May 29, 2014: IBM and SAP AG today announced plans for a global collaboration to provide tailored business applications and consulting services for the transportation and logistics industry.
Across the globe, transportation companies such as ocean liners, freight forwarders and railways recognize that challenges from energy costs to economic volatility remain outside their direct control. However, they can drive improved performance via superior service to their customers if they evolve core business process execution with analytics, cloud computing, mobile and other technology advances. IBM and SAP intend to meet this market need by delivering a next-generation transportation platform that aims to standardize functional processes while enabling innovation at the business process level to improve operational performance.
The new collaboration is intended to combine IBM's strategy, industry consulting and experience managing large-scale, global business transformation with SAP's expertise in co-innovating industry-specific enhancements to standard software with customers.
The new initiative is intended to combine SAP(R) software with IBM's implementation and configuration services. The SAP Transportation Management, SAP Event Management and SAP Customer Relationship Management applications, as well as the SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management solutions are planned to be integrated to provide a 360-degree view of individual customers. Backed by deep industry knowledge and experience from IBM's SAP Center of Competence, IBM's best practice templates will allow the transportation industry solution from SAP to be tailored to meet each transportation company's needs. This is intended to result in lower implementation costs and faster time to value.
SAP and IBM plan to work closely in the areas of business development, sales, sales support, marketing and consulting. Customers are envisioned to adopt the new solutions in step-by-step rollouts according to their specific organizational needs and existing infrastructures.
"In moving global freight today, the associated information is as important as the physical flow of the goods. Many freight companies are thus updating their legacy IT environments and embarking on large-scale transformational projects," said Till Dengel, vice president, Industry Business Unit Travel & Transportation, SAP AG. "By expanding their partnership, SAP and IBM together offer deep expertise in this market and this helps ensure that our customers can successfully transform their business with state-of-the-art IT."
"Like many industries today, transportation companies are responding to the imperative to treat their customers as markets of one. The experience a company creates for its customers has become a de facto element in their ability to compete," said Raimon Christiani, global Travel and Transportation industry lead, IBM Global Business Services. "Using best practices in analytics and other core competencies from IBM together with SAP software, our transportation clients will be better positioned to provide their customers with experiences that form the basis of sustained relationships."
IDC recently named IBM a leader in its Marketscape for SAP Implementation Service Providers, noting that, "IBM is able to provide its clients with a truly end-to-end suite of services and solutions to support all aspects of their SAP transformations." According to IDC's 2014 Global SAP Implementation Services Buyer Perception Survey, clients highlighted IBM to be most strong in integrating project teams with client's company, meeting the project timeline and communicating the value of the IBM services/solutions and delivery methodologies/tools that clients are currently consuming.
Together, IBM and SAP plan to help companies in the transportation industry answer such questions as why to transform their business through IT, how to adopt a hybrid on-premise and cloud landscape and how to keep the systems always up-to-date with future business requirements.