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SAP to Release Fourth Quarter 2017 Results

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

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

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

Machines Can’t Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better Together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economic Impact

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

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

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

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

 

No Room for Small Dreams

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

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

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

Bill McDermott is CEO of SAP SE

This story also appeared on the World Economic Forum website.

Categories: What's New

A Recipe for Retailers That Want Their Mojo Back

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

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

Lessons in Physics and Merchandising

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

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

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

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

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

Technology for Success in Retail

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

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

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

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

Searching for Something? Let It Find You

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

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

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

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

Follow me on Twitter: @magyarj.

This story previously appeared on the SAP Community.

Categories: What's New

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teaming Up for Hacker’s Mindset

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

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

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

Security is Everyone’s Responsibility

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

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

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

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

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

A Passion for Security

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

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

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

Follow me: @smgaler

Categories: What's New

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

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

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

Consumers Expect a Give-and-Take Relationship with Brands

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

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

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

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

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

Winning Consumers Over Takes Time, But Losing Them Is Easy

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

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

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

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

About SAP

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

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Categories: What's New

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

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

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

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

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

What These Thought Leaders Foresee

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

– Amit Rustagi, Big Data Technologist, Western Digital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Chandran Saravana, Senior Director, Advanced Analytics, SAP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– David Den Boer, Founder, Column5 Consulting

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

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

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

– Brian Katz, Enterprise Architect, Oath Technology

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

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

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

SAP Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions Special Upcoming Shows

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

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

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

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

Categories: What's New

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

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

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

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

Building the Case for Budget

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

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

The Convergence of Technologist and Marketer

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

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

The Power of Partnership

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

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

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

Categories: What's New

SAP Helps Partners Boost Their Cloud Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karl Fahrbach is head of Global Channels at SAP

Categories: What's New

How the SAP Innovative Business Solutions Organization Empowers Clients to Realize Digital Innovation

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:05
In this exclusive interview, Klaus Weber, executive vice president and general manager of SAP Innovative Business Solutions, discusses how his team is working with clients to support the innovation process, end-to-end, and to empower enterprises to overcome their biggest hurdles, realize their goals and achieve business transformation.

Q: In conversations with your clients, what are you hearing about innovation in this era of digital transformation – any major concerns or challenges? 

A: It’s a really interesting dynamic our clients face today. They’re excited by the prospect of digital transformation, but they feel pressure to deliver and that causes insecurity. That insecurity is heightened by the urgency of having to compete in new ways and against new players.

Many of our clients are trying to figure out how to shift their business models and longstanding processes so that they stand out from the competition.  At the same time, they have to figure out what new technologies need to be introduced. Many choose to just act – or react – first and think second. And that’s not the best approach.

In fact, the best digital transformation projects start with self-reflection. Companies must figure out what their competitive advantages are and, in turn, what new threats they’re facing in this digital economy. Bottom line, what does the business need to do to remain competitive or become the disruptor in their market? That’s where SAP can offer value.

How does your organization deliver value to its clients?

With business environments shifting at such a rapid pace, companies rarely have the time to brainstorm digital strategies, let alone realize them. SAP provides cloud-based enterprise applications, powered by advanced technologies, that are the central nervous system of the intelligent enterprise. And SAP Innovative Business Solutions helps drive innovation that quickly brings our client’s vision to life. We do that by collaborating with our clients– from discovery and design to development and deployment – to build tailored, high-value applications.

Through an end-to-end process, starting with exploration workshops, we use design thinking practices to help our clients diagnose their challenges and opportunities, zero in on their specific business process requirements and determine the solutions and technology needed to deliver on their vision. The result is a roadmap that delivers individualized, transformative solutions, faster and cost-effectively through an agile collaborative approach that puts their users at the center of every stage of development.

With access to our team of over 2,000 development professionals and backed by the strength of 38,000 SAP R&D and services experts, clients are guided through the entire innovation process. And the best part is, we don’t stop there. We enable our clients to stay focused on their next innovation by offering to support, continuously improve and operate their tailored solution using the same support infrastructure and cloud operation centers as their standard SAP software.

Can you share a client example?

Absolutely, a perfect example is Nanjing City, a megalopolis in eastern China aiming to become a modern international green city. Nanjing is currently home to a rapidly growing population of 8 million, which creates immense amounts of traffic and makes it difficult for the city’s government to ensure the mobility and safety of its citizens. To help optimize its population’s mobility experience, and find a “smart traffic solution,” Nanjing turned to SAP. SAP Leonardo was able to help Nanjing centralize and analyze all traffic data to help commuters get where they need to go in an efficient and safe manner. Currently,  Nanjing is using IoT technology to improve the perception of every sensor throughout the whole city, including those in taxis, buses, transit cards and more, with the aim of measuring and  improving the city’s transit and overall mobility challenges.

How does SAP Innovative Business Solutions help its clients take advantage of technological advances, like machine learning, IoT, blockchain, and others to help drive their innovation?

There are so many technological advances today. It’s all moving so quickly, and each is at a different stage of maturity and adoption. For example, IoT is arguably the most mature (although still quite young), whereas blockchain is still in the exploratory phases, and machine learning is somewhere in between. Our job is to help our clients navigate each of these advances and to understand how each can be used to positively impact their business, or solve a critical challenge. Once we identify the right technology for the job, we develop solutions that fit the exact need that the client is trying to address.

