The partnership announced between SAP and Google earlier this year was perfect timing for Michael Kern, co-founder and Member of the Executive Board at Sovanta. I snagged a one-on-one with Kern at the recent SAPPHIRE NOW & ASUG Conference to get the inside story on Sovanta’s decision to become the first SAP S/4HANA customer running live on the Google Cloud Platform.
“We decided on SAP S/4HANA because we needed a stable foundation to support our aggressive, ongoing growth in developing business applications,” said Kern. “Given our size, we don’t want to manage infrastructure. The Google Cloud Platform provides us with scalability, flexibility and speed. For example, with upgrades we might need sandbox systems, and with the Google platform we can switch them on and off as needed.”
Talking with Kern, it’s immensely clear that this partnership aligns with Sovanta’s business goals. A mid-sized company headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, Sovanta is innovating fast and furiously to deliver next-generation business applications supporting how people work today. We’re talking self-service, untethered to a fixed physical location, and immediate results. Sovanta’s objective is to bring innovations like mobile, IoT and machine learning into the daily working lives of people in departments across the company including sales, service technicians, logistics and management.
“It’s all about revolutionizing how people work using business applications software,” said Kern. “We put the end-user at the center of all activities, designing and delivering technologies tailored to supporting their business tasks.”
Kern said Sovanta was up and running with SAP S/4HANA hosted on the Google Cloud Platform in just four weeks, driven by strong collaboration between SAP and Google. SAP S/4HANA Finance is live now, and Sovanta plans to add other business processes over time.
Make the customer the center of your universe
Sovanta’s customers are primarily located in Central Europe, and cut across industries such as automotive, manufacturing, retail and utilities. Each is counting on Sovanta’s applications to expand their business possibilities. As Kern sees it, the combination of SAP S/4HANA and the Google Cloud Platform means Sovanta won’t let customers down.
“The key thing is that we don’t have to spend time taking care of our system so we can focus on creating value for our customers,” said Kern. “This is especially important when you are a small or mid-sized company. We need smooth, efficient operations for our core finance processes and the infrastructure it runs on. With SAP S/4HANA and Google, we’re able to deliver innovation with minimal disruption to our daily business.”
Bold decisions pay off
Kern advised small and mid-sized companies to look beyond their current business situation when making technology decisions.
“It’s important to have a clear picture of where you want to be in three to five years,” he said. “Make decisions that not only fit your needs now, but also in the future. You may need to decide on something that feels a little big, but if you believe in your plans and road map, you have to make the bold decision, and it will pay off in the future when you need more.”
As we looked around the massive, multi-media show floor at SAPPHIRE NOW, teeming with people hunched around demos, having intense conversations, wearing virtual reality headsets, etc., Kern said that “You can feel the pulse of the energy growing in the ecosystem as SAP conquers completely new areas like SAP Leonardo. The importance of partners is rising every year.”
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This blog was originally posted on the SAP News Center