SAP builds out RISE with SAP modules for industries, advances its business network plans

At SAP Sapphire 2021, the company built out its RISE with SAP program with industry focused launches as well as its business network.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

SAP rolled out RISE with SAP programs for five industries, launched cloud ERP modules with RISE and introduced the SAP Business Supply Network with a trading partner portal.

The announcements, launched at SAP's Sapphire conference, highlight two core priorities for the company. First, SAP is aggressively shifting customers to the cloud. In addition, SAP sees itself as a supply chain and trade enabler as it extends its ERP footprint.

During his keynote, SAP CEO Christian Klein said SAP is positioning itself as a digital process enabler as well as a community hub for supply chain transactions as well as sustainability. "Every company needs to be an intelligent enterprise and to have courage to leave traditional business models behind," said Klein. He added that businesses need to transform into communities too to conduct business.

As for the RISE effort, initially outlined in January, SAP is looking to simplify its deployments and move to a subscription model. Enterprise customers, who have often customized SAP's applications, are trying to move to more standard models and see RISE as an avenue to transform business processes. SAP is doubling down on the idea of modular cloud ERP and is extending RISE with modules for human experience management, analytics and governments. The plan is to add more modules over time. 

Brian Duffy, president of SAP's cloud unit, said 260 customers through the first quarter have moved to RISE. Duffy said the plan is to enable customers to quickly integrate processes and modules and give customers flexibility in deployments.

"Customers want to move to a standard approach. If you're moving to the cloud customizations are hard to lift and shift," said Duffy. "When a customer moves to RISE it's a moment in time to see how the business runs in totality and then streamline."


SAP announced the following:

  • RISE with SAP for Modular Cloud ERP, which extends RISE with SAP to cloud line of business modules. These modules are pre-configured and pre-integrated on one platform with one data model.
  • RISE with SAP for Industries. This effort targets automotive, retail, consumer product goods, industrial machinery and components and utilities. RISE with SAP for Industries includes industry-specific processes, expertise and best practices built in.
  • RISE with SAP for Human Experience Management (HXM). This effort is aimed at improving engagement and productivity and bolstering operations and planning.

Combined, the RISE with SAP packages fill out the enterprise software giant's portfolio of services.

SAP's business network plans

SAP is aiming to extend its software footprint into supply chain networks to better align buyers and sellers and alleviate disruptions. Those disruptions, which are quite common amid global semiconductor shortages and logistics issues, are likely to be SAP's best marketing for its trading network.

The company launched SAP Business Network as well as the availability of a unified trading partner portal. The portal provides a view into all customer relationships and transactions for collaboration and responsiveness between partners.

The trading network platform includes AI-based insights and APIs to connect partners and systems from SAP as well as others.

John Wookey, president of SAP's Intelligent Spend and Business Network unit, said SAP has spent a lot of time thinking about how applications and trading networks go together.

"Think of the SAP Business Network as a way to help trading partners work more effectively," said Wookey, who added that the network will cover materials, contingent level and supplies.

SAP's Business Network will include integration with the company's Ariba network as well as its Logistics Business Network. SAP customers will be the buyer side of the trading equation and suppliers can be added to the SAP Business Network if not a customer.

SAP Business Network has a workbench to centralize access and collaboration with customers, a trading partner onboarding and registration system and personalization.

Here's a screenshot of the SAP Business Network:



Later this year, SAP Business Network plans to add real-time global track-and-trace, working capital tools and benchmarking with industry peers. 

Business process meets sustainability

SAP is also pushing sustainability as well as its linkage with business processes. As Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) becomes a guiding principle for enterprises, they'll be looking for their software to help manage it.

The company launched GreenToken, a multi-commodity platform that traces raw materials to their origin. GreenToken uses tokenization and blockchain to trace commingled raw materials.

In addition, SAP launched SAP S/4HANA Sustainability Management includes a suite of tools to measure sustainability and track progress. The suite includes:

  • SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics, which takes data from SAP S/4HANA and analysis from SAP Analytics Cloud to track carbon footprint data and identify climate actions.
  • SAP responsible design and production.
  • Corporate sustainability reporting.
  • SAP Environment, Health and Safety Management.
  • SAP S/4HANA for product compliance.

Among other SAP launches:

  • The company added a library of AI and machine learning detection tools to SAP Concur to find spending issues. The functionality, called Verify, is based on an analysis of more than a trillion dollars in spending, tens of millions of expenses and receipts. The Verify tool is embedded in Concur Expense.
  • SAP also launched SAP Process Insights to locate and prioritize process improvement opportunities. The company is using its business process data to generate insights, detail benchmarks and make recommendations. SAP Process Insights is bolstered by Signavio's technology.
  • And the company launched SAP Upscale Commerce, a no-code tool to bolster direct-to-consumer efforts. SAP Upscale Commerce has an intelligent selling engine that delivers a unique storefront for each customer as well as mobile-first experiences.
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