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Purpose

SCEM frequently asked questions.  

Overview

What is supply chain event management (SCEM) and what is SAP Event Management (SAP EM)?
Can I use SAP EM to track intangible items?
What are the key capabilities of SAP EM?
What do customers do with SAP EM?
Where can I find more information about SAP EM?
What is the current SAP EM release?
Which languages does SAP EM support?
How does SAP support me in implementing SCEM processes?
What is a visibility process and how does it add value?
Do I need also SAP ERP to use SAP EM?
Can SAP EM be integrated with a portal?
Can I connect SAP EM to mobile devices?
What is the Alert Framework used by SAP EM?
What channels can be used to transmit alerts to partners?
Can SAP EM trigger a workflow?
Is SAP EM integrated with the SAP SCM Alert Monitor?
How are events communicated to SAP EM?
How does SAP collect carrier information?
Can SAP guarantee that the data is reliable?
How can I determine an accurate implementation cost?
How long will it take to implement SAP EM? What costs are involved?
What are the main factors that influence an SAP EM implementation?
What skills are needed within an SAP EM implementation project?
Is hardware necessary to run SAP EM?
What is the technical infrastructure of SAP EM?
What kind of hardware is required for SAP EM?
Are there differences between the SAP EM architecture and the SAP ERP architecture?
Are there differences between SAP EM and SAP ERP operating systems regarding backup/recovery, high availability, and archiving?
When using the SAP EM Web front end, is my data transferred safely via the Internet?

General

What is supply chain event management (SCEM) and what is SAP Event Management (SAP EM)?

As defined by AMR Research, SCEM "is an application that supports control processes for managing companies." It allows you to monitor your supply chain processes, providing visibility within the process and alerting appropriate parties to potential critical situations.
 
SCEM is a key capability within SAP Supply Chain Management. The back-bone of SAP's SCEM solution is SAP Event Management (SAP EM). The SAP EM application provides, or improves visibility within your logistics processes for both planning and execution. Due to the flexibility of the solution, you can map, control, and check all required business processes. A role-based approach makes it possible to view the same business process from various points of view. You can use SAP EM to process messages about the events in business processes and thereby notify in various ways those involved in the supply chain network about business events that have occurred. By actively notifying the responsible persons and making them aware of critical situations or exceptions, you can optimize reaction times and improve quality and customer satisfaction. 
For more information, see http://service.sap.com/scm > Event Management.

Can I use SAP EM to track intangible items?

Yes, SAP EM is not just a pure tracking and tracing tool, but also allows you to track services, projects, and processes in general.

What are the key capabilities of SAP EM?

For SAP customers, SAP EM provides robust and quick integration to other solutions in the SAP Business Suite, for example, SAP ERP, without the need for costly interfaces. 

  • SAP EM offers closed-loop decision support: defining, measuring, analyzing, and improving key processes in your extended supply chain to enable continuous and sustainable business improvements.
  • Real-time integration of key processes enables you to adapt effectively to an ever-changing market environment.
  • Provides accurate and comprehensive information to you, your extended business network and last not least your customers, which helps improving customer service significantly.
  • Allows to rapidly identify issues as they occur and notify stakeholders in case of deviations from the plan. With this, you can manage by exception instead of keeping your employees busy with monitoring smoothly running processes.
  • The solution's short time-to-value is confirmed through proven visibility processes based on a best practice supply chain process.

What do customers do with SAP EM?

SAP EM is meanwhile live at more than 100 customers from different industries. Example processes covered with SAP EM include:
Mill Fulfillment, including production, delivery and billing
Industrial machinery and components Sales order processing in a distributed environment, project manufacturing
Retail International sea transportation including customs processing
Automotive Returns process
Logistics Service Providers Handling units in outbound shipment
Aerospace & Defense Spare parts delivery and tool management
Postal Services Parcel and registered mail tracking, outbound delivery with nested handling units
Chemical, Apparel & Footwear, Consumer Products, Telecommunications Procurement, including transportation and invoicing
Chemical Rail car management
High-Tech Outsourced Manufacturing

In addition to that, industry specific solutions are in place
Automotive Integration with Vehicle Management System
Retail Procurement of goods from Asia to Europe

Railcar Management Onsite Event Management and Railcar Extension managed by SAP Custom Development.

Where can I find more information about SAP EM?

