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SAP ‘optimistic’ about S/4 Hana in APAC

A top SAP executive is confident that more of its customers in Asia-Pacific will adopt S/4 Hana this year, as the company shores up integration of its ERP software with other business applications

Riding on the growing momentum around S/4 Hana, SAP is optimistic that more of its customers will adopt its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) software this year, according to a top company executive.

Speaking to Asia-Pacific journalists ahead of its Sapphire conference this week, Scott Russell, executive board member of SAP, said the growth and acceleration of S/4 Hana, particularly in the cloud with Rise with SAP, has been enormous.

“Globally, nearly 20,000 customers are already on S/4 Hana,” said Russell. “And we grew over 1,500 new customers in the cloud with Rise with SAP, let alone those that are continuing the journey and have already started their transformation beforehand.

“So, it’s actually accelerated quickly. We further expect that to grow in 2022 and we’re obviously very optimistic about that,” he added.

As a testament to the momentum around S/4 Hana and Rise with SAP, the German software giant’s cloud transformation programme, SAP’s total revenues in Asia-Pacific and Japan in the first quarter this year grew to €1.05bn, up from €0.99bn during the same quarter last year.

SAP said its Rise with SAP customers included the likes of Wipro and Citizen Watch, bringing the total number of such customers in the region to more than 420 since launch.

Vodafone New Zealand also went live this quarter with an SAP cloud bundle implementation.

S/4 Hana customers

In Indonesia, SAP also signed up S/4 Hana customers such as United Tractors, a major supplier of heavy equipment such as trucks and cranes for the construction, mining and energy industries.

The company has been transforming its business to stay ahead of the competition through its “3D” strategy, which focuses on differentiation, diversification and digitisation, dialling up innovation to simplify processes and boost sustainability.

According to IDC, enterprises in Asia-Pacific have been approaching greenfield S/4 Hana implementations as not just a technical upgrade exercise but also an opportunity to reinvent core business processes.

Indeed, United Tractors implemented SAP S/4 Hana and the SAP BW/4 Hana data warehousing application to support its 3D strategy, modernising back-office functionality, integrating key functions and driving visibility across the business for faster, more collaborative decision-making. 

“Most of our competitors talk about what you can get when you get to the cloud, but none of them talk about or help companies on the journey to transform and unlock the innovation and value in the transformation journey, which is often the most difficult aspect,” said Russell.

Meanwhile, SAP is enhancing its cloud capabilities with the launch of the new SAP Service Cloud, which will improve visibility of customer interactions and help customer service agents resolve issues faster.

Read more about ERP in APAC

And with the Service Cloud’s integration with S/4 Hana, Russell said organisations will be better able to fulfil their promises to their customers.

“Think about commerce scenarios, where you’ve got a promise of what you’re going to provide to customers,” he said. “That requires supply chain and organisational capabilities, but you’ll also need to have that last mile of service capability to be able to fulfil, with the visibility, accountability, time to resolution and dynamic case management.”

Earlier this month, SAP also announced the integration of S/4 Hana Cloud with Google Workspace, enabling workers to collaborate on Google documents and manage them closely, along with their business processes and data being managed through SAP in the cloud.

Russell said the new integrations will “make it easier for customers to natively integrate and connect with SAP software and their mission-critical processes with Google Docs and Google Sheets to innovate how they get work done”.

The deeper integrations with third-party business applications are congruent with SAP’s broader plan to extend the reach of the Hana in-memory database, which S/4 Hana uses, beyond its own applications.

Read more on Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software

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