HCL Strengthens its SAP Partnership with the Launch of SAP Cloud Natives Labs in London


HCL recently launched London-based SAP Cloud Natives Labs to focus on client-facing ideation, prototyping and development of new cloud-native solutions. The key intent of the innovation center and partnership between HCL and SAP is to build cloud-based SAP applications and proofs of concepts. The SAP Cloud Natives Labs is strategically located at one of the three cloud native labs of HCL, the other two are located at Dallas, Texas, in the U.S. and Noida, India.

HCL has been a global strategic partner to SAP for over 18 years. The company is a services and license resell partner, co-innovating with SAP in the areas of S4/HANA, Blockchain and SAP Leonardo. HCL has extended its strategic alliance with SAP from being a Value Assurance partner to a Solution Extension partner. To extend this partnership even further, HCL launched SAP Cloud Natives Lab to fast track the development of SAP cloud applications and proofs of concepts. The launch was followed by keynote presentations by SAP and HCL leadership, including SAP CTO Juergen Mueller and HCL CVP & CTO Kalyan Kumar, among others. The event was attended by HCL clients and industry analysts.

Partnership to Drive SAP’s Vision of Intelligent Enterprise

SAP has placed great focus on integrating operational data (O-data) and experience data (X-data from Qualtrics) to enable enterprises to improve their customer experience. The partnership between HCL and SAP focuses on providing data-driven solutions to enterprise clients. For this purpose, the SAP Cloud Natives Lab is an innovation lab built to prototype and develop SAP cloud-native solutions that improve services provided to enterprise clients. The partnership will help HCL deploy SAP solutions to its clients at a faster pace and drastically reduce time to market.

The partners plan to offer intelligent-enterprise solutions by deploying SAP Leonardo, integrating SAP cloud apps with other platforms, extending intelligent suites for industry verticals, and building new custom and business apps. These approaches use the combination of data and the cloud to help customers build an intelligent enterprise.

HCL’s Approach to Upskill its Employees and Realize Benefits for its Clients

HCL intends to leverage SAP’s world-class employee training program to upskill its SAP practitioners to work on SAP Cloud Native Applications. The SAP Cloud Applications course simulates the development of a specific customer requirement into an SAP Cloud for a client’s functional enhancement using SAP Cloud Applications. The participants of this training program are introduced to the Partner Development Infrastructure (PDI) and can gain hands-on experience with the Software Development Kit (SDK) using its key features. The program guides participants through the design, development and deployment of an SAP Cloud for add-on solutions. The trained personnel are then deployed to enterprise client projects.

HCL is working with SAP to build cloud-native solutions in an extend-integrate-build approach. With this approach, HCL is helping its customers along their hybrid and multi-cloud journeys by leveraging expertise in SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Apps and developer experts who use the API hub. HCL uses a tactic of keeping the core clean for the cloud-based architectures, which helps them deploy new upgrades with minimal challenges. HCL helps its enterprise clients understand the economic benefits of cloud transformation, which helps them optimize financial planning and set the right expectations. This integrated approach to upskilling its employees and realizing the business ambitions of its enterprise clients enables HCL to grow its SAP offerings.

HCL Aims to Capture Larger Market Share in Europe

Starting with the Axon acquisition a decade ago, HCL has created a strong foothold for SAP offerings in the U.K. market and continues with its SAP Cloud Natives Lab and related innovation practices in the U.K. HCL has around 900 SAP practitioners and 350 SAP HANA certified consultants working in London and Egham, U.K., today.

Of the large SAP client base in Europe, many intend to migrate to S/4HANA. By locating SAP Cloud Labs in the U.K., HCL makes it convenient to showcase SAP proofs-of-concepts to new European clients. HCL’s launch of SAP Cloud Labs in London is a strategic investment with a strong focus on client relations and employees’ expertise, aimed to be more competitive in the U.K. and the European market. It will be an imperative for the service provider to leverage its capabilities to the best of its ability in the region so that it can continue to capture market share across Europe.

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About the author

Akhila Harinarayan

Akhila Harinarayan

Akhila Harinarayan is the lead author for ISG Provider Lens™ with a focus on Digital Business Transformation and SAP Services. She has more than 12 years of experience across research and consulting including provider strategy, enterprise strategy, industry roadmaps, point-of-view papers, service provider assessment across regions. She brings in her expertise on strategy and transformation, digital insights, thought leadership, benchmarking, market assessments and go-to-market strategies.

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