4 min read

💗Google Cloud and SAP Datasphere 💗

💗Google Cloud and SAP Datasphere 💗

The world's largest enterprises rely heavily on SAP to operate their most critical business systems. These systems generate a wealth of business data that is considered among the most valuable assets within an organization. This data provides indispensable insights into various facets of business operations including supply chains, financial forecasting, human resources records, and omni-channel retail.

Integrating this SAP data, rich in business context, with other essential data residing in Google Cloud, enables organizations to capitalize on Google’s premier Machine Learning and Gen AI capabilities within Vertex AI. This strategic combination significantly propels the pace of digital transformation, all supported by a meticulously crafted data foundation that preserves a comprehensive business context.

At SAP SAPPHIRE 2023, an extensive enhancement of the partnership between Google Cloud and SAP was announced by Thomas Kurian and Christian Klein. The expanded alliance aims to deliver customers an open data solution, placing data and analytics as the primary catalysts of business transformation. This solution, built upon  SAP Datasphere and Google Cloud Cortex Framework on BigQuery, is set to usher in numerous “Better Together” analytics scenarios.

The Unique Value Proposition

The joint development of this innovative solution has not only fortified GCP+SAP collaboration but also positioned customers to overcome obstacles that have previously hindered the optimal utilization of data and analytics.

SAP Datasphere seamlessly integrates mission-critical data with data from across the enterprise environment, regardless of its source. The ability to merge SAP software data and non-SAP data from Google Cloud or any other data source empowers organizations to expedite their digital transformation. A robust data foundation that maintains a comprehensive business context underpins this process.

The benefits of this integration are multi-faceted:

  • Real-time Access to Essential Data This includes data from SAP S/4HANA, which can be harmoniously integrated with data stored in Google Cloud, all without the need for data duplication.
  • Simplified Data Landscapes: Through powerful co-engineered data replication and federation technologies from SAP and Google Cloud, enterprises can effortlessly blend SAP data with BigQuery environments.
  • Harnessing Advanced AI and ML Models: Google Cloud’s sophisticated AI and ML models can be leveraged using data from both SAP and non-SAP systems.
  • Superior Analytics Capabilities: With SAP Analytics Cloud, organizations can plan across both SAP and Google Cloud data, providing more comprehensive and meaningful data analysis.

Here is a simplified representation of the Cortex + SAP architecture. 

Here is the overall representation of source and target systems. Please note this also captures Salesforce as that is also one of Cortex accelerated Data models

Potential Use Cases: Financial and Supply Chain Analytics

The co-engineered solution from SAP and Google Cloud is a game-changer for a variety of use cases, particularly in financial analytics and supply chain insights. 

Financial Analytics: Enhancing financial efficiencies begins with acquiring insights into regular business processes such as order-to-cash and procure-to-pay. The Cortex Framework is equipped with predefined data analytics content for standard financial insights:
  • Accounts Receivable: Forecast imminent receivables to manage cash flow.
  • Overdue Receivables: View overdue receivables and their amounts to prioritize customers who require immediate engagement.
  • Days Sales Outstanding: Compare sales against receivables and compute average days required to collect payments to mitigate long-term cash flow risks.
  • Doubtful Receivables: Identify customers at risk of turning into bad debt, offering insights that aid risk avoidance.
  • Billing and Pricing: Evaluate billing and pricing metrics performance, considering factors such as billed quantity, tax amount, discounts, rebates, list price, adjusted price, and intercompany price.

The above architecture is so interesting because SAC (SAP analytics Cloud) also offers Enterprise planning and you can use combination of GCP and SAP FICO to layering your financial planning!

Supply Chain Insights: Advancements in supply chain efficiencies are driven by understanding common business processes like order-to-cash and procure-to-pay. The Cortex Framework offers predefined data analytics content for typical supply chain insights:
  • Order Fulfillment: Gain a holistic view of delivery performance, including open orders, order cycle time, and on-time full delivery, to identify potential optimization areas.
  • Order Status Snapshot Conduct health checks across various order statuses, such as fill rate, return orders, canceled orders, average deliveries per order, and late deliveries, enabling faster issue identification and resolution.
  • Order Details: Improve customer communication by having access to granular details at the sales order level. This includes order quantity and value, confirmed quantity, delivered quantity, and blocked orders.

The deepened partnership between Google Cloud and SAP, characterized by co-engineering breakthrough solutions, offers unprecedented opportunities for enterprises. Leveraging a data foundation that integrates mission-critical data from SAP with other data sources on Google Cloud empowers organizations to dramatically hasten their digital transformation. This approach not only simplifies data landscapes but also enables the harnessing of advanced AI and ML models for insightful data analysis.

This alliance holds significant promise for enhanced financial and supply chain analytics. With the ability to gain insights into receivables, sales, order fulfillment, and order details, organizations can increase their efficiencies, mitigate risks, and improve customer relations.

As we continue to explore this compelling collaboration, my upcoming articles will delve into the specifics of the Google Cloud Cortex Framework for SAP. This powerful tool, a cornerstone of our joint solution, promises to provide an even more comprehensive understanding of how SAP data and Google Cloud can coalesce to create robust, business-enhancing solutions. Stay tuned for these forthcoming insights. 

If you have any questions or want to have any discussion on this topic, please reach out to Surya Kunju at LinkedIn.
These are my independent views and may not necessarily represent Google or SAP