Written by Axel Buelow, Interim CIO – SAP AG
By setting up the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, SAP is offering customers a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). However, Software as a Service (SaaS) is also a growing and compelling trend. I’d like to talk about the many ways SAP also provides SaaS internally, particularly in the areas of HCM, finance, procurement, sales and social collaboration.
In order to offer business processes successfully in the cloud at SAP, we first aimed at processes that either were decoupled from other processes, loosely coupled via single interfaces or those where integration was already in place. With these criteria in mind, we were able to find a number of opportunities where we could offer Software as a Service for SAP employees.
In terms of HCM, we now have several processes that we run in the cloud with SuccessFactors, from Talent and Compensation Management to People Development and Succession Planning. We plan to add Recruitment and Learning to our HCM cloud portfolio shortly, and will continue to move further processes into the cloud.
In the area of Finance, we are live on SAP Cloud for Travel, where employees can enter their travel costs and receipts for reimbursement – either via their laptops, their mobile devices or simply at their desktops.
We already have some key Ariba procurement scenarios live in the cloud – Ariba Supplier Information and Performance Management, Ariba Procurement Content, Ariba Sourcing and Ariba Collaborative Commerce (Connectivity to
In terms of SAP Cloud for Customer, we follow the hybrid strategy, with CRM on HANA as the backend. To support better user adoption, we have now made it available via mobile, so that account executives can use it to manage their sales opportunities while on the road.
At SAP, we offer an internal social collaboration platform with SAP Jam. This helps us to respond to internal demand and communications requirements as the organization becomes more and more social. We have implemented SAP Jam across SAP and will develop its capabilities further with additional apps and functionality, as well as integration to other applications.
One motivation to pursue SaaS is the positive impact on operations. For example, in Q1 2013, traditionally a peak period for performance reviews, we saw a 35% reduction in tickets for those processes running on demand.
SaaS offers us the opportunity to standardize processes, as with a cloud solution there is no need for customization to match regional flavors. This means we no longer require a long roll-out cycle, with specific country requirements and instead we are able to deploy software instantly to a global user group. We see that this offers an instant cost benefit, especially as software developers are no longer required to do costly customization.
By focusing on supporting processes in the process landscape, instead of those at the core of the value chain, we can gather experience with SaaS and then use our experience to address our core processes.
From my perspective, the benefits of SaaS will outweigh related concerns going forward (see the link below to a post on cloud security). This is a trend that is not only compelling, but is inescapable. We can’t ignore the fact that the majority of today’s software is being built to match the SaaS model, and our role is to prepare our organizations for the transition. The role of IT will continue to change, as the IT team starts to focus on processes and offers internal consulting rather than internal programming. I have talked before about the need for IT and the business to collaborate and this will be essential when switching to SaaS.
Security will also be the watchword, as it is clear that when implementing standard software across geographies; there will be different requirements for different countries. For example, EU countries cannot allow data to reside in APJ. This is a vital aspect of the SaaS transition, and IT will have to assist the business in negotiating the data specifics of different countries.
The transition to SaaS means a major transition for IT too – instead of doing it all from implementing to programming, IT will now manage different partnerships with third parties, working together on security, business processes and infrastructure to ensure the successful deployment of on demand software in the corporation.
Axel Buelow, Interim CIO, SAP AG, has written a blog on the Oxford Economics Cloud Platform Trends site.
“As I speak to customers around the world about the Cloud, I am especially attuned to their concerns about security. After all, anytime you move data from the safety of your own four walls, it’s only natural to worry about where that data goes – and how it is protected…”
Read the full blog here.
Written by Axel Buelow, SVP & Head of Application Services
The Migration to HANA should not be seen as a normal, technical database migration. It provides a huge opportunity to positively impact the business – to run faster, smarter and simpler. Companies can and should use their HANA migration to assess which business processes need acceleration or to think about areas where they could run processes differently or even introduce brand-new ones.
In order for this to happen, IT and the business need to collaborate. It’s a process of education. IT can educate the business on HANA’s potential to bring about change. This sparks ideas and the business is able to come up with new and better ways to do things. The business can educate IT on processes, process pain points and new business potential.
I saw this when SAP Global IT implemented HANA for the SAP Facility Management. We now use smart meters to capture energy consumption in our data centers and company facilities and have captured millions of records that provide a real-time view of our energy consumption. We can react now much faster, avoid unnecessary energy consumption and contribute to our sustainability targets. IT couldn’t have built this kind of analysis without the process knowledge of the facilities team.
This is why IT and the business have to collaborate. In our recent CRM on HANA migration, we worked closely with the business. These were our three key steps to collaboration:
Having had our learning curve with CRM on HANA, we are now working on the ERP on HANA implementation. It is a far larger project for us, with more users, modifications, add-ons and interfaces. However, we are also able to focus on more value scenarios, so will be able to include Fast Closing and the Financial Cockpit in one program with the migration. The business now better understands the potential that the HANA in-memory technology can provide to them, and we in IT understand much more about business processes and priorities.
(This is the second in series of blog posts on the SAP CRM on HANA go-live. To read the first post on the migration of CRM on HANA please follow this link: “SAP Runs SAP CRM on HANA“.)
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SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann, recognized as the #1 Social CIO, is distinguished as a thought leader and influencer in the Enterprise IT industry. Oliver actively engages on Twitter, blogs, and other social networks daily addressing the latest trends in data, mobile, analytics, and more. He recently shared his knowledge in a short, yet effective SlideShare presentation: “My 2013 Social Media Tips”. These tips are essential guidelines, ranging from managing content to your personal brand, which will help you to establish your social media presence. Oliver lists his top four strategies to approaching social media and how it relates to you and/or your company. Oliver’s understanding of social media has led to the success of the SAP Runs SAP innovation program and transformation of social media tools for collaboration.
Click here for the presentation.
The ending of year 2012 was celebrated as SAP CIO, Oliver Bussmann and the SAP Runs SAP program took the social network by storm. As part of our social yearbook, here is a review of hot topics and happenings from the year past, as well as an outlook for 2013.
@SAP CIO and #SAPRunsSAP Hottest Topics
These hot topics from 2012 show the SAP Global IT strategy is working overall from a delivery, operations, and innovation point-of-view as they are trending in the social scene. SAP Global IT is excited for the new year of successes to come in the industry and in social!