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TAP into the cloud with SAP intelligent spend management


TAP into the cloud with SAP intelligent spend management WRITTEN BY





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Fawaz Al-Nouri, General Manager Transformation Acceleration Programs, EMEA, at SAP, discusses the best ways to succeed in digital transformation


he necessity of digital transformation is well understood and easily grasped; businesses have to find new ways to deliver

value, generate revenue, and improve efficiency. What is more obscure is the actual business of going about the transformation – what solutions to 04

put in place, how to adapt them to specific industry, and how to measure and achieve success when doing such transformation. Multinational enterprise software company SAP’s Transformation Acceleration Programs (TAP) offers customers the necessary expertise to achieve a successful spend management transformation, as Fawaz Al-Nouri, General Manager for TAP in Europe, Middle East and Africa, explains. “SAP’s purpose has always been about helping the world run better and improving people’s lives. In support of this purpose, TAP was formed to help businesses define their transformation roadmap and how to move from their current outdated systems – where they’re not getting the most value they can – to new technologies that benefit and improve the way they do business and in turn


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“SAP’s purpose has always been about helping the world run better and improving people’s lives”

achieve their vision to better serve their end customers.” The TAP process begins with gathering an understanding of the client’s existing setup. “Our group of deployment experts will apply a proven engagement model to expedite and improve the success of spend management transformation. We provide software, industry and pro-


— Fawaz Al-Nouri, General Manager, Transformation Acceleration Programs for Europe, Middle East and Africa, SAP

cess expertise while championing an operating model focused on value and exceptional business outcomes. We take a design thinking approach, where we study where our customers are today, but at the same time we also try to understand where they want to be, and the barriers that are stopping them from getting there.” It is only after this exercise has been completed that potential solutions are put forward and discussed. “Based on the TAP analysis, we recommend the right technology and decide what makes sense for our customers to take on. Throughout the engagement we’re thinking about solving our customers problems and making them run better.” The solutions and capabilities that SAP offers are centred around its

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘SAP PROFILE’ 07 digital core enterprise resource plan-

It’s worth noting that while the digital

ning (ERP) system, S/4HANA. Tightly

core S/4HANA is available in both on-

connected to this digital core are

premise and cloud editions, most of the

branching capabilities for customer

branching capabilities such as spend

relationship management and experi-

management are on the cloud, and

ence, network and spend management,

Al-Nouri is a big believer in working on

digital supply chain, human resources

cloud. “When I started implementing

and people management and more.

software, SAP was known as the ERP

“SAP provides end-to-end solutions

company; we delivered wall-to-wall on-

that cover most of our customers’

premise solutions. At that time, I was a

needs” says Al-Nouri. “The important

little bit sceptical about cloud. I used to

thing is to prioritise and plan when

think that large businesses with com-

to implement what and tie all these

plex IT infrastructure wouldn’t be able

pieces together so that the customer

to adopt the cloud. Then, in 2010 SAP

can run their business seamlessly.”

embraced cloud to offer customers w w w.s a p . com



a choice in how they consume SAP’s

running IT processes inside your four

software. This is when I started to work

walls, putting them on the cloud frees

with many customers embarking on

you from managing that on your own.

the journey to move to the cloud, see-

Reduced maintenance, infrastructure

ing first-hand that it’s possible and all

and support costs results in signifi-

the benefits that come with it. It was

cantly lower total cost of ownership.

then that I myself was transformed.”

