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SAP Pursues Partnerships to Drive Innovation and Growth

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German software giant SAP SE (SAP - Free Report) is actively collaborating with leading IT frontrunners to bolster its innovative quotient and help clients in their journey of digital transformation. Recently, the company joined forces with General Electric Company’s (GE - Free Report) business unit – GE Digital – and strengthened its partnership with Accenture plc (ACN - Free Report) to fortify its extensive partnership network and drive growth.

GE Digital and SAP Partnership

SAP’s partnership with GE Digital aims to foster the development of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) by integrating SAP’s proprietary SAP HANA Cloud Platform and GE's Predix operating system. In addition, the companies will collaborate in asset management by leveraging on SAP’s Asset Intelligence Network to design “use cases” that can drive efficiency, savings and utilization from clients’ asset investments. 

This partnership reflects the companies’ attempt to expand joint “go-to-market” capabilities and escalate innovation for cloud platforms. SAP and GE Digital are trying to enable the concept of "Things to Outcomes" for the oil and gas industry. This will empower owners, operators and makers of their equipment to share data and context, thus creating end-to-end processes.

Partnership with Accenture Progresses Well

SAP and Accenture entered into a partnership this January to accelerate the core development and go-to-market capabilities of cloud-powered SAP S/4HANA. The recent deal is to speed up the delivery of Multi-Channel Customer Engagement Platform. Leveraging on a digital customer engagement platform that will be co-created by the technology behemoths, utility companies can engage with customers and improve efficiency.

Also, this state-of-the-art customer engagement platform will enable utility companies to offer customers non-commodity products and services, such as solar panels, batteries and connected home products. The latest platform has been built on SAP’s proprietary offerings, including SAP S/4HANA Utilities solution, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and SAP Multichannel Foundation, SAP Hybris Marketing, SAP Hybris Commerce and SAP Hybris Billing solutions.

Accenture is aiding in designing, developing and integrating the next releases of S/4HANA Utilities, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, SAP Hybris Marketing, SAP Hybris Commerce and SAP Hybris Billing. This will simplify sales and service processes of customers and help them in managing, selling and billing of energy and non-energy products and services.

SAP and Accenture are working on critical client areas, including development, go-to-market, customer support and outcomes. Previously, the companies had introduced a fashion management solution and are currently working on co-creating predictive analytics solutions for asset management in the utilities industry. The companies plan to put forth a string of novel solutions, thus aiding digital transformation of their clients in different industries.

SAP’s Betting Big on Internet of Things

SAP is consistently strengthening its ecosystem strategy, which include interactive network of partners, customers and individuals, to better leverage on its innovation capacity by extending it to the partners as well. Some of the recent strategic investments include collaboration with data-driven culinary management platform – Vivanda – to utilize the latter’s FlavorPrint technology for its customers and joining forces with UPS to launch a partner program that will test new industrial 3D printing methods.

During third-quarter 2016, the German software giant announced its decision to invest a whopping $2.2 billion for the expansion of its IoT portfolio. Further, the company has earmarked a budget for bolt-on acquisitions to fortify the IoT portfolio. Moreover, the company has revealed plans to launch a new product line — SAP IoT — which will integrate huge amounts of data from things connected to the Internet, with machine learning and SAP's real-time database S/4 HANA.

In addition, SAP plans to open SAP IoT Labs globally, in order to foster engagement with local IoT startups and partners. We believe that these investments will provide a major boost into the budding IoT space and aid the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company in staying ahead of the curve.

A better-ranked stock in the industry is Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). It is a leading player in the computer software space. The company has had a striking earnings surprise history in the trailing four quarters, having beaten estimates all through, with an average beat of 5.6%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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