Bboxx selects Grow by SAP cloud to accelerate global access to clean energy

SAP SE has announced that Bboxx, a next generation clean energy and utility provider, has selected the Grow by SAP cloud offering to scale the business to meet its ambitious goal to solve energy poverty.

With 770 million people currently living without access to energy, Bboxx was founded in 2010 to end energy poverty. Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries.

Through affordable, reliable and clean energy provision, the company is positively impacting the lives of over 2 million people with its products and services.

 Bboxx is delivering its products and services to underserved customers in rural areas through its innovative technology Bboxx Pulse® which is Bboxx’s own state-of-the-art comprehensive management platform. Bboxx Pulse® enables the growth of next generation, global distributed utility businesses and enables them to manage scale as customers, employees and products are dispersed across remote locations.

This requires a strong accounting and supply chain backend, so Bboxx was looking for a cloud-based platform that would provide scalable market leading software and embedded best practice to help expand its footprint into new markets.

 Bboxx selected SAP Business ByDesign – Supply chain and Finance with Grow By SAP, an exclusive program for hypergrowth companies. Phase 1 of the project went live in Asia in May 2021. This is just the beginning, Phase 2 is due to go live in the UK, France and Rwanda in September 2021, and Phase 3 in DRC, Kenya, Togo and Nigeria in December 2021. During Phase 3 SAP Business ByDesign will integrate with Bboxx Pulse®. The SAP Business ByDesign implementation is being handled by business transformation and Grow by SAP partner Orchard House Solutions.

Using SAP ERP, finance and supply chain solutions, Bboxx will gain significant efficiencies through widespread automation of processes and using best practice principles embedded in SAP. Having a single cloud base instance for finance and supply chain will help Bboxx achieve a globally consistent process and still allow for local reporting needs.

Anthony Osijo, Group CFO at Bboxx, said: “Bboxx is currently operating in 10 countries, and we have bold ambitions to hit 23 countries within five years. We are positively impacting 1.8 million lives directly with the provision of clean, reliable, and affordable energy. We want to accelerate access to power in developing countries and continue to transform lives and unlocking potential through access to energy. Because of the scale of these targets, it’s vital to have a strategic global partner like SAP that is flexible and innovative enough to want to work with us on that journey.”

Romain Gauthier, Regional Vice President – New Customers EMEA North at SAP, said: “SAP was the right partner to support Bboxx’s bold mission to end energy poverty across the globe by providing a highly flexible and scalable single cloud infrastructure. Grow by SAP program has been specifically designed to support fast growth scaleups and startups and will provide Bboxx with advanced supply chain, finance and accounting, and customer service across three major continents, whilst also ensuring that it retains its competitive cost base. When it comes to helping businesses expand their footprint and grow into new markets, SAP is a true strategic partner.”

www.bboxx.com

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South Africa liquor company DGB taps clouds solution to bolster sales

In the highly competitive wine industry, producing great-tasting wines is not enough to ensure success. Without a super-charged sales team, even the best vintage runs the risk of gathering dust in a cellar. For DGB, a timely technology intervention has empowered a high-performance sales team with real-time insights into sales, orders and retail execution.

DGB is one of South Africa’s largest independent wine and spirit producers and distributors, operating out of the Western Cape. The company was formally established in 1990, although its roots stretch back more than 300 years when winemaking commenced at the historic Boschendal and Bellingham farms in the Cape Winelands.

Pieter Steyn, Commercial Manager at DGB, says the business faced several challenges that were undermining its sales efforts. These ranged from a lack of accurate reporting integration of master data across platforms, to timely placing of orders and missing data from surveys.

“It was also taking too long to add new customers to our database,” adds Steyn. “We needed a solution that would help improve product visibility in stores and ensure perfect store execution by sales representatives.”

DGB chose the SAP Sales Cloud Retail Execution (ReX) solution and worked with implementation partner Consnet to design and introduce the solution into the business. Despite the implementation of the solution being the first of its kind in South Africa, the implementation team managed to finish the high-level design, application setup, solution build and user acceptance testing within a mere three months.

According to Steyn, it was essential that the system could integrate all business functions and processes in real time to help manage the large team of salespeople effectively.

“By turning data into actionable insights, we increase our team’s productivity while also enabling better business decision-making based on accurate and real-time reporting data,” explains Steyn. “Within a few days of go-live, more than 1000 visits were completed, of which 946 were recorded as Perfect Score visits based on KPIs and store performance. This has enabled us to bring to life our core value of achieving excellence in every aspect of the business.”

