Modern enterprises face the dual challenge of outperforming their competition while delivering consistently-positive customer experiences. Entire industries are upended overnight due to digital disruption.
The demands of the Experience Economy mean brands are expected to deliver consistently excellent experiences at every interaction with customers and partners.
And the only way to do so at speed and at scale is to harness the power of the cloud. Organisations are well aware of this: SAP’s cloud user base is now over 186 million, and our cloud revenue recently overtook the revenue from our net-new on-premise license business – by 2023, we expect to triple our 2018 cloud revenue.
However, getting to the cloud can be daunting. Organisations want the best possible business outcomes when they invest in new technology or adopt new business processes. The promise from “Old IT” was that, by keeping all your tech on-premise, you maintain better control over the overall effectiveness and efficiency of your tech infrastructure. It used to be a safety net of sorts, ensuring that measurable impact can be delivered.
But the modern business landscape is too complex and the pace of change too quick to rely solely on on-premise infrastructure. Innovation is a battle that most companies have to fight on the global stage: it doesn’t matter that Airbnb and Uber are US companies, their disruptive impact can be found around the globe. For companies that wish to innovate and scale into this highly competitive global marketplace, it’s counterproductive to forego the cost and scalability benefits of the cloud.
That’s what makes the new SAP HANA Cloud Services that was announced last month so exciting. It brings the power and performance of the SAP HANA database to the cloud, where it becomes the single gateway to data of any size.
Once cloud-native, the combination of the in-memory technology of SAP HANA with data virtualization delivers simplicity to data consumers and flexibility to data managers. What’s more, by enabling customers to easily extend and integrate SAP applications with differentiating capabilities, SAP and partners alike enrich the platform by contributing and scaling their business expertise.
To ease this process, SAP recently announced project “Embrace”, a collaborative program with Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud along with a number of global strategic service providers that has the single aim of easing the process of enterprise cloud migration.
By working closely with customers, SAP has identified that companies migrating to the cloud expect operational excellence and innovation as key benefits. We see this as big steps toward establishing Intelligent Enterprise capabilities, where an intelligent suite of applications for key business process combines with intelligent technologies such as AI and machine learning, all supported by a cloud-based digital platform to deliver intelligence, agility and business productivity.
“Embrace” is designed to shape organisations’ journeys to becoming Intelligent Enterprises by streamlining teaming and speeding up risk-managed implementations.
It takes a multi-pronged approach to ensuring a positive customer experience throughout the cloud migration by looking after the following components:
- Solution, a set of foundational services running on SAP Cloud Platform to enable the integration, orchestration and extension of various systems and third-party applications running in the cloud or on premise;
- Reference architecture: A jointly developed technical blueprint that incorporates the required SAP and hyperscaler components to run the customer’s applications;
- Market-approved journeys, a jointly created and market-approved road map to SAP S/4HANA by industry – created with hyperscalers and global strategic service partners; and
- New SAP MaxAttention and ActiveAttention services, a newly launched set of services designed to support customers running a cloud or hybrid infrastructure on a hyperscaler.
And once you’re running your operations in the cloud, your business can start harnessing one of its most important resources: data. The Intelligent Enterprise thrives on data, seamlessly integrating back-office and front-office data and deploying powerful exponential technologies to generate accurate real-time insights.
These insights guide product development to ensure the delivery of positive customer experiences throughout every touchpoint.
What’s more, finding unexplored opportunities within existing data sets and applying innovation and technology to turn those opportunities into products and services can yield exponential results.
And that’s critical to success: if organisations are going to keep up with the pace of change, they need to focus on the transformational aspects. Incremental improvements are not enough to keep you ahead of the game. Organisations need to constantly transform: the bi-modal IT model is falling away, as the predictable and exploratory processes are becoming one and the same.
What companies should seek in this inevitable migration to powerful and hyper scalable cloud services is a partner that can bring local context to global best practice and accelerate the process of building Intelligent Enterprise capabilities. In today’s business world, can you settle for anything less?
For more information, visit www.sap.com.