What's New

Churning Up Quality Dairy Foods with Innovative Business Solutions

SAP News - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:30
How do you earn the trust of 2 billion dairy consumers?

Great taste isn’t the only thing that consumers want in the foods they buy. Increasingly, issues like food safety and product traceability matter a lot, too.

In fact, 69% of consumers cite commitment to food safety as a reason for choosing a retailer, according to Deloitte. And Trace One reports that 84% believe retailers and manufacturers are most responsible for food quality and safety.

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited is a global dairy company owned by around 10,500 New Zealand farmers and has customers in more than 140 countries.

Fonterra earns the trust of its consumers every day by using the highest quality ingredients and adhering to meticulous manufacturing practices.

“Fonterra’s vision is to make a difference in the lives of two billion people worldwide by the year 2020. To earn consumer trust, you need the ability to track and trace all the ingredients that go into your dairy foods.”

– Andrew Longwill,
Information Services Manager Australia,
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited


Looking for Process Perfection

When the milk from grass-fed cows arrives from farms in countries such as New Zealand and Australia, Fonterra’s production plants transform it into butter, cheese, and other dairy foods under individual process orders.


Many time-consuming and tedious transactions must occur to complete just one process order. And to ensure quality and food safety, Fonterra performs confirmations and collects data all along the way.

Recently, Fonterra implemented a custom app designed to streamline some factory operations that once relied heavily on paper production information (PI) sheets.

“The PI sheets we used were old and clunky,” said Simon Crowley, chief enterprise architect at Fonterra. “We’re looking to digitalize the plants and offer our people a more consumer-like set of process interfaces.”


Simplifying Your Own Job

The project started with a design thinking workshop that gathered the input and ideas of the factory workers themselves.

Then the team provided operators and production supervisors with a mobile interface featuring a simplified user experience covering more than 200 individual process-order management tasks.

“Our mantra in manufacturing is more floor time, less terminal time.”

– Rob Howell,
General Manager of Manufacturing Operations Australia,
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited

Keeping the Milk Flowing

At present, Fonterra has implemented the new quality app at its Cobden processing plant in Victoria, Australia. Cobden is home to the award-winning Western Star Butter brand. This facility alone processes more than 295 million liters of fresh milk a year.

Today, Fonterra workers here are churning out dairy foods with instant visibility into process order progress and a simplified method for capturing critical production and quality data.

The custom-developed application provides employees with simple step-by-step procedures and easy access to common transactions. The single screen interface eliminates the use of complex paper process information sheets, streamlines multiple transactions, and supports real-time data on process orders.

Specifically, the Cobden plant has reduced the time to enter inspection identification by 62% – while reducing the time to correct overproduction errors by more than 99%.

As Rob Howell, general manager of manufacturing operations for Fonterra Australia, observes, “We want our operators and production supervisors to spend their time on what they do best – concentrating on the machinery, the output, and the quality of our dairy foods.”

Partnering for Success

To simplify more than 200 process-order management processes, Fonterra worked with the SAP Innovative Business Solutions organization and used the SAP Fiori user experience.

Fonterra now intends to roll out the custom app to an additional six facilities in Australia.


Categories: What's New

SAP Leonardo Centers: Your One-Stop Shop for Digital Transformation

SAP News - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:15
Warehouse clubs carry almost anything you’d ever want to buy. These retail wonderlands stock a seemingly endless supply of goods — from groceries to clothes to furniture — creating a one-stop shop for customers.

Unfortunately, you can’t get everything from a store like this. For instance, you can’t walk into a building, grab digital transformation from the shelf, and put it in your shopping cart.

Or can you?

A Real-World Place to Embark on Your Digital Transformation Journey

While implementing a digital transformation strategy at your company isn’t as simple as walking into a store and purchasing one, there is now a tangible destination you can visit to start your journey, fuel your existing one, or display your results.

SAP Leonardo Centers, part of a global network of connected locations, serve as go-to sites for digital inspiration and co-innovation. They also act as delivery mechanisms for SAP Leonardo Innovation Services. The centers offer physical spaces for companies and partners to explore how new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, blockchain, Big Data, analytics, data intelligence, and cloud can help spur game-changing digital transformation.

At these centers — currently located in Bangalore, New York City, Paris, and São Leopoldo — SAP experts lead visitors through four critical phases:

  • Inspiration: During this phase, visitors attend various cross-technology showcases curated around industry scenarios or solutions that customers would see in their “at-home” environments. These sessions allow visitors to experience the power of today’s emerging technologies and discover how adopting these difference-making tools can radically transform entire organizations and business models.
  • Ideation: Customers can collaborate with SAP through design thinking to jointly explore how they can tackle their greatest challenges with the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system.
  • Prototyping: In the past, prototyping was a theoretical exercise completed on paper. Today, SAP experts can help customers or partners build actual prototypes that enable everyone from C-level executives to everyday product users to experience how a new digital solution could benefit the enterprise.
  • Piloting: Following the creation of a solution prototype, it is crucial that customers institute a pilot program that brings new digital capabilities into the live enterprise. This allows customers to adequately asses how their new tools could help their organizations and refine these findings in an iterative innovation process. They can better evaluate ROI and determine whether investing in the full development of a new solution would generate worthwhile business outcomes.

If an organization decides to move forward with a technology, it can embark on its journey with SAP Leonardo Innovation Services to identify and connect to cutting-edge technologies and shorten time to value. These services offer a guided approach to digital transformation and result in a proof of concept.

SAP Leonardo Centers Bear Fruit

Several businesses have already collaborated with SAP at an SAP Leonardo Center or a predecessor site to create new technologies:

  • Cafés Richards, a French coffee company, co-innovated with SAP to develop a connected coffee machine that enables the organization to track sales and consumption in real time. It also allows Cafés Richards to remotely conduct routine repairs or perform preventative maintenance on coffee machines.
  • Cielo, Brazil’s largest credit and debit card operator, collaborated with SAP to design a cloud-based solution that improves e-commerce transaction authentication approval processes and reduces fraud, a major problem in the country.
  • Burger King partnered with SAP to enhance the equipment at its approximately 500 stores throughout Brazil. Equipment at the fast food restaurants will now contain sensors that enable Burger King to monitor its kitchen devices in real time and conduct predictive maintenance, allowing the company to anticipate risks and prevent malfunctions to refrigerators, grills, and more.

