While the urgency and commitment for digital transformation initiatives will likely continue throughout 2022, SAP customers are pursuing a more strategic approach to resolve challenges, improve operations, and grow  ̶  with the help of the Cloud Success Services organization at SAP.

Digital transformation can be dicey work. While it’s well understood that technology plays a critical role, most businesses have yet to realize the importance of expertise, services, and support to drive meaningful change faster with greater visibility, focus, and agility.

This inconvenient truth of digital transformation has led to rushed and incomplete transitions. And as companies pivot their operations and respond to dramatic changes in supply chains, employee expectations, and consumer behaviors, they must reconsider those earlier changes with an open and deliberate mindset to quickly take on whatever comes next.

Fortunately, our customers have positioned themselves well to sidestep this potentially damaging barrier to their transformation journey. By amplifying our technologies and platform with the expertise, implementation guidance, business advisory, hyperpersonalized innovations, and outcome-oriented support offered through the Success Delivery Center organization at SAP, they opened new doors to recovery and growth.

Improving Procurement with a Digital-Only Strategy

As one of the world’s largest technology communications providers, Vodafone Group Plc is always looking to stay ahead of industry changes while making the best use of the time and brainpower of its 100,000 employees. This mentality led to a desire to integrate automation and intelligence into end-to-end business processes to streamline functions such as procurement.

With SAP MaxAttention services, Vodafone benefited from technical design, migration workshops, cutover planning, and go-live support to help mitigate risks and achieve transformation success. The company met established criteria for creating an integrated and intelligent infrastructure for SAP S/4HANA and connected it with SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) in the cloud. Plus, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning were embedded in the technology to increase automation and accelerate innovation.

With the support of SAP service experts and access to intelligent technologies, the communication provider now has the foundation for agile finance operations, supply chains, and procurement. As a result, Vodafone employees worldwide are empowered to act quickly with greater process efficiencies in nearly every aspect of procurement, including changing payment terms for 6,000 suppliers in as little as two days.

Extending and Automating Processes Business-Wide

Part of Uniper SE’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability is a digitalization strategy that applies both to plant and back-office operations. With so many systems and processes running across the enterprise’s IT landscape, accessibility and automation are central to the utility provider’s cloud-first approach that focuses on robotic process automation (RPA) and mobile technology.

The team of experts for SAP ActiveAttention offerings helped Uniper deploy several solutions that are part of SAP BTP, including SAP Mobile ServicesSAP Fiori apps, and SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation. These are helping the company expand by providing mobile apps to new lines of business and by using approximately 200 robots to make scheduling and maintenance more manageable with built-in capabilities for SAP S/4HANA.

Additionally, SAP Extension Suite is used to help scale new RPA capabilities and enable HR to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation by sorting personal data and archiving old data.

“The SAP ActiveAttention program supports strong and close collaboration with SAP and enables us to deliver innovation in a very short frequency to our entire business, helping us succeed in our strategy to empower energy evolution,” states Guido Hoever, Uniper’s vice president of Commercial Solutions IT.

Standardizing and Harmonizing Supplier Processes

thyssenkrupp Presta AG (thyssenkrupp) ‒ one of the world’s largest manufacturers of steering columns, steering systems, and cold forging components ‒ is helping shape the future of automotive technology. The company set out to build a standardized process template for all plants as part of the “daproh@steering” project, which stands for harmonizing data and processes in all manufacturing sites across the world.

“Our partners in the automotive industry demand high-quality products. By deploying SAP S/4HANA in the daproh@steering project, working with SAP Services and Support, we have standardized and automated our processes to help us meet and exceed these demands,” shares Alexander Stein, program management for daproh at thyssenkrupp Presta.

thyssenkrupp Presta’s goal with SAP S/4HANA is realizing efficient and standardized processes. In addition, the company wanted to improve tactical and strategic reporting by adopting the SAP BW/4HANA solution.

To achieve these objectives, thyssenkrupp relied on the support of the SAP MaxAttention program. The company streamlined master data creation and management on the back end after implementing the first part for the SAP Master Data Governance application as an embedded function. Then, it introduced selected functions of the SAP Analytics Cloud solution for use as an analytical front end, enabling data-driven decisions. But more important, SAP services experts provided assistance ‒ such as with technical architecture design, solution design advisory, guided security design, and custom-code quality improvement ‒ to assess the company’s readiness for the data migration, validate integrations, and identify any information or process gaps.

Improving the User Experience with a Chatbot

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) improved access to back-end systems and information such as time-critical orders. The company integrated master data with SAP S/4HANA and operationalized it with the SAP Conversational AI service to innovate chatbots that provide serial numbers, shipment slip dates, and more.

“With the help of SAP MaxAttention, we began our work by creating a proof of concept [POC], leveraging the conversational AI component of SAP Business Technology Platform,” explains Arun Navaneethan, senior director of global IT at HPE. “We quickly learned from the POC and finished our chatbot design in a matter of 20 days. That’s the power of transformation.”

The services acted as an accelerator and a catalyst to build chatbots quickly as well as an enabler of future migration of some of their traffic from a legacy Web-based application to an innovative experience. For example, HPE customized chatbot scripting to streamline the user experience and support 24/7 user-query entry and faster generation of the right information.

“The feedback from the [POC] user community has been very positive,” Navaneethan reports. “The initial POC was very pivotal. Although we had a lot of challenges, SAP MaxAttention helped us overcome them.”

Enabling Real Business Transformation

Digital transformation may have been a central theme for businesses in the past. Now more than ever, it has shifted organizations toward going beyond new technology adoption to drive meaningful, impactful, and sustainable change.

Personally, I only see this trend strengthening across all industries. As most SAP customers indicate, executives have a voracious appetite for transforming their business more holistically  ̶  driving a surging interest in services partners that can further differentiate their offerings, business model, and brand reputation.

Augusta Spinelli is executive vice president and global head of Success Delivery Center at SAP.