Number two is the connection to the

In that regard, Al-Nouri cites three

outside world. The cloud gives you

key reasons that spend management

access to the business network you

cloud transformation is worthwhile.

need to achieve a high level of col-

“While we always look at the broader

laboration with other companies and

spectrum, we’re big advocates of cloud

organisations, where businesses con-

technology. Number one is because

nect, communicate and collaborate to

of the return on investment. Instead of

redefine how work gets done. When

you plug into the business network,

through the cloud. Artificial intelligence,

you get instant access to millions of

the internet of things and many more

potential customers, suppliers and

innovations will be at your fingertips

solutions. This will bring value to all

when you move to the cloud.”

stakeholders; lower processing costs,

However, such transformations

eliminate mistakes, and speed up the

cannot be achieved through technol-

transactions. It’s like comparing email

ogy alone. Culture must always be a

to Facebook, sharing business cards

consideration, as Al-Nouri explains.

with connecting on LinkedIn, and

“It’s important to understand the cli-

postcards to SnapChat. Thirdly, digital

ent’s culture, because every customer

technology means you don’t have to

is different. What we find in cloud

invest a lot of money and time to build

transformation is that transitioning

the technology that you need in-house,

to a cloud mindset by moving away

instead having access to it right away

from on-premise customisations to


Fawaz Al-Nouri Fawaz Al-Nouri is part of the intelligent spend management group at SAP, bringing 22 years of experience in helping businesses to transform and implement large scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, supply chain solutions, and cloud services. Al-Nouri started with Ariba in 2006, which later became part of the SAP family. He held multiple advisory and leadership roles before becoming in 2017 the General Manager for Transformation Acceleration Programs (TAP) in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Al-Nouri’s primary focus in his current role is the transformation of customers from SAP on-premise solutions to the cloud.

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Big questions and big answers, about the future of procurement and cloud. The past decade has brought intense business and technology disruption—especially for procurement, finance, and supply chain leaders. Now a new challenge sits on the horizon. By 2025, SAP intends to end mainstream support for its SAP® Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) solution—an on-premise offering that many organizations use for procure-to-pay processes today. What should you know? We asked Frederic Girardeau-Montaut, leader of Deloitte Consulting LLP’s SAP Ariba practice, to share his insights. Why the rush to transition away from SAP Supplier Relationship Management? The year 2025 is closer than it seems. It takes time to understand your options, build the business case, create your roadmap, and do the actual work. Wait too long, and you could find yourself operating with an unsupported solution and missing out on future innovations. For many SAP customers, the next step will be the SAP® Ariba® cloud suite. That’s where SAP is focusing its energy, innovations, and solution enhancements when it comes to procurement. But is jumping to SAP Ariba too soon a risk? What if needs dramatically change between now and 2025? There are always risks, which is why you shouldn’t undertake the journey alone. You need a partner that can help orchestrate your transformation. But there’s another big force that helps reduce the risk, and that’s cloud. With cloud, you can respond, scale, and evolve as the market evolves. You can become a more kinetic enterprise—one that moves fast and with impact. Cloud also allows you to more seamlessly integrate capabilities—so you can link SAP Ariba solutions with the SAP S/4HANA® digital core, for example, and take it one step further

with SAP® Integrated Business Planning. The payoff? You can drive intelligent automation and insights across the entire plan-to-procureto-pay spectrum. What kind of help will organizations need? First, experience matters. The learning curve can be steep. At Deloitte, we have been steadily building on our insights as we help industry leaders worldwide move from SAP SRM to SAP Ariba—from on-prem to cloud. Our 30-year relationship with SAP—and our vast implementation experience—provides a solid foundation for doing that. Second, this is more than a technology upgrade. This is an opportunity for a true digital business transformation. This is your chance to enable intelligent spend management that can drive savings and efficiencies across the business … your chance to transform the tax picture … your chance to build tomorrow’s digital supply network. To do those things, you need a complete team —not just a technology team. You need specialists in tax, spend, cloud, risk, IT implementation, industry-specific business strategy, and more. And you likely will need it on a global scale. That’s the kind of team Deloitte leverages to help our clients—no matter where they are in their journeys. It’s about helping them strengthen operations, improve processes, innovate, and evolve—in a holistic way that goes beyond just a technology platform.

Want additional insights? Contact SAP@ to learn more or to schedule a demo of SAP Ariba solutions in action.



standard processes in the cloud is

In the course of its assessments,

key. Therefore, change management

TAP encounters differing reasons for

to ease this transition is a huge aspect

embarking upon a transformation.

that has to be taken into consideration.”

