How to improve processes and take advantage of the functionalities that SAP offers to companies?
SAP is a management programme that offers infinite possibilities, from its most basic functionalities to ad hoc developments to meet specific needs. It has an installed base of more than 100,000 customers worldwide, many of them large companies with highly complex technology and processes. This raises the need for experts to support and enhance SAP-based business processes and extract their full value. To do this, people with experience in handling the different areas of SAP, as well as in other technologies that add up and create synergies, are needed. This is why T4S (Technology For SAP) was created, with the aim of being the VASS company specialising in advanced process improvement in SAP.
Challenges and opportunities for companies working with SAP
Large companies face different technological and process challenges, from the incorporation of new technologies and their integration with SAP to maintenance, migrations and version upgrades. Some of the current challenges are:
Migration to the new version of SAP S/4HANA
One of the future challenges for customers working with SAP is the changeover to a new version, SAP S/4HANA, which must take place before 2027 (when maintenance of the current versions will end). This is a complex change from a technological and process point of view, but it opens the door to numerous integrations and innovations for business processes. Our work in this regard will be to help customers adapt to integrate new functionalities and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud or IoT.
Need for advice on new opportunities offered by SAP
If there is one thing about challenges, it is that they are usually accompanied by opportunities. And in this case the challenge is to understand all the possibilities that SAP offers and to chart a path for the business.
- On the one hand, SAP systems can help companies gain flexibility in their operations and datacentres. While in a private datacentre it can be difficult to adapt to peak workloads, the cloud world is much more flexible in terms of demand, and SAP makes it easier to integrate to move to the cloud.
- In addition, it offers many possibilities to move from more traditional databases (DB) to Data Lakes in which to work with structured and unstructured data. SAP makes it easy to move data into these types of environments for analysis with third-party tools, giving great flexibility to integrate with different applications.
- And, continuing in the world of data, the new versions also offer new options. Historically, around Big Data, SAP had a Business Warehouse. The new version of S/4HANA allows other types of access, as well as obtaining more immediate KPIs than with traditional databases. The new versions of SAP Analytics Cloud include DLT (Delta Live Tables) tools, facilitating the transfer of transactional data from SAP systems to Data Lakes (as mentioned above), with real-time transaction dashboards.
Faced with these possibilities, businesses need advice on defining their data management model and incorporating platform changes (especially those companies with complex processes and structures).
4 broad areas to help our customers with SAP solutions
At T4S we work with our clients in 4 main areas, depending on their needs at any given time:
- Intelligent Technologies. From this area we help companies in tasks such as moving their systems to the cloud or migrating to new versions. It also encompasses the development of new applications and extensions through the SAP development platform (BTP or Business Transformation Platform), as well as Data Analytics with experts in the different solutions provided by SAP and integration with data warehouses from cloud providers. And finally, we help with the integration with SAP of the different systems of the organisation (versions of products integrated in the cloud or on premise).
- Artificial Intelligence and SAP. In this second area we focus on the discovery and analysis of business processes, in order to analyse performance, bottlenecks, etc. This analysis allows us to automate different processes (thanks to RPA) and, additionally, we have predefined AI scenarios to help in different SAP business processes. For example, bank reconciliation, production management, sustainability, etc. SAP is the largest data warehouse for many customers and there are many scenarios where Artificial Intelligence can be applied.
- SAP Customer Experience (CX). This area includes all SAP products from the point of view of customer management, customer service, online sales, digital marketing, after-sales service, etc. To improve this service we have incorporated a German company to T4S to bring all its expertise to our customers in Spain.
- Functional area of SAP. Finally, we find the more functional part that includes business processes in SAP such as the financial area, purchasing, human resources, quality, etc. This area does not focus so much on technology, but on a deep knowledge of the processes on which we propose technological improvements that bring improvements and innovation.
A foundation of expertise and partnerships to maximise results in all sectors
As we see throughout the article, SAP offers different solutions that require experience in different areas. That is why at T4S we have created a team of people with more than 20 years of experience in this type of solutions and technologies. In addition, we focus on implementing our own solutions and finding, when necessary, the most appropriate third-party software to integrate into each project.
In fact, we have specific software to facilitate SAP migrations, which allows us to analyse the state of the systems, the existing modifications to the software, the modifications that are necessary, etc. All this to simplify migrations.
With technology experts in areas such as Cloud, IoT, Blockchain, Augmented Virtual Reality, Big Data, etc. and SAP-based business process experts, we are able to leverage the innovation that these technologies provide in versions such as S/4Hana.
In addition, we are in a process of continuous growth of our alliances. Today we are SAP partners, as well as SAP product sales partners, we have agreements with several Cloud providers (such as Google Cloud), we are partners of USAPE (Association of SAP Users in Spain) and we collaborate with numerous third party companies. We also have agreements with some datacenters or private clouds, to offer greater possibilities to customers with specific needs of flexibility or attention.
In short, our objective is to combine experience and collaboration to provide the best solutions and improve our clients’ operations in all sectors: telecommunications, energy, banking, insurance, public administration, manufacturing, logistics, etc. Our specialisation allows us to extract the maximum benefits from SAP, at the same time as our work with different industries gives us a vision of the sector’s problems and the best way to solve them.
José Pablo de Pedro