Welcome to the new year! Like many of you, my 2024 is starting much colder thanks to winter storm Heather. At the ASUG offices in Chicago today, it is five degrees, and even here in Houston, we are on the cold side of freezing. As I always say, there’s nothing like cold weather to make me think about business transformation.

Helping You Transform

I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many of you about transformation, particularly your technology transformation. I’ve heard a number of stories, ranging from upgrading, consolidating, modernizing, and integrating to simplifying, standardizing, and orchestrating. I hear a lot less stories about how easy the transformation has been. If you operate in an SAP-centric landscape, you most certainly operate in a world of complexity.

Many factors have contributed to this complexity, but I will refrain from a finger-pointing exercise. However your complexities came about, they are here now. The question I want to focus on this month is more around how (or if) SAP is helping you resolve these complexities going forward. Understanding your current state and creating an effective map to your desired end state is critical to any transformation. So, how can SAP help this effort?

In November 2023, SAP finalized the acquisition of LeanIX. The vision is that when combined with SAP Signavio and SAP Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (CALM) solution, SAP offers a robust transformation suite for its customers.

Among the parts of this suite, SAP CALM should be the most familiar to legacy SAP customers, as it represents the evolution of SAP Solution Manager (SolMan) at a high level. Whether you’ve used SAP SolMan as the center of your landscape operations solution or to open online SAP Support (OSS) tickets, you are almost certainly using SAP SolMan today. SAP SolMan, and now SAP CALM, provides tools to manage implementation, testing, and operations within an SAP-centric environment. When it comes to transformation projects, SAP CALM can provide the backbone for all the activities that must take place to keep a project on track.

What SAP CALM doesn’t provide is any guidance on the “why” or “what” to transform, but that is where SAP Signavio and SAP LeanIX come in. SAP Signavio focuses on the business process side of transformation, which we’ve covered in the past. What SAP Signavio doesn’t do is include anything on the actual technology landscape; that is where SAP LeanIX plays a role.

SAP LeanIX is all about enterprise architecture management (EAM). When it comes to transformation, SAP LeanIX can provide insights into your technical landscape, while SAP Signavio provides insights into your business process landscape.

So, What Now?

Having a solution that can help you identify areas for business change, understanding how your technical architecture will be impacted as you adopt those changes, and being able to track all the activities needed to implement those changes sounds awesome. The trick, as always, is in the details. As you evaluate the SAP transformation suite, the two areas you should consider are commercial and technical elements.

The technical elements are relatively straightforward. Both SAP Signavio and SAP LeanIX are very good at what they do, and it’s “only” a matter of implementing the components within those solutions that make sense for your organization. The actual work involved may be significant, but the basic idea is simple.

The commercial side promises to be a more interesting conversation. Some SAP Signavio capabilities are exposed as part of SAP CALM, but many of the enhanced features require separate licensing. In a media briefing about the SAP LeanIX acquisition, Sebastian Steinhaeuser, SAP Chief Strategy Officer, said that SAP LeanIX will be made available in the context of Rise with SAP as well, but he did not provide much detail. So once again, the conversation comes back to Rise with SAP, and I will leave you with what is becoming my Rise Mantra: negotiating your Rise with SAP contract creates an opportunity for you to leverage your buying power within SAP to get what your organization really needs from the SAP portfolio. Go into those negotiations with your eyes wide open and get all the pieces/parts that make sense to get the most attractive commercial deal.

The SAP CALM/Signavio/LeanIX solution promises great value, so if you are "leaning” that way (pun intended), make sure you’ll be able to use the solution(s) it provides.

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