SAP is the epicenter of business operations for companies around the world. In fact, 77% of the world’s transactional revenue touches an SAP system, and 92% of the Forbes Global 2000 companies use SAP, according to Frost & Sullivan.  

Global challenges related to profitability, supply chains and sustainability are creating economic uncertainty for many companies. Modernizing SAP systems and embracing cloud environments like AWS can provide these companies with a real-time view of their business operations, fueling growth and increasing confidence in navigating these challenges.  

For those businesses that choose AWS for their SAP applications, IBM® brings the most comprehensive offerings to deliver true foundational transformation at its core. IBM provides next-gen transformation solutions and services for SAP clients accelerating their journey with AWS. Together, IBM and AWS are working to bring advanced capabilities to our clients’ transformation. Read Frost & Sullivan perspectives on accelerating your SAP transformation with IBM and AWS. 

 IBM and AWS alignment for SAP transformation 

1. Path to efficiency and sustainability with Clean Core 

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, companies are continually seeking ways to streamline their operations, reduce complexity, and enhance sustainability. One approach that has gained significant traction is Clean Core Development, particularly when implemented on the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). Clean Core Development aligns perfectly with the modern enterprise’s quest for efficiency, agility and environmental responsibility.  

Clean Core Development is a software development methodology that prioritizes simplicity, modularity and maintainability. It encourages developers to keep the core of their applications clean and focused on essential functions. It also abstracts complex, often changing or industry-specific features into extensions or add-ons. This approach not only simplifies the core application but also enables businesses to adapt quickly to changing requirements without causing unnecessary disruptions. 

By keeping the core clean, businesses can adapt to changing requirements more easily, reduce the risk of costly disruptions, and contribute to sustainability efforts. As organizations increasingly embrace digital transformation, Clean Core Development becomes a strategic choice for achieving long-term success in the dynamic world of business and technology. 

AWS SDK for SAP ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) connects SAP-based business processes to over 200 AWS services by using the familiar SAP ABAP language. This integration streamlines communication and reduces architectural complexity between SAP applications and AWS service APIs and helps SAP customers adopt AWS services by using the familiar ABAP development language to extend their business processes. 

2. Generative AI is key to SAP modernization  

Generative AI has the potential to unlock trillions in value over the next decade, reinventing experiences and creating never-seen-before applications. This is why over 80% of companies are already working with or planning to adopt generative AI by 2026, according to a recent Gartner study

Businesses can capitalize on generative AI’s potential to simplify, derisk and accelerate SAP modernization journeys. From increasing developer productivity to accelerating application modernization and operational optimizations, generative AI addresses many strategic outcomes in modernization projects.  

By infusing traditional and generative AI into workflows, companies can drive process optimization and have better visibility of key metrics anytime, anywhere. This allows them to increase profitability and customer satisfaction while being agile to adapt to market needs. IBM is also building business AI applications using generative AI models from Amazon Bedrock (using Anthropic Claude 3 model family), Amazon Titan and IBM watsonx™. 

For clients looking to harness the power of generative AI, IBM has developed new capabilities for SAP transformation on AWS. IBM and AWS joint clients can benefit from these gen AI capabilities, which include: 

  • Assistants: IBM Consulting® Advantage platform for generating user stories, creating test cases, developing technical specifications, writing Code and producing training materials. 
  • Intelligent Invoice Match and Verification: A dynamic 4-way verification of purchase orders, goods receipts, vendor contracts and invoices that can optimize the end-to-end procurement process.  
    This solution identifies and addresses discrepancies before final invoicing, reduces contract leakages, and enhances financial transparency and accountability across the entire procurement cycle. 
  • Sustainable Product Ledger: A joint solution developed by IBM and AWS, tightly integrated with SAP ECC and S/4HANA for oil and gas, and energy industries. This allows clients to report carbon accounting across Scope 1, 2, 3 with proof of sustainability and traceability for reporting/ISCC compliance. This also enables end-to-end planning and optimization of supply chain to maximize renewable premiums – resulting in up to 300% increase in revenue for renewable products. Watch the video
  • Manufacturing and Export Certificate of Analysis and Certificate of Conformity: Facilitate trust verification for life science and pharma companies.  
Watch the IBM and AWS webinar: Practical applications of Generative AI for SAP modernization

One example of IBM Consulting brining generative AI capabilities to life for a client is our work with Water Corporation, an Australia-based public sector company. delivers water, wastewater and drainage services in the region. The IBM team led the design of their complete cloud environment, along with the overall SAP target-state architecture. The IBM team also mapped out the migration plan, choosing a three-phase approach. 

