In this exclusive interview with the SAP News Center, Dinesh Sharma, Vice President of Digital Economy at SAP, discusses how SAP’s business network fosters an Amazon-like experience in business-to-business collaboration.
SAP News: What is the strategic value of business networks to organizations?
Dinesh Sharma: Forty-odd years ago SAP ushered in a new era of automation of key business process. This led to a new level of integrated planning, ultimately lowering product costs and supporting a virtuous cycle of increased buying power and improved processes driving the economy.
Companies today own far less infrastructure, inventory, equipment and people assets. Workforces are increasingly contingent – you bring people in to do specialized tasks and rapidly assemble and disassemble resources on a project basis, making business agile and driving profitability. This is only going to accelerate as more millennials enter the workplace. It fundamentally changes how companies manage resources.
SAP is in a great position to power this next wave of commerce with the only mechanism that can deliver the increased collaboration required in this new digital economy across the modern business value chain. That’s the business network in the cloud.
What is SAP’s business network vision for customers?
The business network allows companies to manage all resources in the cloud in the simplest way possible. Just like when you’re shopping on Amazon and it doesn’t matter where products come from, you get the simplest experience. That’s what our business network allows you to do in the business world. Whether you’re managing suppliers or your workforce, engaging with customers or your employees directly, the business network allows you to get everything done in a simple, consumer-like way.
What is SAP’s role in helping customers use business networks for greatest competitive advantage, especially as business model change?
We’ve made a strategic decision to map our acquisitions to high-value outcomes for our customers in the digital economy. For example, we looked at the trends and saw Global 2000 spend increasing on contingent labor so we bought Fieldglass. Sixty-six percent of workers in the oil and gas industry are contingent labor, providing tremendous opportunities for on-boarding qualified people in compliance with a strictly regulated industry.
All of this ties back into the workforce management software and collaborative platform; that’s why we acquired with SuccessFactors and also developed into SAP Jam. Companies are bringing people on and off projects quickly and need virtual platforms for agile knowledge sharing. You need to enable integrated collaboration to create and run this kind of business effectively.
What kind of technologies are involved in successful business network strategies?
The business network is the future of modern commerce. It provides companies with greater agility so they can concentrate on their core competencies for faster innovation. Only a secure cloud platform provides the ability to quickly manage sustainable sourcing for fast on-boarding of new suppliers while steering clear of questionable entities involved in areas like slave labor or conflict minerals. Business can quickly tap into third-party databases for this kind of information. All the data can be delivered via mobile devices. As Internet of Things evolves, companies will be able to query inventory itself, collecting a real-time view of supply for dynamic planning and pricing.
How are SAP technologies helping companies use business networks to drive innovation?
SAP has the world’s largest, global, business-to-business trading platform, and it will continue to grow; close to 1.6 million companies are transacting over 1 trillion of dollars of commerce each year on this network. We began with Ariba and are compounding the value of this business network with additions like Fieldglass and Concur. Similar to Amazon, as we add more capabilities to the network, we’re creating an underlying infrastructure where many other suppliers and buyers can join for increased value.
What is SAP’s progress integrating its acquired cloud assets for the network?
Our business network is built on an open technology that enables secure, multi-enterprise collaboration from any system or device. We’ll continue to optimize interoperability across Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass and the entire SAP portfolio of solutions, providing a standard integration pipeline which allows companies to manage resources so they can spend in the simplest way.
We live in a heterogeneous world where people gravitate to regional or industry networks that operate with one another – a world of networks of networks. The future vision is that they interoperate with a digital core and that’s SAP S/4HANA. It’s designed for the networked world, including Internet of Things, allowing companies to completely reimagine processes in the digital economy.
Top image: Shutterstock
via SAP News Center http://ift.tt/1M5zXzZ