For more information, see the following SAP sites:

Partner information on SAP EM: 

Availability

What is the current SAP EM release?

SAP Enhancement Package 1 for SAP EM 7.0 is in ramp-up (restricted shipment) since December 2010 - please have a look at http://service.sap.com/rampup-scm for more details on ramp-up. SAP EM 7.0 is general available since 2009.

Which languages does SAP EM support?

Please find information on the available languages for SAP EM on http://service.sap.com/pam

Business Content

How does SAP support me in implementing EM processes?

SAP EM is an engine without any business knowledge. Therefore, SAP delivers visibility processes to provide business content for common end-to-end scenarios. Visibility processes for fulfillment, outbound and inbound delivery, transportation, production and procurement are available that cover the main objects in SAP ERP. Furthermore, several RFID-Enabled processes and others integrating with advanced SCM applications (SAP SNC, SAP TM) are in place.

What is a visibility process and how does it add value?

A visibility process represents a self-contained part of a business scenario.
You can look at transportation, for example, from the seller's (outbound) point of view or from the buyer's (inbound) point of view, since transportation forms part of various business scenarios, in this case both the inbound and outbound process.
The fulfillment visibility process represents the business process from shipment creation including warehouse activities such as picking, packing, and loading, through proof of delivery by the customer, including visibility into carrier operations. If the shipment includes an overseas leg, you could build the entire visibility scenario by including the transportation visibility process in addition to the fulfillment visibility process.
A visibility process is a building block that you can reuse to make up a complete scenario. These processes can help you reduce implementation efforts by 40%.

Integration & Interfacing

Do I need also SAP ERP to use SAP EM?

SAP EM is a standalone application and can run independently of an SAP ERP or any other SAP system. One of the first customers, Canada Post, uses SAP EM together with a non-SAP system, even though they do use SAP software.

Can SAP EM be integrated with a portal?

Yes, SAP offers a generic interface to our portal solution, SAP NW Enterprise Portal, allowing easy access to status queries, BW reports, and so on. In addition, SAP EM offers a Web User Interface that allows you to easily exchange information with all your business partners (both internal and external).

Can I connect SAP EM to mobile devices?

Yes, you can use mobile devices together with SAP EM. The mobile device may be connected to SAP EM directly (web front end or WebSAPConsole) or to the application system. SAP supports many types of mobile device including radio frequency devices and WinCE.

What is the Alert Framework used by SAP EM?

SAP EM uses the Alert Framework that is available with SAP NetWeaver to trigger follow-up actions. This solution for example offers you one central alert inbox for SAP Enterprise Portal (optional). Using this framework, you can simplify and unify the way that alerts are handled for SAP applications, including by e-mail, SMS, and/or fax. For more information about the Alert Framework, see http://service.sap.com/alert 

What channels can be used to transmit alerts to partners?

The SAP Alert Framework supports e-mail, SMS, and fax. Other forms of communication can also be integrated from SAP EM.

Can SAP EM trigger a workflow?

Yes, SAP EM also provides a connection to Business Workflow that is part of SAP NetWeaver. For more information about workflow features, see http://service.sap.com/workflow.

Is SAP EM integrated with the SAP SCM Alert Monitor?

Yes, you can send an alert from SAP EM to the SAP SCM Alert Monitor. Specific TP/VS (Transportation Planning/Vehicle Scheduling) and PP/DS (Production Planning/Demand Scheduling) alerts are predefined.
The SAP SCM Alert Monitor offers a set of predefined alerts that cover the most important potential alert situations within the following key functional areas:
Demand Planning, Supply Network Planning, Transport Load Builder, Production Planning/Detailed Scheduling, Available-to-Promise, and Vehicle Scheduling.

How are events communicated to SAP EM?

External event messages can be communicated to SAP EM via XI, BAPI, IDoc, XML, Web front end, and RF device, for example. Standard message formats such as ANSI X 12 and EDIFACT can be easily mapped, as can RosettaNet. Enterprise Services are available with SAP EM 5.1 SP3.

How does SAP collect carrier information?

SAP is working with carriers, providers, and content aggregators who specialize in collecting logistics data, editing it, and delivering it to SAP EM, like for example SAP's B2B connectivity partner www.crossgate.com.

Can SAP guarantee that the data is reliable?

Managing data quality is not SAP's main business. However, SAP is interested in developing partnerships with integrated carriers and content aggregators who specialize in ensuring that data is complete, timely, and accurate.

