SAP unveiled its newest offering, RISE with SAP, on Jan. 27. During an introductory webcast event, SAP CEO Christian Klein laid out the core concepts of the offering and discussed what this announcement means for SAP customers. Touching on critical themes that have impacted the business landscape over the past year—such as COVID-19, climate change, and civil unrest—Klein once again reiterated the importance of customers engaging in digital transformation, moving their business processes and tools into the cloud, and becoming intelligent enterprises.

“The business transformation to make your enterprise ready for the new normal isn’t optional,” he told the audience.

Broadly speaking, RISE with SAP is the software company’s way of ushering its customers into this new world. Described as “business transformation as a service,” this subscription solution is a holistic approach that pulls together several vital parts of the SAP portfolio and gives customers the tools and guidance to convert into intelligent enterprises.

“[RISE with SAP] is like a concierge service to get that business transformation going,” Sven Denecken, COO of SAP S/4HANA and head of Product Success at SAP, told ASUG in an earlier conversation.

SAP hopes to simplify the process of digital transformation with a single offer and contract, both of which are handled by SAP.

What Is in RISE with SAP?

Throughout the introductory webcast and several on-demand breakout sessions, SAP, its customers, and its partners helped audiences understand what RISE with SAP is and how it can jump-start digital transformation journeys. Klein laid out the three main phases of the offering: business process redesign, technical migration, and building an intelligent enterprise. Throughout the announcement, SAP made it clear that this offering involves giving customers both the tools and the assistance to transform into intelligent enterprises.

“Digital transformation is a journey,” Denecken told ASUG. “We are going to help them [RISE with SAP customers] get there, and we are going to stick with them until they get there.”

In a breakout session, Robin Manherz, EVP and chief performance officer at SAP, gave audiences an overview of all the solutions and services bundled into RISE with SAP. Customers will have access to business process reports, a series of tools to assess migration readiness, cloud infrastructure as a service, consumption credits for the SAP Business Technology Platform, the SAP Business Network starter pack, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

In a Q&A session for media and analysts, a question came up about the pricing of RISE with SAP. Klein talked about how the subscription model can be pay-as-you-go, allowing flexibility and simplifying the complexity of various contracts.

Redesigning Business Processes

After purchasing RISE with SAP, customers will work to examine and analyze their established business processes and data with help from SAP Business Process Intelligence. SAP will benchmark its customers’ results, giving them a snapshot of how they compared to industry standards, and recommend how customers can reconfigure their processes to successfully begin their digital transformation journey. Klein said this step allows customers to “make use of best practices and data from more than 200,000 customers.” With help from SAP, customers can analyze their business processes, discover where they can improve, and finally design and simulate new processes. This will lay a sound foundation as they go about implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

Klein announced that SAP had acquired Signavio, a business process management company, which will help customers as they begin their RISE with SAP journey. During a Q&A session towards the end of the webcast, Klein described the new acquisition as a “perfect asset to offer business process intelligence end to end.”

Technical Migration

The next phase of RISE with SAP is technical migration, where SAP provides customers with a series of tools that will help set up a “standard, modular, and flexible” landscape. In a breakout session, Shane Paladin, president of SAP Services, walked attendees through some of the tools and services customers get access to during this step. The goal is to prepare companies for migration and help them run their enterprise with, as Klein describes, “one data layer and one source of truth.”

The tools and service offerings include the SAP Learning Hub, an e-learning platform filled with courses, expert sessions, and collaborative SAP Learning Rooms. To ease the technical migration, RISE with SAP customers also will be able to use the SAP Readiness Check and SAP Customer Code Migration application, which will help them prepare for their migration to SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

Paladin also went over the three optional packages of discrete services available to RISE with SAP customers. The RUN Package focuses on a successful move to the cloud. With the OPTIMIZE Package, customers get access to key services to help get a “clean core” SAP S/4HANA adoption. Finally, the INNOVATE Package features key services to “extend existing landscapes,” along with giving customers “full utilization of tech capabilities for SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Technology Platform.”

Building the Intelligent Enterprise

The final phase of RISE with SAP is building the Intelligent Enterprise. A crucial part of this step is choosing cloud infrastructure. SAP provides customers with a choice of private or public cloud, with options to work with SAP or any of the major hyperscalers: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud, or IBM.

“SAP will be the single point of contact, despite who you choose as your provider,” Klein told the audience.

This step also gives customers access to the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), which is powered by SAP HANA and includes over 2,100 APIs for open integration. Branded as the “foundation of the Intelligent Enterprise,” SAP BTP features the SAP One Domain Model—the “lingua franca” of the Intelligent Enterprise—giving customers a single source of truth for their data and allowing a simplified flow of data through solutions being leveraged.

Customers also have access to the SAP Business Network in this step, allowing them to collaborate with trading partners via the SAP Digital Supplier Network. Finally, and most importantly, this step includes SAP S/4HANA Cloud, allowing customers to complete their full migration to the cloud and giving them access to embedded AI, RPA, and advanced analytics solutions.

“Our architects will help you standardize the most modern ERP system,” Klein said.

During the event, Klein also announced a deepening of the partnership between SAP and Microsoft, telling the audience that Microsoft Teams will be embedded in core applications like SAP S/4HANA.

The Genesis of RISE with SAP

During the SAP Q3 2020 earnings call, Klein laid out a new focus for the software, including the need to “accelerate growth in the cloud.” Additionally, since SAP launched SAP S/4HANA in 2015, the company has been working to migrate its customers to the new ERP platform. The ultimate end goal of RISE with SAP is to have customers up and running on SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

While it was just announced to the public, RISE with SAP has been in the works for some time. Denecken told ASUG that SAP developed the offering based on input from its customers.

“It’s always very wise to listen to your customers,” he said.

During his presentation, Klein also laid out how SAP talked with its customers, partners, and analysts to get important feedback.

“What customers are struggling with is how to apply technology in the context of business processes,” he said.

SAP piloted RISE with SAP with over 130 different companies, including LIVEKINDLY Collective and Siemens, both of whom were featured in the introductory webcast.

What Next?

RISE with SAP is an extensive offering with a lot of parts. It’s currently available, but if you want to learn more, SAP has on-demand recordings of the introductory webcast along with all the breakout sessions focused on specific parts of the offering. ASUG also has numerous upcoming events and insights that will help members further understand RISE with SAP and how it can be leveraged.

First, ASUG is hosting the Executive Exchange Virtual Roundtable: Expert Deep Dive on RISE with SAP on Feb. 2, 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT. Geoff Scott, CEO of ASUG, and David Wascom, SVP of Executive Programs at ASUG, will be joined by Robin Manherz, EVP and Chief Performance Officer of SAP; Tony Caesar, head of IT of Ericsson-MANA; Ron Gilson, VP and CIO of Johnsonville. The group will discuss RISE with SAP and the next steps for you.

Then, Geoff Scott kicks off our ASUG Exclusive: Breaking Down RISE with SAP series with one-on-one discussion with Robin Manherz about RISE with SAP. The event will be on Feb. 4 at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT. ASUG has more planned events and editorial coverage focused on RISE with SAP. Visit our events page to see what’s coming up.