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Securing the SAP Landscape Against Cyber Threats Benchmark Report

Over the past several years SAP systems have increasingly been targeted for cybersecurity attacks as they contain some of the most critical data within the organization. Part of the reason for this is the fact that those SAP systems are increasingly becoming more connected with each other, with applications like SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Ariba now connected with other financial and ERP systems. But another factor is that there is more information on potential exploits and security flaws being found and shared. Combined with a now largely remote workforce where user roles and access may have broadened to facilitate teams that are no longer under the same roof, systems are now at risk more than ever.

Read the report to:

  • Discover what drives security for the SAP landscape.
  • Understand how SAPinsiders approach securing their SAP landscape.
  • Find out which technologies are being used to secure SAP systems.
  • Learn the top requirements for cybersecurity.
  • Gain your steps to success.

Download the report now!


Keynote | Move to the Cloud with Human Experience Management

As an HR leader, people are your business. How do you engage them with engaging experiences, the right guidance, and the tools required to support your business strategy? By moving to the cloud and leveraging Human Experience Management (HXM). To be an employer of choice, you should provide people experiences that are simple, intuitive, and personalized – experiences that reflect the very latest innovations in technology.

Join Jill Popelka, Amy Wilson, and Maryann Abbajay of the SAP SuccessFactors leadership team as they share:

  • How the cloud is the center of engagement, innovation, and impact for your people strategy
  • Insights from a new study, jointly conducted by SAP and SAPInsider, as to the imperative of moving to the cloud
  • Unique benefits of HXM and understand how SAP is delivering innovation today and supporting you in the future
  • Hear directly from a customer who partnered with SAP to move to the cloud to effectively manage and engage their people

 

MEET THE EXPERTS

Jill Popelka SAP SuccessFactors.
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Jill Popelka is the President of SAP SuccessFactors. She is responsible for strategy, customer success, and business health for SAP’s largest cloud line of business. Jill is passionate about People and helping customers achieve value from their People solutions. Prior to her current role, Jill served as Chief Operating Officer of SAP SuccessFactors. In this role, she oversaw all operational functions of the business. Prior to that, she was the Head of SAP SuccessFactors Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). Jill has a reputation for relentlessly doing what’s right for our customers and has driven customer-centric behaviors across a diverse and complex region. Along with her team, Jill achieved incredible growth for SAP SuccessFactors in APJ. Jill began her SAP career in Consulting Services. With a deep understanding of how to achieve successful implementations, she helped customers across all industries as they transformed their business with SAP. Jill has assisted in building a strong customer base and driving business outcomes within the SAP ecosystem for over two decades. Jill joined SAP from Accenture, where she spent many years orchestrating and leading successful SAP implementation programs for customers in North America. She understands the elements critical to success in adoption of SAP solutions and enjoys helping customers achieve their business outcomes. Jill graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Jill and her husband, Jimmy, have two children, Cole and Kalie. Cole plays football and enjoys his math and technology classes. Kalie enjoys volleyball and watching college football, and she is currently on the International Volleyball Club Elite Team. Jill loves spending time with family, traveling, reading, and grilling out with friends. She also loves running and CrossFit.

Maryann Abbajay SAP SuccessFactors
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Maryann Abbajay is currently the Chief Revenue Officer, SuccessFactors.  In this role, Maryann is responsible for building a sustainable revenue model to ensure continued, robust sales growth and execution globally for SuccessFactors.  Her previous role was Head of the Qualtrics SWAT Team. Maryann has been with SAP for 13 years. During that time, her primary focus has been on SAP’s most strategic customers both in the West and in the UK in various sales and sales management roles. Prior to joining SAP, Maryann held sales and sales management positions with webMethods, Cisco Systems, and Oracle. Maryann is a graduate of University of Georgia.  Her hobbies include hiking, cooking and gardening.  Maryann also enjoys travelling with her husband, Dave, and 2 of their 4 children who are still living at home.      

Amy Wilson SAP SuccessFactors
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Amy Wilson serves as SVP of Products & Design for SAP SuccessFactors.  She leads a global team of developers, designers, product managers, and enabling teams partnering with the more than 6200 customers to build and deliver the industry-leading, cloud-based SAP SuccessFactors solution. Prior to SAP, Amy led product for Workday’s HCM solutions. Amy was also previously Vice President and Principal Analyst of People Management Technologies at Constellation Research Group. Prior to that, Amy led the team responsible for the Oracle HCM Cloud talent applications. Amy serves on the Board of Directors for Eden Information & Resources, a non-profit that serves the most vulnerable of Alameda County seeking health, housing, and human services. Amy also serves as Managing Director at Golden Seeds, Silicon Valley, an investment firm that pursues gender-diversity and financial results by investing in early-stage women-led companies. Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell University with concentrations in mathematics, computer science and psychology.  

