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SAP Social Sabbatical: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

SAP News - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 12:15
India is the world’s largest democracy and has experienced considerable growth in recent decades. Since 1991, the size of its economy has more than quadrupled and GDP is now estimated at about $2.4 trillion, making it the world’s sixth largest economy. However, gender inequality remains a vexing problem, detrimental to the country’s growth.

For the past weeks, I have been working with Vishakha, an Indian non-profit that advances gender equality, particularly in high-risk, under-served rural areas of India. This partnership is part of the SAP Social Sabbatical program, an initiative that sends top performers to consult for non-profits and social startups across the globe on a pro-bono basis, and a testament of how purpose-driven strategies can truly make the world run better.

Governments and communities can — and should — adopt concrete measures to counter gender imbalance. Equality is not only a substantive, basic human right, it’s also an economic imperative that no emerging country can afford to overlook. Previous studies have pointed out that gender equality is one of the most important drivers of a nation’s economic growth and development. The United Nations goes as far as to say that empowering women may be the easiest way to end extreme poverty worldwide — an achievement that would be a first in human history. In India alone, ensuring women have access to more opportunities could translate to a four percent increase in the country’s economic growth, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Empowering women may be the easiest way to end extreme poverty worldwide

Vishakha has been empowering women and fighting against gender violence since 1991. After achieving impressive milestones battling workplace harassment, the organization is now focusing on issues related to sexuality and the reproductive rights of adolescent and young girls, including boosting awareness on menstrual hygiene management.

In many parts the world, deep-rooted myths and misinformation create the illusion that menstruation is inherently shameful and bad. Cultural norms and religious taboos associate what is a normal, biological process to evil spirits and impurity. Poor menstrual hygiene is one of the major reasons for the high prevalence of reproductive tract infections across the globe, and can lead to death if untreated.

As it turns out, the roots of gender harassment may be at the onset of puberty, which provides one of the strongest forms of control over a woman’s dignity. Young girls are so ashamed of what’s happening to their bodies that they start to believe they are lesser beings, inferior to boys. In India, they may face increasing restrictions and are often prohibited from taking part in activities including touching food, going to the temple, and sometimes even washing. In rural areas, the problem is even more acute. Girls must customarily drop out of school after their first period, and males take pervasive control over all aspects of their lives.

Vishakha believes in a world where we are all equal, one where every girl and woman has the right and ability to live in dignity — free of fear, coercion, violence, and discrimination. This vision and mission is close to my heart. Coming from an emerging country myself (and witnessing gender harassment across nations), I feel enormous empathy with these women. Denial of a woman’s rights to reproductive health has been holding nations back for too long. It’s time to end this cycle.

This story originally appeared on the SAP Social Sabbatical Medium page.

Categories: What's New

How to Prepare for the Perfect Omnichannel Customer Experience

SAP News - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 11:45
Retailers are closer than ever to delivering an unprecedented customer experience, but they still can’t optimize connections among all the data they’re gathering; that information is often hidden across channels, such as mobile and social media. This has some brands scrambling to solve the problem and has many others scratching their heads.

“With digital transformation in shopping,” Nasdaq stated last week, “retailers are fast adopting the omnichannel mantra to provide a seamless shopping experience, whether online or in-stores.”

But brands still have a lot to learn before achieving total omnichannel enlightenment, according to a panel of retail experts at NRF 2018. It will probably take years for retailers to adapt — themselves and their data — to all of the different ways that consumers can shop; and they should start working on it now.

Know What You’re Trying To Do

“This whole notion of having a single point of view of the consumer is very much driven by the fact that you need know where they are digitally and physically,” Evan Neufeld, Intelligence VP at New York-based business intelligence firm L2 Inc., told the panel. “We’ve talked about omnichannel for years, but one of the reasons it’s come to fruition is just because everything is so mobile-based — and mobile is kind of that unifying device.”

Customer traffic, spend and other indicators point to increasing mobile adoption, according to Neufeld. And it’s unclear to shoppers whether most retailers (more than 60 percent) prefer to close the transaction online or in-store, according to L2 research into mobile — and only about six percent of brands are obviously comfortable letting the consumer choose where to buy.

“Very few brands are actually rethinking the way they interact with consumers on mobile devices from scratch,” Neufeld said. “The state of omnichannel is that people don’t quite have a good sense of what they’re trying to do.”

Even an online pure play can learn a thing or two when getting into brick-and-mortar game.

The #IRL Dilemma

“We took all of those omnichannel capabilities into the store,” such as in-store returns, John Allen, chief technology officer of U.K.-based fast-fashion retailer Missguided, told the panel.. “But … in the digital experience, we know who you are — even if you’re anonymized, we know that it’s the same person who was here two days ago … we know how long you spend in front of the product; we know where on the digital shop you are spending time; and we know what you bought.”

That’s online; keeping track of in-store shoppers is a different matter entirely, according to Allen. Product placement, RFID tags and maps of foot traffic are effective for the in-real-life (#IRL) salesfloor, but they’re still not the same as individual online customer data.

“You can’t link those two up together,” Allen said, “not without some really clever stuff.”

And clever stuff is in the works.

Collecting Individual Customer Data In-Store

“This is information of my customer traffic in the store, mapped to the store layout and the product location,” SAP’s Libre Erasmus told me during a video demonstration at NRF 2018. “Combine all of that information to get much more intelligent and insightful analytics.”

The Philips Indoor positioning system broadcasts special codes to shoppers’ mobile devices via overhead lights, accurately pinpointing their locations on the salesfloor. A Point Inside dashboard lets retailers drill down into individual customer data, such as routes through the store and dwell time in front of specific products.

“For example, this lady may have stood in front of a backpack, but never bought it,” Erasmus said. “I can save that information to my customer profile record, [and] I can start to use that information for much more contextual, personalized campaigns.”

It may take a while to perfect those campaigns, but that’s all right, according to Missguided’s Allen. The data you’re collecting and storing now will eventually pay even bigger dividends.

How to Play with Data

“Don’t be afraid to just keep capturing [data],” Allen said. “Right now, you’re not going to use it all because you’ve got to build links between [mobile, in-store, etc.] — but the ultimate goal is to have a continuous view of the customer where literally everything you know about me is fed into the next action.”

That’s still years away, but brands have opportunities to make connections between some of those channels in the meantime, according to Allen. One way is to hire data scientists to examine what you’ve got.

“Don’t spend too much money; don’t spend too much time; let them play,” Allen said. “Let them see if they can find things that you wouldn’t have found on your own — and don’t tell them what you want to find.

“Let them go and find it.”

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

Categories: What's New

Growing Businesses Win When Finance Keeps Up with the Technology Curve

SAP News - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 10:15
Finance leaders from small and midsize businesses have plenty of reasons to stay up at night – and a wave of changing trade policies, growing instability in individual countries, and pervasive attacks from ransomware are just the start. The last thing they need is to have internal systems get in the way.

Unfortunately, for 37% of companies with revenue below €1 billion, outdated technology is keeping finance leaders from achieving their business goals and addressing emerging financial concerns. This finding from the Oxford Economics study, How Finance Leadership Pays Off: Small and Midsize Companies Can Boost Performance Through Finance,” sponsored by SAP, echoes a growing concern over the missed opportunities from underestimating the potential of technology adoption.

There’s no single simple answer to explain why finance leaders are lagging behind in their digital investments. But the impact is clear: as they become increasingly involved in company-wide decision-making, finance leaders who aren’t supported by the right technology could single-handedly restrict the competitive agility and speed inherent in small and midsize businesses.

Undervaluing Technology Puts Business Growth at Risk

From predictive analytics and shared services to the Internet of Things and integrated systems, there is an incredible variety of technologies that provide real-time access to insight and enable highly automated processing and decision-making. Finance leaders can help drive the success of technology investments in areas such as security platforms, cloud applications, and ERPs.

