SAP S/4HANA for Retail: Seven Questions Answered

SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management is SAP’s first industry solution for the retail sector developed natively on the SAP HANA platform.

Daniela Khalaf, an expert from the SAP Industry Business Unit Retail, answers some pressing questions.

1. What can the new retail solution do?

SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management is SAP’s new industry-specific solution for the retail sector. Developed natively on SAP HANA, it has a new, SAP Fiori-ized user interface, features a simplified data model with embedded analytics functions, and supports retail core processes end to end – from master data entry and product listing, through promotion execution and price maintenance, to point-of-sale accounting.

SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management replaces the traditional SAP Merchandising solution, known also as SAP IS-Retail and SAP ERP Retail), which will continue to be supported by SAP until maintenance ends in 2025. As the digital core, SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management will form the transactional backbone for the entire retail scenario in the SAP S/4HANA suite of the future.

2. How will this change the underlying omnichannel reference architecture? Have customers’ past investments been in vain?

SAP’s mission is to offer customers a complete and integrated scenario that supports both omnichannel processes and the digital transformation. The reference architecture, with its core elements of SAP Hybris , SAP Hybris Marketing, SAP Customer Activity Repository, and SAP ERP, isn’t actually changing, except that SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management can replace the traditional application.

In this constellation, all the online transactions are executed in the e-commerce solution, while SAP Customer Activity Repository, for example, connects and consolidates online sales data and point-of-sales data. Combining this with insight about “customer journeys” – bundled in SAP Hybris Marketing from sources such as customer emails, Facebook entries, information from CRM, and marketing data – the reference architecture offers a 360-degree view of the customer. The ERP system performs the role of the executing system.

3. What fundamental benefits does the new SAP S/4 HANA retail system offer?

Aggregates and indexes are replaced by central tables, such as for inventory management and valuation (1.). Operational insight into the systems is possible at all times, without data having to be prepared in the data warehouse first (2.). Cockpits, in customer processing, for example, ensure that steps are transparent from order through to delivery and they enable ad-hoc course corrections (3.).

SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management: overview of the reference architecture Graphic: SAP

4. To what extent does the new solution support the digital transformation in the enterprise?

The digital transformation is impacting every aspect of a company’s operations, from HR and talent management, through business partner connectivity and collaboration, all the way to consumer processes. It is becoming increasingly important for retailers to embrace sensor technology as part of Internet of Things strategies to create seamless and highly personalized business processes across all channels.

In SAP S/4HANA, all these areas are integrated. The omnichannel reference architecture mentioned above (see question two) is part of this. It gives customers in the retail sector a solid foundation for master data, enabling smooth processes in logistics and in digital channels end to end from order to payment – both online and in-store.

The next step to entering the SAP S/4HANA world involves an implementation project to swap the SAP Merchandising solution in the existing architecture for SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management.

5. What specific functional benefits does SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management offer?

Here are three examples:

  • Fewer markdowns: Fashion and consumer electronics retailers deal with highly seasonal goods. It is crucial that these products are available in stores in good time. The new solution offers more efficient season management and optimized ordering (including distribution curves) across the entire lifecycle of a product.
    • Benefit: Between 5% and 10% fewer markdowns.
  • Fewer stock-outs: Supply chains – especially those involving suppliers from the Far East – are typically complex and, with short product lifecycles the norm, they require a high level of agility. The new solution makes it possible to track procurement journeys and to intervene ad hoc and in an automated manner.
    • Benefits: Revenue loss due to seasonal goods arriving too late is between 3% and 5% lower. The reduction in overall supply chain planning costs ranges from 10% to 20%.
  • Lower inventory costs: Whereas stock information used to be spread across many tables and was not up to date, it is now harmonized in a single “journal”. If stocks of a product are running low, a retailer can intervene centrally and place a repeat order in good time. Bottlenecks occur much less frequently.
    • Benefits: Significantly greater inventory accuracy (between 30% and 40%) means higher inventory turns. Inventory carrying costs fall by between 10% and 15%.

From marketing and sales, through procurement and the supply chain, to the omnichannel experience, the new SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management solution covers a broad spectrum of key retail processes.

6. Which types of customers will the solution appeal to?

Type 1: The “Clean Slater”
Long-standing customers have often modified their ERP applications so much over the years that maintaining, enhancing, and updating them has become a highly complex undertaking. For these customers, it makes sense to wipe the slate clean and start afresh with the SAP S/4HANA industry solution.

