SAP’s chief executive officer, Christian Klein, has announced what the supplier is calling a “business transformation service” under the label “Rise”.
The “Rise with SAP” package is said to offer “customers at all stages of digital transformation a completely new way to redesign processes for better business outcomes”, according to a company statement.
Alongside the announcement was confirmation of SAP’s acquisition of business process specialist supplier Signavio. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.
“Companies that can adapt their business processes quickly will thrive – and SAP can help them achieve this,” said Klein. “This is what Rise with SAP is all about – it helps customers continuously unlock new ways of running businesses in the cloud to stay ahead of their industry.”
Rise seems to be a way of bundling all the elements that make up what SAP has been calling “intelligent enterprise” for the past few years and making them available as a service. In particular, it may be a way of speeding up otherwise sluggish adoption of SAP S/4HANA, the supplier’s flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) package.
In a fireside chat following his keynote, Klein said: “The biggest challenge for our customers is that they are all buying new technology, they all want to apply AI [artificial intelligence], but the question is, how do you connect the technology with the business? This is what we are doing with the new offering.”
He said in the keynote that 130 customers are using Rise already. The keynote also featured two contrasting customers, Siemens and a plant-based food company LiveKindly.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also partook in the keynote to highlight, alongside Klein, Microsoft Teams and the supplier’s Azure cloud infrastructure service.
Paul Cooper, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, welcomed the Rise package. “It’s been an extremely challenging 12 months for most organisations, as they have juggled between maintaining ‘business as usual’ operations and accelerating their digital roadmaps,” he said.
Paul Cooper, UK & Ireland SAP User Group
“Our recent member survey revealed that 30% of organisations had delayed their plans to move to SAP S/4HANA due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We therefore welcome ‘Rise with SAP’ as a package to help customers transform their business by moving to the cloud in a sustainable way that suits them.
“It will be interesting to see if ‘Rise with SAP’ also helps customers build a strong business case to move to SAP S/4HANA. For those customers in the midst of business transformation or those worried about the 2027 maintenance deadline [for ECC6], ‘Rise with SAP’ may be an attractive choice as they evaluate their options.”
The SAP statement highlighted its partner ecosystem, from Accenture through Infosys to Wipro, as the transmission belt for Rise, which will entail “redesigning business processes [building on] SAP’s business model and process expertise gained from working with over 400,000 customers across 25 industries”.
The supplier said: “Intelligence can be embedded in business processes thanks to a direct connection to SAP’s workflow, robotic process automation (RPA) and other artificial intelligence services.”
Customers can choose SAP datacentres or hyperscalers for the service. “The SAP Business Technology Platform delivers one semantic layer across an enterprise, providing the foundation for a holistic business transformation,” the statement said.
Luka Mucic, chief financial officer at SAP, said of the Signavio acquisition: “I cannot overstress the importance for companies to be able to design, benchmark, improve and transform business processes across the enterprise to support new capabilities and business models. The combination of business process intelligence from SAP and Signavio creates a leading end-to-end business process transformation suite to help our customers achieve the requirements needed to gain a competitive edge.”
Gero Decker, co-founder and CEO of Signavio, added: “Considering the positioning of SAP, its geographical coverage and financial muscle, SAP is the biggest and best platform to bring process intelligence to every organisation. For us, it’s a massive jump start and a major opportunity to help SAP become a key player in the business process management and intelligence space.”
SAP and Signavio are not disclosing the purchase price or other financial details of the transaction.
Read more about SAP’s ‘intelligent enterprise’
- Sapphire 2020: Christian Klein steps back from products to push ‘intelligent enterprise’ resilience.
- SAP banks on “intelligent enterprise” at Sapphire 2018.
- SAP Cloud Platform is the glue for the SAP intelligent enterprise.