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CSC Events - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 11:00
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SAP to Release Fourth Quarter 2017 Results

SAP News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 13:30
WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) will release its results for the fourth quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, January 30.

CEO Bill McDermott and CFO Luka Mucic will host a press conference to present fourth quarter financial figures, financial year 2017 year-end results, as well as an outlook on the current financial year.

Media representatives may also listen in on the press conference via webcast at 10:00 a.m. CET accessible at: https://broadcast.co.sap.com/go/pc
Categories: What's New

Machines Can’t Dream

SAP News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:05
People are concerned about robots. Ever since a computer system defeated chess champion Gary Kasparov 20 years ago, public perceptions of progress in artificial intelligence (AI) research have been defined in terms of high-profile competitions pitting human against thinking machine. Anxiety is high about what the ultimate consequences could be.

In the wake of Deep Blue’s triumph, other machines powered by AI have racked up momentous victories against human opponents in the game show Jeopardy and, most recently, against the world champion Go player. The latest version of Google’s AlphaGo software taught itself to play the strategy board game without any human help at all.

The debate among leaders, technologists, futurists, and employees of all stripes is on the profound impact AI will have on our workplace, our societies, our lives. The scale of this impact is hotly debated. Could machines replace us? Could they actually take over?

There are smart minds on all sides of this issue. Some, like Professor Stephen Hawking, believe AI’s rise represents an existential threat. He told a BBC radio audience: “I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Others believe the rise of automation represents a veritable utopia made possible by smart machines.

Optimism is a free stimulus in any country. In that spirit, this evolution could create massive potential for the human race. Any way you look at it, one thing is clear: There is nothing to be gained by hand-wringing about a dystopian future that we have the power to avoid. Let’s create the future we want to live in.

There is a real need for thoughtful debate on the societal impact of AI

Even in divisive times like these, we see human qualities such as ingenuity, kindness, innovation, and creativity rise up, take hold, and gain unstoppable momentum. It is possible to create a world where AI benefits humanity, where automation frees people from dangerous, repetitive tasks and affords us the freedom to focus on activities that only humans can perform – with empathy, moral judgment, and love.

Better Together

Instead of pitting man and machine against each other, we can work together to create something called “augmented humanity.”

Working with careful foresight, global technology leaders have the responsibility to help ensure that smart machines work in harmony with humans, rather than in competition with them. While we need to acknowledge and mitigate risks – for example, by retraining workers displaced by the next wave of automation – we must also realize that AI can deliver benefits for all mankind.

Mehdi Miremadi, a partner at McKinsey & Company, says the future lies in cooperation between man and machine, rather than rivalry: “I think the human-robot interaction is the name of the game. It will be the most important trend in the near to mid-term, the next five to 15 years.”

Reflecting this, leading industrial manufacturers are exploring options to deploy collaborative robots or “cobots” on the factory floor. Their reasoning is simple. Robots are consistent, reliable, and do not get tired, but they don’t improvise well. Changes on the assembly line require painstaking reprogramming by humans, making it hard to quickly alter what a factory produces.

The solution, say researchers, is a facility that uses AI to orchestrate the factory of the future, programming robots and handing out assignments to the humans working alongside them.

We will need thoughtful planning if we are to avoid the potentially negative impact technology has on society. Together, we must address the potential threat of large-scale alienation leading to the rise of a fractured populace.

Leaders in government, the private sector, and education must work together to ensure that young people have the skills needed for a digital marketplace and that those already in the workforce can adapt to new requirements. It is already clear that reskilling and life-long learning are the new normal. Businesses will need to operate with transient, contingent workforces of all ages.

Economic Impact

While AI has the potential to change many aspects of our lives, there is considerable disagreement among experts on how many jobs could be automated through AI.

A small percentage of current jobs are susceptible to full automation, but almost every occupation could be partly automated. The tasks most prone to automation are predictable, routine activities such as data collection and processing. But we should remember that AI also contributes to human safety by taking over jobs that are too difficult or dangerous for people.

Throughout history we have seen that tectonic technology advances do lead to employment shifts, but have consistently resulted in the creation of new, modern jobs – often in greater numbers than those displaced.

