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Navigating the SAP S/4HANA Journey with the SAP Partner Ecosystem

Partners Share Their SAP S/4HANA Insights and Customer Stories

by Claus Gruenewald | SAPinsider, Volume 17, Issue 2

April 26, 2016

As organizations across the globe consider adopting SAP S/4HANA, many realize that they can’t do it alone. Luckily, there are over 3,000 consultants and over 6,500 partner resellers dedicated to helping them. These partner companies — from small organizations focusing on SMEs to enterprises that employ thousands of SAP professionals and consultants — help ensure that every organization has the resources it needs for a successful SAP S/4HANA implementation. In this article, three SAP partners share their insights on what it means for a partner to successfully help an organization on its SAP S/4HANA journey.

The SAP partner ecosystem plays a vital role in the adoption and successful implementation of SAP S/4HANA. To date, more than 5,000 consultants from global and local partner firms are driving more than three quarters of SAP S/4HANA go-live projects. Over 6,500 partner resellers are helping ensure that every customer — no matter the region or industry — has access to SAP S/4HANA. In addition, experts from SAP partner organizations have completed more than 8,500 training courses through SAP’s various online education classes, further disseminating SAP S/4HANA knowledge across the globe. Each of these SAP partners and trained professionals has the right mix of business services and technology expertise to help SAP customers achieve the digital transformation they are seeking with SAP S/4HANA.

The SAP S/4HANA partner ecosystem ranges from very small organizations with a handful of employees focused primarily on small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), to partners with thousands of SAP professionals and consultants focusing on larger corporations. Regardless of their size, these partners serve as trusted advisors, guiding customers through their move to SAP S/4HANA, from building the business case for adoption, to scoping the implementation project, to going live with the solution and assisting on broader digital transformation projects.

In this article, itelligence, Capgemini, and Deloitte Consulting share some of their experiences working with customers on their SAP S/4HANA journeys.   

Enabling Fast, Efficient, and User-Friendly Access to Data at LOVOO

The digitization of the economy means new territory for many SMEs, especially when it comes to deploying technology like SAP S/4HANA to gain real-time access to data. The challenges are varied for every customer, and guidance from an SAP partner like itelligence AG can help companies analyze their specific needs to determine the best course of action. itelligence offers a unique implementation method that has been proven in many projects to be very suitable for SMEs. The partner has approximately 10 data centers, and its associated staff has a high level of expertise in hosting SAP S/4HANA systems and setting up SAP Fiori environments. itelligence’s customers, such as the medium-sized high-tech company LOVOO, benefit from this combination of expertise from its consultants in finance and logistics processes. When LOVOO, a social discovery network based in Germany, teamed up with itelligence, the company was able to successfully deploy SAP S/4HANA to manage its rapidly growing financial functions as well as leverage SAP Fiori to provide more intuitive user interfaces for its more than 200 employees in Berlin and Dresden.

Regardless of their size, partners serve as trusted advisors, guiding customers through their move to SAP S/4HANA, from building the business case for adoption, to scoping the implementation project, to going live with the solution and assisting on broader digital transformation projects.

— Claus Gruenewald, Global Vice President Partner Go-to-Market, SAP

With over 45 million registered users from over 17 countries worldwide, LOVOO was ranked number one in 2015 for its social networking/lifestyle app,1 generating the highest sales in Germany. A large portion of this success was due to the company’s use of the latest mobile technology as the basis for a user-friendly, high-performing app as well as real-time analytics for the product data. LOVOO sought to bring that intuitive design into its own internal processes so that employees could access pertinent information from anywhere and from any device.

Claudio Di Vincenzo, Head of Finance & Controlling at LOVOO, saw SAP S/4HANA as an important next step toward its goal of processing the company’s approximately one million monthly financial transactions faster and more efficiently. “Due to the high dynamics in the mobile industry, it is essential to have instant and anytime access to the latest numbers. SAP S/4HANA represents an important requirement in order to make faster data-driven decisions,” says Di Vincenzo. The company also wanted to extend the existing real-time analysis with data from the financial sector. With the help of itelligence, LOVOO was able to deploy SAP S/4HANA. In addition, thanks to the modern, intuitive SAP Fiori-based user interface of SAP S/4HANA, LOVOO employees quickly became acquainted with the various applications and functions, greatly increasing user adoption across the company.

