Thứ Hai, 31 tháng 8, 2015

It’s Big Data Versus Mother Nature in Texas Showdown

On May 25, 2015 Houston experienced a rain storm of historic proportions. More than 11 inches of rain pounded the region in one night. By morning the highways were flooded, and in the hardest-hit neighborhoods homeowners were being rescued by boat.

In fact, Houston saw some of its worst flooding since Hurricane Ike slammed into the Gulf Coast in 2008. But even as the unrelenting rains poured down that Monday night, CenterPoint Energy personnel was in the control rooms and on the streets using smart technology and Big Data to prepare for the inevitable power outages.

A Leader in Smart Grid Maturity

CenterPoint Energy is an energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, and energy services operations. The utility, and its predecessor companies, has been weathering Texas storms for over 140 years. Today, CenterPoint Energy maintains the wires, poles, and electric infrastructure that serve a 5,000-square-mile service territory in the Houston metropolitan area.

This infrastructure has seen dramatic improvements since Hurricane Ike.

In early 2009, CenterPoint Energy embarked on an extensive five-year program to deploy smart meters and implement intelligent grid technology. This program was funded by a US$200 million federal investment grant from the United States Department of Energy.

To date, CenterPoint Energy has installed more than 2.3 million smart meters, and the utility has been cited as having one of the most mature smart grid deployments in North America.

Responding to Outages

The real-time information provided by these intelligent meters is helping the utility improve efficiency, reduce costs, and respond more effectively to power outages.

“We have dramatically reduced time to diagnosis,” notes Dr. Steven Pratt, CenterPoint Energy’s IT-corporate technology officer in a Bloomberg Businessweek case study. “We can tell if an incident, such as a power outage, is related to something inside a customer’s house that they are responsible for – or if it’s something on our side of the meter that we need to address.”

The smart grid project also includes intelligent grid devices such as fault location, isolation, and service restoration (FLISR) systems. “These systems help us detect power outages and reroute power across downed circuits, even as our field crews are being dispatched to repair the storm damage,” explains Shachella James, a senior IT manager at CenterPoint Energy.

Next Steps for Data

“Smart grid technology is only one way we use data to improve our emergency response,” says James.

As the Bloomberg Businessweek study points out, CenterPoint Energy uses weather forecasts and historical data to predict the likely magnitude of an outage based on the age of the equipment in the area and other factors. “This allows us to have the right resources in place even before the storm comes through,” Pratt says.

Earlier this year, the utility also announced that it is working with SAP and Accenture on an asset analytics solution that will integrate the utility’s information technology (IT) with operational technology (OT). This IT-OT integration solution, designed to take greater advantage of the Internet of Things, will combine business data, sensor data, and external data feeds into a unified data model on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

CenterPoint Energy expects to leverage deeper insight into its asset base to target planned asset replacements, which can further reduce the risk of future storm damage.

Keeping the Lights On

Big Data and smart devices help CenterPoint Energy ensure reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas to its customers every day and in any weather. But let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like a severe storm to remind us just how much we value our ability to turn on the lights.

“Responding to emergencies is a priority for CenterPoint Energy and our industry as a whole,” says James. “Data and technology can’t turn back the storms, but it definitely helps us get people’s lives back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Follow me on Twitter at @JohnGWard3.

UTL15_125x125 banner.pngJoin CenterPoint Energy and other leaders from the utilities industry as they exchange ideas at the SAP for Utilities North American Conference from September 13th through September 16th in Huntington Beach, California. Register before August 21 to get a free Workshop!

You might also like to learn more about SAP solutions and expertise for the utilities industry.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

via SAP News Center

Prevention and Detection: Seeing the Hacker’s-Eye View

The suspected tapping of Angela Merkel’s phone by the NSA; reports of stolen personal data in the United States; a hacking attack on the German parliament: These incidents are indicative of an enormous need to increase awareness of IT security.

