As the world's leading alliance of independent SAP solution providers, United VARs recently hosted an in-person event to discuss increasing collaboration between members to better support customers to become sustainable, intelligent enterprises. Participants from around the world came together to discuss ideas and share experiences on how to best use SAP software to achieve this goal.
The ‘Intelligent, Sustainable Enterprises’ event at SAP’s office in St Leon-Rot, Germany last month (November 2022) consisted of working groups made up of United VARs members from our Centres of Excellence. Their combined expertise covered key SAP technology areas such as S/4HANA, Business ByDesign, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Customer Experience SAP BTP, Customer Success Practice and Application Management.
Alexander Herfort, Business Development Director at United VARs, summed up the event, "Today was truly inspiring as I saw the discussions taking place among different teams. We were able to mix and match ideas from different companies, industries, and consulting angles, and I think one of the key takeaways was the importance of context.
“Sustainability alone is not enough to deliver a solution to customers. They need a holistic solution that is end-to-end and addresses their specific needs and challenges. That's why we believe that the SAP Sustainability Control Tower software should be the starting point for our discussions with customers. As an early adopter of this technology, United VARs is in a unique position to help our customers become more intelligent and sustainable enterprises.
“But we also need to understand the industry-specific KPIs and how to effectively communicate with our customers. The KPIs for the cement industry, for example, are different from those of a retail company or a professional services firm. Each industry has its own challenges and we need to address them in a tailored way. That's why we want to engage with our customers and their industries, gather experts together and find common goals and solutions.
“As members of United VARs, the global alliance of SAP experts, we have the privilege and opportunity to be at the forefront of this important sustainability movement. I am excited by the energy and collaboration among our teams, and I believe we can make a real impact on the sustainability of our customers' businesses".
A member from each working group gave a short presentation that summed up their discussions. Below are some of the highlights:
Helping customers with compliance and sustainability goals
Lorraine Howell from Illumiti and her team of representatives from IPS, Seidor, 2BM, and SOA People proposed using the SAP Sustainability Control Tower as a starting point to provide customers with information on their current sustainability status and help them understand the requirements for compliance. The team suggested providing advisory services, helping customers aggregate data points, and encouraging them to be leaders in sustainability.
They discussed how to utilize the strengths of the 70+ SAP partners in the United VARs alliance to bring customers together to get a global understanding of sustainability in their specific industry.
Lorraine’s team emphasized the importance of starting immediately and avoiding delays, as well as the potential financial benefits of helping customers comply with sustainability regulations.
Improving emissions through incentivizing vendors
Michael Stadthaus from Augusta Reeves and his team members from Dynasys, Atlantconsult, All for One, Seidor,Derga and IPS discussed a product idea to help customers become more sustainable. The product, called IEIBCS (Improving Emissions Through Incentive-Based Control System), would provide transparency to end consumers by displaying the carbon impact of each product on the shelf.
EIIBCS would incentivize vendors to produce greener products by offering them more money for their products and charging the extra cost down the whole supply chain. The team thought this could encourage vendors to produce greener products through higher revenue Their proposed product would be based on SAP software, including SAP S/4HANA and the Product Footprint Management module.
Enabling automotive customers to comply with sustainability regulations
Fatih Inanç from Detaysoft represented the team consisting of IPS, All for One, Seidor, Derga, Cresco and Dunn Solutions. Fatih’s presentation began by discussing a fictional customer, a mid-market automotive supplier, that was using a local ERP but was struggling to comply with sustainability regulations imposed by its OEM (original equipment manufacturer).
The customer had no visibility on the shop floor and lacked the necessary data on emissions, energy consumption, waste measurement, water recycling, and costs. They needed traceability and wanted to avoid accidents and improve quality. As a global company with operations in different regions, they also needed to meet local regulations and requirements.
Fatih’s team proposed implementing a (currently fictional) private cloud ERP solution called "U Auto," which includes industrial cloud solutions for the automotive industry and special integration packages. After implementing "U Auto," the team proposed adding a package called "Green United" to address the customer's sustainability needs. This would include a digital transformation roadmap, as well as packages for zero-based budgeting and integration with the main supplier. Fatih also discussed using RPA (robotic process automation) and OCR (optical character recognition) to eliminate paper consumption and improve sustainability.
Creating Industry-Specific Templates for reporting and compliance
Martin Pock from 2BM Software‘s team included B4B Solutions, Netizen, ACBaltica, Ctac, Empleox, Derga, and All for One. In this presentation, Martin proposed creating a product that could be sold on the SAP app store and potentially could be offered as part of the "RISE with SAP" proposition. Martin also discussed the need to support existing customers, including those still using legacy SAP ECC systems, and the importance of partnering with industry experts and industry associations.
Martin’s team proposed creating templates for different industries, such as the cement industry, that customers could access through the sustainability control tower cockpit. These templates would provide benchmarks and industry-specific data, as well as help customers to understand compliance and regulations. They emphasized the potential benefits of being able to compare a customer's sustainability performance to the industry market leader and being able to demonstrate sustainability through compliance and reporting.
The United VARs event was a successful and productive gathering of SAP technology and business experts. The working groups provided a valuable platform for collaboration and idea-sharing on the important topic of sustainability and intelligent enterprises. The use of SAP software was a central focus of the discussions, and participants came away with a better understanding of how to leverage this technology to support their customers in achieving their sustainability and intelligence goals.
We look forward to seeing the results of this event in the coming months and years as United VARs continues to support its customers in their journey to becoming sustainable, intelligent enterprises.
About United VARs
United VARs is a global alliance of SAP implementation partners and solution providers for the mid-market. With over 70 members in 100 countries, the alliance serves all types of SAP rollouts and integrations across the world. The organization provides businesses with local expertise ‘on the ground’ charged at local rates. All United VARs members work together as one team to provide a more personalized service than other global systems integrators are able to, and one that is better suited to mid-market budgets.
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