Thứ Năm, 10 tháng 8, 2017

Hanging Ten on the IoT Innovation Wave

In surfing, the ideal is to ride your board in the surf’s most powerful place — that perfect spot just before where the wave breaks.

Proper positioning is important when adopting today’s cutting-edge business technologies as well.

“We believe in partnering with our customers to help them find the right balance when embracing change,” says Filip Decostere, a partner at the professional services company delaware.

Decostere describes his firm as bringing advanced solutions to clients looking for competitive advantage through digital transformation.

And for a lot of these customers, that transformation is likely to involve riding the fast-moving wave called IoT.

Discovering New Opportunities

Decostere and his co-workers at delaware have been keeping a close eye on upswelling IoT technology for some time now.

“delaware participated as an early adopter of SAP Leonardo Internet of Things so we could see firsthand the huge business benefits these capabilities can bring to our customers,” says Bruno Mommens, the Global IoT Solution Lead at delaware. “And now we are also taking a careful look at emerging edge computing models.”

Mommens – who spoke about IoT at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW and recent SAP Leonardo Live event in Frankfurt, Germany – explains that delaware focuses on specific markets that include automotive, retail, discrete manufacturing, and the food industry.

In fact, these are some of the very industries that sources such as Business Insider are describing as being transformed by IoT and its associated solutions.

The potential business benefits of using IoT technologies have been widely touted: greater efficiency, improved safety, better asset utilization, reduced costs, and increased productivity to name a few.

Still, both Decostere and Mommens foresee an even more profound impact for their clients.

“Connected devices are generating tons of data; this data combined with artificial intelligence opens new opportunities.” Mommens observes, “For many companies, the added value of connecting machines is really the ability to deliver new business models to their end customers.”

Taking the First Steps

Decostere says the product-as-a-service model is generating significant attention these days.

“Think about something as simple as your home refrigerator,” he explains. “Perhaps in the future we won’t buy these appliances anymore. Instead a dealer will install your refrigerator, monitor it for guaranteed temperature control, and replace it whenever a more energy-efficient model is available – all for a monthly service fee.”

Decostere notes that it is not unusual for the company executives he talks to these days to be rethinking their business models.

“And they expect a partner like delaware to be able to help them understand the impact of new technologies on their IT departments and help them define the appropriate strategies,” says Decostere.

But Mommens points out that companies sometimes have difficulty identifying the best business cases for their IoT investments.

“The first step we take with our customers is an intensive design thinking workshop where they can brainstorm and do the necessary ideation,” Mommens says. He then suggests starting out with small proof of concepts to validate the use cases. “Even projects that don’t go into production will often generate important insights that can lead to competitive advantage in the marketplace,” Mommens stresses.

Getting Strategy Right

In a survey of company executives conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, 20% of respondents report their organization’s use of the IoT has changed their business models or strategies. Even more (22%) say it has “unlocked new revenue opportunities from existing products and services.”

In both outcomes, the common denominator is innovation.

“We believe you have to innovate to be successful in the long term,” Decostere says.

For a good number of companies, innovation and future success will be all about catching the right technology wave.

This story previously appeared on SAPVoice on Forbes.

via SAP News Center

Back to Digital Basics

Are you in a management position with decision power? If so, chances are high that sales forces of this world regularly try to point your attention toward your company’s digital transformation and high hopes of selling you a portion of Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, or machine learning. Sounds familiar?

Let’s be honest: We all use terms like digital transformation or digital disruption without asking our conversation partner if we have the same understanding of such fundamental terms and concepts.

Three Key Takeaways Against Digital Dilemma

Based on our SAP Center for Digital Leadership experiences gathered from more than 150 CxO engagements per year, we have derived three key takeaways to talk more efficiently about digital.

1. Business First, Technology Second

Decisions around digital transformation are often made from a technology-first perspective. This puts the cart in front of the horse. Technology must be an enabler for innovation ultimately allowing new business models to gain or regain the competitive edge. It is much more effective when C-suite decision makers or line of business managers follow a business-first approach. This lets your creativity flow and allows innovation instead of being quickly influenced by the potential –  or the lack thereof – given by certain technologies. Whenever faced with an innovation-themed issue think about the business aspects first and afterwards about how technology might play a role.