Source: “How Finance Leadership Pays Off: Small and Midsize Companies Can Boost Performance Through Finance,” Oxford Economics, sponsored by SAP, 2017.

Unfortunately, not all small and midsize businesses have a clear view of which digital investments will deliver the capabilities and advantages they need to optimize working capital, improve efficiency, and drive strategic growth. Perhaps, for some companies, this confusion may emerge from a limited grasp of the vast potential of large volumes of data stored in their systems. Or it could be that they are overwhelmed by the thought of introducing more complexity or disrupting daily activities.

Whatever the reason, this fear can put future growth at risk if finance leaders ignore the digital tools that are important to top-performing businesses. I view the finance leader, who sits next to the CEO, as the co-pilot with the deep understanding and influence needed to drive and build the future strategic direction of the company. Without the tools to gain comprehensive insight easier and faster, decisions will eventually prove incomplete or, in many cases, inaccurate.

Setting the Right Foundation for Growth Should be on Every Finance Leader’s Radar

It may seem easier to leave technology decisions solely to the IT team, but that doesn’t mean that’s the right course of action. The competitive landscape is changing in a matter of days, not years. Business growth is happening overnight, not in months. Customers are evolving their behaviors in a matter of moments, not weeks. So why not get involved in building a foundation that can help your business anticipate, shift, and respond as quickly – or even faster – than everyone else?

The latest digital innovations – from advanced analytics, rolling forecasting, and Big Data to artificial intelligence and machine learning – are elevating the importance of running on a scalable ERP platform. Finance leaders can gain the 360-degree view they need to further strategic growth, pinpoint oncoming risks, and sense opportunities quickly by integrating real-time predictive analytics.

More important, finance leaders can set the stage for connected and automated business processes – ranging from order processing and production to financial close – to develop a level of efficiency and speed company-wide that can catch competitors by surprise. This approach not only lifts the finance role out of everyday support and manual reporting, but also deepens their authority in strategic planning and consultation for the enterprise.

Discover how finance leaders from small and midsize businesses are building a reputation for driving strategic growth. Read the Oxford Economics study “How Finance Leadership Pays Off: Small and Midsize Companies Can Boost Performance Through Finance,” sponsored by SAP.

Peter David is regional chief financial officer of Europe Middle East and Africa at SAP.

This story originally appeared on the Digitalist.

Categories: What's New

Accenture and Specular Theory Win Award for "Best VR Commercial/Branded Entertainment" Experience at VR FEST

Accenture News - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 08:59
SAN FRANCISCO; Feb. 23, 2018 Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and immersive content company Specular Theory received the Best VR Commercial/Branded Entertainment award for their Behind the Style virtual reality experience at the recent VR FEST event in Las Vegas.
Categories: What's New

Communications Service Providers Must Re-Skill Their Workforces in New Technologies to Capture Growth Opportunities, Accenture Research Finds

Accenture News - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 03:59
NEW YORK; Feb. 23, 2018 – Communications service providers (CSPs) must take immediate steps to reorganize and re-skill their workforces to collaborate with intelligent technologies if they are to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities these technologies promise, according to new research by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).
Categories: What's New

SAP and Premikati Improve the Lives of Disabled Students

SAP News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 11:15
SAP Ariba silver partner Premikati recently completed a project that provides students, parents, and schools in Florida with much-improved access to services and financial support through the Step Up for Students (SUFS) organization.

The non-profit SUFS manages funds for The Gardiner Scholarship Program , which provides up to $10,000 each for disabled K-12 students in Florida for tuition, equipment, therapy and other supplies. Prior to implementing SAP Ariba, parents had to pay expenses out of pocket and submit invoices for reimbursement.

The system financially strained many parents and featured an inefficient, manually intensive process for nearly 1,300 reimbursements every day. A team of 75 people manage invoices and the organization printed 100,000 checks on a quarterly basis, said Marisol Buczynski-Buchanan, CEO of Premikati, which handled the implementation.

“Their process was not sustainable nor scalable,” she said. “They were looking for technology to manage the funds and put all approved products and materials into a marketplace where parents and guardians could click to purchase.”

Vendors such as Best Buy, Office Depot, Lakeshore Learning, and School Specialty are onboarding their catalogs into the SUFS marketplace, with more on the way, allowing parents to purchase educational materials, services and tuition online.

The tuition reimbursement process and marketplace is expected to go live in January 2018, serving more than 100,000 students in 2,000 schools.

“Going forward, parents can just order the goods and services they need for the education of their children online using their smart phones while the software tracks the balance of their scholarship funds,” Buchanan said. “And SUFS can spend their time working closer with the families to provide additional services and support.”

Additionally, the 2,000 private Florida Schools also reduce their administrative costs associated with tracking parental signatures for tuition reimbursement checks as well as additional costs.

“This is the first time a real business to consumer system has been built on SAP Ariba. In fact, this is one of the largest SAP Ariba implementations to date in terms of buying organizations, which has only been made possible by the advancements to the user interface and the addition of guided buying,” Buchanan said. “Essentially, we are applying the most sophisticated procurement software available and offering it to families so that they can spend more time with their children and less time and headaches dealing with paperwork and stressing over financial burdens.  This is a true business case of procurement with purpose driven by SAP Ariba.”

SAP and our partners. Improving lives. That is our purpose.

Categories: What's New

Finance Automation and Efficiency Pave a Path of Growth for Small and Midsize Businesses

SAP News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 10:30
It’s no secret that growth matters for small and midsize businesses. But very rarely is a business able to accomplish and sustain this growth on their own.

Whether the business’ product or service takes off overnight or slowly grows a loyal followership over time, partnerships, acquisitions, and mergers have been a time-tested strategy for increasing revenues, boosting efficiencies, entering new markets, and strengthening the value of the business.

Recently, the Oxford Economics study “How Finance Leadership Pays Off: Small and Midsize Companies Can Boost Performance Through Finance,” sponsored by SAP, echoed the importance of this strategy. Of the surveyed business leaders running strategic, influential finance organizations in small and midsize businesses, 100% consider strategic growth initiatives – including mergers and acquisitions – as a core goal.

However, many companies are putting these growth opportunities in jeopardy by implementing technology without first creating an aligned and integrated digital strategy across the merged and acquired businesses. The individual business units may be sufficiently supported by technology in their own siloed views, but, all too often, a complex web of technology forms.

Clear the Way for Growth With the Right Tools

The key to a successful acquisition, merger, or partnership is taking advantage of the synergies and strengths of both parties. If the two businesses do not develop the power, authority, and technical and operational support of one company, the finance area cannot effectively govern and advise a path of maximized profitability, future-proofed operations, and value-driven customer experiences.

The first step towards resolving this common situation is to bridge the insight gap between the two businesses. By centralizing processes on one platform, the newly formed finance area can consider how operations can run more efficiently while automating nonstrategic, repetitive tasks and reassigning work in a way that aligns with each team member’s strengths.

From expense reports approval and intercompany reconciliation to invoice-to-payment matching, many finance organizations have started to automate some manual tasks using machine learning technologies to improve efficiency. Assigning business rules to functions enabled by a shared services platform help organizations distribute and process repetitive tasks accordingly. But this is only the start of what automation can accomplish.

New technologies enabled by artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things can drive even more efficiencies. Now, internal financial systems can learn from past transactions to address the individual needs of the tasks. Meanwhile, the finance team can focus on more strategic aspects of the business and investigate never-before-seen exceptions more thoroughly.

It is also important to note that all of these emerging technologies feed off of the Big Data captured in the internal IT systems with finance being the natural owner of that data. As data changes, so does the processing behavior. For this reason, it is critical to create a standard view of all financial and operational data on an intelligent ERP platform that users can access anytime and anywhere and weigh potential scenarios against financial implications with real-time analytics, prediction, and simulation.

