Gaining Confidence in the Cloud: An SAP S/4HANA Case Study with Intrigo

The public cloud services market is expected to grow 18 percent this year, according to Gartner, totaling $246.8 billion. With the research firm also predicting sizeable growth in the Middle East and North Africa, India and the Asia/Pacific region by year’s end, it’s clear that this is a global movement that is on the rise among today’s enterprises.

Although many companies are still determining their overall cloud strategy, the question for many is not whether to implement a cloud solution, but when and how it will be carried out. Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, has cited numerous reasons for this uptick in cloud services, noting that many companies are now realizing the benefits of cloud solutions, which include greater agility and scalability, lower costs, and more opportunities for innovation – all of which are factors that fuel business growth and enable companies to keep pace within their industries.

Case in Point: Intrigo Systems

One such company benefiting from the cloud is Intrigo Systems, a systems integrator and technology service provider that specializes in implementing extended supply chain solutions for its customers. Started in 2009, the company has undergone tremendous growth within the last eight years. This has resulted in a customer base of nearly 200 organizations, with revenues ranging from $300M to $60B, which are served by Intrigo’s network of more than 250 consultants worldwide.

While most of its operations are based in North America, Intrigo has been expanding its business. The company has gone from having offices in Fremont, Calif., Houston and Dallas to establishing a presence worldwide. Today, Intrigo boasts offices not only in multiple United States cities, but in Chennai, Bangalore, Frankfurt and Heidelberg.

Designing for the Future

Intrigo’s remarkable success and growth since its formation led the company to a crossroads. Like many in its position, it needed to start looking ahead and considering what tools would be required to create a foundation that could support its aggressive global scale-up.

“We realized the only way we could do this was to bring automation and the digital transformation to our enterprise, said Kanth Krishnan, chief customer officer of Intrigo Systems. “Another important consideration for us was how we could accomplish this efficiently, while still providing our customers and network of consultants with top-notch service and resources.”

Intrigo began drilling down into its business processes, identifying the need to eliminate redundancies and enhance its resource management capabilities. By implementing SAP Integrated Business Planning, the company has been able to better manage its assets. This has improved its ability to oversee its network of consultants and satisfy the various needs of its wide-ranging customer base.

Following this, the company turned to another trouble spot: travel and expenses. As the business grew, Intrigo’s consultants began to expand their reach, traveling worldwide to deliver its services and expertise to customers, many of which operate on an international scale. Intrigo knew it was critical to establish a more organized and scalable means of tracking these items. To accomplish this, it turned to Concur, which has helped the organization better manage these processes. While IBP and Concur have helped address specific areas of the business, there was still the issue of how best to manage the company’s operations holistically.

“We felt as if we had hit a wall,” said Krishnan. “We’d grown to such a degree that we felt limited by many of our other systems, which couldn’t deliver the services we needed from a multinational standpoint. We thought about implementing local solutions in each country, but that didn’t really make sense to us. We realized we needed a more inclusive solution and couldn’t think of any company better suited to provide it than SAP.”

Enter SAP S/4HANA Cloud

Intrigo wanted to create a single platform on which it could operate as a cohesive, global entity. It also wanted the ability to manage its resources and projects more efficiently. The company hoped that a more intuitive and comprehensive system would allow it to gain better visibility into its projects, from where money and resources were spent to how different initiatives translated into outcomes for customers.

Understanding how its projects were operating was just one aspect the company’s journey. Intrigo knew it needed to put in place a system that could not only supply valuable data on how its money and employees were being allocated, but also provide insight that would help the company make proactive changes to improve its operations and lower expenses.

To accomplish these goals, Intrigo turned once again to SAP; this time to its SAP S/4HANA Cloud Solution. Equipped with the power of SAP’s advanced in-memory platform, SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA Cloud brings contextual analytics, digital assistance capabilities, machine learning and the award-winning SAP Fiori user interface to the public cloud, enabling companies to benefit from the latest and most innovative advances in ERP without sizeable upfront capital expenditures or extensive infrastructure changes.

Through the most recent updates to the platform, SAP has added even more intelligence to its Cloud ERP solution in the form of SAP Co-Pilot, the personal assistant for enterprises, which streamlines many of the tedious tasks associated with enterprise maintenance and offers insights and guidance to drive efficient collaboration and better business decisions.

A New, Intelligent ERP Core

In just eight weeks, SAP S/4HANA Cloud became the intelligent core of Intrigo’s ERP platform. The rapid implementation of the solution ensured that the company could smoothly transition its operations without any lapse in service or functions. This was a fit-to-standard implementation, with most functionality working out of the box. It also integrated seamlessly with existing solutions, such as IBP and Concur, to serve as a scalable, long-term platform capable of growing and changing with the company. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Intrigo has not only established a strong ERP foundation to see it into the decades ahead, but put into practice a resource that leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to help it remain responsive and competitive within its market.

As a result, Intrigo has gained greater visibility into its operations, enhanced its resource management capabilities, reduced revenue leakage, built robust controls and compliance processes, and instituted an intuitive, unified platform on which is can oversee global business operations from end-to-end. This is bringing increased transparency and efficiency to every aspect of the business, from billing and timesheets, to customer engagement and employee satisfaction.

With the comprehensive and dynamic foundation established by SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Intrigo can confidently continue its aggressive push into new regions and markets, knowing it has the support of SAP’s cloud platform as its foundation for years to come.

Darren Roos is president of SAP S/4HANA Cloud