Most industry analysts agree that AI will be a core driver for economic development. Gartner predicts AI-enabled tools will generate $2.9 trillion in business value by 2021, while PwC believes AI could potentially contribute almost $16 trillion to the global economy and boost GDP growth by up to 26 percent by 2030. Some estimates suggest companies could save an astounding $3 to $4 trillion annually through AI-enabled task-based automation.

 

No Room for Small Dreams

The benefits of AI for companies go far beyond cost savings. They also mean more innovation, improved forecasting, optimized operations, more personalized customer services, and enhanced user experience for consumers.

As in any technology transition, we must never lose sight of the human element. There are some things even the smartest machines cannot manage. Machines don’t dream. Machines don’t set goals and are not responsible. Even when trained with high volumes of data, machines can only learn from the past, they cannot imagine the future. Fortunately for us, life and business are not purely mathematical chess matches. Uniquely human capabilities such as flexibility, creativity, curiosity, and emotional intelligence will always be necessary to run the intelligent enterprise.

There is no room for small dreams. We need to conceive of unimaginable possibilities and then get to the hard work of turning them into reality. When I look to the future, there is a real need for thoughtful debate on the societal impact of AI, so the disenfranchised do not get left behind. This is our modern responsibility. But the world’s greatest challenges are also our greatest opportunities. Only when we dream big can we rise to our full human potential.

Bill McDermott is CEO of SAP SE

This story also appeared on the World Economic Forum website.

Categories: What's New

A Recipe for Retailers That Want Their Mojo Back

SAP News - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:35
The last thing on my mind when I got to NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show was buying jeans, but that changed when James Curleigh, president of Levi’s Brand, rode his bike up to the stage guided by Waze to the sound of Bob Dylan’s classic tune. When it comes to retail, the times, they certainly are a-changin’, but faster now than ever before.

Having invented the coolest piece of clothing in modern history, the company shaped world culture through the second half of the last century, but by the turn of the millennium, America’s most patriotic, most iconic, most successful brand had lost its way. Competition and the inability to keep up with changing trends caused sales to nosedive.  The company realized that new leadership and new ways of working were required to get back on track.

Lessons in Physics and Merchandising

To help the NRF audience better understand how change works, Curleigh reminded us of Isaac Newton’s premier law of physics: Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.

Without a doubt, the advent of technology and its impact on consumer behavior is the most massive external force compelling retailers to reexamine the way they do business now and forever after. The lessons for retailers from this legendary leader are simple: protect the core, expand for more, be simple and sophisticated, leverage your icons, invest in innovation, and above all, be accessible.

“Levi’s Stadium is the most innovative stadium in the world,” said Curleigh. “It’s where you wear your jeans, where we bring the world together for music and sports. It’s our cultural center.”

SAP technology helps Levi’s with its strategy to keep one foot in its heritage and use the other to step forward with innovation

Levi’s Stadium is indeed a pioneer in innovation, using SAP technology to enhance the fan experience through fun, interactive displays in the Fan Energy Zone or browse for statistics about their favorite teams and athletes in the NFL Stats Zone, all using real-time data, powered by SAP HANA.

Technology for Success in Retail

Ivano Ortis, vice president of Retail, Manufacturing and Financial Insights at IDC, says he has never seen such a huge degree of disruption in the industry. “The big challenge, the must do item for every retailer,” says Ortis, “is to innovate their business models while achieving short-term omni-channel objectives. That’s like running multiple organizations at the same time.”

Since consumers now own retail, it’s not just about providing touchpoints for customers. It’s about becoming a channel-free environment, so companies must provide new interfaces for interaction such as chatbots for conversational commerce  or visual interfaces where customers can get product images along with recommendations for outfit accessories.

According to IDC, there are three key success factors for retailers: First and foremost, invest in innovation to enable digital commerce; next, create an individualized experience for every customer; and finally, create marketplaces where the ecosystem of inventory and experiences comes together.

Retailers need new platforms that integrate ERP, backend services, and partners, and enable new B2B and B2C services leveraging customer experience, commerce, and agile fulfillment capabilities. At the core,  you need AI capabilities to guide all commercial decisions.

Searching for Something? Let It Find You

“When you’re in shopping mode,” says Ortis, “you’re searching for something. In a contextual discovery experience, products find the customers even if they are not in shopping mode. This is why the future of retail is not about products, but about the brand. A passive experience can lead to purchases.”

