Inspired by an uncompromising desire to envision the future together with customers, SAP is advancing SAP MaxAttention services into an unparalleled experience. The expertise-driven services portfolio is derived from collaborating with industry-leading companies running high-end hybrid and multi-cloud SAP solutions.

“We focus more and more on our customers’ needs to give them the best possible experiences,” SAP CEO Christian Klein said during the SAP MaxAttention Summit, which took place November 16-17, 2021. “And we hear our customers loud and clear. They want close engagement with SAP and the flexibility to concentrate on their needs and deliver concrete business benefits. But our customers also value guidance that minimizes the effort in implementing new technology.”

There is little more satisfying than maximizing the value of technology to face significant digital transformation challenges. But when those digital investments are used to help people work and live smarter and more sustainably, the possibilities of a better future for everyone seems nearer than ever.

As host of this year’s SAP MaxAttention Summit, Kurt Bauer, global senior vice president of Premium Engagements at SAP, highlighted how the company is acting on customer feedback every day to deliver on that vision.

“We are extremely focused on listening to our customers and how to maximize the value of their SAP solution on their journey toward intelligent and sustainable enterprises,” Bauer declared as he kicked off the event. “As a result, we are advancing SAP MaxAttention capabilities toward faster cloud adoption, the RISE with SAP offering leveraging business process intelligence solutions, industry cloud solutions based on the power of SAP Business Technology Platform, and design authority around architecture, data, processes, and sustainability with the Intelligent Enterprise Institute at SAP.”

Speed and Flexibility to Move Forward

This keen and consistent focus on customers’ transformation vision is leading to the development of transformation-supporting technologies.

“The speed of change and the need for flexibility for all organizations – regardless of industry, size, and region – are accelerating, especially as they move deeper into the cloud,” explained Augusta Spinelli, interim head of Services and head of Services Intelligent Delivery Group at SAP. “SAP BTP has the unique advantage to support every shift by bringing our business and industry knowledge together to keep the core clean and address possible concerns when moving to the cloud.”

For instance, SAP launched an assessment service that includes migration tools to help reduce the effort to transition from the SAP Process Integration offering or SAP Process Orchestration software to SAP Integration Suite, as part of SAP BTP. The service is virtually fully automated to enable an efficient path to integration and data management.

This predefined and standardized content reflects the core mission and competency of SAP to guide customers through the implementation of standards that maximize their value and run the best processes. Spinelli shared, “We are helping to ensure they leverage SAP technology in ways that are consistently beneficial to their business – making their transformation journey easier.”

But as Luka Mucic, CFO and a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, reminded attendees during a keynote discussion, the role of technology – although a critical enabler – should not be overplayed as the sole healer of all business challenges.

“At the end of the day, all of us must also have the courage to leave traditional business models behind and radically change how businesses run,” Mucic advised. “If we combine that cultural trait with a people-centric approach and the right mindset across the enterprise, then we can establish truly digitalized and agile business processes that are more powered by data and embedded with artificial intelligence.”

Continuous Transformation with Premium Engagements

The dynamic of integrating technology and a transformation mindset continues to be enhanced as SAP customers prioritize the adoption of cloud, industry, and sustainability solutions and RISE with SAP . Every month, new elements are introduced to support these topics with respect to customers’ underlying data and technology. For example, service delivery is being internally changed with the Intelligent Service Delivery Hub from SAP, which provides central access to required information and assets for SAP, partners, and customers.

For customers worldwide, the increasingly close and exclusive engagement that SAP MaxAttention offers is a crucial part of their overall transformation journey.

Multinational packaging and paper group Mondi can ask tough questions to assess everything from its ability to execute, scale, and tackle specific challenges. In return, it can identify new levers for better ways of working to help ensure more productive learning behaviors, less operational frustration, and better access to information.

Kering, on the other hand, is leveraging the services to build a future-oriented foundation that supports fast-paced change and lasting transformation. The multinational corporation of luxury goods brands such as Gucci and Balenciaga uses a pragmatic approach that allows the business to gradually evolve. The company combines a continuous enhancement plan with a smart sequence of testing and learning, quick sharing of discoveries, scouting business trends.

Meanwhile, Walgreens Boots Alliance (Walgreens) is transforming its retail operations across more than 9,000 stores in the U.S. with a scale out of SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. The global leader in retail pharmacy took advantage of SAP MaxAttention to maintain a full-size performance test environment throughout its transformation, allowing regular testing of capacity and performance with future volumes and new capabilities.

Next Evolution in Sustainability as a Priority

When listening to customers such as Mondi, Kering, and Walgreens, it is clear that putting customers front and center of the business is a priority.

The growing call for sustainability – from consumers, employees, and stakeholders alike – is presenting such a moment to all companies around the globe. Julia White, chief marketing and solutions officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, believes this increasingly urgent imperative is an opportunity to bring together industries and political systems and do things differently and better.

“We all share one planet and carry the responsibility for working collectively toward a more sustainable future,” White surmised. “But more importantly, we have a better understanding of how sustainability and growth are tied together. It’s no longer a choice anymore; and quite possibly, it never was.”

In the U.S. alone, consumers are directing their spending power to support sustainably minded companies. Since 2014, sustainable products have outgrown conventional products by nearly 20%, and 75% of the millennial population is more willing to take a pay cut to work for a more environmentally or socially responsible company, White explained.

“As leading companies in all industries have long realized, achieving zero emission, zero waste, and zero inequality is a business network challenge along the value chain,” stated Peter Maier, president of Industries and Customer Advisory at SAP. “Services are important drivers of these sustainability goals, establishing connections for taking action on the sustainability economy.”

Aligning IT projects against sustainability makes sense. Such transformation is about culture, behavioral change, and big audacious goals, and organizations should consider how their data projects impact sustainability. By driving innovation with interdisciplinary knowledge, experience, and resources from SAP MaxAttention, organizations can benefit from a professional technology assessment and inclusive decision-making that actively involves all stakeholders in the design of digital services.

One of the many customers that are finding their edge as a more sustainable business is thyssenkrupp Steel. Across 17 plants and development facilities in 11 countries, the multinational conglomerate focused on industrial engineering and steel production is turning one of the dirtiest industries into a better contributor to the health of the planet. To succeed, the company took advantage of guidance to build efficient and standardized processes, enhance master data quality, and improve reporting and analytics. Furthermore, the company is collaborating with SAP experts with a dynamic approach that includes technical architecture, solution, and security design, custom-code quality improvement, data migration assessment, operations readiness, integration validation, and gap validation.

Community Spirit of Meaningful Transformation

Throughout SAP MaxAttention Summit this year was made clear that SAP MaxAttention treats every customer as a VIP and part of a global community of front-running companies. It brings together an exclusive experience that those companies deserve to succeed today and for years to come.

“SAP MaxAttention helps ensure customers get the best advisory services to run the best SAP solutions,” concluded Thomas Saueressig, a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE leading SAP Product Engineering. “At SAP, we always want to take digital transformation to the next level, leveraging more tooling and applications and supporting ongoing engagement to fundamentally drive an amazing value for our customers along the way.”

Together, SAP customers around the globe are envisioning a future full of promise. And with the help of SAP MaxAttention, they are meeting the expectations of their employees and customers, delivering concrete results that make them work smarter and faster – all fueled by new, groundbreaking processes and solutions.

Stephanie Ann Lockemann is head of Premium Engagements for Middle and Eastern Europe at SAP.