Listen as SAP’s Scott Campbell discusses the key disruptive trends in the Media and Telecom industries, along with insights on how solutions such as SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management (BRIM) and the SAP S/4HANA enabled Intelligent Enterprise can help companies navigate ongoing changes.

Also, below is a transcript of the podcast episode:

Jim Hunt: Hello, this is Jim Hunt for Bramasol’s Insights to Action podcast series. Today we’re going talk about the disruptions in the media and telecom space, and we have with us Scott Campbell from SAP.

Scott has a great background. He’s gone from “bands to brands”. Scott has been immersed in digital transformations for the past 30 years; from having hands-on creative roles with Grammy winning Rock & Roll Hall of Fame artists such as Annie Lennox and Robbie Robertson, to helping pioneer ecommerce and new content delivery platforms for artists like Duran Duran, George Michael before moving to the US where today, Scott is responsible for the Telecom, Media & Entertainment Industries in North America at SAP, where in fact most of the major media and Telecom companies run SAP for Finance and Supply Chain today. Scott, it’s great to have you here today.

Scott Campbell: Thank you, Jim. It’s nice to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jim Hunt: You bet. Can we just start off with an overview of the key trends impacting media and telecom industries?

Scott Campbell: Sure we can. Both Media and Telecom companies have been on an interconnected journey to become digital service providers. Today, we pay subscriptions to have access to content instead of buying the physical or even digital product. Telecom companies all offer content packages like Verizon bundling Disney Plus or T-Mobile providing Netflix as part of their subscription offering. Most of them also offer things like TV channel lineups, broadband internet, phone services, home automation, home security services and such like. It’s interesting because the cost to create content has skyrocketed in the last few years thanks to rising inflation and the added cost of health and safety measures thanks to a global pandemic. So whether you are a Media or Telecom company, you face challenges with stiffer competition and the need to run more efficiently at the back end to make sure everyone gets either charged for the service and Paid for providing the content. The music industry has seen an incredible revival from the Napster days of the early 2000s back to a $40b industry today thanks amazingly, to the resurgence of the vinyl record – however the film and TV industry won’t see the same margins with digital streaming as they did when they sold physical product like DVDs. This means both need to run better and more efficiently to stay in business.

Jim Hunt: Great overview. So, stepping into the systems, how are these trends impacting things like companies’ ERP and finance systems?

Scott Campbell: Well, let’s face it. I mean, give me an industry that isn’t Finance led these days but our customers at SAP use their finance systems as a reflection of the health of their business. So, Media companies want to have end-to-end visibility into the lifecycle of content from it’s creation thru the full lifecycle of marketing it and licensing it to digital service providers and Telecom partners. Sometimes this is easier said than done if you have your data spread across disparate systems which don’t give full transparency. Consumers are in charge today – Telecom companies are offering cash incentives to win your business. Now you only notice the network when it’s not there, so they are trying to operate on very slim margins with 99.99% uptime which requires planning and agility to be able scale.

Jim Hunt: And it also requires great tools to be able to integrate all of that, which brings us to SAP BRIM — what it is and how it addresses these challenges?

Scott Campbell: Yes, that’s a great question. BRIM is SAP’s Billing Revenue Innovation Management suite of solutions. We can help manage the back end for everything from Pricing, Managing Orders and Contracting, gathering consumption data, charging customers, Billing & Invoicing, Commissions, Collecting money and Handling disputes. It’s used today by most of the largest Media and Telecom companies in the world.

Jim Hunt: And maybe you could expand on that a little bit. It’s our understanding that BRIM is kind of a portfolio of applications, so there’s a lot of flexibility built in there as to how they deploy it. Can you expand on that?

Scott Campbell: That’s right. You can actually deploy certain pieces of it. You don’t have to take the full suite. We sometimes see customers that just want to manage the revenue accounting and maybe subscription bundling management. So we can very often just tailor the solution to fit the particular challenge that they’re trying to solve. And we can also host that in the cloud, so they don’t need to worry about putting servers in place and connecting them and getting it all working that way. We bring it as a complete ready solution for them to integrate.

Jim Hunt: Makes sense. And kind of zooming out to a bigger picture, looking ahead to the overall SAP S/4HANA ecosystem, how does BRIM fit within that?

Scott Campbell: Yeah, sure. So obviously BRIM is certainly at the heart of many of the media and telecom companies use of technology because that’s where they collect and have to pay their money. S/4 HANA is SAP’s next generation ERP platform to help you run what we call the Intelligent Enterprise. We are an open company at SAP – meaning we don’t prevent customers from integrating with 3rd party technology. We have in fact participated in various industry standards to make sure we address challenges Media and Telecom customer face with reporting, licensing and even sustainability protocols. Therefore, in short it’s not mandatory for customers to use SAP S/4 HANA with our Billing suite BRIM, but it certainly let’s those who do use it, highly automate most of their business processes – up to 70% in most cases in fact.

Jim Hunt: That that’s a great overview of the tools and the ecosystem. But what should companies be doing now if they are looking at these disruptions you talked about and they’re trying to get ahead of the curve on their tools and their systems?

Scott Campbell: Yeah, sure. SAP is not just for the large enterprise companies. 70% of our customers are actually small and medium sized companies with revenues from maybe $15M to under one billion. SAP S/4 Hana is available as a public cloud solution which means all you literally have to do it pay for the subscription – we along with partners like Bramasol are able to help customers leverage an agile platform that can scale as they grow your business. We’ve helped companies like Jio in India grow from nothing to 400M subscribers in less than 5 years. I’d suggest talking to someone about how SAP could help your business run better.

Jim Hunt: That’s great wrap up. I’ve learned a lot. I know our listeners will learn a lot from this. Are there any final words of wisdom or warnings that you might want put out to the listeners?

Scott Campbell: One thing I would mention that I don’t think we covered is that SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise is modular. So you can choose the pieces you want to use, but we also have an incredible ecosystem of what we call our Industry Cloud, which lets us extend the capabilities you get from having this centralized ERP capability. So things like rights and royalties or subscription management and these kind of capabilities are something that you can optimize the value you get from your investment in sap. So again, I encourage you to talk to Bramasol or reach out to SAP to ask more about what we can do for you in that regard as well as what we talked about today with our billing.

And if perhaps you might even invite me back to talk about some of that kind of stuff with you in the future, Jim, I’ll be happy to do that.

Jim Hunt: I most definitely will. This has been a great overview and I know there’s a number of areas we could drill down together. Scott, this has been a pleasure. Thank you for joining us today.

Scott Campbell: Thank you, Jim. I appreciate it. You take care.

Jim Hunt: You too.

You may also be interested in…