delaware: Cloud is the only way forward
Over the past two years we’ve placed our entire IT infrastructure in the cloud. Since May 2017 delaware has been running 100% on SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Professional Services, an SAP business suite that helps companies to run simple in a digital economy. We co-innovated alongside SAP in this process. Why? In order to practice what we preach: growing towards truly smart.
Cloud first, effectiveness firstIn 2014 we reached a point where our former legacy system no longer satisfied our needs. We were faced with a choice: to upgrade the former system, or to try something brand new. After a strategic brainstorm session on the prospective evolution of professional services, our belief that cloud is the only way forward grew. The decision was made. “When we defined our strategic plan for 2020 we were convinced cloud would impact our world and we embraced change by engaging in a co-innovation journey with SAP to build the SAP S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud,” says Filip Decostere, partner at delaware. A key driver for wanting to be an early adopter of the ‘Cloud First’ strategy is effectiveness. “delaware’s workplace is now built on state-of-the-art technology, enabling our people to be more effective,” he adds.
A co-innovation story
We embarked on a co-innovation journey with SAP to contribute to the product development and to share our extensive knowledge of the services business. Our goal? To build a cloud-based solution that is fit for purpose for professional services.
The co-innovation brought with it some challenges, though. On the one hand, SAP was still developing its system which entailed numerous changes and adjustments. On the other hand, it was important for us to clearly communicate our needs in order to obtain an optimally fit-for-purpose solution for our company. But, in the end, this collaboration allowed us to extend our expertise, on both the functional side and the architectural side.
Thanks to our unique relationship with SAP – a business partner and a customer in one – we’ve strengthened our positioning as a trusted advisor for our customers. Let’s face it, there is no better proof of delaware’s belief in the cloud than to implement it in our own organization. For our contributions as a partner, we recently won the SAP Pinnacle Award for Cloud.
The road to success is always under construction
delaware went live globally only last month, so it is still too premature to quantify the return on investment. “Since all employees are still going through a learning phase, it is too early to assess the entire profit this change brings us. Getting acquainted with a new system always takes time,” comments Steven Fleurent, delaware’s CIO. “Nevertheless, we’re already noticing improvements in several aspects. Given time, we have full confidence in the increased speed and fluency of all processes, such as starting up projects and invoicing, which is why we opted for the cloud solution in the first place,” he continues. This belief is shared by delaware’s CFO Veronique Derycke: “We believe that S/4HANA is already helping us to improve and accelerate our internal processes so that both our consultants and our internal support staff can increase their focus on our customers.”
But what makes SAP S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud so unique?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud is considered the next-generation business suite. It was designed to help a company to keep things simple in a digital economy. It delivers the power of a digital core with the key benefits expected from cloud solutions and offers increased simplicity, productivity and flexibility, as well as instant insights thanks to the power of embedded analytics. The fact that delaware was one of the first Lighthouse partners and first customers to go live on SAP S/4HANA Cloud makes us fully ready for the future – and we can help you to achieve the same.