One such example is the work we have done with CITIC Pacific Mining (CPM), one of the biggest mining, processing and port operators in Australia. With over 200 light vehicles and movable assets like generators and elevated work platforms, CPM needed more transparency regarding the location and status of their vehicles, in order to track condition, diesel usage, and manage insurance costs in real time. SAP Innovative Business Solutions incorporated SAP Leonardo Internet of Things capabilities and SAP Vehicle Insights to develop a cloud application extension, which equipped all vehicles with sensors to track data, helping to streamline CPM’s claims for monthly fuel tax credits and improve the utilization and maintenance of its light vehicle fleet. SAP Vehicle Insights is able to grow as the operation grows, integrating with third-party software and monitoring driver behavior in real time. As a result of CPM’s innovation and collaboration with SAP Innovative Business Solutions, stakeholders are pleased with the operational outcomes, and looking towards taking further steps to enhance their business operations.

What are the major changes you see in the marketplace by 2020 and how will your team and SAP support them?

If you look at the digital leaders, they are actively experimenting. The technological advances will continue to come to light at a pace that is faster than ever before and the digital leaders will keep looking for ways to use those new advances to disrupt the way things are done in business today. Clients can expect SAP Innovative Business Solutions to be on the cutting edge of understanding how to put the latest advances into practice and make innovation real for their business. And they can expect for us to continue finding ways to deliver the solutions even more quickly so they can reap the rewards faster.

And remember that innovation is cyclical. As the value of new technologies is proven, we expect to see some common industry themes and patterns of success emerge. We have already seen it with IoT for predictive maintenance in heavy asset intensive enterprises like utilities and oil and gas. We are starting to see it with blockchain, and to track and trace products in consumer and ethics driven industries like pharmaceuticals, consumer products and agriculture. And we expect to see many more in the coming years.

This is something we actively collaborate on with the core SAP development organization  as we evaluate what trends gain the most traction among our client base. It will help guide us over the course of the next two to three years as we determine which offerings to standardize and productize. From there, we can help to set industry best practices that will inform how the next generation of technological advances can be put to use for all SAP clients to leverage.

Discover how the SAP Innovative Business Solutions organization can help your business find its unique competitive advantage and make innovation real. Visit sap.com/InnovBizSolutions , and read our announcement.
Categories: What's New

Experiences Matter in Asia’s Battle for the Best Talent

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:15
At the crack of dawn, I woke up every Saturday with a single mission: find a job to fulfill my dream of working and living in Germany.

Back in 1992, this was not a simple task. I had to drive 50 miles to Manchester Airport, run to the nearest newsstand, and pray that a copy of the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung with the “Jobs” section still intact was still available. Then, I would apply to each job by mailing a paper resume and cover letter, hoping that the prospective employer would one day call me on my landline or reply back in kind with a letter by post.

Compared to that early experience, it’s interesting how much recruiting has changed in the last 25 years. Nowadays, high-potential job candidates are no longer searching through thousands of job postings to find the right position. Instead, recruiters are the ones who are actively mining thousands of candidate profiles amid a 40% shortage of skilled applicants.

For small and midsize businesses in Asia, this war for talent is quite challenging. On one end of the field, they are fighting deep-pocketed enterprises operating with vast recruiting networks and offering top salaries and benefits. And on the other side, exciting startups are waving their battle flag of enticing lucrative stock options and cutting-edge work.

How can small and midsize businesses ever get the talent they need to grow and survive?

It’s Time to Move From the Local Talent Pool to an Ocean Of Potential

Small and medium businesses generate immense economic growth and innovation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region. In fact, they account for approximately 97% of all companies in this area, employing over half of today’s workforce and contributing 20%–50% of their national GDP. But despite exhibiting such economic power, they struggle with providing job stability, mature processes, and desired remuneration to potential candidates.

Sun Zi’s book Art of War reminds us to “know yourself and know your enemy, and you will never be defeated.” Recruiters need to stop frequenting their traditional pond of talent that is running dry as large enterprises and quick-growing startups earn the attention of high-potential candidates. Instead, Asia’s small and midsize businesses need to stand up against the competition by fishing in an international sea of candidates.

To attract and engage the right people at the right time and faster than their competitors, growing businesses should consider three fundamental strategies.

1. Get on the digital radar of high-potential talent: With more than two-thirds of the region’s population actively using mobile devices to access digital and social channels, small and midsize businesses need to take advantage of networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WeChat so that viable candidates can find them with ease. Social profiles should also link to a simple, yet elegant, career site that reflects the authenticity of the employer brand and values.

2. Build a nurturing environment for new hires and existing talent: The more digital our world becomes, the tighter the link between workforce engagement and recruitment. Because employees share their experiences anonymously on a variety of social channels, it is critical to create a workplace culture that is positive, nurturing, and meaningful.

To deliver such an environment, recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers should focus on attracting and developing candidates with beliefs and values that reflect those of the business. Aligning people with a specific organizational value or mission ignites a passion for bringing that vision to life that drives future success.

3. Deliver a consistent customer experience: Much of what job candidates know about a brand is based on their experience as customers. Although impressive service can be a key enabler of survival and growth, it can also drive a loyal customer base that new hires and existing employees find attractive and motivational. Through continuous coaching, learning, and actionable feedback, managers can help employees deliver such an experience 24×7 across all channels.

Small and Midsize Businesses Can Triumph in the Battle for the Right Talent

Traditionally, small and midsize businesses struggle with embracing change and using technology and innovation to address it. However, this mindset is not compatible with a talent pool that is leading highly digital lifestyles.

Small and midsize businesses in Asia can take advantage of its flatter hierarchical structure and close-knit, familial culture to help make digital transformation palatable for everyone from the shop floor to the boardroom. By taking small steps, the company can gradually use technology to automate repetitive processes, accelerate decision-making, and increase operational efficiency. This approach not only helps reduce costs, but it also lays the foundation for recruiting, developing, and retaining a workforce that can help the brand thrive over the long term.