Global Framework, Local Flavor

All SAP Leonardo Center locations are built around a common global framework, helping ensure guests receive similar, consistent experiences wherever they visit. Each center highlights SAP Leonardo technologies through tangible showcases and offers space for co-innovation, design thinking, and prototyping.

But each SAP Leonardo Center is tailored to focus on specific topics, markets, or industries that are especially relevant in the region where the facility is embedded. For instance, experts in the Brazil center have a strong knowledge base in agriculture, so the IoT showcases there highlight precision farming. In New York City, the SAP Leonardo Center prioritizes finance, banking, and insurance.

Digital Transformation: Don’t Go It Alone

Your organization’s digital transformation shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s simply too important to your future success. In fact, 87% of companies feel digital transformation presents competitive opportunity, according to Capgemini and MIT research.

SAP Leonardo Centers offer you a chance to collaborate with digital transformation experts and partners in spaces solely dedicated to innovation. By combining efforts – rather than undertaking this complex endeavor alone – your enterprise can leverage the strengths and expertise of knowledgeable professionals and begin your digital transformation journey on the right foot.

Learn More

For more information, email LeonardoCenter@sap.com.

Categories: What's New

SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub: Making Integration Easier, Increasing Access to People Data

SAP News - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 13:00
SAP just launched SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub, a new solution in our portfolio, available now in all regions and industries.

Here are the most important facts about it.

What business problems does SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub solve?

In a nutshell, SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub is about making integration to human resources (HR) systems easier and increasing access to HR data. This helps customers to simplify and speed the use of cloud-based HR and people data across their organizations.

Let’s first look into the integration aspect. HR data is needed beyond HR — it is essential for many other enterprise systems to run their business processes. User administration, workflows and approval processes, project staffing, and cost assignments are just a few examples of where the respective systems for finance, manufacturing, sales, etc. depend on an accurate and up-to-date feed of people data from the originating HR system. Creating integration among those systems today is a pain point and high cost factor for many businesses, especially considering the maintenance effort when systems get upgraded.

The second aspect is about usage of people data. In many companies today this data is locked in outdated legacy core HR applications where only a small group of HR employees have access, even if this data is not confidential. Let’s say that a company wants to give business users access to an org chart to facilitate plans for a reorganization project or to create transparency about roles and responsibilities. In this case, they have to spend money to purchase an extra standalone org charting solution and integrate this with their core HR system. Or an HR expert has to manually extract the data and upload it to a desktop publishing tool for further processing. This makes the process too error-prone, complex, and expensive. Therefore the data remains unavailable to employees.

What features does SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub contain?

Many customers these days are moving to SAP S/4HANA, building the digital core for their future business system landscape and utilizing the latest and greatest innovations for finance and other business modules. With SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub, SAP gives these customers a so-called productized integration for SAP S/4HANA. This means that they receive prepackaged integration content that is designed, built, and maintained by SAP experts, helping ensure that both sides communicate smoothly.

We also provide productized integrations for other SAP solutions like SAP Fieldglass, SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication, and more. In addition, SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub comes with the integration center tool and SAP Cloud Platform Integration middleware to build custom integrations, enabling customers to also connect third-party downstream business systems with their core HR system more easily.

To increase people data usage and transparency, SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub provides all employees — and contingent workers if they use SAP Fieldglass — access to features including org chart, people profile, and people search. Better yet, this can be used on a desktop computer via browser or on mobile devices, using our sleek new UI. For many employees this can be a “wow” moment to make digital HR transformation tangible to them.

Technically the new solution is based on SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central technology and infrastructure. It therefore contains mature features and can easily be upgraded to a “full-blown” SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution in the future. Essentially, customers can select a road map with two small implementation steps instead of one larger one when migrating their core HR system to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. Note that SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub itself is not a core HR solution — it does not allow entering/changing master data or provide business logic for associated processes like benefits or time management.

What customer segments do we target with this offering and what value do they get?

For all customers that use a non-SAP core HR solution today, SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub will bring many benefits. It makes integration to SAP S/4HANA and other downstream business systems easier and gives all employees access to real-time people data. It can also be a first step into the cloud and lay the foundation for moving core HR and other HR solutions to SAP SuccessFactors.

Customers that run SAP ERP HCM today may already use a productized integration to SAP S/4HANA but can utilize the modern people data services like org chart and people profile on mobile devices. When planning their road map to the next generation of cloud-based HR systems, SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub can be a great starting point.

Many companies today have multiple core HR systems in a distributed landscape — for example, because of acquisitions or independent market units. In this case, SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub can be used as a consolidation hub, helping ensure that all people data is collected and integrated with SAP S/4HANA and other downstream business systems.

To summarize, SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub helps lower cost and risk of integrations, increases access to people data, and can be a great asset in a customer’s digital HR transformation strategy. With its attractive price point and short implementation cycle, it provides fast time to value, realizes a “people-first” strategy, and is a future-proof investment.

Other New Features Across the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite

SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub is just one of the many great enhancements you will see in this release. Learn about the new features and enhancements for the full SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite here. Be sure to check out our Q4 2017 Release Highlights document and hear from our new head of product, Amy Wilson, in our Q4 2017 release video:


Categories: What's New

Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award Finalist Profile: Contract With the Future

SAP News - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:45
When you think of legal departments, do you think of rigid processes and bone-dry text? Think again. The intrapreneurs from Global Finance & Administration (GFA) at SAP are generating true value for customers.

Two years ago, the contract team in Global Legal at SAP faced a difficult decision: Should they continue to optimize their existing processes and tools, squeezing out the last few percentage points, or should they tackle the issues they had identified head-on and put everything under the microscope? The former choice was surely the simpler one: It would have allowed them to stay on familiar ground and take the beaten path to ensure that things worked as expected.

So what was it that encouraged the team to take the path less traveled, turning everything inside out and subjecting it to thorough scrutiny?

“We saw that each line of business had its own processes for archiving contracts,” says Kai Jacob, who is responsible for legal information management at SAP. “We quickly recognized that we needed a central store and a common understanding for staging contracts.”

Drafting contracts – whether for sales contracts, supplier contracts, or others – was a highly manual process that generated a major workload not only for the attorneys, but also for everyone else involved. And because the different contracts were often saved on different servers as well, the entire process was highly susceptible to errors.

