A Glimpse into Tomorrow’s Tech at SAP Conference in Japan


The SAP conference, SAP NOW Japan, unfolded its annual narrative on September 22nd at The Okura Tokyo, delving into the realms of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and holistic business transformations. The spotlight was on SAP’s innovative strategies and its new vision to future-proof businesses by intertwining technology with transformational processes.

In the fast-paced corporate arena, companies are in constant pursuit of technological advancements that ensure survival and prosperity. SAP’s 2023 strategy, presented at SAP NOW Japan, accentuates a cloud shift as an integral part of a triad transformation focusing on business agility, supply chain management, and sustainability. (InsideSAP Asia often references articles from websites in other languages to bring you as much information as possible.)

Cloud ERP, powered by SAP S/4HANA, is evolving beyond a mere server location. It embodies a paradigm shift from ‘creating’ systems to ‘using’ them, thereby enhancing responsiveness to business environment changes. SAP is leading this evolution by differentiating the development of on-premises and cloud versions of its ERP solutions. The cloud version promises new features, including generative AI, and ensures rapid implementation compared to the traditional on-premises version, which is phased out from receiving new features but will be supported until 2040.

The decision to focus on cloud ERP stems from the versatility and cost-effectiveness it offers. With standardized environments, companies can reduce customization efforts and efficiently leverage cutting-edge features. The data indicates that the average ERP implementation period in the Asia-Pacific region is significantly shorter than the global average, underscoring the pressing need for businesses to adopt cloud solutions to remain globally competitive.

SAP Business Technology Platform: The Pillar of Application Ecosystem

The SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) is showcased as a linchpin for ensuring the ‘Intelligent Sustainable Enterprise.’ It aims to bridge disparate business processes while optimizing and automating functionalities, thereby addressing the hurdles faced in digital transformation (DX).

SAP BTP offers a plethora of functionalities, including application development, data analytics, integration, and AI. With over 90 functional services, it is well-supported by 1,840 SAP service partners globally and approximately 1,000 certified consultants in Japan. By integrating SAP BTP with suites like SAP Signavio and SAP Build Process Automation, the platform is poised to play a pivotal role in business process automation and efficiency.

Future developments in SAP BTP include strategic partnerships to incorporate generative AI into various applications, which will further augment its capabilities and solidify its position as an indispensable tool for businesses.

Transforming Business Processes with SAP Signavio

In the volatile business landscape, the ability to adapt quickly to changes is paramount. The SAP conference highlighted the need for continuous management of business processes using tools like SAP Signavio to ensure agility and flexibility.

SAP Signavio is designed to manage, store, and utilize process information for transformation. It encompasses solutions such as SAP Signavio Process Insights, Process Intelligence, and Process Manager to monitor, analyze, and design processes effectively. Together, these solutions facilitate the transformation and reorganization of business processes during ERP migration to the cloud.

The resurgence of interest in business process management (BPM) emphasizes the need for standardized processes that can swiftly adapt to changes. By amalgamating solutions like SAP Signavio, businesses can gain a holistic view of processes and promote optimization.

SAP Conference Illuminates End-to-End Business Process Integration

The SAP conference illuminated SAP’s commitment to fostering an environment where business processes are seamlessly integrated end-to-end across the value chain. Through solutions like cloud ERP, SAP BTP, and process transformation tools, SAP is spearheading initiatives to ensure sustainability and continuity while propelling automation and efficiency.

By delving into these three aspects, SAP has painted a vivid picture of its cloud shift policy and its relentless pursuit to support businesses in their journey towards transformation. The advancements and strategies discussed underscore SAP’s resolve to be at the forefront of revolutionizing business processes and technology platforms, ensuring businesses are well-prepared for the future.

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