SAP showcases series of global customer partnerships that are accelerating transformation


Today, at SAP Sapphire in Barcelona, Spain, SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) unveiled a series of global customer partnerships which show how SAP is transforming their strategic business models, supply chains, enhancing customer experiences, creating a foundation for innovation and growth, and positively promoting physical and mental well-being through the launch of a business vitality platform.

Here follows an overview of these announcements.

Diageo makes its largest tech investment to standardise its practises across the world

Diageo, producer of Guinness, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker, has partnered with SAP and IBM Consulting in a multi-million-pound programme, which is Diageo’s largest investment in its technology and services to date.

The multi-year programme will help Diageo to:

  • Improve the way it interacts with customers and suppliers, through the implementation of automation and advanced workflow solutions.
  • Move its global organisation to one single operating platform, creating efficiency in its IT landscape and technology support model.
  • Transform performance reporting, leading to better insight to maximise trade opportunities.
  • Further digitise its controls and compliance environment creating a more robust and resilient business.
  • Move to standardised ways of operating allowing for greater agility and flexibility in the way we respond to emerging market trends.

Diageo will implement the new cloud-based model, RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, across 180 countries, ensuring its IT infrastructure is simplified and supported in a unified way.

The business transformation programme will put Diageo at the forefront of customer services and will increase its resilience in a landscape of evolving consumer expectations and a fast-changing economic climate, building a business for the future. This standardisation and automation effort will allow Diageo to track customer orders in real time on a global scale, identifying further commercial opportunities in both the on trade and off trade.

IBM Consulting, a long-standing partner of SAP and Diageo, has been selected to lead the implementation of RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

Maersk uses SAP Business Technology Platform to accelerate strategic transformation

The world’s largest container shipping company has made significant progress in its digital transformation by using the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) to accelerate its strategic direction and automate business processes, increase efficiency and ease of use.

With a wide range of business areas including container shipping, port terminals, logistics and supply chain businesses, Maersk, headquarted in Denmark, operates more than 700 vessels and covers around 343 ports in over 100 countries worldwide. Strategically, Maersk is moving away from being a shipping company to becoming an end-to-end supply chain provider.

Specifically, Maersk has used SAP BTP to develop and implement applications and solutions in areas such as:

  • Customer Credit Management: Previously, a lot of manual activity was involved in the process, which could lead to errors and delays. Now Maersk uses SAP BTP to automate and differentiate their customer credit management process
  • Vendor Account Reconciliation: Maersk used SAP BTP’s automation layer and intelligent robotic process automation (SAP iRPA) to perform automated actions such as scanning emails and extracting attachments, converting unstructured data into structured data, and building validation logic into the rules within the SAP BTP platform, thereby reducing manual processes in Maersk’s shared service centres
  • Treasury Guarantees: Previously, this process was quite paper-intensive and could cause data quality issues, which in turn led to delays. Now, through SAP BTP, Maersk has automated the process and created two specific roles: bank guarantee applicant and approver. The solution also includes integration with external banks
  • Customer Cargo Release: Maersk also has customers who are cargo customers, i.e., they pay before cargo is released. This requires a very time-sensitive process to ensure that payment has been received before the cargo is released. The workflow is triggered across multiple backend systems. Through built-in AI and process automation in SAP BTP, the payment is matched against the invoice, the bill of lading and the container release Maersk has created an AI trust quota that automatically authorises if everything is 100% correct
  • Planning and analysis: Maersk’s entire finance, planning and analysis is in the process of being moved to SAP Analytics Cloud. This enables Maersk to provide end-to-end financial planning and analysis, including budgeting and forecasting.

Versuni creates solid foundation for innovation and growth with SAP and TCS 

Versuni, home to some of the world’s most renowned domestic appliance brands, embarked on a journey to realise a completely new technology landscape within just 18 months. With RISE with SAP and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as its strategic partner, Versuni managed to migrate to a wall-to-wall SAP environment in 55 countries on time. With SAP S/4HANA as a solid foundation for innovation and growth.

Versuni was presented with a major challenge. Within just 18 months, there had to be a solid foundation – a “minimum viable product” – for the company’s operations and continued growth. To achieve this, Versuni launched the Exuviate programme. This is a reference to the process by which animals such as insects, reptiles and some mammals shed their old, too-cramped skin or shell to make room for growth. The programme was based on the principles ‘SAP, unless’ and ‘cloud, unless’, and used RISE with SAP to transition to ERP in the cloud. The aim is to create a company that is digitally focused and drives innovation and growth with data-driven decision-making.

Versuni has relied on SAP for more than 30 years by using SAP’s suite of applications, has benefitted from integrated end-to-end processes, robust data management and advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. Those components are essential for driving innovation, operational efficiency and better insights.

The biggest challenge was to lay the foundation for running and scaling the business within a very tight timeframe of 18 months. Versuni replaced or removed every system from email to accounting, marketing to production and supply chain to customer-facing systems. This was the largest programme of its kind – anywhere, in any industry.

The programme included implementing 40 new networks, replacing 4,700 laptops and desktops, 60+ new cloud applications, migrating more than 300 data objects and redesigning 400 reports and 3,500 processes. Versuni succeeded in making the switch to the SAP Best of Suite within the deadline. On 1 May 2023, Versuni went live with the new environment globally in one ‘go’.

Fitcoin launches pilot with University of California

A vitality platform developed on SAP technology, where people can earn digital coins with exercise, which can be redeemed for healthy rewards, has set foot in the US. The Fitcoin business vitality platform positively promotes physical and mental well-being is starting a pilot with UC Davis, part of the University of California.

Fitcoin’s concept is smart and innovative. Users save digital coins (Fitcoins) via an app on their smartphone that they earn by exercising including walking and cycling or by participating in special workshops and sports activities. Users can then exchange the saved Fitcoins for healthy rewards that they choose themselves in the online Fitcoin catalogue on their smartphone.

Commenting on the announcements, Christian Klein, CEO at SAP said: “All over the world, success for our customers requires them to innovate to overcome market disruptions, shifting regulatory landscapes, and critical skills shortages. The partnerships we’ve unveiled at SAP Sapphire showcases the role that our groundbreaking enterprise technology plays every day to help our customers thrive. Whether it’s insight-driven automation, simplifying a customer’s technology platform, or enhancing the customer and employee experience, we’re here to help our customers navigate the challenges they face.” 

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