Well, this type of retail intelligence certainly works. Curleigh pointed out that part of Levi’s strategy was to keep one foot in its heritage and use the other to step forward with innovation. “We have to give people a reason to buy jeans,” he said. “Our vision is to be the most loved, most relevant lifestyle brand. Some people have left; we want them back. Others did not grow up with the brand, but they’re falling in love with it now.”

So now that I’m revved up with memories about my last Bruce Springsteen concert and have the latest edition of Rolling Stone in hand, excuse me while I pop out to look for some new jeans.

Interested in learning more about the latest and greatest from NRF 2018? Check out www.sap.com/nrf.

Follow me on Twitter: @magyarj.

This story previously appeared on the SAP Community.

Categories: What's New

DXC at DIA RSIDM Forum

CSC Events - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:03
DXC is a sponsor at DIA RSIDM Forum. Visit booth 114 where we will showcase our digital Life Sciences ecosystem solutions.
Categories: Events

Life Sciences Events

CSC Events - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:03
Visit with DXC Technology at various life sciences industry events held around the world.
Categories: Events

LIVE WEBINAR: Regulatory Cloud

CSC Events - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:02
Join us for this live webinar to learn how life sciences organizations can take advantage of the agility, transparency, and consistency of the cloud platforms to implement quality controls for regulated systems.
Categories: Events

Employees Need a Hacker’s Mindset to Fight Cybercrime’s $6 Trillion Price Tag

SAP News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 10:00
For eye-popping business stats, look no further than cybersecurity. CSO predicted cybercrime damage costs will total $6 trillion and cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion by 2021.

It’s not just that companies must be hyper-vigilant in a hyper-connected world where innovations like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain stream data everywhere from multiple places. They also need to foster open collaboration for agile product and service development that meets skyrocketing customer expectations. The security department can’t do it alone.

Somaini said companies need to drive a culture of transparency and education around security from senior executives to new hires.

“The sophistication of attacks has dramatically increased over the past decade to the point where it’s incredibly challenging, even for most astute security person,” said Justin Somaini, chief security officer at SAP. “Security has a huge role putting in mechanisms to preventing breaches from reaching employees. But no solution is 100 percent, which is why employees have to be in a partnership and accountable mode with security.”

The unending cascade of security breaches also poses a real risk that employees become inured to cybercrime. Ongoing education and training can help thwart this.

“Companies have to embed security into the DNA of every employee because there is a critical impact to customers or other employees if they fail,” said Somaini. “As they service customers, it’s incredibly important for employees to be aware of the threats and actively engaged in protecting data and transactions.”

Teaming Up for Hacker’s Mindset

One example of how companies are boosting security awareness among employees was SAP’s Capture the Flag event, held during the organization’s recent global cyber-month. The participant’s mission was to infiltrate a gamified 3D campus of an energy company, steal confidential documents, and shut down an energy reactor. The 14 winning teams included employees from Hungary, Bulgaria, China, Germany, and India who captured the most flags by solving more than 100 security-related challenges.

Admittedly a competition, the exercise was just as much about rallying the widest range of employees to work together around security. Fifty percent of participants teamed up to compete, joining live chat forums to share ideas and advice with individual players, as well as 10 mentors selected from last year’s winners. Interestingly, discussion topics often went beyond hints and explanations on solving the event challenges to larger security issues.

Companies have to embed security into the DNA of every employee: training programs can give everyone a #hacker mindset

Security is Everyone’s Responsibility

Incorporating hacking – arguably the sexiest part of security – into a training exercise that included augmented reality from HoloLens injected a significant fun factor into a deeply engaging competition. Indeed, employees worldwide were willing to devote about 40 hours beyond their day jobs to win. One of the crucial learning elements was having mixed teams of experienced “hackers” and “coders,” paired with people designated as “smart” participants with skills outside of security and coding.

Yordan Kanov, a developer at SAP based in Bulgaria, said he wanted to increase his knowledge of security while socializing with other employees.

“The challenges represented the many ways organizations can be attacked including web, reverse engineering, cryptography and network forensics,” said Kanov. “For example, even as a security expert, it’s impossible for me to know everything about all different attack vectors. By collaborating with other participants who had different skills, I gained new knowledge that I’ve applied in my daily security testing work.”

Maximilian Butterer, a Germany-based SAP developer with expertise in encryption and Java Script, also appreciated how the challenge opened his eyes to fixing vulnerabilities he hadn’t considered in completely new ways.

