As the Global Head of SAP Enterprise Adoption, Executive Vice President Eva Zauke understands how worldwide momentum for digital transformation has forever changed what it means to be a resilient, sustainable business.
In this exclusive conversation, Zauke talks about the powerful localized process revolution happening behind every digital-first business.
Q: How does the localization of enterprise software applications factor into some of the biggest business challenges companies face in 2022?
A: What’s exciting is how digitalization – driven by local government regulations and transformation agendas, rising expectations for sustainability, and technology innovation – is transforming business models.
Post-pandemic, companies are continuing to source materials from suppliers in different locations to minimize supply chain disruptions. They’re exploring local production of important products like semi-conductor chips, computer processors, and the ingredients of livesaving medicines. They’re expanding to the cloud with subscription-based services and growing partner ecosystems.
At the same time, organizations need to prove compliance with increasing and global electronic document exchange regulations such as e-invoicing and tax reporting, as well as local regulations for documenting travel expenses, time management, payroll, and procurement spend. In certain countries, tax reporting timeframes are speeding up from quarterly or yearly to monthly, weekly, or even real time. In addition, some of our customers have to report on worker learning activities. Global workforce management regulations are also changing regarding data protection and privacy. Meantime, local sustainability reporting mandates are on the rise. Companies need to show how they are minimizing their greenhouse gas footprint across product life cycles and operations.
Can you share some examples of how SAP has helped companies meet these challenges?
With local versions of SAP solutions, we help global companies gain business value from their investments and meet country-specific mandates. For example, the world’s largest producer of printing ink and pigments sped up accounts payable by 30% and reduced invoice processing cycle time by 10% using SAP Document and Reporting Compliance. A facilities management service provider in the Middle East with over 8,800 employees reduced payroll processing times by 98% to meet local mandates and gain business efficiencies. What previously took three days to complete is now accomplished in just 45 minutes.
With the rise of cloud services like subscription- and consumption-based business models, many organizations have turned to SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management. One global media company is using the solution as part of its digital transformation. After replacing legacy systems in North America, APAC, LATAM, and EMEA, it improved revenue recognition and cash reconciliation processes along with the customer experience.
To go global with local versions in 67 countries, our localization services helped support a global cleaning solution provider’s HR transformation with SAP SuccessFactors solutions, which will serve 14,500 employees worldwide.
Sustainability is a top priority for enterprises worldwide, which is why SAP has developed a comprehensive portfolio of solutions designed to help companies achieve zero emissions, zero waste, and zero inequality. One example is SAP Responsible Design and Production that helps our customers monitor and embed circular economy practices into business processes to meet local sustainability regulations. This solution uses SAP Document Reporting and Compliance to meet local extended producer responsibility (EPR) obligations, tax declarations, and other corporate commitments.
How can companies stay on top of highly changeable and increasingly stringent local mandates and regulations?
Business leaders need to comply with a raft of increasing local regulatory mandates by country. That’s why, as part of all SAP solutions, global and local versions, including SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors solutions, SAP Ariba solutions, and SAP Concur solutions, we provide updates as regulations change.
For resilience in this fast-changing environment, organizations are reinventing how they approach business practice standards. This is especially the case for high-growth organizations that need to scale quickly as they expand worldwide. Leaders have realized they need an integrated view of business processes company-wide – including finance, sustainability, human experience, supply chain, expenses, and procurement – so they can apply them appropriately across multiple locations for safe and secure operations.
How do localization services from SAP Enterprise Adoption align with SAP’s vision for intelligent, networked, sustainable enterprises?
Customers rely on SAP to digitalize their business processes, supporting their expansion to new countries and market opportunities while enabling the success of their business locally and globally, their employees, and sustainability commitments that benefit society at-large. Localized, integrated business processes are central to our vision to help every company become an intelligent, networked, sustainable enterprise. The ability to comply with local regulations and standards is fundamental to resilient, high-performing, and sustainable business in the new normal.
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