That’s why seminars at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) are teaching tomorrow’s security experts how to repel cyberattacks effectively today.

Marian Gawron is familiar with the cat-and-mouse-style game that HPI students play to put the theory of what they’ve learned during an IT security seminar entitled “Cops & Robbers” into practise. Two groups of students face each other in a virtual network: one group’s mission is to defend the network; the other’s is to hack into it. A former student on the IT Systems Engineering program at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, and now a program tutor himself, Gawron knows how to make a network as resilient to cyberthreats as it’s possible for it to be. He’s also familiar with all the tools, strategies, and tricks that hackers use to worm their way into computer systems.

Detection Rates Similar to Those for Bicycle Theft

Unfortunately, while the menace of cybercrime is growing all the time, many companies are still a long way from comprehending the dangers they face. Holger Münch, head of the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), is not the only public figure to have spelled out the stark truth about the threats hanging over corporate IT. At the recent Congress on National Cybersecurity in Potsdam, he warned of “crime as a service,” of the general shift of criminal offences to the digital world, of negligent practices in the handling of large volumes of sensitive data, and of the accelerating globalization of criminal activity. He also criticized the fact that the detection rates for cybercrime are no better than for bicycle theft. Which is why the relevant government authorities are increasing staffing levels at their cyber defense centers. By contrast, most businesses have a long way to go before they arrive at this level of awareness.

Yet, as Christoph Meinel, head of the HPI in Potsdam, is at pains to point out, achieving a keener awareness of security issues is essential.

“Many companies don’t know what it is they want to protect,” says Meinel incredulously, “And that’s because they are completely oblivious to the potentially catastrophic consequences of cybercrime.”

To operate safely in cyberspace, he says, it is essential for businesses to take measures to protect digital identities, counter malware attacks, and encrypt communications via e-mail and the like.

Integrate Cybercrime in Study Programs

While the students at the HPI are well versed in many aspects of digital technology, the Cops & Robbers seminar represents their first attempt at protecting a network that hackers are doing their darndest to break into.

“This is where the students learn how hard it is to operate and secure a live network without also excluding people who are authorized to access it,” explains Gawron. “The aim of the seminar is to create awareness of how cyberattackers think.”

In the network the students use for their virtual battle, the security gap is located in a browser. The job of the network defenders is to plug the gap with patches or to thwart potential attackers by blocking their IP addresses.

Scanning for Anomalies

The most important jobs for the defenders are to keep a constant watch over the network and to identify which computer the attackers use to gain access to it.

“Constantly scanning a network enables you to detect unexpected activities,” says Gawron, who has been writing a doctorate on the security weak points in computers and networks for the past 18 months and is working to develop a system that offers administrators automated security solutions. The conventional approach is to deploy detection software that collects data from log files.

“But there is so much information buzzing around that critical data can easily go unnoticed in the general ‘noise’,” he says. Intelligent filters help by enabling companies to direct their attention to suspicious IPs. And intrusion detection systems (IDS) are effective in detecting security breaches.

But for many enterprises, even the mundane task of data collection is a bridge too far. “The sheer volume involved is one of many reasons why this important activity is often neglected,” says Gawron.

That’s why, as the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) found, it takes an average of 243 days for targeted cyberspying, or advanced persistent threats (APTs), to come to light ‒ leaving hackers all the time in the world to trawl breached systems for valuable information.

Relationships are Better Than Network Logs

In the Cops & Robbers seminar, the students tend to take the approach of analyzing log files in real time, simply because there is a small volume of information to scan. But, in the reality of everyday business life, data volumes are much larger, and getting results quickly becomes much more of an issue.

“Many of the scanning practices used are very sound, but they don’t produce the necessary analysis results fast enough,” says Meinel, who therefore recommends using in-memory technology. “It’s not just that it’s 10,000 times faster than other database technologies: It’s also the basis for the HPI’s Real Time Analytics and Monitoring System (REAMS), which compares ongoing attacks with past patterns of attack in order to allow appropriate and rapid countermeasures.”

