Become a Live Business with Help from the Experts

How SAP Partners Tailor Technologies for Your Top Business Challenges

by Dina Blasi, Senior Marketing Communication Professional, SAP | SAPinsider, Volume 17, Issue 4

October 10, 2016

While the benefits of a digital transformation are clear, the variety of technologies available to help companies undergo this transformation can be overwhelming. SAP’s vast ecosystem of strategic partners is a treasure trove of proven resources that can help you successfully navigate these options and tailor an implementation to your unique requirements. Learn how three recipients of SAP Pinnacle Awards, which recognize top-performing SAP partners, helped SAP customers tackle some of their most critical challenges and successfully become live businesses. 

Mobile and cloud technologies are creating a hyper connected society powered by an explosion of data. Real-time access to that information can be transformational for organizations — in fact, it’s the grounding principle of what we refer to as the “live business,” where real-time data drives business strategy and operations. By using new, innovative technologies, organizations can gain access to the instant insight they need to make effective decisions in the moment, gain a competitive edge, and digitally transform their business.

Companies looking to undertake a digital transformation may find themselves at a crossroads, not knowing which path to take. While the benefits are clear, the variety of technologies available to help companies undergo this transformation can be overwhelming. Partnering with experts in technology and digital transformation can help companies across all industries and locations navigate this task successfully. And the best place for SAP customers to find a partner that can help are among the 2016 SAP Pinnacle Award winners (see Figure 1 for an overview of the 2016 winners and finalists).

Figure 1 — SAP Pinnacle Award winners received recognition across three categories: Build, Service, and Sell

Here, we take a look at how three recipients of a Customers’ Choice award — an SAP Pinnacle Awards category in which customers nominate partners that have helped them transform their business — encouraged SAP customers to tackle some of their most critical business challenges.

Real-time access to information can be transformative — it’s the grounding principle of a live business.

Gaining Visibility into Inventory and Improving Customer Service

For years, Northwest Textbook Depository, an educational materials distributor, felt the digital disruption from enhanced customer service expectations. To improve customer service, it needed to stock the appropriate inventory, but accurate forecasting was a challenge. Like many companies, Northwest Textbook Depository realized that it was relying too heavily on its homegrown legacy system, and that it needed to make operational changes to move the business forward.

To accomplish this, the company turned to Vision33, recipient of the 2016 SAP Pinnacle Award in the Customers’ Choice – Sell category, which understood the potential impact that running a live business would have on the business. Vision33 learned about the customer’s specific business needs, and then implemented SAP Business One, an ERP solution that increased efficiency and simplified processes within the company. Northwest Textbook Depository gained greater visibility into its inventory, which improved customer service and made it easy for representatives to inform customers about related supplemental items and subscription-based purchases.

Having this powerful data readily available also helped increase the accuracy of orders and speed processing, while reducing overhead costs. Vision33 continues to add value to Northwest Textbook Depository’s SAP Business One solution via methods that include “weekly web chat Wednesdays.” The web chats are used to keep this customer and Vision33’s other SAP Business One customers updated on the latest solutions available for SAP Business One.

From Planned to Predictive Maintenance

Delivering exceptional customer service requires a strong foundation, especially when looking at international expansion. Kaeser Kompressoren, a provider of compressed air, was looking to expand beyond its traditional planned maintenance service. The company needed a new, simpler business model to provide industry-leading expertise, services, and supplies for its comprehensive air system solutions. With the help of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), winner of the 2016 SAP Pinnacle Award in the Customers’ Choice – Build category, Kaeser Kompressoren consolidated multiple systems using the SAP HANA platform to run live.

Rather than continuing to operate a planned maintenance service, Kaeser Kompressoren implemented a predictive maintenance scenario using real-time analytics on sensor data from equipment deployed at customer sites. This allowed Kaeser Kompressoren to transform the service business model, achieving higher reliability and reducing maintenance costs. The restructured model now focuses on active monitoring, empowering Kaeser Kompressoren to analyze operating data, detect patterns, and avoid failures. A predictive maintenance approach enhances the product innovation cycle, improves margins and revenue, and helps secure Kaeser Kompressoren’s market position.

Streamlining Data Acquisition and Management

Taking calculated risks is considered par for the course in any business, but when a government-owned corporation that supplies energy to nearly 97% of Queensland, Australia, wanted to consolidate to a single platform and centralize data, all eyes were watching. Ergon Energy commissioned an independent business intelligence review that revealed that SAP HANA could integrate data from multiple sources, including existing tools, quickly while creating data models that would remove its reliance on external technical resources.

Capgemini, a recipient of the 2016 SAP Pinnacle Award in the Customers’ Choice – Service category, had extensive experience in this industry and region, along with strong knowledge of SAP HANA. Capgemini developed an agile, hybrid approach to delivering enterprise business intelligence for Ergon Energy that enabled a significant reduction in the time and effort required for data acquisition activities.

The ease of access to reliable information helped streamline processes surrounding data extraction, storage management, and manipulation. This innovative functionality has had the most notable impact on the democratization of data. Ergon Energy has seen greater collaboration across the organization, faster decision making, and reduction of potential risks.

Engaging with a trusted partner that can tailor an implementation to your company’s unique requirements is a proven way to successfully navigate these options and become a live business.

The Value of Partners That Help Customers Succeed

Digital transformation is all around us, along with a vast array of options for meeting your business needs. Engaging with a trusted partner that can tailor an implementation to your company’s unique requirements is a proven way to successfully navigate these options and become a live business.

One of the ways SAP customers can achieve this is by engaging with a partner that has been honored by the SAP Pinnacle Awards program. Each year, SAP recognizes the contributions of its top-performing partners with these awards. With more than 13,000 partners worldwide, only 16 partners across 19 categories were selected in 2016. And three of those partners were recipients of a Customers’ Choice award — a category where customers nominate partners that have helped them transform their business.

For more information about the SAP Pinnacle Awards program, visit And be sure to look out for the upcoming Customers’ Choice nomination form to submit your transformation story as part of the 2017 SAP Pinnacle Awards. 

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Dina Blasi
Dina Blasi

Dina Blasi is a Senior Marketing Communication Professional specializing in partner communications and is the SAP Pinnacle Awards Program Lead. Before joining SAP in 2007, she worked for ADP in investor communication services, and for Curran & Connors, Inc. in sales and project management. She holds a master’s degree in communications, a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and an associate’s degree in business administration.

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