Home Success Stories Simplification of the system landscape using SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC) and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) at Idorsia

Simplification of the system landscape using SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC) and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) at Idorsia

About Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd. was spun off three years ago from Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (a Swiss-based biotech company) three years ago. Since then, the biotech start-up has been striving to become one of Europe's leading biopharmaceutical companies with a powerful scientific core. One of its main goals is to offer diverse innovative therapies to millions of patients using cutting-edge technology. At its Swiss headquarters (a biotech hub in Europe), Idorsia therefore specialises in the discovery and development of small molecule drugs to open up new treatment options.

The company's hallmarks are a comprehensive portfolio of innovative medicines in the pipeline, an experienced team, a fully functional research centre and a solid balance sheet structure - all in all, ideal conditions for turning research and development activities into business successes. The high potential and sustained growth go hand in hand with rapid technological and developmental change.

Thus, Idorsia needs an agile and flexible data management and analysis strategy for its business development that 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 requirements

In order to fully meet the aforementioned challenges in the IT system landscape, a data architecture according to the latest technological standards is required. To build a lean, transparent and agile overall solution, Idorsia chose an efficient combination of SAC and DWC.

One of the main reasons for the decision in favour of the SAP cloud strategy was to make the company's BI architecture independent of the existing S/4HANA architecture: In future, changes to the BI environment should be able 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 supported by SAP's strategic focus on the SAC and DWC: in this context, Idorsia hopes to secure its investments for 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 that ranges from operational to dispositive roles in terms of real-time data access and data-driven decision-making.

As an SAP analytics manufacturer, s-peers AG has created the corresponding data management and analysis platform together with Idorsia. 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 potential change can be kept up with immediately.

Solution architecture and data provision

When implementing the overall solution in 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 implemented it globally. This strategy is complemented by SAP products:

  • SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC): Planning and Budgeting
  • 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 that centralised 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 introduction and transfer.

Deployment of 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 made available in a user-friendly way - on the following basis:

  • 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 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 were set up in separately provided work environments. In these "spaces", departmental employees can independently add information - in addition to the data already provided centrally by IT. In parallel, end users have the possibility 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.

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

Transfer of budget planning to the SAC

In another sub-project, budget planning was completely transferred to SAC (replacement of the previous on-premise solution SAP BPC). At the same time, those responsible developed a process for long-term strategic planning - including the possibility to show different versions and scenarios.

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

  • Elimination of the separation between reporting and planning: Separate planning environments are no longer necessary.
  • Direct data entry: No need to movedata back and forth.
  • Actual data: Can be integrated into different planning versions.
  • Functions for live collaboration (e.g. comments, chat, calendar): Integrated and interactive for significantly faster, more efficient planning processes.
  • Actual data and planned figures: In each case, automated, bidirectional interfaces to S4/HANA and DWC.
  • Smart Insights: Precise recognition of specific impact correlations based on various influencing factors.
  • Complementary options: For example, determination of value factor trees, simulation of alternative courses of action.

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


The native integration between DWC and SAC allows Idorsia staff to use, analyse and visualise their data models directly in so-called stories. Information can be 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.

The powerful planning function provides users with various planning and forecasting functions to better predict future business results.


The modern, flexible and scalable analytics architecture based on SAP Cloud creates the optimal basis for Idorsia to continue to successfully drive the desired transformation from a biotech start-up to one of Europe's leading bio-pharmaceutical companies. The entire organisation 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 for all employees. The increased transparency increases productivity in cross-team collaboration - and thus also sustainably promotes the innovative power of the company. At the same time, Idorsia increases its operational efficiency through the integration of finance and human resources.

"Modern, cloud-based solutions such as SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud also offer non-IT employees user-friendly access. At Idorsia, key users from business departments benefit from modeling and KPI definition functions, among other things, which enable us to achieve more results in less time."
Marc Schalow, Head of Business & Corporate Systems, Idorsia
Marc Schalow
Head of Business & Corporate Systems, Idorsia

Published by:

Paul Vatter

Data workshop manager


How did you like the article?

How helpful was this post?

Click on the stars to rate!

Average rating 5 / 5.
Number of ratings: 3

No reviews yet! Be the first to rate this post.

Other interesting articles

GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner