July 25, 2012 // By: Andreas Schmitz // Becoming the Facebook for Business
Denecken, SAP’s vice president for cloud strategy and head of co-innovation, says there are three milestones on the route to cloud computing:
One example is travel expenses. A mobile device, either an iPad or a BlackBerry, is connected to employees’ credit cards and diaries. Using the cellphone to photograph a taxi invoice or train ticket, for example, means that employees do not end up with a pile of receipts by the end of their business trips. Ideally, by the time they get back in the office, their expense claims have been signed off and settled. For Denecken, the most important point to remember is: “Pure cloud solutions often don’t integrate. We at SAP see that differently; hybrid solutions are very popular.”
Next example: Strategic purchasing departments use “sourcing on demand.” Orders are created in the ERP system. The cloud is used to find the supplier with the best offer in an auction, and to complete the purchase. Not least, large enterprises use mid-market solutions such as SAP Business ByDesign in their regional offices to close their books faster, says Denecken, giving Lufthansa Revenue Services, BP (British Petroleum) and travel company TUI as examples.
Talent management is another example, a real gain for SAP from the SuccessFactors acquisition. Employees can exchange information about meeting targets, and about skills and competencies. The processes are connected up with the HR systems used to handle compensation and bonuses. The system is built with the user in mind, says Denecken. One of the main goals SAP is currently pursuing is a “mobile first” mentality. SuccessFactors is a major step in this direction.