SAP and Accenture form ultimate partnership to develop new cloud-based solution
SAP and Accenture have teamed up to develop a cloud-based solution that will assist utility companies in improving business processes and customer experiences.
SAP Cloud for Utilities is an end-to-end solution which was the product of Project Elevate, which was announced in May 2019. The product will help utility companies to automate processes and real-time insights.
Jean-Marc Ollagnier, group chief executive for Accenture’s Resources business said: “Working with SAP and our utility industry co-innovation group to accelerate developing SAP’s cloud-based platform for utilities can enable our clients to better create new experiences for their customers while streamlining back office operations.
“These benefits are important for utilities to be more competitive in markets that are under growing pressure due to advancing technology and changing consumer preferences, including better home energy efficiency and increased interest in renewable energy sources.”
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According to Accenture, this solution will be built upon the AP C/4HANA® suite, SAP S/4HANA® Cloud and SAP S/4HANA and will incorporate knowledge from Accenture Technology and Accenture Interactive. The collaboration on this project compliments a long-standing partnership between the two tech giants.
“SAP Cloud for Utilities is our strategic cloud solution, designed to support lead-to-cash processes that can enable utilities to capture new opportunities and develop fresh business models in the dynamic market for innovative commodity and non-commodity products,” SAP Industries Co-President Peter Maier said. “The industry needs to create great customer experiences with integrated solutions for short time-to-market and low cost-to-serve.”
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GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”