Months after the Services organization at SAP went completely remote, its president, Shane Paladin, discusses how the pandemic has opened more doors to expert knowledge and accelerated innovation delivery with meaningful business results for customers.

Q: What lessons learned can you share from how SAP Services has responded to COVID-19?

A: The beauty of our industry is that technology is about adaptability, and the pandemic brought that to the forefront of what we do. Being adaptive is in the DNA of our organization as a whole and the individual experts within it. It’s been a positive experience working with our customers in empathy and solidarity, many of whom view this situation as an opportunity to innovate. The pandemic is a human moment for us all because everyone is going through the same challenges. Just as society is adapting to improve patient outcomes and reduce community spread of the coronavirus, business is evolving, and SAP Services is meeting customers – virtually – where they are to drive transformation for immense value.

Can you tell us about customer experiences over the past months?

Remote services delivery actually opens the doors to far greater knowledge from many more experts; this is accelerating projects for faster business results.

For example, at a mills product company in China, we replaced manual redundant processes with intelligent bots that automated workflows, reducing errors and freeing up employees for higher level responsibilities that are especially important these days. For a public railway in Slovakia, we implemented SAP S/4HANA and SAP Marketing Cloud, using a rapid deployment solution to reduce time to value. Now, they’re getting faster insights on critical issues to mitigate risk and improve the customer experience. This is extremely important because they expect to serve 100 million passengers by 2030. At a utility in Germany, we rolled out robotic process automation (RPA) in a mobile app for plant technicians to automate invoicing and job requisitions, saving valuable time.

What should customers demand from organizations like SAP Services to address their biggest challenges in moving to the next digital era?

Companies need to focus on outcomes, working with organizations that are agile, digital, and adaptable. It comes down to being the trusted advisor. Customers rely on SAP Services to be that guardian of value and design, helping them future-proof the business by looking across the integrated value chain and providing advice based on the long-term efficacy and impact. We provide outcome-based services in collaboration with our ecosystem, transforming our customer’s vision into something executable so they can deliver valuable experiences to their customers.

Which technologies are the most significant for companies to thrive in a post-pandemic future? 

Automating the mundane to digitize business to the fullest extent possible is what drives greatest value. We apply intelligence across the enterprise so companies can harvest insights from everywhere, including the customer experience, in a continuous feedback loop. Automation allows companies to amass the right data for actionable insights, empowering them to make better decisions and get ahead of competitors. At SAP, our job is to make the Intelligent Enterprise real and tangible so organizations can identify and capitalize on moments of opportunity as they materialize.

What can customers expect from SAP Services as this year unfolds and into 2021?

We’re doubling down even more to deliver meaningful business outcomes for our customers, building on what we’ve discovered this year. Working remotely, we can simplify our portfolio, providing services better, faster, and more cost-effectively. We will remain at the vanguard of next-gen technology, bringing insights through automation to customers and helping them become intelligent enterprises. Regardless of where a customer is or a project’s size – from point-based to transformational – we can take them to the next step in their journey to becoming an intelligent enterprise.

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