Angela Gomez
President
SAP Mexico
/
View from the Top

SAP’s Tech Investment Priorities for 2022

By Sofía Hanna | Tue, 02/15/2022 - 12:35

Q: What trends have emerged in Mexico that will impact technological investment in 2022?

A: Approximately 85 percent of global commercial transactions go through an SAP system, which allows us to be aware of trends. The latest investment trends have been shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the strongest relates to external customer experience management. For example, the e-commerce in Mexico has grown by 27 percent in 2021, which illustrates the consumer shift from physical to online shopping. As a result, companies are investing in e-commerce platforms, online customer support services, digital marketing and tools that allow them to hear the clients’ voice. This last element goes beyond surveys; it involves analyzing the client’s feelings toward the experience the company sells. This increase in customer-focused technology investment by Mexican companies was reflected in the double-digit growth in our SAP Customer Experience solutions in 2021. I can share with you that in the Fourth Quarter of 2021 we witness how companies like Grupo Gigante, Grupo IDESA and Shasa moved in this direction with us.

Another important trend is related to talent. Investing in improving the experience for our talent to address its needs during the pandemic helps to keep them committed and motivated. Companies need to listen to their employees and provide personalized support. For instance, Estafeta is one of the Mexican companies which understands this very well and recently reaffirmed its confidence in SAP SuccessFactor, our Human Experience Management portfolio focused, which also increased by double digits last year.

In addition, supply chains and logistics have been among the most challenging areas during the pandemic and a priority investment for companies. In the past, just-in-time production models made sense for companies. Now, having a resilient, flexible supply chain is a differentiator but to achieve it companies need to collect and analyze data. In Mexico, we saw how portfolios focused on supply chain management grew triple (SAP Digital Supply Chain) and double digits (SAP Spend Management), In this case, we have cases like Arca Continental, which is advancing with SAP Ariba to improve its supply management.

 

 

Q: What has the lack of containers taught the industry and what changes should companies make so that similar disruptions do not endanger their operations?

A: The lack of containers globally has disrupted the distribution of final products and raw materials. The pandemic made us rethink the dynamic of supply chains. Many companies are still defining their long-term supply chains and in this process, data analytics has been the best ally. But companies need to further invest in their information storage capabilities.

The disruptions led to the diversification of suppliers, which is a great opportunity for Mexico to become a primary source in the Global Value Chains. China and India are the largest providers but companies are starting to look at Mexico as a bridge to new markets and a way to avoid mass disruption.

During the pandemic, operations using SAP Ariba grew by 600 percent in Mexico, meaning that while before the pandemic companies had a single, trusted supplier, afterward they began sourcing their orders from multiple suppliers through tech.

 

 

Q: What are SAP’s sustainable commitments and what goals do you expect to achieve in the short, medium and long term?

A: Over 50 percent of global companies are aware of the need for sustainability. SAP has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2023, shaping our strategy and motivating us to join other initiatives. Our team members also follow our sustainability goals. SAP is present in 180 countries throughout 25 industries, so we have to make sure that our tech solutions have sustainability embedded in them.

Our SAP GreenToken solution allows companies to trace the product they want to source to know if it complies with sustainability norms. Our SAP Common Footprint Management tool allows our clients to measure their carbon footprint during the manufacturing or developing processes, which is increasingly becoming a market differentiator. And recently we have launched SAP Cloud for Sustainable Enterprises, a solution that allows you to identify, quantify, analyze and act on data throughout your end-to-end operations to comprehensively manage sustainable performance.

 

 

Q: What strategies are you implementing to ensure results are successful in Mexico?

A: Talent development. There is a growing demand for specialized talent in hard and soft skills from companies in the world, not only in the tech industry but also from all industries. Taking care of our talent and creating a space that allows them to develop professionally and personally is one of my priorities. Diversity leads to productivity so we also encourage that in our teams. Flexibility is another essential ingredient for the company. To date, our collaborators still working from how because we have embraced remote working.

Another priority is our customers’ digitalization, especially SMEs, which represent 99.8 percent of Mexican companies. Tech can transform lives and SAP is clear on its mission to transform the country by supporting SMEs. We are strengthening our digital ecosystem building by our partners, which are key players to support more companies. It should be noted that 80% of our business is SMEs and comes from our business partners. An optimistic sign for accelerating the country's economic recovery is that the SME segment increased its technology adoption with us by double-digits last year. As an example, Automotive Serva, an auto parts distributor adopted SAP Customer Experience solutions to analyze customer and inventory information in real-time, facilitating the personalization of promotions and streamlining the order creation, returns and delivery processes. 

We are also creating partnerships for an improved digital ecosystem; for instance, last year we launched a Whitepaper with Endeavor in which we analyzed the performance of the Software as a Service SMEs, which has an important growth in the country and are key to promote the economic recovery.

The goal is to make the company a strong actor in the country’s development. We have a strong social commitment that is reflected in our projects, such as Laboratoria, through which we are launching the first SAP curricula at Laboratoria for the very first time in the world. This means that women who are currently Laboratoria’s alumni could learn specific modules of our solutions that will allow them to prepare for better jobs in the Digital Economy..  Those are examples of the different programs we have to support our community and progress in closing gaps. Last year we impacted more than 150K lives with our programs conducted with allies such as Endeavor, Fundación Educa, Junior Achievement México, Laboratoria, and WEConnect International.

 

 

Q: What does RISE with SAP bring to the digital market?

A: SAP is known for providing ERP solutions, which in the past worked through a subscription model. Now, our service is cloud-based and leased, which is where RISE with SAP comes in. Understanding the need to take transformation to a new level, this year we launched RISE with SAP with the aim of offering our customers a comprehensive platform that is tailored to their specific needs. We seek to help companies make their transition to the cloud in a simple way and adapt to each timing and needs. This translates into moving from Software as a Service (SaaS) to what we call “Business Transformation as a Service”. To achieve this we have partners such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. It should be noted that the rapid adoption of RISE with SAP drove the Mexican market to double-digit growth in Cloud Bookings. Examples of companies that are moving towards this model are Fermaca, Grupo IDESA, and Grupo Lala. This allowed Mexico to position itself as one of the most important markets for the fourth consecutive quarter for its growth in the cloud.  

 

SAP is a market leader in enterprise application software to help every business of all sizes and industries run as an intelligent enterprise. SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce. Its end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives.

Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Journalist and Industry Analyst