Atos offers its industry expertise to clients who are pursuing digital transformations by providing services such as helping them define an SAP S/4HANA business case and adoption plan. But to truly be a leader in this field, Atos recognized that it needed to undergo its own digital transformation while making a move to SAP S/4HANA.

ASUG News sat down with Senior VP Emmanuelle Morice and Sophie Proust, group executive VP and chief technology officer at Atos, to learn why the company made this decision and how it's sharing its own experiences to help others.

Learn by Teaching

For more than 35 years, Atos has been an end-to-end provider of SAP services. It has supported nearly three million SAP end-users in 90 countries and has completed more than 6,000 implementations. It is, by all accounts, a global leader in driving digital transformation.

Helping others create new business value with SAP technology ultimately helped Atos do the same for itself. “An example I can share with you is for a company called FunderMax,” Morice said. “We were brought on to help the company improve its digital interface.” The manufacturer of facades had a team of 1,000 salespeople charged with engaging a network of 45,000 architects. “We spent three days in a design thinking phase where we looked into ways to transform how its sales team interacted with its end customers.”

In the end, Atos designed a digital sales support app that allowed the manufacturer to scale back its sales team to 120 people. FunderMax is now offering made-to-order products, which has improved its customer experience.

Atos has applied this same type of design thinking to its own processes. “We thought about how to serve our customers in such a way,” Morice said. “As a services company, we also have 120,000 employees to serve. We need to be able to understand what they need from SAP to be able to get their projects right. For a better customer experience, we need to understand their whole employee experience to be able to meet their needs and reach our desired outcomes.”

Walking in the Customer's Shoes

Atos is now using the solutions it has provided to its clients to improve processes within its own organization. “This not only gives us credibility,” Morice said, “but it enables us to better understand what’s at stake.”

Atos works with organizations across industries on use cases of all types. The company needs to be ready to handle real-time data coming in from clients and have the infrastructure and computing power in place to protect that data, as well as get access to it. “It's about exactly the customer experience we've talked about,” Morice added. “And we need to have the tools within our digital workplace to provide that. It’s not only to serve our customers and to deliver the devices for them to work, but it’s also good for us.”

Using SAP S/4HANA, Atos can manage all its processes, whether in HR, finance, or manufacturing. “We have all the data together, and using artificial intelligence, we can do a deep dive into everything,” Morice said. Everything is linked, from its customer base, to its employees, down to how it delivers products and services. “This brings a lot of value to us.”

Building the Case

Morice and her team approached building a business case by applying the same steps they ask their customers to take. “We looked into our existing SAP systems first and did a diagnosis and assessment of where we stood. We then benchmarked where we stood in the industry as a whole and compared that with our road map. That entire exercise leads to a business case,” she said. 

The team presented a quick and dirty business case to the CFO, pointing to potential time and cost savings. Morice showed how she could have full visibility as well as drill down into both external and internal data with SAP S/4HANA. Her CFO asked, “Why the hell didn’t we do this before?”

“The business case is very straightforward when you do it right,” Proust added. “Because when you know exactly where you are and what is on your road map, then the rest is easy. It’s what we do for our customers, so it was obvious we needed to do the same for ourselves.”

Innovating through SAP S/4HANA

Atos is using machine learning capabilities within SAP S/4HANA to not only improve internal processes, but also external services. “We have several use cases we are working on, including video signature to identify individuals as it relates to smart cities, airports, and other areas that require security,” Proust said. What’s interesting is that Atos has linked it to the company’s edge solution to create meshed, intelligent computing. Proust said the team has the capability to follow an individual even if that person steps out of the scope of the camera because the next camera can take over in a continuous manner.

Technology to Help Avoid Bias

Internally, Atos uses natural language analysis to identify bias in its own job postings. “It looks for things that would perhaps prevent a woman from applying for a job simply because of the way the role is written,” Morice said. Because the organization hires throughout 73 countries, being able to recognize and understand differences in language and culture is important.

For now, Atos still has a lot on its own road map toward a digital transformation. But it has a great foundation in place to help drive innovation. “We have a core and now we’re looking to expand on it,” Morice said. “We’re on this journey together with our customers."

Learn how SAP S/4HANA becomes intelligent and changes the user engagement to help you reimagine your business. Register for the “SAP S/4HANA: Road Map, Overview, and Strategy for SAP S/4HANA” webcast on demand.