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Digitalization is a buzz word and all the companies want to be part of this revolution. The reason why everyone wants to be in the race is the fact that all the operational aspects are made available in the form of information to relevant partners and the partner experience (internal and external) is enhanced for better engagement, which in turn leads to efficiency. Also, latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Automation are more accessible and becoming relevant to business.

How SAP is doing in the digital race:

Remember the R3 architecture diagram? One of the key aspects that can be observed is that the data from the database to presentation layer flows through network with high speed capabilities. The presentation layer, which is the interface to the user, is limited to the machine it is installed on.

Digital Race

Eg.: A comparison of how user experience has changed with the use of smart devices is something we all have experienced.

Digital Race

I am alluding to two types of experiences here. The first refers to the experience that a business user has had with the data while using SAP applications and how the data is interpreted. The second being the user experience that customers want to capture, which gives them insights on how their product is doing and how the operational data is connected to user experience.

Yes, you got it right. I am referring to ODATA and XDATA. Being able to access data and interpret it on-the-fly is the need of the modern enterprise world. So, how is SAP helping organizations to meet the digital challenges?

Some of the recent technological changes like SAP HANA database, S4 HANA Suite and Fiori front-end are evident steps towards achieving the goal of being in command of leading the transition of enterprise world to the digital world. However, there are too many pieces in this puzzle. Let us break this discussion into smaller parts to understand it better.

Leveraging what SAP has been leading:

SAP has been the leader in helping enterprises run their business applications and a standing custodian of the data for its customers. Bringing the data to one’s fingertips has been a strategic objective which SAP has fulfilled through the SAPUI5 framework. SAPUI5 is an HTML5 framework designed to build cross-platform, responsive, and enterprise-grade applications. It is the leading UI technology of SAP’s user experience strategy.

Fiori uses SAPUI5 as the front-end ODATA to derive enterprise data, to be represented in an intelligent, consistent and integrated manner.

SAP has changed the core with SAP HANA database management system (RDBMS). It combines OLAP and OLTP processing into a single in-memory database – eliminating disk bottlenecks and thus offering an enhanced performance. SAP HANA is an in-memory columnar database that stores compressed data, offers parallel processing across multiprocessor cores, and supports single instruction multiple data (SIMD) commands.

These two innovative advancements have happened over many years, and we have witnessed it in the form of a product in 2015, while refinements continue. SAP is moving towards making intelligent enterprise tools available based on core strengths.

Capturing the customer experience:

Companies that pay attention to operational performance and customer experience excel in today`s world. SAP C/4 HANA is based on an open and agile platform that provides intelligence and customer data management across the business: from sales, marketing, and commerce to customer service and supply chain. SAP`s Qualtrics acquisition is a step in the direction to enable its customers to be at the forefront when it comes to capturing and comparing that XDATA.

How SAP is leading the way to digitalization:

Collaboration: Sharing data and collaboration is key for every company to be in market today. SAP is partnering with companies like OpenText, AKoin, BeLabs, Boma and many others. SAP is collaborating and evolving an ecosystem where joint efforts can help customers take the benefit of the ecosystem.

Tools: SAP Leonardo is the digital innovation system. It allows people and businesses to connect intelligently via AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Big Data and Analytics.

Ariba, Hybris, SuccessFactors, Concur etc. are applications that capture the business partner and employee data, and help organizations leverage it for objective analytics.

Advisory: There is no fixed recipe for transforming an organization. Every business is unique and has different requirements and KPIs at any given point in time. However, digital transformation is a continuously evolving process and organizations need to think differently. For success, the nature of partnership with business partners should change. Even the advisory partnership should be more collaborative. SAP has been working with multiple organizations to help achieve the objective of creating and using digital data to change the business model.

Wherever an organization is on the path of transformation, it can leverage SAPs transformation navigator to adapt its business from where it is today to where it needs to be tomorrow.

In a nutshell, SAP is helping its customers to:

  • Identify business opportunities and know when to act on them
  • Shape business model to take advantage of emerging opportunities
  • Realize new business models and create an innovative culture
  • Adapt business strategy to secure a long-term success
  • Complement business strategy with the right enterprise architecture
  • Transition to an intelligent enterprise of skilled and engaged people

Many companies have started their digital journey with SAP in various industries like - Etihad in Airlines, Flexso in manufacturing and Artic Wind in the energy sector. My favorite is Flexso`s use of technology to identify a material part using a picture.

Conclusion:

There are many components needed for transitioning to a digital enterprise, with technology being just one of them. Identifying the relevant business journey that makes business sense and handling the organizational change around the transition is equally important.

Mindtree has released an industry accelerator for SAP Leonardo enabling “on-time and in-full” order fulfillment for CPG and manufacturing companies. The solution is called MOTIF (Mindtree’s On-Time In-Full Solution) powered by SAP Leonardo. It helps the companies to avoid costly penalties by ensuring their product shipments are delivered to customers complete and on time.

Mindtree conceptualized “Automated Enterprise” solution in 2017 and this has evolved with SAP to create intelligent enterprise solutions for select industries – consumer products, manufacturing, banking and financial services. Mindtree has been a part of its customers’ data-driven journey and this solution is a cornerstone of its offerings.

The race is on to be a digital enterprise, and every journey is unique like every organization is!

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About the Author

Ashish Bhat
Principal Consultant

Ashish is a Principal Consultant and has more than 17 years of professional experience. In his various assignments, Ashish has accomplished many SAP FICO implementations and managed various projects for Manufacturing, Media, Airports & Banking clients.

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