Why Three Companies Chose Public Cloud

Carl Dubler

Part 2 in the “ERP Deployment Options” series

Whether it’s choosing tempting entrees on a restaurant menu, vacation destinations, or a new winter jacket, a wide variety of choices can be a blessing and a curse. So it is with IT deployment options, as we explored in the first blog in this series. Public cloud? Infrastructure as a service? On-premises? Or a combination thereof?

Here, we’ll consider why three companies decided to run public cloud ERP and why that’s working well for them in their mutual quest to become an intelligent enterprise. What I find most interesting about these three examples is the wide variety in company size, industry, and geographical footprint, which shows the versatility of the public cloud option.

Global automotive supplier: Reducing technology costs

Reducing technology costs was a key objective for one global automotive supplier when it made the move to the public cloud to run its ERP solution. At the time, the $39 billion company was using five different on-premises ERP systems to manage its operations in 28 countries.

A systems integrator assisted with the replacement of legacy solutions with a public cloud deployment across operations in Germany, Austria, and France in just 28 weeks, completing 90% of the work remotely. A subsequent rollout to the United States, Canada, and China is on the agenda for later this year.

The automotive supplier now runs a single master dataset supporting standardized best-practice processes for all regions globally, simplifying and consolidating financial reporting. With everything based in the cloud and no hardware costs, the company has cut its capital expenditures. And with quarterly updates taken care of by the cloud provider, the IT staff responsible for maintaining the on-premises infrastructure can now focus on other tasks, reducing cost of ownership by 50%-60%.

E-retailer: Enabling rapid growth

Business agility and rapid response to new opportunities were the major considerations for a fast-growing French e-commerce company that opted for the public cloud. It took only 18 weeks to move all core finance processes over to the cloud infrastructure, with other company entities soon to follow. The company, which now has revenues of $2.4 billion, is pursuing an ambitious growth strategy and sees digitalization in the cloud as key to achieving its goals.

By establishing a finance platform that can be scaled up quickly as the business expands, the e-retailer is well-positioned to move into new markets. Meanwhile, by standardizing and digitalizing workflows, the software has helped the company speed up the financial close considerably, improving transparency and cutting costs.

This organization can now commoditize the areas that aren’t a competitive differentiator (finance) and keep its key supply chain differentiators on a more customizable platform.

Multinational oil and gas group: Supporting standardization

Standardization was a key strategy for a multinational oil and gas group in its public cloud deployment earlier this year. The target: to improve operational efficiency enterprise-wide and lower its carbon footprint by replacing an aging on-premises legacy system and running its ERP solution in the cloud.

Initially focusing on two of the group’s companies, the deployment took just 20 weeks. Now, instead of running multiple poorly integrated finance processes, the companies are aligned on a single, standardized workflow, improving efficiency, and streamlining operations. Automatic quarterly updates provide the latest functionality and capabilities.

This project is an important milestone in the company’s journey towards standardized platforms, with follow-on deployments planned over the next 12 months to move the entire enterprise into the cloud.

Public cloud ERP success

As we saw in the introduction of this series, public cloud ERP offers the best economics and time to value, so long as you can run standardized business processes. For these three organizations, that is exactly what they wanted to do, and as a result, they have achieved their goals.

Whether you decide to run public cloud, on-premises, or some hybrid of the two, it pays to make sure your ERP solution offers a consistent choice with code line, data model, and user experience. This gives you the most flexibility for the future.

In the next blog, we’ll look at companies that have used infrastructure as a service to achieve a rapid rollout in the cloud while retaining the control and flexibility that comes with a private cloud ERP deployment. Meanwhile, please watch this video for more information. You can also read the IDC white paper, “Voice of the Customer: 10 Insights, Direct from SAP S/4HANA Pioneers,” which explores the deployment options that other companies have taken.


Carl Dubler

About Carl Dubler

Carl Dubler is a senior director of Product Marketing for SAP S/4HANA. With an IT career stretching back to the late 1980s, he has done nearly every role in the business. In his ten years at SAP, he also managed SAP’s first commercially available cloud product and first cloud product on SAP HANA.