Day 2: SAP SAPPHIRE NOW Keynote Highlights
SAP SAPPHIRE NOW opened with co-founder Hasso Plattner who took the stage to bring the Intelligent Enterprise from concept to reality. Plattner led with the statement, “The Intelligent Enterprise is not a marketing story thriving in buzzwords. It is a logical consequence of what is possible today using modern technology in enterprise applications.” The Intelligent Enterprise is also not just an ERP story but one that crosses business units, business processes and data repositories. The Intelligent Enterprise eliminates redundant aggregates, enables real time analytics and can run massive parallel processes. Requests are handled “on the fly” and you are always prepared. It is enabled with AI-powered and self-learning mechanisms that help companies redefine the way work is done.
At the center of the intelligent enterprise is the SAP S/4HANA Cloud and the SAP HANA Data Management Suite. The top innovations for SAP HANA Data Management Suite included: Data Pipelines; Text and Search; Spatial and Graph; Data Anonymization; and Persistent Memory
SAP CTO Björn Goerke took the stage to talk more about the SAP Cloud Platform. Supporting the SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a diverse ecosystem of packaged content, 950+ partners, and 1000s of APIs and integrations.
And the SAP Cloud ecosystem is just continuing to grow. Goerke made a number of supporting announcements including:
- SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android - Available in limited release starting on June 15th. For more information read the SAP blog “SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android has arrived!”
- SAP Cloud Platform Private Edition – This will run on the IBM cloud as a private cloud deployment. For more information read the article “IBM and SAP: Extending a partnership built on trust”
- SAP Cloud Platform Expanded Multicloud Strategy – SAP Cloud Platform will now be available on the Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.
- SAP Cloud Industry Adoption Acceleration Programs - New programs with Accenture, Capgemini and Deloitte for accelerating adoption of the SAP Cloud in manufacturing, discrete manufacturing and service industries.
So, Then What is Holding Back Customers from the Move to S/4HANA?
With all this greatness, then why hasn’t everyone moved to S/4HANA? Ironically, the biggest challenge holding clients back is change in the form of all the modifications and customizations they’ve made to their existing systems. Platner states “It is unfortunate to see clients not be able to take upgrades and fall five year behind the SA IT Office.” Companies are now stuck with systems that have become too big and too complex to change. SAP has recognized this as the biggest roadblock to adoption of new technologies. So much so that they have completely blocked the ability to change source code or change the core on the SAP cloud platform. The new mantra was echoed by SAP CTO Björn Goerke. "Keep the core clean. Bring extensions to the outside."
But still this doesn’t address the massive challenge S/4HANA presents to existing SAP clients with large customized environments. This is where partners and automation come into play. Worksoft offers intelligent automation that helps clients discover and document existing processes, identify process deviations and then build supporting end-to-end business process test automation that mitigates risk as changes go into place.
Recognizing Worksoft as the global leader in SAP test automation, leading SIs have embedded Worksoft into their SAP change management practices. In addition to leveraging Worksoft as part of the Accenture Intelligent Enterprise Platform (AIEP) featured at SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2018, Accenture also leveraged Worksoft for their own internal move to S/4HANA. David Diaz, SAP technology lead for Accenture's IT organization, took the stage on Day 2 of SAPPHIRE NOW and shared their approach to S/4HANA. During the presentation Diaz noted “The new automation capabilities enabled us to automate 80% of tests and make more changes faster.”
Prior to the Accenture presentation, Nikhil Shah from Cardinal Health shared how they realized early on they needed to rethink testing and automation. Automation needed to become everyone’s job. By enabling business and technical users to automate, they were able to become more agile and implement changes faster.
The move to S/4HANA is not an easy one but as Hasso Plattner stated, “we can’t afford to fall that far behind.” Organizations must enable our teams with the processes and tools needed to change. YETI is a great example of a company that recently undertook an Intelligent Enterprise strategy and leveraged intelligent automation to ensure their transformation went smoothly and successfully. Intelligent automation from Worksoft made it possible for YETI to mobilize cross-functional teams and create a robust, unified testing program for SAP and its connected enterprise landscape.