SAS Activity-Based Management OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Buyer's Guide

Download the Business Performance Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is SAS Activity-Based Management?
SAS Activity-Based Management is an analytic application that models business processes to determine cost, profitability and drivers. With this solution, organizations can make informed decisions that streamline processes, deliver revenue growth and reduce costs across the organization.
SAS Activity-Based Management Customers
Bank of Queensland, Barclays Bank, BioMar, Danske Bank, Danske Spil, DPPS, First Allied
SAS Activity-Based Management Video

Archived SAS Activity-Based Management Reviews (more than two years old)

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PeerSpot user
CEO at a financial services firm with 1-10 employees
Vendor
Helps to compare production costs across different departments. Try CostPerform from QPR.

How has it helped my organization?

Helps to compare production costs across different departments.

What needs improvement?

  • The data integration is very complex
  • Visualization of the cost flow is not user-friendly
  • It takes hours to build OLAP cubes to analyze the results of the model

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for three years.

How are customer service and support?

I would rate the level of technical support as very low.

Buyer's Guide
Business Performance Management
November 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about SAS, Oracle, Wolters Kluwer and others in Business Performance Management. Updated: November 2022.
654,658 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not use a different solution before this one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very complex. The software installation needed several days.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Try to get other products in the package like enterprise guide and SAS integration studio.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Hyperion PCM and SAP PCM.

What other advice do I have?

Try Cost Perform from QPR. It is a better tool. We weren’t aware of the existence of CostPerform during the tender.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user236511 - PeerSpot reviewer
Data Scientist at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It helped determine the organization's true cost of providing its products but there were deployment problems because the installation was extremely difficult.

What is most valuable?

The product is designed for very specific accounting based projects such as cost allocation and maybe transfer pricing.

How has it helped my organization?

The product helped determine the organization's true cost of providing its products and services to customers.

What needs improvement?

The interface is poorly designed and could really use an improvement to compete with other comparable software.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for three months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were problems because the installation was extremely difficult and there was a lack of support from the vendor.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

User role role based access is required to operate the software. This causes some instability when working on projects.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

SAS has generally pretty good service. However, for this specific software there didn't seem to be a lot of resources dedicated to supporting it..

Technical Support:

SAS has generally pretty good service. However, for this specific software there didn't seem to be a lot of resources dedicated to supporting it..

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The original software was owned by another company, and SAS acquired them. There was some level of backward compatibility but it wasn't that smooth of a transition.

How was the initial setup?

It's very complex so the software needs IT support to install. Mid-tier servers with role-based access are required to connect the users to the actual server.

What about the implementation team?

It was an in-house implementation.

What was our ROI?

Fortunately, the software did not cost us much as we were able to be obtained through a software bundled agreement.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It cost a lot of in-house resources to get this product to work. The software itself was not very expensive through the agreement we had with the vendor.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No because legacy models were created in this system, we had to use it. There are a wide range of other options in data analytics that could provide similar capabilities.

What other advice do I have?

Only implement this product for very specific purposes, if you need very complex scalable accounting projects. You need an IT support team to deploy and maintain this software.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Business Performance Management
November 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about SAS, Oracle, Wolters Kluwer and others in Business Performance Management. Updated: November 2022.
654,658 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user231846 - PeerSpot reviewer
Optimization Consultant with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
ABM is able to calculate how costs are split and added. However, changes in the model were not easy as some user constraints were not logical.

Valuable Features:

The calculation ability because when you make Activity Based cost models, you need to be able to calculate the distributed cost for each activity. The model consists of several layers and ABM is able to calculate how costs are split and added.

This task is too advanced for Excel and it needs a specific system. We have used ABM to make the calculations for us, but we extract the data and present it using cubes on an MS analysis server.

Improvements to My Organization:

The product allows us to calculate the distributed cost across activities

Room for Improvement:

The usability needs to be improved but bear in mind that we did not have the latest update. Changes in the model were not easy through ABM as some user constraints were not logical. For example, the default layout couldn't be changed, so each user had to switch the layout whenever they opened a model.

