Business Transformation Made Easy: Just RISE with SAP

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What does Siemens, a global industrial manufacturing giant established in 1847, have in common with LiveKindly, a plant-based, digital lifestyle brand and nascent community for mindful living?

They both run their enterprise resource planning (ERP) processes on a single, cloud-based system with SAP S/4HANA at its core. The difference is that Siemens has been running SAP for 27 years on the company’s continuous journey of transformation, whereas LiveKindly is new to the game.

Both companies are transforming at their own chosen speed, thanks to SAP technology that enables enterprises to move seamlessly from strategy to implementation, combining global scale with local intimacy. And both companies successfully piloted the new offering, which aims to revolutionize business transformation.

What It Means

RISE with SAP is SAP embracing what we excel at most: ERP,” says Brian Duffy, president of Cloud, leading the new RISE with SAP business unit. “At the same time, it allows us to help customers shed their past on-premise complexity and chart the course for the future with a fresh start. Regardless of their point of departure, SAP will step in and escort them through their transformation.”

RISE with SAP is more than a solution, he says; it’s a completely new way for customers of all sizes, at any stage of their digital transformation, to redesign and improve processes without high up-front investments.

Duffy compares moving to the cloud to moving houses. It’s an opportunity to clean up the clutter, get rid of unwanted belongings, and prepare the new space for the way you want to live now, unencumbered by where you came from.

“A company moving to cloud should not be moving its 14-year-old custom code with it. That would be a tragically wasted opportunity,” Duffy says. “The point of moving to the cloud is to do things differently. It’s no longer about customization; it’s about changing processes for how your business needs to be run and adapt in today’s world.”

What You Get

Duffy goes on to explain that customers know they must transform—their main question is how to do it. Just like your moving company, SAP will provide a checklist, packers, containers and a range of services, such as decommissioning old appliances and installing new ones.

In other words, RISE with SAP provides a blueprint that companies can implement at their own pace. The advantage? One offer, one contract, one responsible party for service level agreements, operations, and issue handling.

The offering itself includes three elements:

  • A business model redesign based on SAP’s business process expertise
  • A technical migration leveraging SAP’s tools, services, and extensive ecosystem
  • An intelligent enterprise “starter pack”

The intelligent enterprise starter pack comprises the SAP Business Technology Platform, which provides a single semantic layer across an enterprise. The platform serves as the foundation for business transformation that runs on a company’s infrastructure of choice.

The pack also includes SAP S/4HANA Cloud, an ERP system with built-in intelligent technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced analytics. This enables businesses to transform their processes with intelligent automation. And finally, the starter pack provides credits for accessing SAP Business Network, a platform for supplier, logistics, and asset intelligence networks to allow companies to better manage their supply chains and react faster to market conditions.

Duffy believes that customers do not want to just “lift and shift” their systems. If they’ve invested in SAP ERP for 40 years, they want SAP’s fingerprints on the new system, and they want SAP to “hold their hands” on the transformation journey.

He also feels a tremendous responsibility. He recounts that the CEO of a consumer products company once told him that without SAP S/4HANA, if the SAP system is down for one day, you lose the quarter; if it’s down for a week, you lose the year.

“Such a disruption can make or break the company,” Duffy says. “It is the obligation of SAP to bring together the best of SAP and the partners, making SAP S/4HANA a vital part of the journey.

Why It’s Exciting

Duffy describes the initial reaction at the recent launch event as overwhelmingly positive, saying that customers perceive RISE with SAP as a response to their needs.

“They recognize that SAP was listening to their concerns and reacted with a new approach to ease the complexity and burden of their digital transformation,” he shares. “We’ve created a streamlined way for customers to access our process expertise, our technology, and our vast ecosystem. This is a huge opportunity for partners as everyone moves in their own swim lanes, focusing on what they are good at, to the benefit of the customers.”

The other aspect of RISE with SAP that appeals to Duffy is the work ahead. He knows that nothing great is ever easy. He knows customers want to do the right thing in terms of doing sustainable, responsible business. And SAP wants to do everything possible to support them. The goal is to enable customers to achieve their vision.

“IT is the enabler,” Duffy explains. “The tip of the spear is a great place to be. We’ve made a big, bold move and now we must deliver. The great thing is that we’re not doing this alone. We know our strengths and we know how to pull the best from our ecosystem. Our partners are essential to this journey.”

As the person responsible for the success of this new approach, Duffy knows the key is collaboration: “We’re in this together, and together we will listen and learn to ensure that customers become intelligent enterprises in a scalable, repeatable, and systematic way—regardless of their size or starting point.”


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