Rajamma Krishnamurthy Microsoft
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More than twenty years in Fortune 500 companies driving all facets of Human Resources Technology. Core HR, Learning, Talent, HR Services, M&A, Benefits, Performance and Rewards and many others. Successfully led large scale global digital transformations. Passionate about leveraging the power of cloud and data to create productive and engaging experiences. Expert at Digital HR and Employee experience vision and Roadmap development. Prolific speaker at Digital HR conferences on Experiences and People Analytics. Member, Executive Innovation Board, SAP Success Factors. Mentor, Advisor - Start-ups in HR Technology (Reframe Work, Humanly.io, SAP Foundry). Member, Faculty Advisory Board, WORC & MS (HCAT) at NYU.



Keynote | Move to the Cloud with Human Experience Management

As an HR leader, people are your business. How do you engage them with engaging experiences, the right guidance, and the tools required to support your business strategy? By moving to the cloud and leveraging Human Experience Management (HXM). To be an employer of choice, you should provide people experiences that are simple, intuitive, and personalized – experiences that reflect the very latest innovations in technology.

Join Jill Popelka, Amy Wilson, and Maryann Abbajay of the SAP SuccessFactors leadership team as they share:

  • How the cloud is the center of engagement, innovation, and impact for your people strategy
  • Insights from a new study, jointly conducted by SAP and SAPInsider, as to the imperative of moving to the cloud
  • Unique benefits of HXM and understand how SAP is delivering innovation today and supporting you in the future
  • Hear directly from a customer who partnered with SAP to move to the cloud to effectively manage and engage their people



MEET THE EXPERTS

Jill Popelka SAP SuccessFactors.
Read More

Jill Popelka is the President of SAP SuccessFactors. She is responsible for strategy, customer success, and business health for SAP’s largest cloud line of business. Jill is passionate about People and helping customers achieve value from their People solutions. Prior to her current role, Jill served as Chief Operating Officer of SAP SuccessFactors. In this role, she oversaw all operational functions of the business. Prior to that, she was the Head of SAP SuccessFactors Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). Jill has a reputation for relentlessly doing what’s right for our customers and has driven customer-centric behaviors across a diverse and complex region. Along with her team, Jill achieved incredible growth for SAP SuccessFactors in APJ. Jill began her SAP career in Consulting Services. With a deep understanding of how to achieve successful implementations, she helped customers across all industries as they transformed their business with SAP. Jill has assisted in building a strong customer base and driving business outcomes within the SAP ecosystem for over two decades. Jill joined SAP from Accenture, where she spent many years orchestrating and leading successful SAP implementation programs for customers in North America. She understands the elements critical to success in adoption of SAP solutions and enjoys helping customers achieve their business outcomes. Jill graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Jill and her husband, Jimmy, have two children, Cole and Kalie. Cole plays football and enjoys his math and technology classes. Kalie enjoys volleyball and watching college football, and she is currently on the International Volleyball Club Elite Team. Jill loves spending time with family, traveling, reading, and grilling out with friends. She also loves running and CrossFit.

Maryann Abbajay SAP SuccessFactors
Read More

Maryann Abbajay is currently the Chief Revenue Officer, SuccessFactors.  In this role, Maryann is responsible for building a sustainable revenue model to ensure continued, robust sales growth and execution globally for SuccessFactors.  Her previous role was Head of the Qualtrics SWAT Team. Maryann has been with SAP for 13 years. During that time, her primary focus has been on SAP’s most strategic customers both in the West and in the UK in various sales and sales management roles. Prior to joining SAP, Maryann held sales and sales management positions with webMethods, Cisco Systems, and Oracle. Maryann is a graduate of University of Georgia.  Her hobbies include hiking, cooking and gardening.  Maryann also enjoys travelling with her husband, Dave, and 2 of their 4 children who are still living at home.      

