP users in 62 countries, with
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United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates,
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