Type 2: The SAP HANA Fan
Customers who are currently running competitor databases but want to tap into the benefits of the SAP HANA in-memory platform can migrate their traditional system. A range of tools and reports help companies prepare efficiently for potential custom code conversions. For example, they help customers identify which custom code objects need adjustment for SAP S/4HANA; this work can generally be completed over a single weekend.

Type 3: The Innovator
Enterprises wishing to deploy cloud solutions from SAP – like SAP Ariba, SAP SuccessFactors, and Concur – and companies looking to link sensor technology and the business world in the Internet of Things will benefit from the increased integration offered by the new digital core.

Type 4: The ERP “Rookie”
The SAP S/4HANA-based industry solution is the recommended application for companies that do not yet have an ERP system, the so-called “greenfield” customers.

7. Which new business models are possible for companies using the digital core for retail?

Verticalization: Based on an “industry-to-core” approach, various cross-industry scenarios are possible. Retailers wishing to sell private-label products benefit from greater flexibility because they are no longer restricted to using their retail-specific functions. The harmonized data objects and models in SAP S/4HANA open up potential for synergies and cross-industry scenarios.

In the past, for example, gas stations that operated a specialized solution for oil and gas (because they traded chiefly in fuels) had to deploy an extra retail instance if they wanted to sell potato chips, beverages, newspapers, and baked goods as well. The story is similar for the telecom and mail service sectors, whose stores no longer just handle cell phone contracts or transport letters and parcels.

The next two versions of the solution will include the fashion-specific distribution and production processes that are familiar from the SAP Fashion Management solution.

Role-based processes: The user experience in the new solution is based on an employee’s role (“store associate,” “store manager,” and so on). A positive user experience and responsive design for mobile devices help with managing the high fluctuation rates that are typical in the retail industry by ensuring that new employees are onboarded fast. The user experience is also critical for stock checks that involve monitoring stock levels at the shelf with a mobile device. The result: a 10% reduction in stock-outs, an improvement of around 30% in employee productivity, and 5% more revenue per employee.

Inventory management and valuation: Inventory quantities and values are stored in a universal journal table that allows analytic views in real time. Finance personnel and controllers no longer waste time pulling figures from the system that are out of date only seconds later anyway. With access to the same base of data in real time, they can trigger course corrections whenever needed, such as when business drops off and there is a risk that the company may not be reaching the required profitability level. Thanks to this new degree of access to the latest figures, increases of up to 20% in inventory turnover are possible.

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SAP Delivers Live Insights from Big Data to Customers

SAN JOSE, Calif.SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced advancements of the SAP Vora solution to help customers accelerate project implementations and offer speed, ease and affordability to their enterprise business analytics.


  • SAP helps customers get actionable insights from their Big Data with the latest features in SAP Vora

  • SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services launches fully managed Hadoop and Spark service in Europe

  • SAP Vora to be offered on SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services in North America and Europe


In addition, SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services (formerly known as Altiscale) expanded its fully managed Hadoop/Spark platform services to Europe. SAP Vora is planned to be launched on SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services in both the United States and Europe. These announcements were made at Strata + Hadoop World 2017 being held March 14–17 in San Jose.

“Combining the latest release of SAP Vora with the expanded availability of SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services into Europe demonstrates that SAP has enterprise-class solutions for a broad range of Big Data needs,” said Greg McStravick, president, Database & Data Management at SAP. “SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services will help enterprises achieve a high-performance, production-ready Hadoop environment with minimal effort, while SAP Vora helps organizations bring Big Data insights into the enterprise.”

“SAP Vora is an enterprise-ready, in-memory distributed computing solution that uses and extends the Apache Spark execution framework to provide interactive analytics on Hadoop,” said Dan Vesset, group VP and lead of IDC’s Big Data and analytics research. “Along with an intuitive web interface, SAP Vora opens up self-service Big Data discovery to a broader set of users in the organization, making it easier for these insights to be utilized in business decision making.”

New Built-In Capabilities Simplify How Businesses Run in the Digital World and Deliver Real Business Insights

  • Time series distributed in-memory engine allows time series data to be stored and analyzed in distributed environments. It supports highly compressed time series storage and analysis algorithms that work directly on top of the compressed data, providing features such as standard aggregation, granularization and series analysis using SQL.
  • Graph distributed in-memory engine supports graph processing and helps execute commonly used graph operations such as pattern matching, shortest path and connected component using SQL.
  • Distributed in-memory JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) document store supports rich query processing over schema-less JSON data using SQL.
  • Enterprise-class features include Kerberos support, distributed transaction log for metadata persistence and built-in currency conversion.

