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SAP for Private Equity and M&A: Key Themes from the SAP Midmarket Strategic Initiatives Summit

Clarkston Consulting’s midmarket M&A experts attended the October 2023 SAP Midmarket Strategic Initiatives (MSI) Summit: Interlocking Advisory and Private Equity with the SAP Ecosystem. The event aimed to bring together SAP Technical Advisory Program firms with SAP M&A Ambassador organizations, sharing perspectives and insights leveraged to create go-to-market strategies for private equity (PE).  

Many of the themes and discussions at the 2023 SAP MSI Summit expanded upon trends from the spring summit, which focused on SAP capabilities in the crucial areas of data and analytics, digital transformation, and process improvement. Below, we highlight some of the key takeaways from the October SAP Midmarket Strategic Initiatives Summit, which all focus on how to leverage SAP for midmarket, private equity-backed firms. 

SAP for Private Equity and M&A 

1. SAP AI optimizes Portfolio Company (PortCo) operational performance across functional areas.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just an obscure trend of the distant future trend; it has tangible business implications in the present. For PE firms, Business AI from SAP is changing the way functional areas interact – increasing productivity, enhancing collaboration, and strengthening data and analytics, among other things. Functional capabilities for SAP AI include: 

  • Finance: Increases performance across a range of financial activities from payments, expense management, and financial close to invoice management, auditing, forecasting, and more. 
  • Supply Chain: Creates a risk-resilient and sustainable supply chain with built-in AI that is connected and contextualized. 
  • Procurement: Transforms procurement into a proactive, data-informed, and agile operation with AI-driven automations, recommendations, and guidance. 
  • Human Resources: Taps the power of AI to cultivate a dynamic, inclusive, and future-ready workforce that is connected, data-driven, and employee-centric. 
  • Sales & Marketing: Personalizes the entire customer journey with AI-based recommendations, strengthen sales pipelines with intelligent lead scoring, and turn prospects into lifelong customers. 
  • IT and Platform: Empowers IT to extend your SAP solutions with AI capabilities, and drive faster, better decision-making throughout the organization. 

Additionally, SAP Joule, the generative AI assistant, revolutionizes the way that PE firms interact with SAP business systems, making every touchpoint count and every task simpler. 

2. SAP Signavio allows for greater PortCo efficiencies.

On the cost-cutting side, Attendees and industry leaders reviewed SAP Signavio, a leading process mining tool that allows for greater PortCo efficiencies and can maximize returns. SAP Signavio is an end-to-end solution designed to help enterprises manage business processes and enable continuous improvement programs. The solution was created over 10 years ago and intended to enable business process improvement in both SAP and non-SAP environments.  

Its key objectives are:  

  • To reduce ERP implementation costs and risk through improved process planning, 
  • To decrease process inefficiencies across organizations, and  
  • To improve process efficacy through collaborative process design. 

Specifically, SAP Signavio can help PE firms assess process health with monitoring, analysis, benchmarking, and improvement recommendations. The solution can also provide deep process analysis across SAP and non-SAP applications and ensure collaborative process design and governance. 

3. Change Management is key.

Change management is a critical success factor across all PortCos as part of digital transformation, which translates to faster realization of deal value. Change management initiatives provide a systematic approach to managing that change, aiding the digital transformation process in planning, executing, and implementing the required changes throughout the organization. The idea behind change management is to predict problems, mitigate errors, manage resistance, measure impacts, and coordinate adoption so the transition is seamless for all users. Having a change management plan ensures that the adverse impacts of digital transformation are minimal.   

Looking Ahead 

This fall’s SAP Midmarket Strategic Initiatives Summit was an opportunity to bring together midmarket private equity leaders to discuss ongoing challenges, emerging technology trends, and more. As we continue to navigate economic uncertainty, there are endless opportunities for leveraging SAP for private equity and M&A, helping businesses achieve optimal deal value, and setting portfolio companies up for growth.  

To chat more about the SAP Midmarket Strategic Initiatives Summit or emerging trends in the midmarket value creation space, connect with our M&A team today. You can also learn more about our SAP Consulting Services here. 

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Tags: SAP, SAP ERP, SAP Signavio