What's New

Mules and Technology Deliver Payroll at the Top of the World

SAP News - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 12:45
Pakistan is a vertical country. Many of its army and civil administration posts are nestled in the highest mountains in the world, including Nanga Prabat, Godvin Austin, and K2, also known as the “killer mountain,” which is higher than 7000 meters.

Part of the Himalayan range spanning five nations, conditions in Pakistan’s peaks are among the most inhospitable in the world.

“Delivering payroll is not an easy task,” says Shagufta Khanum, Controller General for the Government of Pakistan. “We use helicopters and mules to deliver the salaries of soldiers based up there. There are no banks or mobile reception up there, so people really depend on us to deliver their money on time.”

The Controller General’s organization is Pakistan’s main government agency for managing and disbursing government funds. Her signature appears on the paychecks of 24 million government employees and military personnel as well as 2.2 million pensioners.

But wherever there’s money, there’s also the potential for fraud and misuse. And so Shagufta Khanum is also in charge of efforts meant to impose public accountability and transparency on Pakistan’s sprawling government bureaucracy. Through the Parliamentary Oversight, her organization is expected to bring about improvements in the financial discipline and internal control environment by minimizing the possibility of waste and fraud.

“People work very hard to make a living, and when they retire, they live frugally on their pensions. We believe it is their right to have full transparency regarding their money,” she explains. “How much did I pay into the system, and how much am I getting out of it? How much interest am I paying on my government loan? What is the government doing with our tax money? People want quick answers to these questions.”

A Lifetime of Service

With a career spanning 36 years, Shagufta Khanum is deeply committed to serving the public. When she was a young girl her father told her, “Whatever you do, be sincere, then you will do it well.” She has followed that advice ever since.

In Pakistan women are present at all levels of government and business. “We are a developing nation,” she says with a smile. “We got off to a bit of a slow start with our digital transformation, but we are in the midst of the journey now. We need technology for the scope of our work. Without it we would be left behind.”

To facilitate their journey, the Government of Pakistan is using a new dashboard, built on SAP BusinessObjects solutions powered by SAP BW/4HANA running on SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. This is one of the largest SAP-based public sector implementations of a management integration systems (MIS) in the world. The budgets and financial reports of federal, provincial, and district tiers of the Government are processed through the Financial Accounting & Budgeting (FABs) department. Monthly salaries and pensions of nearly 3 million public sector employees and pensioners are also processed through FABS.

Huge Responsibilities

Irshad Ahmed Kaleemi, Khanum’s deputy with decades of experience, was the lead negotiator for a  loan from the World Bank to help finance Pakistan’s pension fund management project.

“Automating payroll for millions of people and implementing online billing, electronic fund transfers, and other financial processes will all help digitize the country’s economy,” says Kaleemi. “The new dashboard being developed with the assistance of SAP will help us make timely decisions based on secure, real-time data.”

Kaleemi goes on to explain that bringing Pakistan’s accounting system online under the canopy of the World Bank Project will help compliance with regulations and provide full transparency on all budgetary allocations. “Digitizing public services helps reduce costs and improve operational performance,” he says.” Now it will be easier to collaborate across government organizations, and everyone will have the same view of the data.”

Long-Lasting Relationships

Shagufta Khanum says that SAP is like family. The relationship goes back many years. “Digital transformation is top of mind for enterprises as competition is a key driving factor. But it is equally important for governments,” says Adaire Fox-Martin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, responsible for Customer Operations. She helped negotiated SAP’s very first deal with Pakistan five years ago.

“Governments have huge responsibilities to the public at large, delivering education, healthcare, and financial stability,” she adds. “Pakistan has a young population. The government must act now to ensure they have the right skills for the digital economy of the future. Accurate data, for example, is vital when it comes to allocating scarce funds in a responsible manner.”

joint study by McKinsey and Oxford University found that digital transformations are more challenging to implement in the public sector than in the private sector. Governments like Pakistan’s that use Big Data and analytics to improve decision making, however, are the ones that benefit most.

“By taking the right steps now,” says Shagufta Khanum, “we will become a fully digitized organization to better meet the challenges of the future. Inshallah.”

Follow me on Twitter: @magyarj

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

Images via screenshots.

Categories: What's New

Running Live While Living the Island Life

SAP News - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 11:15
The motto of Seattle-based retailer Tommy Bahama is “Live the island life.” The brand’s values are “relax and just have fun,” according to CEO Doug Wood.

“We’re a happy brand,” he says. “Take us to your favorite vacation location or to your back yard. Whatever makes you relax, we’re your brand of choice.”

But like any smart retailer, Tommy Bahama doesn’t take a laid-back approach to competing in the marketplace. The company strives to continually improve its ability to innovate, optimize channels, deliver a superior experience, and connect with customers.

To achieve those goals, it relies on a constant stream of data that allows the company to run live – while enabling the company’s customers to live the island life.


Island Innovations

Now in its 25th year, Tommy Bahama designs and sells men’s and women’s clothing as well as a complete home collection, from dinnerware to beach chairs. It also operates 17 branded restaurants. It has 4,000 employees and over 160 stores in North America, Japan, and Australia.

To remain competitive, the company constantly re-evaluates how it does business. For instance, until 2008 the company’s business was 75 percent wholesale and 25 percent direct to consumer. But growing e-commerce sales revealed customer demand to develop a direct relationship with the brand. Today, the company is 75 percent direct to consumer and 25 percent wholesale.

The company has innovated to cement those customer relationships. On the Hawaiian island of Maui, in addition to a popular restaurant the company has also deployed a food truck that serves the entire island – and delivers the Tommy Bahama message to a broader audience.

In Florida, the company has augmented its store at Coconut Point by adding its new Marlin Bar concept. Sales have significantly exceeded expectations in both the bar and the store and additional locations are being evaluated.

And in New York, the company created the Cabana Room, an upscale shopping experience for women’s swimwear and cover-ups. This store-within-a-store combines swimsuit specialists with digital screens that display its entire swimwear line to help customers buy the perfect swimsuit with confidence.

Of course, Tommy Bahama faces the same challenge as all retailers: fewer people shopping in stores and connecting with the brand in person. Yet Wood feels confident the company can maintain strong customer relationships across channels.

I can make those experiences fantastic, and I’m going to have a relationship with that guest. … Whether it’s online, stores, restaurants, wholesale … you have to set up an environment so that the guest is going to interact with you any way they want to.”


Live Data for a Live Business

To continue innovating and connecting with customers, Tommy Bahama depends on live data. That data needs to flow in from the field, and it needs to be shared seamlessly among management of its retail, wholesale, digital, and restaurant channels.

“To have the connection between what’s going on with physical stores, what happens on the website, what happens with the restaurants, you have to have a very tight-knit executive team,” Wood believes. “We have to get a lot of information out, and we have to take a lot of information back in.”

The retailer maintains a dialog with customers and gains new customer insights with the help of SAP Hybris solutions. “SAP Hybris … is the foundation for our digital efforts,” Wood says. “It gives us stability, gives us the ability to keep adding scale, and allows us to keep innovating.”

Going forward, Tommy Bahama plans to leverage capabilities in SAP Hybris to personalize its interactions with customers. For example, the company will be able to fine-tune promotional e-mails based on the customer’s location and the exact items they’ve already purchased.

“That’s where personalization really comes in,” Wood explains. “The great thing about SAP Hybris is that there are so many ways that you can keep expanding what you’re offering to your guest.”

Ultimately, Wood says, SAP has become a partner in the business. And that has allowed Wood to experience a bit of the island life as a CEO.

“The way that SAP’s partnership has made my life easier is … I know that I’m with a company that has been doing this for a very long time, and is on the edge of the innovation that’s happening in our industry. So I can turn to a trusted partner that can help lead us into the future.”

Learn more about how Tommy Bahama’s Doug Wood and other
leaders are using SAP solutions to help their businesses run live.
Watch our exclusive “Leaders Are Live” videos.

This story also appeared on the Digitalist.
Images via Tommy Bahama

Categories: What's New

From SAP Digital to Digital SAP

SAP News - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 10:30
Delivering a successful no- and low-touch experience is SAP Digital’s top priority in 2018. The team has some further milestones on their list.

“Every day, SAP asks its customers to reimagine their business, push the boundaries, and/or enhance the customer experience,” says chief digital officer and head of SAP Digital, Bertram Schulte. “Now it’s our turn to transform SAP.”

Bertram Schulte is chief digital officer and head of SAP Digital.