Since the implementation of SAP Sales Cloud Retail Execution, DGB has been able to capture a multitude of orders via sales representatives and routed to the call centre via the new solution. “Sales managers also now have a view of their sales representatives’ movements for a day, and can track their visits and perfect store execution,” says Steyn. “This has helped drive the desired behaviour within our sales department and bring to life the benefits of the solution.”

Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director for Southern Africa at SAP, believes the implementation of the new solution has come at a vital time. “In light of the events of the past year and the ongoing disruption to business-as-usual, the ability to harness an effective sales team to build close relationships with customers has never been more important. The new solution, combined with the continued support of our partner, Consnet, will empower DGB with improved sales efficiency and, ultimately, deliver benefits to the business that will extend for years to come.”

www.dgb.co.za

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Isuzu Motors South Africa extends SAP landscape to drive sales and customer experience

In today’s Age of the Customer, companies that can offer a consistent, positive customer experience will often outperform their less agile peers.

For one of South Africa’s motoring brands, a divestment by a global parent company sparked a digital transformation process that has helped it break down internal silos and gain a real-time view over each customer to help it deliver a consistently superior customer experience.

“We had been reliant on the systems and processes of our US-based parent company until they divested in 2017,” says Loren Meyer, Department Executive for Information Technology at Isuzu Motors South Africa. “We had to build local capabilities, and since it’s our aspiration to be a leader in the manufacture and supply of vehicles, and to exceed customer expectations, we needed a technology solution that would support our growth plans. We chose SAP technology and Dimension Data as our implementation partner, and have achieved outstanding results to date.”

Isuzu develops, produces and sells commercial vehicles, light commercial vehicles and diesel engines, of which it is the world’s largest producer, having sold more than 85 million diesel engines in the year to date. Isuzu sells vehicles in more than 120 markets and has manufacturing facilities in 30 countries.

Following General Motors’ (GM) divestment from South Africa in 2017, Isuzu was restructured, with Isuzu Japan buying out GM’s production facilities. A new company, Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf) was formed, which today employs 1000 people locally and boasts a network of more than 115 dealers across Africa.

“During the GM divestment in 2017, an agreement was signed to allow Isuzu Motors South Africa to utilise certain GM systems for a period of time,” says Meyer. “However, as part of our localisation we had to develop our own local systems and in-source our resources. We had been working on a locally hosted Isuzu enterprise SAP system that incorporates both the commercial vehicle and light commercial vehicle business processes, and wanted to complement this with an extended landscape that includes a unified SAP Service and Sales cloud solution.”

Previously, Isuzu’s sales team were relying on Excel spreadsheets, CRM tools, emails and portals to log, track and manage customer enquiries. This left them without a complete view over each customer and unable to accurately track the progress of the sales pipeline.

“We wanted an integrated service solution with a single point of reference to create, update and track a customer enquiry,” says Meyer. “We chose to implement SAP Service Cloud, which helped us reduce the number of systems an agent has to use to resolve a call, and enables our teams to resolve customer enquiries more quickly. The built-in analytics tool has empowered our managers to get a real-time view of each call to allow for personalisation according to each user’s preferences or role.”

The project was not without its challenges. The previous system that GM used was isolated outside of South Africa, and the local teams had little control over the data. “We consolidated all our data in an SAP master database that is applied through to the call centre,” says Meyer. “Working off our own data set that we control and can access in real time has been one of the great outcomes of this project.”

Isuzu chose the cloud solution as it forms part of the business’ longer-term hybrid cloud journey. This provides the benefit of automated upgrades and patching provided by SAP. The full integration into the existing SAP system also gives call centre agents real-time access to accurate customer data.

“From a sales point-of-view, SAP Sales Cloud has given us up-to-the-minute information about each customer as well as insights into their preferences,” explains Meyer. “We now have full visibility over private buyers as well as our direct customers, and can take a closer look at precisely who is in our system and who is interacting with the business.”

The Isuzu team were supported throughout by implementation partner Dimension Data. Natasha Govender, SAP CX Manager at Dimension Data, says the implementation has enabled Isuzu to reduce the number of legacy systems and improve the overall customer experience. “By empowering users with a 360-degree view of each customer across both the sales and service teams, Isuzu is now better placed to deliver a seamless and consistent customer experience.”