Amy Wilson SAP SuccessFactors
Read More

Amy Wilson serves as SVP of Products & Design for SAP SuccessFactors.  She leads a global team of developers, designers, product managers, and enabling teams partnering with the more than 6200 customers to build and deliver the industry-leading, cloud-based SAP SuccessFactors solution. Prior to SAP, Amy led product for Workday’s HCM solutions. Amy was also previously Vice President and Principal Analyst of People Management Technologies at Constellation Research Group. Prior to that, Amy led the team responsible for the Oracle HCM Cloud talent applications. Amy serves on the Board of Directors for Eden Information & Resources, a non-profit that serves the most vulnerable of Alameda County seeking health, housing, and human services. Amy also serves as Managing Director at Golden Seeds, Silicon Valley, an investment firm that pursues gender-diversity and financial results by investing in early-stage women-led companies. Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell University with concentrations in mathematics, computer science and psychology.  

Rajamma Krishnamurthy Microsoft
Read More

More than twenty years in Fortune 500 companies driving all facets of Human Resources Technology. Core HR, Learning, Talent, HR Services, M&A, Benefits, Performance and Rewards and many others. Successfully led large scale global digital transformations. Passionate about leveraging the power of cloud and data to create productive and engaging experiences. Expert at Digital HR and Employee experience vision and Roadmap development. Prolific speaker at Digital HR conferences on Experiences and People Analytics. Member, Executive Innovation Board, SAP Success Factors. Mentor, Advisor - Start-ups in HR Technology (Reframe Work, Humanly.io, SAP Foundry). Member, Faculty Advisory Board, WORC & MS (HCAT) at NYU.



Automating Closing Processes at The Comfort Group

Deloitte Implements SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing to improve business-process efficiency, accuracy, and speed.

By Matt Gillespie, Contributing Writer, SAPinsider

As a fourth-generation family-owned firm, The Comfort Group has developed into the largest bed and foam manufacturer in Australasia. The company has grown dramatically over the past decade, both organically and through acquisitions. In the process of that growth cycle, The Comfort Group, which runs multiple ERP systems, has made great strides in terms of modernization, standardization, and automation of its business and technology processes. In order to align its financial close procedure with this ongoing effort – a critical step forward, considering all of the organization’s financial data gets consolidated on SAP S/4HANA – The Comfort Group implemented SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing with help from its implementation partner, Deloitte. The solution orchestrates the full spectrum of planning, processing, monitoring, and analysis tasks associated with financial close at The Comfort Group.

The Comfort Group Company Info

Discovery and Initial Configuration

A key challenge that arose during the initial planning stage was to conceive of the implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing within the Agile framework of two-week sprints. That requirement permeated the entire process as The Comfort Group’s business users worked with Deloitte’s project team to discover and document the existing close procedure. As is the case for many companies, that information existed in both formal and informal modes.

The team began with central sources such as process documentation and cheat sheets, then built a more complete picture using user interviews, emails, and other informal sources. Discovery activities thoroughly documented the processes themselves, the systems used, and the users involved (as well as their individual roles and privilege levels).

With an understanding of the current close processes in hand, the implementation team next analyzed the processes in terms of efficiency and to identify potential process areas that could be improved by means of automation. To create month-end workflows, they began with the closing Task List Models based on SAP’s Best Practices and tailored it to fit The Comfort Group’s individual needs.

Based on this pre-delivered template, the group added several required external tasks and then fine-tuned the task sequence and dependencies. Additional configurations included settings for regulatory considerations, such as regional data privacy requirements and Sarbanes–Oxley (SOX) Act compliance. Finally, the team set up status notifications and built uploads of attachments with work instructions and links into the tasks, so that everything a user needs to complete a given task is conveniently available to them, right in the task itself.

Demonstration and User Acceptance Testing

Having established its core build for the Month-End Template, The Comfort Group and Deloitte next prepared to demonstrate it to key decision makers, subject matter experts (SMEs), and other stakeholders. Part of that preparation was to define user groups, authorization settings, and the closing tasks themselves. The team also uploaded useful documentation such as cheat sheets, procedures, and notes and then applied common automation techniques such as embedded workflows and automated chains of closing jobs like the fixed asset depreciation or foreign currency valuation runs.

Building on The Comfort Group’s agile process, an iterative demonstration and testing process was established, incorporating input from stakeholders as the project continued. For example, a business SME might identify a process document that should be included, or a contingent process may be called for, under certain circumstances. As the team involved more experts, the set of month-end tasks became more automated, more complete, and more sophisticated.

Further investigation continued to reveal offline processes — such as email communication and status checks — that were involved in the month-end workflow but not included in the Month-End Template of the system. Over the course of the demonstration and user acceptance testing stage, many such offline

processes were formalized and incorporated into the Template by means such as notes and web application links. The Comfort Group found that approach to be essential in encouraging users to use the system for all aspects of the month-end workflow.

