The steady stream of challenges that companies face nowadays is becoming a flash point for how business gets done. From market and customer requirements to employee and stakeholder expectations, everything is changing so rapidly and deeply that keeping up is difficult enough. But “keeping up” is not enough to drive much-needed growth.

SAP CEO Christian Klein kicked off SAPPHIRE NOW  this year by eloquently describing the crossroad where many businesses find themselves right now: “Over the last year, we have seen how fragile many businesses and societies can be. But what is clear is that the way we work, the way we learn, and the way we consume will never be the same again.”

All these changes – which touch the core of every process, function, interaction, and experience – require a level of differentiation, reinvention, and transformation to rise above their status. But first, companies need to know how to get started and inspire their leaders and employees to rethink their potential to achieve substantial wins.

That assistance for SAP customers worldwide comes in the form of SAP Services and Support. The portfolio of services, best practices, tools, methodologies, workshops, learning modules, and support have helped thousands of businesses navigate extraordinary circumstances and find their way toward future growth. And in some cases, these achievements defied the odds of most of their peers’ experience.

Personally, I couldn’t be prouder to celebrate at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW. So let me share with you some of those reasons.

1. Driving Faster Business Transformations with SAP S/4HANA

The COVID-19 pandemic and the slow road to stability have been a wake-up call for many businesses. Whether an SAP customer before or during the pandemic, organizations leveraged our services associated with the SAP S/4HANA Movement program to help build leaner IT landscapes. This approach led to results such as process efficiency improvement, business model innovation, and the flexibility to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace quickly and opportunistically.

Take, for example, Doehler GmbH. As part of a compelling slate of SAP Innovation Award winners, the transformation champion realized that improving data management meant helping its local employees enter data into its business systems correctly the first time. The company’s data entry professionals needed to assume accountability for their input and understand how data moves through the organization while improving their use of technologies with advanced master data quality and data management solutions.

A veteran user of the SAP ERP application, Doehler knows a unified digital foundation enabled by SAP S/4HANA is key to its competitiveness. Our services and support experts helped the company navigate a big-bang rollout, data conversion, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrade in seven months without business disruption. As line-of-business integration continues, Doehler is expanding its intelligent technology landscape, fine-tuning master data quality management, providing one global system for R&D, and increasing visibility across product variations.

From R&D through manufacturing, sales, and finance, Doehler is growing the value of its products and relationships through the Intelligent Enterprise approach. The company integrates its applications on SAP S/4HANA by using SAP Integration Suite, delivered through SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). Plus, its five-year road map includes an incremental transformation with intelligent technologies, advanced analytics, and internal and external data harmonization designed to help meet customer demands faster at the right time and place.

2. Embedding Sustainability into the Core of Business

SAP BTP and our associated services and support offerings took center stage this year in the move to adding a green line and social dimension to business management and financial reporting.

Our sustainability services for SAP BTP enable our customers to engineer a foundation that integrates and extends applications across business networks, optimizes sustainable growth and innovation, and makes disaggregated data more transparent for compliance. Such outcomes included more regular environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting, holistic steering, and supply chain transparency.

E.ON has firsthand experience in leveraging SAP Services and Support to create a platform that is setting a new standard in its country’s power grid business. The energy supplier uses cloud solutions to make core processes around billing and information exchange more efficient and consistent. In return, the company aims to create a network of energy suppliers, grid operators, and metering point operators that shares information more quickly and accurately and leverages standardized processes.

By having consistent data, E.ON expects to deploy standard solutions, follow best practices, and reduce the cost of developing custom software. But more importantly, the company is looking forward to giving its network customers the benefit of faster and more efficient responses to requests.

3. Jump-Starting Value Creation of a Vital Business Platform

Without a doubt, SAP Services and Support plays a critical role in bringing to life exciting use cases for business transformation and more responsible operations. But I often find that our offerings prove their full potential when helping companies decipher why they should evolve today, what they should consider for tomorrow, and how to achieve their digital strategy.

The premium engagements portfolio guides our customers along the path of turning digital concepts into value-based, predictable outcomes – from prepare to run. With the SAP ActiveAttention offerings and the SAP MaxAttention services, organizations can plan and safeguard complex system landscapes, projects, and operations and access the services, methods, tools, and expertise to innovate them.

Uniper SE is another energy powerhouse that is committed to digitalizing its plants and back offices. The company worked with the SAP ActiveAttention services team to deploy several innovative solutions that are part of SAP BTP, including SAP Mobile Services and SAP Fiori apps.

These premium engagement portfolio is helping Uniper expand by providing mobile apps to new lines of business. Since SAP BTP provides one basic infrastructure and can be extended from its legacy ERP system, the company can adapt the same apps to a gas plant as for hydroelectric technicians in the field.

The premium engagement portfolio also empowers Uniper to further its digital transformation with a strategy for robotic process automation (RPA). The company has approximately 200 robots running on third-party software and pays for each bot. But, it is currently looking to lower RPA operations costs by piloting proofs of concept to take advantage of the pay-by-use model available through SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, another aspect of SAP BTP.

Celebrating Customer Successes and Planning for Tomorrow

Throughout SAPPHIRE NOW, we shared these stories of customer success and discussed how we’re preparing SAP Services and Support to guide our customers to a future of growth, expansion, and innovation.

If you missed any of our sessions, you can watch them on demand anytime. And if you are planning to attend SAPPHIRE NOW Asia Pacific, be sure to explore the IT subtracks covering SAP Services and Support.

Stay in the conversation by following SAP Services and Support on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Oliver Huschke is global head of Services and Support Marketing and Communications at SAP SE. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.