Microsoft and SAP have teamed up to deliver a new collaborative cloud ERP experience that gives people the ability to increase personal productivity, collaborate more closely, and make better decisions. Microsoft and SAP deliver a unique, intuitive experience which combines mission-critical data from SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP’s flagship cloud ERP solution with industry-standard collaboration software Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365. It allows people to work together on key business processes in Teams and Outlook, bringing the business data to the place where they are already doing their collaboration.
The shift to hybrid work makes collaboration tools and efficiency of business processes even more critical. According to a Harvard Business Review study, “To execute a single supply-chain transaction, each person involved switched about 350 times between 22 different applications and unique websites.” The shift to hybrid work has made effective collaboration tools even more critical to support business decisions.
Moving to a highly collaborative, automated and intelligent Cloud ERP
SAP sees the future of ERP being highly automated and intelligent - infused by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology -allowing humans to focus on the strategic and highly collaborative scenarios. These scenarios are not only company internal but span partners and suppliers. With Microsoft being the world leader in productivity software with over 250 million monthly active users in Teams and a security leader, with solutions such as Azure Active Directory enabling the federation between companies, it is the perfect match for SAP being a worldwide leader in ERP software.
The sharing of live SAP business data from SAP S/4HANA cloud is made possible through Adaptive Card-based Loop components. Our large joint customer base will benefit even more from the investments made in SAP and Microsoft as we offer more integrated capabilities going forward.
“The future of ERP and the future of work are intertwined. Applications are where experiences surface, and the work experience can be amplified by bringing the cloud ERP insight with the right context, into the tools that users know” said Paul Saunders, Head of Product Strategy for SAP S/4HANA. “Empowering organizations to spend more time focusing on their customers has been a key goal — and we’ve done that by reimagining the collaborative experience.”
Completing complex business processes requires collaboration across various business functions. For example, to process a purchase order, a purchasing manager often needs to involve stakeholders in different parts of the business, sending multiple emails or chat messages with links to the order and other related information. The stakeholders then click on the links, switching from their email or chat application to go into the purchase order app in SAP S/4HANA Cloud in order to make updates and ensure the customer receives the right product to meet their needs. This application switching can expose users to security risk and context switching means the shifting focus and productivity loss.
Contextual discoverability and sharing to drive productivity gains
With the collaborative SAP ERP, users can discover and bring SAP S/4HANA Cloud elements like a purchase order, as an Adaptive Card-based Loop component into the user context and share with others while staying in the flow of their work.
As users are going through their emails in Outlook or collaborating in Microsoft Teams, the Adaptive Card-based Loop components can display the relevant information from SAP S/4HANA Cloud. With this, Microsoft and SAP have accelerated decision making for thousands of users across the organization while keeping their data secure.
Portable and live customer experiences unlocking more values
The value offered by Adaptive Card-based Loop components is immense. Information from any SAP Fiori application can be shared with a few clicks to a Microsoft Teams channel. The portability of Adaptive Card-based Loop components enables users to interact with standard SAP business processes directly within Microsoft Teams or Outlook. For example, shipping/delivery processes could be checked and unblocked, directly from Teams chat or Outlook email. Adaptive Card-based Loop components will allow SAP S/4HANA Cloud users to share dynamic content from SAP applications with other users, while they continue to collaborate in Microsoft Teams, Outlook and in the future other UIs. The new collaboration paradigm ensures that the information shared is always live, up-to-date, and secure.
The collaborative cloud ERP will allow users to interact on key business processes and information from either side of the system - engage on SAP data in a secured way either in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, or from Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Outlook. The opportunities and possibilities for leveraging Adaptive Cards-based Loop component are limitless.
SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent, sustainable enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @ microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com.
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 How Much Time and Energy Do We Waste Toggling Between Applications? (hbr.org)