Why Finance Needs to Keep Current Now to Prepare for the Future

As every finance leader knows, it’s always important to be prepared for any opportunity or risk that may come along. And this includes any mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships that may propel the business into a period of enormous growth.

For this reason, finance leaders must understand how the latest automation tools can help centralize data and business processes in a way that can make the business attractive to investors and ease the process of marrying two companies with fiduciary integrity, efficiency, and minimal risk. By automating time-consuming data crunching and transaction processing, the finance organization can be restructured to provide more strategic value to new company.

In the end, neither machine nor humans alone will secure growth for small and midsize businesses. It’s the two working together to create new services and value that will.

Discover how finance leaders from small and midsize businesses are building a reputation for driving strategic growth. Read the Oxford Economics study “How Finance Leadership Pays Off: Small and Midsize Companies Can Boost Performance Through Finance,” sponsored by SAP.

Henner Schliebs is global vice president of Finance Audience Marketing at SAP.

This story originally appeared on the Digitalist.

Categories: What's New

SAP Expands SAP IoT Connect 365 with Narrowband IoT Connectivity to Address Evolving Needs of Operators and Enterprises

SAP News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 10:00
WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the extension of the SAP IoT Connect 365 mobile service, adding narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) connectivity to its managed cloud-based service for operators and enterprises.

With connectivity among people, machines and things increasing exponentially, the NB-IoT connectivity provided by the enterprise service and the operator service for SAP IoT Connect 365 integrates applications that require indoor coverage, low cost and long battery life. With a single contract, operators and enterprises can streamline IoT connectivity with speed and ease, while securely and reliably meeting the needs of the connected world.

Through a virtual data center, SAP IoT Connect 365, enterprise service, and SAP IoT Connect 365, operator service, offer mobile network operators and enterprises unlimited NB-IoT bandwidth, with the ability to scale and adjust capacity as needed. Unlike on-premise deployments, which require high up-front investment, the new services can seamlessly connect to an existing network infrastructure and help minimize cost and time to market.

“SAP has extended narrowband-IoT protocol in its SAP IoT Connect 365. Working with carriers, it will enable new innovations for enterprise customers with minimal investment and impact on resources, allowing them to focus on bringing new solutions through new business models,” said Sethu Meenakshisundaram, president, SAP Digital Interconnect, SAP. “In response to customer needs, SAP has extended an existing offering that now allows operators and enterprises to serve their enterprise customers in innovative ways – with minimal investment and impact on resources. This lets them focus on increasing market share and profitability.”

The enterprise service and the operator service for SAP IoT Connect 365 manage the complex web of millions of connected things. The services enable customers to monitor usage, cost and performance of their global connected-object deployments, and in turn enhance their users’ experiences. By leveraging the services’ rich API, customers can efficiently enable multicountry deployments and connected-object management in real time.

With one connection and one SAP contract, operators and enterprises can drive competitive advantage, improve brand and marketing position and use global connectivity and management to differentiate themselves.

Find out more at SAP IoT Connect 365, enterprise service, and SAP IoT Connect 365, operator service.

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

Media Contacts:
Martin Gwisdalla, SAP, +49 (6227) 7-67275, martin.gwisdalla@sap.com, CET
Erin Albright, FleishmanHillard, +1 (617) 692-0543, erin.albright@fleishman.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.
© 2018 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 Big Data Margin Assurance, Cloud Edition, Helps Telecommunication Providers Improve Profitability

SAP News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 09:00
WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the release of the SAP Big Data Margin Assurance solution, cloud edition, to help communication service providers (CSPs) optimize profit margins of each customer.

The release comes ahead of Mobile World Congress 2018, the world’s largest gathering of the mobile industry, being held February 26 through March 1 in Barcelona.

SAP Big Data Margin Assurance, cloud edition, offers the full functionality of SAP Big Data Margin Assurance and the speed and value of cloud deployment. Originally developed as a co-innovation project, the cloud edition combines SAP Cloud Platform, Big Data, advanced analytics and machine learning to provide unique and powerful insights into customers, product margins and profitability. It is built on Cloud Foundry technology* in SAP Cloud Platform.

SAP Big Data Margin Assurance has helped carriers achieve deeper and more granular understanding of customer profitability. Because the solution leverages the speed of the SAP HANA database, business users are able to quickly measure the impact of specific product offerings on specific customers, enabling them to make rapid changes to offerings that directly impact the bottom line.

“CSPs need to continuously assess the margin performance of service offerings, tariffs and investments if they are to remain profitable,” said Adaora Okeleke, senior analyst, Telecoms Operations and IT, Ovum. “Tracking margin performance is becoming difficult given CSPs’ siloed approach toward cost and revenue analysis. A margin assurance approach based on Big Data analytics running in near real time has the potential to help CSPs link the costs and revenues associated with every business engagement, and provide insights to improve margins.”

SAP has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host SAP Big Data Margin Assurance, cloud edition, and anticipates adding additional cloud providers to its list of partners. On AWS, the cloud edition gives customers the shortest amount of time possible to receive insights into data and revenue growth for business users. It provides security features and data protection functions to support data privacy regulations, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“SAP Big Data Margin Assurance, cloud edition, enables operators to manage subscriber profitability in near real time, giving them a differentiated tool to optimize both top and bottom lines,” said Stephan Gatien, general manager of the Telecommunications Business, SAP. “The cloud edition demonstrates the robustness of SAP Cloud Platform as an application development platform and showcases SAP’s commitment to deliver next-generation vertical solutions addressing industry-specific business challenges.”

SAP Big Data Margin Assurance, cloud edition, is available for purchase in multiple options, with pricing based on SAP HANA database size, including a 128 GB starter package designed for trials with limited data sets. The cloud edition positions SAP as a leader in cloud services and as a reputable provider to companies who partner with other communications service providers.

Those attending Mobile World Congress can learn more about SAP Big Data Margin Assurance, cloud edition, and the SAP Leonardo industry accelerator packages that will be announced at the event. To learn more about the cloud edition, please visit SAP (Hall 3, Booth 3N31) at Mobile World Congress from February 26 to March 1, 2018. Join the conversation by following SAP for Telecommunications solutions on Twitter at @SAP_Telco.

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

Media Contact: Stacy Ries, +1 (484) 619-0411, stacy.ries@sap.com, ET

*SAP is a founding member of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.
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.
© 2018 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 to Help Commonwealth of Virginia Modernize Core Components of Medicaid Enterprise

Accenture News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 07:59
ARLINGTON, Va; Feb. 22, 2018 – The Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has selected Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to implement and operate core systems for Medicaid claims processing and operations. The contract will run for approximately six years, with operations and plan management components totaling $138 million.
Categories: What's New

Gigya Solutions from SAP Help Companies Protect Customer Data and Build Trust

SAP News - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:00
WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today introduced three new solutions supporting organizations that have a need to collect customer data in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) while delivering personalized experiences.

The three new products are available now and can be deployed separately or as a package.

  • SAP Hybris Identity, SAP Hybris Consent and SAP Hybris Profile support privacy, compliance and personalization
  • Companies can comply with GDPR and offer customers transparency and control

Many brands today are struggling to initiate and build trusted relationships with their online customers. Lack of transparency and control of personal information by brands has eroded trust in digital customer experiences. In fact, a recent survey shows that data being used without their knowledge is the chief reason consumers leave brands.

Overcoming the Compliance Challenge

GDPR, which is effective May 25, gives extensive new rights to EU residents and visitors and applies to organizations anywhere in the world that collect personal information from within the EU.

