Skip to Content
Business Trends
Author's profile photo Melissa Corfield

SAP Cloud Platform: Open Innovation for Increasingly Complex Industry Challenges


Executives are always closely watching shifts in regulations, competition, market strength, and supply networks. During uncertain times, it is more critical than ever for executives to understand how to transition to digital models faster, access talent that facilitates this shift, and build capabilities that allow their business to grow.

Unfortunately, the reality of everyday operations is often messier than any one person expects. Accounting may bypass payroll processing by cutting an employee a check for missing wages so it can close month-end financials on time. Meanwhile, facility management may develop relationships with new suppliers on their own, yet forget to register them as an approved vendor.

While these events may be considered mere nuisances, they should never be taken lightly. Core business practices are shaped by the environment and people that use them – and when left unchecked, they can become too complex to address critical challenges that business leaders face during times of uncertainty.

Innovating the business core with cloud industry solutions

At a moment’s notice, seemingly minor issues can turn into complex challenges. A facility partner can become a major competitor, and a competitor can sign on as a strategic partner. Boundaries between organizations may shift and impact each other in vastly different ways. Even vendor partnerships in one business area can be forged or broken in another – without either one knowing anything about it.

Yes, there’s always more complexity than anticipated. However, with the introduction of SAP’s industry cloud solutions built on SAP Cloud Platform, businesses can openly innovate new capabilities and applications to handle complex challenges in core functions with resilience, efficiency, and flexibility.

This recent advancement leverages SAP Cloud Platform, which is part of the SAP Business Technology Platform portfolio, to help each SAP customer become one forged ecosystem focused on the industry in which it competes. This new reality is brought to life by combining the power of all organizational functions, partners, and technologies to deliver more value to their customers.

Part of the value of SAP’s industry cloud is the opportunity to use an open cloud platform and solutions to rethink core business functions in industry-relevant ways. Yet, I find more joy in sharing how our customers are uncovering their unique edge in ways that improve people’s way of life.

Eneco: Supporting green electricity with cloud integration

Eneco Holding N.V.​ is one of the most prominent investors in sustainable energy, serving 5.7 million customers and partners in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Like most utility providers, the company faces rapid change and transformation across its processes.

But with a cloud-first strategy, Eneco is ready to keep up with every evolution. The company started with SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite, which is scalable enough to support cloud-to-cloud integration and hybrid deployment models. This strategic move reduced its IT spend for integration middleware to between 50% and 60% of its annual total cost of ownership. Simultaneously, the ease of use and flexibility of the solution helped the company go live in a matter of weeks.

Danone: Fostering stewardship with capital expenditures

Like most consumer good companies, Danone S.A. had a legacy capital expenditure (CAPEX) system built more than a decade ago and based primarily on e-mail. This system led to poor user experiences such as no tracking and reporting capabilities, cumbersome executive approval processes, and a lack of flexibility to adapt to shifts in workflows and business requirements. Even more frustrating was the inability to implement key performance indicators for planet sustainability in the approval process.

By running SAP HANA, SAP Fiori apps, and intelligent technologies from SAP on SAP Cloud Platform, Danone created a next-generation CAPEX approval process that supports an easy-to-use mobile front end for anytime, anywhere tracking and analytics. This one source of truth provides the financial visibility needed to measure and approve CAPEX projects that will achieve innovative and ambitious 2030 environmental goals, including a 50% reduction in CO2 and 100% renewable electricity.

Taronga Conservation Society: Inspiring lasting connections efficiently

 Committed to conservation, research, and education, Taronga Conservation Society Australia (Taronga) operates two local zoos in Sydney and Dubbo. The public organization continuously seeks to improve its animal habitats and enhance its visitors’ experience – but this mission also meant that it needed to become as efficient as possible.

Taronga decided to replace aging legacy systems, cumbersome processes, and paper-based reporting with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management, and SAP Analytics Cloud. This accelerated data transformation project opened the door to enterprise-wide information governance for general ledger accounts, providing an optimal user experience and greater transparency for admissions revenue and expense management. The organization also embedded analytics into existing applications to automate financial and management reporting and adapt quickly to rapidly changing market needs with insights from scenario analysis, forecasts, and growth predictions.

Driving growth with industry sustainability

All business innovations start with an idea inspired by a desire to fix a problem and unlock more value from current experiences. This fact is true whether a ground-breaking product or service is created or an accounts payable process is reimagined. One may gain more attention than the other, but they are equally crucial to the company’s overall success.

This appreciation of the core business makes SAP’s industry cloud solutions such a promising development for SAP Cloud Platform. The solutions form an innovation space that holds all the tools and content necessary to build and deliver change with agility and speed to remain competitive.

I’d love to hear how you’re using the SAP Cloud Platform for your cloud innovations so please share your feedback or comments.

To learn more, go to

Read part 2 of this blog series:


Assigned Tags

      Be the first to leave a comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.