New verticals are latest to join initiative that kicked off earlier this year to deliver tailored solutions
Enterprise software giant SAP is expanding its industry cloud solutions portfolio to include its own solutions and those built by partners for professional services, retail, and industrial machinery and components.
The Lowdown: The new areas of focus announced Thursday join a range of other industries that run on the SAP Cloud Platform, including automotive; energy; consumer products; and engineering, construction, and operations.
The Details: The Walldorf, Germany-based company last year introduced the industry cloud solutions as an avenue for SAP and its partners to expand their reach into a growing number of verticals and as a place for companies within those verticals to find the technologies they need.
They all run on the SAP Cloud Platform and leverage such emerging technologies as machine learning, analytics, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The new solutions address challenges specific to three industries:
> Retail: Companies in this sector are under pressure to innovate their business models as consumers demand a more purpose-driven retail experience. An example of a cloud solution for the retail space is using machine learning algorithms to create more relevant and personalized offers.
> Professional services: Such organizations are seeing changes in the way they engage with clients, how they’re structured, and whom they’re competing with. New solutions can help professional services firms deliver services in a digital manner via subscription platforms.
> Industrial machinery and components: Trends like digitalization, globalization, and right-shoring are impacting companies as they deliver custom-made solutions at scale and as a service. An example of a cloud solution for the vertical is the use of IoT connectivity and the ability to interact with customers through multiple channels.
The Impact: Companies are looking to digitize their operations to better address customer demands, innovate more quickly, and leverage intelligence and analytics to take advantage of the massive amounts of data being generated. Cloud plays a significant role in those digital transformation efforts. A report from MarketsandMarkets is predicting the global digital transformation market to surpass $1 trillion by 2025, up from almost $470 billion this year.
Background: SAP introduced the industry cloud solutions initiative earlier this year during its SAPPHIRE Now Reimagined event, with Peter Maier, president of industries and customer advisory at SAP describing it in an interview on the SAP website as an “innovation platform and space for SAP where customers and partners build industry cloud solutions and applications that complement the intelligent suite using the Business Technology Platform.”
The Buzz: “The speed at which companies have to operate today calls for technology-enabled agility,” Maier said. “Innovative companies successfully strike the balance between optimizing their current business operations and innovating at the ‘vertical edge’ to discover and develop new revenue streams. Our industry cloud portfolio delivers solutions to help drive business transformation profitably and sustainably, enabling our customers to adapt to changing business environments in their industries.”
“SAP’s industry cloud provides a way to deliver industry-specific extensions that complement its intelligent enterprise strategy,” said Leslie Hand, general vice president of IDC Retail and Financial Insights. “With a robust ecosystem of partners that can deliver innovative applications with SAP, this endeavor can help customers be successful in growing markets.”