The situation at other companies’ legal departments is similar – often combined with the mantra of having to do more with the same or fewer resources. Attorneys at the in-house departments realize that they have to rely on digitalization, and the advantages it offers, to combine their legal expertise with the necessary entrepreneurial flair.

New Way of Doing Things

To achieve this, however, the central organization requires full access and control over all legal texts, such as contracts and the corresponding metadata, templates, clauses, form letters, and guidelines – as well as the business information about expenditures and resource consumption. In short: The increased requirements often face a defragmented information landscape from the perspective of the legal department.

This gave sufficient motivation to SAP’s internal Global Contract Management Services (GCMS) team to not only find a solution for themselves, but also to seek additional value for SAP customers whose specialist departments face the same problems.

“With our limited resources, we could have tried to further optimize our existing product, the Contract Management Solution (CMS). Instead, we set our sights on a paradigm shift, by expanding our focus from contracts to legal content in general and seeking to enable both the management and creation of legal content. It was important for us to develop this solution in SAP’s core solution, SAP S/4HANA, because it was the only foundation that enabled a comprehensive, sustainable solution for our customers,” says Kai Jacob.

In the spirit of a startup, the intrapreneurs from Global Legal at SAP worked together closely with solution management and standard development. Instead of enhancing their existing CMS, they started completely from scratch. In this way, the GCMS Team managed to launch a standard SAP product in less than a year: SAP S/4HANA for Legal Content.

Numerous Improvements Achieved

The team developed a product that covers the entire life cycle of a contract, including drafting, review, and checks of contracts and the corresponding contract data. It should go without saying that a feature for electronic contract signing is included. But the solution can also do more: It selects suitable content from a library of templates and clauses to prepopulate contracts and other legal documents.

Jochen Scholten, head of the legal department at SAP, says: “We manage more than 750,000 contracts based on some 6,500 templates. At peak times, we generated some 10,000 contracts every day, nearly half of them completely automatically. Thanks to the changes that the GCMS team initiated, we have been able to simplify and improve the contract process significantly: we can achieve ‘healthier’ deals with less negotiation effort. As such, we have given the colleagues involved in the contract process greater flexibility to concentrate on strategic tasks.”

In Kai Jacob’s words: “In this project, we questioned the defined limits and ultimately discarded them. We have succeeded in developing a one-of-a-kind product for SAP that, as the sole solution on the market, is fully integrated in the company’s processes and SAP’s digital core, SAP S/4HANA.”

The Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award is the highest employee recognition at SAP, awarded annually by the CEO to an individual or a team.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission title: Intrapreneurship: Going Beyond Boundaries
  • Board area: Global Finance & Administration (GFA)
  • Team: 14 employees from GFA
  • Achievement: Together with the P&I SAP S/4HANA Procure Team, the employees developed a standard product that also benefits SAP customers — in less than a year from kickoff to release-to-customer.
  • Impact: The contract management system (CMS) can help reduce SAP’s contracting time by 90%, saving the company millions of euros in operating costs each year. In addition to this added value, the standard SAP product SAP S/4HANA for legal content can also help customers to manage not only contracts, but also all kinds of legal content. It also offers additional functionality for contracting analytics and automatic legal content assembly.
Categories: What's New

How Banks Can Help With an Aging Society and Alzheimer’s

SAP News - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:15
Last month, the Lloyds Open Banking Challenge Hackathon, #BuildanOpenBank, took place, with 14 teams including SAP taking part. The goal was to show — within 48 hours — an open banking value proposition, how it would work, and a business plan.

SAP looked at how a bank might address the needs of people that are vulnerable or are becoming so, such as from Alzheimer’s disease. In the UK, one in 70 suffer from the onset of this debilitating yet predictable disease. The SAP team used the persona of “Glenda Wichita” to show a business case worthy of investment through APIs and intelligent management of the vulnerable person’s account.

Open banking, with its trusted third party (TTP) approach allows for providers to find, suggest, and evaluate a proxy process for Glenda. A proxy is an agent, TTP, legally authorized to act on behalf of another party.

The bank can identify the onset of Alzheimer’s or other changing financial risk by analyzing the change to usage patterns of the account holder; for example, forgetting to pay the rent, utility bills, or any regular payments. Banks currently use predictive analytics and case work processes for other activities. By using similar processes with the vulnerable, the bank can observe and confirm signs of deterioration, and gently nudge Glenda into seeking advice.

Once it is established that Glenda is at risk, a proxy process needs to be pursued — essentially, power of attorney over the account. Currently, the power of attorney privileges tends to be binary, the proxy having complete or no control over the account. The banking industry currently handles accounts manually with workarounds. For example, a bank sets up a joint account to cover a proxy added to that account, or the person at risk hands over their online details to a proxy to act as Glenda.

The onboarding of the vulnerable person into the proxy process requires sensitivity in its approach and handling from the bank. The solution provides great comfort and helps reduce risk to the financially vulnerable. The bank can also provide a view on the appropriateness of Glenda’s proxy.

A change to the proxy process is required and what is needed is a variable and increasing or decreasing level of control over an account based on the vulnerability. Each vulnerability is different — with Alzheimer’s, the condition of the person at condition is worsening and the proxy, in turn, needs more control over the account.

Open banking’s open APIs and cloud technology support the vulnerable on proxy banking. At the hackathon the SAP team demonstrated:

  • Detecting anomalous events
  • Showing how Glenda is becoming vulnerable
  • Knowing Glenda’s circumstances and identifying a suitable proxy

The business case has a respectable return on investment (ROI) when including:

  • Income for providing and servicing proxy banking
  • Cost reduction by eliminating the manual workarounds
  • Using technology to show the true size of this market within the client base
  • No regulator fines as the bank is compliant to “fair banking” for the vulnerable

Through open banking, banks can help ensure that the vulnerable are protected, their needs managed, and that this process is financially rewarding to the bank and the trusted third party. By identifying and assisting vulnerable people in their financials, banks become an increasingly caring, trusted, and relevant part of the community.

Categories: What's New

SAP Innovative Business Solutions Organization Empowers Clients to Achieve Their Greatest Goals With Unique, Leading-Edge Software Innovation

SAP News - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:00
WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that the SAP Innovative Business Solutions organization expanded its business model.