The delivery model used by The Comfort Group to implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing based user acceptance criteria on the user stories developed at the outset of the project. Meeting all those criteria successfully demonstrated that the implementation objectives had been met. End-user training made available beginning in this stage was a key means to improve the efficiency of user onboarding, including resources available through the SAP Help Portal’s Finance Video Library.

Solution Adoption, Ongoing Improvements, and Take-Aways

As The Comfort Group and Deloitte prepared to hand over the solution to production, they recognized that supporting the first month-end close to ensure that it went smoothly was vital to overall successful adoption. Advance planning included coordinating schedules and events with key business users, so they were prepared to receive and follow through on task notifications via email. Support resources were also strategically assigned for the close itself.

On a daily basis during initial adoption, the team held check-in meetings to monitor progress, share expertise and lessons learned, and address any issues that users were having. These meetings served as the hub for encouraging full user adoption, including the use of online processes and collaboration in place of informal workarounds or undocumented task knowledge. They also set the pattern for ongoing improvements to the integrity of the month-end process and to user experience and efficiency.

The success of this project shows conclusively that the Agile framework can be applied to the delivery model of SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing. In the future, SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing holds the potential to serve as a cloud closing hub for The Comfort Group across multiple ERP systems, with a goal of supporting integration to on-premise financial systems and enabling the company to conduct the closing process in a remote environment.



SAP S/4HANA Migration Benchmark Webinar


To understand where SAPinsiders are with the move to SAP S/4HANA, SAPinsider surveyed 169 members of our community in Q1 of 2021. The goal of the survey was to understand where they are on their transition to SAP S/4HANA, what benefits they have gained or hope to gain from the transition, or what might be blocking their move. Continuing the steady growth from 8% who had already gone live in 2019 up to 17% in 2020, 24% of survey respondents this year indicated they were already using SAP S/4HANA.

Join us to attend the SAP S/4HANA Migration benchmark webinar on May 11th at 11:00am ET and have your questions answered, gain insights, and top strategies:

  • Discover what drives SAP S/4HANA migration.
  • Understand how customers meet their business drivers.
  • Learn the top requirements and strategies organizations are using in their migration.
  • Gain your steps to success.

Attend the Webinar

SAPinsider Magazine | 2021 | Issue 2

On the Cover

A global shift to remote working in 2020 introduced new risks, vulnerabilities, and security issues to the business landscape. The roles of security and access management have been elevated to ensure not only compliance, but a concept taken for granted prior to the pandemic: business continuity. The cover story in this edition of SAPinsider Magazine explores how Lundbeck, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Denmark, ensured the business could streamline its development of specialty therapies for people with disorders of the central nervous system by moving to an automated security platform capable of performing in a hybrid landscape. Lundbeck’s Solutions Architect for Access and Security, Kirsten Kjerkegaard, shares her perspective on page 22, about how trends in SAP and security have changed during her career, one being a greater emphasis on having a global security system in place.

Learn from other subject matter experts in the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) space in the best practice article, A Holistic Approach to Managing Cybersecurity and Protecting Your Data, on page 34. Or, take a deep dive into patching in the technical column, The Power of Prevention: How Patching and Awareness Can Fortify SAP Systems Against Hacks, on page 54.

Additional articles and special features in this edition include:

  • A special section looking at reactions to and perspectives on the new RISE with SAP offering (pages 4 – 21);
  • How The Comfort Group, a leader in the Autralasian bedding market, is automating its closing processes (page 38);
  • How to realize value from your cloud and SAP journeys (page 42); and
  • A thought-provoking perspective on migrating to SAP S/4HANA for the right reasons (page 28).

Access Now



Protecting the Applications Powering Your Business - SAP & Onapsis Working Together to Remediate and Mitigate Risk

Join Onapsis and SAP as we highlight how to address security and compliance issues so you can protect your mission-critical applications. In this session we will discuss the latest threat landscape targeting SAP applications, the importance of keeping up with patches and the need to continuously assess and monitor SAP applications to quickly detect and respond to issues and threats—keeping you protected. Learn how you can integrate SAP applications into your cybersecurity and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) programs. The session will include demonstrations of currently used exploits, discussion of observed activity in the wild, and information on how to identify indicators of compromise from the observed activities.

