Two weeks ago, SAP gave the world a look at its first major offering of 2021: RISE with SAP. Aimed at nudging SAP customers into becoming intelligent enterprises and adopting SAP S/4HANA Cloud, this bundled subscription service could be a game-changer for many SAP customers who find themselves debating about whether they should make the jump from legacy ERP systems to SAP S/4HANA, or from on-premise environments to the cloud.

To help members make sense of this new offering, ASUG is hosting a series of virtual webcasts focused on RISE with SAP. ASUG CEO Geoff Scott and SVP of Executive Programs David Wascom kicked things off last week with an Executive Exchange Virtual Roundtable with Robin Manherz, VP and chief performance officer at SAP; Tony Caesar, director and head of IT at Ericsson-MANA; and Ron Gilson, VP and CIO at Johnsonville Sausage. Audiences heard about everything from a breakdown of the RISE with SAP offering to where systems integrators fit into this bundled service. Here are three key takeaways from that roundtable.

The Goal of RISE with SAP

The roundtable began with a conversation between Manherz and Scott breaking down the SAP vision for RISE with SAP and how customers can leverage the offering. Manherz emphasized the importance of the Intelligent Enterprise, calling it “the enterprise footprint” that will lead to change and growth in the world. Looking at RISE with SAP, the entire offering is designed to help make the processes of adopting SAP S/4HANA, migrating to the cloud, and, ultimately, becoming an intelligent enterprise easier. Manherz referred to SAP S/4HANA Cloud as the “nucleus,” while a customer’s decision to move their ERP to the cloud as the “anchor” of RISE with SAP.

But migrating to SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a complicated and time-consuming process. Manherz said the entire project can be “daunting” to customers. That’s where RISE with SAP comes in. SAP is trying to eliminate the complexity and strip out the friction usually associated with these implementations.

“They [SAP customers] need more flexibility when it comes to adopting SAP S/4HANA,” Manherz said.

One of the ways RISE with SAP gives customers that flexibility is by tackling their SAP S/4HANA Cloud migration iteratively. Manherz described how SAP is a reference customer for all its solutions, and the software company needed to adopt SAP S/4HANA in a couple of steps. With that in mind, RISE with SAP allows customers to do the same. Manherz said that SAP has made it “commercially possible” for customers to take their ERP platform on a private cloud while maintaining an on-premises configuration during the transformation phase.

A Single Contract

One of the key benefits of RISE with SAP that the software company is highlighting is how this offering is managed by one, single contract.

“RISE with SAP is a bundled offer that comprises solutions from across SAP’s portfolio into a single commercial offer,” Manherz said.

When customers purchase RISE with SAP, they purchase a single stock-keeping unit (SKU) for the entirety of their purchase, as opposed to multiple SKUs for different solutions. Manherz said that this single SKU has a list of service entitlements customers receive as part of their purchase.

A major inclusion in the RISE with SAP subscription—and the contract—is a hyperscaler. Before, customers used to have to negotiate with hyperscalers separately. As SAP CEO Christian Klein announced during the RISE with SAP introductory event, SAP has partnered with all major hyperscaler providers—Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud, and IBM—to help simplify the migration process. SAP will be the single point of contact for RISE with SAP customers, even when it comes to engaging with their hyperscaler of choice.

“This removes figuring gout hyperscaler strategy,” Manherz said. “It’s a tremendous part of the value proposition.”

How Systems Integrators and Partners Fit In

During the roundtable, Manherz also responded to a few questions from Gilson and Caesar. Gilson asked about the role that systems integrators will play in RISE with SAP. She underscored how involved SIs and partners are with RISE with SAP.

“We are working very closely with systems integrators and regional services partners with the go-to-market for RISE with SAP,” she said.

Unlike hyperscalers, implementation and advisory services offered by SIs and partners are not part of the RISE with SAP bundle customers purchase. Customers will have to contract those services separately from the RISE with SAP offer. Yet, SAP is doing two things to alleviate any complexity that arises from this.

First, Manherz underlined how SAP worked with service partners, like Deloitte, when putting together this offering, discussing how partners can offer affordable consulting services that complement RISE with SAP.

“You will find all of the major systems integrators—and in large part, the local service partners—will have already been enabled, they will be very familiar, and they will be working on their tooling,” she said. “They should be able to embark immediately in terms of a discussion with you on those offerings.”

Additionally, SAP is also offering customers service packages to complement RISE with SAP that will help customers as they implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud and retool their technology landscapes.

You can watch an on-demand recording of this roundtable. ASUG also has several virtual events focused on RISE with SAP coming up. Register for the ASUG member-exclusive webcast Breaking Down RISE with SAP for Our Partner Network on Feb. 11, 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT. If you’re interested in more insights on SAP S/4HANA, make sure to register for the ASUG Best Practices: SAP S/4HANA conference series we have scheduled to run across four weeks in March.