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T-Systems and SAP: A Dynamic Duo

August 26, 2015 by Stephan Magura 60

T-Systems has been a SAP partner almost since the day it was founded in 2000. Together the duo serve over 5,000 joint customers worldwide, including Brenntag, Continental, Heineken, Pioneer, Shell and Sumitomo. As Dagmar Fischer-Neeb, Global Partner Director at SAP, explains, “Today, our work with T-Systems is increasingly geared towards pioneering innovations.”

The partners work closely together, but on a non-exclusive basis. For example, T-Systems also collaborates with SAP competitors, such as Oracle and Salesforce, while SAP maintains partnerships with other service providers.

Cloud-Based Services Drive Growth

Franz Baljer, formerly responsible for SAP partnership at T-Systems, says, “The recent development of SAP platforms such as HANA and Mobile has seen the bulk of our SAP business gradually shift towards cloud hosting.” Baljer, who recently retired, was based at the Partner-Port site in Walldorf, Germany. Today T-Systems runs the world’s largest cloud platform for SAP (see graphic), according to analysts Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC).

Now, businesses are seeking out potential new ways to deploy these IT innovations. Digital transformation is the order of the day – and with this in mind, T-Systems has already helped more than 250 international SAP ERP customers migrate to the cloud. As Dr. Ferri Abolhassan, Director of the IT Division at T-Systems, explains, “Digitization and the cloud are inextricably linked. Businesses can only keep pace with digitization by providing key services more quickly and flexibly. And the only way to do that is via the cloud.” For Abolhassan, the task facing T-Systems and SAP is clear: “As partners, we need to help our customers fully understand the importance of the cloud.”

Adding Value on Two Fronts

Continental, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, is a prime example. Some 50,000 Continental users around the globe enjoy access to 200 SAP systems and 100 third-party applications. In addition to tried-and-trusted SAP solutions, the corporation now runs new SAP HANA systems for BI in a T-Systems private cloud – enabling real-time business analysis.

Dynamic Development: Cloud hosting for SAP clients from T-Systems enjoys growing popularity. (Source: PAC).

Dynamic Development: Cloud hosting for SAP clients from T-Systems enjoys growing popularity. (Source: PAC).

Elisabeth Hoeflich, Corporate CIO at Continental, says her team is reaping the benefits of SAP in a way that “gives us a genuine competitive edge in the marketplace.” She adds, “We have really benefitted from being able to integrate SAP HANA into our existing operating environment quickly, securely and without any hitches, based on the T-Systems Dynamic Cloud Platform.”

Meanwhile, according to Stefan Köhler, SAP Global Account Director at ContinentalL “The SAP HANA platform will support Continental in the development of intelligent technologies for its customers – both now and in the long term. And it’s creating new opportunities, too.” For example, he hopes that Continental will be able to use HANA technology to analyze tire and vehicle data. “We believe SAP could potentially make an even greater contribution to Continental’s overall success,” he adds.

Solutions for the New Industrial Revolution

T-Systems and SAP also working together on the Internet of Things. “The Internet of Things is at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution – also known as Industry 4.0. Smart businesses leverage IT to digitize their processes and reap a host of additional benefits,” says Kevin Ichhpurani, SAP’s Executive Vice President of Ecosystem and Platform Innovation. “Having collaborated successfully with T-Systems in the past, we are now working with them to create real-time IoT solutions.” By combining the SAP HANA platform with T-Systems’ networks and services, Ichhpurani believes that, “we will be able to support our joint customers during their business transformations – and assist them as they enter new markets.”

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) project is another example of the companies’ close collaboration. The project aims to enhance the port’s logistics and road traffic planning, so that it can handle 140 million metric tons of goods every year. To achieve this goal, T-Systems is using its connected car expertise, while SAP contributes connected logistics software.

These components are combined with HPA’s traffic, infrastructure and goods data to create smartPORT Logistics (SPL) which provides truck drivers with key information during their journeys, and directs them to the right locations for loading and unloading. Dispatchers and drivers use an app to coordinate their arrival times – speeding up goods handling, preventing traffic jams, and increasing throughput at the Port.

In March this year, T-Systems and SAP signed an OEM agreement enabling them to roll out the system at other locations, such as airports and key rail freight hubs. The two companies also plan to define technical standards for Industry 4.0 underscoring their belief that to ensure success in the fast-paced world of IT, time is truly of the essence.

Top image: Shutterstock

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