Unpacking cloud ERP for growing businesses: harnessing agility, speed and visibility

Here’s how tomorrow’s global leaders are rapidly adopting cloud ERP to support their success

Fast-growing companies are increasingly moving to cloud ERP to transform their operations and take advantage of international opportunities. This positions them for future success and allows them to leave clunky legacy systems behind.

Cloud ERP is enterprise resource planning software accessible over the web, delivered as a service. It connects to data sources, equipment and other applications. This technology helps businesses adapt to challenges in the operating environment and thrive in challenging times.

SAP Asia Pacific Japan’s senior vice president and head of enterprise cloud, Peter Moore, says now more than ever, leading organisations are intelligently automating processes and securing access to data-driven business insights.

“Fast-growing businesses across our region are increasingly embracing SAP’s cloud ERP, with more than 90% of new customers adopting cloud ERP over traditional, on-premise ERP,” Moore says.

The New Zealand-headquartered pipe and tank manufacturer Bailey is a prime example. In just five months, the business was able to implement a range of cloud solutions, including:

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition

  • SAP Business Technology Platform

  • SAP Signavio business process management and transportation management

  • SAP Intelligent Spend and Business Network

The project was managed by Realtech, an SAP partner, and achieved a host of benefits including eliminating many paper-based processes and improving efficiencies. Plus, staff now have all the tools they need to work remotely and on the road.

Bailey’s chief executive officer, David Bailey, says a fast rollout and having the right support team were critical.

“We’re growing quickly as a company and have other things we need to focus on,” he says. “We knew a speedy implementation of SAP cloud solutions might be hard, but the benefits would be worth the effort. And we were right, with our staff enthusiastically embracing the new technology and significant business benefits already being realised.”

Leading the market

SAP’s cloud ERP includes a range of features that set it apart and support firms on their digital transformation journeys.

Moore says: “Everyone’s talking about AI, but the difference with SAP’s cloud ERP is that we have embedded AI. This unlocks high volumes of data and integrated, real-time analytics that can help uncover innovative business models to drive new revenue streams.

“The suite of intelligent technologies our customers can access with SAP’s cloud ERP includes machine learning and robotic process automation. We’re committed to continuous innovation across the platform and cloud ERP helps our customers innovate and adapt.”

Within SAP’s cloud ERP, machine learning algorithms analyse large volumes of data to extract valuable insights. These insights can help identify patterns, trends and anomalies in the data, enabling businesses to make informed decisions and enhance their operations.

Additionally, robotic process automation streamlines repetitive and rules-based tasks, reducing human error, speeding up processes and freeing up firms to focus on revenue-generating activities.

Working with specialists

When you’re a fast-growing business with global ambitions, it’s essential to operate on infrastructure that’s the right size for this purpose. This is why so many firms are choosing to move to Grow with SAP, a specialist cloud ERP for mid-market enterprises.

“We have embedded industry best-practice content within Grow with SAP to help our customers access the content for which SAP is known as a market leader,” Moore says. “Grow with SAP is scalable, flexible and addresses industry and line of business needs.”

Grow with SAP has everything enterprises need to support their success. It includes:

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud public edition, a ready-to-run cloud ERP that delivers continuous innovation.

  • The SAP Business Technology Platform, which includes SAP Build, a low-code solution that helps accelerate software development and automation.

  • Package activation services, which include advice and tools.

  • A growing ecosystem of support to help customers quickly adopt new technologies.

  • Continually updated community and learning resources, delivered with trusted partners.

The SAP cloud ERP advantage

An adaptable cloud ERP is vital for growing companies that want to shake off the legacies of the past.

“These organisations need an ERP that’s modern, with the ability to leverage best practice, which is what cloud ERP delivers,” Moore says.

It also gives firms agility: the ability to rapidly respond to the changing market and customer requirements. This is especially important for companies with growth potential because they have to react quickly to seize opportunities.

“They need to be able to open new locations, launch new products and services and make strategic decisions, supported by technology,” Moore says.

An example is Restaurant Brands, which has implemented many SAP solutions, including SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, across its operations. The Auckland-headquartered firm operates franchises such as KFC and Pizza Hut, with more than 350 stores across Australia, New Zealand and the US, which serve hundreds of thousands of customers every day.

Moore says: “The business has grown rapidly through acquisition. So it relies on a cloud ERP that can grow and evolve with it, without needing to dramatically increase the number of people needed to run the business. Restaurant Brands has been able to use our technology to automate processes and be more productive so it can scale it at pace.”

The enhanced visibility that SAP’s cloud ERP offers Restaurant Brands makes it easy for the firm to connect to suppliers, consumers and its team. “They also have greater transparency over cashflow, which allows them to easily see where they should focus and invest,” Moore says.

Cloud is the future

Many organisations are focusing on building a path to cloud ERP.

“What’s important is to do it at a pace the business can handle, taking advantage of industry best practice and getting ready for the innovation that’s coming,” Moore says.

“It’s all about being more productive and having access to the data assets within the organisation to be able to drive bigger, impactful, sustainable business outcomes. We’re excited to help our customers secure their future business success.”