Innovation isn’t just disrupting industries; it’s changing the way we live. The pioneering innovations from companies like Uber, Airbnb and Amazon have changed our interactions with organizations of all types. Your customers now expect to be able to access your services instantly and get products delivered wherever they want, from wherever they are. Your customers know the technology is there to meet their needs – and if you don’t meet their expectations, someone else will.

But you don’t need to be a startup to make innovation work for you. New answers to new questions are appearing at every maturity level and in every industry. A compelling example is Hitachi Rail’s paradigm-bending program in the U.K. Faced with the need to replace more than 250 aging trains on two of the country’s main high-speed rail lines, the Department for Transport was looking for an innovative, sustainable solution. The new trains would need to provide reliable, safe service to citizens while meeting stringent technical and environmental requirements in a way that was economically sustainable.

Hitachi Rail proposed a rail-as-a-service model in which Hitachi owns and maintains the trains and the Department for Transport pays for the service. Because Hitachi would implement continuous innovation in its trains, the transit authority would get the benefit of the latest technology at a lower cost than if they bought the trains outright and took on the maintenance and upgrades themselves.

Hitachi Rail won that 30-year, £5.7 billion contract because the company thought not about how it had always worked in the past, but about what its customers expected in the future – and how it could do something that its competitors couldn’t. To attain this level of innovation in your business, you need to be willing to look closely at what you do now. And look even more closely at where your customers are, where they are going to be in the short term, and where they are headed in the long term. Then start considering the possibility that you may need to change what your business offerings are. That’s your starting point.

The next step is to start looking at the technology that’s going to get you where you want to go. The transformational technologies that are driving disruption, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, are the game-changers. Fortunately, the cloud is making these innovation drivers available to everyone. To unlock your own organization’s capacity for disruption, you need a robust ERP system on a cloud platform, such as SAP on Microsoft Azure, that puts these technologies at your fingertips.

SAP gives you the modern ERP system you need for innovation. It simplifies operations and  supports the latest apps and analytics. When you migrate to the cloud with this offering, you also gain the scalability, security and reliability that Azure brings to the cloud environment. Together, you are always connected and always available for your customers — whenever and wherever they need you.

Power your innovation with SAP on Microsoft Azure

As the market leader in ERP – 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system – SAP has prioritized innovations such as machine learning, IoT and advanced analytics technologies to provide its customers with deep business insight help them become future-proof.

In October 2019, SAP named Microsoft Azure its preferred public cloud. In this new preferred partnership, SAP and Microsoft provide customers with unified reference architectures, road maps and market-approved journeys to speed their customers’ digital transformation. With SAP on Azure, you can:

  • Accelerate application innovation with the power of PaaS and IaaS on a global scale.
  • Access integrated data and intelligence for rich insights and machine-learning capabilities.
  • Run everything with an open and flexible platform on which you can use the tools and technologies you already have.
  • Rely on industry-leading security and compliance.

Hitachi Consulting has deep knowledge of both SAP and Microsoft Azure. We are a Microsoft partner with specialization in Azure — and, as an SAP global partner, we have completed hundreds of SAP engagements worldwide. We are one of the few global companies to offer an end-to-end SAP experience, including licenses, maintenance, functional design and implementation services, cloud services, infrastructure, support and managed services. Collaborate with our industry leaders and get pre-built accelerators, IoT sensors and more for a complete solution to modernize your business. 

Learn more about how your organization can power innovation with SAP on Azure.