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Wednesday, 23 January 2019 11:01

SAP Predictions for 2019 - Exciting trends at the cusp of a new decade

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2018was an eventful year for the SAP world. ERP (and therefore

SAP) startedfiguring prominently in conversations around digital, S/4HANA strengthened its claimas the next-generation digital core, Leonardo evolved further especially inArtificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and the launch of C/4HANAsignaled SAP's intention to take on the CRM market head-on. The SAP marketexperienced a buoyancy probably not seen for more than a decade. As we enterthe next year, many of us wonder what could shape the SAP market for this year.I expect these trends to carry forward in 2019 opening new frontiers:

TheS/4HANA market will see more Greenfield implementations than conversion.Although large SAP clients still don't have a firm business case for a 3 to 5years long Greenfield project, with the 2025 deadline looming, time is runningout. I therefore expect clients to run pilot programs and push for Greenfieldimplementation in smaller markets/businesses, and keep the conversion option asa fallback for a later decision.

SAPwill continue to push a cloud first approach this year as well. In order toaccelerate S/4HANA on-cloud implementations and keeping in mind client'sreluctance on public solutions, SAP will likely push create a hybrid offeringof dedicated solutions bundled with some service components in collaborationwith large cloud providers. We can look forward to some interesting moves onthis front in partnership with large cloud providers such as Microsoft Azureand AWS.

Lastyear, SAP introduced C/4HANA, a strong offering in the front office CRMautomation segment. In 2019, we can expect further strengthening of thesolution with the help of AI/ML-driven use cases and the leveraging of newproducts acquired in this space. I would not be surprised to see a couple ofbig-ticket acquisitions as well.

Talkingof Leonardo, although it is yet to establish itself as a core digitalinnovation platform, this year it is likely to see more adoption, especially ofits AI/ML products. Service partners, on the back of attractive valuepropositions and flexible pricing offers from SAP, will look to leverageLeonardo more and more. we can hope to see some large impactful solutions builton top of the platform.

Dataprivacy and cyber security concerns will also play a big role in clients spendsin this space. With GDPR regulations in Europe and similar trends in otherparts of the world, we are likely to see niche solutions being offered on topof SAP solution stack, by independent vendors. It will create a new space for SIsto provide consulting and integration services at a large scale.

For SAP practitioners, 2019will bring several opportunities to implement new solutions to address thedigital transformation needs of their clients. It will be interesting to seehow we take advantage of these.

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