SAP explained at a recent event how its cloud solutions help businesses stay agile and resilient.

Pablo Signorelli, SVP of Mid-Market, SAP EMEA South

SAP recently held a networking event in Johannesburg where it addressed its partners and prospective customers about the benefits of its cloud solutions for mid-sized businesses.

The event was incredibly well-attended and provided great value to all who were present.

“We are humbled by our customers’ and partners’ overwhelming interest in learning more about our SAP cloud solutions designed specifically for the Mid-Market,” said Head of Mid-Market for SAP Southern Africa, Tim Toussaint.

“Our customers and partners took advantage of the event to reconnect with our local experts as well as many of our international experts and executives who came down to participate.”

Marketing Director of SAP Africa, Dumisani Moyo, said it was great to be back to doing in-person events.

“This hybrid event gave us the opportunity to connect with our customers and partners in Johannesburg, as well as those who joined us online from across the African continent,” said Moyo.

“This is a particularly significant event for us because we celebrated our 50th anniversary as SAP this past weekend, having started as a start-up in 1972.”

Moyo highlighted that this is one of the key reasons SAP is so passionate about the SME sector.

“80% of our customers are Small and Medium Enterprises. In the African context, SMEs are the future of our continent’s development,” said Moyo.

“The World Bank estimates that SMEs employ more than 50% of the workforce and contribute up to 40% of GDP in emerging economies.”

“We believe that technology can play a critical role in enabling our African SMEs to become tomorrow’s global conglomerates,” he said.

SAP helps businesses overcome key challenges

The event’s keynote speaker was SAP Senior VP of Mid-Market for EMEA South, Pablo Signorelli.

Signorelli said that in his experience, the main priorities of SAP’s customers include revenue growth, increased efficiency, reduced operational costs, improved customer experience, and attracting and retaining targets.

He stressed that SAP’s customers consider it crucial that all of these priorities are achieved in a manner that is sustainable.

However, organizations that want to achieve these goals are met with challenges such as competition, new market spaces, changes to the working environment, cybersecurity, inflation, and devaluation.

Signorelli explained that by adopting SAP’s industry-leading cloud technologies, South African businesses have a massive opportunity to address these challenges.

“Digital transformation through technology is a necessity for mid-sized businesses,” said Signorelli.

“At SAP, we have the solutions to help companies to adapt their business processes to the new reality.”

“All these solutions are available in Cloud and it is this that gives businesses the flexibility and agility to build a competitive and sustainable business in this new world.”

Dumisani Moyo, SAP Africa Marketing Director & Pablo Signorelli, SVP of Mid-Market, SAP EMEA South

SAP’s solutions

SAP experts followed Signorelli’s opening remarks with a breakdown of the SAP solutions that help mid-sized businesses address industry challenges and prepare for future growth.

Andrew Quixley, Head of Business Development and Business Process Intelligence at SAP Africa, expanded upon the benefits of SAP Signavio – SAP’s all-in-one business process software.

“Signavio enables process excellence by enabling you to run best-practice business processes and executing them correctly and consistently,” he said.

“The solution covers the BPM lifecycle from end-to-end and it is really easy to get started – just pick a process for investigation.”

SAP VP of Mid-Market Solution Sales for EMEA South, Evert-Jan Tromp, also expanded on the SAP RISE business suite.

This comprehensive business suite offers resource planning, outcome-driven services, analytics, and internal management tools.

Tromp then touched on the embedded artificial intelligence available through SAP S/4HANA, and highlighted that the resilience and data protection capabilities of both RISE and S/4HANA are key building blocks that work well together.

“We make sure that the necessary backup and recovery are in place so customers can run their businesses in the cloud,” said Tromp.

“As customer trust is one of the most precious assets a business has, we need to make sure their data is managed most securely.”

“To that, we have put the necessary controls and processes in place to make sure that we adhere to all the local legislation in the countries where we operate.”

Driving sustainability

Tromp also highlighted that SAP is committed to promoting sustainable business processes.

“In our S4 Cloud offerings, we let our customers manage sustainability by delivering company-wide transparency and controls,” said Tromp.

“This enables businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and waste with embedded sustainability insight into their industry-specific processes.”

He added that SAP’s new Sustainability Control Tower solution is another great way to provide holistic enterprise-wide sustainability performance management.

SAP is also committed to being a sustainable business in the regions it operates – including Africa.

“We work with the Young Professionals Programme and the Skills for Africa programs to make sure the necessary skills and resources are available within the African countries,” Tromp explained.

“These initiatives focus on negating the need to bring skills and resources from abroad.”

Professor Willem Fourie of the University of Pretoria’s Albert Luthuli Leadership Institute presented on how technology can be a key driver of sustainability in the African context.

He highlighted that while poverty levels have been decreasing globally over the past 20 years, this has resulted in humans having a larger impact on the environment.

Fourie also noted that while our environmental impact continues to increase, the decrease to poverty levels has recently stalled.

He then explained that true transformation that simultaneously reduces poverty levels and our environmental impact can be achieved through technology.

Key technologies like the cloud can help to raise productivity levels, lower productivity costs, and reduce carbon emissions – all at the same time.

He also spoke about the potential for technology to disrupt the world in positive ways in areas like agriculture, medicine, and education.

Businesses must adapt

Tromp mentioned another reason why disruptive innovation is so important in business – history has proven that it is necessary for survival.

He highlighted that since 2000, 52% of companies in the Fortune 500 have gone out of business, and a key reason for this was a lack of agility.

In contrast, smaller businesses have been able to achieve huge success thanks to the rise of agile mid-market solutions.

“From 1955 to 2011, it took Fortune 500 companies an average of 20 years to reach a billion-dollar valuation — whereas today’s startups that have embraced digital transformation are getting there in four years,” he said.

Tromp added that if you don’t advance, you don’t compete — and SAP’s cloud offerings provide the ultimate platform for growth.

“It is crucial that you embrace change, because change allows you to disrupt your industry and outperform your competitors,” said Tromp.

SAP gives your business the competitive edge 

SAP Head of Midmarket Africa, Amin Meqdadi, said SAP stands out from its competitors thanks to its experience – which spans over 50 years.

This means that SAP doesn’t just sell services, it can actively help your business find the best solutions for its needs.

“It is SAP’s offerings that make the difference, and with 80% of our customers considered small and midsize enterprises, we have the experience and solutions to help you meet your goals,” said Meqdadi.

Signorelli echoed this statement, and highlighted that it is crucial for businesses to embrace transformation through the cloud.

“Digital transformation is the way to leverage technology to digitalize key business processes,” he said.

“The best way to start this digital transformation journey is through SAP Cloud Solutions.”

Click here to learn more about SAP’s range of products for mid-market businesses.

This article first appeared on My Broadband: SAP – The best partner to grow your mid-sized business (mybroadband.co.za)