Heading into 2021, SAP will be confronted with its share of issues, a lot of that predate but have been intricate by the COVID-19 disruption.
For one, SAP nonetheless demands to transfer a lot more of its significant mounted customer foundation from legacy on-premises ERP techniques to SAP S/4HANA, its subsequent generation ERP. In spite of its ongoing drive and its several illustrations of how moving to S/4HANA has benefited companies, the greater part of SAP’s shoppers stay reluctant to migrate. For an additional, SAP faces a host of competition eager to bite off chunks of its foundation. These selection from perennial rivals like Oracle and Infor to lesser upstarts that declare to give adaptability and innovation unmatched by SAP.
But SAP is not standing nonetheless it is really moving ahead with initiatives and merchandise to support corporations deal with the problems they facial area due to the fact of the disruption.
Here are how some organization sector analysts see SAP’s most important possibilities and issues in 2021.
Josh Greenbaum, principal, Company Applications Consulting
SAP’s most important prospect rests in the SAP Small business Network [enabling connections with organization companions as effectively as info and procedure integration] and the sector emphasis that SAP is placing ahead. There’s a big prospect there, and there’s a lot of real market place differentiation that can appear out of that energy, each at the community amount as effectively as pushing these sector-certain initiatives. The challenge is that they’re basing a lot of this on SAP Ariba, which is a merchandise in determined want of a renaissance in phrases of consumer knowledge and functionality. John Wookey is now the gentleman in the scorching seat for that, and I hope he’ll do a superior position. Concurrently, an additional returning govt Bob Stutz has the exact thing with SAP CX [Consumer Experience], and SAP has a huge prospect to just take the concepts in CX and CRM and extend them into the broader sector procedures that SAP’s seriously superior at. This is some thing Salesforce can’t do with its existing merchandise.
S/4HANA migration is actually undertaking fairly effectively. The real problem isn’t really heading to be if they can they provide web-new, which they’ve accomplished a decent position, but how do they carry that mounted foundation ahead in a way that would make sense for the shoppers. That’s been the perennial problem for the previous several several years, and it is really heading to continue on. There are a lot of explanations why shoppers are keeping again on undertaking a wall-to-wall S/4HANA implementation, and a lot of that has to do with translating the complexity of the older generation into the cloud and into this new model. That’s heading to be a huge challenge, but I am starting up to see a lot more and a lot more in how they current the prospect that they’re comprehension the complexities of the journey and they’re comprehension that it is a heterogeneous multi-cloud world. If they guidance the shoppers in that reality rather of pushing this monolithic see that the reply to each problem is S/4HANA, they’re heading to do greater in the market place.
Re-acquire the customer foundation for S/4HANA good results
Trevor White, analyst, Nucleus Study
SAP’s most important challenge is the point that now that they are moving legacy shoppers on to the cloud, it provides them the prospect seem at other suppliers. So they have to go out and re-acquire their customer foundation, and that’s by no means an interesting prospect. They have a lot of holdouts and a huge customer foundation that has to be moved to the cloud, so there’s a real danger there that you are having a lot of your ongoing earnings and moving that more than. You have acquired to hold all of those people shoppers content yet again, you have acquired to go again out and establish your benefit and really worth to them due to the fact a person like Oracle is licking their chops they’re standing more than [SAP’s] shoulder waiting for them to mess up so they can jump in and say, ‘If you are heading to go by way of this agony anyhow, why not have a greater method at the conclusion?’
Having said that, when we speak to SAP shoppers that are moving from on premises to cloud, it is really naturally not the smoothest changeover, but for the most element they’re content with the knowledge. It is a headache to have to do that stuff, it requires a lot of methods, it requires a lot of guidance not just from SAP due to the fact you also have to have other consultants and suppliers concerned. Hoping to hold that procedure in a workable framework for so a lot of shoppers at these kinds of sizing is heading to be a challenge.
A person prospect SAP has — and not just for them, but for any greater organization applications vendor — is with persons who may possibly be a very little bit hesitant or uncertain even as the financial state opens up, they may possibly seem towards a lot more common suppliers. It is that ‘nobody at any time acquired fired for shopping for IBM’ deal, so they may possibly seem at SAP or Oracle relatively than just take a danger with heading with a finest-of-breed vendor, even an founded one like Workday. Prospects may possibly consider that it is really not the flashiest motor vehicle, but it is really the reputable, common, superior benefit thing — the Crown Vic, if you will.
