The cloud is changing the very nature of the enterprise software market. With cloud solutions, companies are achieving faster adoption, more innovation, and better usability, but also seeing key business benefits such as increased stock turn, greater employee retention, and top-line revenue.
SAP is working with trusted partners to deliver SAP-based solutions in a secure, private cloud environment with managed services in a subscription-based model. With this program, called partner managed cloud, partners deliver their cloud services based on SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA) to speed the transition to the cloud and can also add new cloud-based applications within an existing environment. This makes it easier than ever for organizations of all sizes and in all industries to quickly realize the benefits of a unique, customized enterprise solution.
Functionality — and Security — in the Cloud
The private cloud is the fastest growing cloud segment in the enterprise market. A 2015 survey on cloud computing found that private cloud adoption has more than doubled over the last two years, with over 70% of organizations using a private cloud in some form.1
In a private cloud, companies can get standard functionality that addresses their specific business needs or industry-specific solutions in addition to the data privacy they require. Private clouds are built exclusively for an individual enterprise and deliver the highest levels of management visibility, control, security, privacy, and physical data proximity. They also provide the peace of mind of knowing exactly where your key business and client data resides at all times. Companies benefit from economies of scale because infrastructure costs are spread across all users, thus allowing each individual client to operate on a low-cost, subscription model.
How Partners Take the Cloud to the Next Level
Of course, partner managed cloud is about more than just the private cloud — a key aspect is the involvement of partners (see Figure 1). Partners help companies consume SAP software as a service and receive other partner-delivered capabilities such as additional functionality, predefined implementations, support concepts, as well as financial and logistical benefits.
In acquiring these cloud services from partner managed cloud partners, enterprises can receive a unique, prebuilt solution as a service. Partners use their industry knowledge and expertise to build custom solutions with their own intellectual property (IP). Partners have built solutions for industries such as healthcare, banking, telecommunications, insurance, and utilities, as well as for line-of-business (LoB) solutions including human resources and distribution. With this specialization, partners can extend the capabilities of an SAP solution to further meet the individual needs of the business.
The offering also leads to easier logistics when it comes to solution adoption. Partner managed cloud lets businesses process one transaction with a single partner, rather than having to negotiate contracts with multiple vendors. It also allows for customizable service level agreements (SLAs) for tailor-made services. Using one contract that covers software, infrastructure, maintenance, and management simplifies the purchase as less time is spent executing agreements, leading to positive impact on time to value. And partner managed cloud allows organizations to invest as an operational expenditure (OPEX) rather than a capital expenditure (CAPEX), which helps them achieve a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
All this adds up to perhaps the most important facet of the program: Instead of focusing on IT, enterprises can turn their attention to their core business, and leverage the solution simply to address their most pressing business needs.
Partners of All Sizes
Whether it’s infrastructure, hosting, managed services, or IP that enhances and customizes an SAP solution for a specific industry or market segment, SAP partners of all shapes and sizes have capabilities that can deliver powerful benefits. Smaller partners, for example, can specialize with a niche solution, whereas larger partners leverage their capabilities across many industries to serve a variety of business needs.
This breadth of expertise and solutions lets companies get exactly what they need in a model that mitigates the cost of development. By targeting the partner that best fits their needs, companies can redirect the key performance indicators (KPIs), such as process optimization, for their internal staff, but still get up and running fast, allowing them to reap business benefits quickly.
SAP is rapidly moving into the cloud and is committed to offering cloud choices to our customers by leveraging the power of the partner ecosystem. Partner managed cloud can be deployed in conjunction with companies’ existing enterprise applications in a hybrid model, but also as a complete migration option and phased into the overall business infrastructure.
The benefits of cloud deployment and as-a-service delivery will continue to be drivers for many companies, and partner managed cloud allows companies to achieve those benefits securely from partners. Visit www.sap.com/pmc for more information.
1 Aberdeen Group, “A Simple Path to Private Cloud” (July 2015; http://aberdeen.com/research/10841/10841-KB-simple-cloud-path.aspx/content.aspx). [back]