Remember the R3 architecture diagram? One of the key things that you can observe is that the data from the database to presentation layer flows through network with high speed capabilities. The presentation layer which is the interface to the user is limited to the machine it is installed on.
As a comparison of how user experience changed with the use of smart devices is something all of us have experienced.
I am alluding to two types of experiences here. First, the experience that a business user had with the data while using SAP applications and how data is interpreted. The second one is the user experience that customers want to capture which gives them insight how their product is doing and how the operational data is connected to user experience.
Yes, you got it right. I am referring to ODATA and XDATA. Being able to access data and interpret it on the fly is the need of modern enterprise world. So how is SAP helping organizations to meet the digital challenges?
Some of the recent technological changes like SAP HANA database, S4 HANA suite, Fiori front-end are evidently steps towards achieving the goal of being in command of the transition of enterprise world to digital world. But there are too many pieces of this puzzle. Let us break this discussion to understand it better.
Leveraging what SAP has been leading:
SAP has been leader in helping enterprises running the business applications and has long been the custodian of the data for customers. Bringing the data to the fingertips has been one strategic objective which SAP has fulfilled by SAPUI5 framework. SAPUI5 is an HTML5 framework designed to build cross-platform, responsive, enterprise-grade applications. It is the leading UI technology of SAP’s user experience strategy.
Fiori uses SAPUI5 as front-end and ODATA to get enterprise data represent data in an intelligent, consistent and integrated manner.
SAP has changed the core with SAP HANA database management system (RDBMS). It combines OLAP and OLTP processing into a single in-memory database – eliminating disk bottlenecks and offering a enhanced performance. SAP HANA is in-memory columnar database that stores compressed data, offers parallel processing across multiprocessor cores, and supports single instruction multiple data (SIMD) commands.
These two innovative advancements happened over many years and we witnessed it in form of a product in 2015 and the refinement continues. SAP is moving towards making available intelligent enterprise tools based on the core strengths.
Capturing customer experience:
Companies that pay attention to operational performance and customer experience excel in today`s world. SAP C/4 HANA is based on an open and agile platform that provides intelligence and customer data management across business: from sales, marketing, and commerce to customer service and supply chain. SAP`s Qualtrics acquisition is a step in the direction to enable its customers to be at the forefront when it comes to capturing and comparing that XDATA.
How is SAP Leading the way to digitalization:
Collaboration: sharing data and collaboration is key to be in market for every company today. SAP is partnering with companies in the next-gen partnership. Partnerships like OpenText, AKoin, BeLabs, Boma and so many others are how SAP is evolving partner economy. SAP is collaborating and evolving an ecosystem where joint efforts can help customers take the benefit of the ecosystem.
Tools: SAP Leonardo is the digital innovation system. It allows intelligently connecting people and business. It connects AI, ML, Blockchain, BigData and analytics.
Ariba, Hybris, SuccessFactors, Concur are the applications that capture the Business partner and employee data and help organizations leverage that data to be used in objective analytics.
Advisory: There is no fixed recipe for transforming an organization. Every business is unique and has different requirement and focus on KPIs at a given time. However, the digital transformation is a continuously evolving process and organizations need to think differently. For success the nature of partnership with business partners should change. Even the advisory partnership should be more collaborative. SAP has been working with many organizations to help achieve the objective of creating and using digital data to change the business model.
Wherever an organization is on the path to transformation it can leverage SAPs transformation navigator ( Link) to adapt business from where it is today to where it needs to be tomorrow?
In nutshell what can be said is that SAP is helping its customers to:
Identify business opportunities and know when to act on them.
Shape business model to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
Realize new business model and scale an innovation culture.
Adapt business strategy to secure a long-term success.
Complement business strategy with the right enterprise architecture.
Transition to an intelligent enterprise of skilled, engaged people.
There are many components of transition to digital enterprise, technology is one of the components , identifying the relevant business journey that makes business sense and handling the organizational change around the transition is equally important.
The race is on to be a digital enterprise, and every journey is unique like every organization is !