CEOs globally face growing pressure to address specific opportunities and threats with a successful digital transformation. But how many of them are evolving their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to innovate quickly, optimize the return on their investments, and deliver new business models, processes, and experiences that matter?

In most cases, this question is best answered by assessing which risk companies are willing to accept. On the one hand, few entities have the time, money, resources, and appetite for disruption to fully reset their foundational system. However, the inability to manage and prioritize changes effectively can dictate the pace and extent at which a business can keep up with market dynamics, workplace expectations, and customer demands.

According to Joshua Greenbaum, principal of Enterprise Applications Consulting, balancing these risks comes down to realizing that the notion of a “single, unique path to digital transformation is a vast oversimplification.”

In fact, there are many different ways companies can set their own pace for transformation – one of which being intelligent ERP in a private cloud.

Maximizing the Most Wanted Benefits of Intelligent ERP

When choosing a private cloud over a public or hybrid cloud environment, organizations often look to fully transition their ERP data, processes, and user experiences to the cloud while maintaining existing industry functionality. Yet they also expect to accomplish these goals in a fashion that optimizes performance, lowers costs, and simplifies work with intelligent capabilities such as predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and process automation.

We offer this intelligent ERP option through SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, launched as part of the RISE with SAP offering. Our customers can take advantage of a subscription pricing model for SAP S/4HANA and cloud services and a combination of fit-to-standard architecture and extension capabilities for fast-paced, continuous innovation and digital advancement. Plus, they can adopt the intelligent capabilities they desire at their pace and on their terms.

One key benefit that draws most companies to the cloud is the opportunity to scale their ERP and applications to meet business needs and adopt the latest innovations when needed. To help ensure they implement capabilities that complement their core competencies and resolve their challenges well, some SAP customers prefer the assistance of personalized support, expert-led services, proven methodologies, and intuitive tools.

Our portfolio of premium engagements provides this level of guidance that our customers seek. The offering aids the creation of a comprehensive use case that answers critical concerns such as potential cost savings, impacts of existing operations and technologies, and potential for future innovation. Plus, it enables decision-makers to map issues and opportunities to functionalities and identify and access suitable extension solutions.

Setting the Foundation for Bold Digital Transformation

Our portfolio of premium engagements is constantly evolving to amplify our customers’ unique value, from the front office to the back office. This is the case whether a business runs a 24×7 global operation or a local plant of 200 employees. The engagements are designed to scale to specific needs with customized and predefined configurations.

Furthermore, it is remarkable to see our customers’ confidence grow after realizing their ERP is modern and intelligent enough to meet their needs and deliver outcomes successfully. This side benefit is particularly meaningful to organizations positioning their business for growth and expansion.

For example, our customers are increasingly supporting bold strategies with the intelligent infrastructure of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition. With little appetite for wasting time and resources, organizations rely on expert services from SAP, our partners, or both early on, so they can have their projects safeguarded with fewer risks and more predictive costs. We help identify technical gaps early on, explore potential solutions, accelerate the implementation of chosen technologies, and safeguard the project with reduced risk.

Expert guidance on the best-fit technical architecture allows our customers to  validate the required architecture of their hybrid system landscape. Processes are also assessed for viability and function before the private edition of SAP S/4HANA Cloud goes live to avoid performance gaps and establish best practices. Existing custom codes are also examined for operational necessity and redesigned, if needed, to prevent operational bottlenecks. With the Business Technology Platform we keep the core clean and avoid information silos.

 Fulfilling the Promise of Intelligent ERP

Ultimately, scalability, flexibility, reach, and cost economy draw technology decision-makers to the private cloud when moving to intelligent ERP. And rightfully so – when these benefits are combined, organizations can adapt to rapidly evolving markets.

At SAP, we believe a complete transformation experience is critical to acquiring this competitive advantage while driving the most value from existing and new digital investments. This link between the private edition of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and our portfolio of premium engagements is tremendously beneficial for our customers. While gaining the necessary infrastructure and capabilities, they have the insights and support to capture the full potential of intelligent ERP.

Whether you choose a conversion or clean-slate approach to your implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, the portfolio of premium engagements from SAP can help. Find out all the details in our “Take the Journey to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition – Strategy” and “Take the Journey to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition – Brownfield” information sheets.

Christian Zitron is global vice president of SAP Customer Success.