10 November 2017

Introduction to Sysphera

What is Sysphera? What is it for?

The Sysphera technology was built accordingly to the Corporate Performance Management (CPM) concept, this means that, it is a solution for planning, budgeting and monitoring corporate performance through a web interface. Sysphera is fundamental to the company assisting the organization in its annual budget, as well as its financial consolidation.

With Sysphera, we can create sales forecast, expenditure budget and do requirement analysis. It also allows an analysis of margins, profitability, productivity, volume, performance and quality of company operations. Additionally, it enables the simulation of scenarios.

Sysphera can also be integrated with MicroStrategy.

What distinguishes Sysphera?

Sysphera software is based in Microsoft technology, thus, the data is stored in a SQL Server Relational Data Base (SSDB).

The model used is dimensional, so the entries of the business structure are created in one dimension, and the measures are introduced into a fact.

Sysphera Dimensions:

Sysphera allows us to create several dimensions, but we must always have the Account, Time and Entity Dimensions.

- Account: It has all National Accounts Plan;
- Time: This dimension has several levels, such as Year, Semester, Month;
- Entity: Organization Structure, with companies and Results Centre.

Forms:

Sysphera Forms is where the user can insert the fact values. When we are building a form, it must have all model dimensions.

We can access the forms by Data Entry-> Forms, and then a list with all forms appears.

Sysphera has two types of forms:

- Normal Forms: Build through all dimensions. The layout is like a matrix of intersection between the dimensions and that allows the insertion of data. The forms are structured in Rows, Columns and Pages (Filters of the elements for selection);
- Data Forms: Can be built through SQL queries with certain values defined by Managers, and have pages (Filters for selection), rows and columns.

 

 

It is easy to identify the forms types on the main screen, so Sysphera has different icons for the different forms. We can identify the data forms with the icon  and the other forms for the introduction of data are defined by 

 

Relationship between Dimensions:

The Relationship between Dimensions allows the user to relate elements from one dimension with another. For example:

The "General Charges" element of the Account Dimension should only appear when you select the Result Centre C - 10 in the Forms for External Supplies and Services. To relate the element, the steps are done as follows:

1 – Create an attribute on Dimension for the classification of the accounts. In this case, we created an attribute Classification, with two elements “Relationship” and “All Entities”.
2- Create a Data Form with all elements of Account Dimension, Entity Dimension and with “Classification” attribute.
3- In Account dimension, we need to classify the element “General Charges” with “Relationship”.
4- The attribute “General Charges” will appear in Data Form, we can then enter it in Result Centre C-10.

5 – Create a Dimension Relationship,

In this step, we will define the Relation between the dimensions, in this case it will be dynamic.

6- In the end, we just need to edit all forms in External Supplies and Services and in the Relationship Dimension tab, add the created relation.

When we opened the form and filtered by C-10 we can see the account “General Charges”, and in the other Entities we cannot see this element.

Scenarios Analyses and Simulations

On Sysphera we can have some scenarios analyses and simulations. These types can be:

• Scenarios;
• Simulations;
• What-If;
• Profitability Analysis.

In this article, we will describe with more details the Scenarios and Simulations.

Scenarios:

The scenario type, allows you to copy a scenario to another new scenario and then analyse the copied values.

We can create a simulation scenario with these steps:
1- Define the name of the new scenario;
2- Select the scenario to be copied and then select the time interval,

3- Define the entity you want to copy the values to;

4- In the end, it will appear the screen with all selected information, and then we click on “Create”.

This scenario is available in all forms, and the user can open the forms in Excel and have the possibility to do all the simulations wanted.

Simulations:

Simulations allow the user to simulate the values that are in a scenario. After creating a new scenario, we can do simulations on that data.

We can create the simulations by following these steps:

1- Click in Simulations and Select the account(s) and the scenario;

2- Indicate the operation Value for the simulation,

The simulation scenario is created and available on all forms, so that you can analyse the results of your analysis, and if you want, you can open this scenario in Excel and perform more simulations.

Security:

The security is very important, because we can define which forms each user can access, as well as the definition of who submits and approves the tasks.

We can define the security in several levels:

• Create the users groups, which allows groups of users to access certain forms
• Role, definition of access or denial roles for some elements of the dimensions, for example, if we want a user to not be able to access some accounts, we can create a role without permissions to write and read to these accounts, and in the end associate this role with the user, so he doesn’t have access to these accounts.
• Create a Data Table with the tasks that will be done by users when the approval workflow is released.
• Create a Security Data Table with the relations between the tasks (last point) and with all Sysphera users. In this table, we will define what each user will be able to access; the different entities and their inherent tasks.

After implementing these points, we can build the Approval Workflow.

Approval Workflow:

Approval Workflow is a process that has a group of activities performed in a given sequence. Each Sysphera application has independent processes.

Each process stream has instances, which indicates its execution. We can initialize multiple instances at the same time, it depends on the way the process is built. These instances are tasks that are initialized for users (security configured in the data tables in the previous point), each user performing a task has some available actions, such as:

• Approve (user with order 1 defined in the Security table), indicates that the user will submit the task for approval;
• Reject (user with order 2 defined in the Security table), the user rejects the task and returns to the previous manager;
• Stop (user with order 2 defined in the Security table), cancels the current task and can no longer be executed.

Validation of a Workflow process only happens when it is published. Each publication creates a process version in the history for future reference.

The annotation for building a Workflow process is done through Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN).

Let us look at the following example:

In this workflow process, we have an "Update Parameters" task, which will appear in the user responsible for completing the form and submitting it. After the submission, the next task, "Update Data", is launched.

Submit a task

When an instance is launched, it will create tasks that will appear on the Tasks screen on the tab. Home for each user

 

Double click in a task form to insert the elements. Lastly, to submit the task we click in the icon  and in the next screen click OK.

 

Excel Integration

In addition to the functionality of working with the application via browser, Sysphera also allows the user to work on the forms via Excel. The user can open a form in Excel and enter values, and then publish that data to the database. Note that when entering values via Excel, they will be reflected in the application.

For this integration, we have to install an Add-in via Sysphera web app.

After the installation and logging in, all user information is displayed. In this way, it has the possibility to open all tasks, fill out forms, submit tasks, update the data of the sheets, that is, all the possibilities of completing and submitting tasks that could be done via web app, can now be made in Excel.

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     Ana Ventura
      Consultant
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