IBM and SAP’s S/4HANA are Transforming How Enterprise Businesses Function


Learn more about the relationship between IBM and SAP and how it is helping customers implement this revolutionary ERP solution.

For the second installment of our series about SAP’s new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, SAP S/4HANA, we sat down with Brian Lewis, IBM SAP Alliance Sales Executive at IBM. In case you missed our first blog “SAP S/4HANA is Helping Enterprise Customers Digitally Transform their Business”, we introduced S/4HANA, a cutting edge business productivity suite that is based on advanced in-memory technology.

What is so transformational about S/4HANA?

The foundation of S/4HANA is in-memory technology, which allows the ERP solution to shatter previous limitations and provide real-time, actionable data for modern, performance-intensive business applications. Whether SAP S/4HANA is delivered in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid of both, it can provide real-time value across all levels of a company – big or small.

IBM has long been a partner with SAP on a number of ERP solutions, and the company is uniquely poised to enable its customers to fully utilize the features of S/4HANA. We spoke with Brian about the history of IBM and SAP’s relationship, as well as how IBM plans to help users implement this new technology as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What is driving the growth of S/4HANA?

The rapid adoption of S/4HANA is primarily attributable to “speed and innovation,” according to Brian. An in-memory ERP solution offers a host of advantages for growing enterprise clients. Brian highlighted several examples, including “reports that took days to run now run in hours or minutes, or a client’s price book originally took twenty days to run, but was cut down to under four hours” with S/4HANA. These efficiency gains can be transformational for businesses that need real-time access to data which means the difference between profitability and losing money.

With the storied history of IBM and SAP delivering ERP solutions to the market, how does this relationship provide value to customers?

IBM’s goal is for businesses to get the most out of their SAP solutions and services. “Through decades of working together, IBM and SAP have captured best practices – such as detailed development roadmaps and reference architecture for a number of industries, along with preconfigured and optimized application suites that can give clients a faster time to value,” explained Brian.

How is IBM boosting the value to S/4HANA?

Brian sees a variety of ways in which IBM is augmenting this technology, especially as it relates to S/4HANA on the IBM POWER platform, a series of new servers offering both significant increases in performance and cost savings.

“IBM is pushing the limits of the technology and working with SAP to enhance their solution to allow scaling to the highest levels,” according to Brian. This is seen in the IBM / SAP Digital Transformation Partnership in which “the companies will co-innovate solutions that increase customer value through cognitive extensions, enhanced customer and user experiences and industry-specific functionality – all enabled with S/4HANA software.”

Why should IBM POWER be looked at as the next generation platform for SAP solutions?

IBM’s POWER servers offer the highest level of flexibility and reliability to help lower business risk. According to Brian, “IBM POWER solutions can reduce your overall cost and allow you to respond to fluctuations in your business and the market in a more dynamic fashion.”

Interested in learning more about IBM POWER and S/4HANA from SAP?

We really appreciate Brian taking the time to discuss his company’s relationship with SAP, as well as how IBM is using the ability of S/4HANA to provide real-time ERP solutions for its customers. If you’re looking for more information about this new platform, or IBM’s work with SAP, feel free to reach out to our team today at 800-771-7000 or email us through our contact form.


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