Success Story Idorsia

Simplification of the System Sandscape
using SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC) and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC)

Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd:

Idorsia started operations after its spin-off from Actelion in June 2017 and was listed on the Swiss stock exchange. Headquartered in Switzerland, Idorsia specializes in the discovery and development of low-molecule active agents to open up new treatment opportunities.

Idorsia has a comprehensive portfolio of innovative pharmaceuticals in the pipeline, an experienced team of over 800 highly skilled employees, a fully-functional research center and a solid balance sheet structure.

Idorsia’s goals are to research, to develop and to bring more innovative medicines to patients. To meet these objectives, Idorsia aims to become a leading biopharmaceutical company in Europe with a powerful scientific core.

The high potential and continuing growth are accompanied by a rapid change in terms of technology development.

Thus, Idorsia needs an agile and a flexible data management and analytics strategy for its business development which supports the successful implementation of the company’s goals in the best possible way. In the area of Reporting, Analytics and Planning, Idorsia has therefore opted for an SAP Cloud solution strategy (SAC and DWC) – together with s-peers AG as a strategic partner.

The Project


One of the main reasons for the decision in favor of the SAP Cloud strategy was to make the company’s BI architecture independent of the existing S/4HANA architecture: In the future, changes to the BI environment should be possible to be made without transports in the S/4HANA world. This brings a lot of flexibility – also because Idorsia’s S/4HANA environment is GxP-compliant.

The cloud decision was also based on SAP’s strategic focus on SAC and DWC: In this context, Idorsia hopes to secure its investments in the long term.

A single, integrated SAP system was to be provided in the Cloud for all international divisions (Switzerland, USA, Japan, China, Germany) – with a scope which ranges from operational to dispositive roles in terms of real-time data access and data-driven decision-making.

As an SAP analytics manufactory s-peers AG has worked with Idorsia to create the appropriate data management and analysis platform here. This offers maximum agility, scaling of processes and flexible reaction to new or changed requirements. In this way, the fast-growing and dynamic business is optimally supported while it is possible to keep pace with potential change right away. 

Solution Architecture and Data Provision

When implementing the overall solution into the IT system landscape, Idorsia focused on the following strategic aspects:

– Sustainability

– Central data governance

– Data integrity

– Flexible and autonomous data access for end users

In terms of Resource Planning, Idorsia has strategically chosen SAP S4/HANA as its core application and has implemented it globally. This strategy is complemented by the following SAP products:

SAP SuccessFactors: Human Resources and Talent Management

SAP Concur: Travel and Expense Processes

In building a modern and forward-looking data management strategy, Idorsia wanted an accessible and simple environment centralized all operational applications with their corresponding data sources in a secure and controlled solution.

For data management from different SAP sources (S4/HANA, SuccessFactors, Concur) and non-SAP sources (e.g. Veeva, Coupa, SmartNotes, Excel, csv files), an architecture concept was developed together with s-peers AG – including the step-by-step implementation and transition.

Use of the SAP Cloud Solutions

With the combination of SAP DWC and SAC, Idorsia has chosen the latest strategic SAP architecture for Reporting and Analytics: Completely cloud-based, meaningful information is generated from data and is provided available in a user-friendly way – based on the following:

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC): “End-to-end” solution for data management and decision making.

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC): Analytics and Reporting solution that links people, information and ideas to generate value from data.

In the first step, the architecture was defined in detail and built up accordingly. The focus here was on the reusability of the tables and views in the individual layers. The second step created the connections to the respective data sources (SAP and non-SAP; e.g. S4/HANA, Coupa).

Secured data governance and central control

Within the SAP DWC, so-called “Spaces” have been set up in separately provided work environments. In these “Spaces”, staff members of business units can independently add information – in addition to the data already provided centrally by IT. Simultaneously, end users have the opportunity to deepen their specific data analyses via self-service modelling functions.

In the strategic context of “Standard vs. Self-service Reporting”, this creates a transparent definition and demarcation with secure data governance.

All data sources, connections and user accesses are set up and controlled centrally. The same applies to storage and computer resources. Other advantages include central currency conversion and authorization of individual users for the various reporting and planning stories.

Transfer of Budget Planning to SAC

In another sub-project, Budget Planning was completely transferred to the SAC (replacement of the previous on-premise solution SAP BPC). At the same time, the responsible professionals developed a process for long-term Strategic Planning – including the possibility of displaying different versions and scenarios.

The technical transfer of the defined process was then integrated into SAC. In the planning context, this included the following aspects:

– Elimination of the separation between Reporting and Planning: separate planning environments are no longer required.

– Direct data entry: Moving data “back and forth”  is no longer necessary.

– Actual data: Can be integrated into different planning versions.

– Live collaboration features (e.g. comments, chat, calendar): Integrated and interactive for significantly faster as well as more efficient planning processes.

– Actual data and plan figures: Automated, bidirectional interfaces to S4/HANA and DWC (respectively).

– Smart Insights: Precise recognition of specific impact correlations based on various influencing factors.

– Supplementary options: For example, determination of value factor trees or simulation of alternative actions.

Accordingly, the SAP Analytics Cloud is fully deployed as a unified planning and reporting solution. 


Native integration between DWC and SAC allows Idorsia´s staff members to use, analyze and visualize their data models directly in so-called “Stories”. Information can be provided conveniently made available for further analysis – without traditional switching between different applications and/or without time-consuming extraction/reprocessing of data. In addition, extended findings can be reported flexibly.

By utilizing the powerful planning function, users receive various planning and forecasting functions to better predict future business results even better.


The modern, flexible and scalable analytics architecture based on the SAP Cloud solutions creates the optimal basis for Idorsia to keep driving its intended transformation into a leading biopharmaceutical company in Europe successfully. The entire organization benefits from the advantages of the chosen solutions:

The user-friendly applications of the SAP Cloud solutions can be operated intuitively and are available anytime and anywhere. This guarantees excellent support of all employees. The increased transparency increases productivity in cross-team collaboration – and thus also sustainably promotes the company’s innovative strength. Simultaneously, Idorsia increases its operational efficiency through the integration of Finance and Human Resources.

“Modern, cloud-based solutions such as SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud provide user-friendly access for non-IT staff. At Idorsia, key users from business departments thus benefit e.g. from modelling and KPI definition features which enable us to achieve more results in less time.”

Marc Schalow, Head of Business & Corporate Systems, Idorsia

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Portrait Marc Schalow