Additional capabilities include the following:

  • Industry value accelerators offer a content kit with sample solution components that are tailored for specific industry use cases yet customizable and extendable. SAP plans to offer them for free.
  • Easy deployment on the cloud through Amazon Web Services Marketplace and SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services is designed to give SAP Vora customers more flexibility, allowing them to scale as needed without managing the infrastructure. The intent is to support more innovation and to give customers the ability to integrate with existing solutions.
  • Cloudera certification for SAP Vora is now part of Cloudera Certified Partners. SAP Vora successfully completed the end-to-end testing and validation of the various requirements, including qualification and product requirement document, security and test plans as part of the certification.
  • For on-premise deployments, SAP Vora is supported by all major Hadoop vendors including Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR.

SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services Now Available in Europe

SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services are immediately available to EU customers from SAP’s state-of-the-art data center in St. Leon-Rot, Germany. European customers can also benefit from the Hadoop operations services that are included for all SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services customers. The operational services, in combination with the optimized data centers, help ensure that customers enjoy a Big Data experience that is high-performance, reliable, and scalable.

SAP Vora Available on SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services Starting in Q2

SAP plans to make the SQL capabilities in SAP Vora available in the cloud on SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services starting in early Q2, for both U.S.-based and Europe-based customers. The intent is for customers to be up and running quickly, with SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services providing the underlying Hadoop and Spark data infrastructure.

Customers Benefit from SAP Vora

Tupras, Turkey’s only oil refiner, operates four refineries and turned to SAP Vora to extract value from its data.

“The prototype we built together with SAP showed us how we can create direct business value from Big Data,” said Baris Duzenli, CIO at Tupras. “Our experience with SAP Vora has been very valuable in terms of connecting the dots between OT and IT landscapes, while allowing innovation around our IoT and data science initiatives.”

For more information on SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services, visit here. For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapBigData and @sapnews.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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Returns in Omnichannel Retail

Retro products are the height of fashion, and omnichannel retailer Manufactum is right on trend. Despite offering a vast range of traditional-style goods, it has a returns rate to die for. And SAP solutions for retail help ensure that the company’s returns process runs efficiently.

In a world where style is often more important than substance, a small retail company based in Germany’s Ruhr region has captured a market niche that makes it the envy of its peers. It sells built-to-last products that have been manufactured with care and thought ‒ and designed to give a lifetime of enjoyment.

Manufactum GmbH & Co. KG is headquartered in Waltrop, Germany. Founded in 1987, the company is committed to selling products that offer quality and function “by design.” It currently carries a range of 10,000 items from around 1,800 suppliers. The goods are manufactured to a high standard; they’re robust and they do what they’re supposed to. They’re sustainable too, because apart from being made to last, they can actually be repaired if necessary.

Manufactum sells goods that combine practicality with the allure of traditional materials. They appeal to customers on an aesthetic level, as does the company’s catalog, which – although available for browsing online – many customers like to order as a hard copy to place on their coffee table at home.

If you deal in high-quality, well-respected products, you’re likely to have a low returns rate – and Manufactum’s is well under the market average. But the traditional mail-order retailer does need a returns process of course. And there is no escaping the laws of the market here, explains Manufactum’s head of IT, Jens Brockmann: “Being able to return goods is something customers take for granted; for retailers, returns are a serious cost-driver.”

The product category with the highest returns rate (40%) at the company is textiles and fashion; by contrast, only five percent of food purchases are returned.

“When we deal with returns, we focus on two key aspects – why they happened and how we process them. But there are various steps we can take to stop them occurring in the first place,” adds Brockmann. “That includes providing honest product information.”

Brockmann cites the example of a table soccer assembly kit his company sells. This is the kind of product, he says, that is highly subject to wear and tear, even more so if it is heavily used. The product description therefore stipulates how, where, and with what materials the kit was made. It tells potential customers which spare parts are available and how to fit them.

Manufactum provides this same level of transparency for all the products it sells – not just the table soccer kit. A detailed guide to using and caring for each product is provided, and there is a telephone number for customers to call and an email address to contact if they need advice. Each product description includes important reminders and additional information (such as washing instructions) and displays matching products that the customer might also need or be interested in.

All the products on sale – from notebooks fashioned from recycled leather, to hand-painted table lamps, two-ply bathrobes, wrought-iron pans, foldable barrows, and more – are thoughtfully designed and made to last.

