Google Cloud has announced a new partnership with SAP and Inchcape plc, a leading multi-brand automotive distributor, that will involve Inchcape bringing its business-critical sales, marketing and operations systems, and data to the cloud.

The migration of its SAP systems will help transform the purchase and ownership of cars for millions of consumers worldwide, while automating and creating new efficiencies within Inchcape’s operations, it is claimed.

Inchcape – which partners with major automotive manufacturers in more than 36 countries – relies on SAP for many aspects of its global business, from logistics to finance. By moving these workloads onto Google Cloud through the RISE with SAP offering, Inchcape will be able to join a diverse range of datasets into a centralised, secure, and scalable platform for the first time, Google says.

And by using Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and analytics capabilities, Inchcape will be able to manage and analyse this SAP data.

Under the new alliance, Inchcape will become one of the first UK-based businesses to run SAP on Google Cloud as part of the RISE with SAP offering. RISE with SAP provides expert support for a simplified, cost-effective, and customisable SAP migration, helping companies like Inchcape benefit from cloud scalability, reliability, and performance with no disruption to business operations.

“This is only the start of our partnership with Google Cloud, not just in revolutionising our technology, but also in the way millions of our customers will find, choose, and operate their personal vehicles,” said Mark Dearnley, Chief Digital Officer at Inchcape. “Google Cloud’s close relationship with SAP and its strong technical expertise in this space were a big pull for us. Ultimately, we wanted a headache-free RISE with SAP implementation and to unlock value for auto makers and consumers in all our regions, while continuing to have the choice and flexibility to modernise our 150-year old business in a way that works for us.”

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For Google Cloud, this announcement reflects a deepening partnership with SAP and continued dedication to bringing uncomplicated and cost-effective ways of data management and analytics to major enterprises worldwide.

“Digital transformation of the automotive industry has the chance to create entirely new experiences for consumers and automakers, and we’re committed to helping organisations in this sector find new ways of delivering more sustainable, personal, and engaging services over the entire lifecycle of vehicle ownership,” said Dominik Wee, Managing Director Global Automotive, Manufacturing and Energy at Google Cloud. “We’re excited to work with Inchcape, who has such a rich history in the industry, to re-imagine everything from its delivery supply chains to its digital estate, sales, and customer after-care.”

Michiel Verhoeven, Managing Director SAP UK & Ireland, added: “Given the rapidly changing economic environment, businesses need to optimise business and operational models and innovate to be successful in the future. The automotive market is at an important crossroads as it is primed to take advantage of the digitalisation that is happening across industries. Inchcape is setting off on an exciting cloud journey, one where it can expect to significantly reduce tech infrastructure maintenance and operating costs, and improve financial efficiency and employee experience, globally. SAP is the right partner to support Inchcape’s mission to move to the cloud.”