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Customer Snapshot: Overview

1.5 days to close monthly books

Defense and security forces around the world depend on optoelectronic devices for military vehicles, aircraft, satellites, and more from Airbus DS Optronics. To keep their aim sharp in the harshest market environments, Airbus DS Optronics needed faster, real-time data across all their business areas to accelerate reporting and digitize finance processes. In a world of keeping pace and coming up with the world’s most complex technologies, Airbus DS Optronics needed to Run Live with simple access to data pushed to mobile devices, whenever and wherever it is called for.

Airbus DS Optronics

€220 million

Number of Employees

Aerospace & Defense

Visionary Themes

Run Simple, Run Live

Oberkochen, Germany

Customer Website

Line of Business

SAP Solutions
SAP Consulting, SAP ERP, SAP Fiori, SAP S/4HANA


SAP Consulting

Customer Snapshot: History

Land, Sea, Air, Space, and Beyond

Be it for land, sea, air, or space applications, when it came to optical and optronic solutions, Airbus DS Optronics possessed impressive experience that drew on over 120 years of tradition.

Formerly known as Carl Zeiss Optronics, which was founded in 1846 in Jena, Germany, the development of optics for military use began 120 years ago with the development of the first telescopic sight for the Prussian officer Lieutenant Carl Freiherr von Beaulieu-Marconnay.

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

Eagle Eyesight for Military and Civilian Applications Worldwide

Airbus DS Optronics creates highly advanced products that are used around the world in the harshest environments. Their equipment is used for surveillance, monitoring, identification, and measuring to the most exacting standards, giving aircraft, satellites, ships, submarines, tanks, road vehicles, and stationary facilities the eagle eyesight that is vital in military and civilian security applications.

The Challenge

The Need for Speed

As a growing company in a very competitive market environment, Airbus DS Optronics needed real-time visibility into their company’s data and key metrics. Due to manual methods, their financial reporting could take as long as three days to process. These figures were already outdated by the time management meetings took place, hindering management decision-making. In addition, Airbus DS Optronics also wanted to make sure they could eliminate inconsistencies between forecasts and actual data, as well as instill more efficient financial and controlling processes.


Patience Has No Place in the War Room.

Enter SAP


Fast-Paced Business Calls for Real-Time Insight

Airbus DS Optronics liked the real-time capabilities of the SAP S/4HANA platform and was already familiar with the SAP ERP application. This made choosing SAP as their technology partner the best and most obvious choice.

Quick and Flexible Controlling.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience

Defending Their Position as a Market Leader

Implementation began at the end of May 2015. The team had less than six months to seamlessly integrate SAP S/4HANA Finance into their working system to meet vital reporting deadlines. 


SAP and Airbus DS Optronics approached the project with precise coordination and open communication channels throughout the process – meeting several times a day and staying in close communication during critical implementation stages. Vital IT system upgrades ran parallel to the implementation process adding further complexity.

In the end, the complete upgrade was handled over the course of a single weekend thanks to the combined efforts of both teams. And with the transition, Airbus DS Optronics was also able to retire its embedded SAP Business Warehouse.

Reporting in Real-Time for Decisions that Need to Be Made Quickly.

We were able to conclude this important chapter for the digitalization of Airbus DS, at the highest quality level, in time and on budget. – Jochen Scheuerer, Airbus DS Optronics director of information technology

2016 Honorable Mention SAP HANA® Innovation Award

Data at the Touch of Button.

Better Business

Real-Time Visibility Hits the Mark for Management

In Time. In Quality. In Budget.

In our industry, information that is two days old is simply outdated – real-time reporting is the name of the game. SAP S/4HANA gives us the possibility to do this. Now, all information, including key figures and sales forecasts, is available at the touch of a button, enabling our controllers to present live data in management meetings. — Jochen Scheuerer, Director of Information Technology, DS Optronics

Better Business: Benefits

Key Figures Lead to DS Optronics Being a Key Player in the Market

In making the change to SAP S/4HANA, Airbus DS succeeded first and foremost in acquiring real-time business insights into the performance indicators without Business Warehouse by using SAP Analysis for Office. Critical key figures such as sales forecasts and project cash flows for reports and presentations are available instantly, helping to significantly accelerate planning processes. Reporting can now be done in near-real time – wherever and whenever required.


Accelerating reporting and digitizing financial processes helped Airbus DS Optronics move close to their goals of instant, real-time data for sales forecasts, key metrics, and project cash flows. This helped facilitate more efficient decision-making and planning, giving controllers more time to support management in strategic work. Airbus DS Optronics now finds their company in a great position to plan for the future and continue to be a leader in their market.

The Quality of the Data is Key.

1.5 days

to close monthly books

4 days

to close annual books

Better Business: Run Simple

Automation Increases Impact of Key Business Areas

Monthly closing at Airbus DS Optronics has been accelerated from one week to a day and a half. And the end-of-year closing procedure takes only four days to complete rather than three weeks. Their migration to SAP S/4HANA also helped them improve data quality through automatic reconciliation between finance and controlling, automating the synchronization of finance-related data across the company. As a result, controllers are now able to spend more time advising on best operational business practices as it relates to Airbus DS Optronics on a holistic level.


Compliance with parent group policies


IT landscape and operations


Accelerated Closings From Weeks to Days.

Journey Ahead

Keeping their Sites Locked to the Future

The implementation of SAP S/4HANA has also paved the way for a vision of the future that includes SAP Fiori. With SAP Fiori apps, all key metrics that DS Optronics relies on will be available on mobile devices. In this way, users can review these numbers anytime and anywhere in a very intuitive way, providing them with role specific, real-time visibility into KPIs.

Data for the Future.

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