Schulte took over leadership of the SAP Digital group in mid-2017. “SAP Digital is now at a crossroads,” he explains. “2018 is the year for SAP Digital to become ‘digital SAP,’ making it simpler and easier than ever for customers to do business with SAP. This is not something nice to do, but absolutely essential to our 2020 roadmap and to remain competitive in the changing digital economy. It will allow us to keep pace with our competitors, achieve our growth and profit targets, and manage complexities.”

“The nature of our business is also changing,” adds Schulte. “In addition to needing to manage great, in-depth relationships with C-suite executives at the top 2,000 companies, we have to increasingly manage the relationships with the millions of users and developers that actually work with our systems. The answer to this massive challenge of scale is digital.”

Doing More with Digital

SAP Digital is designing, orchestrating, and running simple, consistent, no-touch experiences for customers and partners – deeply integrated into SAP processes and products. Digital is now an integral part of the core SAP business, a pillar of the Global Customer Office Go-To-Market Operating Plan, and a simplifying force in how SAP interacts with all customers.

At the SAP Field Kick-off Meeting (SAP FKOM) in January, Schulte showcased how the SAP Digital team is turning this into reality. He introduced the following new programs and offerings to attendees, which will allow them to more easily sell and engage with customers digitally.

An agile, flexible and simple customer experience for SAP Cloud Platform, with a new consumption-based model: Launched internally at SAP FKOM, the objective was to to create one rich and simple experience for finding, trying, buying and consuming cloud services from SAP and partners. The relaunched and enhanced website went live with enhancements from the SAP Digital team. It includes a new consumption-based commercial model, announced at Mobile World Congress, underpinned by a new technical and operating model that allows flexible and metered use of SAP Cloud Platform services.

“This new model is a result of cooperation across every board area. It makes innovating with SAP Cloud Platform even simpler, while offering greater agility and flexibility utilizing our growing portfolio of platform and business services,” said Björn Goerke, chief technology officer of SAP and president SAP Cloud Platform.

Integrating product discovery and purchase on SAP.com: The SAP Digital team has been working with the SAP.com team to provide a more compelling, better integrated discovery, purchase, and checkout process for customers at SAP.com. The first milestone has been completed and demonstrated at SAP FKOM: Customers can now buy SAP Analytics Cloud products and discover related ecosystem and educations offerings at SAP.com.

Eliminating channel conflict: In 2018, a customer can make purchases on any channel. SAP sales colleagues will be fully compensated whether a deal is executed traditionally or digitally; they can even make a percentage on partner apps transacted digitally via the SAP App Center. The plan is to eventually move all deals under €25,000 to SAP’s digital channels.

“By leveraging SAP’s digital channels for lower value, high-volume deals, SAP sales teams will be able to sell more efficiently and meet customers’ needs more accurately, resulting in greater satisfaction,” said Joel Bernstein, CFO, SAP Global Customer Operations.

New low-touch/no-touch selling on SAPStore.com: The current sales process can take hours in total time spent on payment terms and discounts; and after a quote is provided to a customer, it can take up to two weeks for the software to be delivered. To streamline this, there are two new selling models on SAPStore.com: low-touch, where commercial sales can assist customers to make digital purchases of more than 40 logical products (representing more than 260 materials) and omni-channel commerce/no-touch, where customers can make a completely self-service purchase of 25 logical products (representing 180 materials). SAP Digital continues to grow the digitally transactable portfolio on an ongoing basis.

SAP App Center: Nearly 1,500 apps from more than 970 partners are included on SAP App Center, with nearly 175 available for digital purchase. The partners also can offer a digital-purchase experience to their customers. That means less time spent on paperwork and more time dedicated to what really matters: adding value to their customer relationships.

Digital Direction: Simplify Everything

According to research firm Forrester, “B2B companies are discovering that with the right plan, digital represents a new frontier for improving their financials and deepening customer relationships. Customers that B2B companies migrate online from a formerly offline environment are more active, more loyal, cost less and spend more.”* This is outstanding advice that SAP is heeding.

“The digital transformation opportunity is at hand for SAP,” said Schulte. “It’s our calling to dramatically enhance the experience of how customers and partners can do business with SAP and how we can more efficiently monetize it. And this extends well beyond the SAP Store and SAP App Center. We’re thrilled to be cooperating with teams across SAP to bring this vision to life – and helping everyone truly Run Simple!”

A glimpse of things to come from SAP Digital in 2018:

Connected-customer experiences at SAP.com. “In the past, we’ve delegated the task of finding information or products online to our customers,” said Schulte. “Now we’re going to make sure they have a seamless experience that delivers what they need, when they need it.”

SAP Digital will continue to work closely with the SAP.com team to find ways to provide customers with a more compelling, better integrated discovery and purchase process, of SAP and partner offerings. The goal is to bring integrated checkout to SAP.com, so customers can transact directly from a product page.

SAP Digital is also designing a simple and clear digital way for SAP to interact with customers that adds long-term value, embedded with SAP.com. This will provide customers transparency into their SAP engagements and personalized online self-services around account data, subscriptions, products, contracts, interactions and actions like renewals.

Partner and indirect sales enablement. Enabling SAP partners to better sell software by providing them end-to-end, simplified and automated processes that support the interaction between SAP, a partner, and their customers. This is already possible for SAP Business One partners, SAP Business ByDesign partners, and others will be added.

Making more of the existing SAP portfolio digitally transactable. The SAP Digital team accelerated the pace of onboarding new solutions to the SAP Store in 2017, growing the portfolio during the year by more than 70 percent. They are now setting sights on enabling a large majority of the existing SAP portfolio to be digitally transactable.

*Forrester: U.S. B2B eCommerce Will Hit $1.2 Trillion By 2021, June 5, 2017

Categories: What's New

SAP ONE Support Launchpad Offers Faster Access to Support with New Tiles on Home Page

SAP News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 13:33
SAP will now include Schedule an Expert and Expert Chat tiles on the SAP ONE Support Launchpad Home page – making it faster and easier for you to create incidents and get support help.

If you’d like a live call with a support engineer, use Schedule an Expert to book a 30-minute one-on-one discussion. For instant message support, use Expert Chat.

Note: If you already have these tiles on your Home page, they will remain where they are.

How to Personalize Your Home Page

The launchpad lets you customize your dashboard to see support tools, news, and information that is important to you.

To add tiles to the SAP ONE Support Launchpad Home page:

  • Click the Personalize button in the upper left corner.
  • Search the name or key words in the Search in Tile Catalog.
  • When the desired tile appears, click its checkbox.
  • The Add Tile to Additional Groups menu will appear. Select the group of your choice. Select Save. The tile will be added to the Home group.

To remove tiles from your launchpad Home page:

  • Start at the Personalize button.
  • Select the tile you want to remove.
  • When Add Tile to Additional Groups appears, uncheck the selected box. Select Save. The tile will be removed from the Home group.

For more details on customizing your launchpad, see: KBA 2348668.23486682348668

Try Schedule an Expert and Expert Chat

For your convenience, the Schedule an Expert and Expert Chat tiles have already been added to your launchpad Home page. Try them today!

Categories: What's New

Women at SAP: When Does a Career Become a Passion?

SAP News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 12:45
Three women working in technical roles at SAP explain why they love their jobs so much. As a graduate with a passion for technology, Olga Cherepanova felt right at home when she joined SAP as a developer in 2008.

From that moment on, the ever-accelerating pace of change in the IT industry has continued to inspire her.

Q: How did you become interested in technology?

Olga: I studied business information technology. Actually, my original plan was to become an industrial designer, but my skills weren’t advanced enough to receive a scholarship. So I asked myself what I was interested in and decided that I was fascinated by the unknown. I wanted to study a subject that I didn’t yet know very much about. And I have never regretted that decision. I loved my degree program. I went straight from studying to working at SAP and over nine years I learned various aspects of full stack development, including databases and UIs. But I also broadened my knowledge to others areas, did a fellowship in user experience (UX) team, and was part of UX Advocate program. I’m currently an exploration lead in the Machine Learning team, learning yet new skills at work.

What do you find so fascinating about technology?

The way that everything evolves so fast. Suddenly, things that weren’t possible just a short time ago become a reality. I’m sure that today’s limits simply won’t exist tomorrow. So, in a way, that makes you a kind of superhero! You’re always on the move, to get closer and closer to the impossible. I am absolutely convinced that the problems we struggle with today will be surmountable tomorrow. That’s what makes technology so exciting. In my career, I have to keep on learning. But once you’re familiar with the technology trends, you have a better sense of where you’ll be able to make a meaningful contribution. My feeling is that I can really achieve something in the Machine Learning team right now. We’re working with cutting-edge technology and driving this development.

