The Right Partnership Matters in Digital Transformation

Any business can drive technology-enabled change quickly. But with the right partner, it can take its digital transformation even further – steering its strategy toward the right direction, achieving lasting impacts, and exploring a new world of competitive advantages.

Most companies are ready to accelerate their digital transformation strategies after experiencing a long list of shocks brought on by a lingering pandemic. From supply chain volatility and dramatic shifts in customer expectations to new workplace dynamics, there’s no shortage of inspiration when it comes to enhancing profitability, improving efficiency, and innovating more products and services.

But excitement and motivation are not enough to transform competitively nowadays. As the global economy increasingly becomes based on or influenced by digitalization, businesses will inevitably need to pivot how they future proof their operations and customer relationships with digital technology.

For many organizations across Europe, the first step toward tackling their objectives is leveraging the fresh perspective of a trusted partner – the services organization at SAP.

KITE: Growing Profitable Yields with Insight

Whether developing the latest crop protection products or designing new precision agriculture technologies, KITE Agricultural Service and Trade Corp. understands the value of partnership. The company has joined forces with farmers all over Hungary to redirect the future of food production toward greater sustainability and effectiveness.

After realizing that the region’s farmers needed to digitalize and automate processes that required manual and paper-intensive reporting and data analysis, KITE decided that it needed a technology and innovation partner of its own. Choosing SAP Services and Support empowered the company to innovate a precision-farming IT solution, beginning with a six-month design thinking phase guided by the database know-how of SAP experts.

Using SAP Services and Support, KITE built a platform that automatically collects, analyzes, and shares data and insights in real time and from any source, such as multiple satellite feeds, field consultants, soil samples, and machine units. Farmers can now visually see on a dashboard how the quality of their fields is changing and determine the optimal balance between seeds planted and fertilizer used to help ensure better yields and maximum profits.

KITE CEO Levente Szabo states, “From now on, with the help of SAP Services and Support, we have data and analysis to help make our customers’ farming systems more sustainable and profitable.”

Swiss Life: Ensuring Continuity Despite Disruption

As Switzerland’s largest life insurance company, Swiss Life – consisting of its tied agents and Swiss Life Select sales organization – is always striving to unlock better ways to engage with its customers and sales advisors. However, midway through a project with SAP Services and Support, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and threatened a long pause on its customer experience initiative and ability to sell and fulfill customer needs effectively.

By making its experts available remotely, SAP Services and Support helped Swiss Life push through the disruption and move forward with its plan to deliver modern, end-to-end processes that reflected the needs of changing customer behaviors. The two companies worked to deploy multi-cloud solutions, such as SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Sales Cloud, to boost customer experience.

“Despite the pandemic, we felt that everyone in the program, including SAP Services and Support, was striving hard to deliver this project on time, in budget, and within scope,” states Marc von Wartburg, head of End-to-End Customer Processes at Swiss Life. “And we succeeded.”

As a result, Swiss Life’s sales advisors continue to receive leads, create appointments, get to know new prospects, and give customers the service they expect.

Takeda: Improving Lives with Faster Supply Chains

After discovering a breakthrough stem cell therapy that can improve the lives of people with complications from Crohn’s disease, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International needed a partner that could quickly unlock its supply chain’s ability to deliver stem cells on demand within a strict schedule of only 72 hours. The R&D-driven global biopharmaceutical company initially looked at a set of potential partners. Still, SAP was the only one that could meet Takeda’s challenging timeline of five months, from kickoff to go-live.

Takeda and SAP Services and Support built a fully customized, cloud-based control tower platform that follows the entire supply chain process, from order placement to production and final delivery to the hospital. The platform also considers seasonal trends when generating flight plans, allowing the 150 hospitals with patients that rely on this therapy to be notified of delivery delays and schedule surgeries more efficiently.

“With SAP, we have an enterprise-wide program running where we develop innovative solutions on a cloud platform and leverage modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain solutions,” adds Nathalie Van Damme, lead of EDGE of ERP Product Management at Takeda.

Uniper: Evolving Energy with Fast-Paced Change

For Uniper, working with SAP is based on time-tested friendship. “We work very closely together,” shares Guido Hoever, vice president of Commercial Solutions IT for Uniper. “Uniper and SAP colleagues feel like one team. This is special, and we are proud of that.”

As an energy company striving to empower energy evolution, Uniper relies on SAP services to constantly transform and improve its business processes and the ways its people work. The SAP ActiveAttention program is one of those services, engaging a close relationship that helps accelerate innovation delivery. Such efforts include implementing solutions and services within SAP Business Technology Platform, such as the SAP Analytics Cloud solution and SAP Conversational AI.

The efforts of Uniper and SAP have led to efficiencies that enable faster reaction times, less paperwork, and shorter end-to-end processing time. For example, Uniper’s plant maintenance area uses a work clearance management system that permits workers to respond to requests immediately by switching on their mobile devices and getting the approval to start an inspection. Plus, the financial services team has reduced the time spent processing 200 to 300 invoice inquiries daily by 50% and acquired a system that generates a payment status report in seconds.

Hoever concludes, “For the future, I would like to see that we still develop innovations in a short period of time, with a high frequency, and through a strong collaboration between us and SAP.”

Building Trust with Expertise and Innovation

I do agree with Hoever: I also look forward to watching our SAP Services and Support experts work with our customers in the future.

Every day, SAP Services and Support experts prioritize digital transformation plans, define road maps, re-platform software landscapes, and share best practices – all with a focus that puts our customers’ vision first. And it is our hope that our efforts help ensure an enterprise-wide transformation journey that is always strategic, life-changing, and meaningful.

To tap into expertise, services, and support that can help your business intelligently create value faster with greater visibility, focus, and agility, visit sap.com/services.


Guido Schlief is senior vice president and general manager of Customer Success in Middle and Eastern Europe at SAP.