Customer Satisfaction End to End

Seen across the entire product spectrum, online buyers return fewer items than customers who purchase by telephone or in-store. The traditional mail-order retailer began setting up an online sales channel in 2000 and is now well on the way to offering an omnichannel experience.

“We have been using SAP for Retail to manage our various sales channels since 2002,” says Manufactum’s head of IT. The system has been continuously enhanced and extended over the years to cope with various changes at the company, such as the introduction of a new POS system and a store redesign program. While there was linear growth in distance selling overall, phone and mail-order purchases decreased and online orders increased.

Internationality as Revenue-Driver

At around the time it opened its online channel, Manufactum also began selling in Switzerland. It has been trading in Austria since 1998, and entered the UK market in 2002. “Whether we were introducing a new ordering system or breaking into international markets, our SAP system was equal to the task every step of the way,” recalls Brockmann.

Manufactum offers today’s customers a “rounded buying process,” says the IT boss. This means that the buying experience has to be seamless across all channels. “No matter whether customers are surfing the Web, shopping in-store, or placing an order on their cell phone, we can increase their loyalty to our brand by having a strong presence on all channels and being able to serve them at any time, whichever channel they choose.”

And interaction between the sales channels is being intensified to ensure that exactly the same services ‒ such as buying and redeeming vouchers and checking product availability ‒ are always offered on all analog and digital touch points. Thus, if a certain product is available, the customer can reserve it online, go and look at it more closely in-store, and – if they decide to buy it – have it delivered to their home free of charge, which all contributes to keeping returns at a low level.

Generous Return Policy for Customer Satisfaction

Manufactum includes a return slip with every product delivery. And it operates an extremely generous return policy. Unwanted goods can be returned through any channel, irrespective of where they were purchased, and customers can choose to receive either a cash refund, a credit note, an exchange, or a voucher for the amount they are owed. Manufactum even takes damaged goods back.

When it registers receipt of a return, the SAP system posts the item concerned to the central warehouse or store inventory straight away so that, provided it is still saleable, the product can be offered for sale again.

On the question of what motivates customer loyalty, Brockmann replies, “This probably sounds old-fashioned but in our book, values like honesty and respect are key.” And because there are clearly plenty of customers who appreciate this attitude, Manufactum is going from strength to strength.

Top image via Manufactum

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SAP’s Vision and Ecosystem Shine at Mobile World Congress 2017

Outgrowing its original mobility roots, a larger-than-ever Mobile World Congress (MWC) puts on display the possibilities of a hyper-connected world for both digital businesses and consumers.

The top trends of the year were digital transformation, the race towards a faster connected world with 5G and the promises and opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT) across a variety of industries.

As the premier showcase for the digital revolution, MWC attracted more than 108,000 attendees from all over the world.  Organizations from a variety of industries from automotive and financial services to smartphone manufacturers, content providers and  telecommunications operators showed what will be possible when connectivity speeds have jumped 100x or more to 5G by 2020. Faster, ubiquitous connectivity will not only be convenient for downloading an HD movie in a few  seconds – but will prove vital for driverless cars for example, when latency (aka, a “dropped call”) could be fatal.

For Stephan Gatien, general manager of Telecommunications at SAP, the event was about demonstrating how we can work with our customers to help them transform and unlock value in that digital world that is moving fast to the cloud: “For SAP it is important to showcase our vision and what transformation means. We believe SAP can be the catalyst for new business models in the digital era, and with our showcases we want to highlight how we can help all industries transform and drive incremental business value.”

Innovation will increasingly come from the SAP ecosystem

Showcases of digital scenarios highlighted concrete projects that SAP is doing with customers and partners. “Innovation will increasingly come from our ecosystem,” says Gatien. “We need to enable our ecosystem to develop innovation on our platform, encourage new ideas within our customer and partner communities or in our startup program to enhance the SAP portfolio.”

Partnership with Apple: First Apps Showcased at MWC

To underscore the role of the SAP ecosystem, SAP and Apple showed a first set of iOS apps that have been jointly developed on SAP Cloud Platform. The approach is industry-oriented with apps for the professional services, retail, and utilities industries. Beyond these reference apps, the expectation is that the vast majority of future iOS apps on SAP Cloud Platform will be developed by SAP partners.

  • With SAP Retail Clienteling for example, a sales person can gather customer information across channels, and suggest personalized products based on the customer profile. Detailed and real-time information about availability and pricing will help to improve customer satisfaction.
  • The Project Companion App helps project managers to get an overview of the project’s key data and necessary actions.
  • The Asset Manager App is a mobile solution for utilities or oil & gas companies managing work orders, notifications, condition monitoring, material consumption, time management and failure analysis to keep mission critical assets running while detecting problems before they occur.