What is your advice to someone who is interested in a tech career?

Pursue what interests you and go for it. If something really grabs you, read up on it and talk to people who already work in that field. Once you make a connection to one person, you’ll automatically meet others — and you’ll be networking before you know it. Your colleagues can point you in the right direction and help you on your way. Just do not hesitate and overthink!

Birgit Hess joined SAP in 2006. In the course of her career, she has gained a wealth of experience in different fields, including pre-sales product ramp-up and employee training.

She currently works for the SAP Global Security team and is fascinated by cyber and IT security.

Q: What is your current role at SAP?

Birgit: I joined SAP Global Security in September. I’m responsible for “employee awareness,” which looks at how employees deal with everyday security issues: cybersecurity, phishing mails, social engineering, hacker attacks, and so on. We put together compliance training courses and lead campaigns. I also moderate events and represent SAP at conferences and roundtables.

I’ve been at SAP for 12 years now, but I’m actually a biotechnologist. I belong to that species of scientist who finds at home at SAP despite not having studied computer science.

How did you become interested in technology?

When I joined Presales in 2011, SAP wasn’t yet as focused on cloud security and data protection as it is now. As time went on, the implications of both began to crystallize out and I realized that I was really interested in that whole topic area. Last February, I was also able to take part in a four-week social sabbatical about training. That’s when I rediscovered my interest in education and professional development. Then, the opportunity arose in my job for me to combine IT security and training. Basically, I tried to find exactly what I felt passionate about. When I got involved in data protection and IT security, it was clear to me that those were things I could really get excited about.

What have you learned along the way?

There’s one experience that stands out for me: Last year, I moderated the DSAG theme day on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Some of the participants were incredibly knowledgeable on the subject. After the event, I thought: “That was like being back at university.” I just love being able to learn something new, because for me, that is the aim of my job. There’s nothing worse than not having the scope to learn more. What the DSAG event taught me was that there are fields so complex that it’s impossible to understand them at the first attempt. There’s a tendency to think we know everything already; whereas we’re sometimes only scratching the surface and not even seeing what’s below — that’s something we all have to be careful about.

What do you think needs to change to get more women interested in tech careers?

One thing I struggle with and that I have experienced personally is not being allowed to hold certain presentations because they are “reserved” for someone from vice president level. That’s obviously not an ideal situation. If we don’t allow our specialists – of whatever gender ­– to take to the stage, and only let their managers or their managers’ managers perform those duties, we’re not just hampering women’s progress; we’re also putting the brakes on anyone with expertise and potential.

Sonja Liénard began her SAP career in 2012, when she joined an ABAP server core team as an information developer.

Sonja became her team’s SCRUM master just two months later and was promoted to senior information developer shortly after that. Her next big step came in 2016, when she was appointed development manager for the ABAP server database interface. True to her motto — “I can do it” — she never shies away from topics that are new to her.

Q: Why does technology fascinate you?

Sonja: Technology is powerful, but it also harbors dangers. One of the greatest challenges the human race faces is how to stay in control and remain vigilant. I also find it fascinating that technology has so many facets in which everyone can find their niche and make a contribution. Technology is like Lego: If developers use the right bricks, they can create amazing things. And if they team up with others, they can create even bigger things! That’s why technology never gets boring.

What has your career taught you about yourself?

The most important message is that it’s not about me. It’s not about massaging one’s own ego and climbing the career ladder. If you learn not to put your ego at the forefront, you will avoid conflicts and be able to respond differently when they do occur. I try to focus on the matter at hand and on solving the specific conflict or problem. The second thing that’s very important for me as a manager is not to make decisions in attempt to wield power over others. I look at this way: “If you want to be a good leader, you also have to be able to serve.”

Do you think that women have a more difficult time in technical roles?

I actually think that it’s often more to do with someone’s personality than with their gender. Every individual should contribute their personality and skills authentically. I probably do present a contrast to my (mostly) male colleagues in meetings. But it’s the characteristics that make me who I am that count, and they are what make the decisive difference. That’s more relevant than whether I am male or female. Having said that, there are always situations in which traditional attitudes to gender roles create challenges.

Which sphere of technology interests you the most?

Cloud. I’m really excited that SAP is on track to become a cloud company. In my area, we’re also moving more and more toward the cloud with the ABAP server. Our department is contributing to this development by offering ABAP as an additional development and runtime environment in SAP Cloud Platform (ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform), and it’s great that we’re a part of this chapter.

I am personally very interested in everything to do with artificial intelligence, and particularly its philosophical and ethical implications. What makes a human a human? I’m also excited about current developments in medical technology. I’m curious about what the world will look like in 20 or 30 years when my children are as old as I am now. What will have happened by then?

Categories: What's New

Spotlight on Women at SAP: Erika Takahashi

SAP News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 12:20
Erika Takahashi graduated from the SAP Academy for Sales in 2016 and has not looked back. Erika completed her Political Science degree at UCLA in the United States and her studies also took her to Cuba and Italy, where she studied foreign affairs and art history. Erika joined SAP in 2015 and found the SAP Academy program a unique opportunity to drive her career in the sales direction. After completing the academy, she joined the SAP SuccessFactors team in Japan.

Working at SAP…

Gives me the freedom to take chances and embrace mistakes. I appreciate the people who coach and support me to stay accountable to opportunities. What’s amazing about SAP is the power of the virtual account team. There are so many professional people with different roles who can support you through various sales cycles. It is such a pleasure to engage all team members and aim for success together.

One of the things I love most about my job is…

Having a strong manager who trusts me and having flexibility to perform my role. The people-centric nature of my role is also motivating and something I enjoy. In addition, SAP provides me with equal opportunities to perform and deliver despite me being fairly young in sales. The team environment is also very supportive and collaborative.

The business trend I’m most excited about is…

Artificial intelligence and the impact it can have on our business overall — it opens many opportunities.

Sales is an excellent career for young women because…

It is a performance-driven role. Although it can be very tough at most times, everyone has equal opportunities to be successful in sales regardless of age or gender. Being a woman in a male-dominated field can be enjoyable. Sometimes men and women think differently and you might be the only one in the room who can bring up different perspectives and ideas to challenging situations.

Women have advantages in business because…

I believe that women are naturally good at leading with empathy. I mainly focus on seeking feedback and listening to my customers and individuals team members as much as possible to better understand challenges and clarify the barriers if there are any. I believe I can gain mutual trust in this way and make better decisions to move things forward.

One of the most fascinating experiences I’ve had in SAP has been…

Being based in Tokyo but within a global and diverse organization because it forces me to get out my comfort zone. Being exposed to different cultures and environments really opens my mind. Not only do I face this personally but it’s also great to see share similar experiences with my customers who have traveled to other countries. We discuss cultural nuances, ideal behavior, and how we can make changes to the status quo together.

Work/life balance is…

A misnomer for me because the both my work and private life garner the same amount of importance in my life. It’s not something that I intentionally try to balance. I admit I can’t help it sometimes and work takes priority, but I also know when I need to step out and take a rest. It’s more important for me to stay flexible and do my best at all times because I want every moment to be meaningful.

When I’m not working, I…

Kick back or relax by traveling with my friends or playing golf. It refreshes my mind to explore new things, share thoughts, and laugh together.

Categories: What's New

Empowering Women Is Empowering Business

SAP News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:35
International Women’s Day encourages us to think about the very real struggles around gender diversity, like obvious pay disparities and the lack of representation in leadership roles that still exists today.

However, we should also treat this day as a celebration, not only of the progress we’ve made toward achieving equality but also of the everyday ways that women work to advance their own careers and aspirations, and the way they encourage progress for others.

With that in mind, SAP invited some of our own employees to share their thoughts on how to inspire and encourage businesses to embrace diversity and overcome barriers.

Bring Your Own Self to Work

“Bringing my real self means to be open with my colleagues about my personal life, my ambitions, plans for the future, and values without worrying I will be judged or criticized.”

– Lee Gazit, education senior executive, SAP Education

“For me, it’s important to always be yourself and bring that to work, people will trust and respect you for it.”

