Innovating to Help Industries Transform

Event Brief – SAP Industry Analyst Base Camp 2021

By: Sandra K. Rodriguez, Senior Industry Analyst

Peter Maier, President, SAP Industries and Customer Advisory, opened the 2021 Industry Analyst Base Camp with words of caution, “there is still less consensus about the new normal and the future will be more dynamic and uncertain.” With a variety of industry cloud solutions ranging from Automotive, Banking, Consumer Products, Financial Services to Life Sciences and more, Maier said with confidence, “we are the market maker, once again.”

Recognizing that all companies have different starting points, SAP customers are optimizing existing systems and taking a multi-step approach to transition to a modular cloud architecture.  “Moving to the cloud is a journey, not a destination” added Julia White, Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer and Executive Board Member at SAP.  This architecture is comprised of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Industry Cloud (3rd Party Apps and SAP), SAP Line-of-Business (LOB) Solutions and the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) which brings together enterprise applications into one platform for both cloud and hybrid environments. This includes hundreds of pre-built integrations for SAP and third-party applications. White accurately pointed out that many companies have relied on on-prem technologies for decades.  As a result, there are multiple paths customers can take to make the transition. It is not a one size fits all journey.

Sustainability Is Top of Mind for Not Just SAP Customers

Jonas Dennler, Global Head Sustainability, Go-to-Market at SAP was joined by Stephen Jamieson, Global Head Circular Economy to discuss SAPs approach to enable end-to-end sustainability management.  Internally, SAP is seeking ways to reduce its carbon footprint and improve diversity and inclusion among its work force.  Senior executives in the organization are also being measured and compensated based on achieving sustainability metrics.  Sustainability data and dashboards are also being brought into the system.

SAPs sustainability value proposition has four key elements:

  • Incorporate sustainability as a dimension of success into SAP processes by leveraging tools of the intelligent enterprise and end-to-end processes
  • Deliver in-depth solutions that integrate SAP and non-SAP software for reliable, audit-ready, and up-to-date results to provide holistic steering and reporting capabilities
  • Address the needs of organizations to transform to regenerative business models, that grow disruptively, and increase productivity in a Circular Economy.
  • Offer a holistic portfolio across sustainability goals covering the different needs of industries and LOBs.

Introducing the SAP Vaccine Collaboration Hub

The SAP Vaccine Collaboration Hub (VCH) is a modular, end-to-end logistics network that provides visibility to all stakeholders across the value chain including:

  • Authorities charged with overseeing the COVID-19 mission
  • Life-Science companies and manufacturers
  • Logistic service providers and wholesalers
  • Vaccination sites and government health agencies

The VCH is based on a 3-layer concept.  The first layer relates to value chain visibility from manufacturers to vaccination sites. Companies can identify logistics bottlenecks, avoid disruptions, and prevent counterfeiting and expired batches.  The second layer offers supply chain planning to integrate financial and demand planning and allocate supply for optimal vaccine administration. The third layer is mission control to capture and respond to real-time operational metrics and citizen sentiment.

Image Source: SAP

Most of the pharma companies and vaccine manufacturers already use VCH’s key components: SAP ERP, SAP Advanced Track and Track for Pharmaceuticals (ATTP), and SAP Information Collaboration Hub (ICH) for Life-Sciences.  Does the old saying “if you build it they will come” apply in a current or post COVID-19 world?  It will be interesting the monitor and report on the progress and success of the SAP VCH.

Helping Healthcare Providers Become Intelligent Enterprises

A remarkable case study featuring Heidelberg University Hospital (an SAP Innovation Awards Winner 2021) proved that healthcare providers can become intelligent enterprises.  During the height of the pandemic in Germany, a hospital bed reporting system built on cloud-based analytics was tied to local ambulatory services. Ambulance drivers were directed to the nearest hospital that had Covid bed capacity.  Officials were able to view data simultaneously from all hospitals connected in the cloud.  This ensured that healthcare providers received timely information for resource planning and each patient received an appropriate bed and the best possible care. Beyond the pandemic, this technology will be extended when transferring patients to various clinics throughout the city of Heidelberg.  It is hard to argue with the statement made by Michael Byczkowski, GVP SAP Healthcare Industry, “in healthcare, data drives value chains.” 

According to Mandar Paralkar, Head of Life-Sciences Industry at SAP, “Life-Sciences companies are balancing the impact of global supply chain disruptions and the need for resilience. There are new opportunities to justify digital transformation investments, while remaining profitable despite declining margins and constrained capacity.”  In SAPs point of view, intelligent enterprises will lead the way. The C-suite will lead enterprise transformation focusing on improved customer outcomes, the ability to compete as an ecosystem, and enable digital supply chains and smart factories.  Transformation for the Life-Sciences will happen as companies move from Best-Practices to the Vertical-Edge.”  For a detailed view of the process, please see image below.

Image Source: SAP

Improving the Traceability and Authenticity of Pharmaceuticals

Aaron Graham, Executive Director, Brand Safety & Security at Boehringer Ingelheim shared an eye-opening statistic:  the global market for counterfeit drugs is estimated at $200B – more than heroin and cocaine combined.  The company built a mobile app for law enforcement, leveraging blockchain technology, to improve the traceability and authenticity of its products.  Whenever products are shipped from anywhere in the world for its North America distribution network, the ATTP ensures the data that accompanies the lot, is in the blockchain.  Verification happens through a mobile app or tablet. By scanning the 2D data matrix that is present on every saleable unit of the company’s medicines, law enforcement agents can inform the company of suspected counterfeit items in real-time.  The notification includes serial number, batch or lot number, expiration date and current geo-location. Security controls are built in ensuring that only authorized law enforcement personnel have access to the application. “Ensuring access to healthcare, including safe, authentic and affordable life-enhancing medicines for the patients we serve, is at the forefront of everything we do. The App enables law enforcement officials to further support these patient safety goals,” said Graham.  

In Brief

This was my first time attending SAP’s Industry Analyst Base Camp. The executive team put together a comprehensive virtual conference featuring internal subject matter experts and customers.  In Life-Sciences, SAP offers solutions across the value network that will enable innovators to transform from a paper-driven industry that has historically been focused on compliance – to one that is focused on building an intelligent enterprise built on data.  This transformation is needed for sustainability, as well as improved business and patient outcomes.  We will continue to monitor SAP and provide updates affecting the Life-Sciences industry as they become available.

Contact Research@axendia.com to schedule an Analyst Inquiry on this topic.

The opinions and analysis expressed in this Briefing Note reflect the judgment of Axendia at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. Information contained in this document is current as of publication date. Information cited is not warranted by Axendia but has been obtained through a valid research methodology. This document is not intended to endorse any company or product and should not be attributed as such.