It is now collaborating with clients in an end-to-end innovation process to discover, design, develop and run tailored solutions in the cloud, on premise or in hybrid scenarios that address their specific mission-critical business needs.

Formerly known as SAP Custom Development, SAP Innovative Business Solutions offers clients direct global access to more than 2,000 development professionals and 38,000 R&D and services experts. To date, it has delivered more than 4,000 individualized solutions to over 1,500 clients.

“How they innovate and who they partner with is a very personal decision for modern companies as they navigate the digital economy, and it is fueling the need for high-value application development services,” said Klaus Weber, executive vice president and general manager, SAP Innovative Business Solutions, SAP. “Organizations are being forced to transform much more rapidly and more often, knowing that their customers, partners and employees are demanding simpler and faster interactions delivered with a personalized experience, accessible anywhere and on any device.”

SAP Innovative Business Solutions serves as a trusted partner and provides a proven process to guide clients through the end-to-end innovation journey:

  • Discover with exploration workshops: Clients can look beyond the boundaries of what they think is possible using a guided design thinking process. They can ideate and identify opportunities that will be most valuable to their business and translate their ideas into first-design prototypes.
  • Design with innovation sprints: From conducting research to creating concepts, clients collaborate in innovation sprints to create a solution design that zeros in on their exact business needs and direction. Journey maps are created around the client’s personas and user profiles. Processes and interaction flows are validated with key users through storyboarding. User interaction with the future solution is tested with wireframes and mock-ups.
  • Develop with innovation projects: From concept to productive solution, clients collaborate using an agile development approach that places users at the center of every stage of development. This transforms ideas into unique software solutions, leverages the latest technologies and creates value early and often.
  • Run with services for support, continuous improvement and operations: Clients can protect and run their individualized solutions over the long term. They can choose the right deployment option that fits their needs and scales to their business and technical landscape. By taking advantage of the same unified support infrastructure and cloud operations centers as SAP, clients can increase operational stability, cut operating costs and enhance business innovation.

“Working with SAP Innovative Business Solutions to develop a mobile cloud-based application was invaluable in making our vision of accessing real-time data a reality,” said Victoria Guy, general manager of HSSE, Operations & Technical, Shell Aviation. “The solution has transformed the refueling experience by improving data accuracy, reducing costs and increasing operational efficiency – resulting in time savings per transaction on average of 13.3 hours per day per airport. It allows us to serve our customers better and scale for future demands quickly and simply.”

Clients can take the next step toward making innovation real and learn more about the SAP Innovative Business Solutions organization at www.sap.com/innovbizsolutions.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @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:
To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
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For more information, press only:
Martin Gwisdalla, SAP, +49 (6227) 7-67275, martin.gwisdalla@sap.com, CET
SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com
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Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2017 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark for additional trademark information and notices.

Categories: What's New

SAP Study: Budget Is Biggest Roadblock to Digitalizing the Midmarket

SAP News - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 04:00
WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that an international study found that access to appropriate budget is key to digital transformation in the midmarket.

The SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study* found that more than a fifth (21 percent) of all small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) surveyed cited lack of budget as the biggest hurdle to becoming a true digital business. This reason was followed closely by lack of time (15 percent) and sophisticated technologies (15 percent).

Lack of employee know-how does not appear to be a reason for the slow pace of digitalization in the midmarket. Just 8 percent of the SMEs found this to be the biggest challenge and only 7 percent see poor planning as a problem for their digital journey. As such, the SME segment differs greatly from large enterprises, who say their biggest challenge is a lack of employee expertise (25 percent).

Additional insights include:

  • Customer experience is the starting point for digital transformation. Almost all (92 percent) of the most successful “digital leaders” – a group the study identified as leaders who are more intelligently, effectively and quickly creating change than their rivals – surveyed have a digital process in place to improve customer experience.
  • The same group of “digital leaders” overwhelmingly (73 percent) said that digital efforts aid in attracting and retaining top talent.
  • More than half (57 percent) of all SMEs surveyed see a shorter time to market as the biggest profit driver for their companies over the next two years. An increase in brand awareness ranked second (39 percent), followed by an increase of employee engagement (38 percent) and the development of new products and services (36 percent).
  • Only 3 percent of SMEs said their digital transformation projects were managed by dedicated teams, compared to 24 percent of large enterprises.
  • No matter the size, the main responsibility for digital transformation in the enterprise lies with the IT department (75 percent), making it critically important to have an active role in corporate planning and setting strategy.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

Media Contacts:
Angelika Merz, SAP, +41 (58) 871-7216, angelika.merz@sap.com, CET
Erin Albright, FleishmanHillard, +1 201-572-1802, erin.albright@fleishman.com ET

*Methodology: Oxford Economics was commissioned by the SAP Center for Business Insight program to conduct and analyze a survey of over 3,000 executives in 17 countries about their readiness for digital transformation. The survey included more than 1,300 companies with revenues below US$500 million. Also analyzed were responses from companies with $500 million to $1 billion in revenue to understand better how digital transformation efforts change as companies grow. Fieldwork for the SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study took place from January through May 2017.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect our current views and assumptions and all forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. The future-oriented statements reflect the point of view at the time they were made. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
© 2017 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and other countries. For more information about the trademarks, copyrights, and their usage, see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark.

Categories: What's New

SAP Wins Record Five Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Awards

SAP News - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 15:00
In the 10th annual Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Awards, SAP has set a new record, receiving the maximum of five Glassdoor awards in major markets.

In the 10th annual Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Awards, honoring the ‘Best Places to Work’ in 2018, SAP has been chosen as the No. 1 Best Place to Work in Canada and ranked as a top employer in major markets Germany, U.S., France, and the UK.

SAP is one of only two employers to receive all five Glassdoor Best Places to Work awards. Per Glassdoor, no other employer has managed this before.

“Receiving the award in our key markets is a strong endorsement of our efforts to provide a consistent and meaningful employee experience across the globe,” says Stefan Ries, chief human resources officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.

Unlike other workplace awards, there was no self-nomination process for Glassdoor awards. The award is entirely based on feedback from more than 6,600 employees, who voluntarily and anonymously shared a review of SAP on the Glassdoor website.

“What I love most about this achievement is that it relies solely on the input of employees, who have provided feedback on their job, work environment, and management,” said Barbara Althoff-Simon, global head of Talent Acquisition at SAP.

