February 02, 2021

BeyondTheBlack: The SAP Experience

BeyondTheBlack: The SAP Experience Image | BlackLine Magazine

The SAP Track at BeyondTheBlack garnered thousands of attendees across multiple sessions, and featured a keynote by COO of SAP North America Thack Brown, breakouts with Deloitte and EY, and top BlackLine use cases, like moving to SAP S/4HANA.

Brown kicked it off with the session Better Together: BlackLine & SAP, which underscored the importance of tight collaboration between an organization’s finance and operation teams. He emphasized that SAP can’t be the best at everything—and that’s where strategic partners come into play.

According to Brown, BlackLine gives SAP “deep expertise that fits in beautifully with what SAP does and collectively delivers more value to our customers than either of us could do on our own.”

As for SAP, he said, “If I look specifically at the CFO side of the house, we’re trying to help our customers do four really big things.”

4 Big Finance Goals

Strategy tops the list. Brown says, “the CFO is getting asked by the board to take a major driving role in strategy because with major business model changes, ultimately it comes down to the financials.”

Improving business performance and processes is the second goal. The third is helping to upgrade automation, to “help the finance organization streamline all that back-office effort that is typically where finance spends their time today.”

The fourth goal is compliance because, as Brown notes, “at the end of the day, if we’re not compliant, we can’t do anything else.” SAP’s goal is to keep its customers not just in the game, but ahead of the game in today’s uniquely challenging compliance environment.

The Better Together presentation also featured a number of customer panelists who described their successes with BlackLine and SAP.

SAP Customer Insights & Use Cases

Other sessions in the SAP Track highlighted customer success stories and top use cases, such as How BlackLine Enables a Successful Move to S4/HANA. And, SAP Open Item Clearing Automation examined how SAP customers are using BlackLine to enhance their SAP experience.

Deloitte hosted a panel on Creating an Ecosystem with BlackLine, Your ERP & Other Applications, which delivered invaluable insights from Johnson & Johnson as well as SAP, BlackLine, and Workiva, from a technology ecosystem perspective.

Throughout the three-day virtual event, eight different SAP/BL customers shared their transformation journeys and use cases during panels and sessions, including Intel, The Home Depot, Kimberly-Clark, Waters Corporation, McKesson, Zurich North America, and Asahi International.

As for the future, Brown explained why customers are in good hands with the SAP/BlackLine partnership:

“We make sure that as SAP and BlackLine products evolve, they evolve collectively and make sense together, so that once you’ve made an investment, you can feel confident that that investment will continue to evolve, function, and pay off for you over the long term.”

Visit our SAP Hub to learn more about how BlackLine complements your SAP investment.

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