2. Get Your Facts Straight

It is of the utmost importance to have the same understanding of any topic amongst all people involved before entering a discussion. This also holds true when it comes to the digital age. Here are our definitions of the most fundamental terms that will make your digital-related conversations more effective:

  • Digital innovation turns an idea into a solution that is new and is of value to a party. It becomes digital by using digital technologies like big data, cloud or machine learning. Think about commanding your smart home with your voice – Amazon Alexa is a picture-book example for a digital innovation.
  • Digital transformation is the process of adaptation to changing market conditions due to new technology possibilities.  Take German family business Kaeser Compressors for example, a company manufacturing air compressors. In the past they sold the machines – today they sell the compressed air.
  • Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect how an organization creates and retains value. The way how life-science startup 23andme uses DNA data to create value is putting strong pressures on incumbent pharma players.

3. Start Early/Now?

You might have heard people talking about the fail-fast mantra that startups are embodying. It has even become quite cliché. Nevertheless, it is this mindset of not fearing investments that can be the factor of success. The ability for startups to completely reinvent their business model – to perform a so-called pivot – is what the large incumbents are often missing. So, if you find yourself in a 500+ employee company, it is your chance to become a role-model that starts talking about new ideas and even the brightest vision. Placing a strategic bet is the way to bring innovative ideas to market.

Ultimately, digital has become a teacher’s pet for many and a pet peeve for some others. Make sure to become familiar with the basics and do not get lost in the word jungle that is already out there. You will do yourself a favor and the person you are talking to.

As a leading digital pioneer, the SAP Center for Digital Leadership helps CxO customers and their organizations to navigate their digital transformation and lead with innovation. Based on SAP’s internal digital transformation learnings, our research agenda and meetings with more than 150 CxO customers per year, we provide leaders with best practices for leading digital transformation.

Our network and partner ecosystem represents today’s and tomorrow’s leaders in digital business. Partners like European Space Agency and Wacom trust us and jointly we create digital open ecosystems.

For more information, check out For more information, check out

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Thứ Tư, 9 tháng 8, 2017

HR Analytics: Creating Competitive Advantage

HR analytics has been, for the last 10 years, a hot topic for discussion at senior levels in most successful organizations. That’s the good news.

The not so good news is that this “discussion” has been at the expense of “doing.” Few organizations have moved from discussion to implementing effective HR analytics solutions that help the business improve performance, and better yet, create competitive advantage.

Pressure has been steadily building on HR functions to improve their capabilities to develop accurate insights from people data, for business-critical decision making. Many HR functions have tried to dress up HR ametrics as HR analytics and have, therefore, struggled to show real value and gain traction among senior leadership for their efforts.

HR metrics are important and useful but they are one dimensional and only inputs to the broader requirement of using this data to glean meaningful analysis and model potential future scenarios and trends: turning KPIs/metrics into HR analytics.

  • KPIs/metrics: Focused on the present and looking backwards in time; tend to focus on the immediate short term impact of business conditions.
  • HR analytics: Analytics and insights that focus on the present and looking forward in time; creating insights to current and future business imperatives; uses predictive modelling to support the overall company, help shape the organization strategy and create competitive advantage.

Emerging Trends

As the approach to HR analytics  evolves, a number of key themes/trends are emerging in developing an effective capability:

  • Senior management push to use people data to solve a specific critical business issue
  • HR software-as-service (SaaS) technology making it easier to create insights into people data
  • Increased regulatory requirements and risk management
  • Managing costs and productivity in variable and uncertain business conditions

Additionally, there are four main “camps” of thinking, from which organizations are coming at the subject of developing an effective HR analytics approach:

Organic evolution: One where an HR function has become very adept at tracking and measuring KPIs/Metrics and uses this foundation, over time, to start to create deeper and deeper insights into people data. Tends to be an evolution with periodic refinement of process and technology in key business units, spreading to other business units as value is realized.

Technology-driven approach: Over the past five to seven years, a proliferation of new HR technologies has taken place, mainly driven by the development of SaaS HR technology which is based on the idea that people data is at the core of the functionality, creating sophisticated, automated HR analytics modelling tools. Many organizations start with a SaaS HR system and build an effective HR analytics capability on the back on the technology.

Business model driven approach: organizations that have had the most success in recent years in creating advanced and effective HR analytics are those whose business model are very labour and/or knowledge capital driven, e.g.:

  • Professional services firms
  • Airlines
  • Industrial (oil, resources, etc.)

