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Author's profile photo Robin Meyerhoff

China Labs Fast Tracks Digitization

Beijing Shunxin Holding Group Co., Ltd. is one of the largest corporations in China. Primarily dedicated to agriculture and food production, its subsidiaries cover a wide variety of industries including real estate development, financial services, and water conservancy and hydropower.

But Shunxin – as the company is known locally – wants to go digital so they can lead the next wave of agricultural industrialization in China. 

To do that, Shunxin chose the SAP S/4 HANA platform and worked with SAP Labs China to go live quickly. Shunxin achieved this goal, and by October 2015, was the first customer in SAP Greater China customer to complete an SAP S/4 HANA pilot project. So far, Shunxin has brought 10 subsidiaries live on the platform. In 2016, they intend to move the holding company’s main business operations on to SAP S/4 HANA.

The “Customer Circle Program” helped fast track digitization for Shunxin. SAP Labs China and the Globalization Services team in Shanghai created this unique program to help customers become early adopters of the latest and greatest technology – from internet of things solutions to line of business applications.

Dr. Ruicheng Li heads up SAP Labs China (which includes sites in Shanghai, XiAn, Chengdu, Nanjing and Beijing) and led his team to pioneer this methodology. According to Ruicheng, “We help bridge the data delta when new products are introduced. By educating the field and our partners, SAP China Labs plays a special role supporting early customer adoption and building lighthouse customers for our newest innovations.”

Ruicheng continued, “With the Customer Circle Program, we sponsor the creation of new products financially but also, we enable developers to sit side-by-side with the customer in the field and understand their challenges. Using design thinking, our team helps the customers understand how SAP innovation can solve their business problems. Finally, Customer Circle program facilitates a ‘knowledge transfer’ from Labs to the field and partners, which helps make solution adoption scalable across SAP Greater China.”

SAP Labs around the world collaborate closely with customers. What differentiates the China labs is its commitment to shape the local market and empower the field to make sure lines of communication remain open between the business, its IT department and SAP developers. 

Says Clas Neumann, Senior Vice President, Head of SAP Labs Network and Fast Growth Market, “China is in a unique of position because they have strong services and product and innovation teams here. These team acts almost as a consultancy, and enable a high degree of customer co-innovation.”

Clas continues, “The Labs in China originally focused on creating excellent global products. Now with the size of the China market and needs of the industry here, you can’t just create products to ship to the rest of the world. It’s about working to create products that address the needs of Chinese customers, like Internet of Things for manufacturing. When we have a project, we develop it at the customer site. We develop it for the customer, but along the way we also learn new best practices for developers.”

Another example is the Wuhan Asia Heart Hospital. The SAP China Labs team joined forced with the hospital to improve the quality of healthcare service using mobile technology, SAP CRM, SAP HANA and healthcare solutions. Developers digitized care and built a solution that provided a full view of patients’ activities, treatment and care – which extended beyond the hospital perimeter.

SAP is committed to China as its second home. Programs like the Customer Circle Program will certainly help it succeed because it promotes successful local adoption of solutions – and ensures that SAP is in listening mode with local customers, working together to design the kinds of products that will help China stabilize and grow its economy.

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