Meyer says the support from Dimension Data has been invaluable. “Having partners that understand our landscape, business challenges and pain points has been hugely beneficial, as we can collectively discuss, analyse and take action on any changes, allowing us to make more efficient decisions while minimising risk to the business.”

Enabling business continuity in ‘new normal’

While there are still further developments and innovations planned, the implementation has already produced outstanding business results.

“Our implementation coincided with the global COVID-19 outbreak and South Africa’s first lockdown, which meant our user community were required to work remotely,” says Meyer. “Call centre agents could access the SAP Cloud Service solution from their offsite working locations and seamlessly continue to provide the high levels of service and support to our valued customers.”

 Other benefits provided by the SAP Service Cloud module included:

·      The ability to effectively manage increased activity and numbers of customers showing online interest in Isuzu products and aftersales services;

·      The ability to offer financial relief options as well as introduce several service support campaigns relating to vehicle warranties, roadside assistance and other technical services;

·      The ability to route all enquiries and requests directly from the website into the Service module where each lead and service request could be recorded, qualified by a customer care agent, and sent through to the nearest or most convenient dealer.

“This proved invaluable to our national dealer network, who were able to cotact and continue to service our customers during a challenging time when normal business was regulated by the national lockdown protocols,” says Meyer. “The solution also afforded our fleet sales department the ability to continue engaging and building key relationships with. Our direct customers remotely during what is now a completely different – and very challenging – business environment.”

Meyer adds that flexible accessibility and the abilty to work off a centralised customer and product platform has greatly benefited the operational teams. “As a company we are pleased that our business operations have been able to continue uninterrupted during these extraordinary times, resulting in a strong finish to the year.”

Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director for Southern Africa at SAP, points to Isuzu’s ability to understand each customer at an individual level and in real time as a true differentiator. “In today’s Experience Economy, companies that can consistently meet and exceed individual customer expectations will outperform their less agile peers. The outstanding implementation achieved by Isuzu and their implementation partners Dimension Data will serve the business well as it looks to build on its proud legacy in South Africa and beyond.”

www.isuzu.co.za

www.sap.com

SAP and Microsoft expand partnership and integrate Microsoft Teams across solutions

SAP SE and Microsoft Corp. have announced plans to integrate Microsoft Teams with SAP’s intelligent suite of solutions.

The companies also formalized an extensive expansion of an existing strategic partnership to accelerate the adoption of SAP S/4HANA® on Microsoft Azure. This builds on a joint commitment by the companies to simplify and streamline customers’ journeys to the cloud.

“New ways of working, collaborating and interacting completely transform how we operate,” said Christian Klein, CEO of SAP SE and member of the Executive Board. “By integrating Microsoft Teams across our solution portfolio, we will bring collaboration to the next level, jointly determining the future of work and enabling the frictionless enterprise. Our trusted partnership with Microsoft is focused on continuously advancing customer success. That’s why we are also expanding interoperability with Azure.”

Much has changed in the last year as work has become more virtual, increasing reliance on Microsoft Teams for meetings, communication, and collaboration.

To facilitate these business and societal changes, SAP and Microsoft are building new integrations between Microsoft Teams and SAP solutions such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Customer Experience.

This can enable innovation, increase employee productivity and engagement, deliver collaborative learning and support global growth. These integrations are planned for delivery in mid-2021.

“The case for digital transformation has never been more urgent,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “By bringing together the power of Azure and Teams with SAP’s solutions, we will help more organizations harness the power of the cloud so they can more quickly adapt and innovate going forward.”

The companies are also expanding their endorsed cloud partnership announced in 2019, to introduce new offerings around cloud automation and integration for SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure. Together, Microsoft and SAP are expanding the ability to run a mission-critical intelligent enterprise on Azure while helping customers modernize their enterprise applications. SAP and Microsoft will provide customers with:

Simplification when moving on-premise editions of SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud: In addition to the industry-specific journey maps to the cloud and reference architectures, SAP and Microsoft will continue to co-innovate around SAP S/4HANA on Azure.

Expanded joint engagements with customers and partners: In addition to product integration work, SAP, Microsoft and system integrator partners will continue to provide digital enterprise roadmaps for customers. This includes immediate and actionable reference architectures and technical guidance to help customers on their journey to the cloud.

Increased investments in platform and infrastructure: The companies will further develop automated migrations, improved operations, monitoring and security.

Customers broadly favor Azure when moving on-premise SAP S/4HANA to the cloud.

