A Look Back at 2021 - What has happened in the world of SAP?

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SAP launches RISE

At the start of 2021, SAP launched RISE with SAP, a ‘Business Transformation as a Service’ that was designed to help organisations transition to the cloud and S/4HANA. Later in the year, at Sapphire NOW, we saw RISE being expanded to include the retail, consumer goods, automotive, utilities, and industrial machinery & components industries. Understandably, RISE with SAP has been a big topic of conversation throughout the year, and a major talking point at Connect, so expect to see more use cases and developments in 2022.

SAP Business Network

Another announcement from Sapphire Now was the launch of the SAP Business Network. This aims to improve the process of businesses collaborating with their network of trading partners and unify all the points of interaction and integration across that network. The SAP Business Network brings together the Ariba Network for procurement, SAP Logistics Business Network for logistics and supply chain management, and SAP Asset Intelligence Network for asset performance management and equipment tracking.


We also saw a number of updates to SAP’s Climate 21 initiative in 2021. This included the ‘Product Footprint Management System’, which will help organisations better understand their carbon impact, as well as the ‘Sustainability Control Tower’ that will provide a business performance management view of sustainability initiatives. Finally, new ‘Responsible Design and Production Software’ will help organisations meet environmental sustainability regulations. More widely, we will continue to champion environmental and sustainability initiatives as well, as we believe it is a critically important issue for many of our members.

S/4HANA gaining popularity

As we get nearer to the 2027 maintenance deadline for ECC 6.0, S/4HANA adoption continues to move up the business agenda. In November, we highlighted that 26% of organisations have now moved to S/4HANA, compared to 16% a year ago. Overall, we found that almost three quarters of businesses were using or planning to move to S/4HANA, but there are still some key concerns around skills and training. We will continue to help our members when it comes to these key issues, so be sure to check out our S/4HANA SIG and other events throughout the year for further support and guidance.

The return of in-person events

It was fantastic to be able to welcome you all back in person at Connect 2021. It was a jam-packed programme with more than 100 breakout sessions covering a range of topics from S/4HANA and RISE to mental health and wellbeing. The return of SUGFest no doubt contributed to a few sore heads too. We look forward to hosting more in person events this year!

An award win to top the year off

There is no doubt that 2021 was a challenging year for all of us, but it has also been a rewarding one. We were delighted to be ‘Highly Commended’ as a COVID-19 Hero at the ERP Today Awards for our mental health and wellbeing initiatives, which we will be continuing this year.

In addition, we also launched our SUGTalks Podcast at the start of 2021. The podcast aims to help keep members up to date on the workings of the user group and key issues for the SAP community. We’ve already released five seasons of SUGTalks, with many more to come.

Here’s to a prosperous 2022!

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