To benefit the most from public cloud enterprise software, SAP customers need well-defined strategies and guidance to help ensure their deployment meets business needs and achieves desired outcomes. SAP Value Assurance supports the planning and successful deployment of public cloud solutions from SAP for companies and their system integrators.

Historically supported by on-premise technologies, executives are considering a different future for their companies. They envision digital experiences that are human-like, trustworthy, and based on real-time intelligence and high-speed automation. Furthermore, the chosen technology is often a mix of public cloud enterprise software and innovative extensions built on a development platform.

Each step along the cloud adoption journey brings companies closer to this strategic digital vision. Yet, venturing into cloud technology can include pitfalls. Unclear expectations, inadequate data management, and heavy software customization plus overly complex processes and organizational structures can undermine the power of the public cloud.

What does it take to smooth the path to the cloud? For many organizations that rely on system integrators to deploy cloud solutions from SAP, it comes down to a well-defined strategy and guidance provided by SAP Value Assurance.

From “What Could Go Wrong?” to “What Is Possible?”

For most of our customers, a move to the cloud is rarely a lift-and-shift event. An incremental approach is common, transitioning each piece of their on-premise environment and adding game-changing innovation. This approach often starts with data migration, the implementation of a foundational enterprise resource planning (ERP) core, and the addition of applications, one by one, as needed.

The reason behind this method is rooted in three principles of successful public-cloud deployments:

1. Secure a foundation for future innovation.

The concept of standardization is still new to countless organizations accustomed to modifying their on-premise software extensively. However, such customization can prove problematic in a public cloud environment. Quarterly releases of new software features may not work properly because the product road map is built on standard best practices – proven by real-life user experiences in specific industries, business roles, or regions.

Take, for example, businesses that want their deployment to mimic a legacy on-premise system, rather than adopt standard cloud functionality. All too often, such projects result in support escalations and additional costs that are greater than an investment in SAP Value Assurance. To avoid unnecessary delays and expenses, companies, such as Macmahon Holdings Limited (Macmahon), are leveraging standard functionality wherever possible.

During an SAP Value Assurance service engagement, companies can shift to a “cloud mindset” where they adopt fit-to-standard principles, innovate in quarterly releases, and extend cloud functionality in a separate development environment. Then, they can become better prepared to improve time to value, minimize maintenance, and secure a foundation for future innovation.

2. Address business goals – always.

Digital transformation goes beyond the technical deployment of cloud software. Companies should consider moving to the cloud as part of an initiative with specific business goals, such as reducing customer or employee turnover or decreasing onboarding costs.

Consider the experience of New Sega Textile (Nantong) Co. Ltd (New Sega). To maintain its position as a leading producer of bedding sets and textiles for major retailers, the company needed to launch new products faster, calculate costs more accurately, and integrate its global sales networks and branches.

Reliance on expert, proactive guidance from SAP Value Assurance allowed New Sega to adopt SAP S/4HANA Cloud within three months with safeguarded project quality and mitigated risk. In return, its organizations can benefit from solution updates designed specifically for businesses operating in China, which has led to a 32.5% increase in interdepartmental collaboration and 28.6% higher employee efficiency.

3. Lean toward user-friendly designs.

Designing software with a keen awareness of the user experience is critical to strengthen user adoption and adapt to change. Every person – from employees to customers – wants software that is easy to understand and use. However, delivering on that promise requires guidance to avoid unnecessary complexity, such as adding dozens of custom fields, migrating more data than needed, mapping information incorrectly, and building multi-layered workflows and approval cycles.

Shanghai AcloudEAR Info. Tech. Co. Ltd. (AcloudEAR) knows that the cloud is the way forward. Its professional services business relied on SAP Value Assurance to help cultivate a transparent governance model for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. SAP experts further advised on optimal project scope, development, and integration approach. Now, the company has the user-friendly tools and methods it needs to simplify customer engagement, remove delivery inefficiencies, and improve client outcomes.

Collaborative Support Lowers Risk and Maximizes Success

Becoming a resilient enterprise that can navigate the topsy-turvy nature of today’s markets takes much more than implementing the latest technology. Companies must secure a foundation for future digital innovation. They must ensure their cloud deployment addresses business goals and supports new business models not possible before. And they must leverage user-friendly designs. Collaborating with SAP experts and their system integrator during an SAP Value Assurance service engagement can advance a company’s attainment of desired business outcomes and propel innovation while mitigating risk.

As the experiences of Macmahon, New Sega, and AcloudEAR make clear, SAP Value Assurance is designed to help our customers confront every challenge in their cloud-based transformation – with visibility, focus, and agility.

Learn how your business can benefit from the expert collaboration and success services of SAP Value Assurance.

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Lois Bruckner is senior director in the Global Services Business Office at SAP.
Sandra Gonzalez-Daugherty is SAP Value Assurance service offering manager for Cloud at SAP.