Sunday, August 14, 2022

Pivot and push through in the post-pandemic world


Tech Reports


If the disruption of the pandemic has taught us anything in Australia, it’s the importance of businesses being able to pivot quickly and push through the chaos using technology. 

Even with lockdowns lifted and the COVID fog dissipating, businesses still need to identify a fast and effective path to achieving their digital goals and to adopt it with speed. 

Global triggers still have the potential to impact national and international borders – and not just because of the possibility of another COVID variant. War in the Ukraine, sky-high fuel prices, and the ongoing global supply chain crisis underline this and show no signs of abating until well into 2023.

Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs) are the backbone of any efficient medium to large business or government department and supply chain disruptions make them even more critical. 

Analysts say the top 10 ERP software vendors in 2020 accounted for nearly 33% of the global ERP applications market, which was estimated to be worth $US95.2 billion. 

SAP was the dominant player with nearly 7% market share after a 5.2% year-on-year increase in license, maintenance and subscription revenues

SAP recently elevated its portfolio with RISE, a bundle of assets that offer customers business-transformation-as-a-service.” 

Rise with SAP aims to simplify the process for adopting automation and digital services by bringing together existing SAP solutions (including SAP S/4HANA) in the cloud.

SAP S/4HANA – the abbreviation stands for High-performance Analytic Appliance – is a game-changer for enterprise businesses and governments. Productivity improvements are a given, through the speed afforded by its architecture.

SAP S/4HANA is built on an in-memory database. This means data processing takes place on data that is loaded in memory for fast access.  Typically, SAP S/4HANA stores data in column-based tables rather than the row-based tables of a Relational Data Base Management System, or RDBMS. 

Most queries only address certain sets of columns, minimising the need to load a huge set of data to get specific answers, so they occur in real time.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a complete ERP system with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics. 

One beneficiary is SA Power Networks, a company that builds and maintains the electric power infrastructure in South Australia. It recently teamed with DXC Technology to migrate to a new SAP HANA platform to improve analytics, speed transactions and meet stringent regulatory requirements.

SA Power Networks builds and maintains the poles, wires and substations that deliver electricity to 850,000 customers. Its power-line network stretches across 73,000 street transformers and 400 substations. 

One of the company’s biggest challenges is contending with requirements of the six regulatory bodies that govern the energy industry in Australia, at both the national and state level.

CIO Chris Ford says: “The move to SAP HANA provides us with a database and reporting system that helps us meet regulatory reporting requirements and enables end users to perform real-time analysis on live data.”

Another DXC customer, a major European health service provider, is using the cloud-based platform to scale operations from a few hundred employees to 4,000+ over the next three years.

These organisations recognise that innovating across business processes and collaborating across networks is fundamental to survival during adversity. “Business as usual” means being able to adapt to constant business and technology changes.

In an increasingly global economy, flexible and transparent supply chains and automated production processes are critical to maintaining business equilibrium. 

Unified business process intelligence and cross-application analytics can deliver new dimensions of real-time and predictive data insight and foresight to steer a business.

*Adam Sawley is SAP consulting general manager, Australia and New Zealand, DXC Technology

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