In the new era of information and innovation, organisations have to rethink the way they operate. The last decades businesses have been focusing on continuous improvement and standardisation of processes. Especially the results in process standardisation efforts are in most cases rather poor because most organisations have limited awareness of the fact that roughly 80% of the processes are non-differentiating, in other words even after standardisation too much unnecessary specialisation remains in place. A side effect of focusing on continuous improvement is a limited focus on innovation and thus underestimation of the disruption that innovation brings to their business.

Smart Business!

Creating a Smart Business is finding the balance in operational excellence, innovation and powering your business with disruptive new possibilities of technology to differentiate your business.

Operational Excellence

The basis for your Smart Business are the core processes of your organisation for procurement, sales, order fulfilment, manufacturing, finance and HR. If you are aware that probably 80% of your business processes are non-differentiating in your competitive position you are ready to standardise the foundation of your organisation. The starting point are the best practice standard processes of the S/4 HANA public cloud. A guided process helps your stakeholders and users in process adoption and configuration. This is the basis of S/4 HANA public cloud: standard processes that don’t require CAPEX.


The next component in Smart Business is driving innovation, allowing you to differentiate where differentiation brings a competitive edge. Utilizing the latest available technology like IoT, (predictive) analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, etc. Starting from the business opportunity we follow the following steps to translate ideas into actionable insights:
Step 1: Together with the Design Thinking Center in Amsterdam, we bring Business and IT together for a deep exploration of stakeholders, channels, products, and processes to generate a rich set of insights and ideas. Instrumental to this is the step to precisely define the two-sided problems the innovation must solve.

Two-sided meaning that it should both solve or improve something for your customers and, at the same time, improve the operations or increase efficiency. This results in an articulation of the customer value and business cases for why it is the right challenge to focus on.

Step 2: Define and articulate potential innovation solutions to address these challenges. Each initiative should be based on a minimal viable product supported by a business case and integrated fact-based benefit monitoring and restricted to an isolated area of the business.

Step 3: As you are discovering the path and produce measurable results, the solution can be scaled quickly. Instrumental in this stage are stakeholder management, benefits tracking, and promotion. Or when you encounter less than desirable or expected results the launch of new and alternate approaches. As you learn you can initiate new projects and scale them even faster since you are now familiar with the pitfalls and impediments.

SAP Leonardo  together with the SAP Cloud Platform offers a world of possibilities with a standard integration to the S/4 HANA public cloud basis.

Business decision support

The real time data handling offers a real step change opportunity to run your business client centric and efficient. Always having the possibilities of soft closing for the CFO, a system supporting your sales reps in real time decision support for available to promise, your planning department is supported in making the real time decision on production planning. This is all available in the standard S/4 HANA public cloud and more over: imagine the possibilities and innovations you can create with real time connected Assets, Goods and Customers.

When you understand that incremental improvement will not bring the required results, struggle with high CAPEX on IT for non-differentiating processes, Smart Business with SAP surely live up to your expectations. Interested in what Smart Business can mean for your organisation? You can contact me directly through ton.van.dolder@thenextview.nl.