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IBM and SAP Combine Efforts to Accelerate SAP S/4HANA Implementations

Feature Article | January 16, 2018 by Harald Martin, Keith Costello

Pre-configured SAP and IBM industry accelerators for SAP S/4HANA pave the way to digital transformation.

IBM and SAP have been working together to drive the modernization of clients’ systems and processes to thrive in today’s global economy. Since our digital transformation partnership announcement in 2016, our companies have been working together to offer businesses of all sizes a clear roadmap to innovate new business models, products, and processes to improve outcomes.

As we collaborate closely with our customers, we have seen many of the challenges posed by their existing systems and IT infrastructures that weren’t built for the constantly changing requirements of a data-driven business environment. As customers are seeking to implement next-generation platforms capable of meeting the demands of modern-day business, the need for additional tools has become clear.

To help businesses keep up with increasingly rapid change, and accelerate the pace of their digital transformations, IBM and SAP are collaborating to expand SAP Model Company offerings with IBM’s Industry Impact solutions. With IBM as the first SAP Partner to leverage the SAP Model Company framework, we are working together to offer the market a complementary set of capabilities helping to simplify and speed outcomes for clients that want to become AI-enabled enterprises.

The breadth and depth of the SAP and IBM industry accelerators, combined with the strength of SAP and IBM’s consulting practices, gives customers a major head start on their SAP S/4HANA projects and provide clients the ability to realize value from their deployments with even greater speed and agility as they pave the way to digital transformation.

Early adopters of this combined approach are already seeing significant benefits, including exponentially greater process coverage and, according to IBM research estimates, from 20 to 30% increases in implementation speed from the use of pre-configured industry solutions.*

By offering combined complementary sets of capabilities and solutions, customers can expect greater value through enhanced customer and user experiences and industry-specific functionality— all enabled with SAP S/4HANA, available on premise and in the cloud.

For example, this summer, our companies jointly announced the first innovative offering for the retail and consumer packaged goods industries aimed to help businesses increase profitability and improve the consumer experience by responding with speed, precision and confidence leveraging hyper-local data and AI. This capability is integrated into IBM’s Impact Industry solution and will now be a part of our complementary Food and Beverage solution.

IBM currently delivers accelerators for industries including retail, consumer products, food and beverage, auto, life sciences, industrial products (IM&C), high-tech/electronics, wholesale distribution, utilities, A&D, oil and gas, chemicals and public sector. On average, the IBM Impact solutions extend SAP Model Company’s strong foundation and rich industry content with more than 100 additional pre-configured processes to each industry accelerator. In addition, IBM offers a deeply enriched set of data conversion, testing, and training accelerators to compliment the embedded processes. That means more industries making speedier transformations, and more businesses empowered to embrace the new data-driven world.

For more information on this partnership, visit www.ibm-sap.com/digital_transformation. Let us show you how IBM and SAP industry solutions can help jump start your S/4HANA journey.
Sign up today for an SAP S/4HANA Impact Assessment.

Harald Martin is senior vice president in the SAP Digital Business Services (DBS) board area, leading the DBS Partner Strategy and Business Development with a focus on joint engagement models with partners. Prior to this appointment, he was senior vice president in the SAP Global Partner Operations organization, responsible for the channel expansion strategy to identify and build additional indirect revenue streams. Earlier Harald held various roles including head of Strategic Service Partners, SAP’s internet/intranet strategy, corporate business development and joint go-to-market with partners for SAP products such as SAP NetWeaver, ERP, analytics and MDM. Martin is an SAP veteran with more than 24 years of experience in various roles. In particular, he has an outstanding expertise in strategic alliances, partner business development, sales, complex project management and a broad understanding of and experience in American, European and Asian business cultures. He is located at the SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany


Keith Costello is global vice president and general manager, SAP Global Business Services Leader, IBM. He doesn’t just embrace change, he drives it. For over 25 years, he’s helped leading technology firms develop and deploy advancements that transform industries, shift economies, and alter the way we work. Collaborating with clients, Mr. Costello has enabled growing organizations and Fortune 500 corporations implement revolutionary systems that improve processes in the workplace, freeing humans from mundane tasks, and increasing the value of those whose imagination and passion stimulate further innovation. Mr. Costello now brings his decades of accomplishment to IBM where he will be leading the global SAP business in GBS, and assisting joint clients as they implement new technology strategies to drive long-term growth and profitability. Mr. Costello is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley.


*Based on analysis of project estimates and actuals by IBM’s Impact Project Estimation Team

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