By attending this interactive roundtable, you will learn:

  • How threat researchers work with SAP to continually improve security for customers
  • Recent threat landscape discoveries and recommendations for a secure and compliance SAP landscape
  • The benefits of this partnership for SAP customers
  • How to assess your SAP applications for vulnerabilities and misconfigurations
  • Why you need to continuously monitor for internal and external threats to ensure your mission-critical application are protected
Register Now

MEET THE EXPERTS

Juan Perez-Etchegoyen CTO, Onapsis
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JP leads the innovation team that keeps Onapsis on the cutting edge of the Business-Critical Application Security market, addressing some of the most complex problems that organizations are currently facing while managing and securing their ERP landscapes. JP helps manage the development of new products as well as support the ERP cybersecurity research efforts that have garnered critical acclaim for the Onapsis Research Labs. JP is regularly invited to speak and host trainings at global industry conferences, including Black Hat, HackInTheBox, AppSec, Troopers, Oracle OpenWorld and SAP TechEd, and is a founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Cloud ERP Working Group. Over his professional career, JP has led many Information Security consultancy projects for some of the world's biggest companies around the globe in the fields of penetration and web application testing, vulnerability research, cybersecurity infosec auditing/standards, vulnerability research and more.

Microsoft’s Joao Couto Answers Questions About Expanded SAP-Microsoft Partnership, RISE with SAP, and Other Matters

Learn what Microsoft customers are saying about RISE with SAP; how the new Microsoft-SAP partnership benefits companies wanting to move to the cloud; and how COVID-19 has opened up opportunities as well as raised challenges for businesses.

On January 22, 2021, SAP and Microsoft announced an enhanced partnership. SAPinsider sat down for an exclusive interview with Joao Couto, Vice President of the SAP Business Unit at Microsoft, to explore what the partnership means for the recently announced RISE with SAP offering. Couto also shared insights into how companies can take advantage of accelerated digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA and Azure. Here’s what he had to say.

Q: What do you hear Microsoft customers saying about RISE with SAP?

A: RISE with SAP, the new subscription-based, digital-transformation-as-a-service offering for helping companies address their business transformation challenges, is generating a lot of curiosity as well as excitement among Microsoft’s customers.

RISE with SAP makes it very easy and fast for the vast majority of SAP users that are still running legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) environments on premise to modernize and move to the cloud. It also includes support by leading partners around the world — partners that businesses can trust.
This is a powerful combination that lowers the risk of IT modernization, and of the move to SAP S/4HANA. We’re hearing that businesses are interested in learning more, and evaluating RISE with SAP versus the alternative paths they were already familiar with, such as continuing to run their own environments; outsourcing everything to partners; or perhaps decoupling everything and contracting to have bits and pieces run by SAP, bits and pieces run by partners, and bits and pieces being put into cloud infrastructure.

Q: What specific pain points are businesses experiencing today that make RISE with SAP attractive?

A: First, there are the very broad implications of COVID-19. Familiar business models no longer suffice as the need to predict demand becomes more essential, the number of employees who need access to systems remotely grows, and security requirements become more important than ever. Also, we’re finding our customers want transparency so they know what is really going on in their businesses, and can accelerate their innovation cycles.

And with that acceleration of innovation cycles, companies want to update their systems faster, which requires having a more standard ERP model as opposed to a system with large levels of customization that may prevent systems from being updated regularly.

The challenge is that customers have spent many years investing heavily in their existing legacy SAP systems, applying complex customizations that almost keep businesses hostage because they are slower in their abilities to respond to the very fast pace of business needs. When they are able to respond, it’s very costly because all those customizations need to be maintained.

Unfortunately, the customizations also prevent organizations from having streamlined paths to modernize their SAP environments and get to the new hero of SAP systems, SAP S/4HANA.

Many companies have a multimillion dollar transformation project ahead of them, and it carries a lot of risk, which is where Microsoft and our Azure cloud come in — these companies are looking to us to help them out.

They can get their SAP environments into the cloud and get some immediate savings — but also a lot more flexibility. They also become much more agile about analyzing the data and combining it with their non-SAP operational data.

RISE with SAP helps reduce complexity and risk by combining the flexibility of a highly attractive commercial model with a very easy, subscription-based cloud model. It provides a clear answer to companies concerned about the move to SAP S/4HANA and the cloud when SAP takes over the technical migration, then subsequently the technical operation of their SAP environment. It eases the path to becoming a modern, digital enterprise.

Q: SAP customers have lots of options in today’s marketplace. Why should they choose Microsoft?

A: The first reason is that the partnership between Microsoft and SAP has existed for more than 25 years. This long-standing partnership is rooted in a deep engineering connection between Microsoft and SAP.

