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“There is nothing beyond SAP MaxAttention”

At the SAP MaxAttention Summit 2023, held at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski in Munich, Germany, everybody was focused on one primary goal: “MAXIMIZE your success”, the success of each of the SAP customers, driven by their trusted advisor SAP MaxAttention. In times of big geopolitical and economic challenges filled with uncertainty and even faster changing market conditions we have to join forces to maximize our customers’ success with SAP. The SAP MaxAttention Summits are a great opportunity to discuss with SAP experts and peers, fostering mutual learning. These learnings help further promote each customer’s individual plan, making their operations more agile, supply chains more resilient, and businesses more sustainable.

SAP MaxAttention has evolved over 20 years and is future-ready

After years of a pandemic-caused break of onsite events since 2019, the SAP MaxAttention Summit 2023 was now the first one held in person again – and this year also marks the 20th anniversary of SAP MaxAttention as a strategic engagement program. It was launched to support SAP’s top customers in managing their challenges to consolidate globally distributed systems into single global instances and adopt new SAP solutions to enhance their business process landscapes. Given the technical limitations of those times, many customers struggled and the knowledge about this wasn’t available in the ecosystem as well.

Developed in SAP’s Service & Support board area and with the learnings from many customers across the globe, SAP MaxAttention was all about assuring technical success to drive business benefits for those front-running SAP customers. SAP Solution Manager was invented and quickly became the platform for efficient SAP end-to-end integration, application lifecycle management, and system operations. SAP MaxAttention quickly expanded its portfolio: Safeguarding functional success including architecture reviews, planning innovation deployments, building enhancements, and providing advanced engineered services such as Near Zero Downtime Upgrades. In recent years, additional services are provided on cloud adoption and integration, RISE with SAP scenarios, industry business processes and clean core targets leveraging SAP BTP, as well as design success supporting enterprise-wide transformations and hybrid operations. And SAP Solution Manager was complemented by Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (CALM) while SAP Signavio supports an intelligent business process design.
However, the north star during all these years and going forward remains the same: providing unique SAP expertise, best practices, and guidance from across SAP, focused on maximizing our top customers’ success with SAP.

Enriching experience exchange

The great expertise of the SAP MaxAttention community can be shared best in an onsite event. The attendees of the SAP MaxAttention Summit 2023 were invited to join customer experience sharing sessions and SAP eXpert eXchange sessions, enriched by informal conversations in the networking breaks and individually scheduled meetings with SAP Executive Board Members and SAP Executives – which were greatly appreciated.

Amongst others, the multifaceted agenda comprised strategic topics such as leveraging SAP Signavio for accelerated business process transformation, enhanced digital transformation and innovation with SAP Services (by Lenovo), journey to a data-driven enterprise (by Danone), and business technology trends and their impact on enterprise architecture which was designed as a panel session with customer speakers from Shiseido, Isar Aerospace, Bayer, and Albemarle.

A network of knowledge

At the opening of the SAP MaxAttention Summit 2023, Scott Russell, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, leading the board area of Customer Success, pointed out that customer value is the number one goal for SAP: “Choice means that value becomes your driver”. Therefore, SAP is striving to help customers leverage their SAP capabilities to the maximum. SAP’s focus is on the customers’ needs, their business goals, their drivers, and their definition of success.

Nestlé is focused on consumer value just as SAP strives for customer value. Laura Vacotto, Group Platform Manager SAP Landscape at Nestlé, the very first RISE with SAP customer, pointed out that SAP MaxAttention has drastically helped to grow mutual trust in the business relationship of SAP and Nestlé. The unique end-to-end problem-solving competencies really stand out, as Laura explains, “the [SAP MaxAttention] guys know how to fix problems or know somebody that will fix them for you – a network of knowledge.” And this trust in SAP MaxAttention has already lasted for 20 years as Nestlé has relied on the premium engagement since 2003.

Building a bridge between business and IT

Despite all challenges companies are facing today, the promise of improving business processes by applying digital technology remains the largest economic imperative of our time. Claudio Muruzabal, President Cloud Success Services, Customer Success, SAP, illustrated that customers are given a great opportunity, but technology investment alone does not guarantee success. Maximizing the value of digital transformation can only be achieved through a defined link between strategy and execution. Here is where SAP and their Cloud Success Services team come in. They help customers to build their vision and transformation strategy – together – and to ensure they reach their desired goals. This can only be achieved by building bridges between customers’ IT team and their business to help drive organizational alignment and outcome delivery. More than 80% of SAP’s largest customers globally drive their business technology transformation with SAP MaxAttention, the team which continues to be the coveted vehicle powering customers’ transformation journeys today – and into the future.

As one of the very first SAP MaxAttention customers, Héctor Calva Martínez, today SVP Strategy & Value Delivery at Mondelēz got to know SAP MaxAttention at Coca-Cola FEMSA, then leveraged it at Proctor & Gamble, and is now applying its value to Mondelēz’ large SAP S/4HANA transformation as well as adoption of cloud solutions. The fact that Héctor has leveraged SAP MaxAttention for meanwhile 20 years is a real testimonial of the trust in SAP and SAP MaxAttention, continuously striving to MAXIMIZE customers’ success. What can be a better proof of the value of this established relationship than Héctor emphasizing “there is nothing beyond SAP MaxAttention". As advice for other customers leveraging SAP MaxAttention, he recommends being proactive and strategic rather than reactive and using SAP MaxAttention to introduce best practices and the right architecture from the initial phase. Companies should try to reduce complexity in the landscape and platform by embracing end-to-end solution adoption and involve the business right from the start to ensure shared goals, ownership, and accountability during the full ride.

Adoption instead of adaption

One customer experience session resonated especially well with the summit audience: Jan Gilg, President Cloud ERP, SAP Product Engineering and Robert Auffray, SVP Global Finance & Supply Chain Digital Leader and Europe CIO at Schneider Electric discussed about the motivation and reasoning behind Schneider Electric’s decision to move to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition and leveraging SAP MaxAttention North Star architecture and business process design service for the same. Schneider Electric follows a very business-driven approach, striving to simplify people’s lives and achieve clean data for faster decisions. Although Robert was first accused of being crazy when suggesting that Schneider Electric should move to public cloud, this decision carries several benefits, as he underlines: The move to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition enables the company to jump several years ahead of the market and to immediately take advantage of native public cloud by applying new benefits by design from latest evolution. Above all, this change requires a mindset shift as it is a business transformation and not only an IT transformation. Robert states that “in many places we don’t need to be different, we just need to execute with excellence”. Moving such a big company to public cloud is no quick win, it entails disruptive transformation that will make Schneider Electric win in the long-term.

To another 20 years – and beyond

Both SAP and customer attendees have repeatedly emphasized how valuable this event was and how much they appreciated the enriching sessions and the interpersonal exchange of experiences on site within the SAP MaxAttention community. We’re looking forward to continuing the collaboration with our customers along their individual journeys and we’ll have more opportunities to meet at SAP Sapphire Orlando / Barcelona, and regional events to further dive into hot topics such as SAP Cloud ERP business, data driven architecture, and achieving a Clean Core with SAP BTP.

We’re delighted to share session recordings and presented slide decks inviting you to relive the event.

Let’s keep MAXIMIZING our customers’ success jointly for another 20 years – and beyond.

In case of any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.