Sirius Technologies AG

- Sustainable Enterprise Reporting And Management Software

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SERAM is a software tool that enables companies to collect and report upon their sustainability data. This includes topics like health and safety, waste, CO2 and other air emissions, water consumption and pollution, energy use, gender and race diversity, child labour, human rights, fraud and corruption cases, investment in the community. In essence, the software allows companies to collect all the data they would usually put into their Corporate Responsibility (CR) reports. In addition it allows companies to report to sustainability bodies such as GRI, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and FTSE4good.

We work with a range of clients varying from smaller companies who are new to sustainability and looking to establish a new structure within their company, through to large multinationals who are simply looking to replace their outdated system with something state-of-the-art.

Demos are available that show the various functions and features of SERAM in more detail including:

  • General functionaility and workflow
  • Users and organization
  • Entering and editing data
  • Managing the reporting process
  • Creating reports

There are various ways in which you can receive a demonstration of the SERAM software:

  • An on-line meeting presented by a SERAM representative
  • A presentation at your premises by a SERAM representative
  • By visiting our offices in Basel, Switzerland

SERAM does time-based data collection and reporting right

You can benefit from our many years of experience with time-based reporting. We are focusing on great usability and simplicity for the occasional user, while maintining a very powerful backend which is customizable to virtually any need.

Some highlights of what SERAM offers......for the people colleting data:

...for the people verifying or analyzing data:

...for data administrators:

  • Workflow management with different, customizable data states
  • Day-exact management of any structures and relationships, such as organization, geography, site types, financials etc.
  • Manage indicator metadata and tags independent of reporting periods, but scoped (applicable) to specific structures
  • Reporting periods with different time breakdown (including Financial Year, Gregorian Year, Equal Month Year, etc.)
  • Define data publications, so that data changed after a publication is highlighted
  • Configure and specialize all indicators per reporting period, allowing refinment of the configuration over time
    • Reporting Indicator (numeric input)
    • Boolean Indicator (yes/no input)
    • Choice Indicator (drop-down input with different choices)
    • Factors (numeric conversions)
    • Calculations (numeric formula)
    • Groups (structuring)
  • Control the assignment of indicators to structures, including support for structure-specific input units and input frequencies
  • Define data quality rules (plausibility checks, constraints, defaults, etc.) which interact with the workflow
  • Powerful formula language for calculations and data quality rules
  • Fine-grained permission system on structures and indicators, with permission inheritance accross structures
  • Use indicators on different structure types to manage common data, such as emission factors per country
  • Define external applications which interact with SERAM

...across all users:

  • Support for both individual logins and industry-standard SSO logon protocols
  • Customizable roles for exact definition of user abilities and workflows
  • Full multitenancy support, even with common user logins
  • Possibility to translate of all names and descriptions to any language
  • Branding support with custom color schemes and background images
  • State-of-the-art HTML 5 application with blazing performance
  • Comprehensive software documentation

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Data Collection

High-quality data is the main ingredient for meaningful data analysis and reporting. Data collection must therefore be supported by tools which promote good data quality. SERAM has sophisticated manual data entry support with data checks and workflows, or data can be automatically transferred into SERAM for further processing.

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Verifying or Analyzing Data

Knowledge is power - but only if you can gain insights from your collected data. Verification and analysis can effectively be done by comparing data to previous data, but also by benchmarking and correlation of quantitative and qualitative data. SERAM provides the tools to do just that.

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Security and Access Control

In todays networked world, effective but manageable access control and security are of utmost importance. With the fine-grained access control features in SERAM, you can manage all security aspects down to indicator and structural levels.

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Organization and Structures

Businesses are organized in structures, such as legal entities or physical sites. Also, there are relations between different structures: sites are in specific countries, and they are part of some legal entity. Finally, both structures and relations may change over time. SERAM has powerful tools to manage all of this and much more.

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Indicators

Indicators are the key to your data, during data collection as input indicators and after data processing as consolidated or computed performance indicators. SERAM supports both quantitative as well as qualitative indicator types and may perform complex computations for all quantitative data.

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Reporting Periods

Reporting is based on time and typically done in yearly periods, while data collection and analysis is performed on shorter time spans. SERAM provides the tools to compare data across years, but supports time layouts with semestrial, quarterly, monthly and even weekly time spans.

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API and System Management

At a certain scale, system integration is a necessity. SERAM has REST API endpoints which allow the connection to other services, both for in and outbound data.

Three reasons why spreadsheets are not suitable for HSE, CSR and similar reporting tasks

Spreadsheet applications are sometimes called 'enterprise glue', since they can be used to deal with data, calculations etc. even by novice users. However, as tempting as the use of a spreadsheet-based process for HSE/CSR reporting may seem, there are important limitations to keep in mind.

Process control and updates

When dealing with spreadsheet files and multiple users, either with a single workbook file with a worksheet per location/topic or multiple files, it is virtually impossible to keep all data correctly up to date. If you send a file to Bob, he sends it back, but has to fix something in it and sends it a second time, you'll have to merge any changes done on that spreadhseet in the meantime. And when Alice sends her updates at the same time, the process gets really difficult.