What that means: an SAP system running on Azure runs better than on anything else. Customers can trust us at a very high level. Microsoft runs its own SAP system on Azure, and SAP runs its own SAP system on Azure as well. You can see that the Fortune 500 and the largest companies in the world run their largest, most complex SAP systems on Azure precisely because of our experience.

At the end of the day, SAP systems are mission-critical — you don’t want to mess around with them. SAP customers that choose to run their systems on Azure can build on the deep level of trust, engineering expertise, and thousands of successful customer experiences shared between Microsoft and SAP.

The second argument is security.

As a result of COVID-19, the increased level of security you get with Azure becomes more important than ever, including how SAP Identity Management can be used with our own Azure Active Directory, connecting SAP events with our Microsoft events and exposing them to Azure security services, and reinforcing all the networking Azure is also fully compliant with key regulatory environments for financial services, health, and other industries with very specific security and privacy requirements.
Then there are all the analytics and information management services that the Microsoft world offers. Microsoft customers point to their ability to look at the SAP system — not just in isolation, but in combination with systems and data that reside outside the SAP system — as a key benefit. With Azure, Microsoft is able to provide users with very easy access to information in a very flexible way.

And then, lastly, deep collaboration and engineering work unites both companies.

Microsoft and SAP customers trust that they not only have well-tested and well-proven architectures and frameworks to migrate and manage their own SAP environments, but they also have exclusive access to innovation. Through this partnership you almost have an insurance policy that you are on the leading edge of innovation, because we will be providing our customers access to our technological advancements before anyone else in the world gets them.

Joao Couto, Vice President of the SAP Business Unit, Microsoft

Joao Couto, Vice President of the SAP Business Unit, Microsoft

 

Q: What will the recently announced partnership expansion between SAP and Microsoft enable companies to do that they couldn’t do before?

A: The partnership is structured to deliver a lot of differentiation and innovation to market, but in addition to the security that I mentioned, there are three ways in particular that customers will gain from the partnership: integration, automation, and collaboration.

First, Microsoft Teams (Teams) is going to be tightly integrated with specific SAP applications, including SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Sales Cloud.
Microsoft and SAP plan to provide a complete roadmap of integrations, which means that users will be able to use all the functionality of Teams within whatever SAP applications they deploy. This will happen in a native way, enabling customers to run their own SAP applications without the need to go outside those applications to do things like collaborate with teammates, check on their work statuses, and launch video calls.

For example, with the SAP Sales Cloud integration, account executives could launch a remote video call with a customer using Teams and pull data from the SAP system to have all the context of that customer on the screen. This integration will enable seamless operations that will tremendously simplify the way your users will interact with customers as well as with partners.

The second way that customers will benefit from the partnership is through automation frameworks to build SAP S/4HANA environments easily on Azure and increase operational efficiency. Microsoft and SAP will provide guidance on setup, reference architecture, and tool usage.
We’ve also strengthened our partnership with SAP Cloud Appliance Library to optimize the provisioning experience of both production and non-production environments on Azure.

Ultimately, we’re going to offer a more complete set of tools to assess environments, to plan migrations, and to do the actual migrations of data and modules. These tools will allow you to be very flexible and to decide which sorts of data you want to migrate. For example, do you really need to migrate the data of organizations that your organization divested years ago?

Alternatively, you can do a deep analysis of the usage levels for different modules of SAP and leverage the opportunity to simplify your environment. These automation tools are designed to help you be very pragmatic and focused on the way you do your migration from the legacy world into the new world of SAP S/4HANA.
With these automation tools, together Microsoft and SAP will make the migration experience as efficient as possible, leveraging AI tools and automation routines so that you won’t need to worry about backups and disaster recoveries and other routines that have to run. With SAP, Microsoft is enabling our customers to have a very low cost of SAP ERP migration to SAP S/4HANA, as well as low total cost of ownership (TCO) for running it on Azure.

Third and finally, we will significantly invest and deepen our integration to strengthen collaboration. We do this by opening up communication between product planners, buyers, category managers, and the suppliers you rely on to keep your business operational. Your employees can automatically send messages, schedule meetings, and share critical information through Microsoft Teams without ever leaving the SAP S/4HANA planning or procurement solution. And instead of navigating from system to system, employees can join development discussions or launch peer-to-peer conversations directly from their SAP SuccessFactors learning map via Microsoft Teams.

All of this is, of course, built on top of a platform resilient because of robust security, which provides enhanced network security and threat protection, end-to-end authentication and integrated lifecycle and single sign-on (SSO), and secure network integration with private account connectivity.