The award does not only create transparency about the work environment. Per Glassdoor data, more satisfied workers lead to better financial performance.

“This is a huge win for SAP,” said Matthew Jeffery, head of Global Employer Branding and Sourcing, SAP. “Glassdoor is crowdsourcing at its purest and best. Reviews left — good and bad — are real and authentic, and we are fortunate that our employees have made us the No. 1 company to work for in Canada, No. 2 in France, and No. 3 in Germany.  That’s an incredible achievement and underlines how far SAP has come and is now recognized as a truly great place to work.”

While Glassdoor only evaluates in the U.S., UK, Germany, Canada, and France, all regions have provided significant input Congratulations, SAP!

Employees who took the time to share their perspectives on what it’s like to work at SAP provide valuable feedback to the company. Writing a review on Glassdoor takes less than five minutes, and it gives you a platform for your voice to be heard. Your review will directly help SAP recruit new, outstanding talent. Simultaneously, it offers SAP ways to improve its recruiting solutions thanks to employee feedback based on interviews. You can post a review here (as well as see first-hand what employees are saying).

For more information, visit glassdoor.com/sap.

Categories: What's New

The Factory of the Future Needs People

SAP News - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 13:45
The leaders of Kibar Holding know that acquiring technology is easy, but employee engagement, like love, is something that can’t be bought.

“Our goal is to be the Industry 4.0 leader in Turkey,” says Ufuk Özdemir, group HR director at this large Turkish conglomerate dealing in steel and aluminum and exporting to over 100 countries. “The only way to achieve this goal is to have engaged employees with the right skills. Yes, we are investing in machines, but we’re also investing heavily in people.”

The Factory of the Future

Manufacturing executives realize that Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the factory of the future, but there is a widening gap between ambition and transformative action. As KPMG explains in a paper titled “Beyond the Hype,” the challenges are manifold. Strategy, business model, technology, systems, and processes are all part of the equation for success, but the biggest challenge is people.

The fourth industrial revolution demands significant change. New ways of working, new skills and capabilities, new operating models, and new roles and responsibilities will be required. This means manufacturers must adjust their talent strategies to acquire and retain the skills needed to operate in the Industry 4.0 environment. A new culture is needed to manage new “digital employees” and to encourage greater innovation, collaboration, and risk taking.

According to research by Deloitte about the augmented workforce of the future, this new culture will be especially critical because even though tasks are being automated, the human parts of work are becoming more important. Skills such as empathy, communication, problem solving, persuasion, personal service, and strategic decision making are more valuable than ever.

The task at hand for human resources (HR) professionals now is to find leaders who can develop visionary talent strategies and are open to partnering with outside organizations to diversify the recruitment pool. They must find creative ways to position Industry 4.0 as a competitive differentiator.

Mastering Your Own Career

One way to become a leader in Industry 4.0 is to be perceived as a “cool” place to work. Because the company is technologically advanced, data-driven, and highly innovative, Kibar can attract new talent to the industrial sector.

But with 23 companies, the group has always had a hard time keeping track of its workforce. Kibar is a diversified industrial group for metal, automotive, packaging, construction materials, real estate, logistics, and energy.

One key requirement was to have a leadership model that fostered knowledge sharing across the various companies. A manager who has improved efficiency in a car parts factory could probably do the same in a ketchup factory. But to enable such synergies, Kibar needed one view of its workforce and shared talent management processes.

The company decided to implement SAP SuccessFactors solutions to get a single view of its talent and to centralize HR processes. Kibar’s new HR system, called Maestro, enables employees to take employment opportunities into their own hands and be the masters of their own career development. It’s a win win approach. Employees are more engaged, and Kibar has also become more agile due to the ability to deploy its talents across the firm.

“Thanks to the solutions, we can easily track and report on competency gaps per entity, per company and for the entire group. Our goal was to make every manager, everywhere, an HR manager for his team. But to do that, you need a system that’s simple to use. That’s one of the many benefits of the SAP SuccessFactors solutions,” says Ufuk.

Maufacturing today requires rejuvenation in many areas, especially when it comes to drawing next generation talent into the workforce. Thanks to technology, Kibar is now able to cascade goals and knowledge across the entire group and track and measure the competences it needs to remain one of Turkey’s most successful companies.

And thanks to its forward-thinking people strategy, Kibar is certainly well positioned to be Turkey’s leader in Industry 4.0.

Follow me on Twitter: @magyarj

This story previously appeared on Business Trends on the SAP Community.

Categories: What's New

Saving Lives in Real Time

SAP News - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 11:55

The No. 1 killer in the world is not wars, traffic accidents, or natural disasters — it’s heart disease.

When a missed second can be the difference between life or death, groundbreaking innovators like InCor, Latin America’s biggest heart institute, turn to technology powered by SAP Leonardo to save lives while also helping ensure more humanized healthcare.

Categories: What's New

What Intelligent Enterprises Can Expect from SAP Support in 2018

SAP News - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:15
In this exclusive interview, Andreas Heckmann, global senior vice president and head of Support Delivery for SAP Digital Business Services, looks back at SAP’s incredible support transformation and ahead to what’s in store for intelligent enterprises in 2018 from innovations like machine learning and embedded support.

Andreas Heckmann, global senior vice president, head of Support Delivery at SAP Digital Business Services

Q: What are you hearing from SAP customers about support in this era of digital transformation – any major epiphanies?

A: Many customers describe their journey as one of becoming an intelligent enterprise. Everyone has new expectations from the resultant changes that encompass both technology and people. Core business processes, traditionally called mission or business critical, are turning into real-time processes. Running 24/7, 365 days a year, companies have a much lower tolerance for unplanned downtime and performance problems; they are dependent on real-time availability. We’re also seeing a workforce change with generations X, Y, and Z moving up the ranks. In addition, business partners are working together with IT experts as customers flock to cloud-based solutions.

Considering the business hurdles customers face, what are the top priorities every company should demand from support in 2018?

First, customers need support that moves away from traditional reactive mode to proactivity. Problem avoidance uses new self-healing technologies. If support sees that something isn’t right, customers should expect us to act and fix it.

Second, the new workforce wants more choice in support channels, including self-service rather than interacting with an expert. When a customer does interact with experts, they want to do it live.

