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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Keeping pace with the rapid changes of today’s world is a huge challenge for all types of organizations, highered institutions especially, where in many cases traditional governance structures avoid applying decision-speed when needed.

So how do organizations and institutions of higher education & research keep pace? First and foremost, there needs to be a culture and mindset to apply change, speed, and agility when circumstances ask for this.

Circumstances like a pandemic (..), growing demand from your ‘customers’ (particularly from your students and even staff) to work with modern, great UX solutions towards circumstances where you are forced by declining student enrollments or external funding to run more efficient and cost-effective. Another key circumstance I want to highlight is cybersecurity. A growing concern fueled by a range of recent cyberattacks on institutions around the globe.

Keeping pace as highered institution is not something you do with old on-premise, IT environments, and outdated ERP. Which in many cases are hard to maintain (zcode etc...), tough to update, and require large IT teams to keep it running and secure.

At the same time these dated IT environments do not provide the foundation to enable your digital transformation in for example a finance, grants, and budgeting management area. This requires a flexible cloud platform equipped with smart technologies like AI, ML, RPA and predictive analytics to optimize and automate your grants, budget, and financial processes where possible.

As digital transformation became mission-critical to higher education too, institutions are increasingly choosing to run their core IT environments in the cloud. Globally we see institutions of higher education already taken the step to the cloud for a multitude of their applications running on campus, many of them now also moving their ERP to the cloud to support their digital transformation ambitions.

RISE with SAP: a modular cloud ERP of integrated insight

To support your institution's transformation business case and to motivate, accelerate, and simplify the transition to the S/4HANA and the Cloud we have introduced RISE with SAP, to deliver ‘business transformation as a service’.

Transformation is all about culture, people, business models, systems, and data. Hence it is more than a technical migration and throwing in a new software solution. It requires a cultural mind shift and a redesign of your business processes infused with smart technologies that unlock new ways of running your institution and staying ahead of the ‘competition’.
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So, what is RISE with SAP all about? With RISE with SAP we bring together what you need to transform your institution in the way that works best for you – regardless of where you currently are (e.g. ECC 6.04) and starting from or how fast you want to go. This is supported by a toolset with best practices, benchmarking, and value management tools. Our business process intelligence tools offer the insights and a common language to design your core business processes of the future.

You can look at RISE with SAP as a ‘guided journey’ type of offering to support a holistic ‘on-your terms’ and ‘on-your-timeline’ transformation to an intelligent enterprise institution.

In a first phase, we design the journey to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and the SAP Business Network to optimize your institution's operations for lower TCO. In a second phase, we look at how you want to transform to create new business outcomes where we also introduce SAP’s Industry cloud enriching the digital core from S/4HANA Cloud.

SAP’s industry cloud is the open innovation space for SAP, our partners, and customers to create and adopt industry best – and next – practices, supported by cloud applications that use the intelligent technologies of SAP's Business Technology Platform.

Recently together with Flexso our Research Management expertise partner, we have launched the first industry cloud app in a series of apps to support your core processes of pre & post-award management: Flexso’s Industry Cloud Budget Management app.

RISE with SAP, along with SAP’s Industry Cloud is our approach to pave your way to run as an intelligent enterprise institution. So, what in fact is included in RISE with SAP?

  • S/4HANA Cloud, as the foundation of your RISE with SAP offering, is a modular cloud ERP solution that can help you transform and innovate through new business models and best practices, establish process excellence with built-in AI, and elevate sustainability standards end-to-end.

  • Business process intelligence can help your institution continuously understand, innovate, and transform processes – fast and at scale – by providing a clear picture of how processes work end to end. As part of the RISE with SAP offering, you can access the Process Discovery tool within BPI as a first step to transform your operations and gain insights into your end-to-end performance with process analytics.

  • Business Technology Platform complement, extend, and integrate with any other solution (SAP, partner, or third party) and uses the data model and business services on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) to connect it all. As part of the RISE with SAP offering, you can drive your innovation faster with SAP BTP consumption credits to fast-track your move to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and support faster, cohesive, and future-ready innovation.

  • Business Network Starter Pack allows you to move quickly in creating dynamic, digital connections with your institution’s vendor partners and assets. As part of the RISE with SAP offering, you can apply network-wide intelligence to guide decisions with real-time data and visibility.

  • Embedded services and tools are included in the RISE with SAP offering, along with the Custom Code Migration app, which performs checks on your custom code that needs to be migrated from your existing ERP system to SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

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Key benefits of RISE with SAP

The benefits you can expect include the significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO), more, faster, frequent innovation for your institution, more business process speed, and agility, and seamless collaboration with institution suppliers and your service providers. RISE with SAP summarized in 3 key benefits:


  • A single offer on a single contract simplifies procurement and makes it easier to manage your vendors.

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud – and integrated, extended solutions powering SAP Business Technology Platform – keep your institution agile and responsive.

  • The world’s largest business network helps you collaborate across your university and across SAP’s supplier, logistics, and asset intelligence networks


  • Realize the value of your investment sooner, with up to 20% reduction in TCO over five years*.

  • One cloud platform breaks down silos and integrates data, intelligent technologies, and ERP software.

  • Savings, speed, and decision-making are all improved, across your institution.


  • Analyzes your processes against best practices and industry peers, offering you tailored recommendations of where to focus your efforts and transformation.

  • Tailored training and tools support you as you move from your current ERP environment.

  • Globally 22,000 SAP partners are ready to provide any additional support you need

Together we RISE

The way I see RISE with SAP is an opportunity to start a transformation journey to get the most out of your ERP by adopting innovations quickly, enable business transformation and process optimization while also achieving lower TCO. RISE with SAP for Higher Education & Research is your basis for the next phase of growth and innovation, no matter what else the future brings.

Together with our partner ecosystem for Higher Ed & Research, we look forward to engaging with you and start a conversation about how we can help you in your transformation journey!

As always feel free to reach out!


Senior Director – SAP Higher Education & Research
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*RISE with SAP allows customers to realize the value of their investment sooner, with up to a 20% reduction in TCO over five years for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition as compared to a traditional ERP deployment. TCO reductions and timelines are modeled estimates from interviewed company data taken from the following IDC studies: ECC and SAP S/4HANA TCO study (Nov. 2020) and IDC SAP S/4HANA Business Value Study (March 2020). Timelines and estimates are intended for illustrative purposes only, and SAP makes no guarantees as to actual results.


#### Initially published on LinkedIn 9th June 2021 ####
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