Mr. Kleinsorge, the M&A community knows SNP as one of the leading providers of consulting services for IT transformation projects. Not everyone is familiar with SNP’s service portfolio. Therefore, can you explain to an M&A professional in simple terms where you can provide added value in the M&A process for the customer’s M&A projects?
Heinz-Peter Kleinsorge: Simply put, SNP offers a software-based scan of the existing IT system landscape. Our data transformation platform identifies all the modules used in the SAP systems, the existing in-house developments, and the interfaces to other IT systems.
In transformations such as carve-outs or integrations, we use this information to help companies and consultants evaluate the costs and synergies associated with their IT systems. Our platform reveals potential risks in the system landscape at an early stage by providing a transparent overview of how up to date and complex the affected IT systems are. In this way, our platform can also help to determine the purchase price for the target system.
In addition, our platform is regularly used in the strategy phase. First, when it comes to assessing different carve-out scenarios, including the associated time and cost estimates. Secondly, when systems are being separated or integrated during the implementation phase of carve-out and integration projects.
SNP SE has developed a comprehensive solution with the CrystalBridge platform. Which challenges is the platform suited for?
Heinz-Peter Kleinsorge: In over 12,500 transformation projects – whether carve-outs or M&As – we have seen time and again how important good project planning is. We have to deliver on time, on budget, with top quality and with as much flexibility as possible. This is no longer doable with manual methods – it requires software-based transformation.
And that’s where our data transformation platform CrystalBridge comes into play. The platform allows us to automate preliminary analyses and all transformation scenarios to the greatest possible extent. Our customers have the choice between using the software themselves, with our trained partners or with us. With CrystalBridge, we are setting a standard but also harnessing multipliers to reduce dependence on us as a manufacturer. So we are creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.
That sounds very exciting. We know that IT costs often require the highest budgets during carve-outs or integrations. Can you give an indication of the cost savings achieved by your customers?
Heinz-Peter Kleinsorge: That’s a very good question – and one that we almost always get from our customers as well. The greatest cost-saving potential lies in the shorter project durations – usually only one to three months. As a result, these projects offer low costs for internal and external resources. And thanks to the automation of our CrystalBridge platform, the projects also require fewer resources.
In transformation projects, we can definitely increase quality while also reducing costs. Unfortunately, without concrete scenarios and parameters, we cannot provide a concrete figure in euros. In every project, we record the specific requirements or working hypotheses at the beginning, discuss them, and include their implications in the planning.
We keep hearing the formula “SNP = SAP products.” How do you respond to your customers in this case? Can this solution also be used for other applications?
Heinz-Peter Kleinsorge: Our CrystalBridge platform actually offers the greatest added value for SAP customers. Our software contains the entire content for these user companies and their SAP systems – especially the SAP business objects.
But – and this is important for me to emphasize – we also support migrations from non-SAP to SAP systems. We accelerate these scenarios because we have the content for the target system in our platform. Therefore, the equation “SNP = SAP products” is not quite correct.
Are there any other product developments that you would like to highlight today? When can we expect new products?
Heinz-Peter Kleinsorge: We are constantly developing our data transformation platform CrystalBridge. To do so, we are improving the current modules and components and enhancing them with new content. In this way, we are protecting our customers’ investments in the long term because, for example, each new SAP S/4HANA version requires additional content.
And of course we are also developing new modules and components.
We have recently introduced the solution “Cloud Move for Azure.” It allows our customers to determine the operating costs for their specific SAP systems in the Azure Cloud at the push of a button as well as initiate the deployment of the system in the Azure Cloud.
So before it gets too technical, we are continuously expanding our platform to offer our customers more cost-effective and time-efficient solutions for their transformations.
That’s a good closing statement: cost-effective and time-efficient solutions for the customer. Mr. Kleinsorge, thank you very much for this interview.