At SAP, we want to be our customers’ trusted partner both in times of success and turbulence, and as such, staying close to them and their needs is crucial. Talking to many CEOs and decision makers during the last months, it became clear that only companies that can transform and adapt quickly to today’s volatile environment – just think COVID-19, climate change, and geopolitical tensions – will win.

While everyone understands the why and the opportunities of digital transformation, the hardest part seems to be how to holistically transform. Indeed, many companies think that digital transformation will happen just by performing a technical migration to the cloud or by buying new technology. The need for changing how an enterprise runs with the help of new business models and more intelligent processes is often ignored.

So we asked ourselves: what can we do to support our customers on this journey even better? How can we help them change the culture and mindset of their enterprises, redesign their business processes, and reduce internal complexity, ultimately enabling them to adopt new business models and stay ahead of their competition?

Let’s be honest: Infrastructure as a Service or Software as a Service alone won’t cut it. To truly transform, companies need a holistic offering. What they really need is Business Transformation as a Service.

Our answer to this is RISE with SAP. Together with our ecosystem, we are bundling everything companies need to holistically transform their business with a fast time to value — at their own speed and terms, regardless of their starting point. It simplifies our customers’ journey in three simple steps.

Step 1: Business Process Redesign

Making use of best practices and building on SAP’s unique data treasures, our Business Process Intelligence solution allows customers to continuously analyze how processes perform, benchmark them against industry standards, and provide tailored recommendations on how to adopt new business models, automate, and standardize processes. Thanks to a direct connection to SAP’s workflow, robotic process automation (RPA), and other artificial intelligence (AI) services, intelligence can be seamlessly embedded in business processes.

Step 2: Technical Migration

Embedded in RISE with SAP are technical services to smooth the migration to a standard, modular, and flexible solution landscape with a consistent data layer – key to reacting quickly to new business demands. This includes essential services by SAP and partners to get rid of modifications and custom code and to support them in harmonizing and governing their data layer so they can run and steer their company based on one source of truth.

Step 3: Build Your Intelligent Enterprise

The basis is the cloud infrastructure. Customers will gain a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to their existing landscapes, by running the workloads in an SAP data center or via the hyperscalers, always with the best operations costs in the industry. And no matter which infrastructure they chose or who the operations partner is, SAP will be their single point of contact.

Also part of RISE with SAP is SAP Business Technology Platform, the foundation of the Intelligent Enterprise. Customers and partners can quickly develop innovations to easily complement SAP solutions – thanks to one semantical data model, one AI and analytics layer, one identity and authorization concept, and the same application business services, such as one workflow management. Additional low-code/no-code capabilities make it even easier to expand our solutions. And our platform enables out-of-the-box integration: SAP to SAP, but also SAP to non-SAP.

Access to SAP Business Network is also included. Times when companies are managing their business within four walls with one-to-one connections to the stakeholders across the supply chain are over. From now on, it is all about managing the complete supply chain in real time — to react faster than anyone else to changing market conditions.

And finally, as you need intelligent applications to truly change how your business runs, we will include our market-leading intelligent ERP, SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Customers not only can pick their deployment of choice depending on their level of standardization, but also benefit from embedded AI, RPA, and advanced analytics. And as we all have realized how important it is to run a frictionless enterprise, we will integrate Microsoft Teams across our solution portfolio to bring collaboration to the next level.

In short: RISE with SAP provides our customers with the basic components of an intelligent enterprise in one bundle, complemented with premium services and tools. One offer. One contract for SAP-related services. One responsible party for service-level agreements, operations, and issue handling. It’s as simple as that.

Building on this kickstart, companies can tailor their intelligent enterprise to meet their respective business needs. Customers and partners alike can easily complement, extend, and integrate with any other of our line-of-business and industry solutions, partner, or third-party solution, using exactly the same data model and business services as our own SAP apps. This allows them to run their core and industry-specific processes – seamlessly, end-to-end, and top-to-bottom, with full 360° transparency.

For more information, make sure to check out blogs by my colleagues Juergen Mueller, Thomas Saueressig, and Uwe Grigoleit, as well as an interview with Jan Gilg, and see what our partners have to say.

Christian Klein is CEO of SAP.