Last week, we had the pleasure to welcome nine SAP mentors in our headquarters in Walldorf for the sixth SAP S/4HANA validation workshop. Owen Pettiford (Backoffice Associates), Arno Mielke (SAP) and Katharina Hellmich (SAP) invited mentors for a lively exchange with our development team.
For all of you that are not familiar with the SAP Mentors yet, let me explain what they are about. Usually SAP mentors are working either for partner or customer companies and have a large social footprint in the IT industry – they are influencers. SAP formed a relationship with roughly 160 mentors to receive valuable feedback on our products and strategic direction, to make sure SAP hits the nerve of the IT market. Since the mentors are connected to the heart of SAP`s development team and get early access to the latest and greatest.
For 2018, SAP is all in on powering the customer journey to the intelligent enterprise. Therefore, the agenda was packed with a lot of innovations in the area of Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics and SAP CoPilot. Other topics included updates on extensibility, analytics, integration, finance & go-to market related topics.
One of the focal topics on the agenda was the new private cloud option. Branded under the common SAP Cloud ERP umbrella, customers can now choose between the public cloud and the private cloud edition. Whereas public cloud is our multi-tenant, fully standardized SaaS-ERP with a clear industry focus, the private cloud edition is our single tenant Cloud ERP supporting all industries.
Another session that was received well by the mentors, was focused on current SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementation projects. Openly sharing experiences, many of the mentors could relate to the joys and the pains of implementations projects.
Overall, we had two great days with a lot of open and trustful discussions. SAP gained a lot of valuable insights from a more market/customer focused perspective and appreciated the feedback the mentors provided in the end.
A common ask of the mentors was that the functional scope of the public cloud edition shall be enhanced including more industries. In line with the feedback we received in past validation workshops, the mentors still demand further performance optimizations. While SAP has done a lot with respect to APIs over the last few releases, the mentors still wish to have more whitelisted APIs. The mentors also pointed out that customers still desire more guidance to make the move from On-Premise to Cloud more seamless. SAP takes this feedback to heart and works continuously on improving our ERP in the Cloud.
Nevertheless, our influencers see a lot of value in our public cloud edition. Over the past releases, SAP has shipped a lot of innovations that are perceived well by customers. Especially, the embedded analytics area is appreciated in the market; the new Overview Pages not only bring great user experience but also a lot of effectiveness to the endusers. Another major reason why customers choose our public Cloud ERP is for financial reasons, the lower TCO and the subscription model that frees up a lot of cash flow. In addition, the market cherishes the various options to extent SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Especially for partners, the SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK paves the way to develop functional extensions on the Cloud Platform that address industry specific needs of customers.
Overall, the mentors also believe that the private cloud edition will extend the reach of SAP S/4HANA Cloud significantly and bring more customers to the cloud.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all the mentors for their participation and are looking forward to an interesting new workshop in November later this year!