“As part of our overall transformation we transitioned to SAP S/4HANA,” said John Hill, Carhartt’s chief information officer & senior vice president of Business Planning. “Running it on Microsoft Azure provides the velocity, availability, scalability, and elasticity we need for more visibility and better efficiency across our business. The pandemic struck as we were in the middle of our SAP implementation, so by using Teams, we were able to continue to work on the project, stay on schedule, and keep everyone informed. The combination of SAP and Microsoft was especially helpful during a challenging time.”

“SAP S/4HANA has given us real-time visibility into our inventory, which is crucial for us as a pharmacy and healthcare retail company during the pandemic,” said Francesco Tinto, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s senior vice president, global chief information officer. “We chose to run SAP S/4HANA on Azure because of its agility and flexibility to scale up and out quickly to meet our business needs. Now we have access to our data in one place so we can offer the best possible customer experience online and in our stores. Microsoft Teams coupled with SAP solutions helped us overcome business continuity challenges and enabled our employees to collaborate very effectively despite the shift from office to remote work.”

“When it comes to our customers delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) we can’t be late, so we rely on SAP and Microsoft to provide the digital backbone that’s essential to keeping our supply chain running smoothly,” said Helge Brummer, Coats’ vice president, Technical Infrastructure, Support & Operations. “The combination of Microsoft Teams with our SAP solutions has given our employees the ability to work from anywhere while ensuring orders are delivered on time to our customers supporting the people putting their lives at risk working on the front line.”

SAP’s endorsement of Azure for ERP cloud migration is reflected in positive customer feedback on the collaboration between the companies. SAP and Microsoft will continue to make migration simpler and increase customers’ confidence in running their digital enterprises in the cloud. At the same time, many customers express a desire to maintain multi-cloud environments. SAP continues with its long-standing policy of supporting choice for those customers who request alternatives based on business requirements.

SAP and Microsoft recently announced an update to enable customers to design and operate intelligent digital supply chain and Industry 4.0 solutions in the cloud and at the edge.

www.sap.com

www.microsoft.com

[South Africa] KiaraHealth taps SAP cloud solution to streamline operations

Companies wishing to transform their operations through digital technologies often face a hard choice: stay with a legacy system and make the best of a legacy investment, or transition to a new digital platform but risk causing disruption in the lives of customers, partners and employees.

For one African pharmaceutical company, neither option was suitable, and so an exemplary digital transformation project was initiated that would completely transform its systems without any disruption to the business or its customers.

Kiara Health (Pty) Ltd is an African pharmaceutical manufacturing and healthcare solutions company headquartered in Johannesburg. It serves as a the local, non-exclusive manufacturing partner for a global top five pharmaceutical company and as a commercial partner for several global pharmaceutical and medical technology companies.

The acquisition by Kiara Health of a multinational pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, sold to fulfil a need for transformation in the local pharmaceutical sector, sees the dawn of a new type of pharmaceutical company that offers an end-to-end solution along the patient journey. Kiara Health, a 100% black-owned company, purchased this plant together with twenty-five marketing authorisations.

Kiara Health’s leadership was left with a vital decision: keep to the highly-customised SAP ECC system of the outgoing multinational company, with cost-prohibitive separation terms, or invest in a standalone cloud-based digital platform to streamline operations. They chose a turn-key ERP system by SAP to support its operations.

Dr Skhumbuzo Ngozwana, CEO and President of Kiara Health, says that the driving force behind the leadership team’s decision was to ensure that their customers do not suffer due to a transition to the new system. “We partnered with Seidor Westrocon and adopted SAP S/4HANA to simplify and automate our end-to-end processes, from product ordering through to production, packaging and distribution. We achieved go-live in four months, and within budget, with no disruption to our business. This implementation is potentially unprecedented in an organisation of similar size and type.”

This decision has proven to be a success story as the transition from the old multinational modified system to the implementation of an off-the-shelf SAP offering ensured that the production facility remained operational throughout the SARS-CoV-2 lockdown period. Without any teething problems that would halt manufacturing, no employee jobs were put at risk due to the lockdown.

“This decision was taken by an extremely agile and highly qualified team of experts within Kiara Health and fully supports President Cyril Ramaphosa’s South African Economic Recovery Plan to generate 800,000 jobs,” says Dr Ngozwana. “Kiara Health sees these executions as part of their mission to progress the health of all on the continent, underpinned by job creation and not ‘job saving’.”

