Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation Hits Tech Sweet Spot with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition Deployment


One of Africa’s leading sugar producers is celebrating significant cost-savings and efficiency gains following a landmark deployment of SAP’s powerful S/4HANA Cloud, public edition platform.

Rob Coombe, Group IT Manager at Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation, says the new technology platform will support the company’s business strategy by unlocking greater agility, cost-efficiency and innovation capability. “Our SAP S/4HANA Cloud public edition deployment drives greater efficiency across our business by allowing us to leverage best-practice standards that keep processes running smoothly while unlocking significant cost savings. The power and scalability of the platform can also support our business as we enter new product segments and markets, allowing us to quickly and efficiently bring new processes and business capabilities online.”

Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation is one of Eswatini’s largest companies, employing more than 4500 people and producing two-thirds of the country’s sugar and more than 35-million litres of ethanol per year. The company has a long history of leveraging SAP solutions to power its business processes, and in 2014 became the first company in Southern Africa to commission more than 25 SAP modules.

“We sought a replacement for our SAP ECC systems and did extensive research, even looking beyond the SAP landscape,” explains Coombe. “We were impressed with SAP’s vision for the public cloud, and the quick and efficient execution of that vision. We identified SAP S/4HANA Cloud as the best fit for us, and opted for a Public Cloud deployment to support our end-to-end business processes while unlocking significant cost savings across our business.”

One of the contributing factors to the success of the deployment is Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation’s use of best-practice processes and templates. “SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public  Edition has benefited from immense development work that has helped it mature into a very attractive business proposition,” says Coombe. “There was nothing about our business needs that differentiated us to the point of needing more customisation. We adopted the standard processes offered by S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, leaving us free to spend time and resources on areas of the business where we do want to differentiate.”

Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation plays a vital role within local communities, providing housing and infrastructure to the more than 2500 families that are involved in sugar cane farming. The company also supports seven government-owned schools serving its communities and supports broader infrastructure around its farms and production facilities.

“Using our new SAP capabilities, we can support every part of our business, from the production of sugar and ethanol to running estates and roads in our villages,” explains Coombe. “The modern architecture offered by SAP allows us to spin new processes and capabilities up when needed, or scale down underutilised processes. This is helping us drive efficiencies across every facet of our business, unlocking significant value along the way.”

Innovation is a key part of Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation’s strategic business goals. To encourage his teams to seek opportunities for innovation, Coombe has instituted a ‘free Friday’ where IT teams are encouraged to explore the SAP Business Technology Platform and find novel solutions to common business problems. “After only a few weeks, we’ve seen incredible excitement among our employees over the possibilities offered by our new SAP platform. It has brought new energy to the IT department that has spilled over to the rest of the business as users become more aware of what the platform offers.”

Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director for Southern Africa at SAP, lauds the excellent use of technology and best-practices to drive innovation and efficiency across Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation’s business. “The world’s leading companies leverage technology to support ambitious business strategies, empowering every layer of the organisation with powerful new capabilities. With Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation’s outstanding utilisation of SAP’s latest S/4HANA Public Cloud platform, the business can confidently step into the next phase of its growth and innovation journey, knowing that critical business processes will be enhanced and supported for years to come.”