GIS integration into SAP at the Dutch State Property Service (IGIS)

Published on: 09/06/2007
Assets and facilities in today’s companies are managed efficiently using SAP. SAP shows the ‘what’ and ‘how’. The ‘where’ - use of location and its visualization - is unknown. The Dutch State Property Service has brought location into SAP. State properties and facilities and millions of parcels are now managed and spatially enabled with this innovative SAP-GIS solution. All business entities in SAP are visualized in a detailed map without leaving the SAP user interface. This integration of geospatial (related) content in SAP led to positively affected revenues, delivering important business information, better information exchange and optimizing business processes support.

Policy Context

The Dutch State Property Service represents the government as an owner of real estate property and is responsible for maximizing profitability of the national government's real estate. For these tasks the State Property Service works together with governmental organizations such as Ministry of Waterways and Public Works and Dutch Government Building Department, but also other organizations and citizens for granting user rights such as tenancy and long-lease. The frameworks and contextual conditions we find important for our Business Case are: - eGovernment programmes: promoting the usage of open source and standard software and open standards like the Dutch NEN standards designed by the NORA institute. These standards are the starting points for efficient and effective information exchange with other (governmental) organizations. Our system is based on this NEN standard and makes exchange and interoperability easy to apply. Our case results are also input for optimizing these programmes and standards; - Policy: One of the main policy guidelines of the Dutch government is eliminating redundant activities and information sources. The five Dutch governmental real estate organizations are organized in an advisory body. All (internal) development initiatives (e.g. ICT, business processes) are harmonized with the others in order that information + activity redundancy and interoperability is achieved. This will deliver governmental cost savings and benefits; - Strategy: Land as a resource is rare in the Netherlands, so we have to deal with it strategically. Our system delivers information about e.g. property rights, land usage. Combining this with information of other organizations like Ministry of Waterways and Public Works it delivers strategic information and data. This information gives the government (local, regional and national) the opportunity to deal strategic with rare resources and affecting socio-economic, political and public conditions + policies in a positive way.

Description of target users and groups

Current user group: - End user: 250 real estate experts, inside service employees, management and policy(-making) officials; - Geospatial administrators: 15 well-trained users focusing on geospatial data creation and modification; - Application administrator: 1 special-trained administrator. Work process The Dutch State Property Service represents the government as an owner of real estate property and is responsible for maximizing profitability of the government's real estate. These tasks are accomplished for example by selling surplus real estate and granting user rights such as tenancy and long-lease. For supporting these tasks a Business Information System is implemented based on three integrated components: SAP, Cadastre application and GIS. With this integration there is always an up-to-date property registration combined with all the granted user rights. The integration of GIS functionality in the business administration system led to visualizing and calculating all the state properties related to cadastral (visual and administrative) and contract information stored in SAP. By comparing properties versus usage of land, including referencing other data sources, the State Property Service is now able to quickly define the most optimal return on investment and optimize property usage thru buying, selling and land usage while taking into account the environmental, legal, political and social restrictions. These functions and related information are key factors in real estate management. To support this work process, a three tier SAP-GIS solution is put in place that exists of three logical parts: a front-end, back-end and mid-end. The front-end combines’ for the end user group geospatial and administrative data integrated in one SAP user-interface. In the mid-end, all geospatial data is stored, managed, indexed and retrieved. The implemented workflow process takes care of routing modification requests from the front-end to the back-end, where the data creation and modification by the geospatial administrators is done.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Our management approach was to implement the case in several partnerships. Partnership: State Property Service and Bentley: We first drew up a Business Case together with our supplier. This Business Case was the framework for project but also for future developments. Together we created a proof of concept to be certain of the used techniques and covering all the functionalities we demanded. Partnership: State Property Service and (Public) organizations We share our case results and experience with other (governmental) organizations. The purpose of this sharing is to come to a joint solution with other public organizations and focus on the (governmental) chain processes. These organizations are given the opportunity to use our experience, method and systems (if desired) for their own or public purpose; Partnership: State Property Service, SAP and Bentley We are putting Bentley and SAP into contact with each other. Purpose is to share experience, come to new partnerships and finally create a standardized solution that could be used by multiple organizations. By having these partnerships in place the Dutch State Property Service has to act as well as the other partners like good contract partners. URL(s) (search for RVR = advisory council) Multi-channel issues: The challenge was to become future proof by using techniques such as web (mapping) services, service oriented architecture open source and standardized software. With these techniques we (as well as the State Property Service as governmental organizations) are able to work off- and online to succeed in multi-channel methods. In the current situation the implementation of the case encountered many technical challenges: - Quantity of (cadastral) geospatial data (objects): 2.5 million parcels in vector format and with the future possibility of 7.5 million parcels covering the Netherlands completely; - Visualize geospatial objects and ‘mark-up’ modification requests in an operational SAP system using web services and service oriented architecture; - Store and manage all geospatial data, including reference files (raster & vector) and documents in one central data store and maintain at remote locations. - Implementing a total integrated geospatial object workflow between front, -mid and back-end processes (see 1.7 and 3.10), while being integrated in an existing SAP system; - Using Bentley’s new object technology (in 2005!); In the future situation (e.g. information exchange and cooperation) next to the technical challenges mentioned above, there are challenges like: - using the same information security policies; - which mobile devices combined with GPS (for instance) to use by the real estate experts for there fieldwork; - questions about central or local data storage and maintenance;

