By Trey Taylor, Accenture Global SAP Lead
By Gaganpreet Singh, Solutions Architect at Accenture

By RJ Bibby Sr. Partner Manager at AWS
By Kenny Rajan and Marius Batrinu, Solutions Architects at AWS

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Migrating your legacy SAP ERP systems to take advantage of increased speed and agility, coupled with reduced complexity to drive innovation, can help your business decrease costs and optimize your digital transformation.

To make fast, informed decisions, your old, on-premises systems require a massive overhaul. This process requires a reliable transformation that maximizes uptime.

Core legacy systems are often at the heart of a business. Migrating them can be disruptive. You can breathe new life into your legacy SAP ERP systems by migrating them—taking advantage of increased speed and agility, reduced complexity to drive innovation, and decreasing costs and optimizing your digital transformation.

In this post, we’ll walk you through how Accenture’s digital decoupling solution accelerates business transformation via SAP systems—without disruption of business continuity or financial burden. This allows organizations to sell, function, and serve customers while working towards the future of SAP data on AWS.

Accenture is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner with the AWS SAP Competency. Accenture is also a member of the AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) and AWS Well-Architected Partner Programs.

What is Digital Decoupling?

At its core, digital decoupling is an architectural method for SAP systems that enables the use of new technologies, development procedures, and migration expertise to execute innovation strategy on top of your legacy SAP systems. In doing so, it allows the existing IT landscape to remain stable.

With digital decoupling, you can simplify and standardize SAP systems by extracting customizations and using the combination of the decoupled data and Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud technologies to innovate.

Digital decoupling with AWS enables you to bridge data silos to produce one single source of truth that combines SAP data with your other business data in an enterprise data lake. This unlocks data to be used in a variety of ways to increase customer delight, reduce costs, and enable innovation.

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Figure 1 – Harness the power and speed of data.

Key to digital decoupling is its strategic approach to unlocking SAP data in real-time to be used outside of SAP and combined with other systems and data in a more convenient and scalable manner. This approach allows you to build a scalable, flexible, and resilient architecture that increases agility.

Benefits and Ways to Transform

So, what are the benefits to digital decoupling?

  • Drive value with unified data – Unify data to conduct research, collaborate, improve, and drive process efficiencies to build newer business models using machine learning (ML).
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  • Modernize your legacy applications – Use scalable microservices that allow you to develop elements that can be deployed, operated, and scaled for peak traffic without affecting the functioning of other services.
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  • Solve customer issues – Reduce support cost, time, and effort by using unlocked data to provide real-time assistance to customer agents. AWS Intelligent Enterprise search features allows agents to retrieve customer solutions and resolve issues quickly.
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  • Enable contactless shopping – Rethink how you do business in a pandemic to include effortless curbside pickup. Technology can read a license plate alerting you to a customer’s arrival without them calling or leaving their vehicle. For customers who prefer to shop in person, redesign store layout to naturally encourage social distancing with computer vision technology from AWS.
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  • Predict maintenance – Avoid major maintenance issues or downtime before equipment issues or failures occur using AWS IoT and its pre-built ML models for predictive maintenance.
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  • Increase manufacturing productivity – Optimize manufacturing operations with the use of real-time data of product output and asset availability with Connected Factory solution on AWS.
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  • Improve inventory and margins – Proactively use real-time sales data to optimize inventory and increase front-store margins by analyzing product categories to determine needed inventory with AI-powered planning solutions.
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  • Process medical text – Use a simple API call of Amazon Comprehend Medical to extract unstructured or structured medical text from the vast scientific literature with a high accuracy that also reduces cost, time and effort.

Now that we’ve explored what digital decoupling is and the benefits it has for your SAP data, let’s discuss why Accenture choose AWS to partner with.

Putting it Together with AWS

History: AWS & Accenture

For more than a decade, AWS and Accenture have worked together to help SAP customers create new value from their applications and data. In 2015, the two companies launched the Accenture AWS Business Group (AAGB) to formalize these efforts and help customers accelerate cloud transformation and innovation.

The AABG combines the resources, technical expertise, and industry knowledge of Accenture and AWS in a single team. As a result, it enables you to accelerate your pace of digital innovation and realize incremental business value from cloud adoption. Combining the resources, technical expertise, and industry knowledge of Accenture and AWS in a single team, you are able to accelerate your pace of digital innovation and realize incremental business value from cloud adoption.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a need to accelerate your move to the cloud as a foundation for digital transformation. On the cloud, you can build resilience, new experiences and products, trust, speed, and structural cost reduction that this ongoing health, economic, and societal crisis demands and that a better future requires.

Accenture Cloud First is a new group of 70,000 cloud professionals helping you accelerate your move to the cloud. It brings together the full power and breadth of Accenture’s industry and technology capabilities, ecosystem partnerships, and deep commitment to learning and upskilling your employees.

Why AWS for Digital Decoupling?

AWS has emerged as the right choice for Accenture’s digital decoupling offering for SAP systems based on its industry-leading, advanced cloud services. It is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, with more than 175 services available, ranging from infrastructure to emerging technologies.

Accenture’s digital decoupling for SAP method takes advantage of these services along with the AWS global infrastructure, which allows customers to deploy SAP application workloads across the world in just a click. Customers can easily provision environments for high availability and disaster recovery, without the time or cost of building and running physical environments.

AWS also provides:

  • Dedicated infrastructure – Customers who need to run their SAP applications on dedicated infrastructure can choose between Amazon EC2 dedicated hosts and dedicated instances, which gives customers EC2 capacity on their own single-tenant hardware.
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    This helps you take advantage of the cost-effectiveness, agility, and scale of AWS, while complying with stringent regulatory and security requirements that forbid the use of multi-tenant infrastructure.
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  • Broadest and deepest set of cloud services – AWS has more than 175 services, ranging from infrastructure technologies like compute, storage, and databases to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, data lakes and analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT).
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  • Unparalleled pace of innovation – When customers migrate to AWS, they benefit from an unparalleled pace of innovation. AWS constantly adds new services and improves existing ones, meaning customers will continue to have access to the latest cloud services available.
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    Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—are using AWS, more than any other provider. Most new services and features are a direct result of feedback from these customers.

Data Provisioning Models and Choosing a Suitable Approach

There are several patterns that can be applied to decouple SAP systems. Data in SAP is extracted in near-time basis to the AWS targets as it’s generated. Integration methods include SAP smart data integration with data provisioning agent and Kafka streaming options to extract the data.

Alternatively, customers running SAP workloads can still leverage the digital decoupling model using the readily available Change Data Capture (CDC) products like Qlik, which provides out-of-the-box integration with AWS services.

With Accenture’s digital decoupling for SAP offering, customers can deploy architecture to support integration through API events.

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Figure 2 – Digital decoupling on AWS.

Fast-Track Transformation

Accenture’s digital decoupling is a unique offering in the market for your SAP systems and allows you to scale new cloud services, in parallel to a gradual modernization of the legacy SAP ERP systems.

Powered by AWS, with digital decoupling you are enabled to transform your SAP systems to quickly respond to market challenges and opportunities, reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), and manage risks on complex enterprise platforms.

Connect with our team at [email protected] to start making intelligent business decisions faster.
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Accenture is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and MSP. A global professional services company that provides an end-to-end solution to migrate to and manage operations on AWS, Accenture’s staff of 440,000+ includes more than 8,000 trained and 6,000 AWS Certified professionals.

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