This interview, in my series on Global Technology Partners, features Taggart Robertson, Sr. Director SAP Alliance from Lenovo,
As you’ve seen previous posts on Dell, Virtustream, Cisco, and HPE I pose the same questions to each partner. These questions provide you with a view into the 360 relationship we share as customers, suppliers, co-innovators, and go-to-market partners.
1. What’s your elevator pitch – introduce your company please….
Lenovo is a US$50 billion Fortune Global 500 company operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering and building the world’s most complete portfolio of solutions, smart devices and infrastructure, we are also leading an Intelligent Transformation.
Our SAP practice is a great example of this; in this business unit we focus on solutions that extract maximum value in terms of data and analytics. Whether you are interested in running a more efficient organization, driving enterprise-critical insights in real time, or managing complex data landscapes, Lenovo delivers proven solutions for SAP applications which mitigate risk and accelerate time to value. To find out more visit https://www.lenovo.com/sap, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Weibo and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.
2. Please discuss your experience drinking SAP’s “champagne”….
Lenovo and SAP have synergy in their shared vision – to create and enable the intelligent enterprise and deliver smarter technology for all. We can all agree that we live in a data-driven world and the amount of data continues to grow exponentially. Businesses need the ability to quickly and accurately access this data to drive smart decisions for company growth, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, etc. To help companies make the most sense out of that data and drive toward being an intelligent enterprise, Lenovo and SAP have closely worked together to develop solutions to collect, orchestrate and analyze data to gain real-time insights that facilitate informed and intelligent decision making. Lenovo is also the 2019 Pinnacle Award winner for SAP Global Partner of the Year for Infrastructure. This award exemplifies Lenovo’s extraordinary partnership with SAP in delivering innovative solutions that exceed expectations for our customers whether on-prem, hybrid, hyperconverged, or virtualized architectures.
Lenovo’s own supply chain management has benefited from SAP HANA acceleration. SAP HANA applications help save more than $40M in transition costs and enable supply chain analytics which provided real-time decision-making capabilities.
3. How do you prioritize certified solutions for the SAP ecosystem?
SAP Business Applications – Our customers tell us that their SAP environments are mission critical. As such, our Lenovo ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile solutions for SAP Business Suite, SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Business One, and all other SAP applications provide the performance, reliability and scalability needed to ensure that businesses run smoothly. Highlighting some key points, our SAP Solutions help our customers:
- Understand financial performance in real time
- Increase visibility and agility across their supply chain
- Develop a fully-aligned product portfolio that provides effective and efficient lifecycle management, better controlled production costs, and rapid deployment of resources to the right places at the right time
- Streamline end-to-end processes to accelerate profitable growth
- Accelerate time to value
- Mitigate risk and maximize potential of their data
SAP HANA – Simple, Seamless & Scalable is a great way to sum up the Lenovo value. Our customers need new ways to accelerate decision making and gain insights into key trends locked in their data. Whether planning S/4HANA or BW/4HANA migration with our solutions for SAP HANA, organizations will be able to optimize their SAP deployments in line with SAP’s future technology direction. Our configurations:
- Provide large memory configurations up to 24TB and significantly faster restart times with Intel® Optane™ PMem
- Right-sizing to meet business requirements
- Protect data with integrated high-availability and synchronous disaster-recovery capabilities
- Run with VMware® or Nutanix® hyperconverged virtualization technology for optimizing deployment and management of the server application environment
- Offer investment protection
- Are designed by experienced SAP solution architects and deliver world-class performance and availability
Lenovo Intelligent Insights with SAP Data Hub – This offering allows customers to take control of their data. It unlocks, or liberates, data internal or external to our customers. Lenovo Intelligent Insights orchestrates data from both SAP and non-SAP sources – across the entire landscape, including on-prem, in the cloud, and hybrid cloud environments – through a single orchestration engine. Some of what Lenovo Intelligent Insights with SAP Data Hub provides to our customers is:
- Unified analytics of multi-layer, multi-vendor, and multi-location data sets
- Integration, pipelining, orchestration, and governance of data – including structured, unstructured and IoT data types
- Comprehensive management with seamless, unified, and enterprise-ready monitoring and landscape management capabilities
- Enhanced datacenter reliability, scalability and analytics through integration with Lenovo XClarity
Based on a proven reference architecture, Lenovo Intelligent Insights with SAP Data Hub can be deployed with confidence and reduced risk helping accelerate time to value.