Alternatives in CX and CRM
Predrag Jakovljevic, principal sector analyst, Technologies Analysis Centers
SAP stays the ERP giant with a significant put in foundation, world brand name recognition, and due to the fact [they have] legacy shoppers who generally switch their ERP techniques only when certainly necessary.
SAP has potentially the strongest vertical alternatives for industries these kinds of as substances, oil and gas, railways, metallurgy and all-natural methods, utilities and the public sector. Its income organization appreciates each the vertical and horizontal procedures and how to provide — and the R&D people are clever.
In the shorter time period, SAP’s most important possibilities can be observed in reinventing the CX initiatives. SAP has a vital ingredient of the customer lifecycle that CRM and other entrance workplace merchandise absence: actual buy historical past and pricing steering. Also, sourcing and source chain visibility has been critical through COVID-19, and SAP Ariba and the SAP Small business Network can support there, yet again with integration to the again workplace.
The big challenge is that there’s no straightforward route from on-premises legacy techniques to S/4HANA with no a full reimplementation. Even employing SAP HANA for analytics is not that realistic due to the fact the info styles are so distinct. So SAP shoppers usually are not upgrading to their hottest ERP launch due to the fact it is really a full rewrite, due to the fact of HANA, and due to the fact persons can’t see the benefits. In-memory databases is getting a commodity now, and is it seriously ample of a drive for a completely new implementation?
The cloud is an imperative
Dana Gardner, president and principal analyst, Interarbor Remedies
For SAP, the cloud model is no for a longer period a goal, it is really an complete imperative. It demands to be digital and info-pushed, and to seem for dispersed source chain, dispersed workforce, contingent workforce capabilities. It also demands to carry a method of record to bear on that so that it is really not chaos. [You want to] deal with the significant amount of improve that persons are experiencing but with techniques that give info and a dashboard approach to visibility into what is or isn’t really going on or operating. This is a huge prospect for firms like SAP to demonstrate that they can be an accelerant to improve, but secure and very low-danger improve. There’s improve and then there’s improve that isn’t going to bite you in sudden approaches. So this is an prospect for organization solutions, organization applications, info-pushed platforms to demonstrate that they can be agents of improve, but also agents of mitigating danger and giving companies the applications they want to weather these storms and, even a lot more importantly, generate the new ordinary after that storm has handed.
With the SAP Small business Network, SAP has taken the Ariba Network model and is extending it, and the timing could not be greater due to the fact networks are the name of the match. The previous handshake-and-conference-at-the-trade-demonstrate personalized interactions thing is in the rearview mirror. So it has to be discovery and browsing and digital, but undertaking it with KPIs in put and the capacity to produce reliable interactions even if they are digital or remote. It is only the platforms and techniques that can build those people types of belief, due to the fact the previous-fashioned actual physical call interactions amount of belief has been significantly diminished or even designed obsolete. We now want the techniques and the technologies to start out creating new ranges of belief for distribution, for transactions, and for the discovery of companions and alliances. In a lot of approaches what SAP in basic and Ariba in specific have been undertaking is a lot more critical than at any time, and it demands to scale across the globe and across all forms of organization things to do, not just contingent labor and source chain and procurement.
Small business-oriented cloud transformations
Jon Reed, co-founder, Diginomica
SAP has designed some critical hires to guide their cloud strains of organization — Bob Stutz for CX and John Wookey for the Clever Shell out organization device — and I by no means underestimate employing the proper leadership. This is the 12 months that SAP demands to establish that its cloud belongings are greater than the sum of their obtained areas, and Wookey and Stutz could be a huge purpose in this article.
SAP has a prospect to drive again from the cloud hyperscalers by featuring a greater, a lot more organization-targeted cloud transformation. In the course of SAP TechEd, SAP leadership spoke a lot more particularly about supporting shoppers migrate to the cloud and continue on to strengthen their companies by standardizing legacy customizations and partnering on transformation attempts. This is new territory for SAP, but it is considerably greater than the elevate-and-shift approach to S/4HANA ERP in the cloud.
I never hope to see too a lot of firms embark on the huge S/4HANA ERP jobs that SAP has generally used to bolster its revenues. The problem is, where will SAP come across the swift wins to hold shoppers viewing SAP as suitable to their organization execution and not just a so-termed again workplace spine.
Transitioning to cloud organization styles is not just a technologies shift, it is really a culture shift. Significantly, I consider SAP’s govt leadership gets this, but will this translate down the organization to the account rep amount and to the partner amount? Sapphire Now 2021 will present an critical intestine check out on all of this.