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Manufacturers today face challenges on many fronts: increasingly demanding customer expectations, higher costs, sustainability concerns, and disruption—most recently and dramatically due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. But data can help companies navigate their way through the obstacle course of modern manufacturing. Manufacturing generates petabytes of useful data that can improve production yields, avert problems, and spot opportunities. But this data is only as useful as their ability to analyze and use it to make decisions. SAP customers need to merge their enterprise data with machine and IoT data to inform more insightful business intelligence, feed advanced automation, and build more innovative Industry 4.0 solutions.
How? By integrating SAP’s enterprise applications with Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and data analytics capabilities. Google Cloud simplifies SAP deployment and offers a suite of applications that integrate with and enhance SAP. Manufacturers can bring together their operational and business data at scale to build an intelligent, connected digital factory. Here are just a few ways Google Cloud brings greater value to your organization’s SAP enterprise applications:
Cloud migration with minimal risk
SAP deployments can be complex, so moving to the cloud can seem daunting. Google Cloud’s tools and services help simplify and streamline the process with security capabilities and migration options. Manufacturers can take advantage of Google Cloud’s SAP-specific automated templates to deploy more quickly, consolidate SAP data within the cloud, and shrink time to value for AI- and ML-generated insights. The Cloud Acceleration Program for SAP customers leverages our network of partners with pre-built migration solutions and applications to make cloud transitions less risky and more efficient.
Data management, solved
Running SAP on Google Cloud gives manufacturers massive and highly flexible data storage without the cost of buying or maintaining infrastructure. Manufacturers can quickly gain fresh insight—not only from historic data, but also from real-time production, quality, and business data as well.
Multiple paths to the cloud
There are a lot of reasons to keep running legacy on-premises systems and multiple cloud deployments, including regulatory requirements and industry-specific needs. Manufacturers that rely on SAP for their core operations can take advantage of Google Cloud’s AI, ML, and analytics wherever their applications reside. Google Cloud’s hybrid and multicloud capabilities give manufacturers the strength of multiple cloud platforms, on-premises solutions, legacy providers, and a diversity of hardware. SAP manufacturers such as Kaeser Kompressoren are also taking advantage of Anthos, an application platform that lets them easily migrate and modernize legacy applications to the cloud, build new applications securely while staying in compliance, and gather and analyze their data.
Rich data integration
Manufacturers can build their digital factory from the ground up using Google Cloud’s API toolkit. By consolidating data signals from tools across the Google Cloud portfolio, such as web search data, weather, maps, shopping, and more, companies can gain insight into production planning, customer needs, and other business processes. This includes AutoML Vision capabilities that allow SAP customers to automate visual inspection, identify defects early and reduce costs.
Google BigQuery allows manufacturers to quickly analyze large amounts of data from a variety of sources, including SAP systems, production facilities, data lakes, sensors, and more to make more informed decisions. Manufacturers can train customized ML models for accurate forecasts with Cloud AutoML, which uses machine learning to build data-driven predictive maintenance models. With AI-driven demand forecasts, businesses are able to reduce production delays, improve yield at their facilities, and free up working capital.
Package your backend SAP data and functionality as API products using Google Cloud’s Apigee API management tool. Use these rich and valuable API products with AppSheet to allow non-developers to build innovative applications faster without coding.
Southwire takes the first step in its tech evolution with SAP on Google Cloud
Southwire, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wire and cable, tools and components, had a comprehensive plan to overhaul its SAP environment consisting of three key elements: upgrade the SAP environment to take advantage of the latest functionality; deploy SAP Business Warehouse on SAP HANA to accelerate reporting; and upgrade to the latest version of SAP Process Orchestration—an essential component that touches key manufacturing interfaces in all Southwire facilities.
“We wanted to be on a platform for SAP that was flexible, scalable, and secure; that we could count on to get up and running quickly,” says Dan Stuart, Senior Vice President of IT Services at Southwire. “We chose Google Cloud not only for those reasons, but also because we recognize that Google has other assets that we may be able to take advantage of down the line, such as technologies like artificial intelligence. There’s no shortage of areas where we think Google Cloud will come into play, and we intend to look at these things with an open mind to understand how we can leverage current investments to take our organization where we want to go.”
Getting the most value from manufacturing data
In order to maximize the value of their data, it’s not enough for today’s manufacturers to connect disparate data streams. They must also extract insight, forecast accurately, and drive intelligent decisions. By running SAP on Google Cloud, manufacturers gain the best of both worlds: advanced digital manufacturing process control and ML and AI-driven analytics and automation.
To learn more about how Google Cloud can help your manufacturing operation leverage rich data to compete in Industry 4.0, read SAP on Google Cloud for Manufacturing, and watch this video.