4. Who cares? I mean really – why should customers care about our partnership?
Lenovo and SAP have a long history of innovation together going back more than 25 years. In fact, SAP develops its HANA platform with Lenovo systems. We have a strong commitment to develop and bring smarter technology to every customer. The latest example of this is Lenovo being the first OEM partner to demonstrate SAP HANA with Intel Optane PMem – again further showing our commitment to deliver solutions to advance SAP performance.
It is this close working relationship with SAP that earned Lenovo the SAP Pinnacle Award for Global Partner of the Year: Infrastructure at SAP Sapphire 2019. This award exemplifies Lenovo’s extraordinary partnership with SAP in delivering innovative solutions that meet a multitude of customer deployment scenarios including on-premise, hyperconverged and virtualized architectures.
Businesses also need simplified operations and one point of contact. Lenovo provides Premier Support and managed services which provide complete end to end support and service for its full line of data center offerings, including support for some SAP software. Customers are able to make one call and not have to manage multiple relationships.
In addition to one point of contact and simplified operations, customers also demand cost effective solutions for implementation in its data center. In an independent study by Prowess, they found that Lenovo delivered an overall 24% better TCO for SAP HANA solutions versus the competition. This is important as customers can trust they are not only receiving the most reliable data center equipment in the industry but they are also able to save money. Couple that with the industry’s largest number of #1 benchmarks in world record performance with SAP HANA and customer’s get a solution they can’t find anywhere else.
5. As a trusted partner, when should SAP customers consider contacting you?
Customers should consider contacting Lenovo when they need solutions for SAP Business Suite applications, planning migration to SAP S/4HANA or BW/4HANA or deploying The SAP Data Management platform applications. Our typical engagements include architecting, building, developing, implementing, deploying and extending solutions.
Our partnership with SAP is extremely valuable as we are end-to-end solutions partners. From full reference architectures, solution briefs, data workshops, and consultations, through services and support, Lenovo provides its customers with what they desire – a trusted data center partner that understands the many considerations when it comes to developing and deploying an SAP solution.
6. Please discuss how SAP drinks your “champagne” ….
Lenovo and SAP have a long history together. In fact, SAP uses Lenovo servers for its development of SAP software platforms and for running its SAP HANA platform. Both companies understand and are committed to developing the intelligent enterprise through smarter technology for all. By working together to develop solutions that best fits customer’s business model, whether it’s on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid cloud model, Lenovo and SAP understand that business is not one size fits all.
We have a common vision and understand the importance that data plays in any enterprise. This common vision led us to jointly develop and launch Lenovo Intelligent Insights with SAP Data Hub. By combining Lenovo’s industry leading, most reliable servers with SAP’s Data Hub software, we give customers the ability and confidence to implement a leading edge solution for data orchestration, whether they are fully on premise or in the cloud. The ability for enterprises to easily have application development with data enrichments and visibility to all data in its landscape allows them to make decisions faster, easily incorporate complex analysis from third-party systems, and provides extensible operator concepts and machine learning operators.
7. As an SAP ecosystem ally, how do you educate SAP customers on our joint potential to digitize & transform their business?
Lenovo is committed to educating SAP customers though many joint initiatives. Lenovo and SAP, as well as other eco-system partners, routinely host joint customer briefings and are always available for joint customer engagement. Further, we host a variety of webinars, both live and recorded, throughout the year that are tailored toward Lenovo and SAP solutions. We are major sponsors each year at SAP SAPPHIRE and have a large presence at SAP TechEd events. Lenovo also has a prominent presence on SAP’s App Center where customers can learn more about Intelligent Insights with SAP Data Hub and work directly with Lenovo and SAP, as a team, for development and deployment of the proper solution. We are also happy to host customers and SAP at our Executive Briefing Center in one of our three global locations – Stuttgart, Beijing, Morrisville and also our SAP Competence Center in Walldorf, Germany.