The results of this and other research work conducted at the HPI have been channeled into a new SAP product, SAP Enterprise Threat Detection, which helps uncover attacks according to the methods that Meinel predicts will be most effective in the future, that is, “finding relationships, rather than creating network logs.” A point that will surely not go unmentioned in Gawron’s doctoral thesis.

Image: Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

SAP Further Simplifies HCM Cloud Implementation

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced a series of new rapid-deployment solutions from SuccessFactors, an SAP company, to simplify and accelerate implementations of human capital management (HCM) cloud solutions.

The new rapid-deployment solutions add to the existing portfolio of SAP Rapid Deployment solutions, further enabling customers to quickly adopt SAP SuccessFactors solutions and innovate HR functions, leveraging a comprehensive set of best-practice and service offerings.

HR software must be more agile, mobile, flexible and productive to support today’s working environments. HR professionals have the unique challenge of providing the right digital technology for employee engagement, supported by best practices to make the technology work to improve employee growth and success.

The comprehensive portfolio of rapid-deployment solutions offers quick and predictable implementation of nearly every SAP SuccessFactors solution and for every customer type. These preconfigured cloud solutions are an ideal choice for customers who wish to address their long-term HR blueprint in an incremental fashion, while still being able to tackle immediate HR needs. The new SAP Rapid Deployment solutions include:

These additions to the portfolio of SAP SuccessFactors solutions offer customers fast and innovative ways to move their HR processes to the cloud and simplify HR operations, increasing agility and flexibility.

“HR organizations are rapidly moving to the cloud to benefit from standardization and simplification. And they want the move to be quick and nondisruptive. At SAP we’re focused on making it just that, while also understanding that everyone is not moving everything to the cloud all at once,” said Mike Ettling, president, HR Line of Business, SAP. “These additions to our rapid-deployment solution portfolio offer agility and real-time insights for more efficient HR processes. The flexibility they bring allows organizations to solve immediate needs while being able to plan for future HR decisions.”

These new additions to SAP Rapid Deployment solutions join a wide range of established solutions, including SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting rapid-deployment solutions, the SAP SuccessFactors Compensation rapid-deployment solution, and the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central rapid-deployment solution. Explore the full portfolio at

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

Media Contact:

Martin Gwisdalla, SAP, +49 (6227) 7-67275,, CET
Shauna Kelleher, FleishmanHillard, +1 (617) 692-0511,, 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.
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SAP PartnerEdge Now Lets Partners Run Simple Too

Starting August 31, 2015, SAP partners and their customers will benefit from a new model of engagement with SAP. The company is rolling out the next generation of its award-winning SAP PartnerEdge program – now revamped to provide a simplified experience for SAP partners that results in less complexity, easier partnering, and bigger opportunities.

This comprehensive update includes a streamlined framework of partner levels that is adapted to meet the needs of evolving partner business models, a unified reward structure that gives partners credit for their total SAP business, and eContracts that reduce paperwork and speed processing.

Ready for a New Way of Doing Business

This is the most significant evolution of the program in its 10-year history. Why now? Industry experts say a new reality is shaping the way partners do business, based largely on the advent of cloud and the networked economy. Partner business models have transformed in ways that it is no longer practical to categorize a partner as a pure services partner or value-added reseller. To stay at the forefront of this ever-changing marketplace, SAP will now offer one holistic partner management model that puts the partner at the center based on four engagement types: Build, Sell, Service, and Run.

Partners now have the option to select their engagement type depending on their market activity. A partner with one engagement type can also easily extend its business into additional engagement types without major financial investment. For example, a partner may establish its core business to sell SAP solutions and later move into building and servicing solutions. All SAP activity performed by the partner is counted cumulatively and the partner is rewarded for its total SAP business.

