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The medium-sized IT systems house Allgeier covers all relevant topics for existing SAP customers and complements SAP solutions with its own innovative answers. Allgeier thus offers a breadth and depth of SAP expertise that can hardly be found elsewhere. Allgeier CEO Jörg Dietmann spoke with E-3 Editor-in-Chief Peter M. Färbinger about the megatrends.
E-3 Magazine
April 27, 2017
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All answers for the community
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

According to the Lünendonk list, Allgeier is the largest medium-sized IT system house and among the top 10 of all system houses in Germany.

"With over 3000 customers and more than 7500 employees, we have a wide range of services, ranging from flexible personnel services and highly professional software development based on the best-shore principle to our own products, consulting and implementation services for standard software"

outlines board member Jörg Dietmann with pride the current field of activity.

In the context of companies' increasing digitization strategies, the boundaries between front-end and back-end issues are becoming increasingly blurred, and Allgeier has made it its mission to implement comprehensive end-to-end processes as a full-service provider for SAP's existing customers.

"In that context, of course, SAP plays an essential role"

Dietmann knows.

"SAP has long since established itself in the market on the many topics related to digitization, and we have set ourselves the goal of consistently helping to implement this path as an SAP partner.

We started by greatly expanding our SAP activities in the middle of last year under the Allgeier Enterprise Services brand. In doing so, we are targeting both the German midmarket and large enterprise customers, just as the Allgeier Group has been doing successfully for years as an IT systems house."

"With over 3,000 customers and more than 7,500 employees, we offer a wide range of services"

Transformationand Disruption

The current Allgeier offerings and solutions can also be understood as part of a digital transformation and disruption. Do the necessary resources exist at the existing SAP customers - as well as the technical infrastructure - for this business and organizational challenge?

"Many of our customers are already long-time SAP users who follow the innovations from Walldorf with great interest"

explains Jörg Dietmann in an E-3 interview.

From a technical perspective, many companies still have some catching up to do in order to be able to generate clear competitive advantages in the Internet of Things. This does not only refer to the Big Data clusters in the background, but already starts with the management of sensor technology and similar topics.

"Many non-industrial companies have had little experience here"

is how Dietmann describes the situation,

"so you need well-thought-out concepts that get suppliers and partners on board as early as possible."

But it's not just the technical infrastructure that's important here; from an organizational perspective, too, the right course must be set in order to be able to derive optimum benefit from these new technologies, as Allgeier knows.

And Jörg Dietmann emphasizes that this requires cross-departmental collaboration and a clear commitment from management.

"The focus in our midmarket offering is to provide customers with comprehensive support as a full-service provider, from SAP license sales to implementation, and also to ensure license maintenance and application support.

As an SAP Lighthouse Partner for Cloud, our innovative themes for the midmarket - S/4 Hana on premise, of course, as well as SAP's S/4 Hana public cloud solutions - are a forward-looking building block to complement our overall portfolio."

is how Jörg Dietmann describes Allgeier's strategic approach, and he adds:

"We expect the public cloud space to become central to the future of the S/4 success story, complemented by Allgeier solutions in the SAP Cloud Platform."

SAP Cloud included

Another important point in connection with SAP and cloud issues for Dietmann, the Management Board member, is that Allgeier is determined to draw on its own experience and not simply repeat what the prophet calls from heaven.

"For this reason, we decided to rely on a complete SAP cloud environment for the new SAP units at our company"

he defines the future path.

"Last October, we began implementing S/4 Hana Professional Service Cloud, SuccessFactors and Concur, and Hana Cloud Platform.

In parallel, we developed a time recording system for our consultants and a ticketing system for our application support and SAP license maintenance based on HCP.

We went live with all components at the beginning of this year after a three-month implementation period, which was not always an easy situation for both SAP and us.

Ultimately, it gives us a chance to really assess how well suited SAP cloud environments are to the market, who the ideal target audience is, and where to expect limitations."

One thing has definitely become clear at Allgeier: Only this standardized environment has made it possible to set up a comprehensive system landscape in the short time available, which maps the business as far as possible.

