In my role I often have discussions with consultants and clients who have worked in the SAP industry for many years and have grown up with the concept of Enterprise level Business Computing e.g. ERP, CRM, SCM, etc. and the benefits that it can bring to organisations both large and small. In that time lots of great innovative ideas have been delivered allowing these organisations to achieve significant steps forward in engaging with customers, suppliers and employees.
Even so with the increase in the number of smaller, more nimble competitors and the need support a large, existing client base the perception is growing that innovation is for others and SAP organisations are constrained by legacy software. This is not the case!
If anything the issue has become that innovation is taking place all the time but we don’t recognise it and we don’t publicise it. Let me give some examples (in no particular order) based on what we’re doing:
- Rich UI and Mobility – The tools are already out there to deliver a significantly improved SAP User eXperience and we’re working with thought leaders now in this area to deliver significant benefits;
- In-memory Computing – HANA has been around for many years now and, to be fair, the mention can switch people off. But we have implementations that have taken the Retail customer experience to a level above and beyond anything else. This is true innovation;
- Omni-Channel Computing – We can now provide pre-packaged SAP to Hybris integration scenarios showing real-time stock information. This integration model is re-usable and simple but the benefits are huge;
- Agile SAP development – Innovation is not just about software, it is also about approach and method. You can now implement SAP in short periods of time, you can now implement it in an Agile way using Lean Management techniques;
- Infrastructure as a Service – It’s not just on-premise and that’s it. For the last 5 years we have been exploiting cloud services from the likes of our partner Amazon for infrastructure and now with the availability of SuccessFactors and Customer for Cloud we can deliver full cloud or hybrid application landscapes.
- Etc. Etc.
So remember, you don’t need permission to innovate, you may already be doing it without realising!!
With the increased demand for transformational initiatives such as Digital, Customer Centricity, Predictive Maintenance, Cloud based-HR, etc we need to make use of the tools and methods that we have and ensure that innovation continues to be Business as Usual.
It is #InnovationAsUsual.