SAP Road Maps Enables Customers To Become Intelligent Enterprises: Peter Maier, President, Industries Organization, SAP

Globally responsible for the SAP business with companies in various sectors, Peter Maier, President, Industries Organization, SAP, in conversation with Sarabjeet Kaur from BW CIOWORLD, speaks about SAP’s role in India’s Mill Products & Mining, Oil and Gas, Utilities, Public, and Travel & Transportation sector.

SAP customers produce round about 96% of the total domestic crude oil in India, 93% of the total crude oil processing in India is by companies running SAP, from the huge demand on the gas and pipeline network here in India, 88% are managed or owned by companies using SAP as a software provider, and 76% of India’s total fuel sales network is also owned by companies using SAP solutions. Globally responsible for the SAP business with companies in various sectors, Peter Maier, President, Industries Organization, SAP, in conversation with Sarabjeet Kaur from BW CIOWORLD, speaks about SAP’s role in India’s Mill Products & Mining, Oil and Gas, Utilities, Public, and Travel & Transportation sector. Excerpts:

An overview of your work with SAP and the sectors that you look after?

I joined SAP in 1991 as a Consultant for the petroleum industry and back then SAP had a big demand from the oil industry to consolidate their business requirements. We worked together with SAP in India because we had to make sure of leveraging our location here in India. The oil industry was the first industry which we went for here in India along with SAP Labs. Currently, we have 12,800 people allocated to development as well as taking care of our customers.

What is SAP Road Maps?

Since everybody talks about digital transformation, for me it is about efficiency and its growth. It is all about the digitalization of three areas— digitalization of the assets, people and customers as well as suppliers. Our strategy is clear that way as we want to enable our customers to become an intelligent enterprise and we want to make sure we have all the key processes covered.

The final one is about the managing SAP and non-SAP, structured and unstructured data to make it visible for the business leaders. In the end, business leaders know what data they need, but when you have your data what will you do with it? You need to use it for execution and that’s where our roadmaps go. SAP Road Maps highlight innovations and provide a robust planning horizon to help detail the transformation journey. 

In the oil and gas industry, SAP Road Maps enables our customers to become an intelligent enterprise. We help them with an intelligent suite where we basically have better user experience and voice recognition to speak with the system.  We combine it with all the data— the master data and the data management and finally new innovations are created. SAP Leonardo innovations like machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain are relevant in an industry context. We help determine what machine learning means in procurement for the oil industry, blockchain in transportation for the oil industry, and AI in the predictive maintenance context for the oil industry.

Can oil companies increase their production and expand their reserves with the help of digitalization?

I think it’s time for the oil industry to leverage from other industries. I mentioned that we will make sure that the new capabilities like machine learning and AI will help to get much more efficient and free our people in a sense that people can do other available activities. I see the customer base investing a lot in upstream compared to two or three years ago due to the oil price. There was not a lot of investment taking place. But now we see that coming up again, so there’s an uptake in investment in upstream because they really need to standardize.  They need to standardize, they want to standardize, and they need to differentiate. So, if done correctly and we have a unique opportunity in India, between 10 and 20 per cent increase in production is possible. 

How do you suggest can companies leverage their solutions and investments more by taking advantage of other new age technologies?

These new technologies like machine learning or AI are useless unless we make them relevant for the business. We have great examples in the procurement area especially when it comes to field engineers. Earlier when a field engineer used to procure products or services, it was an unbelievable nightmare to always find the right requisitions, right products, and the right catalog. With RFID tech, you basically take a picture from the asset and automatically via machine learning, the products are allocated along with the supplier and the necessary services. That is just one very simple example to speed up the whole production process.

There are two events which are the most expensive ones. The first one is when you need a spare part and the spare part is not available and the second one is when you have a lot of spare parts and you don’t need it. So, these are the two events in a very simple way and we need to manage this. So, there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from other industries which can be brought to the oil and gas industry to streamline processes. We have mapped machine learning and AI and blockchain to some extent, against key processes in an industry context to understand machine learning in oil and gas or AI in different processes.

Are you having any synergies with the government on these projects in India?

Yes, we see a lot of opportunities and we plan to intensify these collaborations with the government. There is so much going on, particularly the oil industry where some of them have a big link towards the government. I see the industry changing in a big way, with mobility also.  I see that a government can play a key role. How do we drive the collaboration between the public company or the public sector, the oil and gas companies and the utility companies and we are in discussion to see what we can do together. For the Indian market, I feel that there is not a player who can do this fast and in India, it is all about speed and agility. We have a platform now from SAP’s point of view which can manage to send a decision, and which can manage the differentiation and on top of it, you need a common practice of the different industries. You need to know what utility industry, oil companies, and the public sector are doing. You need that on one platform otherwise you are not fast enough.

That is one of the key differentiators for SAP in the market in a business context and obviously, we will also have a discussion with the government in India. Locally, we are doing few things in other ministries and in the Skill Development Ministry as well. It’s now the government and the industry coming together and that’s where we bring that level of consistency across these places as the public sector also uses SAP heavily in oil and gas sector, electricity & utility sector and that’s how it becomes so important.


Around The World