Australian ERP integrator Plaut IT has become one of the first businesses across Asia-Pacific and Japan to adopt SAP’s S/4 HANA cloud ERP system and is taking the product to market this year as the partner pushes the latest iteration of SAP's business management software.
After going live with the platform in February, Plaut IT, a long-time SAP partner, is developing a HANA S/4 practice to bring the product to its Australian customers, and hopes its experience deploying the ERP in its own business will pave the way for cloud ERP to take off.
“We've been around since 2000, so we have 16-17 years of ERP experience. We've been very successful in taking the original core ERP on-premises model and over the years building out capabilities around additional functional solutions and capabilities customers were wanting us to implement,” Plaut IT chief executive Sebastian Moore told CRN.
“We looked at this system in the cloud and effectively said, ‘We can do the same with this.’"
Darren Roos, SAP’s global head of SAP S/4 HANA cloud, who visited Sydney to meet with potential partners last week, told CRN his company was working hard to keep up with a fast-emerging cloud ERP market.
“We have reached the tipping point where there's now massive adoption of ERP in the cloud. As a result, there is tremendous interest,” he said. “We've done some research with IDC and what we know is that 40 percent of our customers globally will have more than half of their ERP in the public cloud by 2020.
“We know from the research that we've done that Australia is one of the most mature markets globally from a public cloud ERP perspective. So this is around measuring companies' willingness to adopt their systems of record in the public cloud. We know that Australia is pretty far ahead there.”
Moore said part of Plaut IT’s value-add strategy as an SAP reseller was its ability to build out specific functionality in the system for businesses.
“It's a platform that allows you to extend the functionalities of the SAP S/4HANA cloud solution so you can effectively come up with another tile that appears on a portal.
“There might be a tile you need to include that functionality may not exist for that particular industry or some other area... we have a road map of development where we're about to go live with a couple of applications with our April release.
“So we can not only use that for our own implementation, but we can take that forward and commercialise it and those applications can be purchased globally on the cloud portal, effectively, by other customers who can use it on similar platforms.”
One of the cloud-specific benefits of SAP’s new platform is the end of forgotten update cycles. Where ERP software can become outdated and vulnerable when organisations have legacy on-premises systems go for years without patching.
Roos said the application customisation was another benefit for individual businesses to create personalised systems.
“Historically, what would have happened is that the customer would have customised the core application and then when the upgrade came through they'd have to do a tremendous amount of manual effort to reconfigure and regression fit everything that they'd done,” Roos said.
“That's why on-premises applications tended to be incredibly expensive and so laborious, because the effort of upgrading them was so difficult that you could only really practically do it once every few years.
“Now, what we're doing is you provide that extensibility at an abstraction layer. You abstract that from the core application.”
Roos said SAP’s cloud platform for the Asia Pacific will be supported by SAP’s Sydney data centre.
Exhibitor: Plaut IT Australia