Find out how small and midsize businesses are digitalizing HR with cloud-based models to create a competitive edge in the digital economy. Read the Forbes Insights briefing report “Competing for Talent in the Digital Age” sponsored by SAP SuccessFactors.

Andy Watson is head of SAP SuccessFactors, Asia Pacific Japan

Categories: What's New

IBM and SAP Combine Efforts to Accelerate SAP S/4HANA Implementations

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:00
Pre-configured SAP and IBM industry accelerators for SAP S/4HANA pave the way to digital transformation.

IBM and SAP have been working together to drive the modernization of clients’ systems and processes to thrive in today’s global economy. Since our digital transformation partnership announcement in 2016, our companies have been working together to offer businesses of all sizes a clear roadmap to innovate new business models, products, and processes to improve outcomes.

As we collaborate closely with our customers, we have seen many of the challenges posed by their existing systems and IT infrastructures that weren’t built for the constantly changing requirements of a data-driven business environment. As customers are seeking to implement next-generation platforms capable of meeting the demands of modern-day business, the need for additional tools has become clear.

To help businesses keep up with increasingly rapid change, and accelerate the pace of their digital transformations, IBM and SAP are collaborating to expand SAP Model Company offerings with IBM’s Industry Impact solutions. With IBM as the first SAP Partner to leverage the SAP Model Company framework, we are working together to offer the market a complementary set of capabilities helping to simplify and speed outcomes for clients that want to become AI-enabled enterprises.

The breadth and depth of the SAP and IBM industry accelerators, combined with the strength of SAP and IBM’s consulting practices, gives customers a major head start on their SAP S/4HANA projects and provide clients the ability to realize value from their deployments with even greater speed and agility as they pave the way to digital transformation.

Early adopters of this combined approach are already seeing significant benefits, including exponentially greater process coverage and, according to IBM research estimates, from 20 to 30% increases in implementation speed from the use of pre-configured industry solutions.*

By offering combined complementary sets of capabilities and solutions, customers can expect greater value through enhanced customer and user experiences and industry-specific functionality— all enabled with SAP S/4HANA, available on premise and in the cloud.

For example, this summer, our companies jointly announced the first innovative offering for the retail and consumer packaged goods industries aimed to help businesses increase profitability and improve the consumer experience by responding with speed, precision and confidence leveraging hyper-local data and AI. This capability is integrated into IBM’s Impact Industry solution and will now be a part of our complementary Food and Beverage solution.

IBM currently delivers accelerators for industries including retail, consumer products, food and beverage, auto, life sciences, industrial products (IM&C), high-tech/electronics, wholesale distribution, utilities, A&D, oil and gas, chemicals and public sector. On average, the IBM Impact solutions extend SAP Model Company’s strong foundation and rich industry content with more than 100 additional pre-configured processes to each industry accelerator. In addition, IBM offers a deeply enriched set of data conversion, testing, and training accelerators to compliment the embedded processes. That means more industries making speedier transformations, and more businesses empowered to embrace the new data-driven world.

For more information on this partnership, visit www.ibm-sap.com/digital_transformation. Let us show you how IBM and SAP industry solutions can help jump start your S/4HANA journey. Sign up today for an SAP S/4HANA Impact Assessment.

Harald Martin is senior vice president in the SAP Digital Business Services (DBS) board area, leading the DBS Partner Strategy and Business Development with a focus on joint engagement models with partners. Prior to this appointment, he was senior vice president in the SAP Global Partner Operations organization, responsible for the channel expansion strategy to identify and build additional indirect revenue streams. Earlier Harald held various roles including head of Strategic Service Partners, SAP’s internet/intranet strategy, corporate business development and joint go-to-market with partners for SAP products such as SAP NetWeaver, ERP, analytics and MDM. Martin is an SAP veteran with more than 24 years of experience in various roles. In particular, he has an outstanding expertise in strategic alliances, partner business development, sales, complex project management and a broad understanding of and experience in American, European and Asian business cultures. He is located at the SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany

Keith Costello is global vice president and general manager, SAP Global Business Services Leader, IBM. He doesn’t just embrace change, he drives it. For over 25 years, he’s helped leading technology firms develop and deploy advancements that transform industries, shift economies, and alter the way we work. Collaborating with clients, Mr. Costello has enabled growing organizations and Fortune 500 corporations implement revolutionary systems that improve processes in the workplace, freeing humans from mundane tasks, and increasing the value of those whose imagination and passion stimulate further innovation. Mr. Costello now brings his decades of accomplishment to IBM where he will be leading the global SAP business in GBS, and assisting joint clients as they implement new technology strategies to drive long-term growth and profitability. Mr. Costello is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley.

*Based on analysis of project estimates and actuals by IBM’s Impact Project Estimation Team

Categories: What's New

Innovative Hack Challenges with SAP at the #FCBayernHackDays

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:15
New technologies develop rapidly and become more and more important in sports — on and off the field. In a partnership with German football champion FC Bayern München, SAP helps to bring the fans closer to the sport and deeper into the fan experience. The next level in achieving this goal? The first international #FCBayernHackDays.

Next week, from January 19-22, FC Bayern München will host the #FCBayernHackDays together with partners, leading experts, startups, and students from all over the world for the very first time. FC Bayern has invited fans, entrepreneurs, creatives, tech evangelists, innovators, designers, hackers, makers & more to jointly tackle new challenges and research new innovative possibilities. Participants will take part in different hack challenges in teams of 3-5 persons with the final pitches taking place on Monday, January 22.