– Leila Romane, head of Cloud, SAP UKI

Hire the Best Candidate

 “Diversity is the innovation engine. Our very strong focus on diversity and inclusion has not only led to a more inclusive culture at SAP, but allows us to better serve an increasingly diverse customer base, attract and retain talent, and compete in a rapidly-changing global economy”

– Adaire Fox–Martin, member of the Executive Board, SAP SE

“SAP is and has always been open to ideas, opinions, and perspectives from its employees coming from diverse cultures, ethnicities, genders, or sexual orientations, with a conviction that this is key to its success as a company and to deliver real value to its employees, its customers, and to society.”

– Tom Loeffert, Human Resource Director, SAP UK

Define Achievement

 “Women need to be strong, dedicated, and focused. Achievement is about self-confidence and marking high goals for yourself”

– Lee Gazit

Stand Out

 “For me it’s about celebrating the things that make us different because they make us special, stand out, be remembered. Who wants to be the same as everyone else?”

– Magali Glover, head of SAP UKI Alliances, Channels, and Partners, SAP UKI

On #InternationalWomensDay, SAP celebrates the progress toward equality, along with the everyday ways that women work to advance their own careers and encourage others

Create a Culture of Openness

“SAP aims to hire 650 employees with autism by 2020, it has its own Business Women’s Network with more than 10,000 members, its employees represent 150 different nationalities worldwide and it was the first tech company to be awarded the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality certification. If that doesn’t illustrate a culture for openness and commitment to diversity and inclusivity then I’m not sure what does”

– Sindhu Gangadharan, vice president and head of Product Management,
SAP HANA Cloud Integration

Promote Progress

 “Progress means that by the time my daughters get to work gender equality will be a non-issue. We are making great progress but there is a way to go”

Phil Davies, head of Solutions Consulting, senior vice president, EMEA North, SAP

“Progress to me is that women have 50% of positions of leadership, of all positions, that we raise and educate boys and girls to believe that they can truly become anything, despite historical gender roles.”

– Tom Loeffert

Seeing what others around the business had to say about this topic was heartening. And these are just a handful of the things I see and hear daily. SAP is a business that is centered on lifting individuals up, with the support of their colleagues, networks, and allies. Real change is driven at grassroots level and seeing so many people backing the fight for gender equality is something that I find truly inspiring.

Melissa Di Donato is chief revenue officer for SAP Cloud ERP.

Categories: What's New

Mentorship to Up-Skill and Re-Skill Your Workforce: Interview with Daisy Hernandez

SAP News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:15
Twomentor — which shares bi-weekly thought leadership from phenomenal executives and social entrepreneurs focused on a multi-generational workforce, social impact entrepreneurship, mentoring cultures, sponsorship and elevating women in their careers — talks with Daisy Hernandez, global vice president of Product Management, Enterprise Collaboration, for SAP Labs.

A recent PricewaterhouseCooper study states that 98% of millennials believe working with a mentor is a necessary component in their career development.

Q: Where do you see companies most struggling these days in terms of workplace transformation?

A: Many businesses know that change management is a necessary part of workplace transformation, but the complexity and challenge of change management is often underestimated. The first challenge is knowing what you’re changing to. Once you have determined that vision, moving your entire workforce around it is no small task.

In addition to changing business models, you also have to take a look at whether you have the right workforce in place. You need to look at what kind of training, development and mentorship it will take to up-skill or re-skill your workforce. Planning for all that is especially difficult because you can only plan for it so much; you need to be flexible and adapt based on the evolving needs of your employees.

While businesses want to change and want to do it quickly, managing the pace of change is a highly nuanced and critically important factor. You have to determine scalable ways to implement change or the process will be endless – and by the time you change it will be time to change again. However, going too fast can leave parts of the workforce behind. This all hinges on change management, which can make or break a successful workplace transformation.

I’m really impressed with your passion for mentoring.  You mentioned that there is always a shortage of mentors, not mentees. Can you elaborate?

The need for mentors in the workplace is only increasing. In fact, a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study states that 98% of millennials believe working with a mentor is a necessary component in their career development. Since learning is a constant across all levels of people’s carriers, there will always be a larger number of people who want or need to be mentored vs. available mentors. This is also the case because usually someone becomes a mentor because they have had a lot of time in their role, or have spent years honing a particular skill. Additionally, when looking for a mentor, people want the best and will be vying for the most experience and skilled or highest performing experts.

Lastly, it’s one thing to have a skill; it’s another thing to teach it. Not everyone is cut out to be a mentor and not everyone wants to be a mentor. Mentorship is a skill in and of itself, and this narrows the number of available mentors even further.

Where do you feel mentorship best fits into an employee development cycle?

While mentorship is often thought of as most necessary at the start of a career, it fits into all career phases. Statistics show that mentoring can increase managerial productivity by 88% when managers are involved in a corporate mentorship program, as compared to only a 24% increase when managers received only training but no mentorship. There is no such thing as a “bad” time to be with or without a mentor, and the types of mentors people will need will evolve over time. For example, as your needs change and there are new things you want to learn, it may be necessary to seek mentors outside of your organization.

You don’t necessarily need to have a mentor throughout your entire career – in fact, you should not have a mentor just for the sake of having one. For a mentor/mentee relationship to be beneficial, the mentee needs to know why they need a mentor and what their goals are. Otherwise, you run a high risk of wasting both peoples’ time.

I shared with you that many companies have the ‘nice to have or have to have’ debate on mentoring — what are your thoughts?

Many studies have shown that having a mentoring program in place correlates with a higher retention rate; this is just one example of why mentoring is a must. If a company is really serious about making a workplace change, I don’t see how you could do it without leveraging the expertise you already have within your walls. Any change management plan that does not include mentoring as a factor is missing a key puzzle piece and will see much more growing pains.

You are an expert in collaboration, how do we strengthen mentoring and engagement with an increasing remote workforce?

Using collaboration technologies opens the floodgates of possibilities. It opens new doors to matching mentors and mentees that aren’t in the same location or even time zone. It can also facilitate 1: many mentorship, which can significantly improve scalability. Using online communities to share feedback or ask advice from mentors can also make mentorship more accessible to more people within an organization.

It is also possible to use collaboration solutions to find influencers within the organization. Online communities can uncover experts and advice that may never have been shared otherwise, from people who may not even realize they are a good mentor.

Tell us about SAP Jam and the new mentoring software SAP launched?

SAP has a history of accelerating business processes as we know speed is of the essence for businesses of all kinds. Our latest mentoring technology came from us taking a look at how we could provide a solution for customers to help with mentor/mentee matching and connecting virtual workspaces.

In August 2017, SAP Jam brought new collaboration capabilities to mentoring programs with a new in-user interface integration with SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development. SAP Jam makes it easy for employees to share their knowledge and experiences and enables them to connect and engage in new ways, by automating the process of providing private mentoring groups and virtual workspaces after they’ve been intelligently matched. SAP Jam’s technology also streamlines the management, communication, and coordination of these programs.

Are there any early metrics of success?  What’s the demand out there?

The demand for mentorship programs is steadily increasing as businesses start to identify mentoring as a key factor in employee engagement and retention. The growing presence of millennials in the workplace is also feeding this: according to Deloitte, millennials planning to stay with their employer for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68 percent) than not (32 percent).

Most of our customers blend peer-to-peer learning with mentoring, and our customers see the most success with sustained use of mentoring programs.

Are there any case studies you want to share?

In 2015, half of SAP customer Sargeant and Lundy’s workforce became eligible for retirement. These employees had a huge amount of knowledge about the business and were masters of many processes and programs. Before these valued employees started to retire, the organization used SAP Jam to capture as much information from them as possible before, so that they could use these experts as a virtual mentor long after they left the company. This included capturing both business knowledge and experiences in story form. By gathering so much of the information that was in experts’ heads in a format that is easy for current and future employees to access and review, the company was able to keep that knowledge in the organization long after the experts retired.

Last question: Do you have a mentor or mentee you’d like to share about? 

One of my recent mentees was someone I had no organizational ties to, but she approached me and asked what I did and if I could be her mentor. She was in a developer role and wanted to go into project management and wanted a mentor to help her make this move. I shared with her that you can’t just go from a developer to a project manager role without some history and gave her homework to look at what project managers typically do and what the requirements for these roles are. Once she identified the requirements, I asked her to find ways to develop the skillsets she did not already have in her current role. She looked for initiatives and projects within her own role that would help her to develop project manager skills and also took some external classes.

As a mentor, I primarily asked a lot of questions. I believe that the responsibility for career development is very much on the mentee. In this case, my mentee knew her goal but not how to get there and used me as a sounding board. Mentorship is most effective when the mentee has a clear goal and takes responsibility for their development, using their mentor as a guide and sounding board.

