How SAP and Google Cloud Help Future-Proof ASEAN Enterprises


Ocean Network Express and Kopi Kenangan are just some of the organizations in South East Asia (SEA) that leverage SAP and Google Cloud solutions to continue innovating and providing value to their customers.

The business landscape is constantly changing and evolving, which means that companies need to be innovative to stay ahead of the competition. In order to address this issue, SAP, McKinsey, and Google Cloud gathered for a hybrid event called “Creating a future-ready enterprise with Google Cloud & SAP.” The conference brought together some of the most influential voices in ASEAN in order to discuss how Google Cloud and SAP solutions can help future-proof companies in the region.

In a session titled “Leadership Insights: Building a South East Asia Future-Ready Business,” business executives namely Google Cloud Indonesia Country Director Megawaty Khie, Google Cloud SEA Managing Director Ruma Balasubramanian, SAP SEA President and Managing Director Verena Siow, and McKinsey & Company Sydney Senior Partner Brant Carson talked about how they’re changing their priorities and rethinking the purpose of their companies. They also discussed how accelerated digitization will affect their organizations and how their own leadership style needs to adapt.

Influential Leaders Give Insights into Business Transformation

When asked about what helps build the next generation of economic champions to be future-ready, Balasubramanian stated that cloud used to be simply seen as an opportunity for cost optimization, resilience, and sustainable infrastructure. She added:

“But at the end of the day, we’re really seeing that cloud is more around the transformative effect. And that’s where I think our partnership with SAP really plays a very key role. I can’t even believe this number but we now have 400 SAP customers in SEA.”

Meanwhile, Siow mentioned that they have seen a significant uptake of the Business Transformation as a Service (BTaaS) signature cloud offering RISE with SAP in SEA since it launched 18 months ago. She said that SAP sees this growth as the company’s responsibility to support customers in anticipating and addressing challenges, as well as thrive in the very fast-evolving market environment today.

Furthermore, Siow believes innovation is the key for survival. She added that companies have to innovate and think ahead of the competition in order to thrive, expand, and grow their businesses. 

“Innovation is key and I believe that’s very much the heart of our (SAP and Google Cloud) partnership,” the SAP SEA MD emphasized. 

Both Google Cloud and SAP corporate leaders, Balasubramanian and Siow, called on Chief Experience Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, and Chief Executive Officers to take action today to transform tomorrow. Balasubramanian said that SAP and Google Cloud don’t just have a great business value proposition, but also a great commercial value proposition.

In terms of what CXOs, in particular, should be doing for their organizations to become future-ready, Carson from McKinsey & Company advised:

“I would be just clear about your starting point. I would be patient and I would just be thoughtful about where the value is and then I would be careful in managing the progress towards it.”

Ocean Network Express Drives Innovation

Industry leaders from across SEA, including Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Indonesian brand Kopi Kenangan, also joined SAP and Google Cloud’s discussion to share how they utilize the latest cutting-edge technologies to adapt and thrive in the current climate. Both companies highlighted the importance of having a solid foundation in place before moving forward with digital transformation.

Alan Sze, Deputy General Manager at Ocean Network Express Singapore, manages the company’s accounting systems, as well as other corporate internal applications like SAP SuccessFactors in human resources (HR) and SAP Concur for travel and expense processes. He noted that ONE, which is among the six largest shipping lines globally, prides itself on teamwork and best practices to provide enhanced service through innovation. 

Sze added that the scalability of Google Cloud allowed ONE to have an easier transition to SAP S/4HANA. He further revealed:

“And we also want to deliver our value through Big Data analytics and digital capability to achieve excellent customer experience. Our growth is basically empowered by continuing innovation, improving customer satisfaction, and also our agility to the ever-changing market,” Sze stated.

Kopi Kenangan Implements RISE with SAP on Google Cloud Platform

On the other hand, Kopi Kenangan — one of Indonesia’s fastest rising coffee chains — aims to serve customers high-quality coffee at an affordable price. In the next five years, the brand plans to extend its coverage to other countries like Malaysia. 

As part of her role as the Chief Technology Officer at Kopi Kenangan Indonesia, Zeng Fengping helps the company digitize end to end processes and develop innovations on top of the existing systems. Fengping remarked:

“Our infrastructure is built in cloud which provides great support for our vision. Cloud mode allows us to scale and expand in an agile way with control cost.”

According to Fengping, Kopi Kenangan chose SAP and Google Cloud as they are the top players in their areas. She said that it was a user decision for the organizations as both tech giants now serve together as a “one offer.” She explained:

“It still requires all efforts in running and maintaining SAP. It also gave us the same protection for the service quality and they have privacy compared with traditional ones. RISE with SAP enables us to enjoy all the advantages of Google Cloud with our extra efforts.”

Describing the response and support of tech teams during the early stages of Kopi Kenangan’s SAP project as “magic”, Fengping noted:

“This is also what we expect from our partners like Google Cloud in this journey, helping us hand in hand to achieve customer success.

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