Look for New Partner Designations

A new simplified tiered framework consists of the partner designations Silver, Gold, and Platinum – replacing Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Platinum is available by invitation only and generally open to global value-added resellers among other strategic partner types.

Within the SAP PartnerEdge program, SAP introduces the second phase of an additional layer called Open Ecosystem specialized. The first phase was introduced last year as Open Ecosystem basic, in which prospective partners were granted limited access to the restricted partner portal so that they could explore their choices whether to partner with SAP or not. A specialized membership in the Open Ecosystem is an ideal option for new partners that want to try out a lighter relationship with SAP in the Build, Sell, or Service engagement without the financial commitment that is required of silver and gold partners. Existing partners can also take advantage of this opportunity to expand their business with no additional investment. If a partner decides it’s the right fit, the partner will benefit from already having the enablement and training in place to continue its journey with SAP.

Same World-Class Enablement, Greater Efficiency

Also new to SAP PartnerEdge are concise eContracts. Intended to reduce paperwork and speed processing, these contracts can be executed in less than 24 hours.

Partners will continue to benefit from access to the program’s award-winning portfolio of training and enablement resources. They also continue to have the possibility to differentiate their businesses through SAP Recognized Expertise, a designation that communicates to the market their specialization and depth of experience in an industry or SAP solution, or both.

Learn More

Partners interested in learning more about SAP PartnerEdge can contact

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Thứ Sáu, 28 tháng 8, 2015

My Career as a Woman in Technology Sales

If you haven’t seen Legally Blonde, it’s worth a watch. Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon, sets out on a mission to conquer Harvard Law School and then goes on to win over Washington D.C. in the second film. Journalist Nico Lang comments, “While being sharp and funny, (they) provide an unexpected commentary on sexism and discrimination, even if filtered through a pretty white girl lens.”

What does Ms. Woods have in common with me? I work in an industry dominated by men. A competitive industry where rising to the top as a woman is unusual. There has been much discussion of late about women in technology and the gender gap. Here is my story.

When I started my career in sales, I was in telecom services, an area that was 60 to 70 percent female. Women did very well and gender disparity was not a topic as there was none. I had the freedom and determination to succeed and did for many years without boundaries. That gender could hold me back never occurred to me.

The environment I had early in my career allowed me to believe I could do whatever I wanted. I didn’t face any gender issues until much later. Or in the spirit of Elle Woods, I was absolutely fearless.

When I first moved to selling business process software, I was a minority in the office for the first time. Most of the software companies I worked with at the time had 75% men. I was fortunate to have a few male leaders who were supportive by providing me a chance to grow and run larger businesses for them.

However after seven years in the same role, SAP was a breath of fresh air when I needed it. For the first time in my career, I had seen men with less experience receiving promotions. SAP got my attention with its focus on a female leadership agenda, high potential programs, and rapid career advancement. I have not been let down. I have had a different role each year and recently received a promotion to second line manager. This was with the help of other female leaders who worked to promote me when I was ready.

Now that I lead a team, I have an opportunity to help other women as well as men to succeed not only within SAP but also with our customers and prospects. I believe the true test of a leader is how many leaders they create vs. followers.

So what’s next for Elle Woods? She’s off to Washington. While I’m not yet ready to take on politics, it is my goal to invest in a diverse and talented team, helping each team member develop from where they are to where they want to go. I want to give my team the opportunity to move out of their comfort zone and invest in the future of the business. SAP is one of the few places I have worked where I know that not only will I achieve my goals but like in the fearless days when I began my career, I really can do anything.

This story originally appeared on SAP Community Network.

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The City of Heidelberg and SAP Design a Service for Elderly People

The SAP Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC) has a mission: to make design a priority at SAP.

“SAP is not perceived as being a leader in design,” explains Matthias Langholz, Strategic Design Consultant at the DCC. “In fact, quite the contrary. Our main aim is to change this with interesting design projects that show that user needs are at the heart of what we do.”