The manufacturing site previously operated on a complex and expensive legacy enterprise resource planning system. However, with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, local manufacturing capability became more important than ever for new owners, Kiara Health. The company needed a system that could increase throughput by streamlining processes across business areas, and which could place greater control in the hands of the leadership team.

“We consolidated our operations on a standalone cloud-based digital platform with SAP S/4HANA Cloud,” says Dr Ngozwana. “This off-the-shelf solution gave us a flexible yet standardised system that is adaptable to our needs, allowing us to maintain best-practice. It has also future-proofed the digital foundation of our business, and enables our Industry 4.0 aspirations for the future.”

The implementation involved all Kiara Health stakeholders that are currently still involved in ensuring world-class manufacturing from the site. These experts worked in close collaboration with implementation partner Seidor Westrocon to develop a deep understanding of each department’s responsibilities, and how the SAP processes can support them.

“The transition from working in multinational company silos to operating as a team has improved our internal responsiveness and enabled significant value creation across our supply chain, procurement and manufacturing processes,” says Moosa Areff, Kiara Health Chief Operating Officer.

The implementation team streamlined Kiara Health’s procure-to-pay processes to shorten the time between order placement and goods receipt. Following the implementation, the company has reduced its days to close from eight days to one, greatly improving cash planning.

“We have tightly integrated and simplified on-time delivery processes to enable our team to get through work faster and troubleshoot with full visibility,” says Dr Ngozwana. “Each team member can diagnose any challenge to understand what is impacting production or the release of the end-product. The improved usability and support has helped us reduce the total cost of ownership by 10%, while our on-time and in-full delivery performance has improved from 80-85% to 100% – an outstanding achievement.”

Following the implementation, Kiara Health has enjoyed higher settlement discounts and improved brand reputation thanks to direct payment cycles. Costs are also contained due to greater visibility and through leveraging economies-of-scale in the procurement process.

“Our business is now more responsive as our planning and production teams are connected to our warehouse,” says Conrad Strydom, Kiara Health Head of Site . “We are also enjoying greater end-user sourcing compliance and increased savings in sourcing, in both direct and indirect spend. As a whole, the implementation of SAP S/4HANA has empowered our teams to make better decisions and improve the total performance of our business, setting us up for a bright future.”

On Kiara Health’s role in the implementation, Martin Van Wyk, Managing Director of Seidor Westrocon says the collaboration was first class. “The Kiara Health and Seidor Westrocon teams worked unwaveringly during the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa, and pulled off the project and go-live together. The contribution from the Kiara Health leadership team, with their deep understanding of their business operations, extensive process knowledge and SAP expertise, was a considerable game-changer, making this mammoth task achievable. A big thank you to this team.”

Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director for Southern Africa at SAP, says Kiara Health has reduced complexity in its environment through greater control across its operations. “By building its operations on the powerful S/4HANA digital platform, Kiara Health has achieved immediate business benefits while enabling greater future innovation and easing the process of integrating Industry 4.0 innovations. Transforming its total operations in a mere four months with no impact on product or service delivery is a great accomplishment by Kiara Health and its implementation partner Seidor Westrocon.”

www.kiarahealth.com

www.sap.com

[Uganda] Mukwano Industries moves business systems to the cloud to boost efficiency, visibility

Mukwano Industries is one of the great success stories of the Ugandan business world.

From humble beginnings as a general dealer in Kampala in the 1980s, the company has grown into one of the leading FMCG conglomerates in East Africa, with interests that include manufacturing, agriculture and property development.

Its products, ranging from petroleum jelly and detergents to cooking oil and soap; from drinking water to household and commercial plastics; can be found in every home across Uganda.

The major challenge for the company was that its technology infrastructure had not kept pace with its growth. It had implemented SAP ECC 6.0 back in 2008, and the now dated platform was creating a host of issues: numerous custom developments, plant maintenance and operations not implemented, and an enduring dependency on paper-based systems and Excel spreadsheets.

“We had data everywhere, but information nowhere,” says Mukwano CEO Tony Gadhoke. “This meant we had low cost insights and a growing need for operational efficiencies. Something had to give. So we decided to shed our legacy systems and move our core business processes to the Cloud using the SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud platform. In doing so, we aimed to leverage Cloud capabilities to improve technical and operational agility, enhance real-time visibility across the business, harmonise data, improve reporting, and enable future growth and innovation.”

There was just one catch: the business insisted on a rapid implementation strategy to reduce the amount of time and resources needed, by around 35%, to implement the project. In effect, this meant replacing Mukwano’s core systems and training the necessary people to be able to go live, within five and a half months.

