Kathy Gibson is at SAP TechEd in Barcelona – The intelligent enterprise doesn’t focus on just technology, but brings operations and experiences together.
Juergen Mueller, chief technology officer and executive board member at SAP, talks about the convergence of O-data – the data from operational systems like SAP’s traditional ERP offerings – and X-data – the customer experience data that can be accessed following the addition of Qualtrics to the SAP stable.
“O-data tells you what happens, X-data tells you why,” says Mueller. “Along the way we fuse intelligence so you can take the right decisions.
“This is SAP’s new DNA,” Mueller says.
He explains that SAP’s business technology platform brings SAP HANA and analytics closer together with SAP Cloud Platform so users can make smarter, faster and more-confident business decisions.
“SAP ensures high levels of openness and flexibility including out-of-the-box integration, modularity and ease of extension in cloud, on-premise and hybrid deployment models. With this open and flexible approach, SAP is committed to helping our customers achieve superior business outcomes.”
By bringing together SAP technology into one “stack” with a single reference architecture, the business technology platform from SAP delivers the services that modern enterprises use.
Mueller says it encompasses database and data management, application development and integration, analytics, intelligent technologies and services to help organisations extend their SAP applications, integrate their landscape and build new applications to improve business processes.
With the business technology platform customers can easily access SAP data and out-of-the-box business content that helps turn data into business value.
In addition, partnerships with hyperscale vendors and seamless interoperability with their technologies deliver a high level of scalability and flexibility.
A new announcement that aims to ease operations is that SAP Analytics Cloud will be embedded into SAP SuccessFactors, a solution that will be available within the next few months.
“With SAP Analytics Cloud embedded into SAP SuccessFactors, it means there is one analytics solution for reporting across SAP SuccessFactors applications,” Mueller says.
“Managers are thus able to analyse workforce-related information and jump back into SuccessFactors applications. They can also create and customise reports using SuccessFactors data sources.
“Importantly, this can all be done without any additional licencing costs and no data replication,” Mueller adds.
The announcement follows the recent news that SAP SuccessFactors will also be embedded into SAP S/4 HANA Cloud.
On the operational side, Mueller points out most customers use four mega-processes that encompass all the processes that go into running the business.
These four mega-processes are: design-to-operate; total workforce management, source-to-pay and lead-to-cash. These include solutions from SAP and other providers, and al have to work together.
SAP’s answer to operational systems is the SAP S/4 HANA, its modern and modular cloud suite that can be deployed either as a service or on-premise.
“Many customers are still running on systems that are 10 or 15 years old,” says Jan Glig, head of SAP S/4 HANA at SAP. “They now have the ability to modernise their systems and take the opportunity to get back on to a standard release.
“We have identified one challenge that all customers share: the industry disruption of digital technologies means that they have to respond quicker than ever before. So they need a systems that can run processes in a highly automated way; and also a platform that lets them deploy new services quickly.
“Think about the sneaker you can design on the website and what it takes for a company to manufacture that shoe,” Glig explains.
“We enable a business to react quicker to market changes, and see tangible business incomes.”
Because SAP S/4 HANA converges OLTP and analytics workloads without moving data, organisations reap the benefits of massive performance and throughput improvements to deliver critical business insights.
“The cloud platform is an integral part of the offering, and we are building standard process and seeing it as a process platform,” Glig days. “So customers ae free of the many customisations that were a feature of the past.”
Customers are moving to SAP S/4 HANA through either system convergence, new implementations or selective data transitions. To help them make the move, SAP offers tools that include SAP Readiness Check, Custom Code Adaptation, Downtime Optimised Conversion and Improved Data Migration.
“Adoption is going well,” Glig says. “More than 11 500 customers that have moved to SAP S/4 HANA, with a lot of them moving their whole business. This represents 80% of all DAX companies and 61% of all Fortune 2000 companies.”