Monthly Archives: July 2021

RISE with SAP and Capgemini: Spotlight Interview with David Lowson

Originally published on the SAP Community

Many organizations are assessing the best ways to address digital transformation holistically.

SAP and Capgemini are teaming with customers around the globe as trusted partners, to go beyond technical migration, and address intelligent business processes and new business models as part of the RISE with SAP initiative.

Capgemini’s Renewable Enterprise with SAP S/4HANA approach which is designed to put the user experience at the center. It uses modern approaches such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and embedded analytics, DevOps, Cloud architecture, APIs and Microservices to help organizations reimagine themselves, unlock business value, and outpace competition.

Recently I had the pleasure to meet David Lowson, Capgemini’s head of SAP Center of Excellence (COE) Europe, to learn more about his journey and views related to RISE with SAP and the digital core.

Philippe Schmitt
SAP Strategic Global Alliances – EMEA North
David Lowson
Capgemini, SAP CoE Europe

Philippe Schmitt (PS): What inspired you to get into the field of consulting and high tech?

David Lowson (DL): When I worked in high-tech, I found I was a very poor engineer so when I had an opportunity to work on an enterprise resource planning (ERP) project, I took it. This experience proved I was quite good at this kind of work and is why I made the move to consultancy.

PS: In your blog Consumer Intelligence Products and Retail Therapy, you shared, “As countries around the world reopen, we observe four priority themes emerging with consumer products: sustainability, digitalization, efficiency, diversification.” How does the RISE with SAP initiative enable these themes based on Capgemini’s expertise?

DL:
 RISE with SAP reinforces many of the messages we have been giving to the market about the renewable enterprise, a standard core, savvy use of a cloud infrastructure and application program interface (API) led architectures. These features have been provoking more activity in the market and shifting SAP to be a platform for digital transformation.

PS: You presented at the SAP Global Partner Summit and shared that you, “believe SAP needed to launch the RISE initiative to remain relative for digital transformation for the next 25 years.” What makes this initiative so impactful to the success of customers?

DL: SAP and Capgemini are in position to address business process redesign, technical migration, and building the intelligent enterprise in one package to simplifies customers’ journey. By focusing on innovation and differentiation taking place in the SAP Business Technology Platform surrounding it, the RISE initiative is a clear statement of the importance of providing accelerated business outcomes with integration, data to value, and extensibility. It opens the door to exciting new consumption models.

PS: You’ve recently commented that the market has responded positively to RISE with SAP. Can you share one or two examples of this positive reaction from Capgemini customers?

DL: As you can appreciate, I can only speak of overall projects vs. individual projects. We have started RISE based projects all over the world. With the use of the RISE model, I have seen customers become more confident that we can deliver and provide a standard core, as well as an architecture that does not build technical debt.

PS: When Capgemini refers to the Renewable Enterprise with SAP S/4HANA, it refers to the “S Curve of Innovation” and Intelligent Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Block Chain, and the Customer Experience power by data and driven by people. What are one or two examples of how customers are adopting these intelligent technologies to support their customers and keep a competitive advantage?

DL: There are so many user cases, and we keep a library of them available for our clients and partners to access. They are also published every week by our innovation leader, Alex Bulat, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer of Global SAP Business, but the two I would pick out are:

  • Servitisation – Where clients move from selling products to selling services. Think of a connected car or washing as a service; this is a perfect solution for the new away of thinking. Multiple products orchestrated to deliver new digital businesses that flex as the market develops.
  • Sustainability – So many of our large engagements are driven by this concept, especially the desire to operate in new, low carbon markets. This requires greater connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), use of data and a fast-agile core.

PS: When students and recent graduates contact you for informational insights what guidance do you give for them to pursue a career in consulting and high tech?

DL: I see SAP consulting as a three-legged stool:

  • Be nice and have good people skills
  • Know about the industry you’re working in
  • Learn about SAP products and solutions

A company like Capgemini can provide the third bullet, but the other two can be done on your own. Also, read business papers and the SAP website at least once a week. Do a bit more to engage with and understand the direction of the company and products that stand out.

Thank you for sharing comments on the Renewable Enterprise, Digital Transformation, or advanced Intelligent Technologies.

Please post any feedback below.

Useful Links

• SAP S/4HANA Cloud
• RISE with SAP
• SAP Analytics Cloud
• SAP Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Elevating SAP Collaboration with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint

Originally published on the SAP Community.