The partnership demonstrates how the combination of SAP and Apple can meaningfully impact the digital experience of all key stakeholders in a company (customers, employees, suppliers, partners). SAP offers SAP Cloud Platform software development kit (SDK) for iOS on which any iOS developer can build business applications with an Apple flavor.

“To reinvent ourselves, we will grow in that platform space thanks to our ecosystem,” says Gatien. “The only way for us to make the platform strategy work is for people to adopt it and for that they need to see a value to build on it. The Apple partnership can be an important accelerator of this strategy.”

It will give SAP access to hundreds of thousands of Apple developers, the benefit for Apple is to further establish themselves as an enterprise brand.

Connected Cars: Optimize the Rental Car Experience with SAP Vehicles Network

Another showcase is a cooperation with Hertz and Nokia demonstrating how innovations from our SAP Leonardo portfolio (such as SAP Vehicle network) can offer an intelligent experience and provide IoT friendly self-services for rental car users. When a Hertz customer downloads an app he will get additional services such as an overview of available parking spots at his destination that he can pre-book. The car directs the driver to the parking and allows the driver to open the gate to the reserved parking. The app also shows gas stations nearby. When the business trip is over, the user has all expenses – from lunch to the gas bill – already in the expense report.

“With this prototype we are showing SAP’s IoT innovation capacity”, says Gatien. “But at the same time enabling integration of key processes such as travel management for business travelers with our Concur solution.”

Connected Stadium and Fan Engagement

SAP also helps sports clubs like Bayern Munich to better engage with fans, and to make the most of an event. “An event has a life-cycle,” says Gatien. “Global and local telco operators want to align with sports clubs, and propose services for fan engagement before, during and after a football match or a music concert.”

Fans participating in a loyalty system could get additional information or services, such as pre-ordering tickets or merchandise. Or fans could register for the TwoGo car-sharing app, and share a ride with other fans, and earn loyalty points that can be redeemed on the club’s website. Wifi spots and sensors in the stadium will make the stadium connected, giving fans access to data, such as the expected waiting time at the food corner, so that fans will not miss the second half waiting for a sausage.

In a connected stadium, the venue manager gets alerts due to traffic jam, when delays are expected for fans coming from one direction. Or the manager gets a notification if for example a turn-stile has a malfunction, and can send a technician and look at a heat-map that shows the visitor flow, and can order staff where needed.

Smart Cities: Transportation Safety with Wearables

“We are demonstrating how the combination of our know-how in different industries can position SAP as a provider of smart solutions for future cities in areas such as transportation and waste management, citizen security services or congestion prevention,” says Gatien. “To help cities become smart we have huge opportunities to co-innovate with Telco operators to help them go evolve beyond the connectivity for smart grids and wired buildings into new value added sensor friendly scenarios.”

An example of a co-innovation with an SAP partner and operator is NTT in Japan. The telecom giant teamed up with SAP to help prevent accidents in public transportation. The company developed a fabric, a vest for bus drivers, embedded with sensors to monitor vital signs like heartbeat and nervous system responses. This analysis goes to SAP Cloud platform where it’s combined with data such as current traffic and weather conditions – and sensor-driven data like GPS signals, and information from on-board devices that estimate the vehicle’s condition. The predictive capabilities of SAP Cloud platform together with NTT’s IoT analytics will help bus companies identify potential danger before accidents occur.

Read more news and stories from MWC.

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Rostelecom Reinvents HR, Fast-Forwards Digital Transformation Company-Wide

After a series of mergers quadrupled Rostelecom’s employee population to over 140,000, the Russian-based telecom provider addressed the daunting challenge of modernizing a complex environment of disparate HR systems.

Using SAP SuccessFactors solutions, Rostelecom is introducing digital HR services directly supporting employee recruitment and development that will help achieve its transformation to digital services and platform leadership in Russia.

“Our HR strategy is based on the assumption that a huge company like ours can’t be flexible and agile without agile HR processes and talent management. Our customers need digital services, so we made that our internal working principle as well,” said Nikita Cherkasenko; Head of Assessment, Training, and Development at Rostelecom. “We chose SAP SuccessFactors solutions for their flexibility and innovativeness. When you buy SAP SuccessFactors solutions, you also buy into SAP’s cloud vision and market leadership.”

