How to Improve Your Digital Journey With the Right Partners

Tackling big projects requires skilled partners — just ask the United Nations. Partnership is one of the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, alongside No Poverty, Zero Hunger, and others.

“A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships … inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals,” according to the U.N. That’s because solving complex problems requires expertise from multiple fields.

“If you think about any business problem, there’s no one technology that solves it — and there’s probably no one company that solves it end-to-end,” SAP’s Mike Flannagan, senior vice president of analytics and SAP Leonardo, said in a video at SAPPHIRE NOW (see below). “Part of what we do … for customers is connect the dots between the things that we do well as a company and the [partner] ecosystem… that can bring in the things that we don’t do.”

Innovating Faster Together

“Compared to a classic IT solution, [partnership] enables you to go much further along the way in a short period of time,” Carlo Schots, from The Netherlands-based IT service provider Ordina, stated in a video shown at SAP Leonardo Now last month. “Together they enable you to innovate digitally.”

Ordina partnered with SAP to help Brussels-based telecom Proximus expand its fiberoptic network, shipping materials from a central warehouse to contractors and subcontractors spread across the country. Proximus used some of the intelligent technologies in SAP Leonardo to:

  • Trace all materials
  • Assess material consumption
  • Optimize material supply

“As a result of applying machine learning together with IoT with our advanced analytics, they [Proximus] were able to get the real-time visibility across the entirety of this supply network,” Mala Anand, president of SAP Leonardo and Analytics, said during SAP Leonardo Now at SAP Labs Latin America last month. “And there is a lot of material that is shipped in this supply chain.”

How to Think About Digital Transformation

“Digital disruption may seem far away; it makes you wonder about the choices you have to make today about artificial intelligence, connectivity, and IoT,” Hans Schurmans of Proximus stated in the video. “As a result, you end up with many possibilities that you have to test and try.”

Design thinking from SAP helps organizations prioritize those possibilities and decide which problem to solve first. Workshops bring together people from across the enterprise for a three-step process — Discover, Design and Deliver — and they all co-create the solution.

“Ordina’s added value is their approach — they go with you into a design thinking mode, and focus first on the issue at hand,” Schurmans said. “Then they have a hands-on brainstorming session together with my team to find the solutions we are going to implement tomorrow.”

Improving More Than Your Business

“What you can expect from us at SAP is real focus on our customer … and the whole ecosystem, enabled and thriving,” Maggie Buggie, global head of SAP Leonardo Services, said in a video at SAPPHIRE NOW (see below). SAP is “going hand-in-hand with those partners to market.”

Intelligent enterprises — and the intelligent partner ecosystem — will raise the bar for standards, according to Buggie. In doing so, partnerships can improve far more than your enterprise.

“When you look at the 17 [United Nations] Sustainable Development Goals, I encourage you to look at Goal No. 17, which is basically building partnerships to be able to build the remaining 16,” Claudio Muruzabal, president of SAP Latin America, said at SAP Leonardo Now. “It’s about building an ecosystem together that not only improves the performance of your business, but tries to change the world.”


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