With the integration of its recent acquisition of Gigya, SAP now provides customers with solutions to support them in gaining transparency and control over their data, helping them overcome the compliance challenge with robust registration, consent preference and profile management. The solutions can quickly and securely scale to manage billions of identities and thousands of digital properties across hundreds of brands to help companies meet the requirements of evolving privacy and data protection regulations.

“With GDPR around the corner, the timing of these solutions couldn’t be better,” SAP Hybris President Alex Atzberger said. “At a time when SAP is doubling down on its strategy to provide the leading front-office suite, the combination of SAP Hybris and Gigya solutions is a tremendous benefit for customers. Importantly, it turns a compliance need into a strategic business advantage and creates more trusted customer relationships.”

Three New SAP Hybris Solutions from Gigya

SAP is bringing three new solutions to market to help organizations adopt a digital approach to drive more effective marketing, sales and service through data, while keeping the customer in control of how much data is shared:

SAP Hybris Identity establishes secure customer registration and login across websites, mobile applications and Internet of Things devices using flexible user authentication options, federation standards and single sign-on functionality. It captures and stores customer identity data for trusted and personalized digital experiences. Optimized registration flows increase conversion, while the platform helps protect consumers against identity fraud and data theft.

SAP Hybris Consent presents and captures customer consent for terms of service and privacy agreements, including cookie consent and marketing communications. For auditing purposes, consent agreements and consent history are tracked across the customer lifecycle. This information can be synchronized with marketing, sales and service applications. Customers are in control of their personal information with features for consent revocation, data export and account deletion. Consent records are stored in a secure data vault.

SAP Hybris Profile transforms customer identity information, profile attributes and other system data into a single customer view, which can be orchestrated in real time or in batch to virtually any application, service or data warehouse. Organizations can govern all the information in these single customer views throughout the customer’s lifecycle. With the platform — and providing consumer consent and transparency has been granted — SAP customers can analyze data within these single customer views to plan, predict and optimize digital experiences to support sales and services.

“If data is the new oil, then trust is the ultimate currency that drives this new data economy,” Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer said. “To create trust, consumers demand transparency and control over how their customer data is managed. GDPR goes further by legally requiring it. With these new SAP Hybris offerings from Gigya we can provide one of the only solutions on the market that create trusted customer relationships — just four months after SAP announced its intent to acquire Gigya.”

Further details about Gigya solutions are available 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 378,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.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.
© 2018 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

How Prescriptive Recruiting Improves the Odds of Finding Your Best Match

SAP News - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:45
Most people like to equate the recruiting process with dating. Starting with a gentle introduction from a mutual acquaintance or with a simple greeting, the relationship steadily escalates over coffee, phone calls, text messages, emails, and perhaps an interview or three. Then the inevitable happens: days, if not weeks, can go by until the recruiter calls back again.

Approximately 60% of us have been there, according to the Future Workplace & CareerArc study, conducted by Workplace Trends. We sit at home wondering where it all went wrong and what we could have done better. But really, it’s the recruiting process that went wrong, not how we presented ourselves.

In today’s 24×7 digital world, time is of the essence when it comes to acquiring new talent. In fact, TalentBoard’s North American Candidate Experience Research Report revealed that 49% of surveyed job candidates experience a lapse of one week between the last interview and the offer letter. Unfortunately for recruiters bogged down with the complexity of working with multiple teams and a dizzying array of channels and solutions, this moment of silence can turn into a moment of lost top talent.

The Importance of Time-Tested Best Practices for Hiring the Best Talent

Very rare is the person who can wait days – or even weeks – in dead silence to find out whether they are being offered a job without any type of expectation setting. Sometimes there’s another company, most likely a competitor, waiting in the wings to hire them before someone else does. Other times, the candidate’s employer may consider options to convince them not to leave.

Recently, I was reminded of how much an excellent recruiting process can make a difference. I was engaged in the interviewing process for two separate companies at the same time. I spent more than a week talking and meeting executives at both companies. When everything was said and done, I received a phone call that an offer would be coming soon. A few days later, I received the offer. But I didn’t immediately accept it because I wanted to know what the other company would propose. For a few days, I waited for that second offer letter – and grew more impatient. After a week of me following up, but not hearing anything, I seriously questioned that company’s interest. Although I can safely say that I accepted the original offer for a multitude of reasons, the mutual respect between my hiring manager, myself, and the recruiter was a critical factor in my decision. I did receive the second offer a day after I accepted my original offer. The second company was not happy I had selected another offer, but seriously what do they expect – poor communication and lack of respect for someone’s time and effort.

This situation happens to companies and candidates every day, but it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right tools, a company’s employer brand can maintain a highly visible and attractive experience that keeps candidates engaged, vested, and immune to competing overtures and promises. This may be a tall order for the HR organization to achieve, but it’s possible with the use of industry-leading practices, or what we call a “model company.”

Why Your Recruiters Need to Act Like a Model Company

First off, I am a firm believer that organizational transformation is 90% process and 10% product. As a set of highly researched, rapidly configured end-to-end reference solutions, model company services quickly address the specific demands of the recruiting experience. The latest applications and validated best practices help evolve every aspect of the process – from the perspective of the recruiter and job candidate. Plus, the approach helps remove administrative complexities, future-proof new technology adoption, leverage new business rules, shorten the time to fill a position, and reduce the cost per hire.

Value-add, strategic, and up-to-date, model company services deliver unprecedented capabilities to four primary areas of the recruiting process:

  • Requisition: Best practices and prescribed business rules help shorten time to hire from weeks to just a day or two. Over time, this benefit can compound into thousands of recruiting hours saved, which is a massive enhancement to productivity. With a streamlined requisition process, recruiters can create a job request and start distributing across channels quickly in the most appropriate formats. Plus, recruiters can engage in more meaningful work and focus more on the candidate relationship by removing tasks that provide little value to the final outcome and are not required by regulations.
  • Candidate experience: When people apply for a job, they want a fast, easy way to know which positions are open, why employees like working for the employer, how to submit their application, and whether the application is being reviewed. Addressing each of these areas with predefined templates and processes can help recruiters gain a significant advantage over their competitors that do not provide a leading candidate experience. By minimizing the complexity of managing job content and applying appropriate prescreening practices, the application drop-off rate decreases while overall candidate satisfaction increases.
  • Candidate selection: For any given requisition, recruiters can spend hours upon hours reviewing applications. Proven efficiencies in screening and assessments can help narrow the field, followed by streamlined, data-oriented interview processes and efficient offer approvals. One of the most promising, yet untapped, areas in candidate selection is the ability to generate a list of recommended candidates through machine learning and predictive analytics. These best practices can help ensure that the hiring manager is included throughout the process – not just during the interview – to play a more significant role in being a partner to recruiting and ensuring candidate success.
  • Offer-to-onboarding process: After significant time, mindshare, and money are spent on acquiring the right person for the job, a seamless transition from “candidate” to “new hire” is essential. All too often, a lack of engagement and alignment between the hiring manager and the new hire leads to short-term attrition. When seamlessly integrated with the recruiting process, onboarding can turn the candidate experience into employee engagement by allowing hiring managers to interact with their team members without disruption.

It’s Time to Run the Recruiting Process More Like a Courtship

Ultimately, companies that don’t show interest in their candidates are the ones that will lose out on the best talent available. For recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates, model company services can quickly change the success of talent acquisition by streamlining each step of the process to accelerate time to hire and provide full transparency to all parties. With this approach, recruiters will do more than source, select, and build relationships with their candidates – they will also serve as the first line of action for employee engagement.

To learn more about SAP Model Company for HR, check out this white paper, “Turning People Strategies into a Catalyst for Change: A Prescriptive, Preconfigured, and Leading-Practice Approach to HR Digitalization.”