Third is support that’s built into the product so customers can get the expert they need without leaving their working environment. They shouldn’t need to go to another portal, make a phone call or write an email.

Fourth, in the increasingly complex intelligent enterprise environment with multiple technologies, support must provide a one-stop shop so customers aren’t scrambling to figure out who to talk with for immediate answers.

How is SAP support meeting these new expectations?

We are constantly double-checking everything that we’re doing. For example, we redesigned the SAP Support Portal to make it more user-friendly and intuitive for a mobile-first world. Now whether a customer uses a browser, iPad, or smartphone they easily receive the information they need. The SAP ONE Support Launchpad, which is accessed on the portal, provides customers with a highly personalized experience. Despite having greater functionality in the launchpad, customers see less when they log on because the information is focused on what’s most relevant to them.

Equally important, we introduced real-time support options. Customers can select the Expert Chat button to quickly reach the most experienced support person available on the topic. With our Schedule an Expert service, they can also schedule a time to speak with an expert, like making a doctor’s appointment with support to talk at their convenience.

Can you share some examples of business outcomes customers have experienced as a result of SAP’s transformation?

Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Expert Chat is a great example. Traditional tickets took several days of back and forth between SAP and the customer to final resolution. Today’s average chat session duration is about 30 minutes, and we’re solving two-thirds of cases that quickly. Already strong, our customer satisfaction levels with Expert Chat service and Schedule an Expert are sky high. We’ve also made the knowledge from our thousands of support experts searchable via Google. To date, millions of customers have viewed our support-created SAP Knowledge Base Articles.

What can customers expect from SAP support in 2018?

We began providing a public view on the cloud service status of our solutions with the SAP Cloud Trust Center. We also provided customers with a personalized view of availability in their cloud environment for the first set of solutions in the Cloud Availability Center, which we plan to expand to more products in 2018. We plan to offer more channels and choices to customers, including extended tasks on mobile devices, and a new mobile app for support. Machine learning is another area we’re very excited about, with algorithms and chat bots on our development road map. We’re currently using algorithms to solve known problems, and exploring chat bots for more complex support issues. Our engineers are using machine learning services internally, testing and training the systems and algorithms before giving to customers. We’ve piloted beta tests of built-in support for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and plan to move into additional cloud solutions in 2018, adding new functionality with quarterly releases.

Follow me: @smgaler

Categories: What's New

SAP Unveils New SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub to Help Accelerate Digital Transformation

SAP News - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:00
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today unveiled a new way for customers to simplify and speed the use of cloud-based people and organizational data across their businesses with the SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub solution.

The need for people and organizational data across the enterprise is vital, but integrating this data from disparate systems is complex and expensive. SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub helps solve this by easily consolidating people and organizational data from legacy systems into a central, cloud-based hub where it’s then integrated and available for use with SAP enterprise applications, such as SAP S/4HANA.

Designed as a simple, scalable tool for SAP customers to kick-start their digital HR transformation and move to the cloud, the benefits of SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub include:

  • Fast time to value: Packaged integration built and maintained by SAP helps reduce the cost and risk of expensive, complex point-to-point integrations of people and organizational data to other SAP enterprise systems.
  • People-first: Simplified data consolidation means customers can accelerate their digital HR transformation by quickly providing their workforce with engaging, informative and delightful new experiences, such as mobile access to organizational charts and employee profiles. For example, customers can quickly begin using the recently redesigned mobile app, developed through a partnership with Apple, for iOS devices.
  • Future-proof: Flexible deployment alongside the industry-leading SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite provides new options for each customer’s unique cloud journey and protects existing investments.

“With many organizations in the midst of digital transformation, the most dynamic ones have realized that putting people first guarantees the best result,” SAP SuccessFactors* President Greg Tomb said. “Access to rich data is pivotal to any people-first strategy. But many organizations are having trouble effectively centralizing information stored in a range of legacy systems. SAP recognizes the role seamless connectivity plays in enabling an intelligent enterprise, and we’re thrilled to launch SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub to help customers turn purpose into performance by unlocking their people and organizational data.”

SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub is another step toward providing customers with connected enterprise applications. By integrating third-party legacy core HR solutions with SAP offerings — including SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fieldglass solutions — and by increasing access to people and organizational data across the enterprise, companies can take an important first step to the cloud and digital HR transformation.

For more information, visit the SAP SuccessFactors website and the SAP News Center. Follow SAP SuccessFactors solutions on Twitter at @SuccessFactors and SAP at @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:
To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
United States Only: 1 (800) 872-1SAP (1-800-872-1727)

For more information, press only:
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SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com
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*SAP SuccessFactors is a brand name launched in January 2016 and is used here to mean the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company SuccessFactors, which continues to be our legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2017 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark for additional trademark information and notices.

Categories: What's New

Accenture's George J. Franz Receives St. Isidore Army Cyber Award

Accenture News - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:59
ARLINGTON, Va.; Dec. 6, 2017 – Maj. Gen. George J. Franz, USA (Ret.), a managing director with Accenture Federal Services (AFS), has received the Saint Isidore Army Cyber award, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional initiative, leadership, insight and cyber excellence within their area of expertise. 
Categories: What's New

'Digital Fragmentation' Poses Threat to Businesses' Global Growth and Innovation According to Accenture Report

Accenture News - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:59
NEW YORK; Dec. 6, 2017  – A new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) warns that ‘digital fragmentation’ – the rise in restrictions on the free flow of data, IT products, IT services and IT talent across country borders – is disrupting the global business environment and could inhibit companies’ strategies for growth and innovation. 
Categories: What's New

SAP Opens New Co-Innovation Lab at North America Headquarters

SAP News - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:00
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the opening of a new SAP Co-Innovation Lab at its North America headquarters in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

SAP Co-Innovation Lab locations provide infrastructure and space for SAP and its partners and customers to co-innovate new solutions to the most pressing challenges organizations face in the digital economy. This new lab, SAP’s second in North America, will have a specific focus on creating business applications that deal with emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things and Big Data analytics.

Through collaborative framework and emphasis on co-innovation, these SAP labs accelerate the creation of new solutions that span multiple industries. With benefits that include project support, reduced development costs and shorter time to market for new applications, SAP’s partners will be able to provide more value to customers, generate new business and build new alliances. Customers will also be able to take direct advantage from additional access to expertise and technology to transform ideas into solutions at a much quicker pace.

