Customer Stories / Manufacturing
Konica Minolta Turns Insight into Action with SAP Data and Analytics Solution on AWS
In a 2021 survey, 45 percent of Australian small businesses ranked increased productivity and office applications as their top priority for digital transformation. Automation tools are now designed for businesses of all sizes, with technologies such as optical character recognition and digital content management reducing manual workloads.
Konica Minolta has remained a leader in the field of print technology and office services, evolving its product portfolio to encompass industrial and 3D print alongside robotics and imaging. The enterprise has over 2 million customers worldwide, with a strong footprint in Australia.
Opportunity | Adapting to New Customer and Business Expectations
Konica Minolta has adapted in an agile fashion to evolving times. It champions digital and workforce transformation for its customers and walks the talk as a modern technology enterprise. Konica Minolta first implemented its SAP systems in 2007, but customer and business expectations have changed dramatically since then.
Nick Jones, chief information officer for Konica Minolta Australia, explains, “We’ve developed commercial solutions adjacent to our core business and have customized our systems, including SAP, to suit. As we dived deeper into robotics and 3D applications, we recognized the need to transform again.”
AWS has proven to be reliable, secure, and sustainable. It works 99.9999 percent of the time, customers are happy, and AWS R&D investments are unbelievably good.”
Chief Information Officer, Konica Minolta Australia
Solution | Deploying Cloud Infrastructure to Gain Flexibility
A legacy on-premises SAP landscape, in addition to extensive system customization incurring technical debt, restricted Konica Minolta’s ability to keep up with customer demands. The business recognized that moving to the cloud was a critical piece in its transformation, to take advantage of the flexibility and on-demand scalability only possible on the cloud. It has been running customer billing applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and chose to leverage AWS as its strategic cloud provider for SAP and beyond.
“AWS has proven to be reliable, secure, and sustainable. It works 99.9999 percent of the time, customers are happy, and AWS R&D investments are unbelievably good,” elaborates Jones.
Konica Minolta determined that a modern data warehousing solution was needed to ensure a solid data foundation. The business brought on SAP specialist provider and AWS Partner Zag, which is now part of Accenture.
Zag proposed an upgrade of Konica Minolta’s SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) environment to run on the SAP HANA database hosted on AWS, with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) as the reporting and visualization tool. This approach would increase control of internal reporting functions and generate faster data insights. The combination of new SAP-certified Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and AWS Backint Agent for SAP HANA would make Konica Minolta’s SAP BW/4HANA system more cost effective and resilient than its previous architecture.
Outcome | Single Source of Truth for Historic and New SAP Data
With an upgraded and fully integrated business warehouse environment, Konica Minolta has a single platform and source of truth for historic and new SAP data. This will pave the way for its pending implementation of SAP S/4HANA on AWS according to SAP best practices and standardized processes—all without compromising the business’s ability to execute valuable year-on-year analysis.
Jones says, “We successfully built a data repository that ensures business continuity, and we have delivered an analytics dashboard for each of our four business divisions with more beneficial capability coming in the future.” SAP BW 7.5—the version implemented with Zag—natively integrates with both S/4HANA and SAC, allowing Konica Minolta to have live connections among all these mission-critical systems. Users can access real-time information to develop, share, and collaborate on reports and dashboards.
In terms of visualization, SAC utilizes the SAP Fiori interface to provide users with maximum flexibility in how they interact with data. Employees working from home or sales staff on the move can access real-time reports on their mobile phones and are less reliant on Konica Minolta’s IT team. Down the track, the crossover to SAP S/4HANA will also be seamless as SAC uses the same environment and interface.
The data and analytics upgrade has removed the need for multiple visualization tools, and employees benefit from more granular data reporting, including visibility into data derivation. Over the next couple years, Konica Minolta estimates at least $100,000 in license savings based on decommissioning redundant reporting and visualization tools.
Furthermore, because SAC is a focal point of innovation for SAP, Konica Minolta has quarterly system updates automatically applied. This brings new functionalities along with bug fixes without any maintenance requirements on the part of Konica Minolta or its service providers.
A fundamental pillar of Konica Minolta’s new strategy is “delighting customers,” and the enterprise is building out its tech stack to support this. The new SAP data warehousing and analytics solution hasn’t only addressed Konica Minolta’s reporting challenges, but also driven greater customer insights from the magnitudes of data now available.
By integrating SAP data and analytics models on AWS, Konica Minolta has a 360-degree view of its customers. This means it can now deliver real-time insights to customer-facing employees and empower their decision making in the moment. “From a performance perspective, the speed at which people can access and present data is night and day. Even purely from a look and feel viewpoint, it’s a huge step up,” Jones says.
Achieving the six-month timeline for the project was only possible through close collaboration and commitment among team members from Zag, Konica Minolta, and AWS. “The Zag team really delivered on this project. They brought their best people and AWS came to the table to deliver the infrastructure within seconds, which was fantastic,” adds Jones.
The upgraded data and analytics environment is the first major system at Konica Minolta to go live on AWS, with S/4HANA coming next. With a strong digital core in place, Konica Minolta is looking to deploy additional front-of-house engagement systems as the next stop on its transformation roadmap.
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/sap.
About Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia is a leading provider of integrated print hardware and software solutions with the power to transform the business environment. Konica Minolta invests continually in research and development to deliver inspiring products that give shape to ideas.
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) offers the broadest and deepest compute platform, with over 475 instances and choice of the latest processor, storage, networking, operating system, and purchase model to help you best match the needs of your workload.
AWS Backint Agent for SAP HANA
AWS Backint Agent for SAP HANA is an SAP-certified backup and restore solution for SAP HANA workloads running on Amazon EC2 instances.
SAP B/W4HANA on AWS
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and SAP have worked together closely to certify the AWS platform so that companies of all sizes can fully realize all the benefits of the SAP HANA in-memory platform on AWS.
Organizations of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses and delivering on their missions every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS journey today.