SAP Partner Ecosystem Drives Continuing Momentum for GRC Solutions

SAP solutions for GRC promote business viability by unifying corporate strategy, control initiatives, opportunity discovery and loss mitigation across the extended enterprise. Throughout the SAP ecosystem, partners are increasing their support for SAP solutions for GRC. With the combination of Cisco’s Service Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) and SAP solutions for GRC, customers can leverage access and identity intelligence capabilities to quickly detect and help reduce risk throughout the extended enterprise. Deloitte and Protiviti have created dedicated services and practices around SAP solutions for GRC within their organizations to help customers derive optimal value from their GRC implementations. Leveraging the SAP NetWeaver platform and SAP solutions for GRC, TechniData and VitalSpring have built industry-specific applications to help customers manage industry-specific business processes and regulations.
In response to growing customer needs to improve business controls, manage risks and implement effective GRC strategies, SAP has initiated the creation of the GRC Executive Advisory Council. With this council, SAP aims to bring together customer and partner executives to collaborate on strategies, solutions and best practices that address corporate challenges and efforts to lower costs, reduce risk and protect brand and reputation.
According to a new survey issued in February 2007 by AMR Research, organizations will spend a record amount of money this year on technology, consulting and human capital to address myriad governance, risk and compliance concerns. AMR Research expects overall spending on GRC initiatives – inclusive of technology solutions for GRC – to reach $29.9 billion in 2007, an increase of 8.5 percent over last year, and continued growth in 2008.
“Practically speaking, one company cannot address every possible aspect of GRC across industry and geography; SAP is very much aware of that fact, and it recognizes that it has to foster a community of software, technology and services to support its extensive customer base,” said John Hagerty, vice president and research fellow at AMR Research. “Rather than forming tactical partnerships under duress from customers, it is taking a surprisingly open approach from the get-go. We think this is a smart move.”

Broad ecosystem partner support for SAP Solutions for GRC

In recognition of the growing importance of GRC issues facing business and IT leaders today, and in support of SAP’s leadership position in the space, leading ecosystem partners are enriching and expanding their offerings complementing SAP solutions for GRC. In addition to building dedicated services and practices using SAP solutions for GRC applications, partners are developing cross-industry and industry-specific GRC applications, leveraging the SAP NetWeaver platform and existing SAP solutions for GRC, to assist customers in meeting their enterprise-wide strategic development, risk management and business control needs.
Cisco Systems and SAP continue to collaborate in sales and marketing activities in North America, delivering advanced service offerings designed to accelerate time to value of enterprise architecture investments. The companies offer customers complementary visions of enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) via Cisco SONA Services for GRC – through Cisco SONA and SAP NetWeaver – to support successful customer implementations in a wide-variety of enterprise use cases.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Deloitte) is bringing its broad array of consulting, advisory and implementation services to the SAP GRC ecosystem. A long-time SAP global services partner, Deloitte and SAP recently established a new global GRC program covering solution development, marketing, education, training, sales and delivery. With its deep GRC knowledge, cross-industry expertise and a global footprint, Deloitte is uniquely positioned to work with SAP to deliver the full scope of the GRC vision. Deloitte recognized the need for comprehensive solutions to integrate business processes, enable enterprise-wide visibility and support industry-specific requirements for GRC. The combination of Deloitte and SAP brings together the companies’ insights, experience and competencies to deliver value-based, business-driven, technology-enabled solutions to address critical GRC needs.
Protiviti, an SAP services provider, is providing its proven methodologies to help companies implement SAP solutions for GRC, including detective and preventative controls, and remediate exceptions and process inefficiencies discovered through their use of these tools. The benefits companies can derive from Protiviti’s expertise include improved visibility and management of compliance initiatives, improved security administration and provisioning and enhanced integration of enterprise risk management efforts. Through its relationship with SAP, Protiviti is pursuing joint development, sales, marketing and thought leadership to reinforce the company’s expertise and experience with SAP applications for access control, process control and risk management.
TechniData AG is working with SAP to help manufacturers and suppliers proactively monitor and improve environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) compliance processes to meet occupational health and safety requirements and reduce risk. The partnership between SAP and TechniData supports chemical safety management, EH&S surveillance, product compliance, and compliance and emissions management. TechniData’s solutions and services enable customers to meet requirements related to restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS), corporate social responsibility (CSR), international material data system (IMDS) and global harmonized system (GHS). The company has been a key SAP development partner for more than a decade.
VitalSpring Technologies, an SAP business solutions provider, today announced plans to develop an application that is complementary to SAP’s focus on GRC solutions: VitalSpring Integrity. The new application will enable CFOs and other finance executives to extend their current SAP compliance environment to the health benefits expenditure cycle. Financial compliance for healthcare transactions will now be supported with a new set of integrated, automated internal controls, better equipping finance executives to identify and prevent healthcare claims processing and invoicing errors. The new application will also help SAP customers to reach compliance with internal and external audits and to obtain improved insights into healthcare claim expense variances – ultimately leading to lower risk and reduced costs.
“Companies are facing unprecedented complexity and business risk, and as a result, the need for holistic, cross-enterprise GRC solutions has become a top boardroom priority,” said Doug Merritt, executive vice president and general manager, Suite Optimization, SAP AG. “The growth of the GRC market continues to advance at a record pace. To help our customers to quickly address and get in front of their individual GRC challenges, we’re making significant additions to our growing and robust ecosystem of industry-leading partners. The continued expansion and development of our GRC initiative and important partner ecosystem will allow customers to reap the benefits of accelerated, collaborative innovation.”

GRC executive advisory council

SAP has invited industry-leading customer and partner executives to join and participate in the GRC Executive Advisory Council. The council will provide a forum for global business and IT leaders to gather in a collaborative setting to discuss strategies, solutions and services needed to effectively meet GRC challenges. The council aims to identify high-priority pain points and collectively develop industry-wide best practices to assist customers in creating an agile IT environment, advanced services and GRC solutions to meet real business challenges.
SAP customers such as Adobe and Chevron and partners such as Cisco, Deloitte, Protiviti and TechniData have already expressed interest in participating in the council. An initial meeting took place with executives from these and other companies on March 11, 2007 on the eve of the GRC2007 conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 12 – 14. The next meeting is planned to take place in the United States in the fall of this year. Additional forums outside of the United States are also in planning.
SAP solutions for GRC promote business viability by unifying corporate strategy, control initiatives, opportunity discovery and loss mitigation across the extended enterprise. A unified approach to GRC overcomes the challenges of driving corporate strategy, regulatory compliance and risk management across disconnected systems, regions and functions, creating increased business performance and competitive advantage. With the SAP GRC technology foundation, SAP has created a library of tools and components to help guide companies in this approach. The technology foundation enables GRC processes across SAP and non-SAP systems, working together with GRC ecosystem partner content, technology and applications to provide the most effective solution for governance, risk and compliance available today.