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SAP sharpens vertical focus with Industry Cloud

SAP partners will be able to design, build, test and validate their industry-specific offerings with a new business process and technology platform

SAP is inching deeper into the enterprise with the Industry Cloud platform that will let its partners tailor their software to suit business needs that are unique to each industry.

Unveiled at SAP Sapphire 2020, Industry Cloud is an open business process and technology platform with an application programming interface framework that provides access to capabilities in SAP’s core business applications, such as S/4 Hana.

SAP partners will also be able to design, build, test and validate their Industry Cloud offerings via a common data model, as well as a business domain model that lays out relationships between entities, such as between customers and invoices.

Speaking with Asia-Pacific media today, Thomas Saueressig, SAP board member and head of product engineering, said that although the company is serving customers in 25 industries, it has been doing so through so-called “horizontal” technologies that cut across sectors.

With Industry Cloud, Saueressig said the focus is on supporting business processes that are unique to each industry.

“For instance, in retail, how would an intelligent store look?” he said. “We believe that with new technology, the store experience will be entirely different in the future and we want to help to integrate the right technology into the new intelligent store.”

Saueressig said Industry Cloud is tightly integrated with the rest of its portfolio, and will leverage SAP’s existing datacentre footprint, as well as its partnerships with public cloud suppliers such as Microsoft and Alibaba.

SAP currently operates 45 datacentres, which Saueressig said gives it “tremendous reach” in every region of the world when combined with the datacentres of its public cloud partners.

He said SAP is now working to enable its products to be run in every region from its datacentres and that of hyperscale cloud providers. “That’s something we are investing deeply in, especially in Asia, where we have tremendous activities to bring our solutions to various countries,” he added.

One of the first SAP partners to jump onto the Industry Cloud bandwagon is Deloitte, which is expanding its long-standing strategy to develop intelligent cloud-enabled apps and core extensions that make use of SAP technologies.

“We realise every industry is unique, requiring a range of focused applications designed to address specific needs,” said Jan Waals, principal and global SAP chief commercial officer at Deloitte. “At Deloitte, we have been teaming with SAP for several years to deliver innovative, cloud-based offerings that are already aligned tightly with the new SAP Industry Cloud vision.”

Deloitte has already developed more than 60 ready-to-deploy software assets with industry and business function-specific capabilities available through the SAP Cloud Platform.

Darwin Deano, Deloitte’s principal and global SAP CTO, said: “In addition to providing ‘core-to-edge’ applications that combine core capabilities with edge innovation technology, we have invested to uphold the critical fundamentals as part of kinetic microservices.”

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