In the Large Enterprise segment, Allgeier focuses on the retail and media sectors as well as the process industry with chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages.

"Our innovative topics revolve around IoT - for this we showed an IoT store for the first time at the Euroshop event, fully integrated into the SAP backend"

Jörg Dietmann reports on initial successes. Big Data applications, integration with Hadoop and SAP Vora, as well as predictive analytics scenarios give retail companies in particular completely new perspectives for serving their customers.

Internet of Things for all

"The Internet of Things is bringing our analog reality closer to the digital world of the Internet"

Dietmann knows from numerous projects.

"This will lead to sweeping changes across all industries, in our estimation."

Allgeier sees itself as a partner for this comprehensive digital transformation process. On the one hand, it helps companies to develop a clear vision for the area and then also supports them in the next step with the concrete implementation of such an IoT landscape in the SAP world.

Through the real-time communication of machines, sensors and other electronic devices, almost all analog processes can finally be directly monitored and controlled.

"The Internet of Things is bringing our analog reality closer to the digital world of the Internet"

And Dietmann sees the big picture before him:

"If people might think of sensors primarily in terms of robots and factories, it's important to point out that the Internet of Things is not only gaining a foothold in other industries, but also offers entirely new business processes and many optimization opportunities there."

SAP is placing cloud platform IoT services that go beyond just processing sensor data and also integrate a solution for managing the sensors and machines, or "Things."

Smart data streaming exists as an on-premise variant and is particularly suitable for smaller landscapes. The main focus here is on the efficient processing of data streams and events.

"On the one hand, we see ourselves as an integrator of these two SAP solutions into the Digital Core, and on the other hand, we have already implemented the connection of this sensor data into the Hadoop ecosystem and beyond into transactional systems in various projects"

Jörg Dietmann can report from practical experience.

Cloud computing

"The SAP Cloud Platform is of eminent strategic importance for Allgeier's future cloud offering."

emphasizes Dietmann. For Allgeier, this agile layer is, on the one hand, the link between the hybrid landscapes that connect "on-prem" systems with S/4 public cloud solutions or, on the other hand, solutions such as Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass, SuccessFactors and Hybris.

"On the other hand, the SAP Cloud Platform is the future development platform to position Allgeier products as an added value to the SAP portfolio"

explains Jörg Dietmann.

"We are currently testing all Allgeier products, such as Scanview or Metasonic, for their SAP Cloud Platform capability and the possible application scenarios.

The adoption of our own S/4 public cloud solution was only made possible at all by developing our own time tracking application, coupled with our ITSM tool, which functionally enhanced the S/4 public cloud solution so that it met our business needs."

Allgeier is currently experiencing a great demand and need for information regarding S/4 public cloud solutions and the interaction of the SAP Cloud Platform as well as the design of IoT scenarios.

"Technically, this is all possible"

knows Jörg Dietmann,

"In some cases, however, customers still lack the right questions or the willingness to get out of their comfort zone and open up new areas of business. This requires courage and a willingness to invest."

And the competitors and alternative solutions? The services from AWS, Azure or Google are generally IaaS or PaaS solutions. The S/4 public cloud solutions, on the other hand, are SaaS solutions, i.e. provision of a full SAP ERP system on Hana database technology, based on a subscription model.

From this point of view, these services are not comparable. However, Allgeier Management Board member Dietmann says about this market environment:

"I am convinced that there will be enough business left for partners if they understand how to add their own cloud products to their portfolio. Certainly, it will be necessary to adapt the business models."

And finally: How is the collaboration with SAP going? What does Allgeier want from SAP? Where is there still room for improvement? Jörg Dietmann:

"The cooperation is extremely positive, we have been welcomed by SAP with open arms as a new innovative player in the market. Conversely, SAP stands by us as a reliable partner in the introduction of our own cloud-based landscape.

We are in mutual exchange and try to provide valuable assistance with our feedback as early as the product development process.

To this end, we contribute the practical experience gained from our projects at the customer's site. SAP appreciates that, too."

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