How Companies Are Shaping Digitalization With SAP S/4HANA

valantic Customer Focus Days SAP 2022
Sabine Höfler
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Digitalization is at the top of most companies’ agendas. Many have initiated their change process or are already right in the midst of it. This year, valantic’s Customer Focus Days SAP once more provided a forum for questions relating to transformation. The event motto “Innovation by Change” highlighted the need for courage in order to tackle change and enable progress. Renowned change and SAP experts examined the topic from a company and consulting perspective. They agreed that digitalization with SAP S/4HANA creates added value for the business, fosters innovation and enables growth.

Realize Benefits Quickly

That’s why, for instance, the vision technology specialist, Basler follows a clear cloud strategy for its internal SAP ERP system landscape. Martina Quast, Head of SAP at Basler, commented on the motivation, saying: “Important innovations are taking place in the cloud, and we want to take advantage of as many of these as possible. Our strategy is therefore to use cloud solutions wherever we can.”

The success of this strategy can already be felt in Basler’s high-priority areas of automation and process mining. As an example, Basler and valantic jointly developed an initial bot and implemented the process intelligence tool SAP Signavio which it now uses to measure process quality. For Marcel Deichmann, SAP S/4HANA Cloud Expert and Sales Manager at valantic, the benefits of cloud-based digitalization can already be tapped during a project. “Using the SAP Business Technology Platform you can achieve fast progress with regard to enabling automation” he emphasized at the Customer Focus Days SAP 2022.

SAP S/4HANA as a Flexible Platform for the Future

Dohle Handelsgruppe has also turned to the cloud as a technology base which it sees as a source of innovation for its HR division. The company was one of the first SAP customers in the German-speaking region to successfully migrate its SAP Human Capital Management system to SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud. In a panel discussion, Dr. Thorben Grubert, Head of HR IT at Dohle Handelsgruppe, explained some of the benefits that have already been achieved: “The new system is more performant, and reports are available sooner.”

Dohle Handelsgruppe chose valantic as a partner for its transformation project. Thorben Grubert expects numerous synergy effects – and, consequently, wide-ranging added value for the trading company – from the impending implementation of SAP SuccessFactors – Employee Central and the connections between HR solutions.

Courage to Change

Unlocking potential benefits, such as those at Dohle Handelsgruppe and Basler, requires tackling digital transformation full on, which calls for a willingness to change and courage, as change management expert Dr. Michael Groß stressed in his keynote. The former Olympic swimming champion and managing director of the Groß & Cie. Management consultancy emphasized that companies not only have to cope with exponential technological progress but must also prepare for yet unknown business requirements: “Digitalization is like white-water rafting, where you constantly have to adapt to new situations,” he said. “New ways of thinking, continuous learning and a focus on the benefits of change, as well as quick wins, are crucial for this”, he added.

And how are companies tackling their digitalization? Fabian Hörz, Director Global Strategy & Digital Transformation at automotive supplier ElringKlinger, provided insights into his company’s approach at the Customer Focus Days SAP: “It helped us a lot to determine our status quo and determine where we want to be heading. This also lets us communicate the project internally, allowing our staff to understand why we are taking this step, and why they may possibly have to leave their comfort zone,” he said. ElringKlinger aims to use SAP S/4HANA to enhance standardization and harmonization throughout its supply chain.

Automation technology manufacturer ifm, on the other hand, is currently examining the impact of digitalization with SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud, and is being assisted by valantic in the scope of a proof of concept. Markus Steiert, Head of Production Equipment Technology at ifm, explained: “This will allow us to evaluate whether the introduction will produce the desired benefits: customer added value, resulting in a significant increase in revenues.”

Optimally Positioned For Transformation

These added values can be achieved through the increased agility and flexibility offered by SAP S/4HANA. The ERP platform also positions companies optimally for a business environment that is still unknown, stressed Rüdiger Hoffmann, Managing Director of valantic: “An easily adaptable IT architecture is also able to map emerging requirements,” he explained, also referringto a valantic study in which 95 percent of the surveyed companies said they wanted to switch to SAP S/4HANA. Karsten Ötschmann, Managing Director and Partner at valantic, recommended taking a holistic view of the transformation as a prerequisite for long-term business success: “It is important to implement highly targeted, competitively differentiating processes in key central areas and optimize these with innovative technology, and to rely on standard processes, best practices and automation in other areas. It is the combination of these that generates the decisive business impact.”

Recordings of the Customer Focus Days SAP

If you missed the Customer Focus Days SAP 2022, but would like to benefit from the digitalization experts’ know-how and experience, then simply request  the recordings of the event!

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