These organizations’ profit and productivity rely heavily on getting right people with right skills in the right place at the right time. Therefore, they have developed sophisticated HR analytics processes, technologies and capabilities to manage their core businesses.

Hybrid approach: Least common approach taken to develop an effective HR analytics capability; however is the recommended approach in most cases. A hybrid combines all of the approaches above into an intentional and cohesive strategy for implementing effective HR analytics technology, processes, capabilities and best practices. It is usually begun from addressing and solving a specific critical business issue, for example: reducing attrition, workforce deployment and planning, recruitment of key skills. As a result, the Hybrid approach builds on the success of solving a particular business challenge which helps the organization understand the value, and creates a pull for the approach.

To access a new HBR report, “HR Analytics: Busting silos and delivering outcomes” and to learn more about how SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics can help HR become a valuable player in strategic decision making, visit here.

You can also learn more from customers and experts at SuccessConnect in Las Vegas taking place August 29-31 at The Cosmopolitan. Register here.

Tim Ringo is vice president for HCM EMEA at SAP

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Energy Giant Reveals How to Innovate Successfully

When it comes to oil and gas, people are skeptical about the future. For example, 80% of consumers responding to a recent nationwide poll conducted by Ernst & Young agree the oil and gas industry is important to the U.S. economy, and 79% see it as an important job creator. Yet, fewer than half trust the industry and the majority believe it causes problems rather than solves them.

And, according to Deloitte’s outlook on oil and gas for 2017, the industry’s brand as a career destination has been threatened. This means oil and gas companies must be innovative when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent.

In fact, innovation is necessary to address a broad range of other concerns pressuring the industry including geographic challenges, climate change, price fluctuations, and the rise of new technologies like machine learning and predictive analytics.

But it’s not easy to finance change and innovation. Most companies today spend 75% of their resources on running the company, aka keeping the lights on, and only 25% on innovation. That equation must be inverted if an enterprise wants to stay ahead of the game.

Shell is one industry giant inverting the equation through collaboration and partnerships.

Saving Time and Money Drives Innovation

“To innovate successfully, you need to focus on the people who asked for innovation,” say Klaas de Waart, ERP Enterprise Portfolio Manager at Shell. His job is to assess and implement SAP enterprise and Analytics products at the company.

“By shifting innovation from the back end to the front end and targeting small communities, you stabilize and shrink the development cycle. Stabilizing the back end requires innovating to market standards.  We no longer want to purchase software or applications that require customization.  We want to purchase standard “off-the-shelf” applications that require no customization or engineering to work in our environment, all running on an SAP platform.”

Essentially, what Klaas wants is a simple app store where he and his team can search for new applications or functionality they can buy and install without any fuss. That saves time and money.

SAP App Center Makes It Simple

“We want to make it easy for our customers to find and acquire great solutions from our broad ecosystem of strategic solution partners including startups, independent software vendors, and services and technology partners,” says Diane Fanelli, general manager, Global Channels and Platform at SAP. “That’s why we made SAP App Center more compatible with procurement processes and easier for our partners to engage with SAP customers.”

Innovapptive is an enterprise mobility software company partnering with SAP to help enterprises like Shell transform their businesses through process and technology re-engineering.

“Our vision is to unlock and maximize the investments made by customers in SAP,” says Sundeep Ravande, CEO and co-founder of Innovapptive. “We do that with configurable pre-packaged mobile workforce management solutions and a configuration framework available on the SAP Cloud Platform, so we can jointly deliver innovation and value to our mutual customers.”

In this model, Innovapptive invests in creating an innovative solution for Shell and then markets it on the SAP App Center. “This is a win-win for everyone,” says Klaas.

Companies like Shell know the clock is ticking if we want to solve the big issues impacting our future. That’s why speed and ease of innovation are critical, and that’s why a collaborative approach is the best way forward.

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

via SAP News Center

How to Find — and Solve — the Right Business Problems

Your organization may be stellar at problem solving, but is it finding the right problems to solve? What’s worked for you in the past might not lead to breakthroughs much longer, according to SAP Chief Design Officer Sam Yen.

“The things that made you successful five years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago may not be as relevant today,” Yen said at SAP Leonardo Live last month. “Organizations that are able to take a step back and find the problems worth solving are the organizations that are going to have the creativity to balance the innovation equation.”

Innovation = Creativity x Execution

“This is where design thinking comes in,” Yen said.