What Is a Hackathon?
In general, a hackathon — also known as hack days or codefest — is a software- and hardware-development event where different participants work collaboratively in teams on technical, business, and design problems. Hackathons typically have a specific topic, such as sports innovation, and a goal to generate useful, creative, or innovative software and/or hardware prototypes and/or ideas together within the time span of the event. More information about the #FCBayernHackDays is available at https://hackdays.fcbayern.com/.

As the official technology partner of FC Bayern München and front runner for technology innovation to bring fans closer to the action, SAP will host an own challenge at the #FCBayernHackDays, focusing on fan-activation 4.0: Inventing fascinating and innovative digital fan experiences. Key questions of the SAP challenge are:

  • What are your ideas how to turn unknown into known fans by offering innovative personalized digital fan experiences?
  • How would you use content, digital channels and situations to identify and address fans worldwide?
  • How do we connect international fan communities?

SAP development and design thinking experts will also coach and support the participants with their knowledge.

“The FC Bayern hack days are a great platform for us to take a topic, that we’ve been designing together with our partner FC Bayern München for years, to the next level: How can we continue to improve the fan experience at their favorite sports?”, says Cora Ackermann, Head of Soccer Partnerships, SAP. “We really look forward to seeing some innovative ideas being developed at the event and of course at the SAP challenge in particular. The FC Bayern hack days are the perfect place to connect with the IT talents from tomorrow.”

The #FCBayernHackDays will take place at the Allianz Arena in Munich. Updates will be shared regularly via FC Bayern’s digital channels.

SAP and FC Bayern München
As part of their cooperation, SAP supports FC Bayern München across a wide range of areas and activities, including the migration and optimization of business processes on one platform to support international growth and analyzing player health and performance, as well as personalizing fan experiences to increase engagement and loyalty. Learn more here.

Categories: What's New

Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award Finalist Profile: Taking Customers on an Immersive Innovation Journey

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:45
An SAP Marketing team proves virtual reality is the perfect platform to demonstrate the company’s new solution portfolio supporting digital business.

Although SAP has strong market share and brand awareness, the company is often viewed in terms of traditional ERP rather than for its continuous innovation. A new idea was needed to highlight the combined strengths of SAP’s portfolio, including a strong focus on the digital core, SAP S/4HANA, and the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system.

Katja Mehl, head of Customer Experience at SAP, summed up the formidable task: “Our goal was to position SAP as an innovative leader in digital transformation and help customers better understand the value of our portfolio.”

The team knew from experience that the world of traditional marketing showcases and presentations is over.

“Customers want an immersive experience where they can explore things for themselves in a short amount of time and in a fun way,” said Heather Morrison, head of Innovation and Experience Marketing for EMEA and MEE at SAP. “We needed a big idea to change the perception of SAP and motivate customers to engage with the business potential of SAP’s new portfolio of solutions.”

 

Introducing the Virtual Reality Innovation Experience

The team decided to use cutting-edge technology to tell an end-to-end story from a pure customer standpoint, choosing virtual reality (VR) technology to immerse the customer into a scenario while demonstrating the power and benefit of a live business. “Using virtual reality for the first time in SAP marketing was a milestone and marks a starting point for an entirely new way of storytelling, customer interaction, and lead generation,” mentioned Mehl.

By using the example of global sportswear company adidas, the 3D VR showcase demonstrates how customers can benefit from SAP S/4HANA and SAP Leonardo to reinvent, build, and run their business to win in the digital economy. The live scenario, called the VR Innovation Experience, was developed in a cross-functional team and in cooperation with adidas. In the VR, SAP CoPilot, a personal, artificial intelligence assistant, guides viewers through the experience — from sales and marketing to production, logistics, and finance.

Customers discover the production and launch of a smart, fully customizable, IoT-based, and sensor-embedded adidas sneaker with location-based tracking, haptic feedback, and sweat analysis. Each 3D-printed sneaker can be produced with a unique design and personalized materials. This way the viewer can understand the benefits of innovative technologies such as machine learning, blockchain, IoT, Big Data and analytics, and relevant services from an end-user perspective, like personal training plans, performance tracking, real-time coaching, and voice feedback, as well as dietary and health advice.

adidas was very pleased with the resulting scenario: Michael Vögele, CIO of the adidas Group, called it a “strong experience” and “a very complex and challenging project explained in a brilliant and new way.”

Challenges

The VR Innovation Experience Team brought colleagues from various disciplines together to work on one common goal. “Having many areas of the business and multiple team members work on a single storyline is complex,” explains Sebastian Pförtner, senior marketing manager, but he noted that everyone saw the power of combining our innovative solutions with customer collaboration. Pförtner stated several other risks: “Making the right decision on which solutions to integrate was a risk, especially with regards to emerging technologies. Using a new medium was a risk, too, as we did not know whether our customers would feel comfortable about sitting, watching, and interacting seven minutes or more while wearing VR glasses.”

One VR Scenario, Many Use Cases

The scenario was first presented at CEBIT 2017, and then went on to become an essential feature of more than 40 events globally. It can also be experienced at nearly all SAP Executive Briefing Center locations and customer experience centers worldwide. So far, well over 10,000 people have seen it and customer feedback has been extraordinary. “Many asked for the scenario to be set up and shown at their events and locations, which we now do regularly. Furthermore, we use it as showcase for sales meetings and to enable colleagues from other entities,” notes Pförtner.