There were a couple of factors working in Mukwano’s favour: the company wanted a “best practices” SAP system, which meant minimal customisation time.

And partner iMark Technologies’ ‘zero fat’ approach to getting projects done, combined with Mukwano’s highly structured project management approach, ensured the implementation never deviated from its time scale for a moment.

“Apart from the incredibly tight timeframe for the implementation, our biggest challenge was that we were changing the organizational structure completely to align to the SAP system. This meant we had to ensure the right people were in the right positions. To ensure immediate buy-in and adoption of the new system by its users, we ran extensive training sessions every day, with ongoing monitoring of skill absorption, to ensure as high a level of ownership as possible,” said Gadhoke.

This meant cancelling all leave for the duration of the project – including over Christmas and New Year – to ensure every individual was onboard and the project didn’t deviate from the timeline. “It was tough, but we had no choice. There was no room for a redo, and we had to make sure we got it right first time,” said Gadhoke.

Ultimately, the effort was worth it, with the results of the implementation exceeding Mukwano’s already high expectations. In a first for Uganda, the business put its core business systems into the Cloud by the agreed deadline, with minimal disruption to the business.

The company has already seen significant gains in productivity and faster time to market. It has greater visibility into its operations than ever before, through an intuitive, unified platform from which it can oversee its business operations from end-to-end. It has also seen a ‘huge’ reduction in capex on its server infrastructure and IT resources.

Gadhoke said partner iMark Technologies’ experience in the digital transformation of organisations in the East African region was critical to the success of the project. S Iyer, the managing director of iMark, said: “It has been very exciting for us to see how organisations like Mukwano are realising the promise of digital transformation by leveraging SAP technologies and solutions to effect transformational change.

Mukwano has already been able to achieve significant progress in its operational excellence with S/4 HANA, thanks to the incredible analytics functionality that has been unlocked. “The next steps in our journey will be to focus on people performance and excellence. But we’re confident that we have the right platform in place to take the business to the next level,” said Gadhoke.

www.sap.com

Dimension Data to implement SAP Solutions on Microsoft Azure in MEA

NTT Ltd., a global technology services company, has announced it has earned the SAP on Microsoft Azure advanced specialisation, a validation of a solution partner’s capability to deliver high-quality services in a specific solution area.

Representing NTT Ltd. in the Middle East and African territory is Dimension Data, who has been named as the preferred partner for the region due to their breadth of cloud, application, migration and integration skills and expertise enabling effective execution and enabling clients to leverage the full value of the SAP ecosystem.

The SAP on Microsoft Azure advanced specialisation demonstrates NTT and Dimension Data’s deep knowledge, extensive experience and proven success at implementing SAP solutions on Microsoft Azure.

As mainstream support for the SAP ECC platform ends in 2027, and as core SAP products are being re-optimised for the SAP HANA database, many enterprises are looking for a partner with advanced skills to migrate their existing SAP environment to the cloud. There are currently only eight companies in the world to have obtained SAP on Azure Advanced Specialisation accreditation.

“Organisations that harness the true power of cloud and effectively leverage its capabilities to become intelligent enterprises are able to realise tangible financial, operational and customer experience benefits,” said Jay Reddy, CTO, Dimension Data. “We understand that organisations have different cloud strategies with regards to infrastructure, platforms, applications, and security requirements and have an intensity of skills and intelligent technologies to meet their strategic and operational needs across the entire cloud ecosystem and value chain. This recognition of our SAP and Microsoft Azure skills and expertise is great news for enterprises across the region looking for a partner that understands and is highly skilled in ensuring that their cloud strategy delivers the required business outcomes. Adding this certification to all our globally recognised skills certifications from all major cloud and business application providers, gives organisations choice, flexibility and confidence that we can execute their cloud strategy with the right combination of infrastructure, platform and applications for their business.”

Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President, One Commercial Partner (OCP) at Microsoft Corp. added, “The SAP on Microsoft Azure advanced specialisation highlights the partners who can be viewed as most capable when it comes to migrating enterprise SAP applications over to Microsoft Azure. NTT clearly demonstrated that they have both the skills and the experience to offer clients a comprehensive and professional SAP to cloud managed service.”

www.sap.com

www.dimensiondata.com

Standard Bank South Africa migrates SAP cloud platform to Microsoft Azure to boost efficiency

Standard Bank South Africa is moving its core SAP Cloud Platform services to Microsoft Azure to significantly improve the experience customers have with the bank, while enabling it to introduce new solutions to market more efficiently.

