Thought leadership article
Cloud ERP, the teleworking champion (but not only)
With the cloud, companies can facilitate their employees' mobility by offering them solutions that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and from any type of device. The cloud is also an excellent way to delegate the IT infrastructure to specialists, allowing a company to concentrate on their core business. Etienne Jacquet, Head of SAP S/4HANA Public cloud practice at VISEO, explains how.
Because of the health crisis, companies have had to accelerate their use of teleworking. Organizations that had opted for on-premises infrastructures had to take immediate steps to ensure that their employees could access the IS from home. IT solutions deployed in the cloud eliminate this problem: they can be accessed on any computer, regardless of the network on which it is connected or where it is located. 100% cloud strategies are emerging from the crisis stronger than ever, especially as teleworking remains a fundamental trend, even though it is not as systematic as it was in recent months.
The anywhere / anytime aspect is not only interesting for the occasional teleworker. It is also useful for other categories of employees who may work outside the company premises. During an appointment, a sales representative could thus access a complete view of a customer's file (invoices, payments, outstanding amounts, etc.). A decision-maker would be able to continue to approve certain requests (purchases, vacations, etc.) while on business trips, thus helping to avoid blocking internal approval processes. Many activities would benefit from remote access to the ERP.
The SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud intelligent ERP and its modernized Fiori user interface also adds an 'any device' aspect, as it uses the solution via a simple web browser. A 4G-connected tablet becomes an excellent way to access the ERP from all corners of an industrial site. SAP S/4HANA is even accessible on smartphones, although there are some limitations as to the volume of data that can be displayed.
Finally, since a cloud ERP does not have to worry about the barriers represented by the walls of a company and its local network, it is easier to connect to other cloud solutions: SAP Ariba for supplier and sourcing management, SAP Concur for expenses management, and SAP Analytics Cloud for advanced analytics and scheduling.
An IS managed and secured by experts
For many companies, the ERP is seen as a critical asset, storing highly confidential data. While large companies generally have sufficient resources to properly manage their SAP environment, smaller companies often do not. In addition, more and more large accounts are asking themselves whether they should manage their IT infrastructure and IT security issues themselves. Moving to the cloud is therefore also a reflection of the desire of organizations to focus on their core business, while having a professionally managed IT solution that works everywhere.
To opt for a SAP S/4HANA ERP in cloud mode means entrusting the management of your infrastructure to a hyperscaler (Amazon, Google or Microsoft) and that of your software environments to SAP. Trusted players with all the ISO security and quality certifications imaginable, and who mobilize teams whose knowledge base is often beyond the reach of companies choosing to internalize these resources. The connections between the various SAP solutions deployed in the cloud is made within the walls of the data center, for optimal security and performance. The rest is done through secure bridges set up by the integrator, usually based on APIs.
Of course, some limitations still exist in the cloud world. While it is possible to host data in the desired region, as hyperscalers' networks are now very extensive, some countries (such as China and Russia) remain unfriendly towards the cloud. Also, the cloud requires a good Internet connection, although this is no longer a problem in Europe.
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