Since the announcement of SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA (or Suite on HANA for brevity's sake) on January 10, 2013, the SAP implementation ecosystem has worked to serve the market's growing needs. In just under two years, SAP has reported more than 2,000 customers on Suite on HANA. Given that manufacturing is SAP's largest customer base, the ecosystem is particularly focused on how the Suite and the greater SAP HANA platform can be implemented and complemented with additional IP for manufacturers. To help manufacturers better understand what they can expect from the ecosystem and move forward with their SAP investments, we've recently completed an IDC MarketScape report assessing the professional services firms providing manufacturers with services for Suite on HANA and SAP HANA.
The market is best defined as a work in progress, a fact that several service providers made poignantly clear to us on several occasions during this research. The introduction of SAP S/4HANA adds some complexity to the situation, although those companies that make the transition from Suite on HANA to SAP S/4HANA will be able to move forward more easily since the SAP HANA database migration should be complete. Our assessment of Suite on HANA services is multilayered, taking into consideration: the availability of service provider references for Suite on HANA, Suite on HANA offerings and capabilities (including Design Thinking, SAP HANA Live, Smart Business Cockpits, and SAP Fiori), SAP HANA experience and capabilities, and SAP experience, capabilities, and co-innovation. We believe manufacturers should closely evaluate the service provider's current capabilities and roadmap because this is still a developing market. Furthermore, manufacturers moving forward with SAP HANA, SAP S4/HANA, and other assets in the SAP portfolio will need to ensure they have a partner that can help them maximize the business value from their investments. The report evaluates nine vendors, including: Accenture, Atos, Deloitte, HP Enterprise, IBM, IGATE, KPIT, L&T Infotech, and Wipro.
A few points from of our guidance for manufacturers include:
- Ask the services firm to demonstrate and document the intellectual property it is developing for Suite on HANA and what the services firm's road map is for the next 12 months and how it can facilitate the eventual transition to SAP S/4HANA.
- Probe the service firm for its ability to deliver strong combined expertise in business consulting, technical expertise, and experience with Suite on HANA and the SAP HANA platform. This new SAP technology is being positioned and designed to have a business process transformative effect; to take advantage of this, manufacturers need to work with a service partner that can blend multiple competencies to deliver this transformation to your company.
- Ask about the industry-specific SAP HANA-based offerings that the firm has on its road map and how quickly it is delivering these to the market. For manufacturing, this should be at the industry sector level, such as automotive or chemicals, not just manufacturing as a whole.
This research was published to our IDC Manufacturing Insights IT Priorities & Strategies program, with contributions from myself, Heather Ashton, and Bob Eastman. If you'd like more information about this report or other topics in the program, email me at email@example.com.