One prime example: the alliance between consulting giant Deloitte and global software leader SAP. Building on three decades of partnership with SAP, Deloitte is committed to working ever more closely with SAP on co-innovation projects, knowledge transition, and collaboration to develop services and solutions that help their joint clients create more value.
Grounded in Innovation
With a partnership that has stood the test of time, Deloitte continues to support organizations globally to transform enterprise operations—finance, supply chain management, customer engagement, sales, asset management, and beyond. Recognizing Deloitte’s success in the marketplace—based on scale, track record, and industry achievements—SAP has presented Deloitte with numerous SAP Pinnacle Awards, including three consecutive awards for achievements with SAP S/4HANA, the digital core ERP. In addition to the 2018 SAP Pinnacle Award as SAP S/4HANA Partner of the Year (Large Enterprises), Deloitte received 2018 SAP Pinnacle Awards as SAP Leonardo Partner of the Year, SAP Ariba Partner of the Year (Large Enterprises), and SAP SuccessFactors Partner of the Year.
“We take a tremendous amount of pride in being recognized for our leadership in cloud and innovation,” says Jan Waals, principal & Global SAP Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “And a tremendous amount of work goes into maintaining that leadership. For our team, helping clients see value sooner is essential. It means we are continuously developing industry-specific insights, accelerators, templates, preconfigured solutions, and a wealth of other resources that can help clients respond quickly to today’s challenges and get ahead of tomorrow’s challenges.”
Understanding where SAP solutions are going—and how SAP itself is transforming—has become central to Deloitte’s efforts. “In today’s age, where every business needs to adapt to digital enablement, the internal technology transformations at SAP couldn’t have come at a better time,” says Abdi Goodarzi, principal and US SAP practice leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Having transformed from a software provider to a platform vendor, SAP is architecting a holistic view of the ERP platform that serves partners, vendors, customers, and employees alike.”
In tandem, the advent of the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system, is enabling companies to reimagine business.
Acceleration, Agility, Added Value
To help companies unlock the full potential of SAP Leonardo, Deloitte can deliver new use cases, integrated market solutions, and products specifically developed to accelerate the innovation cycle—while also helping clients strengthen their core business. Besides assisting clients to move fast with agile methodologies, preconfigured solutions, and proprietary accelerators in the realm of the digital core platform—SAP S/4HANA—Deloitte is also collaborating on innovative solutions to empower clients with SAP Leonardo.
Helping clients navigate through a labyrinth of implementation challenges, Deloitte has been actively forging core capabilities in the SAP ecosystem. “We have made significant investments in SAP S/4HANA, and the investment includes co-development and co-innovation with SAP—testing and validating their new technology platforms and solutions,” Goodarzi says.
Packaged software is no longer enough. You need to leverage the entire architecture ecosystem, combined with functional and industry leading practices
“As an added value, we have trained our staff globally for the SAP cloud ERP solution so that when clients are geared for adoption, we are ahead of the game. SAP values our contribution not only based on how we help them, but also the satisfaction the clients are seeing by having us as their SAP systems integrator.”
For Deloitte, getting ahead of the game with SAP solutions has required a keen ability to watch global markets—and to understand the trends. “The timing is what changes,” says Waals.“Some markets are faster to adopt while others are trying to keep pace. The adoption of SAP HANA in the U.S. was faster. However, now the cloud market is gaining steam. France, which initially witnessed slow pace for SAP S/4HANA, has suddenly leapfrogged in adoption.”
With a massive global network comprising more than 18,000 practitioners dedicated to SAP solutions, Deloitte takes pride in having served more than 3,500 clients, assisting them to efficiently implement SAP solutions and get the most from their SAP investments.
Deloitte brings to the table deep industry-specific experience and a broad set of capabilities to deliver the Deloitte Reimagine Platform, which empowers clients with SAP Leonardo to launch the digital enterprise. The platform aligns tightly with Deloitte’s “Reimagine everything” vision, to help clients reimagine the enterprise and explore a universe of possibilities to generate value with data and cloud technologies—across finance, the supply chain, the workforce, and customer engagement, especially.
“One of the biggest elements of our platform is its digital enablement capabilities,which digitalize every aspect of operations through machine learning, IoT, analytics, and blockchain enabled by SAP Leonardo,” Goodarzi says. “Replatforming ERP and taking advantage of these innovations, however, requires a business to take steps toward building the foundation first, followed by adopting protocols and best practices.” In doing so, expenses can increase for an organization, and the pace of a planned transformation can become slow.
