Imagine Sunil Somadasa of Aranayake obtaining a copy of his birth certificate via e-mail? Ms.P. Jeyaranee in Vakarai getting her start up business registration digitised? That just might be the future if talks with SAP India (P) Ltd. (SAP) and the Sri Lankan government authorities go through.  SAP which assists streamline processes, giving entities the [...]

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

SAP gearing to digitise rural Sri Lanka


Imagine Sunil Somadasa of Aranayake obtaining a copy of his birth certificate via e-mail? Ms.P. Jeyaranee in Vakarai getting her start up business registration digitised? That just might be the future if talks with SAP India (P) Ltd. (SAP) and the Sri Lankan government authorities go through.  SAP which assists streamline processes, giving entities the ability to use live data to predict customer trends – live and in the moment is gearing to start discussions with the government in a bid to assist rural communities to basically ‘simplify’ their day to day lives, Deb Deep Sengupta, President and Managing Director SAP Indian Subcontinent, who was visiting the island to the launch of the Sri Lanka SAP User Group (SLSUG). recently told the Business Times.

“We’re going to meet the Treasury officials and other state authorities during our next visit,” he said. He added that SAP if and when they seal partnerships, aims to boost income and inspire permanent change to the rural communities.“We are in conversation with the government and its agencies to explore how best we can bring our experience of working with governments from around the world. SAP is well poised to cover the strategic pillars – improving fiscal discipline, transforming governance to deliver responsive citizen services, building future cities and enhancing national resilience. Our digital government solutions use technologies such as cloud computing, enterprise mobility, big data computing, predictive analytics and Internet of Things to help public agencies improve performance and develop forward-thinking, citizen-centric programmes,” he added.

Today, SAP is best equipped to enable and support these government initiatives, according to him.  “The government has announced definitive plans to improve its governance and its services to the public. We will be working closely with local partners in Sri Lanka, whose collaborative approach and insights can be leveraged. We also understand that the ICT Agency in Sri Lanka is a lead facilitator and thought-leader in this area and has been pioneering digital governance initiatives. We would like to work with them to be strategically aligned with their core and immediate objectives.”  State officials said that the government is looking to bank on ERP solutions in order to ensure effective budgeting, improved community services and digitisation.

SAP’s focus on helping organisations transition to the digital economy makes it a particularly effective partner for local governments as SAP already works across the public sector in India to improve the daily lives of Indians by digitising areas like municipal governance, delivery of services, and transportation,Mr. Sengupta, who brings more than two decades of wide-ranging IT and management experience to the role, with a track record of increasing market share, ensuring customer success and leading effective teams said. He has been an integral part of SAP India’s leadership team for over a decade and has been instrumental in establishing the SAP brand in India.

According to him the integrated and comprehensive modern offerings by SAP enable companies to implement a system optimised to their specific needs, allowing for scalability addressing the specific needs of fast-growing companies in emerging markets to run their business in real time. Powered by SAP, many SMEs use mission-critical core processes – such as finance, human resources, IT management, manufacturing, procurement, sales and service and compliance – and can be deployed to help accelerate business productivity. “SAP offers supreme integration tools for basic business processes,” he said.

SAP solutions bring together preconfigured business processes and implementation services to accelerate time to value – all the while helping customers leverage business experiences. “The innovating and driving high value for our customers has attracted many local firms to SAP and some Sri Lankan firms have been using SAP for over a decade.”  Mr. Sengupta added that users and new users of SAP in Sri Lanka have seen 20 – 30 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the last few years.

Sri Lanka SAP User Group launched  to help technology eruption

German-based System Analyses and Programme networking systems (SAP) launched its Sri Lanka SAP User Group (SLSUG) recently to provide its members with the necessary resources and tools to maximise return on SAP investment thus strengthening the country’s SAP community.  SAP India President and Managing Director Deb Deep Sengupta at a media briefing held at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo, recently said, “With more than 300,000 customers globally today SAP has been in the business of providing technology to customers, governments and not-for-profit organisations across the globe for more than 40 years.

Asia has been a very big opportunity for SAP during the last 25 years which is emerging more significantly with the global macro changes. The uniqueness in Asia is that most companies are well diversified in terms of portfolio, fast growing family owned companies and lots of large state owned enterprises for overall development and infrastructure.”  SAP has been in Sri Lanka since 2000. While the number of customers has significantly grown in Sri Lanka over the last couple of years, he said this is the appropriate moment to have the user group which will facilitate not just networking, but help technology eruption and also network with the global communities.

SAP has user groups in North America, Germany, India and Australia. “In every major region or market which we operate we have a very large user group. The purpose of the user group is three- fold; networking, role in helping skill building, developing of local skills and resources, entrepreneurship development and helping advise public policy making bodies in terms of how technology can be erupted. Most importantly SAP has evolved by taking feedback from the user groups for product development improvement and for future investments,” added Mr. Sengupta.

SLSUG Chairperson, Ramesh Shanmuganathan stressed that it is imperative for Sri Lanka to be connected and network. “Today we are talking about (a) digital ecosystem, (a) digital world, transportation, financial and logistics hub; it’s a very remote chance (that we have) if we don’t up our gains in terms of digital technology,” he noted.  “With a global player like SAP and with the solutions we have, the ecosystem expands. SAP has much more bandwidth in terms of reach and scale as well,” he added.

He also noted that the Singapore government has gone 100 per cent open data whereas the Sri Lankan government is still in a closed loop. With the Right to Information Act being passed in the parliament recently, the next step would be to adopt an open data policy and acknowledge things like e-invoicing, electronic transaction processing, electronic payments which are a huge influence for Sri Lankan companies to get into the digital world. Today credit card penetration is about one million in Sri Lanka with which you cannot talk about digital commerce. “You need to ensure that payment instruments are available to everyone,” he added. (RM)

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.