Capturing Data on the Go for More Accurate Insights at C&J Energy Services

From the beginnings of SAP HANA to the ongoing releases of SAP S/4HANA components, Capgemini continues to help enterprises across all industries take advantage of SAP’s next-generation platform and business suite. Recently, Capgemini leveraged its experience, its industry expertise, and its preconfigured EnergyPath solution to help C&J Energy Services use SAP S/4HANA Finance and SAP HANA Cloud Platform to increase the efficiency of its field ticketing operations. C&J Energy Services is a leading provider of well construction, well completions, and well services to the oil and gas industry and is one of the largest completion and production companies in North America.

“C&J Energy Services was looking for one integrated platform that could increase cost efficiency, enable an industry-leading operating model, provide transparency in running the business, and lay the foundation for digital transformation,” says Rob McKay, Senior Vice President at Capgemini Application Services. The company wanted to find an alternative to its current manual processes for capturing job data in the oil field, where internet connectivity is often unavailable. Capgemini worked with C&J Energy Services to build a digital field ticketing application on SAP HANA Cloud Platform that allows rig supervisors to accurately capture job information — regardless of connectivity — and synchronize to the back-end SAP S/4HANA Finance system when in online mode. This application is the first one for oil field service companies built on SAP HANA Cloud Platform. 

As a result of this solution, C&J Energy Services has been able to gain more accurate insights into each job and increase overall operational efficiencies. For example, the company has been able to reduce the number of sales outstanding by 30% thanks to readily available pricing information. It has also been able to reduce the number of administrators responsible for field ticketing data entry. This solution has helped C&J Energy Services remain competitive in the oil and gas market at a particularly tough time for the industry.

Seizing Opportunities with a Deeper Understanding

Understanding the value of SAP S/4HANA and how to unlock that potential is critical for businesses in need of transformation, especially as competitors begin deploying SAP S/4HANA to gain an edge. “If you can put in place solutions that enable new digital capabilities, that reduce costs, and that put the user at the center of things, you automatically gain an advantage in today’s environment,” says Chris Dinkel, SAP HANA Analytics Leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Companies that wait [to deploy] SAP S/4HANA effectively give their competition a head start, and they’ll have a tough time playing catch-up.”

Making the business case for SAP S/4HANA requires organizations to look deeply at the technical, business, and process challenges in their current landscapes, and then examine new opportunities for value. Companies must then tie it all to how they can deliver that new value through a core digital business platform. For organizations that are able to develop a clear business case, there’s an endless number of possibilities for real-world applications that can provide value. “SAP S/4HANA allows you to reimagine your processes and to act,” says Dinkel. “For example, one Deloitte client had a sales-order entry process that took close to 60 clicks [per page]. By leading the client through a reimagining of processes, we were able to leverage SAP S/4HANA to deliver a new seamless process that required only three clicks per page.” Deeper analytic insights is another capability that SAP S/4HANA helps deliver, allowing businesses to answer more complex questions in real time — and then act on the answers swiftly.

As businesses became aware of the potential of SAP S/4HANA, they realized that getting to “simple” doesn’t happen overnight. While some projects might take only a few months, broader transformations can take more time, meaning that companies should think now about what the journey will involve. “Don’t wait to explore what an SAP S/4HANA-driven transformation is going to mean to your organization,” Dinkel says. “Start conversations today.”

Moving Forward with SAP S/4HANA

SAP partners — such as itelligence, Capgemini, and Deloitte Consulting — are ready to help SAP customers achieve their critical business goals. Whether it’s implementing SAP S/4HANA or developing an overarching digital transformation strategy, the SAP partner ecosystem can provide a solid foundation for SAP customers to build their future business. Visit sap.com/s4hana and http://go.sap.com/partner.html for more details.

1 See http://files.appannie.com.s3.amazonaws.com/reports/App-Annie-2015-Retrospective-EN-1.pdf?aliId=75032195. [back]

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Claus Gruenewald
Claus Gruenewald

Global Vice President Partner Go-to-Market
SAP



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