The new SAP Co-Innovation Lab in Newtown Square brings SAP’s global total to 15, with others located in Germany, Brazil, India and China, among other places. The first was opened in 2007 in Palo Alto, California.

These labs are a testament to the important role SAP’s partners play in a customer’s digital transformation journey. Whether it’s the business challenges of today or the anticipated ones of tomorrow, SAP enables its partners to provide customers value in the digital economy.

“Co-innovation builds an agile and vibrant partner ecosystem that drives value through external expertise in digital technologies, hardware and networks,” said Rodolpho Cardenuto, president, Global Channels & General Business, SAP. “Today with the launch of the co-innovation lab on the U.S. East Coast, we are strengthening the innovative power of SAP and its partners in North America by expanding our digital ecosystem in the region.”

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

Media Contact:
Steve Collins, +1 (617) 335-5456, st.collins@sap.com, ET

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2017 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark for additional trademark information and notices.

Categories: What's New

Three Business Rules to Forget in the Digital Era

SAP News - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:15
When it comes to digital business, Andrew McAfee knows a thing or two. A principal research scientist at MIT, prolific writer, and management expert, McAfee is a leader in understanding and explaining how digital technologies are changing business, the economy, and society.

At the recent SAP Leonardo Live event in Chicago that focused on digital transformation, McAfee urged his audience to throw out the business playbook they’ve been using for the past 30 years.

“The right way to run a factory in the steam era became a really, really bad way to run it in the era of electrical power,” he said. “Similarly, during a technology transition — and afterwards — the advice you used to follow becomes bad advice.”

McAfee explained that fast, profound shifts are occurring in three key areas: process, company, and industry. And he provided a new playbook to help companies navigate those changes and succeed.

Process: From People to Machines

The traditional wisdom about process, which McAfee defines as “getting stuff done,” is to let machines handle the routine work like accounting or record keeping, and have people use their accumulated wisdom to make the judgements calls. This is the playbook of yesterday.

Profound shifts are occurring in three key areas: process, company, industry

McAfee explains that in most companies, decisions have typically been based on the highest-paid person’s opinion, or “HiPPOs.” They follow their gut, past experiences, and education, but they are being threatened by what McAfee calls “the Geek” — people who use data to make decisions.

“When the Geek needs to make a tough call, they gather evidence, do the best analysis they can, then they follow the evidence — even if it doesn’t go along with their gut or their experience,” McAfee explains.

“But here is where things get interesting,” he says. “In 136 studies of decision making by HiPPOs versus Geeks, 48 percent of the time HiPPOs added nothing over Geeks’ approach. Furthermore, 46 percent of the time HiPPOs provided an inferior decision. HiPPOs were only clearly better in eight percent of the cases. We need to make HiPPOs an endangered species.”

McAfee believes that with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, “Now we have a new toolkit to help us sift through these crazy amounts data, see patterns, and make very sophisticated, accurate judgements in extremely complicated situations.”

He explained that AI and machine learning technologies have leapfrogged much further ahead today than anyone could have anticipated, and are ready to take over making judgement calls.

“Go is 3,000 year old Asian strategy game. Computers have been laughably bad at Go. Until last year, when the world’s best Go player became a computer,” said McAfee.

Analyzing the game played by AlphGo, a Google AI company, experts focused on one particular move — move 37 — that made no sense to human players but ultimately helped the machine win. The lesson learned? AlphGo doesn’t just play the game better than we do, it plays differently than we do.

McAfee is optimistic: “Together with machines, we’re going to make progress in some very difficult areas. And when we rewrite the business playbook, remember: machines are demonstrating excellent judgement.”

Company: From Core to Crowd

“For about 25 years we’ve been telling business that to succeed they need to strengthen their core — ‘core competency, core strength, core capabilities,’” said McAfee. “The idea of the core is a small number of things that differentiate you from competitors, realize value for customer, help you succeed in your markets.”

But, he explains, now there are millions of interconnected adults on the internet and if you can activate the energy of the crowd, amazing things can happen.

McAfee provided an example where a Harvard Business School expert on crowd sourcing and innovation Karim Lakhani worked with the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Harvard Medical School to try and improve the ability to sequence human white-blood cell genomes. They got good results.

But when Lakhani opened up an online competition to the crowd as an algorithmic challenge they got amazing results in both accuracy and speed. McAfee says the top results, “showed an improvement that was three orders of magnitude faster, without sacrificing accuracy,” compared to the NIH and Harvard Medical School results.

“We’re seeing companies that don’t focus on growing their core. They embrace the crowd from the start,” said McAfee. “We will see how this plays out. But when we rewrite the business playbook, we need to remind ourselves: the crowd is surprisingly wise.”

Industries: From Industry to Platform

“I grew up in McKinsey understanding the playbook rule: There is no substitute for knowing an industry inside and out. For the past 30 years, the business playbook has said industry structure determines successful business models,” said McAfee.

But in three very different industries McAfee argues that platform is making the difference when it comes to disruptive innovation.

Take the smart phone industry: The defining moment was when Apple opened up the App Store as a platform for outside developers. For urban transportation, it was Uber and now group fitness is being transformed with ClassPass, a platform that allows people to take classes at gyms by subscribing as members to ClassPass, not the gym.

McAfee explains: “ClassPass says, ‘Don’t join a gym. Sign up with us. You can pick whatever classes you want and get variety.’ To gyms they sayY ‘you have some empty spaces. We can fill them. You won’t get the full price but some revenue is better than none.’”

Like with Apple and Uber, the platform for ClassPass brings together products, services, sellers, and consumers.

If platforms work, McAfee believes there are many advantages: You get the network effects of increased demand, companies can control the rules of engagement. With an open platform, you can crowd-source innovation and get additional information, which is used to create better pricing and matching of services.

This blows apart the distinct industry-sector differences people used to assume fueled growth and replaces it with the mandate to find the right platform for your business.

McAfee concludes, “I am pretty confident that the successful businesses of tomorrow are going to have a lot more machines, platforms, and crowds in them than today. I am really confident that following the industrial-age business playbook is a really good recipe for failure.”

Categories: What's New

SAP S/4HANA: Personalizing the Consumer Products Industry

SAP News - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 10:15
As the demand for tailored products continues to surge, the race is on for IT to get consumer goods to market faster.

