The past few years have been marked by a profound shift in the concept of “business transformation.” From recent AI advancements to cloud-centric innovations, the boundaries between adapting to change and shaping conditions that radically impact people’s lives for the better are blurring – driving ongoing growth and prosperity.
Many SAP customers are at the forefront of this new era of business transformation, relying on the guidance and expertise offered through SAP Preferred Success. They are mapping out new strategies and developing unique solutions that not only scale up their digital capabilities but also accelerate growth in more relevant, responsible, and self-differentiating ways.
Here is my overview of some of these game-changing transformation successes.
Supporting Citizens with Integrated Solutions
The City of Hamburg leveraged the intuitive self-service capabilities of SAP Business Technology Platform to build on its advanced IT infrastructure to support a digitalized aid-application process – from initial requests, validity checks, and objection handling to payment.
The new aid platform was developed in a hybrid landscape as a side-by-side extension, which enabled a speedy implementation of only three weeks. SAP Preferred Success and SAP Innovation Services offerings were employed for expertise in architecture design and project implementation and management. The city also gained assistance from external partners Dataport and D-Labs to coordinate the back-end integration – running the solution, providing technical support, and building the portal user experience, respectively.
Backing more than 1 million registered cultural events, the platform has the flexibility and scalability to change with the government authority’s technical footprint as needs evolve. AI-based decision support makes the process manageable for a limited workforce. Furthermore, live reporting gives essential, real-time information, such as requested budget amounts and application status, to state authorities and the federal government.
On the social side, the real-time distribution of financial aid allows Hamburg’s cultural industry to thrive, enabling events to occur with reduced capacities and elevating confidence in event planning. Overall, the project’s success is serving as a best-practice model for helping people in need in other sectors or situations in the future quickly and reliably.
Expanding Global Reach Through a Unified Platform
Lenovo Group built a unified end-to-end digital platform to increase global data transparency. This initiative affected five business regions worldwide that involve various people, modules, and business chains. The international technology company applied best-practice guidance and deployment planning methods from customer success experts to create an intelligent innovation culture for the enterprise.
Through the SAP Preferred Success plan for SAP Ariba solutions, Lenovo received exclusive and ongoing access to subject-matter specialists, which proved invaluable when resolving technical issues, addressing functionality concerns, and driving user adoption. Moreover, the company has benefited from frequent workshops to review available features and functionality, develop product adoption strategies, and introduce technical enhancements catering to its globalization goals.
This approach, anchored in a digital mindset, positioned Lenovo on a forward trajectory, enabling it to navigate complex regional compliance and business convergence processes effectively. In return, Lenovo is taking significant steps toward enhancing its operational efficiency and transparency. For example, developing a customized statement system known as the “Progress Cockpit” offers critical business data visibility and traceability, empowering Lenovo to make data-driven decisions more effectively.
Delivering Quality Products by Amplifying the Impact of Cloud ERP
Grupo La Moderna has experienced a smooth and rapid implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition in its Services and Cookies divisions. The deployment helped simplify the food producer’s IT infrastructure and significantly reduced its database size. In addition, best practice-based processes supported by the software enable employees to work faster and more productively, and ready access to expertise allows incidents to be handled quickly and efficiently.
To minimize implementation risk, experts from SAP Preferred Success carried out success checks at each stage of the project, identifying and addressing issues before they become major problems. Doing so provided the confidence that all necessary preparations were in place for a smooth go live.
According to Hermilo Peña, CIO of Corporativo La Moderna, “With the services, tools, and direct access to experts provided by the teams from SAP Preferred Success and SAP Services and Support, we were able to effectively prepare for the deployment and develop a master plan for our journey with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.”
La Moderna continues to receive guidance in unlocking the potential of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. For each new release, the company received recommendations tailored to its specific requirements that show how the new features can be best adopted and used.
Pouring Personalization into Digital Channels
With the SAP Commerce Cloud solution and customer data solutions from SAP as the foundation for its e-commerce Web site, Breakthru Beverage now offers a consumer-like shopping experience for B2B customers. The initiative transformed how Breakthru’s sales team connects with and assists its customers, cementing relationships and leading to US$8.4 million in incremental purchases from existing accounts following the launch.