“We often find answers when explaining problems to others who have a totally different point of view, which is exactly what happened,” said Butterer. “Each of us sparked ideas based on our respective areas of knowledge, using our various skills to find solutions.”

A Passion for Security

The event was part of SAP’s ongoing security education program that includes in-the-moment warnings to prevent phishing, monthly security tips, human firewall webinar sessions, and a security summit. The highest percentage of participants, (almost 70 percent), were non-engineers with no coding experience. Pairing them with coders and developers mirrored real hacking situations.

Like other employees, Bea Borsika Bessenyei, an intern at SAP Hungary Product Support, brought a healthy curiosity to her role as the “smart” participant on her team that came in third place.

“I really liked how we supported each other in real-time, and that the challenges were quite difficult,” said Borsika. “The competition showed me the full picture of what security means, even beyond human issues and coding, and how we all have to pay attention to it in many ways, and what we can do about it. It was great to learn from other people who are as passionate about security as I am.”

Follow me: @smgaler

Categories: What's New

SAP Survey Reveals Breaching Data Trust and Slow Service Response Drive Away U.S. Customers

SAP News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 10:00
WALLDORF — According to “The 2017 SAP Hybris Consumer Insights Report”, a survey sponsored by SAP SE (NYSE: SAP), online brands must respect consumers’ data privacy if they want to build strong U.S. customer relationships.
  • 71 percent of U.S. respondents said they were willing to part with certain information
  • 79 percent said they would leave a retailer if personal data is used without their knowledge
  • 87 percent said they expect service responses within 24 hours

They must also offer discounts and respond to queries within 24 hours. The survey of 1,000 U.S. respondents uncovered how consumers feel about issues related to online shopping, including data collection, privacy and customer response.

Consumers Expect a Give-and-Take Relationship with Brands

Recognizing that U.S. consumers value convenience – 58 percent said this was their chief reason for shopping online – retailers are trying to improve the digital experience by learning more about customers through data collection. While 71 percent of respondents said they are willing to part with information, such as e-mail addresses and shopping history, they are less likely to provide their mobile number, real-time location or monthly income. In return for the data they do share, consumers expect retailers to:

  • Protect their interests (72 percent)
  • Be transparent in how they use personal data (66 percent)
  • Protect their privacy in the event of criminal investigations (60 percent)

Once consumers have shared personal data with their regularly visited online retailer, they expect a certain level of service in return as well. About 87 percent of respondents said they expect customer service to respond within 24 hours, while 20 percent said they expect a response within an hour.

Consumers also expect personalized, exclusive experiences. A majority of respondents (61 percent) chose receiving surprise perks and discounts as their preferred personalized experience. They said they appreciate receiving responses from retailers who have a full understanding of their history (53 percent), relevant product recommendations (43 percent) and value-added services (42 percent).

“The need for a strong customer relationship has been recognized in multiple industries, especially in retail, where consumers have an increasing number of options to choose from,” said Matthias Goehler, senior vice president and head of SAP Hybris solutions at SAP. “To meet shopper needs, leading retailers are embracing business models that deliver a customer-centric culture in every department, not just sales and service. A single view of a customer’s profile, fueled with real-time insights, equips all employees to engage contextually and meaningfully with customers, so they feel the appreciation, no matter whom they talk to.”

Winning Consumers Over Takes Time, But Losing Them Is Easy

If a retailer breaches the mutual trust and respect it has built with a shopper, the relationship will be immediately damaged. Study results found that consumers often will leave a brand if their personal data is used without their knowledge (79 percent). Just as harmful to the relationship is unresponsiveness to customer service queries and requests and receiving messages that are not relevant to the customer.

However, there is leeway in the consumer-retailer relationship. Half of the respondents said they were willing to give a retailer a second and third chance, with 50 percent abandoning brand loyalty only after the same mistake was made more than twice. Certain brand actions, such as sending too many marketing and sales e-mails, will begin to alienate a customer, with 61 percent of respondents saying they found this irritating.

For more information on this study, download the full report and view the infographic. See international results for comparison here.