Main results, benefits and impacts

To quantify the total case impact first of all the old situation will be described. In the old situation we: 1) Missed the link (geospatial and administrative) between state properties and the user rights. 2) Missed profits from leases, rentals (no vacancy information); 3) Calculated contract area and size manually; 4) Not capable of cooperating and exchanging (geospatial) information with other (governmental) organizations. The current situation: Integration of geospatial (related) content in one business administration system led to quickly finding, visualizing and calculating state properties related to visual, administrative and contract information of all objects stored in SAP. We are now able to positively affect revenues, delivering important business information and optimizing business processes support. The current benefits, costs, impacts and user group: -Quality of information: Employees have integrated information at their disposal - Quality of maintenance: Data maintenance on maps is done by a selected group of employees and leads to prevention of data redundancy and contamination - Information and quality: Integration of GIS in SAP has a large exposure to other organizations. We are now running in front of new developments; - Efficiency: By using the described technologies and by having a transparent system in place the users don’t have to be trained again and the maintenance of having only one system in place instead of three is far more efficient; - Land revenues: Since the implementation in April 2006, a first random check of 30% of the properties pointed out that areas calculated by the new GIS functionality appeared to be 3% - 5% bigger than the related values put down in the contracts. The yearly revenue growth is € 50.000 - €100.000; - Efficiency and support of business processes: Selling real estate and granting user rights is done by processes like data analysis, fieldwork and so on. Before adding the GIS functionality, analysis was done by paper and ordinary fieldwork. Nowadays, employees are using the business system with the geospatial and administrative data to do their calculations. An estimation of the yearly efficiency will be €175.000 – €250.000 of reduced labor costs and online services. The single and yearly costs are: - € 1.100.000 for single project realization - € 90.000 for yearly labor costs and hard-/software; The net benefits (yearly benefit -/- costs) of the current situation are between € 135.000 and € 260.000 with a user group (see 1.7) of 250 people. The future steps are important for the total case benefits and ROI: - The available geographic and administrative information will be used by all the real estate public organizations for more (strategic) real estate management and business analysis. This could result in an estimated benefit of millions of euros. - Governmental Labor costs: By means of collaboration (e.g. information exchange and usage of one data source) of two previous separated departments doing overlapping work, results in now only one department handling all work, resulting in minimizing labor costs. Quantifying the effects is too premature, but a careful estimation of the (public) net benefits leads to millions of euros (planned realization not later than 2010). The future target group is approximately 1400 users (e.g. administrators, real estate experts, policy making officials and management). The final total public ROI is estimated on 150% and higher (millions of net benefit versus project costs). To calculate the exact public ROI we started together with SAP an ROI analysis. The total impact of the current and future functionalities and usage is substantially and not a one-off phenomenon. See 3.10 for supporting material: - movies of old and new process - 2 publications in the Geospatial media. Innovation: The Ministry of Finance developed an innovative GIS system integration in SAP and provides a combination of administrative and geospatial data in one user-interface. With integration techniques (based on webservices and service oriented architecture), the ‘classical’ element-linking method is left behind. Before the implementation of this integrated system, employees of the State Property Service were only able to check the administrative side; the ‘what’ and ‘how’, of the possessions and user rights. The ‘where’ -the location of the properties in a geospatial way- was unknown. This innovative combination of administrative and geospatial data and information is now able to affect revenues in a favourable way, delivering important business information, and optimizing the support of business processes. The most important novelties are: Technological: 1) The integration of GIS and SAP R/3: A user-friendly (SAP) interface for combined administrative and geosaptial data offering only the required data and GIS functionality on one screen; 2) The object-based workflow management system: Automated workflows allowing SAP end-users to redline and request the creation, maintenance or modification of geospatial data; 3) The use of Web services and open standards (XML, NEN and GML), and new techniques (web services and a service-oriented architecture (SOA)); 4) The huge scale of data managed through the system but with an outstanding response time and user experience; Political and strategies: 1) The ability to exchange data with other information systems in the Dutch government based on the new techniques. This is realized by thinking in public chain processes instead of internal usage only as done before; 2) The change to professional and businesslike thinking inside and between governmental organizations: e.g. information exchange becomes strategic and common instead of inconvenient, commercial usage of land resources and real estate in public processes and activities. This case is important input for these developments.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