Jeff Mills is director of Solution Management for Talent Acquisition at SAP SuccessFactors

Categories: What's New

How to Build Better Customer Loyalty with Authenticity

SAP News - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:15
Successful customer loyalty programs can seem like an impossible dream for a retailer, but their potential for repeat business makes them well worth pursuing — if done properly.

Store credit cards, for example, might appear to be a good place to start, as 40 percent of shoppers who have one indicate that they’re more likely to return.

“That has more retailers working to get customers to sign up for their own branded store credit cards … to encourage purchases, grow ticket sizes, and breed loyalty,” Retail Dive stated last week. “The good news for retailers is that they seem to be making progress.”

But that progress could turn out to be unacceptably slow because defining — and earning — customer loyalty isn’t so simple, according to a panel of retail experts at NRF 2018. A loyal customer isn’t necessarily someone who regularly buys from you; and what drives loyalty for other retailers probably won’t work for you.

Rethinking Who’s Loyal

“You need to look inwardly about what is the definition of a loyal customer — not to your peers in the industry,” John Allen, chief technology officer of U.K.-based fast-fashion retailer Missguided told the panel. “What happens in grocery is completely different for fashion, merchandise, sportswear, etc.”

Frequent buying doesn’t necessarily make a customer loyal; nor do frequent returns make another customer disloyal, according to Allen. And many loyalty programs have focused on only one segment of the retailer’s catalog, to the detriment of their wider range of products — and ignoring loyal customers who didn’t shop that segment.

“All of these things need to be taken into account when you look at loyalty … [and] that sort of analysis — and continued analysis — needs to be in place,” Allen said. “It’s not about the product anymore — it’s about the brand; I think that brand advocates in the world of social media can have a very much greater contribution — and be more loyal — than those who are buying lots of products.”

Making It Easy, Experiential and Beneficial

“There’s definitely a correlation between brands that have loyalty programs and brands that do a better job understanding their customer and deploying that information,” Evan Neufeld, Intelligence VP at New York-based business intelligence firm L2 Inc., told the panel. “Digital has opened up our expectations … it’s about experiential rewards: It’s being given exclusive offers; it’s being told something’s happening in-store; it’s getting some sort of loyalty points for actually sharing your information socially with your friends.”

Brands have historically created loyalty programs to help themselves, often at the expense of the customer; going forward, they must align their benefits with benefits to the customer, according to Neufeld. They must also make clear the distinct value of membership — so that new customers will join as easily and efficiently as possible.

“It’s the small things that people are missing that make life easier,” Neufeld said, citing brands that bury their loyalty program registration in the nether regions of their websites. “If you have one, make sure that you’re making it available so consumers can actually reach it.”

Where Customer Loyalty Begins

“Loyalty starts by having a definition of who your customer is — and really focusing on your customer,” Neufeld said. “That’s why mass brands have a huge challenge.”

Those retail giants are often trying to sell everything to everybody, where smaller retailers tend to focus on narrow demographics, according to Neufeld. It’s tempting for big brands to try attracting customers with sales — but that paints consumers with too broad a brush, which won’t hold their attention.

“We see completely different buying behavior, even from the same pool of people,” Missguided’s Allen said. “If you’re selling a range of products, as most of us do … then your loyalty program is not going to work across all of those — even if you’ve worked out who your customer is.”

The Human Element

“The No. 1 way that people navigate things to do is by friends and family,” L2’s Neufeld said. “[It’s] by recommendation and social media.”

Your brand’s message must resonate socially, according to Neufeld said. It’s about trusting your customers to share your message, tag your products and more.

“That’s when you’re going to have authenticity behind your brand,” Neufeld said. “And that’s when you’re going to be successful at loyalty and personalization.”

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

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

Categories: What's New

IoT Can’t Connect the Next Billion Until We Reinvent Mobile

SAP News - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:00
The most innovative technology on the planet today has been in our back pockets all along: smart phones.

You heard right, mobile has re-emerged as the revolutionizing technology behind the latest revolutions like IoT, virtual reality, and machine learning. That’s because cellular technology is what will support connected coffeemakers, blockchain-enabled pharmaceutical supply chains, and machine learning algorithms in fashion retail stores — all delivering unprecedented efficiencies and actionable insights to businesses, governments, and communities. What’s lost in the fanfare is how these latest innovations are animating new conversations about mobile.

“Connectivity has to be affordable, globally accessible, and energy efficient for always-on performance,” said Rohit Tripathi, general manager and head of Products for SAP Digital Interconnect. “We’re working with companies on this next frontier using SAP Digital Interconnect. One example is an agricultural equipment manufacturer aiming to help farmers save costs and increase crop yields with sensors that will track vehicles and monitor field cultivation activities.”

#Mobile re-emerges as revolutionizing tech behind IoT, virtual reality, machine learning

Road Map to Connect the Next Billion

It’s not a stretch to say that mobile connectivity is among the many critical technologies making the latest incarnation of the digital economy hum. In scenarios large and small, from life-saving SMS messaging for schools and parents during natural disasters to real-time data collected from devices on factory floors, connectivity is crucial to everything. Connected cars will transform the automobile industry, potentially reducing tens of thousands of deaths from traffic accidents. Smart homes are within reach of anyone able to install an IoT-enabled thermostat. It’s an endless list backed by forecasts from heavy hitting researchers.

Ovum reports there will be almost 1 billion cellular, machine-to-machine connections worldwide by 2020 within an IoT ecosystem of tens of billions of devices. By the same year, Gartner predicts IoT technology will be in 95 percent of the electronics we buy, and it’s smartphones that will activate these devices. Mobile messaging is another area undergoing fundamental change as billions of messages between consumers and companies involve smart bots. Forrester researchers predict intelligent agents will directly influence 10 percent of purchase decisions in 2018. Perhaps the bigger question is how hyperconnectivity between people and machines impacts global businesses and their customers.

“Leading companies are using the hyperconnected digital economy to transform operations and rewrite the rules of engagement with consumers and employees,” said Tripathi. “Whether it’s retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, hospitality, agriculture, energy or healthcare, the business of connecting everything is an important element every company needs to address for survival.”

Follow me: @smgaler

Top image via Shutterstock

Categories: What's New

SAP at #MWC18: Six Can’t-Miss Experiences Showing How Businesses Turn Thinking Into Doing

SAP News - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 10:00
Are you going to Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, February 26 to March 1? If so, be sure to plan time in your schedule to experience digital business unlike you’ve ever seen before.

Visit SAP in Hall 3, stand #3N31, where you’ll see how to Turn Thinking Into Doing to stay competitive in the new era of digital business.

SAP has an exciting program lined up with live theater sessions, interactive showcases, insightful panel discussions, and plenty of SAP experts available to answer your questions – plus some very cool prizes and giveaways. Hear what SAP customers and analysts are saying about SAP Cloud Platform in two panel discussions at the SAP stand theater on Monday, February 26: Analysts Panel at 4:15 p.m. and SAP Customer Panel at 4:45 p.m.

Find out how the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system, which brings machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, analytics, and Big Data together on SAP Cloud Platform, enables companies to rapidly innovate and scale to redefine their business for the digital world. Learn how industry-specific accelerators for SAP Leonardo seamlessly bridge the gap between innovating and operating in a real-time business environment. Discover the passion and drive of SAP Startup Focus, a global program of visionaries and entrepreneurs with the mission of building an ecosystem of open innovation based on the creation of value-driven technology solutions by SAP’s startup partners.

To find out more, visit the SAP at Mobile World Congress 2018 website.