In another instance, someone who asked to be my mentee wanted to know how to get promoted. She was looking at her career development as a checklist of what to do in order to get a reward at the end. If you are looking to be associated with a certain level, rather than to develop skills or improve yourself as a professional, you will not have as much luck working with a mentor.

In the first example, the mentee had a very clear goal, knew what she needed, sought a mentor and owned her career development. If you’re not clear on what you actually want from a mentor and are not willing to take on responsibility for your growth, it’s likely that you will not experience the true value of working with a mentor.

Julie Silard Kantor is CEO of  TwoMentor.

This article was first published on Medium.

Categories: What's New

Accenture Announces Progress Toward a Gender-Balanced Workforce as Part of Its International Women's Day Celebration

Accenture News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:59
NEW YORK; March 8, 2018 – As part of its celebration of International Women’s Day, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced that women now account for 41 percent of its global workforce, up from just under 40 percent in June 2017, when the company first announced its goal of achieving a gender-balanced workforce by 2025.
Categories: What's New

SAP Finalizes Investigation into Contracts with South Africa’s Eskom, Transnet

SAP News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 06:30
WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced final results of its investigation into software contracts with South African state-owned enterprises (SOE) Transnet SOC Ltd. and Eskom.
  • Investigation finds payments were made to Gupta-linked companies
  • Irregularities found in the management of third parties and adherence to SAP’s compliance processes
  • No evidence of payments made to Eskom, Transnet employees or any government official

The central findings confirm that there were payments to Gupta-related entities, indications of misconduct relating to the management of Gupta-related third parties and irregularities in the adherence to SAP’s compliance processes. The investigation also confirms that there is no evidence of any payment or attempted payment made to any South African government official or any employee of an SOE in connection with the Transnet and Eskom transactions. A summary of the investigation findings can be found here.

Remedial Actions

SAP has been clear from the outset that it will not tolerate misconduct or wrongdoing. Presided over by independent senior legal counsel, SAP instituted disciplinary proceedings against three senior executives, who were put on administrative leave in July 2017 and formally suspended in October 2017. These executives have since resigned from SAP. Under South African labor law, a disciplinary process cannot continue if an employee resigns. No severance was paid to any employee, and SAP reserves its rights in respect of these executives. As reported in October, the fourth employee placed on administrative leave has since returned to work.

Further to the announcement in October 2017 that SAP made significant changes to its global compliance processes, the company has allocated additional legal compliance staff to the SAP Africa market unit. SAP has also strengthened its independent Compliance Committee in the SAP Africa region, and augmented the mandatory annual compliance training that every SAP Africa employee must complete. This includes the certification of SAP’s Code of Business Conduct, with anti-bribery rules.

All South African partners are going through revised due diligence processes. In addition, SAP continues to investigate the public sector business in South Africa going back to 2010. If SAP identifies any further matters of concern, it will address them with the same attention and robustness as the Transnet and Eskom investigations.

Cooperation with Authorities

In November 2017, SAP notified the national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime and Investigation (Hawks) of its willingness to cooperate with any investigation they may undertake. SAP also continues to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and remains committed to sharing all findings with both local and international authorities.

As a private company, SAP is committed to uncovering and addressing any wrongdoing. SAP has been able to implement sweeping improvements to its internal compliance processes; however, there are limitations to what SAP can achieve in a complex investigation without having the investigative powers of government authorities. Consequently, SAP is fully committed to continue cooperating with both local and international authorities that do have comprehensive legal investigative powers across borders.

SAP’s Continued Commitment to South Africa

“This journey has taught us profound lessons and provided us with reasons to reflect on our business, our processes and our responsibility towards our employees, customers, partners and the South African public,” said Adaire Fox-Martin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, who leads SAP’s business in Middle and Eastern Europe (MEE); Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Greater China. “The investigation has confirmed that even strong compliance systems are vulnerable, and therefore require eternal vigilance. While we cannot turn back the clock, we can promise to do better. To this end, we would like to reiterate the apology we made last year to our stakeholders in South Africa. We remain committed to this country and the rest of the continent, and to growing our business and investment here.”

SAP has launched a new go-to-market plan in Africa to maintain business continuity across the continent. In addition, SAP recently announced the opening of an SAP Leonardo Center location in Johannesburg in the third quarter of 2018. SAP will also announce a new SAP Africa managing director next week.

For more SAP news, 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 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.
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Categories: What's New

Key Findings: SAP South Africa Investigation

SAP News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 06:30
Overview: In July 2017, SAP contracted Baker McKenzie to conduct an investigation into its public sector contracts in South Africa.

Since the investigation began, the law firm has conducted a data analytics search of over 29.6 million documents, followed by a first level review of 202,599 documents, and a second level review of 64,786 documents.  It also conducted numerous interviews of SAP employees, former employees and external third parties.

Baker McKenzie has finalized its investigation of SAP’s business interactions with Gupta-related entities in connection with Transnet and Eskom.

To date, the investigation has found no evidence of any payment to any government official or to any employee of an SOE, including any employee of Transnet or Eskom. However, the investigation has uncovered indications of misconduct in issues relating to the management of Gupta-related third parties.

The role of sales commission agents in SAP’s business model

Globally, SAP’s products and services are sold to customers either directly or through intermediaries, including sales commission agents who operate on a commission basis.

All SAP intermediaries, globally, are required to undergo a thorough due-diligence process, which includes an assessment to ensure they possess the relevant technical capabilities required to fulfil the customer’s mandate.  All SAP partners are also required to sign an anti-bribery declaration.

The findings of the investigation:

  1. Beginning in or about mid-2014, representatives of the Guptas began to associate themselves with multiple small third parties that had experience in the IT industry. Some of these third parties had existing relationships with SAP.
  2. There is no evidence of SAP direct contact with any member of the Gupta or Zuma families. The primary connection was with Gupta intermediary, Santosh Choubey, and the people who reported to him.  Choubey became the principal contact for Global Software Solutions (GSS) and CAD House.
  3. GSS became eligible to act as a sales commission agent in September 2014 when it became a Value Added Reseller. CAD House was approved as a sales commission agent in August 2015. SAP terminated the ability of Value Added Resellers such as GSS to act as sales commission agents in 2016.
  4. SAP South Africa concluded two contracts with Transnet and four with Eskom between December 2014 and June 2017, with GSS and CAD House acting as commissioned intermediaries. One contract involved a commission of 10%, while the other five contracts involved a commission rate of 14.9%, just below the 15% threshold that would have triggered an SAP Executive Board review of the deals. In connection with one Eskom contract, SAP retained a Gupta-related entity called Lejara Global Solutions to provide services to Eskom.
  5. The investigation did not find any evidence that the integrity and value of the software and services provided by SAP to Eskom and Transnet in these contracts were undermined in any way by the inclusion of these intermediaries.
  6. In addition to the above-described finalized contracts, the investigation found that SAP, with the assistance of Gupta-related entities, unsuccessfully sought other contracts with Transnet and Eskom.
  7. The investigation found no evidence of any payment to any government official or to any employee of an SOE, including any employee of Transnet or Eskom. However, the investigation has uncovered indications of misconduct in issues relating to the management of Gupta-related third parties.

The findings of the investigation have led SAP’s Executive Board to institute significant changes to its global compliance processes. These include:

  • Eliminating, effective immediately, all sales commissions on all public sector deals in countries with a Corruption Perceptions Index (according to Transparency International) below 50, which includes South Africa since it has a rating of 45;
  • Initiating on a global basis extensive additional controls and due diligence into relationships with sales agents and value-added resellers, including additional audit functions;
  • Allocating to the SAP South Africa market unit additional legal compliance staff who are based in South Africa; and
  • Strengthening SAP’s Compliance Committee in the SAP Africa region.

