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When people think of Italy, they often think of fine wines, soaring cathedrals and beautiful vistas. But Italy is known for much more. Take its famed manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing accounts for 15% of the Italian economy, or roughly $320 billion annually. The country is home to world-class companies such as Leonardo, Pirelli and Ferrari. Due to the global pandemic, manufacturing output dropped 45% in Italy in April 2020 compared to the previous year. Companies throughout the nation were impacted, especially in the north, where the coronavirus hit hardest.

One thing helping manufacturers and others get back on their feet is digital automation. The American-based global management consultant noted in April 2020 that, “for all the uncertainty about what the future will look like, it’s clear already that it will be digital.”

One company making a difference in Italy thanks to its investments in digital innovation is Milan-based Altea Up. Altea Up is a high-technology consultancy that has been closely aligned with SAP for more than 15 years. With more than 400 employees and 200 customers, Altea Up ranks among the largest SAP partners in Italy.

What sets Altea Up apart from others is the company’s deep investment into SAP-Qualified Partner- Package solutions for customers that work in key industries including manufacturing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and more. In 2020, Altea Up was chosen as a finalist for an SAP Pinnacle award in the category of “SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solutions.” The award recognizes SAP partners for their outstanding contributions, dedication and capacity to help customers achieve their goals.

Altea Up’s customer-centric approach

Since its earliest days, Altea Up has prided itself on its customer centric approach to problem solving. The company takes great effort to listen to constituencies, interpret their needs and transform insights into true, emotional experiences that deliver improved business outcomes. With data and information all around its customers, Altea Up works to capture these insights and put them to work in as efficient manner as possible.

Recognizing that its customers needed a faster and more predictable way to adopt digital automation, Altea Up began developing qualified and certified solutions for specific industries several years ago. Later, it joined the SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solutions program, which led to the development of several solutions, including Intelligent Enterprise Manufacturing (IEM) and Robochain.

IEM was created to help manufactures with their accounting, control models, supply chains, quality control and document management. Robochain, meanwhile, leverages mathematical models and artificial intelligence to provide customers with real-time data to help them make more-informed decisions, optimize their logistics and track performance against specific KPIs.

One Robochain customer is Vibram, the Italian-based maker of high-performance rubber soles for sports, leisure, fashion and work shoes. Now 80 years old, Vibram produces 40 million soles annually and in more than 150 different styles.

One of the challenges Vibram faced was finding a way to increase production volume while simultaneously reducing costs and set-up times on its machines. Knowing it needed to make a major commitment to digital transformation to achieve these goals, Vibram turned to Altea Up for help.

Altea Up implemented Robochain (through the SAP Cloud Platform), which has since helped Vibram optimize its production process. Among other things, Robochain can simulate different production scenarios based on different market needs and customer requests. Thanks to the new insights it has gleaned from Robochain, Vibram has gained a time-to-market advantage over its competitors, reduced costs and increased know-how sharing internally.

Capitalizing on the investment

Today, Altea Up has eight packaged solutions. While developing these pre-packaged solutions was not easy — it took a team of eight nine months to develop IEM — the work paid off. Once it had is pre-packaged solutions complete, Altea Up could offer customers a solution that promised several benefits up front. These include:

·        Pre-defined set of features

·        Simplified integration and roll out

·        Reduced time-to-market

·        A clear understanding of expected ROI

·        Faster time to business outcomes

“By leveraging our packaged solutions we can provide customers a better understanding of their business results from the beginning, based on a defined set of features and metered outcomes,” says Roberto Gemma, CEO at Altea Up. “The pre-packaged solutions help us reduce sales cycles, while improving our focus on personalization and customer satisfaction.”

Since developing its SAP Qualified Partner-Packed Solutions, Altea Up has signed new customers and entered into new markets. This year alone, the company has more than two dozen projects in its pipeline with key customers such as Fiorini Packaging, a seven-decade old manufacturer of packaging solutions used by the food, chemicals, building and seed industries.

And thanks to the flexibility of its solutions, Altea Up eyes even more expansion.

“We are talking about new kinds of solutions that expand our offerings into other markets and enhance what we have already created today for our industry focuses,” adds Roberto. “We can achieve this by infusing our process knowledge into new solutions that will offer new value to our customers.”

Visit SAP-Qualified Partner-Package Finder to find a SAP Solution that is right for you.