How Customer-First, Partner-Centric Services of RISE with SAP Brings Resiliency to the Ecosystem


As 2021 began, I reflected on the lessons learned from the tumultuous past year, wondering what would be most important to the future of SAP Services. To me, what stood out was that achieving real resiliency requires collaboration, camaraderie, and community. As societies, as companies, and as individuals, we work best when we work together.

By offering business transformation as a service, SAP is enabling partners to provide modern enterprises with the change they need to thrive.

An excellent example is the rush to increased digitization globally. This process works best when we transform not as single entities, but as ecosystems. This is fundamental to the work of SAP Services as we enable our partner ecosystem by helping their capabilities scale in the cloud and serve our customers globally. That role is more vital now than ever. SAP Services, in concert with the ecosystem, is our customer’s trusted advisor, the thread that holds the book together.

That’s why I believe that the customer-first, partner-centric service offering of RISE with SAP is the solution for modern enterprises that our times demand. A holistic business transformation involves reshaping the entire culture and mindset of an enterprise. To do this, customers need business transformation as a service. RISE with SAP is the foundation for an intelligent enterprise, and a partner-centric mentality is built into the offering.

What is RISE with SAP? It’s a single offering on a single contract that provides a path to the cloud for every customer, tailored to their needs and with fast time to value. It’s not just another upgrade; it’s a new way of working. Frankly, it’s a new paradigm. At its core, RISE with SAP is the packaging of SAP’s flagship SAP S/4HANA clean core with world-class infrastructure from the hyperscalers, plus important embedded tools and services. That’s exactly what customers have been asking for, and I’m proud to be helping to deliver it.

The robust service offering with RISE with SAP will empower our partners to provide the digitization that companies need now. This includes valuable tools with every subscription that are 100% automated and 100% self-service, such as SAP Learning Hub, the premium online learning platform for SAP technical and project professionals. It also includes SAP Readiness Check, best practices guidance on moving legacy SAP systems to SAP S/4HANA.

And I’m particularly excited about the custom code migration app, which performs automated checks to identify custom code that requires migration. The migration app enables us to go into an SAP ERP environment and see what code is actually being used. This is useful because, in my experience, about two-thirds of the customizations that have been put into systems in the market aren’t used and pull the customer away from a clean core. When I say clean core, I mean business standard with only the most minimal changes. The clean core is something that customers want to get back to because it means they are upgrade ready, and rapid deployments reduce costs of ownership.

Additionally, SAP has bundled discrete services into three separate optional packages, each of which achieves a different outcome for clients. The first package enables the movement of our installed base customers to “go live” in the cloud. The second package transitions our installed base customers to SAP S/4HANA or enables new customers to go live on SAP S/4HANA with the adoption of the clean core. The third package drives the accretive business value with innovation on SAP Business Technology Platform.

SAP’s embedded tools and services complement our customer-first, partner-centric approach to RISE with SAP. This means that it is designed not to compete with but to bolster partners’ offerings. Also, both partners and customers can purchase and consume the packages described above, and, in the future, they can be sold through partners.

RISE with SAP brings this value to the entire ecosystem, including smaller shops and our tier two and three partners. Our ecosystem experts, together with the SAP Services teams, are ready to help our customers move to the cloud regardless of size and location. That’s because SAP is opening up its environment and embracing the network effect that was already being generated, but now is being harnessed at an entirely new level.

In 2020, many businesses were not well prepared for the COVID-19 crisis. In 2021, it’s about having a plan and being prepared for any eventuality. By working closely with our partners, we can provide customers with the resiliency they need to reap the benefits of operating as modern, intelligent enterprises today. Through the service offering of RISE with SAP, we are better prepared than ever to fulfill this mission. I’m confident that in 2021, we will collaborate with our partners to build a better ecosystem, with RISE with SAP at the center of our efforts delivering business value to our customers.

Shane Paladin is president of Services at SAP.