Visit @SAP at #MWC18: Hall 3, stand 3N31. Find out How to Turn Thinking into Doing for Business in a Connected World

Innovating with Purpose: SAP Shows Its Support for the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

Creating a Better Future is the official theme for Mobile World Congress 2018. This year event organizer GSMA steps up to show the wider benefits mobile technology can bring to society, chiefly through support of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To find out more, watch the MWC18 preview video here. Underscoring this message, SAP will also demonstrate its support for the UN SDGs, specifically Goal 4: Quality Education and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals, by drawing on its vast network and resources to connect IT influencers with next generation innovators to catalyze change.

Featured at the SAP stand is SAP Next-Gen, a purpose-driven innovation community supporting SAP’s commitment to the 17 UN Global Goals for sustainable development. An innovation platform for SAP’s 378,000+ customers, SAP Next-Gen connects customers to academic thought leaders and researchers, students, startups, tech community partners, venture firms, purpose-driven partners, and SAP experts to reimagine the future of industries with SAP Leonardo, seed in disruptive innovation with startups, and build skills for digital futures.

Code with Purpose, a pioneering initiative by SAP Next-Gen, inspires next-generation developers to link their coding projects to social change supporting the UN Global Goals. In alignment with SAP’s vision to help the world run better and improve people’s lives, the Code with Purpose Hackathon enables students to develop disruptive ideas and prototype apps contributing to social change in support of the UN Global Goals. Watch the winners present their project on Thursday, March 1 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at the SAP stand theater.

#sheinnovates is a global initiative supporting the UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change. In collaboration with UN Women, SAP will host daily #sheinnovates panels comprising senior executives of global technology firms and activists, including representatives of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. Panelists will exchange insights and look for ways of accelerating industry-wide change and removing the barriers to the advancement of women and girls in innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. Panel discussions will take place in the SAP Stand Theater on Monday, Feb. 26, 10:20 a.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 27, 11:00 a.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 28, 4:00 p.m.; and Thursday, Mar. 1, 12:00 p.m.

Six Can’t-Miss Experiences for How to Turn Thinking into Doing

The Future-Ready Enterprise
Data-driven design kicks the digital economy into the goal zone with this immersive virtual reality (VR) showcase inspired by adidas. Unlock your on-court potential in this interactive experience that lets you design, manufacture, and deliver your own customized, on-trend sports shoe. Take a seat in one of SAP’s VR chairs and go on a virtual tour of a hyperintelligent enterprise, where radically accelerated footwear production is integrated with a tailor-made consumer experience.

Experience the game-on action delivered by SAP S/4HANA Cloud software teamed up with SAP Leonardo as you enter the digital core and tour the enterprise. Visit the marketing and sales playground, interact with your digital twin to optimize your production and design concept, monitor procurement from a digital futuristic boardroom. See how manufacturing accelerates the time to market for your fantasy sports shoe, and finally get it delivered virtually by drone through a logistics network driven by IoT and blockchain technology.

Mobile World Congress marks the premiere of this exciting showcase. Be one of the first to experience the world-class manufacturing environment of the future-ready enterprise!

SAP Cloud Platform
Master digital business on SAP Cloud Platform, the open platform-as-a-service (PaaS) of choice for enterprises, large and small. Visit the showcase to see the exciting ways that businesses are leveraging the power of a cloud-based platform to connect, personalize, and build applications. See how SAP customers and partners can innovate or extend collaborative, mobile-enabled cloud applications with in-memory capabilities, core platform services, and unique business services. Ask about SAP’s new offerings that make cloud services more accessible, flexible, and faster to implement for your business.

At this interactive showcase, speed and agility are the keys to testing your powers to navigate a virtual maze in a retail setting. The Shopping Bot game puts the fun into experiencing digital transformation in the cloud with a hands-on competition that uses a mobile app to control a Star Wars BB-9E Sphero droid as it passes through a series of retail kiosks – demonstrating the power of cloud services to deliver a seamless, digital customer experience. Challenge your colleagues to see who navigates the maze the fastest. There will be a daily prize drawing for an app-controlled Star Wars BB-9E Droid from Sphero. It could be yours to take home!

Apple and SAP Partnership
The Apple and SAP Partnership showcase presents an unparalleled mobile work experience through the digital harmonization of SAP Leonardo and Apple technologies. Experience SAP’s enterprise apps for iOS and learn how you can work with the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS to create your own intelligent enterprise apps for Apple iOS based on the SAP Fiori for iOS design guidelines.

Start by taking part in an immersive demo experience that examines a realistic business scenario using digital transformational technologies: Manufacturing with Apple iOS and SAP Leonardo. This end-to-end manufacturing and asset maintenance scenario shows the combined power of SAP S/4HANA, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP Leonardo. It begins in the production cockpit, where the production manager leverages SAP Leonardo and the mobile production manager app to gain an overview of the shop floor. A predictive maintenance order is triggered through the IoT capabilities of SAP Leonardo, directing resources to a faulty asset. In the second scenario, a maintenance technician applies the machine learning capabilities of SAP Leonardo with the augmented reality (AR) capabilities of the Apple AR Kit to gain more information about the asset. Once the asset is repaired, the technician uses the blockchain capabilities of SAP Leonardo to validate the warranty of the broken asset. These are just some of the possibilities when leading technology companies team up to make businesses Run Live. Come by and let SAP Experts show you how to implement intelligent enterprise apps for Apple iOS in your business.

SAP Live Airport
Take flight with a holistic vision for SAP Leonardo in this interactive showcase. Engage in scenarios that are common to the busy, complex hub that typifies an airport, where key technologies that support digital transformation simplify some of the most complex challenges of transport, logistics, workforce management, and retail. You’ll see how common occurrences like flight delays and long lines at security can be transformed into positive, customer-centric experiences using the emerging technologies available in SAP Leonardo – like, IoT for efficient fleet management, heat mapping, and predictive maintenance, as well as AR for additional real-time business impact on SAP Cloud Platform. Find out how leading SAP solutions like SAP Hybris optimize opportunities to provide superior retail experiences through personalized advertising and marketing campaigns. A visit to the SAP Live Airport showcase is your ticket to exploring new business and service models that are waiting to be discovered with SAP Leonardo.

SAP Connected Car
Get behind the wheel of a sporty FIAT 124 Spider Abarth roadster for a whole new driving experience. You can almost hear that Italian engine roar as you take a virtual drive through three scenarios for connected mobility, powered by SAP Leonardo. With technology and data combined from the SAP Vehicles Network, SAP Concur, and Tantalum, you will enter into a new era of in-car services. From parking reservation to cashless services, like fueling and in-trip food ordering and delivery – it’s all possible now from the comfort and convenience of your driver’s seat. Che bella macchina!

SAP Digital Boardroom
Equip your executives with contextualized, real-time information for decision making. SAP Digital Boardroom demonstrates a live executive management cockpit that can be used to power board meetings with real-time data coming from the digital core with SAP S/4HANA, augmented by auxiliary analytical and transactional systems. New to SAP Digital Boardroom this year is the expanded SAP multi-industry footprint that highlights the company’s strong presence across various industries. New analytics scenarios and capabilities have also been added to round out the capabilities of this perennial favorite showcase. Microsoft Surface Hub technology provides visitors with a highly interactive, engaging experience that demonstrates the power of collaborative decision making with real-time corporate data.

For more information, visit SAP at Mobile World Congress 2018. Follow SAP on Twitter at #MWC18 at @SAP_Telco. See you in Barcelona!

Categories: What's New

SAP Raises Dividend Policy to 40% or More of Profit after Tax; Recommends a Dividend of €1.40 per Share

SAP News - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 09:33
WALLDORF, Germany – The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board of SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) recommend that shareholders approve a dividend of €1.40 per share for the fiscal year 2017 at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

This represents a year-over-year increase of €0.15, or 12% compared to last year’s dividend of €1.25. If the shareholders approve this recommendation and if treasury shares remain at the 2017 closing level, the total amount of dividends to be distributed will be approximately €1.67 billion (2016: €1.5 billion), representing a pay-out ratio of 41% (2016: 41%). Further, SAP has increased the dividend policy to 40% or more of profit after tax (previously more than 35%).

