Nearly a year ago, SAP announced a new offering called Rise with SAP, which CEO Christian Klein described at the time as "business transformation as a service." The question is: Service for whom?
Like other vendors, SAP is attempting to transition its user base to the cloud, dispensing with the old model of on-premises ERP software ownership and replacing it with a new cloud-based model in which software is an evolving service offering.
One of Rise's three main components is business process redesign. The company says it will bring best practices to Rise users and will leverage its acquisition of process-mining vendor Signavio in attempting to do so. The second component is a technical migration path to the SAP S4/HANA platform, with SAP promising to streamline and rationalize the user's business applications along the way. The third component is SAP's intelligent enterprise platform, a collection of technologies that includes applications, business intelligence, cloud infrastructure, business network connectivity and related services.
SAP is touting the benefits of Rise's single price and contract that encompasses software, services and infrastructure. The company is promising a one-stop shop as many companies embark on digital transformation initiatives.
However, Rise is better suited for some companies than others. Here's a look at the organizations that will benefit the most from Rise with SAP.
Smaller companies with relatively simple requirements
Smaller organizations will generally fare better with Rise with SAP than larger, more complex companies. One of SAP's key promises for Rise is to simplify complex environments and minimize or eliminate custom applications, modifications and third-party products. However, custom environments usually exist for a reason -- they support critical business requirements for companies with complex needs. Larger companies may discover that SAP's transformational vision wants to pull them in a different direction than their business needs.
Companies that have not taken part in digital transformation
These types of organizations will also benefit from Rise with SAP because the software provides a clean starting point for understanding a company's existing business processes, developing a clear vision for the future and turning that vision into a reality. However, early feedback from existing SAP users says many were already well under way on major digital transformation projects, so Rise makes little sense for them in that context.
Companies transitioning from a non-SAP system
Transitioning organizations may benefit from Rise as well. Because a greenfield ERP implementation is a major project with far-reaching implications, the transformation-as-a-service idea may be a good fit for these users. However, the previous caveats are still true: Companies that have invested heavily in non-SAP technologies as part of a major digital transformation initiative are unlikely to choose this path, as are organizations with complex requirements.
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