Future Plans for the SAP VR Innovation Experience

The team sees the adidas showcase as a first step toward more immersive VR showcases enabling customers to play a more active role in determining and exploring a particular scenario. Two new scenarios with a focus on consumer goods personalization and digital supply chain are planned for release in March 2018.

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

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission title: SAP VR Innovation Experience
  • Board area: Office of the CEO
  • Team: SAP VR Innovation Experience (Katja Mehl, Heather Morrison, Sebastian Pfoertner, Nemrude Verzano, Stefan Feickert, Klaus Burger)
  • Achievement: In partnership with adidas, the team created a virtual reality showcase that guides viewers through a smart company, from sales and marketing to production, logistics, and finance, showing how SAP S/4HANA and SAP Leonardo can help customers reinvent their businesses.
  • Impact: The virtual showcase positions SAP as an innovative leader in digital transformation and helps customers better understand the value of SAP’s portfolio.
Categories: What's New

Europe’s Youth Upskill for Future Job Market: SAP Backs the EU Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:00
Digital transformation is not just a buzzword. It’s happening right before our very eyes and will eventually affect us all, one way or another.

Despite the awareness, a recent study by Technical University Munich (TUM) showed that there is still an immense digital skills gap: “90% of the people surveyed agreed that the digital transformation is important for their business strategy, yet 64% said that their company did not have staff required for the digital transformation.”

SAP strongly believes that new technologies such as artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, the design thinking methodology, and machine learning should be incorporated in training offered to students, apprentices, and employees through collaboration of schools and companies across sectors.

Back in 2016, the European Commission established the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition as part of the actions on the New Skills Agenda for Europe to promote cooperation among education, employment, and industry stakeholders with one common goal: improving the digital skills of the wider population in the European Union (EU). SAP has long supported the EU’s goal, with Executive Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer Dr. Bernd Welz being part of the Governing Board of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, which provides strategic leadership and gives high-level advice to the European Commission.

Moreover, SAP Next-Gen is a member of the coalition and has pledged to open 24 SAP Next-Gen Labs and start 180 SAP Next-Gen Consulting projects by 2020 to support the closing of the digital skills gap. In addition, SAP will join the European Alliance of Apprenticeships, launched by the European Commission to strengthen the quality, supply, and image of apprenticeships in Europe. SAP will pledge to offer apprentices and students a vocational training or dual bachelor degree in Germany, Ireland, and Hungary in the areas of business informatics and applied computer science.

SAP pledges to offer vocational training or a dual bachelor degree for students and apprentices in Germany, Ireland, and Hungary in business informatics and applied computer science.

SAP will also soon publish a white paper entitled “The European Prosperity Through Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence. The Intelligent Enterprise,” which contains a set of recommendations to the European policy makers on how to develop skills for Artificial Intelligence among students and the current workforce.

Digital Opportunities for Europe – Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference

To raise awareness as well as to look into the future of digital skills policy in the European Union, the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference was held in Brussels on December 7, 2017, for 450 participants. Mariya Gabriel, the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, gave a keynote speech outlining her vision for future digital skills policy in Europe. The Governing Board, where Dr. Welz is a member, worked on recommendations for EU Commissioner Gabriel, which were presented to her at the High-Level Roundtable organized during the conference.

SAP was prominently represented at the conference, with Thierry Siraut, country manager for SAP University Alliance in Belgium/Luxembourg, taking on the role of a speaker in a panel on the topic of “The future investments needed in digital skills.” The panel included a member of the European Parliament as well as experts from Microsoft and Tallinn University of Technology and discussed issues such as the current and future digital skills gap and how to tackle this challenge, focusing also on the respective roles of the European Union, its member states, and of the private sector.

Additionally, the European Digital Skills Awards 2017 ceremony was held during the conference. Dr. Welz was invited by the Commission to be part of the jury for the award, which aims at showcasing initiatives that develop the digital skills of Europeans in school, at work, and in society in general.

Here are some of the key messages from the conference:

  • The European Union should promote the image of IT by demonstrating how technology helps to build a better world. This could help increase the number of skilled people.
  • Women in the tech industry are essential for economic and social growth.
  • Coding should be further encouraged among children, for example, with fun tools such as the SAP Gardening App or with the SAP Young Thinkers Initiative.
  • Digital skills are needed in everyday life, not only at work.
  • Artificial Intelligence should be demystified: It has been here for many years and brings benefits to people.
  • We need to communicate that digital skills are needed in all sectors, private and public.
  • Solid partnership between universities, governments, and industry is needed to develop digital skills.
  • 50% of all European schools should participate in the EU Code Week by 2020.
  • The huge gap in cybersecurity skills increases vulnerability and needs to be addressed.

In addition to the panel, SAP showcased various learning offerings at the dedicated SAP information booth. At the pod, SAP experts gave insights into a smart gardening module for schools, based on Snap!, a graphic coding language, and talked about how free massive open online courses  (MOOCs) from openSAP or offerings in SAP Learning Hub can help EU citizens upskill in preparation for the digital transformation. The more than 450 participants showed great interest in openSAP, SAP Young Thinkers, and SAP Next-Gen, and were impressed by how SAP helps to increase employment in the EU by retraining people.

Why Europe Matters

The involvement in the fight to close the digital skills gap, however, is not SAP’s only engagement with the European Union. SAP also partnered with the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) where SAP CEO Bill McDermott is a member. Together with JA Europe, the ERT has launched a joint initiative called “Why Europe Matters.” The campaign is aimed at young EU citizens aged 16 to 25 and is comprised of a survey about Europe, their education and employment, and their ideas for the future. Young people from the SAP network, as well children of SAP employees can take a short survey in nine languages.

