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CSC Explains its SAP Next-Gen Offering

CSC recently briefed NelsonHall on its SAP Next-Gen offering, unveiled in June 2014.

CSC’s SAP practice is relatively large within CSC (headcount 7.7k, ~10% of CSC’s overall 80k). CSC has recently engaged in a service portfolio refresh to increase its differentiation through more specialized SAP-related services. This differentiation relies on adoption of automation tools and enhancing its industry domain knowledge.

CSC's SAP practice Next Gen SAP offering relies on several pillars, including SAP HANA, cloud computing, industry templates, alignment on SAP’s product strategy and legacy-to-SAP application modernization and SAP next-gen (including SaaS offerings).

Cloud-Hosted Industry Templates

CSC’s SAP practice has developed several industry templates (some of which are based on SAP HANA). These assemble-to-order industry solutions, as CSC refers to them, are more than templates and include pre-set standard business process blue prints, and CSC recommendations on configuration.

They have a short implementation duration (4 to 6 months) and depend on a client accepting use of standardized processes and no further customized application development. CSC is aiming to reduce further implementation times to weeks, as opposed to months, over time. Also, CSC intends to offer several hosting options, including hosting in public clouds, to accelerate the deployment of its templates.

The offering is targeted at large enterprises and mid-sized firms.

CSC’s SAP practice has to date developed templates for engineering, construction and operations; public sector social services (initially in the U.S.); and for the banking industry. The latter is part of CSC’s Q2 2013 partnership with SAP to migrate clients of CSC’s Hogan (core banking) and Celeriti (cards and payments) to SAP’s own corresponding application for the banking industry. With its engineering and construction template, CSC’s SAP practice is targeting a growth industry with under tapped SAP acceptance.

In total, CSC has developed or is developing ~12 industry templates including ones for real estate, global trade, environment and safety, aerospace, and expanding its social services to sub-verticals, e.g. at federal and state level, initially.

CSC has currently two clients for its “assemble-to-order industry solutions”.

Cloud Services

CSC recently announced a cloud computing initiative that involves hosting of SAP HANA applications, based on:

  • Public clouds: Amazon Web Services and other public cloud vendors
  • Private clouds: reliance on VMware technology and on CSC BizCloud
  • Migration of applications towards IaaS, based on CSC’s ServiceMesh Agility Platform as well as based on SAP tooling
  • Hitachi Data Systems as recently-certified SAP HANA server hardware vendors.

Alignment on SAP Software Products

CSC’s SAP practice is aligning its go-to-market and capabilities around SAP’s commercial strategy. SAP HANA is a primary target as the next evolution for on-premise applications and around products from hybris. CSC also aims to expand its capabilities around SAP’s SaaS products, which include Ariba and SuccessFactors. CSC is working with HCL to identify additional personnel with relevant skills, especially around SuccessFactors.

Legacy-to-SAP Application Modernization

This sub-offering is to be put in the context of the larger CSC-HCL application modernization initiative announced in February 2014. Under the partnership, both companies are to behave operationally like a JV, sharing revenues and direct costs on a 50-50 basis. For further information on this announcement, click here.

As part of this modernization partnership and service offering (under the FuturEdge brand), CSC’s SAP practice is building a SAP HANA upgrade service (from previous SAP releases). The offering expands from an upgrade service to address SAP instance consolidation and overall simplification of SAP applications. CSC highlights one of its priorities is to address migration/re-engineering of custom code developed around SAP applications into, as relevant, either a new SAP module or new code, in an automated manner.

The service is a work in progress but will include COTS e.g. Panaya and SNP. CSC is also developing service offerings in support of migration from on-premise SAP applications to SAP SaaS applications, in an automated manner.

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CSC’s SAP Next Gen offering has several benefits:

  • It is part of an effort to change its client interaction, away from a cost and price discussion to a benefits discussion, whether related to usage of automation for migration purposes or to domain knowledge/templates
  • It addresses in a rather comprehensive manner the full extent of SAP challenges for clients, whether in terms of SaaS or IaaS adoption or vertical templates.

CSC’s SAP Next Gen offering also touches on the notion of platform-based delivery, where a specialized center of excellence/factory delivers a centralized service. In the case of this offering, the likely service is more of a technical service e.g. automated code re-engineering, replatforming to a different OS or even to a different architecture e.g. from client server to more centralized like SaaS.

The trend towards platform-based delivery is a journey; we think CSC’s SAP Next Gen journey is an early step in the right direction.

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