Q: COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation for many businesses. What benefits have they realized as a result of that acceleration?

A: The need for employees to work remotely triggered two significant opportunities for digital transformation. From a company perspective, the first opportunity was equipping employees to effectively do their work remotely in a highly secure way.

That’s where Azure and all of Microsoft’s security services play a big role. In a remote environment, companies need to be able to provide off-site employees with access to their systems in a very secure way and be able to control not only individuals, but also all the security events that someone might be triggering — either by performing activities that are not authorized, or by phishing credentials to be able to access systems in a wrong, or even criminal, way. SAP and Microsoft have been investing heavily in security to support this need.

Next, COVID-19 has triggered the need for businesses to achieve deeper visibility into relationships in their supply chains, strengthening what we call the resilience of the supply chain. For example, are you able to see your first-level suppliers, your direct suppliers?

How about the contractors of your suppliers? Can you see even deeper into the supply chain, into the second, third, or fourth levels? Having a very robust level of transparency enables you to be able to predict what is going to happen to your business.

And then the task becomes being able to proactively manage your business so that you minimize disruptions. Even if your supplier is disrupted somewhere in the world because of a COVID event, you want to be able to rapidly overcome that situation and continue operating as normal. What this means, of course, is that managing information has become more critical than ever.

Third, COVID has significantly disrupted key industries, triggering an enormous amount of attention toward how businesses manage costs. Today’s companies are looking into every single opportunity to improve the efficiency of their operations. Cloud of course helps with that.

Additionally, COVID-19 forced companies to think about better managing peaks in business. The pandemic revealed that an external event can occur, causing companies to experience a peak that increases business demand by a factor of 10 or even 100, and then the next day it drops to a fraction of that. Organizations are now considering how to manage this high variability.

Again, the cloud responds much better to a high-variability environment than a traditional on-premise system.

Finally, with significant business disruptions taking place, businesses have the opportunity to think differently about how to create new business models. For example, perhaps instead of selling an elevator, I start charging for the number of people I transport. I suddenly have a completely new business as a service. COVID-19 forced everyone to start thinking differently than before.

Q: What challenges do you think businesses will still face or will be facing anew in the post-COVID era?

A: The new normal is going to be very different from what we have experienced so far.

One key topic, which is rapidly becoming more and more important, is sustainability and global climate change. This is also an area where both SAP and Microsoft are investing to see how we can help companies do a better job, starting with the basics, like understanding companies’ carbon footprints, and how to best optimize them. We have a lot to do in this area.

We also face the challenge of how to enable social interaction in virtual offices. While there are many benefits to remote working, that piece is clearly missing. So how can we combine both worlds — remote and in-person — in a seamless way to maximize the benefits? I think it’s going to be a great learning experience. We’ll learn how to motivate our workforces to stay engaged, but also continuously to develop new skills. And continue to develop ways to socially interact, which is so key for our overall well-being and productivity.



SAP Records Strong Q1 Performance

“Fastest Growth in Five Years” with Non-IFRS Cloud Revenue Up 13%

by Robert Holland, VP and Research Director, SAPinsider

 

While 2020 was somewhat mixed for SAP from a revenue standpoint, SAP announced yesterday that their first quarter of 2021 had been exceptional. Almost the first words used by CEO Christian Klein to describe the results were that this was “just an amazing start to 2021”, and that “this really confirms the strategy to drive business transformation to the cloud”. Overall, non-IFRS Total Revenue increased 2% at constant currencies, and non-IFRS operating profit increased 24% at constant currencies, but the big jump was in cloud revenue.

RISE with SAP Hits 100 Customers: Leads Cloud Success

While only launched at the end of January, Klein stated that “RISE is already a game changer” when it comes to both the product itself, and the positive impact that it is having on cloud revenues for SAP. Klein stated in the call that RISE was off to a “great start” with over 100 deals closed in Q1. SAP also saw an uptick in cloud renewals, as well as an increase in current cloud backlog by 19% at constant currencies. (SAP defines current cloud backlog as the contractually committed cloud revenue they expect to recognize over the upcoming 12 months as of a specific date.)

While cloud and software saw a 6% increase in non-IFRS revenue in constant currencies, most of this growth was attributable to non-IFRS cloud revenue growing 13% at constant currencies to €2,147 million. There was strong performance across all regions, though the most revenue growth was in EMEA and APJ. EMEA, led by a strong performance in Germany and Switzerland, grew by 24% in cloud revenue at constant currencies. And in APJ, the home region for SAP’s new Executive Board Member for Customer Success Scott Russell, there was an 18% growth at constant currencies.