In addition, nine innovation workshops are taking place across Europe with the active engagement of SAP volunteers. The final European workshop and the high-level policy debate with EU Commissioners, MEPs, CEOs of the European companies and young people is planned for March 20-21 in Brussels – where the goal will be to bridge the gap between the decision makers and youth to make their ideas a reality.

Being part of this initiative shows that SAP is eager to not only tackle the current skills gap issue by helping to upskill people, but also to look ahead and try to find ways of getting to the root of the problem – that is, trying to minimize the potential for future skills gaps.

Learn More

This story originally appeared on the SAP Community.

Categories: What's New

How Companies Can Stop Human Trafficking in 2018: Be Vulnerable, Act Now

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 10:00
As you read this, upwards of 40 million people worldwide are toiling in forced labor, many at companies most of us do business with in some way. Frontrunners are working hard to make changes, and not just because January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

During a roundtable at SAP’s Hudson Yards offices in New York this week, four industry leaders advised how companies can step up in a bigger way in 2018.

SAP Ariba Human Trafficking Awareness roundtable (l to r): Padmini Ranganathan, vice president of Products and Innovation at SAP Ariba; James Edward Johnson, director of Supply Chain Risk Management and Analytics at Nielsen; Kirsten Allegri Williams, vice president of Marketing at SAP Ariba; Justin Dillion, founder and CEO of Made In A Free World; Lise Kingo, CEO and executive director, United Nations Global Compact. Image via SAP

Take a Fresh Look and Action

When the United Nations Global Compact adopted 17 sustainable development goals for its 2030 agenda two years ago, the organization’s CEO and Executive Director, Lise Kingo, said enabling decent work was a major priority. It’s become apparent that eliminating modern slavery, forced labor and non-compliance with human rights shines a spotlight on every company’s supply chain.

“Close to half of world’s population lives on less than two dollars a day. Their right to organize as laborers is being challenged. Many of these employees are working in the supply chains of multi-national companies,” said Kingo. “This is the perfect moment for companies to set a new, fresh agenda with their suppliers. Think about the new great tools out there that can help you manage suppliers in new way that wasn’t possible before.”

Focus on the Power You Have

Long-time freedom advocate Justin Dillion, Founder and CEO of Made In A Free World, said with technology advances like his FRDM fintech tool that companies use to find out how many slaves are in their supplier chain, plus the willingness to change, organizations can solve these problems.

“I define purpose as using your power to make someone else’s life better,” said Dillion. “When companies and individuals focus on power, we’re usually focusing on how little we have. I would challenge us to look at the power we do have, and ways to leverage our own power to help somebody else.”

Partner for a Business and Higher Purpose

Kirsten Allegri Williams, vice president of Marketing at SAP Ariba, saw the challenges of slavery, poverty, and discrimination as opportunities for companies to not only do well, but also do good by forming a community.

“The goal of every business is to do well, but the ultimate leadership challenge is actually improving people’s lives,” said Williams. “Now is the time for companies to commit to making an impact by understanding the available solutions, and using their purchasing power to drive ethical standards across their supply chain as part of their core business to generate a profit.”

Be Vulnerable

James Edward Johnson, director of Supply Chain Risk Management and Analytics at Nielsen, advised starting with tier one suppliers and enforcing a code of conduct.

“It’s okay to be vulnerable. Fearing a problem doesn’t make it go away, and closing your eyes to a problem doesn’t make you any less responsible for helping solve that problem,” said Johnson. “If you know the number of slaves in your supply chain it’s scary, but if you have the tools to assess risk and identify where you’re best positioned to act on a real problem, that shows preparedness and a willingness to have an impact on the world, and that’s going to look good.”

SAP Ariba is helping make 2018 a year of action to get forced labor down to zero. One is still too many.

Trust the Business Network

According to Padmini Ranganathan, vice president of Products and Innovation at SAP Ariba, AI and machine learning can reveal actionable facts for procurement professionals. She shared a demo showing how the SAP Ariba Network combined data from the FRDM tool geo-mapped to a company’s supply chain data to find risk hot spots.

“We believe people are inherently good, and it’s our job as technologists to enable that goodness. We trust the network effect, helping businesses showcase their profiles and capabilities,” said Ranganathan. “Reward the transparency of these companies by actively seeking out and doing business with those that are doing good. Use tools to open the eyes of companies that aren’t aware they have slavery in their supply chains, and help them change. Let’s make 2018 a year of action, and get forced labor down to zero. One is still too many.”

Follow me: @smgaler
Top image via Shutterstock

Categories: What's New

SAP Drives IoT Adoption with Global Partner Network

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:30
WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that it has added a group of 18 strategic partners to help more businesses adopt Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

This global network of partners will provide implementation services for SAP Leonardo IoT accelerator packages, which are designed to help customers quickly build IoT solutions specific to their business needs at a predictable price.

“Smart devices and digital technologies are transforming the way we live and work in industries and geographies around the world,” said Dr. Tanja Rueckert, president of IoT & Digital Supply Chain, SAP. “Together, SAP and its partners are removing barriers to entry and making IoT-driven digital innovation rapidly achievable for our customers around the world.”

The new partners delivering express innovation services include Accenture, Bristlecone, Capgemini, CSTI Corp., Deloitte Consulting, Exed Consulting, Fujitsu, GoSCM, HCL Technologies, IntechPro, Intrigo Systems, KPIT Technologies, Movilitas, Process Technologies, Rocket Consulting Ltd., Tech Mahindra, Vesta Partners and Westernacher Consulting.

