If you haven’t been keeping close tabs on SAP’s burgeoning industry cloud strategy and all the innovative business solutions it has yielded lately, prepare to be amazed.
Now two-and-half years old, SAP’s industry cloud, fueled by unprecedented cooperation between system integrators, app developers, and SAP, is fast gaining momentum, having produced a steadily growing number of ready-to-implement industry cloud solutions built on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) for use by customers within and across more than two dozen industry verticals.
A solution that emerged recently from one of those verticals, the utility sector, illustrates the seemingly limitless possibilities – and the win-win-win outcomes – that this collaborative ecosystem can create for its participants. EY, one of our system-integrator partners – we call them global strategic partners, or GSPs, at SAP – was working with a large New England energy company to replace the company’s legacy billing system with an SAP solution.
What happened next speaks directly to the potentially massive and sometimes unexpected opportunities that can spring from industry cloud collaborations between SAP and GSPs. Soon after the new billing systems went live in April 2022, the energy company deemed the implementation with EY such a success that it decided to extend the SAP solution to one of its statewide markets using the RISE with SAP offering, inking a multi-year agreement that can enable the company’s subsidiaries to ultimately move to SAP S/4HANA as part of an enterprise-wide journey to the cloud. The ability to show the customer the EY Power & Utilities Insight Center (PUIC), a pre-built and industry cloud accelerator with out-of-the-box dashboarding powered by SAP Analytics Cloud, helped cement the deal.
Not only does the deal testify to EY’s superior work serving that customer, it shows how, through collaboration and innovation, a relatively small project for a GSP can blossom into something much broader and more lucrative. This particular outcome wouldn’t have been possible without EY and SAP working closely together throughout the multi-phase, two-and-a-half-year process.
Stories like this abound within SAP’s industry cloud. Driven by the spirit of co-innovation, SAP’s industry cloud has yielded hundreds of solutions that are ready for application in verticals that include discrete manufacturing, consumer industries, energy and natural resources, and financial and professional services.
SAP’s industry cloud embodies an important shift in mindset at SAP, where instead of focusing solely on creating monolithic, highly proprietary, all-encompassing solutions for customers, we’re cultivating a community in which to collaboratively develop more modular cloud solutions with our GSPs that then can bring those solutions to their customers à la carte to fill the gaps or white space in their business application landscape, or combine them into fully integrated end-to-end packages tailored specifically to the needs of their customers.
Credit for successes like the utility example often goes to our GSPs – the likes of Accenture, Capgemini, EY, IBM, Deloitte, InfoSys, Wipro, PwC, TCS, NTT, HCL, TechMahindra, DxC, LTI, Tenthpin, and more than a dozen others. The comprehensive offerings they have developed under the auspices of SAP’s industry cloud range from industry cloud innovations, reference architectures, and business process models, to industry templates and implementation accelerators, to data models and preconfigured interfaces.
While many of these GSPs compete head-to-head in certain markets, here in the world of SAP’s industry cloud they are collaborators and co-innovators aligned around a common goal: providing customers with access to open business-transformation and business intelligence solutions that can enable them to run more efficiently and focus more on higher-value strategic priorities.
To this point, we’ve seen our GSPs invest a total of more than US$300 million to develop industry cloud solutions, with more to come. Now they’re monetizing their investments by selling the services and solutions they developed directly to customers and by breaking down those broader solutions into discrete industry innovations that they offer on SAP Store. Through their involvement in industry cloud, GSPs can develop and productize exactly what their customers want: pre-built, preconfigured, ready-to-integrate solutions that help accelerate the time to value for their transformation to the cloud and, in the process, shift capital expense to an operating expense, an important consideration in this era of high inflation.
SAP’s industry cloud can provide GSPs with virtually endless opportunities to help forge new client and partner relationships, cultivate business in new markets, and generally expand their portfolio and revenue streams. Those areas of opportunities include providing:
- Industry subject matter expertise and advisory resources for business processes
- Ready-to-deploy industry cloud partner software solutions
- Stand-alone, customer-specific solutions for following industry cloud architecture principles
- Pre-built or pre-configured integration services to help extend and connect third-party applications with SAP solutions
- Pre-integrated or pre-built industry data models and content
Each day brings news of another industry innovation, a new alliance or partnership, or a new project or customer for one of our GSPs. For example, through its work with a large energy company in the Middle East as part of SAP’s industry cloud, Wipro is developing a shutdown, turnaround, and outages solution on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) that it plans to productize and offer globally, with SAP as one of its go-to-market channels. The revenue potential for this new solution appears to be substantial.
And we’re seeing equally promising deals, collaborations, and solutions emerge from other verticals. In the life sciences arena, for example, Tenthpin, which has strong ties to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers, has been the catalyst for development of a variety of industry cloud solutions on SAP BTP that can have broad application across that industry. Needless to say, Tenthpin’s decision to actively participate in SAP’s industry cloud is paying major dividends for the company and its customers.
SAP’s industry cloud is that rare business ecosystem where stakeholder interests can not only converge, but align – and where the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts in terms of the value it generates for stakeholders. As of October 2022, that ecosystem has produced more than 300 open platform solutions and innovations, all designed with one goal in mind: to help customers become more intelligent, profitable, and sustainable enterprises.
Holger Brammer is global VP and head of Industry Cloud GTM at SAP.