A complete and personalized success plan from SAP Preferred Success empowered Breakthru to harness the comprehensive functionality of the cloud-based commerce solutions. The company received in-depth recommendations for solution deployments and gained access to a designated customer success partner. Plus, constant communication in the form of technical calls, road map discussions, and continuous delivery of success checks and best-practice sessions helped optimize its solution investment’s value.
As a result of its transformation, Breakthru has more insights into how and when its customers want to be served. Elsewhere, sales reps have always-on access, supporting real-time selling on the go. Most orders are delivered within 24 hours, while pricing on Breakthru Now is in sync with the pricing sales reps offer. And in terms of efficiency, the company saved 6,000 sales-rep hours following the launch.
Elevating the Employee Experience with the Cloud
To strengthen its employee relationships, Purolator Inc. transformed its business, HR, and employee experience technology in the cloud. Canada’s largest courier, freight, and logistics company recognized the importance of modernizing its existing on-premise ERP and core HR software. This led to a clear decision to move to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution.
Throughout the cloud migration journey, Purolator relied on SAP Preferred Success to gain access to SAP expert resources – from planning to implementation. This partnership assisted in the company’s integration of existing SAP SuccessFactors solutions with the private edition of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, enhancing the employee experience with self-services and supporting core business operations such as finance.
Doug Patzelt, HCM lead for the future ERP transformation project at Purolator, explains, “There have been numerous cases when we’ve called on SAP Preferred Success services, and they’ve been critical to the project. Our regular meetings with the team keep us on top of new releases and help with issue resolution.”
After implementing the cloud solutions, Purolator brought together the company’s HR, IT, and finance teams to establish a new software foundation that works as one integrated system across operations in Canada and the U.S. Employees have access to better HR self-service tools, reporting capabilities, and data analytics – all as part of a harmonized experience that requires less dependence on internal IT resources. More impressively, the company has a newfound ability to quickly grant or revoke access when employees are hired or leave the business.
Easing an Agile, Future-Ready Transition to the Cloud
Hitachi High-Tech America Inc. envisioned a reshaping of its operations to form an ideal management model. But instead of improving its current state, the high tech manufacturer invested in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition to create future-ready business operations with a bold step toward becoming an intelligent enterprise.
Working with SAP Preferred Success, Hitachi was able to not only successfully implement the solution but also obtain tailored release updates. It also received advice on new features, such as mobile apps for the SAP Extended Warehouse Management application.
To this day, the services provide on-demand, tailored enablement on functional or product updates and solution-specific learning opportunities, including access to the edition of SAP Learning Hub for SAP Preferred Success. They support the go-live of critical functionality, give advanced notice of deprecated items (such as warehouse management APIs), and offer extensive access to expert resources to address questions and provide crucial knowledge. Plus, Hitachi has a close relationship with an internal SAP advocate who escalates issues, helps resolve critical items, and connects with a development team from SAP to clearly communicate needs.
“We have been very pleased with the quality and caliber of the team of experts for SAP Preferred Success,” says Randal Miller, general manager of the IT division at Hitachi. “They actively engaged with our needs and took ownership to resolve issues. We greatly appreciate their guidance and continued support as we move forward from our on-premise ERP system mindset toward leveraging the capabilities of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.”
Raising the Bar in 2024 and Beyond
Reflecting on these initiatives and many more achieved by organizations using cloud solutions from SAP in partnership with SAP Preferred Success, it is no wonder transformations now go beyond incremental improvements and the adoption of breakthrough technologies. They have the required guidance to prioritize their growth and operational efficiency while improving resiliency, embracing integration, driving personalization, and eliminating technology debt.
Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we anticipate that our customers will have the choice to gain additional advantages from the expanded edition of SAP Preferred Success, such as:
- Prescriptive solution reviews that aid more-effective decision-making
- Feature adoption assistance for building and operating resilient solutions
- Extended expert access and enhanced services to maximize the use of cloud investments
With such a strategic, expertise-led, and cloud-centric approach, our customers will continue to be well-prepared to explore new business opportunities and tackle any challenges that come their way.
Andreia Bessa is global program lead for SAP Preferred Success at SAP.