SAP Leonardo IoT accelerators provide an open, flexible path to digital innovation for customers in multiple industries. SAP and its partners will support customer deployments of 10 SAP Leonardo IoT accelerators including packages for the SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service solution, SAP Asset Intelligence Network, SAP Connected Goods software, SAP Vehicle Insights application, SAP Global Track and Trace solution, and SAP Leonardo IoT Foundation and SAP Edge Services. The accelerators follow a fixed-scope engagement with explore, design and deliver phases completed in less than 10 weeks.

“Many businesses are seeing their industries change around them as IoT-enabled devices improve capabilities around data, supply chains and advanced operating models taking root in the market,” said Tom Wetsch, chief innovation officer, Pregis LLC, a leading provider of innovative protective packaging materials and systems that is working with KPIT Technologies. “IoT is no longer a question of when, but how soon? We are well positioned to provide enhanced solutions for customers and partnering with SAP Leonardo.”

“In just a matter of weeks, we were able to pilot and demonstrate tangible value with SAP Leonardo IoT accelerator packages,“ said Jeff Mueller, chief information officer, Pregis LLC. “SAP Connected Goods and SAP Edge Services allow us to enhance customer solutions and achieve greater productivity for improved customer satisfaction.”

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

Media Contacts:
Jim Dever, SAP, +1 (610) 661-2161, james.dever@sap.com, ET
Kathrin Eiermann, SAP, +49 6227 767029, simone.kathrin.eiermann@sap.com, CET

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

Plant Maintenance Is Like a Well-Oiled Machine with BlueBoot Mobile App

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:15
Talking with innovative companies is always fun and interesting, and I’ve been doing a lot of that lately in my role helping partners to onboard their offerings on the SAP App Center – the SAP digital marketplace where customers can buy solutions directly from SAP partners.

One of the newest offerings available is from a company called BlueBoot, headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay. I spoke with Alejandro Scaramelli and Federico Gómez, the co-founders of BlueBoot, to learn about BlueBoot apps, which are designed to allow users to interact with the plant maintenance component of SAP ERP from anywhere and from any mobile device.

A Young and Informal Team

One of the first questions I asked them was about the origin of company name, because I figured readers would be as interested to know about it as I was. Alejandro had a quick answer, doubtless because he’s often been asked. “We are a young, informal company, so we wanted a name to match,” Alejandro said. “The visual element is important, so we chose the color blue, and to suggest software, we went with the word ‘boot,’ as in ‘boot-up your computer.’” Knowing how hard it is to come up with a new brand name, I was impressed with its clarity and simplicity.

And the next obvious question I asked was, “How did you come up with this product idea?”

Federico explained that they had been working as consultants, helping companies integrate software from Microsoft and SAP. In exchanging ideas with customers, it became evident to them that maintenance people in the field could get their work done a lot faster and more easily with a mobile app that provides access to work-order management in SAP ERP.

“Maintenance users need to execute their plant-maintenance workflow from outside the office in different locations,” Federico explained. “They need a simple app, one as easy to use as Facebook or Twitter, and that they can use without having to read a user’s manual.”

The timing was right, because the idea coincided with the 2014 launch of SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Fiori for cloud and mobile app development.

“I was visiting SAP Labs in Brazil and saw the potential of the platform to support nontraditional, truly agile development,” Alejandro noted. “It was obvious that it would become what it is today. SAP clearly was offering options for new technologies to give us ways to build apps that look like Microsoft apps – for users familiar with everyday business applications – and that are accessible from anywhere. The SAP road map is excellent, and made it easy to shift our business model from consulting to product development and sales.”

Cross-Industry Application

With the suite of BlueBoot apps, workers in the field can create maintenance notifications and work orders, confirm and close work orders, work offline, and even get 3D visualization, all via their mobile devices. It’s applicable across industries, wherever there’s a need to improve efficiency in plant maintenance: aerospace, automotive, chemicals, mill products, mining, oil & gas, retail, utilities – and the list goes on.

Sales are brisk, Federico added, and the company now employs about 25 people. Currently, customers are located primarily in Chile and Brazil, but with the launch of BlueBoot apps on SAP App Center, they expect to attract a broader following.

What challenges does BlueBoot face?

“Customers are still not fully aware of how simple it is to mobilize existing SAP transactions, and that just implementing the apps will achieve this without customizations and with a lightweight footprint,” Alejandro noted. “With these tools, you can create a user-friendly front end that connects via any network with the back-end data residing in SAP ERP, and present it for visualization on a single screen.”

What’s Next: Emerging Technologies

I was curious to know what Alejandro, Federico and their team have on the drawing board.

“We have an interesting pipeline,” Federico remarked. “We are following SAP’s recommendations, and can see where the company is going with emerging technologies – including blockchain, machine learning, Internet of Things – and expect to be able to offer some innovative new solutions within two or three years by building on them. There’s a lot of creativity on our team, and we’re excited about the potential.”

Bill Rojas is senior director of Digital Transformation and Partner Enablement on the SAP Digital team. Contact him on Twitter | LinkedIn.

Categories: What's New

SAP-Sponsored Oxford Economics Study Shows Retailers Expect Digital Transformation to Generate Greater Revenue and Profit

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:00
WALLDORF — Retailers who have undergone digital transformation predict higher revenue growth and greater profit in the next two years, according to a survey by Oxford Economics and sponsored by SAP SE (NYSE: SAP).

The SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study surveyed 3,171 executives to uncover the opportunities, challenges and trends of digital transformation and found:

  • Fifty percent of midsize retail companies and 44 percent of large retail companies expect their revenue be 5 to 10 percent higher next year due to digital transformation.
  • More than 50 percent of large and midsize retailers consider speed to market the most important revenue growth driver for the next two years, while investment in digital skills and technology is a priority (48 percent) for the top 100 retailers.
  • Some 34 percent of midsize retailers and 27 percent of large retailers named effective management as the organizational attribute leading to successful digital transformation. Some 30 percent of the top 100 retailers credit their digital transformation achievements to up-to-date technology.
  • All respondents reported that Big Data/analytics is the technology they most heavily invest in today. In response to questions about investments in machine learning, 25 percent of the retailers expect to invest heavily in the next two years.

“Retailers had a strong holiday season and their investments in Big Data are starting to pay off,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, global general manager, Consumer Industries, SAP. “As they continue to personalize and enhance the overall consumer experience, it will be important for them to consider new technologies such as machine learning and AI. The key to their success with the ongoing digital transformation is ensuring they take a holistic approach to operating a digital core that puts their customers at the center of their business.”

The Digital Transformation Executive Study retail results will be featured January 14–16, 2018, at the NRF Annual Convention and EXPO in New York. Join the conversation by following SAP on Twitter at @SAP_Retail, visit sap.com/nrf and watch live presentations in SAP’s booth #2523.

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

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

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

Retailers Discover Machine Learning Sells More Fashions Customers Love

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:15
Thanks to social media, everyone from middle school children to seasoned clotheshorses can see what celebrities and other opinion leaders are wearing, challenging retailers to keep up with fast-changing trends.

Cue machine learning, allowing fashion retailers to immediately get a handle on the colors and styles that are selling when demand is peaking, and before it’s too late to bring it into stores. During our onsite video conversation, Hannah Vogt, Knowledge Management for SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation at SAP, showed me an example at the recent SAP TechEd Barcelona event.



 

“Advanced machine learning capabilities allow the computer to interpret what a store manager is looking for, and instantaneously pulls together all the information from a company’s ERP systems in a way that humans couldn’t accomplish all alone,” said Vogt. “The manager doesn’t have to use transaction codes or any kind of computer-speak to obtain the data needed.”

Machine learning helps retailers bring fashions into stores when consumer demand is peaking

Faster Time to Market

Using machine learning, managers could in seconds find out what colors are trending in Paris, and likely to cross the ocean to the United States, staying one step ahead of increasingly fickle and demanding fashion consumers.

“Managers can react faster to match trends, triggering production to adjust inventory in stores that’s more in synch with up-to-the-minute fashions,” said Vogt. “There’s no time to lose in the current market, and you have to move faster than the competition in order to survive.”

Intelligence Empowers Shoppers

Analysts at Forrester Research predict intelligent agents will directly influence 10 percent of purchase decisions this year alone. That figure is certain to rise over time as machines get smarter and collect more information about market likes and dislikes, based on everything from what opinion leaders are wearing, to which fashions are flying off the racks in any location.  Retailers able to capture these insights faster than the competition will emerge strongest. In the lightning-fast fashion world, one thing is certain – machine learning is here to stay.

Follow me: @smgaler

Top image via Shutterstock

Categories: What's New

SAP Announces Upgrade2Success Program to Help Customers Move HR to the Cloud

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:00
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced Upgrade2Success, a program that helps customers with on-premise SAP ERP Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions transition and expand into the cloud.

This announcement has been updated. A former version referred to the program as “HCM Bridge to the Cloud.”

By providing clear guidance, predictable outcomes, faster time to value and flexible commercial arrangements, the services and tools for digital HR transformation help customers ease the migration to cloud-based SAP SuccessFactors solutions. This is the first in a planned series of offerings to be announced in 2018 designed to help on-premise customers in their journey to the cloud.

By migrating to cloud-based SAP SuccessFactors solutions, organizations can:

  • Rethink and simplify HR with standardized and streamlined business processes
  • Engage the workforce by shifting from “HR technology” to “people technology” to meet the expectations of today’s digital, diverse and changing workforce
  • Change the way HR serves the business by providing insights that allow HR to advise leaders and keep pace with change
  • Stay current with technology innovations with updates delivered every quarter
  • Enable IT resources to focus on business-value creation and innovation rather than customization and maintenance

“We all see how digital transformation is upending business models, redefining industries, and changing the way businesses interact with their customers, their partners and their people,” SAP SuccessFactors* President Greg Tomb said. “Those who are addressing this with modern tools are seeing both better financial performance and employees who feel better connected to the business. We want to make sure all our customers are taking advantage of the innovation, insights and user experience boost of the cloud. This program is all about easing their journey so they can move forward fast.”

The Upgrade2Success services and tools are designed to allow customers to move the right components when it makes sense for the business, all the while protecting their existing investments in HCM solutions.

A comprehensive set of services and tools are available within the Upgrade2Success program to help make each digital HR transformation journey smooth and low risk. These include:

  • Predefined configuration accelerators, process libraries, and integration and data migration tools
  • Creation of a personalized road map for the digital HR transformation journey
  • Business case support that demonstrates the ROI for the company
  • Attractive commercial terms that reflect existing investments

With these proven services and tools available today, SAP is enabling its on-premise customers around the world to discover and achieve additional business value with low risk by moving and expanding their HR processes to the cloud with SAP SuccessFactors solutions.

For more information, visit the SAP SuccessFactors 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 365,000 business and public-sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
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For more information, press only:
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SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com

*SAP SuccessFactors is a brand name launched in January 2016 and is used here to mean the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company SuccessFactors, which continues to be our legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 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