“With strong growth and positive cash flow in 2017, we had a very successful year. We are recommending a 12% higher dividend, so our shareholders will participate greatly in this success,” said Luka Mucic, Chief Financial Officer, SAP. “Further, to emphasize our attractive dividend, we are adjusting our dividend policy upwards, to consistently pay an annual dividend of 40% or more of profit after tax.”

The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders is scheduled for May 17, 2018 in Mannheim, Germany. The 2017 fiscal year dividend is scheduled to be paid on or after May 22, 2018.

Note to holders of SAP ADRs (American Depositary Receipts): One SAP ADR represents one SAP SE share. The final dividend amount per ADR is dependent upon the euro/US dollar exchange rate. Since SAP SE pays cash dividends on the ordinary shares in euro, the exchange rate fluctuations will affect the US dollar amounts received by holders of ADRs. The final dividend payment by SAP SE to the depositary bank is scheduled for May 22, 2018. The depositary bank will then convert the dividend payment from euro into US dollars as promptly as practicable.

About SAP

As a 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 378,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

For more information, financial community only:
Stefan Gruber, +49 (6227) 7-44872, investor@sap.com, CET

Follow SAP Investor Relations on Twitter at @sapinvestor.

For more information, press only:
Nicola Leske, +49 (6227) 7-50852, nicola.leske@sap.com, CET
Daniel Reinhardt, +49 (6227) 7-40201, daniel.reinhardt@sap.com, CET
Rajiv Sekhri, +49 (6227) 7-74871, rajiv.sekhri@sap.com, CET

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)

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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.
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Top image via Shutterstock

Categories: What's New

The Business of Being Human

SAP News - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 09:15
The industrial revolution made us wealthier, healthier, and, arguably, more civilized. But it took a big toll on sour humanness. The Q1 issue of the Digitalist Executive Quarterly is now available.

The skills that allowed artisans to build a clock or sew a dress from designs in their minds were lost, while repetitive tasks on assembly lines or in office cubicles became the dominant human contribution to the economy. Uniquely human abilities became so overlooked over time that they were lumped together under the dismissive term soft skills and confined to a few “noncore” areas like marketing, PR, and design.

But now the traits that make us human are becoming more valuable than ever before. Robots, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will ultimately take over rote, repetitive tasks, forcing us to focus on what machines can’t do. In the future, the so-called soft stuff will be what puts food on the table.

As we argue in one of Digitalist Magazine Executive Quarterly features, “The Human Angle,” being good at being human doesn’t necessarily come naturally. According to psychologist and researcher Tasha Eurich, just 10% to 15% of us possess self-awareness, even though it’s the foundation for excelling at our most human skills: creativity, problem solving, empathy, and cooperation.

AI and machine learning will challenge us to hone these skills. Thanks to advances in brain science and behavioral psychology, we have new ways to learn or improve them. But we will also need to learn how to collaborate with the machines.

Human-machine collaboration isn’t new. Technology has always helped us augment our abilities—whether it’s the stone tips on ancient spears that enabled our ancestors to obtain food and defend themselves or the exoskeletons that today enable us to move large objects with dexterity that machines alone can’t match. We worry that machines are evolving at such a rapid pace that we might not be able to keep up, but like our forebears, we are discovering how to harness new technologies to our advantage.

Our cover story, “The Blockchain Solution,” offers proof that augmenting human abilities will be another way that organizations stir up their industries in the future—specifically, the supply chain. Today’s supply chains are so complex that they require a tremendous number of human intermediaries to plug the gaps: lawyers, accountants, customer service reps, warehouse operators, bankers, and more. A combination of emerging technologies, including blockchain, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things, will reduce the need for human intermediaries and allow us to focus instead on using our creativity to transform the supply chain from a tactical cost center to a lever for competitive advantage.

Ultimately, however, improving our human skills individually will mean nothing if our colleagues don’t reciprocate.

CIOs are trailblazers in this regard. They have long understood that success requires the support of a broad, diverse group of executives and employees. Our feature “Hack the CIO” reveals the strategies CIOs use to unite the organization in pursuit of a single goal.

As AI and machine learning take hold, so must the CIO’s guiding mindset. CIOs could never afford to be afraid of technology. Neither can we. The connection humans make with AI and machine learning must be a symbiosis rather than a confrontation. But it will only be a symbiosis if we take decisive action to make it so.

You may be thinking that’s easy for us to say. But we believe that the research supports us. Read this quarter’s issue to see if you agree.

Categories: What's New

AFRIKA KOMMT!: A Win-Win Situation for Quality Education

SAP News - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:00
SAP invites young African entrepreneurs to Germany to enhance their business skills. In return, the company aims to build a talent pipeline in this growing market.

When she visited SAP for the very first time, Yvonne Oluoch couldn’t believe the sheer size of the company. Yvonne comes from the countryside outside Nairobi and founded a start-up called “S.K.I.R.T.S.” in her home town to support women working in the technology sector.

In April 2016, she was selected from 30 African participants to come to Germany for a year to attend a three-month language course and then work in a large company to gain experience on the job. “It’s one thing to say from afar — ‘Wow! SAP is so big!’ — but it’s another to come here and see it for yourself,” says Yvonne.

As SAP’s sixth AFRIKA KOMMT! intern, she worked with the SAP IoT Moving Assets team for nine months. At the end of that time, SAP’s size was no longer one of the stand-out impressions she took away with her: “I got to work with a very dynamic team and with great leaders. I admired the level of expertise we had in the team and I learned a lot in the time I was there. The ability to stay focused and get things done will help me become a better leader myself.”

“My own startup, S.K.I.R.T.S., offers a portfolio of tech capacity building to address women, make tech jobs more appealing to them, and help them get started. If you want to succeed as a business woman, especially in Africa, you need to have good management skills. For me, having the opportunity to spend my AFRIKA KOMMT! internship at SAP was a dream come true. I got to work in the tech field, which is really close to my heart, and I took away many important skills that are transferable to my start-up and will help me give something back from my great experiences in Germany.”

— Yvonne Oluoch, program year 2016

In 2008, 19 major German companies, one of them SAP, came together to establish an initiative aimed at providing training for young managers from selected sub-Saharan African countries. They called it “AFRIKA KOMMT!” — German for “Africa is coming!” and a reflection of their belief in Africa’s huge potential and bright future.

The program provides a framework for sustainable economic cooperation with Africa and gives participants knowledge and experience that they can continue to pass on in their home countries. The core of the program is one year’s management training in Germany. After completing a German language course, participants spend at least eight months at a company and are involved in the work processes there. The internship is also supplemented by three international management courses, a study tour, and weekend seminars offered by the participating foundations and German development agency GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH).

Strengthening Education and Growth

For SAP, as one of 162 companies worldwide that have committed to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), AFRIKA KOMMT! is a key initiative in the implementation of Goal 4: Quality Education. Having benefitted from SAP’s contribution to their personal development, young African managers can go on to find unique ways of leveraging their experiences inside and outside SAP, often promoting education and growth in their home countries in the process.

“SAP was in line with my vision for my professional career, and I really fell in love with technology during my internship. I also appreciated the way that SAP sees Africa – as a place of great challenges, but also of many opportunities that can be unlocked by leveraging technology. Young people are one of Africa’s greatest assets, and I was inspired to see SAP investing in developing Africa’s youth. I currently lead SAP Next-Gen and SAP University Alliances in Africa, where we partner academic institutions, students, startups, and incubators with the SAP ecosystem to develop Africa’s future talent and drive innovation with purpose.”