The contracts in question:

  1. In December 2014, SAP concluded a contract for the sale of software to Transnet with GSS serving as a sales commission agent. SAP provided software and received revenue in the amount of approximately ZAR 65 million (approximately USD 5.6 million), and paid a commission to GSS in the amount of approximately ZAR 6.5 million (approximately USD 535,000). Including VAT, SAP paid the third party approximately ZAR 7.4 million (approximately USD 607,000). This represents a 10% commission.
  2. In September 2015, SAP concluded a contract for the sale of software to Transnet. CAD House acted as a sales commission agent. SAP provided software and received revenue in the amount of approximately ZAR 100 million (approximately USD 7.25 million), and paid a commission to CAD House in the amount of approximately ZAR 14.9 million (approximately USD 1 million). Including VAT, SAP paid the third party approximately ZAR 17 million (approximately USD 1.13 million). This represents a 14.9% commission.
  3. In March 2016, SAP concluded a contract for the sale of software to Eskom with CAD House acting as a sales commission agent. SAP provided software and received revenue in the amount of approximately ZAR 61.5 million (approximately USD 4.2 million), and paid a commission to CAD House in the amount of approximately ZAR 7.6 million (approximately USD 518,000). Including VAT, SAP paid the third party approximately ZAR 8.6 million (approximately USD 592,000). This represents a 14.9% commission.
  4. In November 2016, SAP concluded a contract for the sale of software and services to Eskom with CAD House acting as a sales commission agent. SAP provided software and services and received revenue in the amount of approximately ZAR 434 million (approximately USD 30.75 million), and paid a commission to CAD House in the amount of approximately ZAR 64.6 million (approximately USD 4.7 million). Including VAT, SAP paid the third party approximately ZAR 73.7 million (approximately USD 5.3 million). This represents a 14.9% commission.
    The ZAR 434 million paid by Eskom to SAP included an allocation for consulting services to be provided in the future. In March 2017, SAP concluded a subcontract with Lejara Global Solutions, a Gupta-related entity, to assist SAP in providing these services to Eskom.  In June 2017, SAP paid Lejara Global Solutions approximately ZAR 19.1 million (approximately USD 1.49 million), which including VAT totaled ZAR 21.9 million (approximately USD 1.7 million). The subcontract between SAP and Lejara Global Solutions called for SAP to pay Lejara approximately ZAR 17.7 million (approximately USD 1.36 million) at the conclusion of the consulting project, which was finished in late July 2017.  However, SAP declined to make any additional payments to the subcontractor. The investigation confirmed that SAP provided the full deliverables to Eskom as promised.
  5. In December 2016, SAP concluded a contract for the sale of cloud services to Eskom with CAD House acting as a sales commission agent. The value of the contract was approximately ZAR 21 million (approximately USD 1.5 million). Eskom has not made any payment on this contract, and SAP has not paid any commission to CAD House.
  6. In June 2017, SAP concluded a contract for the sale of software to Eskom with CAD House acting as a sales commission agent. The value of the contract was approximately ZAR 42.15 million (approximately USD 3.3 million). Eskom has not made any payment on this contract, and SAP has not paid any commission to CAD House.

Additional actions:

On 8 November 2017, SAP notified the National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) of SAP’s willingness to cooperate with any investigation they might undertake.

SAP continues to cooperate with the investigations being conducted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  These investigations came as a result of SAP’s voluntary disclosure on 13 July 2017.  Baker McKenzie is in regular communication with these authorities on SAP’s behalf, and has provided more than 100,000 pages of documents to the authorities.  SAP has committed to full cooperation with the DOJ and SEC.

On 30 November 2017, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (“CIPC”) notified SAP that it had laid charges with the South African Police Service for SAP’s alleged contravention of section 214(1)(c) of the Companies Act of 2008 and section 12(1)(b)(i)(a) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004.  SAP has advised the investigating officer that the company is willing to cooperate with any investigation they might undertake.


Categories: What's New

POLITICO Establishes Global AI Forum for Business Leaders and Policymakers with Accenture as Founding Partner

Accenture News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 05:59
BRUSSELS; March 8, 2018 – POLITICO, with Accenture Applied Intelligence as the founding partner, is launching a global artificial intelligence (AI) forum to help business leaders and government policymakers understand the impact of AI innovation and to inform responsible use of AI. As AI-based decisions have an increasing impact on human lives, the initiative aims to empower decision-makers to build a framework for governance in pivotal and unchartered territory.
Categories: What's New

SAP Takes Brazil to the Cloud with Local Launch of SAP S/4HANA Cloud

SAP News - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 14:35
SÃO PAULO SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the intelligent cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution from SAP, is now generally available in Brazil.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud already has customers in multiple product-centric and service-centric industries worldwide who benefit from instant value and cost savings. The suite is delivering improved efficiencies across project management, manufacturing, sales order management, inventory and supply chain management, finance and procurement. SAP S/4HANA Cloud contains built-in machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities and helps to streamline business processes with a simplified user experience. Businesses receive the latest innovations through quarterly updates, allowing them to adapt quickly to changing business conditions.

“We see tremendous opportunities for SAP S/4HANA Cloud in the Brazilian market as Brazil has long been a leader in embracing new technologies,” said Franck Cohen, president, Cloud ERP, SAP. “The intelligent cloud suite from SAP supports large and midsize companies in Brazil to further accelerate innovation. We look forward to collaborating with customers and partners across a range of industries to guide them on their journey to the public cloud.”

The planned localizations specific to Brazil will include support for:

  • Invoice generation for logistics scenarios, such as procurement for direct materials and services, sales for OEM production, resale, subcontracting, returnable packaging and industrialization
  • Electronic invoice auxiliary documents (DANFE in Portuguese)
  • Incoming payments: payment orders, the Brazil-specific payment method called Boleto Bancário, interbank funds transfer (online electronic funds transfer – TED and intraday credit document – DOC) and checking account crediting (bank transfers between accounts)
  • Outgoing payments: Boleto Bancário, Duplicata and automatic direct debits (DDA)
  • Fiscal digital bookkeeping of invoices created in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, tax on circulation of goods, transportation and communication services (ICMS), and tax on industrialized products (IPI)
  • Reference charts of account in compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • Electronic invoice integration for SAP Localization Hub, electronic invoicing service for Brazil (nota fiscal electronica), on SAP Cloud Platform (government server communication)
  • Tax calculation integration with certified SAP partners through SAP App Center on SAP Cloud Platform

Learn more about cloud ERP from SAP.

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

Media Contact:
Danielle Restivo, +44 7900 748721, danielle.restivo@sap.com, GMT

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

Why Your Path to the Cloud Should Mirror the Choice and Flexibility of the Technology Itself

SAP News - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:15
Digital technology continues its incredible pace with a seemingly endless number of options coming at us.

From bots and blockchain to intelligent apps and analytics, HR organizations, like all other business areas across companies, have a game-changing opportunity to transform and individualize how work gets done inside and outside the office.

Regardless of what technologies we choose to support business transformation and reimagine the employee experience, cloud is the fuel for innovation. According to research and consulting firm Computer Economics, organizations are steadily moving their legacy on-premise systems to cloud environments as fast as reasonably possible to more easily take advantage of the latest waves of innovation. Still, given that SAP has over 300,000 customers globally, we often hear that managing the cost, risk, and uncertainty of digitalization — the new business models, evolving industries, and entirely new behaviors required to interact with customers, partners, and employees — is a challenge for many.

At SAP, we consider these concerns voiced by our customers in everything we do. While the adoption of SAP SuccessFactors solutions continues to accelerate in all parts of the world, some are moving faster than others to fully embrace a new IT operating model in the cloud. Our long-term strategy is to showcase the benefits and the full range of innovation that comes in the cloud, and enabling customers to move when they’re ready with the confidence, resources, and expertise needed to succeed.

Simplifying – and Demystifying – the Cloud with Empathy and Choice

We recently developed two offerings to help organizations ready to gain the significant competitive advantages that come from cloud-based solutions, simplify their path to the cloud:

  • SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub connects legacy HR systems to on-premise deployments of SAP ERP, SAP Business Suite, and SAP S/4HANA. The solution gives customers predefined integration content and quick access to organizational charts and employee profiles – online and through a mobile app. Although this is not an additional version of our HR solutions, it is another way to resolve a fundamental hurdle when moving to the cloud: HR master data management.
  • Upgrade2Success cloud adoption program brings together updated guidance, services, and tools to help address the business case, prove the ROI of cloud investments and plans, and integrate data with ease. By taking the guesswork out of moving to the cloud, businesses can better identify which components and data should be transferred to the cloud while protecting their existing instances of human capital management solutions.

For our customers, especially those operating in highly regulated countries, these offerings bring a welcomed opportunity to address the need for long-term planning and security considerations. In fact, the planned SAP HCM for SAP S/4HANA solution gives customers until 2030 to stay on premise as they sort out the details of their cloud strategy while taking advantage of the data processing power, speed, and capacity of the SAP HANA platform.

