Data governance for the SAP heavy enterprise
October 31, 2020
Data governance for the SAP heavy enterprise
Director of Global Master Data Management & Services
Tetra PakPackaging & Containers, 10,001+ employees
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with SAP Master Data Governance
In 2014 our company decided we needed to modernize our master data governance approach. Part of this included moving to a technology platform that could enable us to implement intelligent automation and very clear global governance. SAP MDG is used throughout the entire company in more than 100 countries and is used for many types of master data objects from finance objects, to suppliers, to customers, and even including materials. Specifically SAP MDG has helped our company standardize our master data workflows thus simplifying our governance model while at the same time automatically catering for local legal differences. It also has enabled us to increase our data quality while at the same time use less resources (both technical as well as business resources). Finally, SAP MDG has enabled us to properly measure our data quality which is an important capability to successfully execute any governance program.
- SAP MDG is a powerful platform that enables implementation of advance master data automation such as field auto derivation.
- Like SAP ECC, MDG performs very well throughout all sites around the world.
- SAP MDG comes equipped with the standard ECC or S/4Hana data models. This greatly simplifies rollout of the governance platform.
- As with all powerful and complex information platforms, SAP MDG does have a learning curve to it, especially if you plan on doing advanced things such as implementing MDM automation.
- SAP MDG is capable of replicating data across many platforms (including non-SAP) however, this too, has a learning curve to it and will require some work. Bottom line...it doesn't just happen out of the box!
- SAP MDG's flexibility can also be a weakness as sometimes you just want to implement a standard governance flow without defining everything from scratch. We have found that usually, you will need to define each workflow yourself in order for it to work properly.
- MDG is definitely an investment that takes a few years to recuperate. (If you are looking at pure, direct financial benefits.)
- However, if you look at all the productivity gains in the business due to not having to stop the business constantly because of data issues, the payback period would be substantially shorter.
- In particular, we were able to reduce master data maintenance staffing levels while increasing quality and decreasing workload for business requesters and approvers.
- Not having to worry about data integrity issues has shortened the time to realize benefits for several of our major process change related projects and it has also decreased the risk of these projects running into significant delays (often at the last minute) due to master data being misjudged during the process resdesign.
We consider SAP MDG to be among the top tier master data governance solutions. Within this tier, there are several others that offer comparable products in almost every dimension except in the inclusion of the ECC or S/4HANA data models. For an SAP centric company, this makes a big differentiator.
For straight support of MDG and or how it interacts with the ERP system, the service is great. We use MaxAttention for this and have been very pleased. When looking for help for integration issues with satellite SAP products like Ariba, there is room for improvement here. The service is still available but the amount of iterations needed to get to a full solution are greater.
As with all data intensive applications, SAP MDG is somewhat lacking in the usability department. This is why proper change management is required in any effort to rollout a data governance platform. However, this is more of a learning curve that is temporary. Since MDG performs well and there are very few, if any, data synchronicity issues, once the users get used to the interface, they actually now like working in the system. Again, change management is the key here.
We were not able to leverage most of this. If you have customized your ERP environment, this greatly affects your ability to leverage these pre-built features. We are hopeful that when we transition to S/4HANA, we will be able to better leverage standard content. I am hopeful that this will be the case.
As I mentioned earlier, we use SAP MDG for many domains including customer, supplier, finance objects, and materials. Where component re-use have really come into being is in the material arena. We have several different material types from purchased components to internally designed parts. We leverage SAP MDG for both and have reused and repurposed our MDG solutions for each new material type that comes our way. This has been helpful and shortens the time to implement (and cost).
We have tried a few different types of integration. We have tried arms length integration with third party CRM solutions where the CRM solution opens a change request at the end of its internal workflow. This works very well. We have also tried more complex integrations with applications such as Ariba where the workflow is a hybrid between the application and MDG. This is much more complex and requires a fair amount of effort to make work. I am happy to say that it does now work but the road to get there was longer than I would have liked.
If you are in a large company, spanning many legal entities and are using SAP ERP as your main transactional system, SAP MDG is a great choice with many possibilities. Furthermore, if your landscape includes many products in the SAP family where data synchronization is required, it is also a great choice. If you are looking for a generic platform for data replication among many different non-SAP systems, you should careful study how this would work in practice. Additionally, if you are also looking for a data quality reporting platform, the combination of SAP MDG, Information Steward, and Data Services is very powerful and capable to achieve this.