Design’s Objective Importance

“Over the last 10 years, design-led companies have maintained significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 228 percent,” according to a 2014 Design Management Institute study. “Using design methods to understand customer needs better — as well as to reframe complex problems — is leading to insights that constitute strategic competitive advantages.”

Insights include refocusing IT departments on work beyond simply providing functional solutions, as CIO noted last week. In-house applications must be user-friendly, as a result of empathy, collaboration and other design elements.

“IT needs to transform from information technology to innovation technology,” SAP’s Yen said. “A lot of the perception is that information technology keeps the lights on … [but] IT organizations have to be known as the innovation technology leaders within their organization.”

Rapid Pace of Dramatic Innovation

Almost two-thirds of CEOs in the U.S. (65 percent) indicated that the next three years would be more critical for their industries than the previous 50 years, according to a 2016 study by KPMG. And more than one-third of the CEOs (39 percent) are transforming their companies into significantly different entities within those three years — often shedding their original core competencies.

“If you don’t bring big ideas into the marketplace, you don’t have true innovation,” Yen said. “You can’t just keep optimizing and making [your products more] efficient in order to keep up with the big disruption that’s coming over the next couple years.”

“This is where design thinking comes in,” SAP’s Sam Yen said of the innovation equation at SAP Leonardo Live in Frankfurt last month.

Design thinking can help find the right problems to solve.

Finding What’s Most Valuable

“Design services are integrally linked with how Leonardo projects will be implemented,” diginomica stated last month. “SAP wants to use design to help customers move forward, partnering with them in new ways.”

Innovative partnerships can help organizations solve new problems, such as improving manufacturing, personalizing products, developing new business models and more, according to Tanja Rueckert, SAP’s president of IoT & Digital Supply Chain.

“We offer you design thinking engagement to identify the highest value for your business,” Rueckert said Wednesday at the opening ceremony for the SAP Leonardo Center in São Leopoldo. “Is it down in the shop floor? Is it in the delivery? Is it in … better understanding how the consumer uses your product?”

Look (For Problems) Before You Leap

Good design relies on organizations resisting the temptation to jump right into solving the most glaring problem, according to Yen. Per 19th Century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: “Talent hits the target no one else can hit. Genius hits the target no one else can see.

“Design thinking is really about just taking a step back,” Yen said. “Do a little problem finding before you do problem solving.”

SAP’s design approach begins with exploratory workshops to find the problems most worth solving, which lays the groundwork for subsequent innovation. Then business and IT users attend discovery workshops to generate, test and get feedback from interactive prototypes via the rapid prototyping tool SAP Build — all before the solution’s delivery.

“We offer you design thinking engagement to identify the highest value for your business,” SAP’s Tanja Rueckert said at the opening ceremony for the SAP Leonardo Center in São Leopoldo.

Applying the Innovation Equation

“The concept of testing new ideas is simple — talk to actual customers,” CLO Media stated last month. “That’s difficult for a lot of companies to do, particularly in the digital age.”

Technology, business practices and boundary conditions have changed, and they’re still changing. That makes design thinking a crucial part of finding the right problems to solve in order to stay ahead of the power curve.

Talking to each other — customers, partners and vendors — is key to unlocking unprecedented creativity. Pair that with outstanding execution, and you’re on your way to game-changing innovation.

This story originally appeared on SAP’s Business Trends. Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

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SAP Named a Leader for 10th Time in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Global Retail Core Banking

WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that it has been positioned by Gartner Inc. as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Global Retail Core Banking report* for the 10th consecutive time. SAP received industry leader recognition for its “ability to execute” and its “completeness of vision.”

“As the market continues to expand, we’re seeing banks move away from legacy systems and adopt new functionalities and enhancements,” said Falk Rieker, global head of Banking at SAP. “To stay ahead of the curve, we’ve invested heavily in innovations such as SAP Leonardo and SAP HANA to ensure we provide customers with a rich and diversified product suite. These technologies can combine blockchain, analytics, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning in a single platform that simplifies banking IT while enhancing the customer experience. We believe it’s this commitment to innovation that’s allowed SAP to remain a Magic Quadrant leader for the past decade.”