Matthias wanted to use his design skills for something with a higher social value and combine his professional and personal goals in one project. Along with Karen Detken, Strategic Design Consultant, he entered into a collaboration with the City of Heidelberg, and it was a success. Together, they developed a service that brings together generations and helps elderly people over the age of 85 to rediscover their sense of value in society.

In this interview, Bärbel Fabig, head of department, Office for Social Affairs and Senior Citizens at the City of Heidelberg, and Birgit Rittinghaus, head of specialized field, Office for Social Affairs and Senior Citizens at the City of Heidelberg, talk about the project and how they felt about collaborating with the DCC.

How did the City of Heidelberg and SAP get together?

Fabig: First of all, we wouldn’t usually associate SAP with social projects. That’s why we were very interested when Mr. Langholz contacted us. We were curious about what he would be able to offer us and how it would tally with our ideas.

Rittinghaus: I have to admit I was mystified by how we could work together with SAP and what project we could get off the ground together. Social work and SAP are two completely different worlds. I was therefore all the more surprised that we found a common language and that, as time went on, we managed to reflect on social issues. We even discovered similarities in the way we run workshops.

In our profession, we learn right from the start to think in terms of people, not in terms of design. We imagine how people tick and try to empathize with them. We may use different vocabulary but we soon realized the design methodology was already part of our way of thinking.


You worked together with the DCC on a service for elderly people over 85. How did design thinking help you to implement the project?

Rittinghaus: There was a great diversity of methods, which was fantastic, because I love getting to know and using new methods. For example, we used personas. We created people. We used our imagination and thought about the type of people we want to engage with. What kind of family do they have? What apartment do they live in? What has their life been like? In the second workshop, for example, we made scenes with pieces of paper and card and drew on them; we cut out little buses and schoolchildren to visualize our thoughts. To actually see something in front of us helped us, because I think people take in a lot using their sense of sight. It was fun. Sticking and cutting things out spoke to the inner child in all of us but the underlying idea was serious. We created people in our heads. Maybe they don’t exist in real life exactly as we imagined them, but we can still sense them now.

Fabig: It fascinated me to see how design thinking could be used to record things that were initially completely alien to us but nevertheless made sense in the end. That’s why I was always completely astonished by the results that were presented in the workshops. I would never have expected it. It was very important for us that we had time and that SAP, the SAP AppHaus, and the people we worked with took the time, because you look at concepts differently if you put them down in writing and work with pictures.

What does the solution look like that you designed together with the DCC and then adapted to suit your needs and resources on your own?

Rittinghaus: We found it phenomenal how the matrix got longer and longer, how we could visualize things, which processes run (in parallel), who the stakeholders are, who speaks with whom and when, and which discussion then comes to an end or is continued. I was really impressed.

Fabig: In the end, the outcomes were so diverse that it was difficult for us to translate them into action. It was therefore an important step for us to break the results down into manageable chunks in a way that they could be realized on a small scale.

Rittinghaus: We couldn’t put what SAP structured into action, because we don’t have the financial and personnel resources or the technical expertise. But we took the concept and adapted it to our needs in an internal workshop. What we came up with was a visitor service for elderly people, which we have already launched. There was a kick-off event and a newspaper article to recruit volunteers. We held three training courses and, at the same time, wrote to elderly people again. Of course, we had to persuade them, but this was easy because we believe in the project. Now we already have seven volunteers and four elderly people who we can bring into contact with each other. That’s a lot for one kick-off event plus training, and is encouraging for the future.

Fabig: We do many such projects and it really is a great success that seven people have already signed up for our project and want to prevent elderly people who can no longer make use of our well-established social structures from living in isolation. When elderly people are still mobile, they can continue to do everything. But we realized a long time ago that possibilities often cease when people have limited physical mobility or suffer from dementia, and can’t leave their home. Social contact then starts to decline. The project fills this gap, and is something we have been working on for a long time. It’s a dream come true. We had wanted to launch such a project for four or five years, but were unable to because of other priorities. Now it’s reality.

