NTT DATA Business Solutions
NTT DATA Business Solutions | szeptember 6, 2022 | 4 min read

How RISE with SAP Strengthens the Innovative Start-up Wingcopter

Sustainability is a responsibility with social implications that characterizes modern entrepreneurship and is actively demanded by stakeholders. Ecological and social actions are therefore essential success factors, which are associated with complex requirements but also with great opportunities. In order to navigate through these challenges as a company, a dynamically scalable and reliable IT landscape is essential. This growing structure is especially important for start-ups and hypergrowth companies, because one thing is certain: Innovation can inspire sustainability. This is illustrated by NTT DATA Business Solutions’ collaboration with the successful start-up Wingcopter.

Wingcopter drone
Ayça Içingir, Head of Innovation & Portfolio Management at NTT DATA Business Solutions

Innovative New Heights with SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition

Wingcopter was one of NTT DATA Business Solutions’ first RISE with SAP (SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud) projects. Ayça Içingir, Head of Innovation & Portfolio Management at NTT DATA Business Solutions, remembers exactly how excited she was when she heard about the start-up’s mission:

Wingcopter wants to save and improve human lives and puts this purpose at the forefront. Using technology as an enabler to do so, convinced and excited us. This was one of the reasons why the collaboration has picked up such dynamic and speed that is second to none.

The flexibility, drive for innovation and willingness of NTT DATA Business Solutions to operate in an extremely dynamic project environment was one of the major factors that made the collaboration such a success. With RISE with SAP, an intelligent SAP Cloud ERP landscape was built, giving the start-up a boost for its business processes.

A Clear Vision

We want to improve and save lives with efficient and sustainable drone solutions.

Tom Plümmer, Co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter GmbH

Wingcopter: Logistical highways in the sky to save and improve lives
Watch on Wingcopter: Logistical highways in the sky to save and improve lives

Wingcopter GmbH – Social Responsibility Is Their Mission

Wingcopter is an innovative start-up, which uses unmanned eVTOL aerial systems (UAS), so-called ‘Wingcopter’ drones, to deliver sensitive goods such as aid, medicine or food that would otherwise be difficult to get to the places where it is urgently needed. For this mission, the company was also recognized as a ‘Technology Pioneer’ by the World Economic Forum in 2020.

Sustainability through Technical Innovation

In addition to value-driven commercial applications, the start-up focuses particularly on the humanitarian use of its technology. In particular this involves the optimization of medical supply chains. In the future, the delivery of parcels, tools and spare parts as well as food and meals will follow. In addition to social responsibility as a sustainability aspect, the latter is also found quite concretely in the patented technology of the drones: thanks to the swivel rotor mechanism, the Wingcopters can not only take off and land vertically like multicopters, but also fly long distances as efficiently and quickly as fixed-wing aircraft – even in heavy rain and wind. The fully electric drive of the drones thus makes it a sustainable solution that brings supply chains into the air, enabling lower-emission logistics.

One year after winning the SDG Spotlight Award 2020 as part of NTT DATA’s global Open Innovation Contest, the sustainable transport and logistics company is now mastering new heights through their partnership with the SAP service provider.

Identifying Challenges and Seizing New Opportunities

Wingcopter is pursuing an emerging business model and thus must meet complex requirements in terms of production processes. For example, small-batch production of the drones approaching the prototype stage must be documented for supervisory authorities to assure that they are fit for use in uninhabited or sparsely populated areas.

However, concrete challenges arose on the way to becoming a smart company and digitizing the processes:

  • Narrow time frame for the implementation of a new ERP environment with a fit-to-standard approach
  • Emerging market with short innovation cycles
  • Requirement of the hypergrowth company for a clear cloud- and service-only strategy with the right IT partner

For these challenges Wingcopter found in NTT DATA Business Solutions their reliable partner with a high level of consulting expertise. And with SAP S/4 HANA Private Cloud Edition, the right solution for their complex requirements. In order to meet the time frame, it was necessary to carry out as few customer-specific adjustments as possible. The implementation of the new solution had to be as close as possible to the SAP standard as well as use best practices. Eventually this approach became the project highlight: complete concentration of the team on the necessary feature set.

RISE with SAP: Ready for the Cloud within 6 Months

With the implementation of the new fit-to-standard solution as well as the training of key users, the benefits of intelligent features and technologies are now flowing to the purchasing, production, quality management, financial accounting and controlling departments. Higher process efficiency results from intelligent automation, optimization of business processes, and secure operations in the cloud. The goal was achieved: The successive development of an ERP+ system to cover the business objectives, the establishment of an IT environment that meets the verification requirements and enables efficient management of production. At the same time, the cloud and service-only strategy with NTT DATA Business Solutions succeeded.

New Objectives for the Future

The next IT-related objectives are: Expanding the system to sales processes as well as new innovation projects to evolve cloud architectures for optimized scaling of the service business model. With the future-oriented system, intelligent technologies and smart services, the course has been set for future growth, strategic decisions, and visionary projects.

Do you want to learn more about Wingcopter and the collaboration with NTT DATA Business Solutions? Have a look at the detailed case study.

the case study

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