“iCMG is a global leader in Enterprise and IT Architecture and widely acknowledged for its expertise in addressing enterprise problems, change, and complexity. Interim Chief Information Officer, Axel Bülow, said, ‘to receive the iCMG Global Excellence award, which recognizes the best architecture implementations in the industry, demonstrates the world-class standard of innovative thinking within the SAP Global IT organization. This is a truly remarkable achievement and I extend my congratulations to everyone involved in keeping SAP at the forefront of innovative IT.’”
Read Matthias Wild’s full blog on accepting the award here.
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 Manik N. Saha, CIO – Asia Pacific & Japan
Starting early June, the different SAP Forums in APJ kick off, and I’m pleased that the Global IT team is participating in many of the events that take place in this region. During these events, we plan to share and get feedback from our customers, partners and prospects on how SAP Runs SAP.
SAP Runs SAP is much more than just SAP as a company using its own products. It’s a mindset that we adopted and since integrated the pillars of the concept into everything Global IT does. Within IT, some of the foundational elements of the SAP Runs SAP concept is a long term IT Strategy, a strong Governance Model including all IT units, a strong Enterprise Architecture team, and a top management mandate to drive innovation forward. Including the different LoBs and product development organizations, the SAP Runs SAP interactively drives a perpetual discussion on new business scenarios that could be brought to life with new technology.
A key philosophy to enable the innovation at SAP Runs SAP, is to allow risk taking and failure and learn from it to make the next steps. In our case, we look for new ideas and provide a small project funding to create the Proof of Concept or Prototype and test the idea. If the ideas work, it gets channeled into a mainstream project portfolio for implementation. If it doesn’t work, we take a decision to either steer the idea into something that could work (continuous innovation) or take the key learnings into another project. Overall, SAP as an organization benefits in two ways:
These discussions drive a very fruitful conversation with my peers and I’m continually amazed at the eagerness to learn and innovate in a multitude of industries. Two weeks ago I was in the SAP Forum in the Philippines and during the keynote, I outlined the above concept to a very interested audience of 1500 attendees.
Next up are SAP Forums in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore where we will share different aspects of the storyline with the audience. Apart from the keynotes and breakouts, we love engaging in 1-1 conversations with our peers to exchange ideas on how IT as an organization can be an enabler for innovation in any industry.
If you will be around for these Forums, and would like to meet me or my colleagues/team, please drop me a note. Look forward to seeing you there.
Manik N. Saha
Connect with me on Twitter: @maniksaha
Learn about SAP’s IT Strategy in the cloud with Sahil Shah’s latest blog.
Find out how Global IT was able to provide HANA analytics to several thousand users in this blog by Dirk Pluschke from the SAP Runs SAP team.
Read the blog here.
Maximilian Adrian, from the IT Security & Risk Office, has shared his advice on what you should have in mind when defining an IT Security Management process. In his blog, he also reveals the key to having a successful security framework.
Read Maximilian’s blog here.