Even if processes are in place to avoid this type of problem and these were very strictly followed, it's still not possible to reliably freeze data, or keep an auditable record of changes made.

When new indicators are added, old ones get removed, or responsibilities change, pushing out updated spreadsheets to every person will almost inevitably cause a mess with different versions of the spreadhseets being passed around.

SERAM uses a role-based permission system to exactly control who can do what on which data. Users are guided to help them quickly and efficiently perform their task at hand. Since it is an online app, updates to the indicator configuration are reflected immediately to all users.

The built-in, customizable workflow support allows many users to concurrently enter data. A history of changes is created, and data is freezed for modification as soon as it enters the verification stage.

Different checks will verify if the data is valid and plausible, and influence the behavior and workflows allowed.

Consolidation and calculation

As long as only one location is being tracked, making calculations is simple. But when multiple locations are involved, data needs to be consolidated appropriately. Here's a simple example which illustrates the problem:

'Compute the CO2 emission equivalents per employee from electricity use.' There are just 3 numbers involved: the number of employees, the amount of electricity, and a site-specific factor to convert energy into CO2 equivalents.

('Electricity' * 'EmissionFactor') / 'FTE'

When multiple sites are involved, computing this number correctly with a spreadsheet becomes difficult. To get the numbers right, you need to compute the multiplication per site, create the sum of that, and divide it by the sum of the FTEs.

Adding or removing a site will very likely require you to update some details of your formula in the spreadsheet. And if you add time-based consolidation, such as entering data on a monthly basis but reporting the yearly value, the complexity pretty much explodes.

Using SERAM, all indicators are designed to deal with data consolidations appropriately.

On the time axis, you can apply average, sum, max or min consolidations.

On calculations, you can define whether they apply to a specific level (the site for the multiplication in the example above) or if they are performed on the summed values (the division above).

Extracting and analyzing data

After collecting data, you typically have specific questions you want to answer. These require data to be computed in specific ways. Manually maintinaing formulas in spreadhseets is cumbersome and errorprone.

With dealing with a host of sheets, cells and formulas, it gets difficult to understand the data and find outliers.

In SERAM, you can load any view of data you need, and arrange the time, indicator and organisational axes to the layout which is most appropriate for answering your question. Extending or reducing the scope is easy.

On top of that, you can perform data analysis by consolidating and looking at the data from a different perspective, soch as making a breakdown by country or by factory type. Or you can even build what-if scenarios where only specific parts of the organization are summed up.

Charts can be created to visualize data, and these charts are intelligent enough to avoid mixing apples and oranges. For instance, monthly and yearly values will not appear side-by-side in the same chart, since these are not comparable. Instead SERAM will automatically create one chart for each.

SERAM allows you to dissect any computed or consolidated value, step by step, down to the entered values. On the way charts will automatically be created to visualize the drilldown, and outliers become directly apparent.

Summary

These are just a few examples of the shortcomings of using a generic spreadsheet solution. Contact us if you want to get to know SERAM and have a better experience!

How SERAM is installed and operated is completely the choice of the customer: SERAM can be hosted by us, or on premise by the customer.

Software as a Service

The software is installed on servers and technology operated by Sirius Technologies AG. The application is accessed by users through a web browser over a secure SSL connection and used like any other software package.

The SERAM servers and hosting environment is located exclusively in Switzerland and meets the highest security levels available to corporations today (banking standard). More information on security, networks or hardware is available by contacting us.

Support, maintenance, software updates and backups are included in the annual subscription fee. Second and third level support is provided to users directly by our trained experts - both IT and business users (CSR or HSE).

SERAM works with the most common Single Sign-On protocols (SAML2, OpenID, OAuth2), so that businesses can provide transparent access to the software without requiring their users to keep separate login credentials to the software. However, a mixed model is also possible when external users shall be granted access without having credentials maintained on the corporate SSO identity provider.

Software Installed by the Customer

The traditional on-premise installation of software by customers is the other way by which companies can use SERAM. Clients use their existing Windows and SQL Server IT infrastructure to deploy and run the SERAM application.

Under this operating model, an annual licence, support and maintenance fee is charged to companies, based upon the amount of data managed using SERAM.

When hosted on premise, SERAM can be configured to use Windows Integrated security to transparently authenticate and authorize users, thereby smoothly integrating into other intranet applications.

Whether your question relates to the SERAM software, the information being collected or the reporting process itself, our trained and experienced staff are on-hand to provide assistence, when it's needed and in a variety of different languages.

Typical business hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding local holidays). 

Should this not be sufficient then a 24h/7d support package can be arranged also.

We use only the best quality hardware and software and apply best practices for monitoring services, managing security and back-ups.

In the software development process, we use an agile development and testing approach to meet the highest standards - exactly what you would expect of a Swiss technology company!

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