Off the road after 4,000 glorious miles (7,000 kilometres), starts the journey of the next million. The Transformation Express, India’s much-touted “Cloud-on-Wheels” mobile experience centre, now premieres in the metaverse! The road less taken in the Indian tech space is our ambitious bet to transform the Midmarket landscape with sustainability, cloud-led innovation, and competitiveness.
What started initially as the ‘Global Bharat Movement’ in FY20 with an intent to help businesses upskill digitally and become globally competitive, quickly brought together 50,000 members on Growth Matters Forum, the Midmarket Community in India. The value creation chatter in the community brought to life the possibility of taking SAP to the corners of India that were yet to reap the benefit of technology and innovation. Further, the IDC Infobrief commissioned in Q3’21 revealed that 74% of businesses intended to move to the Cloud in FY22. From this game-changing paradigm of the partnership was born the Transformation Express in Q2’22 to drive sustainable collaboration with our customers, prospects, and partners.
The mobile express touched 7,500 businesses in 13 cities over 45 days and has revealed the real pulse of the market. And we believe this holds the potential to alter the value conversation we have with our consumers. While some expressed the need to understand data, many customers and prospects were interested in managing talent, and many more wanted to grasp the dynamic nature of evolving business models. However, most conversations that surfaced focused on the front office and the benefits of building a customer-first culture.
Indraneel Chitale, an S/4 HANA customer and the keynote speaker at the Mumbai Premier Night of the journey, remarked they wish their consumer brand to be noticed and be present in the minds and emotions of their customers all the time. And, the sale was nothing but a by-product for them. Separately, the COO of a major cement enterprise remarked about the need to leverage data to predict customer behaviour.
The MD of an E100M Electronics company wanted the edge-to-core capability of IoT and the use of real-time data from the shop floor to reduce process inefficiencies and downtimes. The CEO of a small business in the recycling industry in a Tier 2 city aimed to grow 2x in the next three years and wanted best practices in HR processes to hire and retain talent. True everywhere we go, the Dynata Research survey conducted across APJ in Q1’22 revealed that more than 50% of SMEs are finding it difficult to find staff replacements and qualified candidates, and often realise a mismatch of skills for available roles. In addition, more than three-quarters (77%) of SMEs said that workforce volatility had impacted their ability to innovate and drive their digital transformation plans.
With hundreds of such stories, feedback, and enquiries, the Transformation Express has laid bare the essentials that organisations are stoked about today. Here are four broad themes:
- The evolving and dynamic customer presents the most potent challenge. The product is only a vehicle to disrupt. However, the starting point is customer analytics.
- While innovation is central to existence, it requires more than creativity and ideation. Instead, those need to be coupled with process-level innovations that focus on execution and speed, to secure quicker wins and better time-to-market.
- Great resignation is real. Equally so is the reality of Great education. Increasingly, there is a need to define a unique Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that can attract and retain talent and keep transformation tracks intact.
- Finally, mature organisations are approaching transformation with a digital acceleration mindset – emphasising the pursuit of smaller, realistic goals and continuity of the process, while steadily advancing towards longer-term, sustainable transformation.
These insights, right from the heartland of India, motivate us to recommit ourselves to the transformation efforts of our customers and prospects. So, with the Cloud-on-wheels ending the road trip, we embark on its digital twin in the metaverse for immersive virtual experiences to continue the partnership – beyond India’s shores – through our digital avatars.
As they say, a journey of a million miles begins with a single step, and while we have physically traversed over 4,000, here’s raising a cheer for the next million in the metaverse!