IBM Consulting embraced an agile, automation-first strategy to accelerate migration efforts. Taking advantage of AWS CloudFormation templates to create an infrastructure as code architecture, the team simplified the tear down and spin-up of new resources within the AWS cloud. The Red Hat® Ansible® Lightspeed platform provided automation capabilities for the configuration, provisioning and deployment of the more than 20 SAP systems. These systems and related SQL databases are used by Water Corporation daily. 

Taking advantage of  IBM watsonx Code Assistant technology, the cloud infrastructure architects used generative AI to convert plain English into code recommendations. This was for the automation functions that were targeted for the migration and upkeep of the new SAP environment. Read the white paper: Accelerate your modernization with IBM and AWS programs (link resides outside IBM.com) 

IBM and Water Corporation estimate that the new automation strategy saves the business roughly 1,500 hours of manual labor associated with infrastructure support. The watsonx Code Assistant technology accelerated the creation of Ansible playbooks and cut development efforts and associated costs by 30%. And all these savings helped the business offset the cost of running its SAP cloud environment by more than 40%.  

3. RISE with SAP  

IBM brings everything organizations need to plan, execute, and support business transformation in the way that works best. 

RISE with SAP is a holistic business transformation-as-a-service offering with one contract, one offer and one price point. This provides access to industry-leading reference architecture, a full-stack secure application ready platform, unified point of accountability and simplified engagement and commercials. It also provides access to common governance across services for service management, architectural and technical collaboration, full RISE roles and responsibilities support, and subscription support for software, infrastructure and technical managed services. 

For those clients looking to adopt RISE with SAP on AWS, IBM is striving to make it easier. The aim is to improve the performance and efficiency of SAP workloads running in the cloud. This is achieved by enabling business transformation by using IBM methods and accelerators and reducing the time taken for the implementation. 

A leading pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Indonesia partnered with IBM and AWS to accelerate its digital transformation. IBM Consulting helped Holi Pharma successfully adopt RISE with SAP and move its mission-critical ERP workloads and processes to the cloud. With the elasticity of high-performance computing and storage systems, AWS enabled IBM and SAP to deploy the RISE with SAP landscape quickly, achieving a shorter project timeline for Holi Pharma. 

Why choose IBM and AWS for SAP? 

With over 50 years of partnership with SAP embracing new challenges, IBM is one of the world’s largest SAP partners with over 6,500 implementations. We are also a Premier Tier Partner for AWS, which serves over 5000 SAP clients.  

We bring deep industry expertise and technology prowess to help clients around the globe and across every industry looking to modernize their SAP workloads on the cloud. IBM Consulting helped Japan Airlines Limited (JAL)decide on a comprehensive upgrade of the eJAL platform (a custom finance and accounting platform based on SAP solutions) to  SAP S/4HANA on AWS. This upgrade aims to accelerate business processes and foster innovation. 

To align with its cloud-first strategy, JAL deployed the new system on SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) with AWS, allowing the company to migrate from its SAP ECC/EC-CS applications. With its new eJAL system on schedule, JAL is realizing benefits sooner.  

IBM and AWS have delivered hundreds of SAP engagements on AWS. Through deep expertise and technologies including cloud, generative AI, analytics, data and security, we deliver innovation at scale for our clients.  

From advisory and implementation, to managing operations digitally, IBM Consulting methodologies, accelerators and generative AI assets provide great value. They help modernize the legacy ERPs to S/4HANA on AWS with speed and consistency and embed innovation and driving the ability to gain insights focused on user experience.  

Read more about IBM Consulting services for AWS Cloud

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