This accelerates the digital transformation of SAP customers to S/4HANA by partnering with Microsoft and using jointly developed reference architectures, roadmaps, and industry best practices. Many enterprises are looking to reduce their reliance on their own datacentres and moving more of their core workloads to the cloud.

Sabelo Nkwanyana, Standard Bank’s CIO for Personal and Business Banking SA, says leveraging the computing power of Microsoft and the product innovation capability of SAP demonstrates how Standard Bank is embracing partnerships and ecosystems to develop customized solutions for its clients.

“SAP has a deep understanding of our business requirements and how we want to ensure our customers are happy with our service offering. This partnership continues our focus on innovation by leveraging the respective skills of SAP and Microsoft to transform the digitization and personalization journey for our customers,” says Nkwanyana.

Lillian Barnard, Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa says, “The Project Embrace initiative between Microsoft and SAP announced globally last year is centred around the customer journey to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure. The work that we are doing with Standard Bank is the first local demonstration of this partnership, and another milestone in the journey Microsoft is on with Standard Bank, to bring innovation into every aspect of the bank’s IT system and enable enriched interactions with the bank’s customers.”

The partnership brings together SAP and Microsoft, along with a global network of selected system integrators, to move on-premise SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA customers to the cloud through industry-specific best practices, reference architectures and cloud-delivered services.

Barnard continues, “Enterprises are migrating to cloud providers at an accelerated rate. This makes it critical for our customers to have the right cloud infrastructure in place, enabling them to unlock the power of innovation. Microsoft’s significant investment on the African continent, with our first hyperscale datacentre regions in Johannesburg and Cape Town, means many more partners and customers are enjoying the benefits of our intelligent cloud platform.”

Speaking on the SAP partnership specifically, Barnard adds, “Project Embrace has three tenets at its heart: simplify, accelerate and innovate. By accelerating our customers’ digital transformation journey, we are enabling them to become agile, efficient digital enterprises on Microsoft Azure – with a cloud platform optimised for SAP – leveraging best practice and specialist expertise.”

“Today’s announcement is the biggest partnership centred on SAP implementation in Africa. With client experience a key strategic pillar for Standard Bank, Project Embrace reflects the shared commitment of both SAP and Microsoft to accelerate our customers’ journey to the cloud,” says Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa.

This project will deliver a unified approach to how Standard Bank runs SAP S/4HANA in Microsoft Azure. Ultimately, this will help the bank deliver a faster time-to-market on products and services, while ensuring its IT infrastructure is optimised. By moving workloads to the cloud, Standard Bank will be able to access a range of features that it can deploy instantly and scale according to demand. This will result in cost reductions, improved system performance, and access to innovation.

“This will empower the bank to create new business models and deliver more personalised outcomes in today’s dynamic business environment. By providing Standard Bank with consistent engagement and delivery models, SAP and Microsoft bring both industry-specific best practices and deep local insight to deliver a compelling value proposition for their clients,” says Smith.

“Through Project Embrace, we are now able to better identify our business pain points and effectively address them through technologies that deliver a demonstratable return on investment. Having the ability to more accurately predict where customer challenges and dissatisfaction will occur enables a more flexible enterprise environment. We can help our customers transform their businesses and their lives in a secure way. This is much more than SAP and Microsoft supplying us with products. This is about fundamentally enhancing our digital journey for the future,” concludes Nkwanyana of Standard Bank SA.

In addition to the work done with Standard Bank, the Microsoft and SAP initiative is assisting customers around the world, and in a variety of industries, accelerate their journey to becoming digital, intelligent enterprises.

www.standardbank.co.za

www.sap.com

[Kenya] KETRACTO digitizes procurement processes with SAP Ariba Cloud

In a bid to improve its operations and in compliance with presidential directive and government requirements, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited, KETRACO, has digitized its procurement processes via an e-procurement platform powered by SAP Ariba Cloud. 

This second phase of an end-to-end automation of tendering, supplier management and contracts process will see tenders and quotations submitted and processed online for efficiency, accountability and transparency. This process is 100% Paperless.

Open and secret tenders, Request for Proposals (RFP) and Request for Quotations (RFQ) will be advertised through the government portals, KETRACO websites and in newspapers. All interested Bidders/ Suppliers will be required to submit their documentation online. The tenders will then be received, evaluated and awarded online.