As mentioned earlier our case is not only for internal usage but also for future usage by other governmental and public organizations. Focusing on cross-border cooperation and information exchange we are trying to achieve the most optimal public ROI. After completing the project ( April 2006) several (non) governmental organizations having the same difficulties have shown their interest for our case. Examples of these organizations (SAP and non SAP users) are: Fortis (bank and insurance company), Port of Rotterdam (dock industry) Ministry of Waterways and Public Works, Defense Department, Cadastre International and Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The interest was inspired by our case publications in Geospatial media (see 3.10), presentation at the Bentley conference 2006 and through the governmental advisory body in which the five Dutch governmental real estate organizations are organized. The Dutch State Property Service won recently two awards (Geospatial Innovation) for their case. (see URL for press release…) We are transparent and open of our current case results and the future developments. It’s important to share experience and strategies (that’s why we published 2 case publications and we submitted our case for an award). The higher goal is to develop a joint solution with several partnerships. The current situation is done in partnership with Bentley (see 2.10). The future steps will be done with other governmental organizations like (see examples mentioned above), Bentley and SAP.

Lessons learnt

The three main lessons learned of our case are: 1) draw up a business case that is focusing on the long term and not only on the inside organization but also the (governmental and public) context. It’s justifying short and long term developments. The key for this Business Case are business problems and not ICT problems (questions to solve are: what is the business pain? How to improve your business processes? What is your information gap?). Be explicit in your demands and request; 2) use standardized and new techniques with an integration focus. Standardization of software, solution and business processes are affecting investments, revenues, data maintenance, preventing data contamination and information exchange in a positive way. To reduce uncertainty of using new techniques create a proof of concept in your project. The proof of concept leads to proven technology; 3) Focus on joint solutions and create solution in partnerships. Key features for joint solution are: interoperability, flexibility, scalable and transparent. With this focus you are achieving the most optimal (public) ROI in the long term; Scope: National