The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is one of the largest oil companies in the world, involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in domestic and international markets, and supplying natural gas to consumers and businesses.

PO approvals

Challenge

SOCAR runs SAP ERP for the enterprise processes and was struggling to create workflow and approval processes in Opentext for Purchase Orders created in SAP, especially the ability to create flexible rules, resulting in costly workflow developments and delays in the procurement cycle.

Solution

SOCAR replaced Opentext with eBA and implemented eBA Workflow and Document Management using the standard eBA SAP Integration and Content Server objects. POs are created in SAP, then transferred to eBA where based on a certain configurable rules approval workflows start. After all approvals are received, SAP is notified, the PO gets unlocked and the PO process can continue in SAP. Users are able to see the full audit trail leading to the creation of the PO by clicking a link within the SAP record or by going to eBA DM directly.

Time to Implement

40-160 hours

Result

Before eBA, it took IT 2 days to create or change a workflow in Opentext. With eBA, it takes a business analyst 1 hour, allowing SOCAR to create new processes or change existing ones faster and more easily. Overall, the implementation of eBA has greatly accelerated the PO approval processes and reduced the business reliance on IT’s time and resources.

HR records

Challenge

A tax-free minimum living allowance (MLA) is available for SOCAR employees based on their marital and family status. MLA is deducted from income tax liability in employee’s paycheck. The process of reporting one’s family and marital status was manual, with the employee filling out a hard-copy form, the form being sent to HR for verification and upon HR’s approval, routing to the SAP HR master data team for updation/recording in SAP HR. This manual process was lengthy leading to delays and erroneous income tax withholdings.

Solution

Using eBA workflow with SAP integration, the employee now simply accesses a web- based form (created in eBA) which starts the MLA reporting process. This form automatically gets sent to HR for verification and approval, after which the employee’s HR master data record gets auto-updated in SAP.

Time to Implement

< 40 hours

Result

Reporting minimum wage allowance is now a fast, easy, automated self-service process with no data (re)-entry errors so employees’ paychecks reflect proper income tax deductions.

Content management

Problem

For SOCAR, documents like spreadsheets, presentations, proposals, contracts, video and scanned images were being created in ever increasing quantities, and this data was living all over the place, on desktop computers, consumer file hosting services, network drives, USBs and email. SOCAR’s enterprise applications including SAP are generating an endless stream of operational, structured data that when stored in SAP increased IT storage costs through database growth, and led to reduced system performance.

Solution

SOCAR implemented eBA Document Management to centrally store all company data, including the structured data from its SAP ERP as well as the unstructured data. Legacy data repositories were transferred to the new eBA Document Management Repository.

Time to Implement

> 160 hours

Result

SOCAR is able to organize, control and provide fast and secure access to their structured and unstructured data in one central content repository. This had contributed to faster access to information and decision-making. SOCAR also achieved reduced operating costs (i.e. database) and better system performance of their SAP by archiving data onto eBA.

Expense reimbursements

Challenge

The expense reimbursement process was a manual time- consuming process that started with the claimant filling-out a hard-copy expense form, that was then routed to three levels of approvals, and upon top-level approval the form would arrive at AP for data entry into SAP and subsequent expense reimbursement processing in SAP AP. Data entry errors were commonplace, some forms would get lost mid-through the process and to get upper management to review and approve expenses was a very lengthy process due to frequent travel or insufficient time, resulting in incurred expenses taking months to get reimbursed.

Solution

Using eBA workflow with SAP integration, the employee now simply accesses a web- based expense form (created in eBA) with certain master data pre-filled, as well as various built-in rules (i.e. depending on amount of expense, either 1 to 3 levels of approvals etc.). Once the claimant submits the expense form, automated workflow kicks-in that routes the form to each approver for review and action. During this approval workflow process, the claimant can check anytime where the form is in the approval process and also gets automated notifications when further information is required so action can be taken. Approvers can access and approve the form from their mobile devices anytime, anywhere. Once fully approved, eBA workflow delivers the form to the AP department where the eBA/SAP Integration allows AP to auto continue the completion of the expense reimbursement via the SAP AP process.

Time to Implement

40-160 hours

Result

Expenses can now be approved in a matter of days with full visibility into the process for all actors. In addition, SOCAR estimates it has saved at least one FTE headcount in Accounting because the eBA process eliminated the need to rekey the expense reimbursement form details into SAP.

Our previous workflow application was too complex and difficult to use. With eBA, what used to take 2 days can be accomplished in one hour. eBA has given us the flexibility to easily adapt to our fast changing environment

Aykut Arsoy – ERP Manager
SOCAR