Liher Urbizu, head of Services for Asia Pacific Japan at SAP, sits down to demystify SAP’s business process intelligence offering and discuss how Signavio products complement the company’s holistic process transformation portfolio.

Headshot: Liher UrbizuQ: Business Transformation as a Service is a prominent topic this year. Why is it important?

A: Business Transformation as a Service allows our customers to chart their course to the Intelligent Enterprise at their own speed and terms, regardless of their starting point.

Together with our ecosystem, we are providing everything that our customers need to holistically transform their business with a fast time-to-value in one bundle: from business process redesign, technical migration services, and cloud infrastructure to SAP Business Technology Platform and our market-leading intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP), SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

While everyone understands the importance of digital transformation and the opportunities it brings, the hardest part seems to be understanding how to holistically transform. Indeed, many companies believe 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.

Important questions to ask include: What can we do to better support our customers on this journey? 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?

First, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) alone will not cut it. To truly transform, companies need a holistic offering that will help simplify their digital transformation journey in three simple steps:

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 while automating and standardizing processes.

2) Technical Migration: Technical services smooth the migration to a standard, modular, and flexible solution landscape with a consistent data layer, which is 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.

3) Build Your Intelligent Enterprise: Cloud infrastructure forms the basis of an intelligent enterprise. Customers can gain a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) by running their workloads on an SAP data center or via hyperscalers, with the best operations costs in the industry. No matter which infrastructure they chose or who their operations partner is, SAP will be their single point of contact.

Second, to change the culture and mindset of their enterprises, companies need to reteach their organizations, starting with leaders, who take an element of personal responsibility for driving the change and practicing what they preach. There is no better way than leading by example and demonstrating that shift in mindset, behavior, and processes.

Business process management has been around for years and is a major part of continuous improvement programs. With Signavio on board, what opportunities does this bring for our customers?

“Continuous improvement” and “business process management” are terms that companies are familiar with. However, business process management practitioners have mostly relied on manual methods for most of these activities. For example, getting information about how a process is executed is very challenging when done manually. It usually takes a long time and ends up being less than accurate.

With the addition of Signavio, SAP can now provide a holistic suite of flexible process transformation solutions for customers to transform their end-to-end business processes. That includes business process design, benchmarking, gap analysis, improvement, and process change management. The suite will also allow customers to monitor the long-run success of these process changes.

What is new is that we are doing this digitally and helping our customers to become more data-driven through an end-to-end business process management solution in a single tool set.

How can we help customers quickly adapt to the changing markets and business demands, become more agile and resilient — for example, accelerate their transformation with business process intelligence?

At the highest level, business process intelligence addresses two types of business requirements:

  • Business transformation: If the customer is interested in a major change in their business, then business process intelligence from SAP can help them get from point A to point B. This would include projects like ERP replacement, ERP consolidation, establishing a foundation for digital transformation, or digital transformation like a wide-scale automation of manual tasks.
  • Process excellence: If the customer is interested in improving efforts in a particular area of the business or addressing specific performance goals, this includes:
    • Operational excellence, in process areas like order to cash, procure to pay, etc.
    • Customer excellence, a cross-functional focus on processes that impact customer relationships, including both transactional and qualitative elements

I believe our only path to long-term success is to exceed our customers’ expectations. Business process intelligence will help manage the customer’s digital transformation with the goal of becoming an intelligent enterprise as a key element of their continuous improvement. The comprehensive, end-to-end business intelligence offering from SAP includes process excellence, intelligence, and automation offerings, so that SAP helps every customer continuously transform systems and business processes into a resilient, sustainable, best run intelligent enterprise.

Are there any customer success stories that you can share?

We have a number of customers in Asia, where SAP has helped to realize value and change processes as part of the bigger transformations. Business process intelligence from SAP is the first to bring all of these components into a single solution set, combining deep process analysis with the tools needed for re-engineering processes or creating entirely new and innovative processes.

Some of the examples where customers have shared their transformation journeys include Orica, AGL, OSR, and Mahindra and Mahindra, just to name a few. We have customers across all key industries. In the case of Signavio, we have more than 1,500 customers, including Puma, Siemens, COMCAST, DHL, and Volkswagen.

Any closing remarks?

While 2020 was a challenging year by all means, where there are challenges, there will also be opportunities for us, for our customers, and for our partners; opportunities to become more effective and efficient, opportunities to focus on what is truly important, and opportunities to innovate and discover new ways of doing things.

In 2021 and beyond, we will see more and more customers benefiting from our business process intelligence, a holistic suite of flexible process transformation solutions to transform their end-to-end business processes, helping our customers to become more “data-driven” through an end-to-end business process management solution in a single tool set.