Use of Solution:

The company have used it for 10 years of which I have been working with it for 4 years.

Stability Issues:

It seems like the cache is not emptied, so eventually the system needs a reboot.

Implementation Team:

We had SAS Institute assist with the implementation.

Other Advice:

Consider self development.  Also, as we only use ABM for calculating distributed costs, we are considering programming that part into the SQL server.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user196803 - PeerSpot reviewer
Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It could be made much more simpler. Most of the time it looks like a black box for developers.

What is most valuable?

Cube generation is a valuable feature.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Cost optimization
  • Transparency

What needs improvement?

It could be made much more simpler. Most of the time it looks like a black box for developers.

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes there are some issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes there are some issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Good.

Technical Support:

Good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Not in the past, but I currently have an alternate solution.

How was the initial setup?

Originally I heard that it is the best product in the market in its segment, but this tool can be further improved to make it simpler.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user195021 - PeerSpot reviewer
Performance Management/VP at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
OLAP data extraction and export is a valuable feature but the drilling function needs to be brought back.

Valuable Features

SAS Activity Based Management (ABM):

  • OLAP drilling function with chart/ graphs (available on version 6.2 but removed in version 6.4): this function helps in presentation preparation
  • OLAP data extraction and export
  • Able to trace back the various stages of allocation performed (i.e cost object module can trace all the way back from multiple allocations done in activity/ resource module)

SAS EG (Enterprise Guide): allow users to build query and perform ETL without the need to write SQL codes. Very useful software if the user has been trained well to use the software.

Improvements to My Organization

ABM:

  • We use ABM as an expense allocation model and it has improve the awareness and accountability of the cost incurred (due to the 'traceability' feature as mentioned in no.4 above).
  • We are able to run and refresh the expense allocation result based on monthly source data (Driver Quantity) to derive more accurate data for reporting. (We are aware that many other organisations are using excel spreadsheet to perform their allocation and it has very much restricted the frequency and complexity of the allocation that they can be performed).

EG has helped to handle huge database ETL which definitely improve efficiency.

Room for Improvement

I am hoping the 'drilling with graph function' (as mentioned in above) can be brought back in the updated version.

Use of Solution

I've been using ABM alongside EG (I would rate it as 7.5/10) from 2006 to 20114 (about eight years) but I have been using it less frequently since 2011 due a to a change in job scope.

Deployment Issues

The organisation that I work for is a financial institution and hence has very tight IT security policy. We encountered issues once in a while after the security patches are run (to tighten the security) and it requires support from the vendor to come in and work with our IT department to resolve it. I think it is better to have dedicated IT support personnel in the organisation (rather than support by general IT staff) as ABM is rather a unique product and the maintenance (i.e the setup of new user) requires special procedures.

Stability Issues

We used to encounter performance issues when running huge database or extracting huge database from OLAP. I am not sure whether it has been resolved.

Scalability Issues

We experienced severe performance issues when the models created are getting more details and becoming more complex. The 'calculation' task takes a long time to run and sometimes the job just 'died' at the server. However, it should be resolved by ensuring to allocate good capacity to house the ABM software, especially if you want to create a few models and running/refresh them at about the same time (reporting period).

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

I would give a rating of 6/10 as some of the questions/issues we posted are still not resolved (especially since we upgraded SAS ABM to version 6.4).

Technical Support:

Local technical support is good and I would give a rating of 7/10.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

I am not sure about the setup cost but our annual maintenance fee is around Malaysian Ringgit 10k (charges based on number of users).

Other Advice

I can't give much advice on the implementation of this product because I was not involved during that stage. However, I think extensive UAT and training should be the crucial part to ensure smooth transition and maximize usage by users. It can be difficult and confusing to use the OLAP drilling function but it is very useful if user able to gain an understanding on it.

Another point is to ensure allocation of good capacity server to host this software if the data involved is huge, else performance will be an issue.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Business Performance Management Report and find out what your peers are saying about SAS, Oracle, Wolters Kluwer, and more!
Updated: November 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Business Performance Management Report and find out what your peers are saying about SAS, Oracle, Wolters Kluwer, and more!