For more information, visit the SAP Hybris News Center and the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @saphybris and @sapnews.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 365,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Note to editors:
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For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
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For more information, press only:
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SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com
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Categories: What's New

Accenture Federal Services Wins Modernization Contract with Veterans Benefits Administration

Accenture News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 07:59
ARLINGTON, Va.; Jan. 18, 2018 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has been awarded a contract by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to upgrade and enhance its information technology infrastructure as part of the VBA’s commitment to improve the delivery of services it provides to Veterans. The contract has an estimated value of $62 million over the performance period, which includes a one-year base period with four one-year options. 
Categories: What's New

Accenture & Oracle Take West Midlands Police On a Journey to Cloud For Enhanced Operations and Data Sharing

Accenture News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 04:59
BIRMINGHAM, England; Jan. 18, 2018 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) today announced that they have teamed with West Midlands Police (WMP) to successfully deploy a suite of Oracle Cloud applications designed to increase efficiencies and processes across the force. The project is one of the first implementations of cloud technology by a public safety agency in the U.K.
Categories: What's New

Accenture Unveils its Innovation Hub in Tokyo as part of Broader Growth Plans in Japan

Accenture News - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 23:59
TOKYO; Jan. 17, 2017 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today opened its Innovation Hub in Tokyo, a state-of-the-art facility that will become a destination for Accenture people and clients to ideate, rapidly prototype and launch digital solutions. The unveiling of the Innovation Hub in Tokyo’s Minato Ward is part of broader plans to open new facilities across Japan offering clients access to Accenture’s deep industry knowledge, leading technology capabilities and business acumen.
Categories: What's New

2018 Predictions, Pt. 4: Emerging Digital Technologies Will Make an Impact on Business

SAP News - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:00
Once again, we invited thought leaders with diverse areas of expertise to peer into the 2018 Game-Changers Radio Crystal Ball. What did they see?

Cloud First accelerates in the small and medium enterprise market. Companies revamp talent frameworks for 21st century, real-time business. Digital transformation helps governments delight citizens with new digital services, like chatbots. The Internet of Things (IoT) shakes up business to the point of delivering Everything-as-a-Service. Cyberattacks continue. 5G networks come online, revving up Internet speeds to a rate possibly 75 times faster than current velocities.

2018 predictions overheard on SAP Radio: Cloud First for SMEs. New talent frameworks for real-time business. Governments delight citizens with digital services. IoT leads to Everything-as-a-Service. 5G networks bring new business opportunities.

These are some of the predictions heard on Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions, Part 4, Presented by SAP, the fourth installment of a five-part series, that aired live January 10, 2018. Host Bonnie D. Graham asked 15 leading experts, academics, and business influencers to share their predictions for what the coming year holds for industry, business, the world, and technology.  The predictions are the experts’ personal points of view and do not necessarily represent the views of SAP.

What These Thought Leaders Foresee

1. 2018 will take us into the world of interface simplification. For example, my smart phone will become a really smart phone that knows my calendar and the traffic conditions; based on those conditions, it will set up my daily schedule automatically. What’s required is finding how we interact with machines and how these machines interact with us. Advances in AI are creating a new definition for machine interaction. In 2018 we’ll start seeing unprecedented products. We’ll see a progression from individual artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT products to systems that will plan and will make our lives easier.

– Amit Rustagi, Big Data Technologist, Western Digital

2. In the area of IoT, I foresee a lot of things (8 IoT Predictions for 2018). The IoT cloud platform market is going to consolidate quickly. The IoT hype is going to finish and we’re going to move into possibly a “trough of disillusionment” that precedes mainstream adoption. IoT architecture will evolve from data ingestion and analytics to an intelligent event-driven solution for end users. Digital twins will evolve from concepts to blueprint and implementation for data sharing within and across companies.

– Tom Raftery, Global Vice President, Futurist, IoT Evangelist, SAP

3. I foresee three things and they are all related. 1.) Cloud first: There will be more cloud business, especially in small and medium enterprises, and more companies will bring apps into the cloud. 2.) IoT: Traditional business will change a lot, even to something like Everything-as-a-Service (EAAS). The pros include things like artificial intelligence and machine learning, but the negatives might be crime-as-a-service, the darknet, or even ransomware-as-a-service. 3.) Security: We’ve heard about the chip meltdown and we’ll see more events like this in 2018.

– Frank D. Geisler, CEO and CMO, ERPsourcing AG

4. Social selling will go beyond the basics. Sales reps are now asking how they can bring in stuff like AI and machine learning into the sales process to improve engagement and provide a better experience for the customer. There will also be a greater emphasis on how Marketing needs to transform to fill the needs of the Sales organization. There needs to be a complete and total alignment in the digital transformation between Sales and Marketing. That will hopefully happen in 2018.

