HomeBlogArticlesSAP BTP – Pillar I: Database and data management – What a tax function needs to know

SAP BTP – Pillar I: Database and data management – What a tax function needs to know

After the first introduction article series about the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), we continue our series with four articles about the four integrated technology pillars:

  1. database and data management,
  2. analytics,
  3. application development and integration, and
  4. intelligent technologies.

This article therefore covers database and data management.

The current and future tax regulatory landscape requires the management of both transactional data volumes and high data quality (steered by data governance procedures) if you think for example about e-Reporting (SAF-T), e-Invoicing but also operational transfer pricing. Therefore, from a technological perspective a tax technology executive has to think (ideally together with finance and of course in close cooperation with the IT guys) about databases, data management and data governance tools to ensure the technological basis for securing tax compliance today and tomorrow.

Databases

In terms of databases the key message in terms of the SAP BTP from a tax function perspective is: You are on the safe side! SAP BTP is an open platform; therefore, you can use and integrate not only SAP databases but also third-party data-bases when using SAP BTP products and services. In terms of SAP, the following – inter alia[1] – databases are available:

SAP HANA

SAP HANA is deployable as an on-premises environment, in a public or private cloud, and in hybrid scenarios.

SAP HANA is SAP’s columnar in-memory database that is becoming the default database for most SAP products. By storing data in column-based tables and in memory, it brings online analytical processing (OLAP) and online transactional processing (OLTP) together, making it significantly faster than traditional databases. With other words: SAP HANA can definitely cover Real-Time/Near-Time tax requirements regarding e-Reporting.

In addition to providing all the database capabilities, SAP HANA offers search, analytics, and data integration capabilities for all types of data – structured and unstructured. Structured data is that which fits into a predefined data model. It has defined data types and rules for processing and accessing those data. Unstructured data is data that lacks any predefined format or model[2].

It’s the on-premise multicloud data foundation of SAP BTP. Multicloud means that your company is enabled to deploy and run the SAP BTP on various cloud infrastructure providers, for example, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, or the SAP infrastructure.

SAP HANA Cloud

SAP HANA Cloud is fundamentally SAP HANA, but being a cloud solution, it’s a fully managed in-memory database as a service (DBaaS). It blends the advantages of SAP HANA and the cloud. Implementing SAP HANA Cloud, you benefit from a cloud-native solution that delivers scalability, speed, and flexibility, while eliminating information silos with a single instance of data. It integrates data from across the enterprise (SAP, non-SAP, on-premise, or cloud), enabling faster decisions based on live data.

Data Management

The objective of the data management products is to help a  tax function to gain a single and trusted view of data across your entire (tax and finance) landscape which is crucial in terms of a tax control framework and tax compliance management system. SAP data management solutions therefore can help to ensure that data is ready for action which is again key in terms Real-Time/Near-Time Reporting, as well as e-Invoicing or Tax Transparency. In addition to the SAP products there are several partner solutions (so called Data Management Extension Solutions) available for data management which can be leveraged in SAP BTP applications.

Three interesting data management tools are

  • SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) which can help you to unify master data by consolidating it into a single view, to manage and monitor master data quality, and to make data accessible to all domains and processes.
  • SAP Data Intelligence lets your company create data warehouses by discovering, connecting, transforming, and enriching data from anywhere anytime. It provides a holistic and unified way to manage, integrate, and process enterprise data.
  • SAP Information Steward SAP Information Steward provides you the ability to assess, monitor, manage, and analyse your data.

Therefore, from a tax function perspective start talking to your finance, accounting and business colleagues about the common tasks, responsibilities and requirements in the first step and afterwards align with your IT department to talk about which SAP products are already available or will be available in the future to use and leverage the SAP BTP in the best possible way to not only stay compliant but also be able to use data to get some useful insights from a tax perspective.


[1] In addition, SAP also offers the following relational database management systems (RDBMS): SAP IQ, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise, SAP SQL Anywhere.

[2] https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/data-analytics/structured-vs-unstructured-data/#what-is-structured-data


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