An important part of RISE with SAP is its business process intelligence program. Early in every customer’s RISE with SAP journey, they will have their business processes evaluated by SAP, receive personalized recommendations on how to improve them, and be given access to industry-standard benchmarking.
This specific part of RISE with SAP is fueled by Signavio, a business process management company that SAP acquired just days before it formally announced RISE with SAP. ASUG recently caught up with Gero Decker, CEO and co-founder of Signavio, to discuss how the company fits into the larger SAP ecosystem, and where it can help SAP customers as they re-evaluate their business processes.
ASUG: Can you give us an overview of Signavio and the work you all do?
Gero: What we do as an organization is we help midsize and large organizations understand, improve, and transform business processes. We come from a world where we are serving customers with all kinds of technology in place. But the one thing that they all have in common is that pace of change is just increasing.
We are currently going through the pandemic, which is a very interesting time from a change perspective. We have always preached "change will never be as slow as today. It will only accelerate." Then, the pandemic hit, and many had to reinvent their business. Customers are suddenly changing their behavior. Supply chains are broken. Your staff cannot get to the office anymore. This was the ultimate wake-up call to think about how you operate, and this is where we help.
We provide technology to help you understand how you operate today. Where are things great? Where are things not so great? Where do you have bottlenecks? Where do you have improvement potential?
Then, in the second step, we discuss how you want to operate going forward. The third piece is putting that into action, which means mobilizing people and helping them understand what's different now versus how you have done things before. It is also about translating this change into the various technologies that you might have to run your business.
SAP plays an incredibly important role in that because its usage is just so widespread. Uncovering insights from SAP systems and reconfiguring SAP systems are the big touchpoints that we always had at Signavio. Now that we live under the same roof as SAP, obviously, all of these touchpoints will be strengthened.
ASUG: Can you explain how Signavio fits into RISE with SAP?
Gero: The whole RISE with SAP story about taking organizations to the cloud is not just a story of throwing away an old system and putting in a new system. Instead, RISE with SAP is really about taking a step back and examining how you want to operate going forward. Are there new capabilities that we want to support? Are there things we can do smarter? Can we get closer to the customers? Can we work better with our partners? These are make-or-break questions for your organization. What we are telling everybody is if they are on a transformation journey with RISE with SAP, they should take enough time and effort to think about your operating model of the future.
Here is how Signavio fits into RISE with SAP. First of all, it starts with discovery. How are you doing things today? Where are your opportunities with RISE with SAP? What are the things that technology can do for you, going forward? Where do you perform well? Where do you perform not so well? What are the types of operational goals that you could also set for yourself?
Signavio is also the platform that allows customers to understand what the best practices and recommendations are from SAP. So, if you build a new capability and want to implement a certain process on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, for instance, what is the recommended operating model for you as an organization? If you look at SAP Activate as the methodology that goes through such a transformation process, Signavio and Business Process Intelligence (BPI) provide the business process portion of that SAP Activate methodology.
ASUG: I feel like the last year to 18 months has invigorated a lot of customers' interest in migrating to the cloud. As many organizations are considering their transition to the cloud and SAP S/4HANA, why are the BPI components such a crucial first step to that particular journey?
Gero: BPI is your navigator. It can also accelerate you on two fronts. One is time to insight, in the sense of how an organization is operating today. What's good and not good? What are some of the cool things that you could potentially do in the future? The second front is that it helps you optimize your time to adapt. How fast can you get from making a decision, all the way to making it an operational reality, which includes system configuration and taking the organization along that path? Because it is not just changing the system, but people also will most likely need to behave differently if you put a different process into place.
ASUG: Can you give us some examples of some of the insights and intelligence Signavio is giving customers?
Gero: I like to put this into two buckets. One is incremental improvements where you can optimize on working capital, automation, and giving a customer a faster response. This is just doing the same thing as you did before, but faster, cheaper, and better. It is an efficiency gain and incremental optimization of your business. We provide insights across the board and across all of the typical processes that go through a SAP system.
The second bucket is even more transformational. It is about directing you to where you might want to implement a new capability altogether. For example, let’s say your online division was completely disconnected from your retail stores. The stores were not made—from a forecasting and replenishment perspective—to handle on demand or online types of demands. So, this means you need to shuffle around your operating model quite a bit if you implement these supply chains.
It reminds me of what we presented in the SAPPHIRE NOW 2021 demos. Imagine you sell products today. The next one up is products and services that belong together and are bundled up. The end game is that you not only sell a product, but you sell a subscription to an outcome. So, the metric of your process for your products and/or services change. The relationships with the customer change altogether. You have a completely different incentive scheme that as a company, what to do right or wrong with your customer. So, these are the more transformational changes in operating models. They are sometimes triggered by general trends in the market, by competition, mergers and acquisitions opportunities, or disruptive events like COVID-19 where people suddenly change their behavior and demands shift big time, from one provider to another. And we at Signavio serve both, the incremental improvements as well as the transformational changes an organization goes through.
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