By Khulile Thwala
Eswatini’s leading sugar producer has acclaimed significant cost-savings and efficiency gains following a landmark deployment of SAP’s powerful S/4HANA Public Cloud platform.
SAP is a German software company, while the S/4HANA Public Cloud platform is a ready-to-run cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that delivers the latest industry best practices and continuous innovation.
According to Axxis Consulting, the S/4HANA Public Cloud is a business management suite that is often referred to as “the intelligent enterprise platform” because of its AI, advanced analytics, and machine learning capabilities. Rob Coombe, Group IT Manager at Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation, has said that the new technology platform will support the company’s business strategy by unlocking greater agility, cost-efficiency, and innovation capability.
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“Our SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud deployment drives greater efficiency across our business by allowing us to leverage best-practice standards that keep processes running smoothly while unlocking significant cost savings,” said Coombe through the African Media Agency.
He said the power and scalability of the platform could also support their business as they enter new product segments and markets, allowing them to quickly and efficiently bring new processes and business capabilities online. Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation is one of Eswatini’s largest companies, with over 4 500 employees and producing two-thirds of the country’s sugar and more than 35 million litres of ethanol per year.
According to The Guardian, the company has a long history of leveraging SAP solutions to power its business processes, and in 2014 became the first company in Southern Africa to commission more than 25 SAP modules.
“We sought a replacement for our SAP ECC systems and did extensive research, even looking beyond the SAP landscape,” explains Coombe in a report.
He highlights that they were impressed with SAP’s vision for the public cloud, and the quick and efficient execution of that vision.
“We identified SAP S/4HANA Cloud as the best fit for us, and opted for a Public Cloud deployment to support our end-to-end business processes while unlocking significant cost savings across our business.”
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According to Coombe, one of the contributing factors to the success of the SAP deployment is Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation’s use of best-practice processes and templates.
“SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud has benefited from immense development work that has helped it mature into a very attractive business proposition,” he said.
He exclaimed that the deployment had now set them apart as an organization.
“There was nothing about our business needs that differentiated us to the point of needing more customisation. We adopted the standard processes offered by S/4HANA Public Cloud, leaving us free to spend time and resources on areas of the business where we do want to differentiate.”
Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation has played a vital role within surrounding communities over the years, providing housing and infrastructure to the more than 2 500 families that are involved in sugar cane farming. The company also supports seven government-owned schools serving its communities and supports broader infrastructure around its farms and production facilities.
“Using our new SAP capabilities, we can support every part of our business, from the production of sugar and ethanol to running estates and roads in our villages,” explained Coombe.
“The modern architecture offered by SAP allows us to spin new processes and capabilities up when needed, or scale down under-utilised processes. This is helping us drive efficiencies across every facet of our business, unlocking significant value along the way.”