From the backdrop onto the forefront – Reflections from SAPPHIRENOW and ASUG 2019

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It’s always great to be at SAPPHIRE, representing Capgemini and “feeling” what’s in the air. I had the opportunity to appreciate both what’s high on SAP’s agenda, and what’s on the customer’s agenda at this year’s SAPPHIRENOW 2019.

Against the backdrop, we saw a major rehaul at SAP – the significant reorganization within SAP (even at the board level), and the Elliott Management stake. I expected acceleration on innovation and the cloud journey. My first reflection at SAPPHIRENOW was exactly that, and it came no less from Hasso Plattner when he said, “… the only way forward is the cloud. We are all clear about this …” On the product side, it was all about the experience economy/management and the value of the Qualtrics acquisition. I must admit that both the X&O data (experience and operational data) pitch, and the SAP HANA Cloud Datawarehouse launch tell a compelling story here.

Being Capgemini’s European SAP Portfolio Lead, my most delightful surprise at SAPPHIRE was the massive presence of European clients!  It was significantly higher than what we’ve usually experienced in the past. Most of these customers were looking for experiences, lessons learned, advice, and expert points of view on how to best succeed in their digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA® and the intelligent stack. The SAP S/4HANA-Intelligent Enterprise wave is definitively here! As I said in my podcast and in my previous blog posts, the “renewable enterprise” is the way of the future –agile business transformation, at measured risk, supported by a solid evolving architecture framework. It has not only been heavily embraced by most of our existing customers, but it has also reinvigorated prospects on this journey I met there. If “why move to SAP S/4HANA®” is still a question, it is a question for those who have taken a kind of “copy/paste” approach (migrating ECC to S/4 from a pure technical and functional standpoint) in their blueprint. Most customers saw the business benefits of being more agile, such as adapting to rapidly changing business models, extending the business ecosystem, leveraging data-driven outcomes, among others. Then, the questions were “what should I aim for” and “how do I move my heavily bespoke monolithic system to a sustainable platform that bring continuously business added value?”

Our Capgemini booth and meeting rooms were nothing short of overcrowded with customers during those three days. I was happy to see how eager existing customers and prospects were to engage with our experts and share their experiences with other customers from the same industries. With our live demos and uses cases we tangibly showed what a solid, renewable architecture is all about and typically consists of the combination of SAP S/4HANA®, SAP Cloud Platform, blockchain, chatbots, cloud apps, fully integrated with third party components, to deliver seamless and adaptative processes to the business.

This great traction confirms that our vision for our customers is the right one: simplify the core and build the differentiation with intelligent technologies, in an agile and evolutive way.

This requires a spectrum of competencies that encompasses the traditional SAP/non-SAP split of skills, plus business expertise, and strong architecture skills – where Capgemini is uniquely positioned.  We have the Multi-Cloud-Multi-Pillar S/4HANA Architecture, API, Dev-Ops, Microservices & Digital Core strategy nicely lined up with a significant number of trained, experienced, and certified SAP S/4HANA® consultants across the globe.

I’m more than ever committed to help our customers succeed in “Delivering the renewable enterprise … intelligently!” To learn more on the simplification of the core, increased differentiation, optimizing your time and efforts with innovative tools and methodologies, feel free to reach out to me.

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