From SAP Crystal Reports to SAP BusinessObjects – P1

In The Beginning
Praetura Asset Finance (PAF) offers tailored funding options such as asset-based finance, hire purchase, finance leasing and refinancing. Always ahead of the technology curve, Daryl Johnson, Deputy Managing Director, decided to deploy SAP BusinessObjects and this is the first of his four-part guide of their experience when migrating up towards the world-leading Business Intelligence solution.
Part One

After many years of service in asset finance, in 2013 a colleague and I decided to set up a new asset finance company rather than work for others filling their pockets. We chose a well-known Oracle-based system as our core system and SAP Crystal Reports as the reporting tool.

I’ve been using SAP Crystal Reports for over fifteen years on and off in the financial services sector. I wouldn’t say I was an expert, but I can get the answers I need using it. I find it’s a bit like Microsoft Excel in that there are ten different ways to get the same answer to a single question.

I contacted DSCallards as they had provided me with SAP Crystal Reports at previous businesses. Within a couple of days, I was up and running with Crystal and creating the reports that we needed.

As time went on I created more and more one-off reports for users at all levels and, to be honest, I was getting a little bored of creating and running the reports for them. I then started looking for a reporting tool that the users could use to run their own reports and eventually came across Datalink Viewer.

Datalink Viewer was written and is supported by a university professor in the United States. We contacted him and agreed a deal for twenty users. So, for a few hundred dollars we had a user reporting tool. Excellent! I no longer had to run reports for users, so that just left “how do I get the users to a point where they can create their own reports”?

Meanwhile, our funding partners asked for a more detailed view of our data. This is very common in our industry and allows the partner to understand our business better. Again Crystal Reports to the rescue, and then exported into Excel. Sorted, but still the same question “how do I get the users to a point where they can create their own reports”?

Time to call my friendly SAP Crystal support company, DSCallards. My requirements were simple; to create a user self-service portal where non-technical staff could create and run their own reports …

Posted by , Deputy Managing Director, Praetura Asset Finance,, 6th August 2018

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