You are the SAP Applications manager. Your organization has prioritized a digitalization initiative to reduce costs, improve customer service, and compete more effectively with global digital upstarts. Budgets are being reallocated, resources are being redirected, but oddly you’re not being invited to the party. You reflect on the successful rollout of Accounts Payable invoice automation last year, and have been enthusiastically talking up your S/4 HANA migration plans, so why are you not the first point of contact when the business finally wants to do something cool?
The three most common reasons SAP is being overlooked as the platform for digital transformation are:
- SAP takes too long
- SAP costs too much
- SAP is too hard to use.
Modern best-of-breed cloud solutions promise ready-to-run solutions with a slick user-experience and no infrastructure to deploy. There are, however, grave risks and hidden costs with these 3rd-party solutions. With SAP you are confident you have the winning platform.
So how do you make SAP great again in the eyes of your end-users and sponsors?
BEST OF BREED IS A TANGLE
Point out that 3rd-party best-of-breed solutions are not the panacea for digital transformation that their promoters hype. The most common challenges experienced with distributed, overlapping cloud solutions are the following:
- Security – If there is one thing that is keeping CIO’s up at night, it is the security of their core business information currently under sustained assault from global threats. The more solutions you have in play, the greater the number of attack vectors exposed as users, data and processes span a complex web of internal and 3rd-party platforms. For internal users, designing and maintaining access authorizations in one system is hard enough – replicating these access rules consistently across multiple systems and authorisation concepts is a nightmare.
- Process Integration – True digital transformation is achieved when all facets of an organization’s core operations are refactored to produce new and insightful ways of working that are customer-outcome focussed. This means breaking down barriers between people, information and process. Reverting to the old pre-ERP days where you had a separate specialist Customer Relationship Management system, Human Resource Management system, Supply Chain System and Financial System is not the solution. Bridging all these systems with Robotic Process Automation only entrenches this disconnect.
- User Experience – Just because all modern systems can be accessed via a browser, doesn’t harmonize the user experience. Terminology, organizational structures, and even simple usability and navigation vary broadly. The cost of this context shifting by end-users is inefficiency, frustration, error and miscommunication. An effective digitalization platform makes it easy for users to access the right system functionality at the right time in the right place, seamlessly.
- Flexibility – Modern best of breed solutions have ‘best practices’ and core functionality baked into their frameworks that are hard and expensive to change. Whilst superficially attractive, organizations quickly recognize that they are unique, and their evolving way of working is designed to deliver sustainable competitive advantage. Sooner or later process owners will yearn for additional configurability that can be accommodated in an agile fashion.
SAP PROVIDES THE PLATFORM
Remind your business just how much value you have embedded in your existing SAP solutions. The breadth of information and functionality provided by SAP ERP and S/4HANA remains unchallenged in the market, and is the system backbone of the world’s largest and most successful organizations. A sophisticated authorization concept has been refined to ensure all users can see and do (only) everything related to their role. This digital core uniquely supports an organization’s entire scope of operations from people to product. With the SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Fiori and in-memory computing, SAP provides the premium platform for delivering engaging, intuitive and instant system interaction to everyone, everywhere. Coupled securely with your digital core, and opened to your business partners, you are empowered by SAP to transform the way you deliver value to customers. So why aren’t you?
THE WHO AND HOW NEEDS TOOLING
The key obstacles we have observed to a rapid adoption of SAP as the digital transformation platform still relate to the following:
- Availability of experienced SAPUI5 and workflow development consultants
- Dependency on your S4/HANA upgrade to even get started
- User wariness of traditional waterfall projects not delivering fast enough
- Underwhelming first experiences of SAP Fiori due to unsuitable generic standard apps or high-cost custom app development
With our SAP-certified IQX AppBuilder for SAP Fiori (FAB) solution, we believe we have built on all the existing benefits of SAP and Fiori and addressed the most common obstacles and challenges as follows:
- With FAB, your ABAP’ers and SAP Functional specialists are empowered to create Fiori Apps easily. With FAB, your team is able to deliver mobile-responsive Fiori apps today, applying existing technical skills, whilst enhancing their web-development expertise over time. This enablement of SAP-experienced resources to create your digital solutions eliminates the typical communication gaps and overheads of alternative outside-in approaches.
- FAB is deployed as an Add-on directly into your existing SAP ERP system to allow you to get started today, and seamlessly transition to an S/4HANA future. Produced apps can be hosted on your embedded gateway, hub gateway system or directly on the SAP Cloud Platform. Most importantly, business users will become familiar with the potential of SAP Fiori early in addressing their pressing business needs. When it comes to funding future SAP technology upgrades, your users will be firmly on your side.
- FAB extends the core capabilities of SAP Fiori by adding flexible data staging, workflow orchestration and process administration capabilities in one integrated development environment. By leveraging these platform capabilities, you are able to deliver sophisticated transformational business process solutions in a fraction of the time of traditional development techniques. Due to the low-code development, users see what they’re getting as their requirements emerge in a truly agile fashion, ensuring that the business objectives are effectively addressed within accelerated timeframes. Less coding also means less errors, so higher quality solutions are delivered at expedited deployment scale and pace.
Utilizing FAB, customers are accelerating and controlling their business critical processes like customer engagement, supply chain fulfilment, innovation and new product introduction rapidly and self-sufficiently.
To survive, process digitalization is a corporate imperative. Business users are tempted to adopt cloud solutions that look great and promise the earth. The critical problems with 3rd-party solutions include fractured security, complex process integration, inconsistent user experience and limited flexibility. SAP provides the baseline platform to provide a truly integrated digital core for your full scope of business operations. IQX AppBuilder for SAP Fiori empowers your internal team to leverage your existing SAP infrastructure to deliver engaging core business process solutions quickly and cost effectively, to help make SAP great again in the eyes of your business user and sponsors.