And as David Ludlow recently described to the SAP Americas User Group (ASUG), “We’ve been getting an increasing number of questions with regard to what happens to the on-premise segment for HCM past 2025—there’s no native HCM capabilities in SAP S/4HANA. The assumption has been that customers will leverage SAP SuccessFactors as they move the enterprise parts to SAP S/4HANA. What we also know at the same time is that there are customers moving to SAP S/4HANA that want to remain on premise for HR for the foreseeable future.”

People Central Hub and Upgrade2Success provide HR organizations with a digital foundation that helps:

  • Rethink and simplify the HR function with standardized and streamlined business processes, while lowering cost and complexity at the same time
  • Meet the expectations of today’s workforce with user-centric technology that is simple to deploy and enjoyable to use
  • Change the way HR serves the business with analytics and intelligence available in real-time
  • Stay current with technology innovations with updates every quarter
  • Free IT resources from customization and maintenance giving them more time to focus on business-value creation and innovation. (Isn’t that what we’re all looking for at work? Fewer manual tasks, and more time spent on contributing to the success of our companies.)

SAP SuccessFactors solutions, development, and leadership teams are 100 pecent focused on providing the innovations that our customers need to adapt their processes to an increasingly digital, fast-paced world. Whatever your journey, we want to offer you a low risk, low cost, high value path to success.

Greg Tomb is president SAP SuccessFactors

Categories: What's New

Who Knew Blockchain Could Make Government This Easy? This Italian CIO

SAP News - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 11:30
The Italian province of South Tyrol is best known for its alpine mountains and ski resorts. With the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants of any Italian region, South Tyrol is also renowned for its culinary innovation.

It also happens to be one of the most forward-thinking regions when it comes to using the latest technologies, like blockchain, to improve citizen engagement. This is due, in large part, to the vision of Stefan Gasslitter, CIO of South Tyrol. He wants citizens’ experience to enjoy dealing with public agencies to match the beauty of the local Dolomite mountains.

Gasslitter explains the challenge: “Citizens fill out forms every time they engage with the public administration. There are multiple registrations of the same information. We want to change that. We want to ask people for data once and use it forever.”

With blockchain technology, South Tyrol can create a chain of certification that authenticates and maintains people’s data indefinitely — instead of having to verify every instance of someone’s data each time a citizen enters their personal information. Moreover, Gasslitter believes blockchain can act as an integration layer to help simplify the province administration’s IT landscape.

He says, “We have more than 1,000 different software applications to store and use citizens’ data. Every agency is like a small kingdom and doesn’t share data. Our goal is to simplify processes and increase transparency. We’re creating a model of data sharing within South Tyrol that we hope can be scaled across Italy.”

For Gasslitter, this use of blockchain is one plank of his larger strategy to drive the digital transformation of South Tyrol. As an autonomous province and the wealthiest region in Italy, there are high expectations of technology and the means to invest in a digital journey.

SAP is working with the local government to bring this vision to life. Using blockchain technology from SAP on SAP Cloud Platform, the two organizations created a prototype to help South Tyrol go digital with citizen data as a first step toward full digitization.

Blockchain: Perfectly Suited to the Public Sector

Holger Tallowitz focuses on creating blockchain solutions for public sector customers at SAP. He explained that Gasslitter could have simply loaded application forms online but that would have been “de-materialization” versus digitalization. Instead the two organizations wanted to use disruptive technology – in this case blockchain – to deliver better services to citizens. By digitizing and securing data within blockchain, South Tyrol can create entirely new models for how it engages with citizens and other organizations.

Tallowitz believes blockchain is perfectly suited to the public sector: “Public processes happen as a result of legislation and so by definition, are heavily regulated. Required information that goes into contracts needs to be vetted and verified. Because blockchain creates a system of record that’s irrefutable and unbreakable, it can make work ‘trustless.’ Trust is given by the mathematics of blockchain.”

Moving forward, South Tyrol and SAP want to develop a blockchain prototype that will digitize workflow processes for telco companies that want to build new cell phone towers.

The Dolomites, which run through South Tyrol, are a UNESCO protected site so telco companies that want to set up new towers or equipment for mobile service must go through a rigorous application process. For example, they must hire external experts and environmental agencies to perform evaluations and show that their equipment will not impact the environment. Sometimes applications are rejected, which might involve going to court and proving that all parties have followed the correct procedures.

“Blockchain can document workflow steps to apply for new towers and make sure the steps are done correctly,” says Tallowitz. “The result is an irrefutable, secure and traceable workflow record.” Looking ahead he says South Tyrol has about 400 different workflow processes that could benefit from this approach.

While Gasslitter moves ahead with new blockchain-based prototypes for digital government, he’s already thinking about how this foundation can be used to better serve the regions’ 500,000 citizens. “We are creating a unique online resource called “mycivis” where people can store and verify their information in blockchain, and use the relevant data for interactions with the public authorities, like to register for schools or apply for houses.”

And he’s just getting started.

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SAP Ariba President Barry Padgett: Give Yourself Permission to Dream

SAP News - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 10:15
SAP Ariba President Barry Padgett welcomed a capacity crowd of procurement innovators to SAP Ariba Live in Las Vegas by urging them to reimagine the world and their role in the way it ought to be, take a pledge to end forced labor in their supply chains, and build a legacy for future generations.

His stirring keynote kicked off with some serious rock band jamming and ended with a challenge to becomes champions of change, weaving in the themes of innovation, transformation, and resilience.

“Systems are getting smarter at home and work, delivering intelligent experiences that are contextual and hyper-relevant to us,” said Padgett. “It’s not just making things easier or faster. It should be about making a difference and making a change, and not just for us but our companies and the world at-large. It’s incumbent on us ‒ now that we’re the largest conference of its kind worldwide ‒ to dream, to imagine, and to think about constraints being lifted. It’s not just an obligation to our customers. Do it for the rest of the industry and all the folks not here. Let’s give ourselves permission to dream. It’s a journey, not a destination.”

At #SAPAribaLive, Barry Padgett encouraged a capacity crowd of procurement innovators to dream. It’s a journey, not a destination.

Small Idea Has Huge Impact on Families

One of the inspirational highlights of opening day was when Kate Swingle came on stage with Val Blatt, global vice president of Services at SAP Ariba, to share her family’s personal story using Step Up For Students. This non-profit scholarship organization has partnered with SAP Ariba to create an online marketplace where parents with students that are disadvantaged or have special needs can easily search for and purchase school tuition, educational services, and supplies with just a few clicks. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Swingle, who was at times overcome by emotion, described her odyssey as an advocate for her son.

“My oldest son has autism, and we’ve had to take a road not many people want to travel,” said Swingle. “Step Up for Students paid for the second semester of my son’s private school. His trajectory has been amazing. He learned to read and write, and it’s exploded from there. They saved my child’s life. I’ve used my scholarship money to pay for tuition, tutoring, occupational therapy, and behavior analysis therapy.”

Kate Swingle (middle), described her family’s journey using Step Up For Students. Left, Val Blatt, global vice president of Services at SAP Ariba; right, Jonathan Beckham, vice president of Technology Strategy and Innovation at Step Up For Students.

Swingle emphasized that while she was able to obtain reimbursement for his scholarship and other services from Step Up For Students, many parents cannot afford to pay up front for these expenses, which is where the Ariba Network comes in.

“Parents will be able to go online and put the educational services they need in their basket and check out, automatically charging the cost against their [scholarship fund] accounts,” she said. “This has changed the game for thousands of Florida parents like me.”

She summarized her thoughts with this passionate challenge to the audience. “SAP Ariba created a platform for corporations that’s helping a stay-at-home mom in Central Florida – this is huge. Continue to do your job, but think outside the box and don’t be afraid to think small because the smallest things grow big.”

Chief Collaborator Role Emerges

Calling procurement a totally different game today, Padgett excited the audience with a new vision for practitioners in a global, digital, and fast-paced world. As the world’s largest global business network transacting over $1.6 trillion in commerce each year, Padgett said SAP Ariba is committed to delivering tools and technologies that procurement can use to collaborate across the organization to create ethical, sustainable supply chains providing value to the world.

“Your role used to be defined by your ability to generate cost-savings and process efficiencies. Now it’s also about collaboration,” said Padgett. “Businesses know that to meet revenue and cash flow goals everyone in their business has to be connected. Whether you’re in procurement, finance, IT, sales, or marketing, you now have an opportunity to become the chief collaboration officers, the CCOs of your company, because we finally have the tools available for cognitive insights to get ahead of problems.”

