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Altered Reality: Go Digital and Thrive

Digital is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. This is the narrative SAP is onboarding with its customers and evangelizing the concept of ‘Intelligent Enterprise’ and its three key levers- Resilience, Profitability and Sustainability

Digital disruption is altering the very face of enterprises across the world. It is creating an existential crisis. Given COVID-19, digital has become a necessity, not a nice to have. It’s a transformative journey every enterprise has to undergo to stay relevant and thrive in the impulsive market space. Digital transformation re-imagines the very foundational fabric of organizations, stakeholder or consumer experience, and operational processes in a way that connects people with the brand, products, services and relations.

This was the overarching theme at ‘Sapphire Now 2020 Reimagined’ digital event. We heard all the senior SAP executives at depth talking about the nexus of forces that is reshaping the enterprise IT landscape as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Going digital calls for a most trusted vendor and a partner who make this transformation happen. Let’s here look at how SAP is uniquely positioned with its software suite to address the myriad enterprise digital challenges.


SAP is aggressively evangelizing the concept of ‘Intelligent Enterprise’. The hallmark of an intelligent enterprise as per experts at SAP are: Resiliency, Profitability and Sustainability. In this year’s Sapphire, the major narrative was building an enterprise that is resilient to the cataclysmic changes and how leaders can steer through tough times and gain resilience. This backdrop puts digital transformation at the epicentre and it’s a stepping stone for organizations to become an intelligent enterprise.

Photo caption: Christian Klien, CEO, SAP talks about the company’s product strategy and how SAP is at the forefront of delivering business outcomes at Sapphire 2020 Digital event (Pic Courtesy: SAP)


This was clear in SAP’s posturing. In his Sapphire 2020 address, SAP’s CEO Christian Klien talked about how SAP is the trusted partner for enterprises of varying sizes and how it’s leading the digital bandwagon. For instance, SAP is manifesting the concept of ‘Intelligent Enterprise’ through what it calls as an ‘Intelligent Suite’, that supports the end to end business processes to jumpstart new business innovations.

The key components of the ‘Intelligent Suite’ are customer experience, digital supply chain, finance, spend management and human resources. SAP experts say that the application layer is driven by the digital core of S/4 HANA by virtue of its modular approach, tightly integrates the Line of Business (LOB) applications. The application layer is the crux of the ‘Intelligent Suite’. This will also make seamless ECC to S/4 HANA migrations. Moreover, the suite encompasses C/4 HANA (Customer Experience), Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass (Spend Management) and Successfactors ( Human Resources).

The key message SAP delivers here are: how an in-memory DB like HANA, blended with its Business Technology Platform (BTP) ushers in intelligent capabilities to the enterprises.


SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) enables developers and business users to access integrated, end-to-end services and tools to realize value along with three critical areas of IT: data excellence, process integration and extensions. According to SAP, its BTP offers fast in-memory processing, sustainable agile services to integrate data and extend applications, and fully embedded analytics and intelligent technologies.

Pic Courtesy : SAP


By taking a vertical approach, SAP is clearly taking cloud to the next level of maturity and functionality. Through Industry Cloud, SAP offers very specialized cost-effective applications meeting the unique industry requirements. This clearly aligns IT with business. Industry Cloud leverages the SAP Cloud Platform and offers a very high degree of flexibility as it’s an open-platform as service, that seamlessly gels with the existing systems, thereby maximizing investment value.

SAP’s industry cloud strategy delivers innovative, vertical solutions from SAP and its partners. These solutions are built on technologies in the BTP portfolio and use an open API framework, open process model, open domain model and common business services to create a better customer and user experience. The interoperability with SAP’s intelligent suite will enable rapid development, deployment and integration. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other advanced technologies from SAP will be available to help developers to accelerate development and deliver greater business value, enabling improved business practices and business innovation at the vertical edge.


This was probably one very niche acquisition by SAP last year, and with Qualtrics, SAP now has the capability to bring together experience and operational data (X+O) to help organizations take action. Qualtrics is the global pioneer of the experience management (XM) software category that enables organizations to thrive in today’s experience economy. The combination accelerates the new XM category by combining Qualtrics’ experience data with operational data from SAP software to power the economy.

Pic Courtesy: SAP


Gaining a discovery of what is happening in the business networks is the key to timely action. Getting into the digital supply chains and gaining insights offers huge advantages. SAP is aggressively pitching on its Ariba and Fieldglass that enable companies to connect, get business done and spend better. With SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass, businesses can manage the buying process across all categories of spend – from direct and indirect goods and services to external workforce.


The message here is, “To make sustainable profits and profitability sustainable.” In line with that SAP announced the Climate 21 program to support customers in pursuing their climate-related objectives. In a multiyear road map, SAP will work with co-innovation partners to embed sustainability metrics across SAP’s solution portfolio. This will help customers understand, analyze and optimize the carbon footprint of their products and operations along the value chain.

The SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics application is now available as the first solution in the Climate 21 program. The application uses data from SAP S/4HANA and third-party sources and calculates this information within the SAP Analytics Cloud solution. This helps customers understand their carbon footprint and provides a foundation for analyzing and optimizing greenhouse gas emissions.


The technology industry today is at an inflexion point, and SAP is going very aggressive with
its innovative solutions that give the enterprises across industries the leverage to translate the
challenges into opportunities. Today the SAP ecosystem is well-tuned for an enterprise-wide
transformation and well poised to take the enterprise to the new, and transition to the next.

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