NTT DATA Business Solutions
Johann Heydenrych | May 21, 2021

RISE with SAP: What SAP’s Approach to Customer Transformation Means for your Business


(5 minute read)

In January 2021, SAP CEO Christian Klein announced the RISE with SAP initiative, which focuses on moving the customer landscape toward the SAP Cloud product portfolio. It is essentially a commercially bundled, single-subscription contract that provides access to a collection of tools, services and software to assist with your business transformation efforts.

This is an important new initiative from SAP, so we wanted to take some time to understand its implications for our customers before providing our point of view. We also wanted to examine its impact on our own service offering launched last year, Digital Transformation as a Service, which is designed to help clients accelerate and unlock business value through SAP software investments consumed with agility and predictable spend. Based on our experience working with customers over the past several years, we considered how our own approach to digital transformation as a service could complement the various elements of RISE with SAP.

This is the first in a series of blog articles where we will explore RISE with SAP to help you better understand what it offers for your business and some things to consider.

What is Included in RISE with SAP?

If you choose to move to a RISE with SAP contract, your business is basically trading perpetual software licenses and maintenance for a bundled subscription model with your choice of hyperscaler infrastructure – all in a single contract. There are four specific software/services components to the RISE product offering, which can be seen below:

RISE with SAP what's included

Let’s take a deeper look at what is included:

Building your Intelligent Enterprise
A subscription to RISE with SAP includes not only the SAP S/4HANA Cloud software subscription, but also your choice of hyperscaler infrastructure (Azure, AWS, GCP). The contract also includes a range of technical management services that SAP will deliver against agreed-upon service level agreements (SLAs).

Tools and Services
Depending on your deployment scenario, SAP offers RISE for new implementations or a technical migration into the S/4HANA Cloud environment.  Often the question of ‘Why’ must be answered before the ‘How.’ SAP provides a variety of tools to discern new technology capabilities, to better articulate and identify value for your business to achieve its departmental or corporate goals and objectives.

In addition, preparing, planning and executing a technical migration can be complex. SAP provides a comprehensive series of tools to customers and partners to assist with the process of analyzing existing SAP systems to manage risks and change management as well as support a seamless migration to SAP S/4HANA.

Business Process Redesign
SAP provides tools that generate a Process Discovery report. This report analyzes current business KPI benchmarks while outlining key features within the S/4HANA Cloud software that enhance, optimize and improve current in-use business processes. With SAP’s recent acquisition of Signavio, this will be a key building block to understanding process chains, bottlenecks, areas for re-engineering, or reacquainting the business with adopting standard best practices.

Technology Networks
Beyond that, the RISE with SAP contract gives your business a jump-start into its Intelligent Enterprise, providing access to the SAP Business Technology Platform (formerly known as SAP Cloud Platform) and the SAP Business Network to enhance digitized collaboration with all of your trading partners. Starter packages include Ariba Network, Asset Intelligence Network, and the Logistics Business Network.

Rise with SAP Operational Dynamics

The image below provides a simplified view of what is included in RISE with SAP. The bottom portion, shaded in blue, represents what is included in a single RISE with SAP contract: software + maintenance support, infrastructure management and technical managed services.

What is NOT included are advisory services, implementation services, or application management services. For those types of services, you will need to work with an SAP partner under a separate contract.

RISE with SAP operational dynamics

How NTT DATA Business Solutions Complements RISE with SAP

As we’ve discussed, a RISE with SAP subscription provides access to a comprehensive bundle of software, tools and services to help your business transition to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, but you’ll also need to find an experienced partner that can provide advisory, implementation or application management services.

That’s where NTT DATA Business Solutions comes in, with a wealth of experience and a structured set of services that complement RISE with SAP.

Advisory Services
For a smooth transition to your SAP S/4HANA environment, there are a variety of items your business will need to consider. Working with an experienced partner can make all the difference. NTT DATA Business Solutions complements the RISE with SAP offering with a comprehensive suite of advisory services, including assessment of your business, trends in your industry, your existing technology environment, and opportunities for business process improvement. We align the overall business strategy and alleviate obstacles through software investments to unlock new business value.

Business Process Optimization
For the majority of SAP customers, the secret to successful business transformation will be integration of business processes with the existing ERP environment. In order to build a value-based case for change, you will need to have a full understanding of your processes and be able to identify opportunities for improvement.

NTT DATA Business Solutions is particularly strong in the area of business process optimization, using a structured methodology to provide custom recommendations based on the actual transactional data from your systems.

Implementation Services
As a Global SAP Platinum Partner, NTT DATA Business Solutions is able to provide a full range of implementation services to help your business with whichever S/4HANA pathway it chooses. We can create a tailored implementation strategy that helps you achieve your objectives quickly and efficiently, using SAP best practices to ensure a fast, cost-effective project completion.

Application Management Services (AMS)
Outsourced application management services can assist your business with making a big leap toward digital transformation – but not just any AMS provider will do. NTT DATA Business Solutions offers a full set of solutions that move beyond tactical efficiency gains, providing flexibility and forward-looking strategic capabilities to support business transformation and innovation.

Digital Transformation as a Service
Over the past two years, NTT DATA Business Solutions has developed a service-based approach to digital transformation (DTaaS) to help customers through their journeys. The DTaaS approach includes a flexible delivery model based on a dynamic technology roadmap tailored for your business, with a value-based subscription model.

Our DTaaS program complements the RISE with SAP program and ensures your focused success by making the whole solution stack (the wheel below) available to your business in a subscription model.

Next: Comparing Your Options

In this article, we have attempted to clarify what is included in the RISE with SAP program, and where we believe you will need a partner to supplement those services. Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of what is available to your business through SAP and partners like NTT DATA Business Solutions.

In our next series of blogs, we will take a deeper dive, exploring comparative options and providing insights to help you evaluate the approach that is the best fit to achieve your overall business goals.

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