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Act fast with ERP modernization

Capturing the golden opportunity of post-COVID growth with data intelligence and cloud flexibility

SAP Hong Kong and Amazon Web Services Hong Kong jointly organized an executive luncheon on March 16. The event was inaugurated by Esmond Tong, Managing Director, SAP Hong Kong and Macau and Chris So, Head of Business Development, Amazon Web Services Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong’s economic bounce back is prominent. The city is again filled with tourists and vibrant energy. Despite all the positive signs, this excitement is still against the backdrop of global inflation and the city’s wave of emigration. All these uncertainties could bring a sharp turn from surge to plunge fast, and furious.

To capture this narrow, but golden opportunity for growth, business leaders and executives from SAP Hong Kong and Amazon Web Services Hong Kong recently gathered to discuss strategies to act fast and take charge of uncertainty.


“In this new world, it is not the big fish which eats the small fish, it’s the fast fish which eats the slow fish,” said Esmond Tong, Managing Director, SAP Hong Kong and Macau. “Not only do you need to be a fast fish, but you also need to be a smart fish.”


Fast to open new markets

Being fast, and smart are the essence of any successful business. Moving fast to expand new markets is often the most challenging. “How can you quickly open up a new market, no matter if it is inbound to Mainland China or outbound to one-belt-one road countries?” said Andrew Ling, Head of Customer Advisory, SAP Hong Kong.

He added entering new markets means businesses need to first comply with the local regulatory requirements, then keep up with the changing local laws. Any business operating beyond a single country also needsinter-company transfer, financial consolidation and group reporting capabilities. Thus, businesses need financial reporting tools that support multiple countries and markets.

“Your software vendor should be able to address both legal and financial issues of the new market. You need to challenge your software vendors with these questions,” said Ling. “SAP accept your challenge, come to challenge us!” he added.

“Not only do you need to comply with local regulations, but you also need to know the consequences,” added Greg Wong, Director of Centre of Excellence, SAP BTP, SAP Hong Kong.

Cloud ERP Executive Luncheon presented by SAP Hong Kong and Amazon Web Services Hong Kong on March 16.

From left :

1. Sheila Lam (Moderator), 2. Andrew Ling (Head of Industries and Customer Advisory, SAP Hong Kong), 3. Alvin Cheung (Data Analytics Business Development Lead, Amazon Web Services Hong Kong), 4. Greg Wong (Director of Centre of Excellence, SAP BTP, SAP Hong Kong)

Global coverage and regional commitment

Apart from acting fast with regulatory changes, businesses also need to be fast with connecting their business operations. Wong said high availability ERP platform can “assure you the technology is always ready, allowing you to focus on running a business.”

Having a cloud service provider with strong global commitment is essential for businesses to operate faster, added Alvin Cheung, Data Analytics Business Development Lead, AWS Hong Kong. He added AWS has 99 availability zones across 31 geographical markets. These clusters of data centres in each zone can support SAP and AWS customers with high availability, supporting them to expand their businesses faster to China, Asia Pacific, and the world.

“AWS has more than a decade of experience in hosting SAP workloads and offers a wide array of choices for customers. It has the most market share and the largest SAP on AWS partner ecosystem in the U.S,” according to market research firm ISG. “AWS offers a robust and secure infrastructure platform for clients to run their most mission-critical SAP workloads.”

Modernize IT to be smart

On top of acting fast, businesses are turning smart to capture the post-COVID recovery. Ling said more retailers are turning to analytics to accelerate revenue growth with the same scale operations.

To be smarter and ride on AI, like the latest technology sensation ChatGPT, businesses however cannot rely on their legacy systems.

Ling said many businesses still spend 80% of their IT budget to enable BAU (business as usual) because the legacy systems are creating a spaghetti-like architecture. Legacy ERP is blocking many businesses to be agile and flexible in taking advantage of the latest technologies.

“Without a modernized ERP, businesses can never release the resources and people needed for innovative projects like advanced analytics and ChatGPT,” said Ling.

“There’s no magic ball, only crystal ball,” added Wong. To rely on data to drive actionable insights and develop simulations like having a crystal ball, he said business must modernize their platforms. “If you don’t modernize the core platform and consolidate information for a single view, how can you analyse it?”

Modernise ERP to be smart is a strategy proven to be successful. Cheung noted a Taiwanese home appliance manufacturer has recently subscribed to RISE with SAP and AWS, allowing it to enjoy a single view of data and create a self-service dashboard.

“Can you imagine a traditional business like a manufacturer can build its own AI/ML model for sales trend prediction? This is the power of the synergy between SAP and AWS,” said Cheung.

“There is never a good time to modernize. But instead, this is the right time,” said Wong. “If you want to grow the business to catch this golden opportunity, you cannot remain the same.”



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SAP Sponsored Paper with IDC : A Guide to Growth

Download the IDC InfoDoc, sponsored by SAP, and discover eight actionable recommendations to help your business to thrive in turbulent times.

  • How leading midsize companies are evolving their business models

  • The critical link between sustainability and business growth

  • The importance of diversifying your supply chain - Why leaders are investing in employee efficiency and happiness

  • The crucial role that technology plays in your company’s growth strategy

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