Some businesses might be inspired

Because such approaches can lead

by the need for modernisation, while

to disruption, it is consequently vital

others might be more existential. “In

that organisations keep on top of com-

the current digital age, every company

munication. “A lot of transformations

is under pressure to achieve digital

depend on change management and

transformation, simply because of all

how you communicate the change, not

the technologies that we have around

only to your internal stakeholders, but

us. These technologies are connecting

also to the external world so that eve-

people, the internet, and the physical

rybody knows what’s going to happen

world like never before. When every-

and everybody’s onboard to move in a

thing is connected business as usual

new direction.”

becomes a thing of the past and the


• The world’s #1 cloud business software company • Recognised as a Leader across all categories • Proven expertise in 25 industries

13 transformation of many industries needs to accelerate.” says Al-Nouri. “But some industries are under more

“In the current digital change in productivity and incremental age, every company process innovation might be appropriis under pressure ate for some industries like mining, oil and gas, and chemicals, other industo achieve digital tries like media, banking, and retail are transformation” under intense pressure to innovate pressure than others. While step

their business model and improve their customer experience now.” Whether it’s a step process or accelerated change, Al-Nouri sees

— Fawaz Al-Nouri, General Manager, Transformation Acceleration Programs for Europe, Middle East and Africa, SAP

procurement as a central element in w w w.s a p . com



“Deloitte is one of the preferred SAP partners for running transformation projects. Whether you want to undertake an end-to-end procurement transformation or plan a bigger digital enterprise transformation with cloud technology, Deloitte can help.” — Fawaz Al-Nouri, General Manager, Transformation Acceleration Programs for Europe, Middle East and Africa, SAP


the digital transformation. “As business grows, there’s more spend, across more channels, than ever before. This requires better control, better speed, and better sustainability.” To be able to manage these changes, a solid, adaptable and scalable procurement platform is needed. “We call it intelligent spend management, because it covers all areas needed for procurement transformation to be successful. Full transparency into what and how you’re spending is critical and is best achieved by adopting a seamless source to pay system. This system needs to be intelligently connected with your trading partners so that you and your suppliers are always up to date, and you can apply compliance policies to every transaction. Only then can you leverage advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing to further optimize and automate the system.” Looking at 2020 and beyond, therefore, and understanding how many businesses need to embark on a transformation, scalability becomes very important for TAP. “We see a lot of w w w.s a p . com



demand and we want to help as many customers as we can to transform better and faster. We’re addressing this by developing tools that can streamline the transformation process, from legacy systems analysis utilities to data migration accelerators. We are also working closely with our ecosystem. Our technology partners provide solution extensions that complement our portfolio, such as process mining by Celonis to support process transformation from beginning to end, and 16

signature management by DocuSign to eliminate manual steps. Our system

“Transformation is an ongoing process, and the most important factor is customer end to end success from transformation to adoption” — Fawaz Al-Nouri, General Manager, Transformation Acceleration Programs for Europe, Middle East and Africa, SAP


Year founded

€24.74bn+ Approximate Revenue

integration partners support our teams by providing their knowledgeable resources for implementation, integration and change management. Large consulting firms such as Deloitte, IBM or EY can, on the one hand, look at the overarching transformation programs and process improvement. On the other hand, meanwhile, pro-

99,700 Number of employees

curement niche specialists such as apsolut or ExceleratedS2P can focus on the functional design and technical integration aspects.” Finally, Al-Nouri points out the importance of recognising that transformation is an ongoing process, and the most important factor is customer end to end success from transformation to adoption. As SAP’s member of the executive board Adaire Fox-Martin said in her speech at Web Summit in Lisbon this November: ”I will tell you the single most truthful thing you can hear about transformation: It never ends. The market and the customer will never stop changing. That fact grounds us and should ground you. We hold customer success as the inspiration of everything we do.”

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SAP SE Dietmar-Hopp-Allee 16 69190 Walldorf Germany T +800/5 34 34 24

Profile for Business Chief Europe

SAP Global December 2019  

SAP Global December 2019  

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