– Kirsten Boileau, Head of Regional Engagement and Social Selling, SAP

5. In 2018, knowledge work productivity will increase through machine learning due to automation.

– Chandran Saravana, Senior Director, Advanced Analytics, SAP

6. We need to combine transactional and analytic systems into transalytic systems and stop thinking about these as two separate systems. 2018 is going to be the year we’ll see major corporations collapse these two systems together, so that you have simplified architecture and can move at the pace of business. Second, in the automotive market, the evolution continues towards autonomous assets. There will be a lot of movement in the vehicle-to-vehicle area and the vehicle infrastructure will become more pervasive. The driving factor will be a price drop for lidar, the technology the vehicles use for situational awareness.

– Bill Powell, Director of Enterprise Architecture, Automotive Resources International (ARI)

7. It will be a year of digital transformation, but it will be pushed by human needs, consumerism, and emerging tech. 2018 is going to be the year when more organizations use empathy to start digital transformations. They need to know what their clients’ needs are and really know their customers. This touches on emerging technologies like AI, chatbots, and IoT. Think of devices like Alexa and digital assistants; according to IDC, we’ll have about 4,800 of these interactions every day, or about one every 18 seconds. How does this affect government? How do you delight citizens? In the UK, for example, they’re using Alexa to report crime. In Mississippi, they’re using a chatbot called Ask Missi as a system to get information.

– Michele Hovet, Client and Partner Innovation Director, KSM Consulting

8. We’ll see more vertical and geographic specialization into micro-verticals. For example, providing not just healthcare solutions for South Africa, but also solutions for clients in neighboring Botswana and Nambia. Second, we’ll see increasing specialization in our partner firms, for example, specifically doing work for omnichannel ecommerce for consumer products companies. Third, we’ll see increased interoperability of capability – meaning partners that are able to combine solutions, like artificial intelligence around managing complex supply chains in the apparel footwear industry. Lastly, companies that can link their core mission to doing well in the local community and the world will win.

– Roger Quinlan, Senior Vice President of SAP Global Partner Managed Cloud and Cloud BPO

9. There will be an increase in the number of organizations that recreate their talent frameworks to support the 21st century world of work. The game-changing organizations of 2018 will be the ones brave enough to move away from their traditional performance frameworks. The winners in 2018 will be those who focus on underpinning their people frameworks more concretely in impact and contribution, which as a consequence will enable them to map and deploy people in a real-time manner.

– Nathan Ott, Co-founder and CEO, The GC Index

10. We’re going to see more incentives for people to have certain behaviors. You need to be able to target what behaviors or actions you want, and then be able to incentivize, whether it involves salespeople, consumers, or buyers. There will be more incentives, but with AI and other technologies, you will be able to know exactly what you should be incenting on and what results you want to get.

– Cara DeGraff, Vice President of Product Management, Vistex, Inc.

11. Data analytics will mature to continue transforming and improving the way we communicate with customers. To make this happen, in 2018 companies will need to begin thinking about transformation as evolutionary. Instead of initiatives and projects that have a one-and-done basis, we’re going to think about them on an evolutionary basis. In 2018, we’re going to get better at predicting customer behaviors. We’re going to get better at personalizing every experience to give customers what they want most: speedy, painless, real-time interaction 24/7.

– Vanessa Edmonds, Leader of Research, Innovate, Materialize (RIM) Solutions at TMG

12. In 2018 customers will leverage technologies in new ways to advance their state of maturity. There’s been a lot of focus on buying new technologies, like in-memory data platforms, AI, and predictive analytics. I foresee the application of those solutions in such a way that technology isn’t really a question anymore. I foresee a lot of innovation, particularly in enterprise performance management, where it was difficult in the past to automate manual tasks. In 2018, they’re going to focus on automating the analysis of the data that is now at your fingertips.

– David Den Boer, Founder, Column5 Consulting

13. We’re going to see companies reassess their strategic technical plan – possibly even stopping some of the roadmaps and re-evaluating options for the cloud, as well as moving forward with ERP transformations and improving total cost of operations by streamlining business processes and technical architecture. There will be quite a bit around end-to-end transformation and being more innovative and proactive in business processes.

