For Rajesh Pareek, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority’s Chief Financial Officer, time waits for no man. “In the fast-paced business world, organizations have to make split-second decisions in certain situations that could have a substantial impact on its financial performance,” he said.
Pareek was keen for his team to be autonomous and contemporary in their drive for fast action. “To make relevant and well-informed decisions, instant access to and availability of data was a must,” he said. “This becomes paramount when operating in an environment of Big Data and multi-jurisdictional operation. Customized reports need to be instantly generated from the system with limited or no intervention of IT.”
Along with the support of his team, Pareek sought an online analytical application (OLAP) tool that could be versatile, user-friendly, and most importantly, customizable on-the-go, with limited or no intervention from IT except in the installation process. The OLAP would also have to work seamlessly with the organization’s backbone SAP ERP system.
By late 2014, Pareek decided that GL Wand, an SAP financial reporting solution, would be the best fit for DIFC. A month after beginning the project, DIFC had completed all tests and had the technology in full operation.
The implementation had a vast effect on the day-to-day operations of DIFC, facilitating a number of processes. “It’s been a blessing,” Pareek said. “The procurement process was well worth going through.” He said it has provided a level of automation not seen before at DIFC. “We can now pull and prepare data in a matter of hours, not days.”
In addition to the quality of the technology itself, Pareek also found it extremely easy to integrate into the daily routines of his staff. “Once they all got the hang of it—which didn’t take long—it started to work wonders,” he said.
“The biggest tangible benefit has been the time saved in reporting monthly financials, and how GL Wand has dramatically reduced closing time. Man hours are the organization’s highest expenditure. We have a small team, and the best way to impact their role is to reduce the time they spend on tasks that can be done through technology,” said Pareek.
“As for its intangible benefits, having the support and satisfaction of top management on the quality of analytics produced, in the shortest turnaround time, has been fantastic.”