At their local EDEKA grocery store, customers may have noticed they can now buy ready-made packages of mymuesli breakfast cereals — something of a novelty as mymuesli’s business model is all about letting the customer design their own individual cereal mixes. That approach generally works best for the Passau, Germany-based company by selling to the customer directly in its Web shop. The packages being sold through “middle men” like EDEKA, on the other hand, are “mainstream” mixes – those intended to satisfy the tastes of as wide a public as possible.

“We are trending more and more toward the segment of one,” explains Wolfgang Wagner, director of the Consumer Products Industry business area at SAP. “You no longer have that one single product that everyone is flocking toward.”

In short: the producer market is turning into a consumer market.

KPMG: Customers Want Custom Products

Consulting firm KPMG came to the same conclusion in its latest Consumer Barometer. According to the analysts, 54% of consumers queried were more interested in customizable products than mass market offerings; 60% said they had had already configured foodstuffs to their personal preference; and 40% expect companies to offer more personalized products in future. Only one in four were not interested in individualization.

This market trend is having an impact, transforming product lines: As the demand for a personalized user experience increases, manufacturers are churning out a ever wider range of offerings, in ever smaller lot sizes.

“Retailers aren’t necessarily selling more quantities of muesli, milk, beer, or whatever. What they are selling is a greater variety of those products,” explains Wagner.

That means the number of deliveries is going up as well, with smaller quantities per shipment. Gone are the days of a single delivery containing a thousand packages.

The dilemma: Despite the plethora of new products and different packaging and palletizing requirements as a result, IT systems still have to be able to get those products out the door and to the customers reliably and efficiently.

“System performance – in other words, speed – is becoming ever more important in this process,” says Wagner.

The experts at KPMG agree: Manufacturers need to adapt their production processes to the smaller lot sizes – albeit at their own expense. Summing up, IT innovation is crucial to stay competitive, but it’s not a sure-fire guarantee for higher revenue.

Individualization Means Different Products, Not More

A CIO’s challenge is to decide whether or not to give the user department the freedom to proactively create new article numbers with different palletizing in order to launch new products onto the market quickly.

“This freedom can quickly lead to the systems no longer being able to cope with the performance requirements,” explains Wagner. And he adds that even if IT does optimize these processes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll sell more product.

Still, manufacturing departments do not have a lead time of several weeks to react to new requirements – to avoid losing the business opportunity, they have to react immediately. Wagner already has the impression that “the share of small manufacturers is growing, and that the high-volume market is cannibalizing itself into a niche market.”

Case in point: the brewing industry, where specialty craft beers are the order of the day. Established breweries such as Radeberger, should have no problem thinking in smaller units. Should the craft beer sector develop into a lucrative and core business, it can easily be integrated into the sales and marketing processes, with recipe development and material data managed centrally.

One thing is for sure: with the product mix shifting more toward mixed, specialty, and non-alcoholic beverages, the percentage of “pure full beers” continues to decline steadily.

SAP S/4HANA: Identify Demand, Create Forecasts, Keeping Inventory to a Minimum

IT is facing new requirements, which it must reflect in its systems.

  • Know the needs: Companies have to be able to recognize the needs of their customers early on. They need to analyze sales as precisely as possible, spot trends, and use social media to capture market sentiment and understand consumer requirements. Only then will they be able bring appropriate, tailored products to market early enough.
  • Avoid bottlenecks: The faster the products change, the more important it is to be able to reconcile and adjust target and actual figures. Breweries need to know in advance if they have enough empty bottles available for upcoming production, for example. The “classic,” standard-issue beer bottle is slowly disappearing as breweries turn more and more to unique designer bottles. This in turn makes it more difficult for other brewers to find enough empties for their own product. “You have to pre-order the glass for custom-design bottles 18 months in advance,” says Wagner.
  • Simplify ordering: Since real-time systems can detect bottlenecks and requirements, the next step is to turn that insight into action. At best in no time at all. If your inventory starts getting low, you can select suppliers and reorder materials using the same “Insight-to-Action-Panel.”

Amazon Fresh Puts on the Pressure

Amazon Fresh shows that it’s worth having this new transparency available in the systems in real time. Food producers seeking to sell their products through Amazon’s food delivery service are required to supply online retailers with product data at high speed.

“You can’t just wait around for the nightly batch run,” explains Wagner. If you want to be successful, you have to be prepared. Instead of joining Amazon Fresh, some companies in the industry such Radeberger have taken to refining their own, comparable delivery models.

Those that include SAP S/4HANA in their approach stand to benefit. Food retailers in Germany currently make just one percent of their turnover with products they offer online. This is quite meager in comparison to France and England, for example, where online business accounts for six and eight percent of revenue respectively. So there’s still plenty of room to grow online.

Learn more:
Don Gordon, global marketing director of the Consumer Products Industry at SAP, explains the benefits of the SAP S/4HANA solution in three short videos:

Top image via Shutterstock

Categories: What's New

U.S. Consumers Turn Off Personal Data Tap as Companies Struggle to Deliver the Experiences They Crave, Accenture Study Finds

Accenture News - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:58
New York; Dec. 5, 2017 – U.S. consumers are locked in a vicious circle with brands over customer experience, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). While 44 percent are frustrated when companies fail to deliver relevant, personalized shopping experiences, nearly half (49 percent) are concerned about personal data privacy as they subscribe to intelligent services designed to understand and anticipate their needs. Poor personalization and lack of trust cost U.S. organizations $756 billion last year, as 41 percent of consumers switched companies. Without deeper customer insight, companies cannot deliver the experiences they crave.
Categories: What's New

Accenture Selects Annapolis-Based Celedon Partners as "Small Business of the Year"

Accenture News - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 07:59
ARLINGTON, Va.; Dec. 5, 2017 – Accenture Federal Services (AFS) has selected Annapolis-based Celedon Partners as the recipient of the “Small Business of the Year” award for its outstanding work helping AFS deliver innovative solutions. 
Categories: What's New

Accenture to Host Conference Call Thursday, Dec. 21, to Discuss First-Quarter Fiscal Year 2018 Results

Accenture News - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 07:59
NEW YORK; Dec. 5, 2017 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) will host a conference call at 8:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 21, to discuss its first-quarter fiscal year 2018 financial results. A news release containing these results will be issued before the call.
Categories: What's New
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