— Kwena Mabotja, program year 2014


Companies benefit from the program, too, because the AFRIKA KOMMT! participants stimulate intercultural exchange and bring a different perspective to their respective teams at SAP.

Michaela Degbeon, vice president of Product Management for IoT Moving Assets, who mentored Yvonne, says: “It was great having a young, ambitious, and smart colleague like Yvonne joining the team and bringing in a completely new perspective. She shared many insights about Africa with us, which helped us understand the continent better from a business perspective. I believe that AFRIKA KOMMT! is a great opportunity for both the participants and the hiring companies. I even think SAP should consider taking on more participants from AFRIKA KOMMT! in the future. Growing a talent pipeline in Africa would give us a great strategic advantage.”

SAP Global HR Business Partner Ilka Wiskemann, the SAP representative for the program, points out: “The AFRIKA KOMMT! initiative provides a great opportunity to build bridges between Africa and Germany. To do business in any country, SAP needs people who understand the local culture and who are experienced in the way businesses are run locally. That means hiring talented people from the countries where it intends to innovate and expand its business. For their part, the program participants learn about successful business operations and about how leaders can set up organizations and manage teams and processes effectively. Africa is highly relevant for SAP’s future digital journey.”

“I was working part time as a tutor at the State University of Zanzibar and as a software developer at a small IT consulting firm when I decided to participate in AFRIKA KOMMT! It was the best career decision I have ever made. Not only does the program provide technical experience at one of the top companies in the industry, but it is also a good opportunity to get business and cultural exposure. During my master’s studies, the experience I gained at SAP helped me stand out, and I am still benefiting from all that I learned at SAP in every aspect of my career.”

— Salim Salim, program year 2014

Ann Rosenberg, senior vice president and global head of the SAP Next-Gen, SAP University Alliances, and SAP Young Thinkers programs, says, “My team is fully aligned with SAP’s commitment to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including goal four, Quality Education, both on a global basis, and also with a dedicated focus for Africa. What we see there is a tremendous opportunity to enable the next generation of Africans with SAP knowledge and skills to accelerate them in becoming the future developers, data scientists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders for Africa. We strongly support AFRIKA KOMMT! and look forward to continuing to sustain educational initiatives to prepare a next-generation, SAP-skilled talent pool for Africa.”

Categories: What's New

From Job Loss to Jail Sentences, Data Protection and Privacy Is No Joke

SAP News - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 11:15
People are increasingly fed up with their personal information being leaked. Look at the recent case with the Equifax breach in the United States. Some 143 million people may have had their most sensitive data leaked, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some instances, driver’s license and credit card numbers. That’s a big deal.

It remains to be seen if anyone in Equifax will face jail time, but it’s already resulted in the CEO, CIO, and CISO being forced to leave the company.

American companies could learn a lot about data protection and privacy from our friends in Europe. For Europeans, the right to data protection and privacy is a fundamental right similar to our right to free speech. This right has been further strengthened with the latest general overhaul of the data protection and privacy legislation, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will apply in May 2018. Potential fines for not following the GDPR are no longer a slap on the wrist, but instead could seriously endanger a company’s livelihood. Along with increased fines, there is also talk of possible jail sentences for senior managers in cases of intentional violations. Realistically, the average employee will not likely face jail time for not following proper data protection and privacy policies, but data protection and privacy is everyone’s responsibility in a company.

So, what can you do to protect yourself and your organization’s reputation? You may want to appoint a competent data protection officer (DPO). The DPO is responsible to advise and monitor data protection compliance within the organization. Typical tasks of a DPO include:

  • Inform, advise and issue recommendations to the company regarding compliance with data protection laws
  • Assist with the implementation, management and monitoring of data protection strategy and the creation and roll-out of policies, guidelines and data protection awareness training
  • Monitor compliance against the relevant data protection and privacy regulations
  • Identify and manage risks related to data protection, and escalate data protection risks and issues to executives, as needed
  • Cooperate with the designated supervisory and other data protection authorities, and consult, where appropriate, on issues relating to data processing
  • Provide advice where requested as regards the Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) and monitor their performance accordingly

Under the GDPR, it will become mandatory for certain companies to designate a Data Protection Officer. This will be the case for all public authorities and bodies that process personal data, and for other organizations that – as a core activity – monitor individuals systematically and on a large scale, or that process special categories of personal data on a large scale. The Article 29 Working Party has provided additional guidance (paper 243 – PDF download) on the topic.

Getting back to the Equifax example. If Equifax was subject to the upcoming GDPR regulation, they could have faced a fine of around $62.9 million (based on its 2016 operating revenue of $3.145 billion) for not reporting the data breach earlier – and senior management may have faced criminal charges. A good DPO would have advised the company to come clean immediately. Unfortunately for them, they did not do that and Equifax is now a household name in the US – for all of the wrong reasons.

Learn more about how SAP SuccessFactors can help you prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation here.

Kim Lessley is director of Solution Management for Cloud Security at SAP SuccessFactors.

Categories: What's New

SAP Ariba Live 2018: The Stark Truth About Workplace Diversity and What We Can Do About It

SAP News - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:00
Driven by a whirlwind of breaking news on all fronts, workplace diversity is breaking free from the confines of human resources to confront business with some stark truths and a mandate for lasting change. With SAP Ariba Live less than two weeks away, I reached out to Chief Marketing Officer Tifenn Dano Kwan for her thoughts on what’s going on and why.

SAP Ariba CMO Tifenn Dano Kwan said companies have to embrace diversity for the right reasons.

“An empowerment movement is happening outside of the workplace that’s taking the world by storm,” said Kwan. “People are breaking free of bias and traditional ways of thinking, and society is evolving.  We are seeing this front and center in the business world where diversity is no longer just an HR topic, but something that deeply impacts all of us in our personal and professional lives.”

Diversity Is Good Business

Innovation in a hyper-competitive world requires diversity, making it a strong differentiator.

“Businesses have to embrace diversity for the right reasons. Studies prove the best ideas don’t come from homogeneous teams, but rather diverse groups with different backgrounds who think differently. That’s what sparks innovation,” said Kwan.

Studies prove diversity sparks innovation — diverse groups with different backgrounds who think differently

SAP Ariba Forum Provokes Action

The expansion of the renowned Women in Leadership luncheon at SAP Ariba Live reflects the larger trends playing out across the business landscape. Now called the “Diversity and Leadership Forum,” the insightful track is designed to provoke conversations that lead to action. It includes the following sessions:

  • Diversity and Leadership Lunch: Surfacing Unconscious Bias
    Top experts share insights and stories of success, including best-selling author, acclaimed speaker and worldwide advocate, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, and Anka Wittenberg, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Head of People Sustainability at SAP.
  • Leadership of the Future in Procurement: Get Ready!
    Panelists explore three of the six key concepts in Marshall Goldsmith’s vision of leadership of the future: cross-cultural appreciation, technology savviness, and shared leadership.
  • Advocacy in Action: An Invitation for Men to Support Gender Equality
    How men and women can take an active role in advocating for gender equality by providing actionable ideas for driving change both individually and in the workplace.
  • Business with Purpose: Small Changes, Big Impact — How to Commit to Action
    This interactive session explores a method that reveals unconscious bias at work and how perceptions of social groups shape our judgements about people’s character, abilities, and potential.
Procurement Isn’t Just About How Much You Spend

As the front line to a company’s suppliers, Kwan thinks people in procurement can make a tremendous difference when it comes to diversity.

“People in procurement can decide to build diverse, ethical supply chains, using the power of the Ariba Network to connect with woman-owned, LGBTQ and minority suppliers and drive changes that make a difference for their organizations and the world,” said Kwan.And this is what we are hoping to inspire them to do.”

Follow me: @smgaler

Top image via Shutterstock

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