– Windie Wilson, Solution Advisor, Supply Chain Management, SAP

14. At a personal level, we’re getting closer to the world of the movie “Her” with digital assistants and cognitive computing – but going mobile. For example, we’re going to see headphones that you really can’t see but that will have digital assistants built in and will last all day. Things are going to conform to you – for example, your rental car will adjust to you. In business, we’re going to see identity and trust move to the forefront. With the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the number of data breaches that are being reported, people will care more about trust and reputation. For a company to be successful, they’re going to have to show how they react and how they maintain your privacy to encourage you to trust and buy from them. At the same time, we’re going to see that the Internet of Everything, machine learning, and AI will become how businesses allow their employees to focus on their work versus keeping the lights on.

– Brian Katz, Enterprise Architect, Oath Technology

15. For 2018 in the automotive world, we’ll see more Connected Autonomous Shared and Electrified (CASE) strategy. 5G networks will finally come online, affecting vehicles, drones, robots, and sensors. The providers of the structures, hardware, and networks predict Internet speeds that are 75 times faster than currently available. For a lot of manufacturers, that means better productivity and an increase in the data monetization. The second prediction relates to autonomous vehicles, where we’re getting closer to level 4 and 5 autonomy in the automotive space. For regular drivers, what’s more important is the move to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which we will see more of in higher-end vehicles.

– David Parrish, SAP Senior Global Marketing Director for the Industrial Machinery and Components Industry

You can hear the full show at
SAP Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions, Part 4

SAP Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions Special Upcoming Shows

For dozens of other insightful predictions that can impact you and your business in 2018 and beyond, listen to all five episodes of SAP’s Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions Special.

In case you missed previous episodes, you can listen to recordings of Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the series.

Part 5 will air live on Wednesday, January 17, at 11:00 a.m. ET/ 8:00 a.m. PT at http://spr.ly/SAPRadio. You can listen to the shows live here.

Experts’ predictions have been edited and condensed for this space.
Top image via Shutterstock

Categories: What's New

Power in Numbers: Driving the Shift to Data-Driven Marketing

SAP News - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 10:15
Merchandising trailblazer John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Though Wanamaker’s success in targeted advertising came long before the digital age, I can guarantee that this statement resonates with many of today’s businesses.

We live in a connected world, and everything from a consumer’s browsing history and mobile devices, to their foot traffic and location gives businesses a window into their behavior. These data-rich insights have the power to pinpoint where marketing budget is being wasted; and yet, only 28 percent of marketers are using data to deliver personalized customer experiences across channels.

Why are marketers being swept away by this sea of data? In my conversations with marketing colleagues, I’ve seen several common roadblocks in building a data-driven communication approach:

Building the Case for Budget

2017 will go down in history as the year that overall digital ad spend surpassed television ad spend. And it’s about time. The number of consumers that have cut cable cords in favor of streaming services has been on the rise for over a decade, with Netflix reaching an astounding 50.85 million subscribers this year. Data has pointed to this shift in consumer behavior for years, and yet, only now are marketers turning their attention from television to digital channels.

Although marketing is perceived as a fast-paced, creative line of work, change management is one of the industry’s biggest obstacles. The marketer’s job is ultimately to drive revenue, and their success is measured against annual KPIs. This is one of the reasons it took so long for digital ad spend to surpass television ad spend – a majority of businesses were basing their success on KPIs formulated when television was a mainstay. Building the case for a shift in these measurements is a challenge, as the initial change would offer no point of comparison from the year prior. But in a world where consumer needs and interests are changing rapidly, businesses need to put more faith in forward-thinking data than ancient KPIs. In order to convince executive leadership to make these changes and to allocate budget elsewhere, the numbers behind consumer behavior must be translated into a digestible narrative and used as a proof point.

The Convergence of Technologist and Marketer

With the rise of mobile, everything down to a consumer’s foot traffic can be tracked and charted. In order to craft these numbers into effective communication with both internal decision makers and external consumers, marketers must become technologists. Making the paradigm shift from purely creative to calculative ensures that marketing and advertising efforts reach and resonate with the target audience, saving companies time and money in the long run.