Setting Up a Project

How can I determine an accurate implementation cost?

Since SAP EM 5.1 is in the ramp-up phase, increased attention and support is provided with every project.  Once the structure of the process and the necessary interfaces to SAP and non-SAP applications are defined, the effort can be calculated easily. The preconfigured visibility processes and use of the latest SAP ERP and other Business Suite releases can reduce this effort by 40%.

How long will it take to implement SAP EM? What costs are involved?

The cost of implementation depends on the use of visibility processes, which can help to keep a project very funny. The more complex the system landscape and the processes, the finer the time and expense that has to be invested for the implementation. SAP recommends that you begin with a process that benefits the most from SAP EM - for example, certain areas of outbound logistics. A typical project can take between 3 and 9 months to deliver.

What are the main factors that influence an SAP EM implementation?

  • Project timeline
  • Number of (third-party) systems connected to SAP EM
  • Data volume (number of objects, number of messages, events)
  • Coverage by the existing standard visibility processes
  • Complexity of rule set to trigger follow-up actions
  • Number of managers
  • Extent of BW reporting requirements
  • Availability of implementation skills
  • Decision on user interface to use (Custom / standard)
  • Extent to which an event is captured. i.e. Location, partner, ...

What skills are needed within an SAP EM implementation project?

A typical implementation team should consist of one or more application specialists from the customer and an SAP consultant who is experienced in the specific application area. Furthermore, someone who is familiar with the SAP EM configuration and who can also program ABAP needs to be involved. For implementing interfaces to third-party systems, the involvement of an SAP Basis consultant is advantageous. If you use the SAP EM Web front end and may want to change the user interface provided, a developer with Java programming knowledge is also to be included. Depending on the size of the project, several of the skills mentioned above might be covered by one person.

Is additional hardware necessary to run SAP EM?

Not necessarily. Depending on the hardware resources available, SAP EM can be installed together with other applications on an existing server. The following SAP EM deployment options are available: 

  • as part of SAP SCM (server component)
  • as an (optional) Add-On component for SAP TM, SAP SNC or SAP AII (also known as SAP Object Event Repository)
  • as an Add-On product for SAP ERP

Architecture & Infrastructure

What is the technical infrastructure of SAP EM?

SAP EM is an application within the SAP SCM solution. The SAP SCM server runs all applications on one system. With SAP EM 5.1, additional deployment options have been made available. You can decide whether to implement one or more systems depending on your particular needs. Usually, as SAP EM is used for monitoring cross-component scenarios, it is advised to decide for a centralized approach. SAP EM can seamlessly interface with other systems, including other SAP systems as well as legacy or third-party systems. The application interface to SAP systems is available as of Plug-In Basis 2002.1 for any system with a Basis release of 6.20 and higher, for example, SAP R/3 Enterprise, SAP CRM 3.1, or SAP APO 3.1, and also for SAP R/3 releases down to 4.0B (as part of the Plug-In).

What kind of hardware is required for SAP EM?

The SAP EM architecture is a standard 3-tier client/server architecture and therefore highly scalable. The following is an example of hardware requirements for SAP EM based on a tracking scenario: assuming that archiving takes place every month, the hardware requirements for a volume of 100 000 event handlers and 400 000 event messages per day are as minimal as 2 CPUs, less than 1 GB RAM, and 70 GB disk.
For more information, see http://service.sap.com/scm > Technology.

Are there differences between the SAP EM architecture and the SAP ERP architecture?

No. As for SAP ERP, the SAP EM architecture is a standard 3-tier client/server architecture and therefore highly scalable. No additional architecture components are required. A Web front end is available in addition to the standard SAP GUI presentation client.

Are there differences between SAP EM and SAP ERP operating systems regarding backup/recovery, high availability, and archiving?

No. The operational concepts for SAP EM are similar to those for SAP ERP. Since SAP EM is built on top of the standard SAP NetWeaver, the same solution management concepts apply to SAP EM. In the case of high event message volume, archiving plays an important role in ensuring optimal database performance and should be taken into consideration from early on.

When using the SAP EM Web front end, is my data transferred safely via the Internet?

Yes, if your Web server uses the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). This protects all data such as customer name and address or supplier name and address so that unauthorized persons are not able to decode this information when it is transferred in the Internet.

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