SAP and… Seamlessly

Rob Enslin, president of the Cloud Business Group and member of the Executive Board at SAP, joined Padgett on stage to share the company’s cloud business transformation story. He talked about Africa Code Week, which provides opportunities to disadvantaged youth in that country, and SAP’s partnership with ERP (Elephants, Rhinos and People), a non-profit using SAP HANA and machine learning to save elephants from poachers.

“SAP’s heritage is in designing integrated business processes for 26 industries, so we have a deep understanding of the supply chain,” he said. “Our transformation is massively about people and how they understand the future, and how they can dream about using software to benefit their business.”

Enslin told the audience that SAP is building solutions aligned to people’s needs for simplicity in a dynamic digital world.

“We need to move to a world where if you want to use our solutions, it’s not Ariba, Concur, or Fieldglass. We will move to having a seamless experience across all our products,” he said. “You don’t have to know multiple systems. We will change the way you experience all of our cloud products to ensure you get what you expect.”

Making Procurement Intelligent

Alexandra Lopez, chief procurement officer and vice president of Global Procurement at Cisco, picked up the dream big theme as she talked about her company’s partnership with SAP to transform procurement with an intelligent, consumer-like experience that delivers greater business value.

“The dream I have that will come to life with our SAP partnership is to deliver strategic, proactive, insightful procurement information at scale at the fingertips of the decision-makers without us having to be directly involved. We can have conversations around why speed, quality, and cost don’t need to be a trade-off in negotiations. Or how are we going to accelerate the value that sales, engineering, and services delivers to the market.”

Lopez said digitized procurement ecosystems will be a great equalizer: “Outward bias disappears when people sitting side by side building digital intelligence. What’s good for the world is good for business. Because we can do so much more in procurement, we must do so much more.”

Follow me @smgaler

Categories: What's New

More Chinese Businesses Choose SAP to Help Optimize Digital HR Strategies

SAP News - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 10:00
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that theme park and resort operator Chimelong Group, bakery and food brand KENGEE and retailer MINISO have selected SAP SuccessFactors solutions for human capital management to help drive digital transformation in the workplace.

“It’s exciting to see continued momentum around the globe with companies who recognize the power of SAP for the way we can uniquely address their business transformation needs across all systems,” SAP SuccessFactors President Greg Tomb said. “And of course, we see that people are at the center of all successful businesses, as companies focus on connecting their own people experience to their desired customer experience. We continue to innovate our solutions to provide that best-in-class HR experience demanded today in businesses across industries.”

These companies are among the latest to choose SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help streamline HR operations and deliver the world-class workforce experience today’s employees expect:

  • Chimelong Group Co. Ltd. is a leading brand in China’s tourism industry that owns and operates theme parks and leisure entertainment businesses. The company selected SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Hybris solutions to help build a modern operation for HR, sales and marketing. Chimelong will use SAP S/4HANA as the foundation platform for its digital transformation and will develop a digital boardroom solution to provide executives with real-time information across the entire operation.
  • KENGEE is a bakery and food brand in China that chose SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Hybris Commerce, SAP Hybris Marketing, and SAP Ariba solutions along with SAP S/4HANA to support its rapid regional expansion and to help it become an efficient, real-time organization. These solutions will help provide an end-to-end HR system, create an omnichannel marketing platform, centralize group procurement and further integrate its financial and operational departments.
  • MINISO Co. Ltd. is a Japanese designer brand headquartered in China with more than 2,400 stores in over 60 countries. The company chose SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help optimize performance management and enable HR self-service capabilities. MINISO also selected SAP S/4HANA as a core platform to enable business operations and the SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer solution to help provide customer-specific personalized design, support sales revenue growth and gain market share. With these SAP solutions, MINISO aims to achieve digital transformation and establish a new retail model.

These companies join more than 6,400 global organizations in 193 countries leveraging SAP SuccessFactors solutions to prioritize employees and empower them to succeed. As digital transformation continues to be critical to the success of today’s increasingly global workforce, more organizations are depending on leading SAP SuccessFactors solutions to provide exceptional employee experiences and optimize HR strategies.

For more information, visit the SAP SuccessFactors solutions website and the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SuccessFactors 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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Accenture Opens Innovation Hub in Zurich to Help Clients with Their Digital Transformation Agendas

Accenture News - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 04:59
ZURICH; March 7, 2018 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) will open an Innovation Hub in Zurich today, accompanied by an evening event for clients. The hub focuses on the creation of new customer experiences, spanning a range of design, innovation and technology capabilities in one location. It allows clients to tap into the full spectrum of skills needed to co-create innovative digital solutions with speed and agility – all in a creative, inspiring space.
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Avoid Digital Disruption With an End-to-End Winning Mentality

SAP News - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:45
Sports play a huge role in my life. Whether rooting for Notre Dame, watching my kids in action or running on the treadmill, I appreciate the heart, determination, and effort that go into competition. How design thinking is transforming our culture

I also admire how sports unify people by bringing together different backgrounds and cultures in moments of victory or defeat. What I value most about sports, though, is the work that goes unnoticed — the blood, sweat and tears sacrificed behind the scenes to help push a team over the finish line.

At SAP, we practice this type of work every day. It is one of our foundational pillars and it underpins who we are as a company. While the sports fan in me likes to refer to it as game planning, the business leader in me calls it design thinking. Similar to how a coach prepares strategies for his or her team to overcome unforeseen challenges in a sporting event, design thinkers actively reimagine business models, business processes, and the way companies work to outperform digital disruption.

Design thinking empowers us to redefine business problems through empathy and creativity

Design thinking is essentially a human-centered and empathetic approach to innovation that integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success. It breaks boundaries for businesses by rethinking current problems and developing entirely new capabilities.

Transforming a Corporate Culture

SAP Co-Founder Hasso Plattner always believed design thinking was a necessity for software development and business success. In 2004, Plattner started the first d.school at Stanford University. He helped a similar school open four years later in Potsdam, Germany. Plattner brought 35 of these design thinkers into SAP to collaborate with the corporate strategy group. Design thinking quickly became a strategic priority to help us drive innovation across the entire organization internally. In 2012, we took it up a notch by infusing design thinking externally — in customer scenarios — to re-frame their business problems, help them discover new business outcomes, and find human meaning for technology.

Design thinking empowers us to redefine business problems through empathy and creativity. We are putting our customers’ needs, motivations, and expectations at the center of our innovation strategy to find real business problems, lead breakthrough innovations, and create customers for life. The beauty of it is that it’s agile and highly adaptive to the most diverse customer preferences. It’s also our way of bringing human meaning to technology — working differently to explore customer needs, create new value, and invest in the future of businesses.


Leveraging Design Thinking

To successfully adopt design thinking, you have to evolve your mindset when approaching business challenges. Rather than solving problems, it’s about uncovering unmet needs and finding the problems. It’s about asking open-ended questions, networking with a diverse group of people to expand perspectives, and maybe even experiencing some failure along the way.

Design thinking combines collaboration with experimentation to rapidly scale innovation across an organization. The creative framework of it, when done right, raises the competency of the entire organization. It is accelerating the pace of digital transformations, targeting developing markets, and creating new revenue streams to keep businesses ahead of disruption.   

The Core to Future (and Fast) Innovation

To remain competitive, companies are adopting faster and more iterative ways to leverage digital technology and catalyze rapid change. Just like building a game plan in sports, I believe design thinking is the go-to strategy for defeating digital disruption and outperforming the competition. It’s truly reinventing the future of businesses. Just look at SAP’s new system of innovation launched last year, SAP Leonardo.

The “wow factor” of SAP Leonardo is not just that it enables customers to leverage technologies like IoT, machine learning, blockchain, analytics, and Big Data, but that it was created with design thinking at the core to help companies fast track their digital transformations.

What once started as an experiment with a handful of people has now transformed a culture and started a movement. The only way to really “get innovation right” is to start with design thinking. It is the key differentiator between today’s fastest moving players and those that sit on the bench and watch them go by.

Lloyd Adams is managing director of the East Region at SAP

Categories: What's New

Accenture Interactive Selected by The Walt Disney Studios as Innovation Partner of Disney StudioLAB

Accenture News - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 11:29
LOS ANGELES; March 6, 2018 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has been appointed by The Walt Disney Studios as a founding member and Innovation Partner of StudioLAB, an initiative dedicated to reimagining, designing and prototyping the entertainment experiences and production capabilities of the future using innovative technologies.
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