Where SAP had less success was in the Americas. Although both Canada and Mexico were called out as having a robust quarter, cloud revenue only grew by 7% at constant currencies in the Americas, while total revenue dropped slightly indicating a slower than anticipated recovery in the region. With the US accounting for slightly over 80% of revenue from the region, the fact that there was a 2% drop in total revenue for the US compared to the same quarter in 2020 shows there is still some way to go. In fact, total revenue for the Americas lagged that of EMEA by nearly 5%, though cloud revenue from the region accounts for more than half of SAP’s total cloud revenue.

Providing an update on strategy, Klein said that SAP plans to deliver the Intelligent Enterprise in the cloud. There are two goals that SAP wants to achieve to make this strategy successful. The first is to take the customer base to the cloud in core ERP. The second is to establish the SAP Business Technology Platform as the key platform based on one data model which will securely support SAP and non-SAP applications in the cloud. Klein said that the first goal is the most demanding, but that RISE with SAP contains both these features and the success that it is already seeing will help customers transform the enterprise.

SAP S/4HANA Growth Continues

During the first quarter, SAP reported that SAP S/4HANA customers increased by approximately 400 to over 16,400. Klein also said that over 9,600 of these were live, a jump of around 900 from the 8,700 reported in January at the end of the previous quarter. What was interesting was that Klein stated that more than 50% of the additional SAP S/4HANA customers were net new. While this demonstrates that SAP has continued to grow their ERP market share since the launch of SAP S/4HANA by attracting net new customers and competitive replacements to the platform, it also indicates that there is still significant work to do migrating their existing enterprise ERP customer base – SAPinsider’s SAP S/4HANA Migration report published in March showed in increase in those with no current plans for SAP S/4HANA for the first time since we began tracking the metric.

The most significant growth area for SAP S/4HANA was that of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, which saw a 43% growth in revenue at constant currencies to €227 million. At the same time, the SAP S/4HANA current cloud backlog also increased by 43% to €1.04 billion with SAP having contracts in place for that revenue over the coming year. This growth in SAP S/4HANA Cloud was also apparent in SAPinsider’s State of the Market report, where over 27% of respondents implementing SAP S/4HANA said they were planning on using SAP S/4HANA Cloud. This is a significant jump from the just 11% who have already deployed SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

The growth in cloud revenue in all regions shows that organizations are starting to plan for and implement increased spending in 2021 with a focus on the cloud and SAP S/4HANA. Some of this is likely to be plans deferred from 2020, but SAP is counting on the increase in cloud revenue continuing to increase across the year and they updated their outlook for 2021 based on the strong cloud performance this quarter. But what should you plan for as a member of the SAPinsider Community?

  • Lean more about RISE with SAP, especially if you are building your business case. While some CIOs that SAPinsider has talked to indicated that they thought RISE is more targeted at those who have not yet started the move to SAP S/4HANA, with SAP positioning RISE as a starting point for business transformation and a cloud journey, you should understand more about what it is and how it will impact you. SAPinsider is running a series of webinars in May and June on the topic, with the first one answering your questions.
  • Leverage SAP’s resources and toolsets to do your due diligence on the impact of transformation. SAP completed the acquisition of Signavio on March 7th, providing SAP with enhanced business process intelligence capabilities. This is already reflected by the fact that SAP Business Scenario Recommendations will evolve into Process Discovery for SAP S/4HANA Transformation. Explore how you can leverage these new business transformation options, Process Discovery is free for all users with an existing maintenance contract for example, and see how they can inform your own planning.
  • Evaluate how the SAP Business Technology Platform fits your needs and environment. More than just a rebranding of SAP Cloud Platform, the BTP includes application development and integration suites, SAP HANA and data management, SAP Analytics Cloud, as well as intelligent technologies like AI and ML. While you may already be leveraging some of these features, with SAP planning to have the BTP as the single data model for its customers, educating your teams on this functionality is very important.
  • Plan for a cloud future – prepare your skillsets and landscape accordingly. The share of more predictable revenue, the total of cloud and software support revenue as a percentage of total revenue, reached 78% this quarter and SAP is targeting a goal of 75% for the full year. To make this happen cloud revenue must continue to grow, and SAP’s focus on the cloud as the future is not changing. Whether or not your plans currently include the cloud, your future plans with SAP should include that environment and you must educate your teams around and their skillsets to make sure that you are ready for that move.