Unipart maps way ahead with Rise with SAP service

Unipart has chosen the Rise with SAP S/4 Hana-based service as it seeks to develop further the systems integration side of its business

UK logistics company Unipart, whose origins are in the car industry, has chosen the Rise with SAP S/4 Hana-based service as it seeks to enhance the systems integration side of its business.

The international logistics, consulting and manufacturing organisation, which has been an SAP customer for 21 years, has announced it is adopting the Rise with SAP service, built on the supplier’s high-speed, columnar database, Hana.

Oxford-based Unipart emerged from British Leyland in the mid-1970s, specialising in the manufacture of parts for the automotive industry. It emerged as a standalone company in 1987, as a logistics services business and is now looking to strengthen its capability as an SAP Systems Integrator with its own adoption of Rise.

Rise is SAP’s name for what is billed as a business transformation-as-a-service package that puts managed cloud infrastructure and managed services into one contract.

Unipart is one of a roster of UK customers endorsing the Rise service. It joins the list of public reference customers for this SAP service, which includes Twinings Ovaltine, Briggs of Burton, a process engineering company; Inchcape, a London-based automotive sector company; EG Group, a petrol station and food retailer; and Asda.

In an SAP statement, Unipart is said to want to use its experience in logistics and enterprise resource planning (ERP) to sell IT services beyond logistics, expanding a customer portfolio that currently includes Jaguar Land Rover, Sky and NHS Supply Chain.

Yiannis Levantis, group chief information officer at Unipart, said: “Reinvention is part of our DNA. It means our transformation journey is never finished and that we can always better serve and provide innovative solutions to our customers. As we look to shift our business model towards being an IT services company first, with deep expertise in logistics, manufacturing and supply chain, expanding our capabilities alongside SAP has been the next step to make this a reality.”

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Levantis confirmed to Computer Weekly that AWS is the public cloud provider for Unipart’s own Rise set-up. AWS is also “the hyperscaler behind our SAP Rise offering”, he said, adding: “It is an existing strategic partner that is likely to be working with us on a range of innovation and development initiatives. That said, as an S/4 Hana implementation partner, we can work in any hyperscaler environment that an end-user may choose – Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure or AWS.”

Levantis added that Unipart has been, “until the full completion of the S/4 Hana migration programme, an ECC6 user”. ECC was SAP’s ERP system prior to S/4 Hana.

Unipart is also adopting SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) “for data, reporting and analytics, possibly for financial planning too”. 

The Signavio business process mining software that SAP acquired at the same time as it launched Rise is a part of the product set that Unipart is assimilating. “We are currently working through how we best integrate its capabilities in our business transformation methodology and toolset,” said Levantis.

“Through our S/4 Hana and Rise ramp-up, we are redesigning our tools and method for business transformation and business process re-engineering, as our ambition is to offer a very holistic and competent service to our customers in taking them through their transformation journey.”

Michiel Verhoeven, UK & Ireland managing director at SAP, added: “We’re proud of our long-standing relationship with an industry heavyweight in Unipart.”

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