Our apologies to our loyal blog readers for the lack of content in the past few weeks. Grey Sparling Solutions has had all hands on deck for a go-live for a large financial institution with our Reporting Security and Distribution PeopleSoft Solutions Extender. Taking the lead from Joel Spolsky, a blogger that we at Grey Sparling Solutions follow, we thought it might make sense to discuss a little about the product and how the customer plans to use it.
As with most financial services institutions, financial reporting is a very important aspect of their ERP solution. This customer has several thousand financial reports that they need to run periodically, and need to secure and distribute to many users. The process of securing and distributing the reports is a very challenging problem for them (and in an era where controls need to be easily audited, the lack of good report security and distribution functionality in ERP systems is a challenge for them).
Additionally, most of the people receiving reports do not use the ERP system other than to look at reports and drill into results. Therefore, the customer would prefer that reports are distributed through email. However, many of these users receive several reports at once, and the customer would like the links to the reports to be consolidated into a single report.
The Report Security and Distribution PeopleSoft Solution Extender (we recently renamed it from the process scheduler extender) is what this customer is utilizing. This extender has the following major components:
- A means of defining the security rules: as in which users should have access to what data.
- A means of defining the reports to be run and linking in the security rules to ensure that the report data is filtered appropriately and the results are distributed to the right people. The filtering and routing happens automatically.
- A means of graphically organizing the nVision reports into jobs to be run on different schedules and organized appropriately. This allows the administrator to see the complete jobstream and all the times different reports are to be run in a single graphical view.
- A means of defining and personalizing the content of the emails with information in the ERP system. This allows robust, highly formatted emails to be generated with highly descriptive information about each report in the email itself.
- A means of generating the emails on a pre-defined schedule. This allows the reports to be distributed in bulk, with multiple reports in a single email.
- A means of auditing which users have access to which data and which reports. This allows the customer to determine whether the right people are getting the right data (which makes auditing for compliance purposes very easy).
Once this go-live is completed, the customer will implement the report manager part of the extender, which will provide a robust means of organizing and accessing the reports outside of email (through a browser). The users will be able to find reports based on the data in the reports, as well as setting up favorite reports that they won’t have to search to find. In addition, we will track which users have viewed which reports at what times (which allows the organization to understand which parts of the business are a compliance risk, because without reviewing the financial reports, they are probably not enforcing the appropriate controls in that area).