Rostelecom is already seeing results from bringing in SAP SuccessFactors solutions including SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development, SAP SuccessFactors Compensation, SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting, SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding and SAP SuccessFactors Learning.

Having equipped managers with personal goals and career plans in sync with overall organizational objectives, decision-makers at Rostelecom expect to achieve 30 percent time savings from streamlined performance management processes – covering the entire implementation costs. Following the introduction of SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting, most of Rostelecoms’ new-hires have brought the digital skills needed to meet the company’s growth objectives. Here is how the company is making this incredible transformation.

When you buy SAP SuccessFactors solutions, you also buy into SAP’s cloud vision and market leadership

Common Platform Turbo-Charges Top Talent Recruiting  

Rostelecom began its transformation journey with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting. Centralizing processes on a common platform eliminated complex, time-consuming manual steps.  For the first time, hiring and recruiting managers have the same set of competencies and criteria for assessing candidates, making the entire process much more transparent and effective while enabling the company to attract better candidates. Just as important, the software helps Rostelecom attract more qualified candidates with critical digital skills.

“We used to have issues recruiting candidates, and then having to send them back to the market,” said Cherkasenko. “We have dramatically increased the number of competencies we gain with new candidates.”

Nikita Cherkasenko, head of Assessment, Training, and Development at Rostelecom, explains in the above vide, how easy-to-use digital HR services are critical to his company’s market leadership. 

Data Transparency Increases Employee Trust, Engagement

In a country as large as Russia, having a clear overview of employee capabilities can make all the difference.  Skills that a manager in Siberia has might be needed in St. Petersburg or vice versa. Rostelecom is using SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central to build one database that delivers this level of transparency.

“Senior managers and key employees drive 80 percent of the business, so we needed more precise job profiles for them. We can now manage their careers and performance in a more sophisticated way,” says Cherkasenko.

Employees can view this kind of change with suspicion. That’s not the case at Rostelecom. When the company announced the launch of SAP SuccessFactors and preparations began, there was already a 13 percent increase in employee engagement compared to 2014.

“Once we fully implement all the solutions, we expect to see the next increase in involvement and satisfaction,” noted Cherkasenko.

Learning Full Speed Ahead

With 73 training centers across the country, Rostelecom’s priority moving forward is to improve employee learning opportunities. Rostelecom plans to replace previously disconnected, manual approaches with SAP SuccessFactors Learning to organize, store, and deliver training more effectively.

“We have a lot of catching up to do in training,” said Cherkasenko. “The most important goal for the nexttwo years is to train more people in digital services, agile software development, and project management.”

With SAP SuccessFactors, management now has the simplified, standardized HR processes employees and managers need to reach company goals.

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Top image via Shutterstock

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Rostelecom Expands Digital Workforce with SAP SuccessFactors Solutions

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that Rostelecom, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Russia with more than 140,000 employees, has implemented SAP SuccessFactors human capital management (HCM) solutions, including SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, to help attract the best talent and manage its quickly growing workforce.

Rostelecom is working with SAP to simplify and optimize its human resources (HR) processes, and improve its talent acquisition and management processes, to ensure the company continues to attract and retain the best people across its markets.

“As a large provider of innovative digital services, we needed to bring that same level of innovation to our internal processes,” said Nikita Cherkasenko, head of Assessment, Training and Development at Rostelecom. “We want to help build a new digital Russia, and we know a company as large as ours cannot be flexible and agile enough without the best HCM solutions in the market. After the recent implementation of SAP SuccessFactors solutions, we are now able to recruit top talent with the digital skills needed to differentiate us from competitors, while also providing a consistent working experience for all.”

Rostelecom has grown to become Russia’s leading provider of telecommunications services, covering millions of households. It became critical to standardize and modernize the HR processes and tools covering the organization’s large employee base. Rostelecom implemented SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central to transform all its data into a single structure. One centralized database, streamlined processes and transparency into critical information like employee capabilities help ensure trust and satisfaction. The company also rolled out the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding solutions to help reduce the burden placed by significant recruitment needs. With the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, SAP SuccessFactors Compensation and SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development solutions, Rostelecom standardized performance management and calibration across offices, leading to both cost savings and improvements in employee engagement.

Having transformed recruiting, performance management and compensation processes to be more agile and transparent, the next step is to implement the SAP SuccessFactors Learning solution, which will help Rostelecom deliver training more effectively and ensure employees throughout the organization remain engaged, supported and rewarded.

