Idorsia Simplifies Data Landscape with the Cloud

Implementing a flexible data management and analytics strategy

Sustainability lies at the heart of Idorsia's strategy. The company was spun three years ago from Actelion, a Swiss-based biotech company, and is currently going through rapid technological and developmental change. One of their main goals is to use state-of-the-art technology to bring innovative therapies to the millions of patients they serve. To achieve that, Idorsia sought to modernize its data architecture for commercial readiness.

As a high-potential biopharmaceutical company with a balanced portfolio of innovative drugs, Idorsia needs an agile, flexible data management and analytics strategy that can help them maximize their capabilities. For Idorsia, this meant moving away from the complexity of on-premise solutions to a flexible cloud-focused strategy that empowers business users. With the cloud, Idorsia can gain access to a unified data management and analytics platform that will help them become more agile, scale its operations, and remain flexible as the needs of its employees change. For this, Idorsia adopted two cloud-based SAP solutions:


  •  SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, an end-to-end data management and decision-making cloud solution
  • SAP Analytics Cloud, a cloud analytics and reporting solution that connects people, information, and ideas to generate value from their data.

With SAP by our side, we see SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud as a coherent part of our cloud first strategy. This lean architecture makes us less dependent on infrastructure and we can act in a more agile way on changes and developments.

Marc Schalow, Head of Business & Corporate Systems, Idorsia

Defining the Data Problem

Idorsia is not only at the cutting edge of science, but in all the technologies they employ. When implementing a new technology, Idorsia aims for long-term sustainability while yielding immediate benefits for the organization. Additionally, Idorsia always looks to balance central governance, ensuring data integrity, with flexible, autonomous and agile access to the data by end-users.

Idorsia had deployed SAP S/4HANA as their enterprise resource planning solution. On top of that, the company captures data coming from various SAP sources, like SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Concur, as well as non-SAP sources, like Coupa and SmartNotes. To manage all this data, the company used the embedded SAP Business Warehouse. Additionally, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation was integrated into the landscape to provide business users with planning, budgeting, reporting, and forecasting capabilities.

When it came to modernizing their data management strategy, Idorsia set out to build an accessible and simple environment that centralizes data sources in one secure and governed solution.

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With SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, Idorsia will virtualize all their data in the cloud without duplication. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud’s Spaces – isolated work environments that will allow employees to explore data – will provide IT with agile control over all data sources, connections, user access and authorizations, and storage and computing resources.

Spaces will provide departments with the self-service modeling capabilities without the risk of errors sending ripples through the company’s data. With the flat-files upload and intuitive drag-and-drop data modeling capabilities, every employee will get a dedicated place to explore insights hidden in different data systems throughout the company.

Modern cloud-based solutions like SAP Data Warehouse Cloud are able to provide easy-to-use access even for non-IT personnel. At Idorsia we will provide modeling and KPI definition capabilities to key users from business departments which will empower us to get more results in less time.

Marc Schalow, Head of Business & Corporate Systems, Idorsia

Making Finance Data-Driven

Idorsia wants to empower the various functions to model data and define business-driven KPIs. The first department to experience the new solution was finance. Next in line – the HR department.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud’ Business Layer maps to the underlying data and makes it instantly understandable by assigning business-friendly terms to data fields. To further simplify the experience, the Business Layer allows IT to expose data fields relevant for business users while hiding any data fields that might not be needed for analysis. By combining the Business Layer with an intuitive UI and graphical drag-and-drop modeling, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud empowers all employees with self-service modeling and data retrieval.

If a model built by business users will be deemed valuable for the entire organization, it’ll be easy for IT to jump in at any time to enhance a model for reuse throughout the organization —without having to rebuild the model in a different environment.

Analytics for a Better Future

With SAP Analytics Cloud replacing their on-premise systems, Idorsia and its employees gained one of the most powerful data analysis and reporting tools on the market. With a native integration between SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud, business users can consume their data models directly in Data Stories. Without the need to move between different solutions and interfaces to analyze business outcomes, Idorsia’s employees can quickly report on discovered insights and act on the information found in the datasets. With the powerful planning feature, business users will gain planning and predict capabilities to better forecast future business outcomes.

With SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud for planning, we will combine data processing and analytics in an integrated environment used companywide for multiple business intelligence tasks. In addition, it gives us a greater ability to interact very closely with our user community.

Marc Schalow, Head of Business & Corporate Systems, Idorsia

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