The 4 lessons for future-proof businesses we learned at SAP Now Southeast Asia


SAP Now Southeast Asia (SEA) brought together more than 1,000 customers, partners, and technology experts from around the region to experience first-hand how SAP helps customers solve their most pressing problems and future-proof their businesses.

So, what lessons can we learn from the innovations and collaborations on show, and how can customers navigate an uncertain future with certainty?

LESSON 1: Innovation through business AI is here today

There’s never been a more exciting time for innovation, and that’s because of AI. Generative AI and large language models (LLMs) are dominating headlines and business conversation.

But AI is not new to SAP – it’s already embedded in our solutions and being used by more than 26,000 customers today. For example, take the Talent Intelligence Hub in SAP SuccessFactors. It helps employees build and maintain a skills portfolio with the help of AI, enabling employees to showcase their strengths, workstyles, and preferences. Plus, it helps staff get personalised recommendations for career paths, training, and mentors, all in the one place.

And there’s more to come. SAP recently announced 15 new business AI capabilities, many powered by generative AI, as well as significant partnerships with Microsoft, Google, and IBM.


LESSON 2: Greater sustainability means accounting for carbon

SAP has been known for managing resources for more than half a century. But today, we know the world’s resources are in danger: sustainability is the business challenge of our generation.

So, SAP is reinventing the “R” in ERP by extending the definition of resources beyond financial and goods flows to include sustainability metrics like carbon. That is what we call the green ledger – ledger-based accounting for carbon, so companies can manage the carbon with the same accounting quality as financial data.

Technology is bringing sustainability and business processes together at a fundamental level. As Sudarto Unsurlany, Head of Digitalization at PT Petrosea Tbk., noted, “Our transformation has been driven by our 3D strategy of digitalisation, diversification, and decarbonisation as the enabler for our company to pursue not only superior but also sustainable performance. Tapping into various digital solutions within SAP ecosystem along with our Minerva Digital Platform as the in-house platform for end-to-end digital mining solutions has helped bring in connectivity, insights, and impacts to support our aspiration to become a sustainable resource in the upcoming future.”

LESSON 3: Future-proof businesses are investing today for a resilient tomorrow

We are future-proofing businesses by connecting industries and enterprises. But what does a future-proof business look like?

The past three years have accelerated the speed of change for many of us. The travel industry was at the very centre of that change, especially as demand for air travel increased again following a challenging period for the industry.

That’s why SAP’s long-time customer, Bangkok Airways, a regional airline based in Thailand, selected RISE with SAP to be ready for whatever the future may hold. Bangkok Airways now benefits from a unified cloud operating model that removes complexities in its systems. The new platform provides improved visibility of flight performance and profitability through a connected, central process. It is driving future resilience through innovation today.


LESSON 4: Creating value is a marathon we run together, not a sprint

The accelerating pace of innovation is also enabling new opportunities for value creation. But no company can innovate alone – collaboration is critical. That demands a continuous process, working together to envision an organisation’s future state, assess value creation opportunities, and build a structured transformation road map.

What does that look like in practice? Let’s look at our customer Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC), the infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group – one of the Philippines’ largest conglomerates. AIC started its transformation journey with RISE with SAP at its digital core. After experiencing the benefits SAP offers, we worked with the AIC team to define its strategy, desired outcomes, and ambitions across the company’s functional areas. Then we devised a future vision and compared it to the current state of play to see how technology can achieve it.

This saw the adoption of a suite of SAP solutions, including our travel and expense platform, SAP Concur, SAP Business Technology Platform, and SAP Digital Supply Chain. AIC’s digitisation journey has been powered by the SAP customer value journey at every stage.

“With SAP BTP and RISE with SAP as our guiding principle, we have witnessed the breadth of SAP’s portfolio,” said Raymund Ramos, Chief Information Officer, Aboitiz InfraCapital. “This is integral in driving our entire digital roadmap for the next five years and in helping realise Aboitiz’s group vision of becoming the Philippines’ first ‘techglomerate’.”


Southeast Asia is a region of opportunity

We are at an inflection point for our region and SAP’s mission in SEA to uplift the lives of 700 million people in our region.

SAP Now SEA revealed how SAP is doing that in four key ways – boosting innovation through business AI, driving sustainable outcomes with the green ledger, future-proofing infrastructure for resiliency, and driving ongoing value through collaboration.

The event followed the announcement of SAP’s Asia Pacific Q2 2023 earnings, noting significant cloud growth and highlighting new SEA customer wins and go-lives including Visa, Singtel, FGV IFFCO, and Aboitiz InfraCapital.

Check out more SAP Now SEA content here.