Webinar: Delivering innovation from the cloud

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Kieran Fitzgerald

Hi everyone. My name's Kieran Fitzgerald. I'm the Chief Sales Officer at Centiq SoftwareONE Group company. We've been running a series with our colleagues over at SoftwareONE, exploring how organisations can take advantage of migrating SAP workloads into the cloud. The consistent theme across the sessions is in how we enable the agile enterprise. From my point of view, an agile enterprise is important today because of the unparalleled and unprecedented demands on a modern business, dealing with some challenges that we simply haven't faced before.

Also, opportunities that are in front of us, that we haven't been able to take advantage of before and the underlying technology is a huge enabler of being able to take advantage and respond to those threats as well. So from my point of view, an agile enterprise is an organisation, when you look at the technology stack that has a robust and secure, agile, flexible infrastructure that's running all of their business applications. With all of their data in one place, has a technical managed service taking away the pain of running these systems and naturally delivering faster value without reduced business impact at lower cost.

Ultimately what that means is you've freeing up your internal resource. That's really important at the IT level because cloud is bringing the business and IT closer together to respond to the challenges and opportunities we've just described, business and IT needs to be one team. So freeing up that resource to take advantage of this new found agility with this cloud platform is really, really important.

So the theme of today really is around what happens then. So we've covered off sessions around how to optimise spend in the cloud, and we've talked about our four pillars around modernization, and rationalisation, and automation, and standardisation to really take the cost out and improve the simplification of those landscapes, the ease of management. We've also looked at what a modern managed service does in terms of... I guess, providing better value and as I said, freeing up that resource to folks on innovation.

So what we're going to talk about in this session is what those individuals and what those teams do now, they have this newfound flexibility and time and how they can leverage the cloud. So you can see the title of this session is Delivering Innovation From the Cloud. So the only thing I want to add before we move on, is that from my point of view, we've been working in the SAP and Azure space for the last four or five years, really. Working in the SAP infrastructure space for 20 years.

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So we understand the legacy and we understand the modern ways of working too. The conversation around cloud has really changed the last few years. I'm not sure whether that's driven because of the unique challenges we faced these last couple of years or whether it's accelerated because of that's probably the case. I think it was inevitable that the conversation would move on eventually. But where we were talking a few years ago was the cloud was an infrastructure, just another infrastructure, infrastructure as a service. Now it's actually a platform for transformation.

So when I would go out with Microsoft and we'd go and out and seek customers, when that was the thing, we would go and sit in and we'd present some slides. Microsoft would bring up their slides and I'm sure AWS and Google would've been doing the same. Talking about how many virtual machines they had, what storage they had, what performance they were offering, how many data centres they had, where they were, how secure they were, all the certifications that they had. This was what customers were asking. There's a reason why that's what they were telling me. These are the things that customers wanted to know. They were coming from a traditional infrastructure space, and they wanted to understand what the infrastructure for the cloud looked like.

But as I say, that conversation has moved on massively now to cater better for the demands of a modern business around how it is a platform for transformation. This is actually impacting the SAP market significantly. So when you take a step back and look at where the SAP market is now with cloud, it's being very positively disruptive. It's an ecosystem that would describe the platform as being a monolith. So, expensive to run, big large system that's slow to change. That's a paradox with what a modern business is being demanded to deliver right now so clearly that needs to be disrupted.

I think we've got 85% of customers for SAP, ERP running on ECC, with a deadline to migrate to [S/4HANA 00:05:00] by 2227 due to SAP ending support. But that type of programme of work is quite expensive, quite disruptive, requires a huge amount of resource internally. Actually for a lot of organisations the business case, isn't quite there for them just yet. They know that they'll move eventually, but it's not a priority right now. Instead what organisations are doing is taking and recognising the value of moving that ERP system into the cloud, as it is, not upgrading to the latest version and innovating around it. They're able to add a lot more value to their business faster and in incrementally.

We've presented at the user group, the SAP Conference in Birmingham with one of our largest SAP cloud customers, a luxury car manufacturer. It's a fantastic story about how they've taken out about $2 million pounds associated with the running of the platform, which as you can imagine is very powerful for any business, regardless of whatever it is that they do. But the real thing that I took away from that session is what they've achieved since they've moved and some of the initiatives that they're working on, and that's where the real value of cloud is. So I'm just going to move on to this next slide.

So, for organisations that have migrated ECC or whether they're already on S/4 and they've got their SAP Core ERP running in Azure, what they're able to do now is take advantage of the fact that that data lives in the cloud and has access to a number of cloud native services like Synapse, and Data Lake, and Machine Learning and Power BI, and organisations are really using and taking advantage of these technologies. What it requires is those traditional IT and business stakeholders that are no longer managing the pain and of updating systems, because they're working in the cloud with a modern manage service provider. They're working with a business on initiatives like that. These things really transform internal processes about the way that decisions are made and how the way things are presented in real time to their organisations.

So they're really unlocking value from data but not only are they doing that, but they're also able to unlock application innovation. Which again, it's so important that IT and business teams are focused on value-add initiatives like this, taking advantage of things like the Power Platform, and integrating teams with SAP where possible using Logic Apps as your integration services. To just go deeper and beyond, deliver that better custom experience because these areas here are all around that external impact.

This is just a perfect example of what's possible really once you've got your core ERP running Azure with all your data there, and you can take advantage of all of these technologies. Organisations that do this and free up their resource to focus on these initiatives, and they take out the cost of the traditionally high amount of budgets spent on running an SAP System and reinvesting it in back into these areas, which will add value to the organisation is really, really key and a huge enabler of an agile enterprise. There are lots of case studies of organisations that have and are doing this. I'm sure we'll be able to share them and present them more in the future as well.

So that's it for me. I hope this has been useful. Yeah, reach out if you've got anything to discuss with the team and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

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