Case in point: Campbell Soup Company and The Weather Company. During the 2017 MMA Global CEO CMO Summit, they presented their “What’s for dinner?” campaign. Through IBM Watson, consumers were given the ability to ask a digital ad for dinner recommendations. Instead of spitting out one, prefixed recipe, IBM Watson machine learning technology took a deeper look into the individual, gathering data on the weather in their location, and even available ingredients. Based on this information, consumers were given a recipe personalized to their wants and needs in seconds. In addition to appreciating a delicious meal, these consumers likely also appreciated the contextual nature of their brand experience.

The Power of Partnership

In this day and age, all companies must become data companies. But this doesn’t mean that they should have to do it alone. The technology used to aggregate and organize consumer data makes the job easier, but determining how to best fit these resources into current business processes can be a challenge. As such, enterprise software providers must partner with marketers to ensure that they are able to quickly and efficiently pull rich insights from their solution. At SAP Digital Interconnect, we aim to achieve this by offering businesses scalable, programmable interfaces to ensure that our technology best aligns with their business goals, and the needs of their consumers. As landscapes in all industries continue to shift, having this kind of resource and flexibility will become vital.

The rise of IoT, machine learning and AI will only continue in the next ten years, increasing the availability of consumer data, and shortening the feedback loop between company and consumer. As such, it has never been more important for marketers to build the case for integrating these meaningful technologies into their strategy. Not only will the data generated enable the delivery of personalized experiences to consumers, it will allow businesses one-up the great John Wanamaker by getting smarter in how and where they’re spending their money.

Rohit Tripathi is general manager and head of Industry and Line-of-Business Products for SAP Digital Interconnect.

Categories: What's New

Top Executives Kick Off Joint Initiative to Grow Women-Owned Businesses

Accenture News - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 09:29
OTTAWA and WASHINGTON, D.C.; Jan. 17, 2018 – The Canada-US Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders (the Council) has announced recommendations for the first pillar of their groundbreaking bilateral initiative, “Advancing Women in Business.” GE Canada President & CEO, GE Vice President Elyse Allan and NRStor Inc. Chair & CEO Annette Verschuren are leading this pillar, which specifically aims to help growth-minded women entrepreneurs scale up their businesses.
Categories: What's New

SAP Helps Partners Boost Their Cloud Business

SAP News - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 09:00
Digital transformation is here to stay, that’s no longer a question. As a result, the move to the cloud is reaching a fever pitch – the cost, speed, and agility benefits are too good to pass up.

More companies than ever will be making the switch and those that don’t are at risk of falling behind. This means that cloud growth will be a number one priority for SAP and our partners in 2018 and beyond.

When our partner organizations win in the cloud, so do our customers. This is precisely why SAP is investing in its channel partners that are generally faster, nimbler, and more appropriately sized to best serve SME businesses.

Today we are pleased to announce “Cloud Accelerator,” a global initiative that aims to help expand our partners’ cloud business. Members of the initiative will receive support developing and executing a digital marketing plan, the allocation and results-driven spend of business development funds, the expert guidance and active participation of a partner marketing advisor, and more.

Throughout the year, SAP partners’ co-funded marketing plan will be put into action to build pipeline, gain new customers, and expand the potential of a fast-growing cloud business.

Any company with a strong commitment to investing in the cloud demonstrated through a business plan that outlines a yearly target to grow their SME cloud business by at least 50 percent can qualify for the program. Further selection criteria can be found here (log-in required).

Karl Fahrbach is head of Global Channels at SAP

Categories: What's New

Accenture Named Overall Leader in Everest Group PEAK Matrix™ Report for Application Modernization Services

Accenture News - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 08:59
NEW YORK; Jan. 17, 2018 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has been positioned as the overall ‘Leader’ in the inaugural Everest Group PEAK Matrix for Application Modernization Services. The report placed Accenture ahead of all other competitors in the category of Market Impact, commending its leading market adoption capabilities, portfolio diversity and the overall satisfaction of its clients. It also noted Accenture’s “best-in-class” vision and strategy and innovation and investments.
Categories: What's New

Workplace and Mobility Services Success Stories

CSC Videos - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:39
Read some of our workplace and mobility services client success stories.
Categories: Videos, Articles

LIVE WEBINAR: The 3 Digital Truths of Healthcare Transformation

CSC Events - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 16:55
Join this webinar to discover the power of the next-generation digital health platform.
Categories: Events

Healthcare Events

CSC Events - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 16:55
Healthcare Events.
Categories: Events
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