When SAP and Microsoft announced they are building integrations to Microsoft Teams across solutions many of us were inspired. With the new reality of remote and hybrid work, the importance of elevating collaboration has grown significantly.

While the advancements of this integration are impressive, it is important to deploy these solutions the right way to achieve tangible business outcomes.

Since today’s globally distributed workers are no longer confined to office buildings, the “workplace” has transformed into a digital “workspace” allowing colleagues to meet, collaborate, and connect virtually across organizational boundaries. A great user experience is a necessity versus a “nice to have.”

Christian Klein, SAP CEO and member of the Executive Board, said it best that this partnership will address, “New ways of working, collaborating and interacting to completely transform how we operate,” and bring collaboration to the next level.

Collaboration is changing rapidly. Each of us are collaborating more often, increasingly mobile, and working on a schedule that enables us to connect more virtually.

Disparate information kept in silos and organized in ad-hoc ways becomes an impediment to performance and productivity. One of the challenging things to do is to keep Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, along with the SAP portfolio, organized so that the content is valuable to users.

Thoughtful leaders step back and ensure that SAP Collaboration represents how the business works both in the short-term and going forward.

The Information Architecture Pre-Request 

Each time you create a new Microsoft Teams you automatically get SharePoint with the Microsoft 365 Apps including Power App, Power BI, OneNote, and Exchange with email and calendaring.

Project teams working with SAP applications such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Digital Supply Chain, SAP SuccessFactors and learning communities, SAP CRM and Customer Experience, Industry 4.0 solutions and/or SAP Activate Methodology should prioritize and implement a well-planned information architecture as a pre-request for a high quality, high-performing intranet, central hub, or group.

It’s important to understand the audience and help them find what they need quickly to support them in getting their work completed efficiently. One expert once referred to it as “help the user get to where they need to go in ONE CLICK versus many clicks and endless folders to assist in completing a task.”

Putting in the time to address Information Architecture helps improve user satisfaction and adoption while reducing information overload.

Customer-Centric Enablement

In this video, “Remove Barriers for Your Sales Teams with SAP and Microsoft it shows the power of the integration,” there are many exciting front-line capabilities, but the power is in the information architecture that supports the tangible outcomes.

Could a sales, marketing, consultant, pre-sales, operations, services or other front-line worker to customers, strategic partners or suppliers have everything they need by primarily using their own individual OneDrive or SharePoint?

Clearly, they need the right resources (“assets”), at the right time for effective engagement including:

  1. Access – Enable secure private, enterprise, and/or external access.
  2. Central Hub – Deploy one location for individuals, teams, and the enterprise to find pertinent information.
  3. Teamwork – Allow for collaboration, chat, video conferencing, calls, meetings, and surveys.
  4. Content – Ensure easy to find central hub for content, information, contributions, and useful links.
  5. Components – Leverage multiuse calendars, planning, notebooks, and other tools and web parts.
  6. Collaboration – Microsoft Teams, comments, surveys, discussion treads, and news updates.
  7. Communications – Engagement and outreach to bring the audience to the central hub and share news, planning, announcements, updates, and access to key assets.
  8. Continuity – Plan that the collaboration continues versus the initial excitement and the investment in a quality set-up drop off months later.

When these items are brought together in full or part, the sum is truly greater than the parts.

Digital Transformation Realized with SAP Collaboration

Collaboration is nothing new and yet it remains a critical success factor for every organization.

Enabling workers to leverage and build upon the work of others is a fundamental principle. When team members work in a silo, they reduce productivity and have a higher probability of duplicating efforts.

With SAP Collaboration, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint the goal is to…

  • Help elevate workers to take advantage of modern platforms and digital transformation environments
  • Increase high quality teamwork, cooperation, and communications
  • Impact the value, growth, revenues, services, and outcomes with a focus on exceeding customer satisfaction.

Working together, people feel more connected to their work and their organization.

With these integration capabilities in place, combined with a well-deployed information architecture, users will always have access to the right content at the right time, to find what they are looking for more quickly and consistently, and support their business requirements.

SAP Champions & SAP Mentors Spotlight Interviews

Check out the SAP Spotlight Interviews which combine a combination of videos and Q&A format. These blogs help showcase SAP Community experts and advocates. View >>