The Deloitte Reimagine Platform—geared chiefly toward finance, supply chain, and software-as-a-Service innovation for the digital core—confronts that challenge by offering ready-made use cases and solutions for automating processes, improving insights for decision-making, and delivering innovation. The big benefit for clients? Exponential value at an accelerated pace.
Developed through close collaboration with SAP, the Deloitte Reimagine Platform brings together the power of SAP Leonardo and leading practices from Deloitte—empowering clients to see down the road and plan for tomorrow’s realities. The platform effectively shows SAP customers how far and how fast they can go when it comes to adopting next-generation capabilities.
According to Darwin Deano, principal and SAP Chief Technology Officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP, the pursuit of exponential value in an SAP-enabled environment starts with a digital innovation mindset. “As the launch partner for SAP Leonardo, we knew that change management is a big challenge for long-time customers of SAP. From both business and IT perspectives, SAP Leonardo represented a significant shift away from packaged software, toward platform-driven digital innovation. Packaged software is no longer enough. You need to leverage the entire architecture ecosystem, combined with functional and industry leading practices.” Speed to value is an integral part of the business case. Two to three years is a lifetime when it comes to the pace of technology innovation and business disruption. A technology can become obsolete before it reaches the production environment. “There's a bit of a battle of the different ERP platforms looming in the market,” Waals says.
Strategic innovation becomes essential, according to Deano. “Exponential Value is not a one-size-fits-all conversation,” he says. “It starts with a structured segmentation of your process capabilities to guide your solution investment strategy. For foundational processes—general ledger entry, for example—we focus on standardization and automation. For strategic processes such as integrated business planning, we focus on the art of the possible through “design thinking” sessions. This ‘thoughtful categorization’ approach allows us to work with clients to determine the most effective architecture ecosystem for their needs.”
The unique consultative approach at Deloitte stems from its Enterprise Value Delivery (EVD) methodology. The Deloitte network of firms brings together its collective experience from a technology, advisory, and consultative standpoint to add value, helping customers leverage technology to boost ROI. Deloitte’s EVD approach for achieving agility is an empirical method that embraces change in the business environment and the technology landscape—with a sharp focus on delivering value to clients quickly and providing the discipline and transparency needed for achieving goals.
Operating in a fast-paced and ever-changing technology environment, one aspect that has been a constant for Deloitte is the art of delivering true value to customers their stakeholders. “The sense of achievement and satisfaction that we see in our clients is the cornerstone of our growth and success in the marketplace. It also drives our relationship with SAP,” says Goodarzi. “We assist CIOs to focus on their holistic data. It’s not just about replatforming, but bringing together people, processes, technology, and data.”
Data, especially, is key to client transformations today, according to Christopher Dinkel, principal and SAP HANA Analytics Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Data being the core piece of the puzzle, the platform has been able to leverage the data in silos and utilize it with SAP Leonardo to perform tasks like predictive maintenance,” Dinkel says. “Being able to holistically look at the overarching picture, our clients can utilize the insights to make actionable decisions.”
Fast Track to the Digital Enterprise
In sync with its vision of getting ahead of tomorrow’s big challenges, Deloitte demonstrated the fastest path to value for one client in the life sciences industry. The company, a life sciences devices manufacturer, sought to improve sales operations across the globe and eliminate error-prone, time-consuming manual processing of sales orders. Existing processes inevitably added to the lead time in manufacturing and delivery of products. Deloitte and the client leveraged machine learning to automate scanning and character-recognition processes, reducing the end-to-end process time by 60 percent. Deloitte and the client also activated machine learning that allowed the new system to make decisions and select the right answers and actions. The project also intelligently automated workflows based on different parameters such as country, sales type, company, and customer history. The result? On Day Three, the client improved the efficiency of sales operation by 60-70 percent.
"As an added value, we have trained our staff globally for the SAP cloud ERP solution so that when clients are geared for adoption, we are ahead of the game"
The next generation of platforms in the SAP marketplace will be based on a cloud-driven solution architecture. The ability to develop a solution that delivers end-to-end capabilities and value will be immensely important—as will addressing the complexities of data flowing in and out of an organization. Deloitte has a plan, backed by its SAP preconfigured solutions that help clients “get there faster” and that can deliver the robust capabilities of SAP solutions with a laser-like focus.
While the alliance between Deloitte and SAP comes with a long history, the partnership is ahead of its time and committed to helping clients address today’s biggest needs—leveraging the potential of cloud, the power of data, the strength of the digital core, and strategic innovation to get ahead of disruption. For many organizations wondering what it means to be digital today and what challenges tomorrow might bring, the search for answers may begin by teaming with Deloitte.