In the first phase of the implementation that went live in April this year, the company automated ‘procure to pay’ operations by on boarding suppliers to the SAP Ariba network to start transacting electronically. Purchase Requests, Local Purchase Orders, invoices and payment of goods/ services were processed online in the ‘procure to pay’ operation.

Speaking during the go live event, KETRACO’s Managing Director FCPA Fernandes Barasa noted that over 260 suppliers have registered on the Ariba network and continue to transact with KETRACO in a paperless environment for Purchase order and invoice submission and processing and are ready to move the entire tendering process.

‘’Supplier registration and qualification has now been made available online. The youth and the special groups will be submitting their registration applications online and will be on boarded immediately. ‘’ He noted.

This automation has been made possible by SAP Ariba, a leading global provider of collaborative business commerce solutions which allows suppliers to easily extend their back-end systems and processes to benefit from electronic transactions.

Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director for SAP Central Africa adds, “Two years ago Kenya’s leading electricity transmission company implemented SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System and shortly after, won Gold at the SAP Quality Awards. Today, we are thrilled to yet again be a part of Ketraco’s continued digital transformation journey with the adoption of our Ariba e-procurement software solutions.  By streamlining business operations and connecting to Ariba’s +4.2 million companies, Ketraco has established a solid foundation for tomorrow’s Intelligent Enterprise, pointing to a bright and innovative future for the organisation, its staff and customers.”

www.ketraco.co.ke

www.sap.com

Dimensions Data and SAP partner to launch enterprise solutions for SMEs and corporates in East Africa, hopes to grow cloud business model

Dimension Data has entered into a partnership with SAP, to offer a new set of intelligent enterprise solutions in East Africa.

Aimed at SMEs, and the corporate market, these end-to-end services will help Dimension Data’s clients leverage the agility and costs advantages of managing SAP applications on existing infrastructure and moving them to the cloud. The solutions integrate intelligent technologies such as machine learning, and artificial intelligence to help manage data from multiple sources, further improving customer experience, people engagement, spend management, manufacturing and supply chain solutions amongst many other business functions.

The partnership comes at a time when SAP accelerates its move towards its flagship ERP software, S/4HANA within the region and which will see the firm cease worldwide support of the current Business Suite ERP solutions after 2025.   

“We’ve had a successful track record in enabling our clients make the most out of their SAP environments in the digital transformation era. Moving forward, we will be a critical partner in migrating clients to the SAP S/4HANA digital platform towards the intelligent enterprise era. A key gap we look to fill is continuous SAP Support services through our Managed Services. We look at helping organizations in Kenya optimize their SAP Solutions through our managed services model which not only supports implemented software but also looks at enhancing the entire SAP modules, that require new implementation or enhancements.” Said Ndung’u Kahindo, General Manager – Solutions, Dimension Data East Africa.

Dimension Data also hopes to grow the cloud business model that will enable customers consume and pay for value on the go, especially around adopting and utilizing new technology in IoT and Machine learning environments.

“SME’s and Corporates are acknowledging that operational efficiency, better decision making and continuous collaboration within their ecosystem brings value. This is not achievable without an integrated, comprehensive ERP. For this reason, SAP and Dimension Data have teamed together to build packaged solutions that uniquely meet the needs of these organizations, across people, processes and technology.” Said Joseph Kairigo, Managing Director, Dimension Data East Africa.

Kairigo added that businesses that do not have ERP Systems suffered disjointed and siloed processes which derail internal productivity and affect customer service in addition to having no insight to make better decisions around business expansion, capital investment and resource allocation.

The launch solidifies Dimension Data East Africa’s last announcement in December 2018 of plans to introduce new Enterprise Resource (ERP) and Digital Business Solutions in an ambitious growth drive for 2019 in partnership with leading global enterprise application vendors.

As a global SAP services market leader, Dimension Data offers a complete lifecycle of SAP-related services spanning consulting, implementations, upgrades, integration, applications management and automated cloud migration services.

According to research firm IDC, the global SAP market is estimated at about USD 200Billion. Dimension Data East Africa estimates the current SAP suite market size in East Africa to be valued at about USD 75 Million, with the potential to reach above USD200 Million over the next five years.

In East Africa Dimension Data serves the Public, Financial Services, Service Provider and Professional Services in addition to the Manufacturing and Commercial services sectors that are expected to achieve significant growth driven by cloud adoption, digital automation and localization of IT applications.

www.dimensiondata.com

www.sap.com