According to the Gartner report, “Leaders in the global retail core banking market tend to possess a high-order market understanding. They make it their business to monitor market trends and funnel progressive innovation into their product roadmaps. Most of them possess software development quality certifications (e.g., CMMI) or are pursuing them. The Leaders are also, without exception, ‘thinking small’ or targeting component-based architecture as a gateway to providing increased accessibility to the granular functionality that banks need to drive the basis for differentiation. Leaders have high viability and great customer feedback. They also focus on innovation — and the innovation trends that affect this particular market. They especially focus on trends with visionary capability in managing the ecosystem for open banking platforms by fostering open banking with their products and services and in a collaborative environment with partners.”

The SAP for Banking solution portfolio streamlines core processes with a comprehensive collection of integrated technologies applicable to multichannel management, transactional banking, payments, finance and risk management, customer engagement, human resources and procurement. It is the direct result of the company’s more than 40 years of industry knowledge and a spirit of co-creation with banks in pushing cutting-edge technologies to the forefront of financial services. More than 14,100 banks, both large and small, in 150 countries rely on SAP for Banking solutions to help them become more customer-centric, reduce complexity and manage regulatory and risk compliance more easily.

To learn more, visit SAP for Banking and SAP Solution Explorer. Visit the SAP News Center and follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

About Magic Quadrant
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Media Contacts:
Birgit Dolny, SAP, +49 (6227) 7-61664,, CET
Randi Haney, PAN Communications, +1 (617) 502-4328,, ET

*Gartner Inc. “Magic Quadrant for Global Retail Core Banking,” by Vittorio D’Orazio and Don Free. July 10, 2017.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
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Thứ Ba, 8 tháng 8, 2017

Businesses Need Bias Prevention Now More Than Ever

A lot has changed since SAP SuccessFactors launched its Customer Advisory Board to address workplace bias last year. For one thing, the workplace has emerged as an oasis for employees concerned about diversity and bias prevention.

L to R: Burlacu, Baur, Fletcher, Reid, and Wittenberg

“Folks are coming to work and talking about diversity,” said Patti Fletcher, Leadership Futurist & Solution Management at SAP SuccessFactors. “Work is becoming the place where we can talk with our colleagues and our boss. We all know what’s going on in the world, and while there are many opinions out there, within organizations with the right CHROs and other business leaders, that’s where the progress is happening.”

Fletcher was part of a roundtable session entitled “Using Technology to Drive Business Beyond Bias” at the SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG  Annual Conference. The expert panelists talked about how HR professionals can respond to increasing demands for diversity in the workplace, moving from awareness to action.

For example, in a survey conducted just after last year’s U.S. elections, members of the Customer Advisory Board cited new priorities on top of race, race, and ethnicity.

“Issues like LGBT inclusion were way more important than last year,” said Gabriela Burlacu, Human Capital Management Research at SAP SuccessFactors. “They’ve been working overtime to make sure what’s out there in the media doesn’t detrimentally affect their diverse talent and their ability to attract diverse talent, which is a hopeful message.”

Fletcher also pointed out that diversity is a business imperative: “Women leave a company at twice the rate of men, and we know they’re not leaving a company, they’re leaving a boss. Our customers are looking to us for a collective change, and it’s starting to open up a conversation. They want to know what these new kinds of HR processes are and the role of technology.”

Workplaces have emerged as an oasis for employees concerned about diversity and bias prevention

Interrupting Bias

To make a dent in workplace bias, Brenda Reid, vice president of Product Management at SAP SuccessFactors, said chief diversity officers need to understand how technology can interrupt potentially biased decision-making processes in the broadest possible sense.

“We’re trying to embed in all of our applications equity and inclusive talent management decision-making practices,” she said. “We’re seeing niche solutions to individual problems, but no one else is looking at it end-to-end and holistically. That’s what unique about our approach. We’re looking at decisions that interrupt someone’s thought process in places likes compensation, recruiting, how you write a job description, enforcing quotas and analytics.”

Burlacu said that some of the latest bias prevention capabilities embedded in SAP SuccessFactors solutions include enhancements to workforce analytics for measuring diversity-related data, mentor matching for career development, and photo-less calibration for performance ratings.

Take a Hard Look at Job Descriptions

According to Anka Wittenberg, chief diversity and inclusion officer at SAP, descriptions in job postings are one of the first lines of defense against gender bias. Phrases like “assertive” and “politically savvy,” are gender-biased, and will tend to attract more male candidates.

“If we don’t start at the beginning of the chain, we’re not going to be able to change behavior throughout the organization,” she said. “People don’t change when you tell them to. They change when you enable them to by giving them tools that nudge a new type of decision-making and behavior.”

Follow me @smgaler

Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center