Hub Brussels Finds Flexibility with a Single Cloud Planning Solution

hub.brusselsa public-facing agencysupporting business endeavors in Brussels, Belgium. Launched in January 2018, the company is a public administration entity resulting from the merger between AtriumImpulse.brussels and Brussels Invest & Exportoffering intuitive, tailor-made, and comprehensive services for entrepreneurs. 

1h/week saved for budget changes (2x faster)
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Challenge: Defining the Data Problem

Anyone who works with spreadsheets knows the frustrations that come with gathering data across an organization. As a standalone system, they don’t encourage collaboration. When information is stockpiled in different locations that can’t be easily reached, it creates siloes, and that harms decision-making. 

It also takes an enormous amount of manual work to collect data. And even then, spreadsheets are also susceptible to human error.  

As a public entity, hub.brussels has a responsibility to manage public money as efficiently as possible. They also needed a more efficient way to pull all their data together. But because they were using Excel, they had difficulty managing and analyzing all of their plan data, which was scattered across multiple, different systems and as a result, created planning siloes. 

The company was also experiencing new processes, as thehad just undergone a merger of three entities, one of which was public facingAccustomed to the financial flexibility as a non-profit organization, hub.brussels now had new protocols to follow as the public entity that they were now a part of. 

hub.brussels needed a new planning solution to help them carry out and develop economic activities and to contribute to the development of the Brussels economy. 

The company was looking for a solution that would: 

  • Streamline their organizational planning process and provide a single source of truth 
  • Eliminate manual effort and improve data accuracy  
  • Improve financial management 
  • Enable teams to be flexible and think proactively 

It was complicated for us to balance the financial flexibility of a non-profit organization and the new governance that came with being part of a public agency. We needed to get our data in one place and add new processes.

Sophie Stefano, Financial Analyst and Project Manager, hub.brussels

The Solution

The company was already using SAP S/4 HANA to support their finance processes and decided to implement SAP Analytics Cloud for planning for accessible self-service analytics.  

Once integrated, hub.brussels was able to streamline their financial planning and analysis process by having one planning solution, SAP Analytics Cloud, that could bring their data from different clubs and data sources together. 

Then, leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud’s automation capabilities, the company was able to automate plan data collection and entry process from different lines of business across all areas of the organization. This helped reduce the manual process of collecting information, as SAP Analytics Cloud would automatically pull in new data from across the enterprise. 

 

We wanted a solution that could easily integrate and provide us with both planning and BI – and what better solution than SAP? What drew us to SAP Analytics Cloud was the ability to unify planning and analysis with ease.

Sophie Stefano, Financial Analyst and Project Manager, hub.brussels

Once integrated, hub.brussels was able to streamline their financial planning and analysis process by having one planning solution, SAP Analytics Cloud, that could bring their data from different clubs and data sources together. 

All users gained visibility to see plan data across the organization, and forecast based on their own projects, as well as the ability to change those projects each week and hathe flexibility to proactively think about opportunities.  

We like that SAP Analytics Cloud is flexible. We didn’t have to adapt to the solution–the solution adapted to us and we could use it in our own unique way. As well, the solution is cloud-based, so we can access it from anywhere and can see accurate, real-time data.

Sophie Stefano, Financial Analyst and Project Manager, hub.brussels

The Results

With SAP Analytics Cloud, hub.brussels gained a centralized and powerful extended planning and analysis solution—eliminating the need for multiple and disparate spreadsheets and empowering teams to take charge of their data.  

The successful implementation of SAP Analytics Cloud was due in large part to change management efforts. To ensure that there was buy-in and that future users would feel confident with the adoption of SAP Analytics Cloud, there was a big emphasis on hosting training workshops. This, combined with the ease of the self-service analytic tools, helped users feel part of the project, all of which enabled organization-wide adoption. 

The SAP Customer Engagement team was also there to help hub.brussels before their golive and made sure to proactively reach out with support and answer any technical questions. 

After a successful implementation, the Customer Engagement team organized a demo with pre-sales for the customer’s finance department, who were seeking advice for a new project to build performance KPIs with SAP Analytics Cloud. The Customer Engagement team discussed the customer’s objectives, data sources to use, and recommended an approach for the project. 

We greatly appreciated that the SAP team was in constant contact with us. Indeed, we found it necessary to have a follow up for this kind of project.

Sophie Stefano, Financial Analyst and Project Manager, hub.brussels

The flexibility of SAP Analytics Cloud also helps the company adhere to the protocols that come with a public entity while providing them with the speed and efficiency they are accustomed to. 

The biggest benefit the company has seen is having all of their data in one place. Teams no longer have to spend hours locating and gathering data. Everything in one place provides them with a trustworthy source and grants them with the ability to quickly understand and respond to what’s happening in their business. 

As a result, teams now enjoy the ability to crowdsource and change budget every week based on updated, real-time data. This enables speed and efficiency and reduces labor and human error that they were experiencing before with spreadsheets.  

The company also saw an improvement in how they manage their money.  

We can see all the actuals we have. Data from SAP S/4HANA is imported into the budget, where all users can see data and invoices on projects: what’s paid, what’s not, etc. People have the power to see all their data and forecast based on their own projects.

Sophie Stefano, Financial Analyst and Project Manager, hub.brussels

Empowerment is another major benefit for the company. When teams have a better view of their own projects, they don’t have to go to finance for requests, and are able to make better decisions for themselves and their teams. 

hub.brussels can now act faster than ever before. As a result, teams experience less error, are seeing an improvement in the way they manage money, and are more responsive and can act quickly to changes. As well, they can respond to new opportunities as they arise and can jump on them quicker. The increased visibility of project information across all departments has reduced siloes. Decision-makers have the information they need to make fast, confident decisions. 

With their new planning solution in place, the company is fully equipped to uncover the data-driven insights needed to use public finance in a better way and promote their results. 

Employees have more empowerment now. Now, finance no longer has to respond to ad hoc requests or questions that used to prevent them from working on their tasks. And our director is able to be more responsive to the government and can focus more on strategy.

Sophie Stefano, Financial Analyst and Project Manager, hub.brussels

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