“Rostelecom’s goal is to build a new digital Russia. Like many businesses across the globe, it looked first to its people – 140,000 of them – and transforming HR as the core of its business transformation,” said Mike Ettling, president SAP SuccessFactors.* “As we often see, Rostelecom is working to simplify across an environment of nonstandard HR processes. As a leading telecom provider for millions of households in Russia, it also needs to attract and develop great people – people who expect access to modern, mobile, cool apps. We’re delighted to partner with Rostelecom on its journey and as it looks to provide an awesome employee experience.”

Rostelecom is yet another global organization to adopt SAP SuccessFactors solutions to put people first and help them succeed. As more companies look to transform HR to meet the demands of an increasingly global and digital workforce, they are embracing leading SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help unify and optimize HR processes, while also fostering a mobile, cloud-first philosophy.

For more information, visit the SAP SuccessFactors website and the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SuccessFactors and @sapnews.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Note to editors:

To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:

Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
United States Only: 1 (800) 872-1SAP (1-800-872-1727)

For more information, press only:

Geraldine Lim, SAP, +1 (415) 418-0945, geraldine.lim@sap.com, PT
SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com
Tim Scarfe, LEWIS Communications, +1 (510) 399-9032, tim.scarfe@teamlewis.com, PT

*SAP SuccessFactors is a new brand name launched in January 2016 and is used here to mean the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company SuccessFactors, which continues to be our legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2017 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark for additional trademark information and notices.

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Two Out of Three Digital Winners Choose to Collaborate Online, Study Finds

WALLDORF Three out of four (74 percent) best-managed companies — classified as “Digital Winners” — facilitate collaboration in the workplace, a new study by SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Oxford Economics shows.

Titled “Getting Collaboration Right,” the study examines collaboration traits of the world’s most digitally savvy leaders.

The report, part of the Leaders 2020 study, which included analysis from a survey of 4,100 executives and employees around the world, shows that the world’s highest-performing companies have distinct collaboration habits and best practices. Specifically, Digital Winners:

  • Believe teamwork starts at the top: They are more likely to say that management is highly proficient at facilitating collaboration inside and outside of their organization. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of top performers are more focused on improving management’s collaboration skills.
  • Invest in a collaborative culture: Digital Winners are changing decision-making processes to build partnerships and teamwork. Digital Winners are significantly more likely — by 20 percentage points — to say decision making is distributed across the organization.
  • Maximize use of collaboration platforms: More than two-thirds (68 percent) use collaboration platforms to evaluate employee wants and needs.
  • Consider collaboration an employee benefit: The most satisfied employees work at companies that embrace collaboration. Sixty-two percent of satisfied employees believe that their manager is proficient in collaboration, compared with 36 percent of dissatisfied employees. Sixty percent of very satisfied employees report that their organization provides technology to facilitate collaboration, compared with only 32 percent of dissatisfied employees.

“Companies need modern collaboration strategies to get full value from technology,” said Adrianna Gregory, associate editor at Oxford Economics. “Our research shows that leadership at most companies has room for improvement when it comes to facilitating teamwork and distributing knowledge and power across the organization.”

Anthony Leaper, senior vice president, Enterprise Social Software, SAP, said: “Companies who embrace digital transformation understand that strong financial performance is connected with sound collaboration practices. Organizations need to recognize that effective collaboration is not just a nice-to-have; it equates to bottom-line results.”

For more information on how to be a Digital Winner through improved collaboration, visit “Getting Collaboration Right.” Plus, to discover how your organization compares to the Digital Winners and others in your industry, region, function and company size, take the Leaders 2020 Benchmarking Survey here.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

Media Contact:

Fiona Ashby, +44 (0)7775 011 910, f.ashby@sap.com, GMT

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2017 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark for additional trademark information and notices.

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Migration: Three Steps to SAP BW/4HANA

No matter what database customers use with SAP Business Warehouse, they all have the option to switch to SAP BW/4HANA. In-place and remote conversions are set to make migrating even simpler going forward.

SAP BW/4HANA has been on the market for nearly six months now. Over time, more and more customers are asking themselves how they can take advantage of this business data solution. Some are currently running their business warehouses in connection with databases from IBM or Oracle. While quite a few customers have already switched to SAP HANA, most of them are only leveraging a fraction of the potential its new data model offers, and others are implementing it for the first time.

One thing is clear: “Making the move to SAP BW/4HANA is the only way to take advantage of further performance gains and innovations,” states Lothar Henkes, vice president of Product Management for SAP BW.

