You are announcing One Process Acceleration Layer today at SAP Sapphire. What is it all about?
Robert Weller: “One Process Acceleration Layer is the combined knowledge of 25,000 SAP consultants and results from the thousands of customer transformations we have supported over the years. We collected all these experiences in one single place so that everyone benefits from this knowledge in a highly consumable way. It includes tens of thousands of cross-industry processes and industry-specific best practices. It comes with relevant KPIs and benchmarks and with thought leadership that provides guidance and inspiration. It connects processes on the business level all the way to the technical capabilities in SAP products so that customers can easily map their tech initiatives to business needs. It really is the collective knowledge that a single expert could never have.”
Sounds great! Could you walk me through a specific example? What does it look like for a customer?
Robert: “Many of the early adopters are companies that have a massive business transformation ahead of them, and they want to do it well and fast. Take a tier-one global retailer that is dealing with ever-changing customer sentiment, frequent supply disruption, and stockout issues. They decide to deploy SAP S/4HANA to digitalize procurements, optimize fulfilments and stock levels, and overall be more responsive to customer needs.
Their first challenge could be to understand how best to leverage the power of the solution. Should they use it across all processes – or at the beginning, should they just focus on the processes that need particular attention? Where should they start, and which innovation paths should they follow? Well, now they can go to One Process Acceleration Layer and find the guidance they need.
They can understand the status of their current processes through benchmarks, be clear about which processes need immediate consideration, and ultimately set clear goals and priorities in their transformation program. They can explore the process best practices specific to retail and possibly redesign their processes accordingly. Finally, they can map the new solution around their processes in a way that maximizes value, start deployment, and track improvements over time with dedicated metrics.
To give you a second tangible example, we recently made the contents of One Process Acceleration Layer available to one of our customers, a large German automotive manufacturer building up a new giga plant. One Process Acceleration Layer is helping the group’s business and IT experts accelerate the design of the end-to-end process landscape down to the solutions to be implemented. The approach includes connected performance measurement so that a culture of continuous improvement can be established from the beginning.”
Gero, you talk to many customers. What's their feedback about the initiative?
Dr. Gero Decker: “Actually, they are really excited about it. I was recently at a conference with more than 100 chief process officers in the room coming from different companies of all sizes. Throughout the event, the number one question they had was: “How can I bring business and IT closer together?” I met some of them and walked them through the One Process Acceleration Layer concept, and what really stood out to them was this ability to blend the tech and business perspective.
I remember one person asking, ‘So you are telling me that now I can better understand where value sits for my business, be clear about how technology can help produce that value, and finally accelerate that value because I don’t start from a blank sheet?’ And yes, this person got it perfectly right.
With One Process Acceleration Layer, technological innovation is mapped to business needs. Once you have identified those needs and how IT can help, you can go deep and broad but also fast because you get all the ideas and solutions you need to do a good job. Also, because goals are clear and all teams align behind the same best practices, you avoid confusion; you don’t risk going off the rails, getting stuck, and disrupting the business.
Today, with the first beta release that we are unveiling at SAP Sapphire, we are covering the most high-impact and high-value use cases in terms of processes and best practices that are critical to organizations. This represents about 70% of what One Process Acceleration Layer will offer in the future.”
In your opinion, why is One Process Acceleration Layer such a big step for SAP?
Gero: “SAP has always been good at turning process understanding into world-class software applications. Now, with the acquisition of Signavio, SAP has a powerful suite to understand and improve business processes. With One Process Acceleration Layer, SAP is now taking things to the next level, providing end-to-end guidance for business operations. It will turn the conversation with the customer from how to get the best-configured technology to what their operating model should look like and, as a second step, how to support that with the best technology. It’s changing the mindset; it’s changing the conversations SAP will have with the customer going forward, really talking their language.”
To close, can you explain how companies can get started?
Robert: “Well, it’s very easy. You can visit our SAP Signavio solution Web site, access the section related to One Process Acceleration Layer, register for the initiative, and be among the first to explore the contents. Those registered can navigate all contents available, and those with an SAP Signavio license can start adapting those assets and practices to their own needs right away to successfully drive their transformation.”
Want to know more about One Process Acceleration Layer?
Visit the dedicated One Process Acceleration Layer Web page to get started.