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As we start the countdown for SAPPHIRE NOW, taking place May 17-19, it is clear to me that SAP S/4HANA will be the big theme of the conference. For all that has been written and discussed about this next-gen business suite technology, it is hard to believe it was only just released one year ago.

TCS will be sharing several of our customer success stories and best practices around SAP S/4HANA at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW. I’m looking forward to the conference and expect to see continued momentum behind a growing collection of innovative use cases and a great many examples of companies moving ahead with SAP S/4HANA adoption.

The early market numbers reinforce this momentum. According to SAP, SAP S/4HANA had 2,700 customers in the first 11 months, 6,700 trained partners, and 1,100 resellers. As a leading SAP partner, TCS already has more than 1,250 SAP S/4HANA trained consultants working across several engagements. The TCS SAP practice continues to grow at an unprecedented pace. And, for the third year in a row, TCS was recognized by Gartner as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for SAP Application Management Services, Worldwide.

People have different perspectives on why SAP S/4HANA is important for the enterprise. Some concentrate on the underlying technology of HANA as the main story—an in-memory database platform that speeds data-intensive decision making to real-time. Others look to the S side of the slash, the updated SAP Business Suite, with simplified applications that are built for speed, distributed decision-making integrated across functions. And still others focus on SAP Fiori – a modern user experience environment that puts real power and speed (that word again) in the hands of end users.

My take? SAP S/4HANA is greater than the sum of its parts. Remove any of them and the solutions for users would still be significant, for sure, but not as powerful. Combined together, SAP S/4HANA is unrivaled by any other single technology or combination of products for running the enterprise. When SAP says this is the best technology for helping traditional businesses make the transition to digital business, it’s a claim hard to refute.

At SAP’s annual field kick-off meeting in January, we saw a lot of energy building behind SAP S/4HANA—but other themes emerged as well. Here are some of the big stories I believe will surface in 2016 around SAP solutions.

SAP Fiori – Now included as part of SAP S/4HANA’s standard suite, SAP Fiori is not just a software layer that makes data pretty. By integrating data and analytics into simple-to-understand, role-based display panels, it not only speeds up decision-making across all lines of business, tasks and devices, but also allows organizations to open up access to the right people at the right time. In our role, TCS helps customers tailor this user experience around specific business goals and deliver the best company-specific performance that can be achieved.

SAP Screen Personas – These browser-based screen add-ons let enterprises personalize user interfaces for traditional SAP solutions used on-premises. The TCS User Experience Center of Excellence in Cincinnati, Ohio has been instrumental in creating use cases around screen personas. We apply TCS’ proprietary user experience design methodology and tools to help our enterprise customers get the most out of their SAP apps.

SAP Hybris – The days of reaching potential customers through just one or two go-to-market channels are over. We live in a multichannel environment. That’s why TCS invested in developing an innovation initiative for SAP Hybris, the omnichannel e-commerce solution designed for industries including retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, automotive, and utilities. SAP Hybris allow companies to develop and implement sophisticated strategies that provide consistent user experiences across channels.

I encourage you to set up time to meet with our TCS SAP practice team at SAPPHIRE NOW 2016. TCS will again be a SAPPHIRE-level sponsor and look forward to once again sponsoring SAP’s Concert night to celebrate a successful event—this year with Coldplay, one of the world’s most popular music acts. We will share more details and insights here ahead of SAPPHIRE NOW. In the meantime, I look forward to your insights around adopting SAP S/4HANA and other topics that are top of mind.

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