As told by Aleksi Rustholkarhu, Executive Director, SAP Finnish User Group (FINUG) and Amanda Gibbs, General Manager, African SAP user group (AFSUG)
The SUGEN meeting day on Wednesday April 14th started with a warm welcome by Yasmin Awad (Head of the SAP Global User Groups Organization) and Gianmaria Perancin (SUGEN Chairman). The agenda topics of the day covered Business Process Intelligence (BPI), SAP Enterprise Adoption and SAP Globalization Services. Not to forget SUGEN networking of course.
Business Process Intelligence (Rouven Morato & Gero Decker)
Kicking-off the sessions, Rouven Morato (General Manager, SAP Business Process Intelligence) and Gero Decker (CEO of Signavio) provided insights into SAP’s BPI strategy and roadmap. They highlighted how SAP is planning to assist customers make sense out of their process data to continuously and real-time monitor existing processes, benchmark these data against industry standards and provide improvement recommendations for process orchestration. With newly-acquired Signavio, SAP says they stand ready to deliver an end-to-end BPI suite including Signavio’s strong modelling, simulation, collaboration and process mining capabilities.
They made clear that although Signavio also has a strong non-SAP footprint with process mining beyond the SAP landscape, Signavio is already used in a vast number of SAP products. An integration between solution manager and Signavio is available. Rouven and Gero presented a customer case and alluded to the fact that new announcements around the BPI/Signavio suite will come around SAPPHIRE.
SAP Enterprise Adoption (Eva Zauke)
During the second slot of the day, Eva Zauke (SVP and Head of SAP Enteprise Adoption) exchanged with the SUGEN members on how to make digital transformation a success. Adoption is key to realizing business value and underpins the success of any SAP investment. Eva highlighted how for her adoption is about enabling people to make a company´s digital transformation to the intelligent enterprise successful in terms of business values: resiliency, profitability and sustainability.
She gave an overview of SAP’s Enterprise Adoption strategy, also touching on topics such as quality and security and people skills. In terms of quality and security, Eva illustrated how security is the #1 concern with Cloud and how when evaluating enterprise application vendors, quality is highly important. She outlined SAP’s 2021 quality and security priorities which amongst others included a consistent UX across products, complete and correct functionality, seamless integration across LoBs, built-in security, and system performance and availability.
In terms of people skills, Eva closed her slot mentioning that only skilled people can make a company’s digital transformation a success. The user groups have also identified that companies experienced a lack of skilled staff during SAP S/4HANA implementations. Eva emphasized how SAP is committed to enabling people skills. She shared the following skill gap studies:
- IDC (sponsored by SAP), Game Changer: The Transformative Impact of Training, October 2020
- Resulting IT, Customers SAP success report, Uncovering the factors that drive success for SAP customers, 2018
- Ernst & Young, Why your cloud security operating model is key to create trust while transforming your business, May 2020
- McKinsey, Unlocking success in digital transformations, October 2018
- TechTarget, Security top of mind for digital transformation projects, February 2021
- McKinsey, Beyond hiring: How companies are reskilling to address talent gaps, February 2020
- McKinsey, Digital reinvention: Unlocking the ‘how’, January 2018
- McKinsey, The capability-building imperative: Make ‘purposeful investments’ in people, February 2021
SAP Globalization Services (Elvira Wallis)
During the last slot of the day, Elvira Wallis (SVP and Head of SAP Globalization Services) took the virtual stage to discuss SAP’s localization and globalization strategy with the SUGEN community. Key pillars of the strategy include enabling adherence to legal mandates, building resilience, and automating.
Elvira highlighted that SAP is the #1 localized software provider, delivering a vast number of local versions in different SAP products. During the last 15 months (COVID-19), 1714 legal changes (EMEA 1061, Asia Pacific 339, Americas 314) were delivered and 4527 legal changes online announced. Despite these impressive numbers, the user groups made clear that many customers struggle with regional software localizations. The SUGEN members agreed that an international focus group on globalization/localization topics might make sense to help push urgent topics.
After the Q&A with Elvira on the topic of SAP Globalization everybody agreed on ending the SUGEN April 14th meeting without networking session as we had fallen well behind schedule due to plentiful and interesting questions.
The SUGEN Virtual meeting held on the 15th of April was focused on the SAP Executive Exchanges covering SAP S/4 HANA, RISE with SAP and Integration.
Jan Gilg, President SAP S/4 HANA, shared the S/4 HANA Strategy update, the core of the intelligent enterprise with the user groups. He shared that SAP is making key functional investments into market differentiators and shared the next steps of the SAP industry cloud and what SAP is delivering through their ecosystem. State of the art UI and AI technologies will provide an intuitive product experience to users and release work from anywhere with efficiency. Jan ended off the session explaining that RISE with SAP is a business transformation as a service offering and means “on-your terms and on-your timeline” transformation to an intelligent enterprise while everyone has a unique starting point.
Gilg shared the SAP release of October 2020, SAP S/4HANA 2020, Any Premise. The 6th release of SAP S/4HANA and last February marked the release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102, the 1st quarter release for the year 2021.
An interesting fact is that approximately 900 customers signed up to SAP S/4HANA in Q4/2020, taking total adoption in 2020 to approximately 16,000 customers, up 16% year over year, of which more than 8,700 are live.
Gilg closed off the session with sharing in Q4 approx. 40% of the additional SAP S/4 HANA customers were net new and shared some world-class organisations included with the user groups.
Brian Duffy shared his insights about RISE with SAP. Today’s environment is forcing us to change and adapt, and customers need to work more agile, more intelligently and more efficiently than ever before. This is why SAP introduced RISE with SAP, a clear and flexible pathway to move towards becoming an intelligent enterprise.
According to Duffy, customers will benefit from the simplicity of a business redesign, technical migration service, an intelligent enterprise build including SAP Business Technology Platform and hyperscale capacity. This is all bundled together in one SAP contract, reducing vendor engagement relative to SLA, operation and issue handling. World class services such as business advisory, implementation services and applications manage services will be offered separately by partners.
Duffy shared that with SAP as a trusted partner of business across industries, worldwide and enterprise software leader, working alongside customers and partners, they lead every evolutionary state of business, helping business to accelerate.
Dr. Michael Ameling, Head of Intelligent Enterprise Program and Cross Architecture, Technology & Innovation shared information with the User Groups on the SAP Integration Strategy together with Sameer Patel, Head of Marketing, SAP Product Engineering showcasing the integration plan in the cloud and process transformations.
Three Key Messages were shared as part of SAP’s Integration Strategy:
- Intelligent Enterprises are integrated enterprises
- Technology integration is the foundation for end-to-end business processes.
- End-to-end business processes deliver unmatched business value.
They shared the SAP Sales Cloud to CPQ Demo with the user groups and shared valuable information about:
- Explore SAP’s Integration Strategy
- Discover SAP Integration Suite
- Learn more and enroll in the openSAP Courses about SAP’s Intelligent Suite and the SAP Integration Solution Advisory Methodology
The information sharing and questions and answers were well received by all user groups with further sessions lined up for discussions in the near future.