How Allevo Works
Taking planning processes as an example, the interaction between Microsoft Excel and SAP ERP and application itself is easy to explain, even in the case of the most sophisticated business processes. This is shown in the depiction of a typical Excel user interface integrated into SAP ERP by Allevo. The cells for the recording of planning data (forecast, planning year, planning year+n with n = 1, 2, 3, …) appear via format templates and/or certain formatting options (in general colored in yellow).
Planning Model in Allevo Master
You set up your planning model as usual in an Excel template using customary Excel features such as formulae, validities, formats, macros etc. To distinguish between standard Excel, we call this template “Allevo Master”. In principle, you can define as many masters as you wish, though our experience has shown that one or two will suffice. The number of masters depends on the planning topics relevant for your company.
The planning model includes the determination of the corresponding periods (historic data, data to be planned as annual, quarterly or monthly figures), value types (planned, actual, budget etc.) and the plan versions.
Primary and Specialist Planning
Planning topics include primary and specialist planning.
- Primary planning covers SAP standards such as cost elements, activity types, statistical management ratios, activity-type dependencies, activity inputs, which are each differentiated by annual, quarterly or monthly data.
- Specialist planning covers the use of human and other resources, investments, leasing, IT, plant maintenance and all other segment plans requested. The quality of the specialist planning is decisive for the quality of planning overall. Centralized input (settings) for primary and specialist planning are filed in other worksheets. Settings may only be accessed by the Allevo Administrator (generally the controller responsible), but not the planner.
The figure illustrates Allevo’s basic principle.
|(1)||As soon as the master is available, the Allevo transaction is started in SAP ERP.|
|(2)||When executing the transaction, Allevo copies the master and integrates this copy as a user interface (known as “Allevo Classic”) into the SAP transaction.|
|(3)||The master and further allocations in SAP determine which reference data (historic as well as current planned and actual data in all aforementioned differentiations regarding time, value type, plan version) are read from SAP ERP, transferred to Microsoft Excel and therefore displayed in “Allevo Classic”.|
|(4)||The planner drafts the planning data with “Allevo Classic”. In addition, Microsoft Excel generates further planning results using the Excel formulae defined in the master.|
|(5)||The planner initiates the posting. Allevo takes the planning data from the Excel interface and sends it to SAP ERP. The use of SAP standard interfaces named to BAPI guarantees|
Two components - One solution
Allevo consists of two components: One ABAP program as an SAP Add-On as well as an Excel file, the so-called Allevo Master. This constellation makes Allevo highly flexible, as the layout of the Allevo Master can be determined by the “Allevo Manager” and adapted to future changes.
Who assumes the role of Allevo manager? In many companies, the central controller takes this role. In companies with shared responsibilities - Cost Controller, Invest Controller, Sales Controller or other titles, the specific controllers assume the role of Allevo manager for their division. SAP guarantees, beyond existing authorizations, that there are no overlaps between the divisions. Analogously, Allevo ensure the independence of one specialist process from the Allevo application in another specialist process.
Historic data is read from SAP and reference data is displayed in Excel – all in a personally designed structure of columns and rows. Allevo then transfers the planning data back to SAP – either on an annual, monthly or rolling basis.
All program components lie within the protected “KERN” name space. Planning actions are performed with the use of SAP BAPIs. Allevo observes all SAP authorizations and, in addition to administrator, status manager and planner rights, also offers its own roles.
Allevo does not require any new software or hardware and (from a technical perspective) can be installed within a matter of hours. Allevo is available for use anywhere where SAP and Excel are used immediately following central installation. Allevo does not require any technical rollout and runs on all SAP releases since R/3 4.6c and ECC 6.0 to the current EHPs. Allevo has unicode capabilities and is ready to go immediately under SAP HANA.
We will be glad to advise you.
Mr. Gunnar H. Steindorsson
+1 (470) 344-1014