At the same time, however, Henkes doesn’t think customers need to be in a hurry to switch. “Every organization can take things at its own pace,” he says. “Generally speaking, companies initially proceed from an arbitrary database (xDB) to SAP HANA, and from there to SAP BW/4HANA with support from our starter add-on.”

Company Status a Factor in Converting to SAP BW/4HANA

Depending on the criteria a given company fulfills, up to three steps are necessary to make the transition. All three are required for those that are not using SAP HANA already. Those running one of the first two SAP HANA releases of SAP BW (7.3 or 7.4 powered by SAP HANA) will need to complete two steps, and for those on SAP BW 7.5 powered by SAP HANA, moving to SAP BW/4HANA takes just one.

According to Henkes, many companies are taking their migration to this new solution as an opportunity to consolidate the various SAP BW systems they use and streamline their overall landscape. “Our experiences in the SAP Early Adopter Care program have also shown that a lot of customers are leaving behind their old modeling techniques and looking to take a fairly radical step forward,” he explains. “This is where it makes sense to start with a fresh installation of SAP BW/4HANA and only import the scenarios that are still relevant rather than fully migrating an old system.”

Based on their current situation, companies will need to take the steps described below to move to SAP BW/4HANA.

Step 1: Upgrade Your Database
The SAP Database Migration Option tool (SAP DMO) is designed to aid companies that are currently using Oracle, IBM DB2, or Microsoft SQL Server databases with SAP BW in switching to SAP HANA as part of a conventional database migration. Here, SAP DMO handles the migration itself, the release upgrade, and (if necessary) the Unicode conversion.

Step 2: Get Your System Ready for SAP BW/4HANA
As soon as your implementation of SAP HANA and the current release of SAP BW (7.5) is complete, you can proceed with rendering your data model in objects optimized for SAP BW/4HANA. This can be done with the help of the SAP BW/4HANA starter add-on, which requires SAP BW 7.5 powered by SAP HANA (SP4).

“To step into the future with this solution, you’ll need the corresponding starter add-on to convert your old objects into objects optimized for SAP BW/4HANA,” Henkes reveals. This takes place in the add-on’s compatibility mode, which uses tools to copy existing data flows (along with the objects they contain) and adapt them to the new SAP BW/4HANA environment.

“The effort required for this conversion depends on the number of objects your company uses and how much they’ve been modified,” Henkes continues. “There are varying levels of complexity, and automated implementation isn’t possible in every scenario.”

Once all of the objects at hand have been converted, the transition to B4H mode can proceed. The system will then be ready for conversion to SAP BW/4HANA.

Step 3: Converting to SAP BW/4HANA
From this point forward, moving to the new solution is no more complicated than upgrading from one service pack to the next.

Planned for 2017: In-Place and Remote Conversion

To make migrating to SAP BW/4HANA even simplier, SAP has developed two approaches customers will be able to follow starting later in 2017.

In-Place Conversion
An in-place conversion involves transforming an entire system. The goal is to upgrade an installation – one that’s already running the latest service pack for SAP BW 7.5 powered by SAP HANA (SP6) – to SAP BW/4HANA. As usual, the starter add-on provides support in converting existing objects. In this case, however, it includes not just the metadata, but the data the objects contain, as well. “Compared to the SAP BW/4HANA starter add-on, in-place conversion supports additional functions and is also a good deal more convenient,” affirms Henkes, who also believes that less and less manual input will be required in the future.

Remote Conversion
Remote conversions are based on new installations of SAP BW/4HANA. This approach is unique in that it eliminates the need to convert an entire legacy system. No matter whether you run SAP BW on SAP HANA or some other database, remote conversion enables you to pinpoint the scenarios you want to convert while still in a development environment. These scenarios will then be transferred into your fresh installation and converted accordingly. You can then proceed with transferring data between your old and new production systems. Remote conversion is available for SAP BW 7.0 and later releases. Among other advantages, this approach only includes objects that will remain relevant going forward and saves you the trouble of converting your database. It thus represents the chance to clean house in your current landscape while implementing SAP BW/4HANA.

Learn More

SAP Info Days on Modern Data Warehousing & Business Analytics are scheduled for March 15, 2017 in Stuttgart, March 28 in Düsseldorf, and April 4 in Berlin. At these events, attendees can learn more about the road map and use cases for the agile data warehousing solution SAP BW/4HANA, SAP’s analytics strategy, and hybrid Big Ddata architectures.

Customers and other interested attendees will also have the chance to obtain in-depth information, tailored support, and specific recommendations on switching to SAP BW/4HANA at SAP’s booth at CeBIT.

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