How have the project and the design thinking method changed the way you work in the long term?

Fabig: The process and the individual steps – in other words, the holistic view – was certainly very important, but it had to be broken down into pieces. It’s very helpful to have these individual steps visible in front of you and then be able to work with them. The method is highly versatile, especially the creative part, which social work also has, although it’s definitely not as versatile. I believe design thinking has brought added value to our work, but I’m also convinced that we have all benefited on a personal level, too.

Rittinghaus: We could only work with one specific approach. The processes are long, there are a lot of people involved, and we had a thousand different ideas. But we were missing the decisive thrust in the right direction. However, with SAP we were able to focus and put our thoughts into action. Having ideas is good, but realizing them is better.


via SAP News Center

Thứ Năm, 27 tháng 8, 2015

The Digitized Core at the Heart of Reimagined Business

The pace of digital innovation and transformation is increasing. Entire markets, including transportation, logistics and e-commerce, are being disrupted and reinvented everywhere, and each new innovation multiplies the potential for more.

Digital disruptors are not only changing targeted industries, they’re also sending ripple effects of innovation throughout the world. “Digital technologies are doing for human brainpower what the steam engine and related technologies did for human muscle power during the Industrial Revolution,” says IT researcher and author Andrew McAfee in a Harvard Business Review interview.

Most companies believe they are already reinventing their businesses through digital transformation. In a survey conducted by Altimeter Group last year, 88% of executives said as much. Yet most companies lack the basics for a successful transformation. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed by Altimeter Group admitted major strategic gaps, such as leaving the role of the customer out of their digital transformation strategy.

The Four Pressure Points

Four inescapable trends are creating the pressures that shape today’s digital transformation:

1. The empowered customer

Whether your customers are Generation Z consumers or multi-national conglomerates, they all share one vitally important characteristic: each demands to be treated as a unique segment of one. You have no choice but to meet that expectation. Digital and mobile technologies mean that no matter where your customers are, your competition is always one tap away. Enterprises must be capable of delivering rich, real-time interactions and intelligently-personalized products and services to each distinct customer, and do so efficiently at scale.

2. Competitive and regulatory pressures

Transparency is a necessary part of business today, and that means competitors and regulators alike can dissect any business process. Staying ahead of the former and meeting the standards of the latter requires operational excellence and accountability at every step in the value cycle. To keep pace, enterprises must develop a varied arsenal of low-touch and automated processes that can make intelligent business decisions based on customer demand and real-time market conditions.

3. Globalization

More businesses today must be prepared to go global in order to remain relevant. Expanding into new markets can no longer be done effectively with costly, infrastructure-heavy international buildouts. Enterprises need a pay-as-you-go strategy with scalable capacity, which can be adjusted rapidly to meet market conditions in any region.

4. Technological progress

The tide of innovations and discoveries is unrelenting. Businesses must be agile enough to quickly adopt new strategies, and be steered by insightful, knowledgable leadership that can sort winning inventions from dead-end novelties.

What a Flexible Digitized Core Can Do

Withstanding these four inescapable pressures requires a flexible digitized core at the heart of every organization — one that can reinvent business processes not just every generation, but every day, if necessary. A flexible core, ready for the demands of today’s disruption, can be identified by three key characteristics: efficiency, effectiveness, and agility.

A digitized core increases efficiency by automating processes and distributing responsibility for customer insights across an intelligent business network. Consider how 3D printing is completely reinventing the concept of inventory. The digitized core makes it possible to move manufacturing much closer to the time and place of purchase.

The digitized core increases effectiveness by converting signals in business data into tangible action. That can mean anything from real-time demand forecasting that sends new production orders automatically, to intelligent financing that takes full advantage of global capital markets. A digitized core brings Big Data down to the size and scale needed to deliver valuable insights for everyday business practitioners. Since every enterprise must be ready to create value from data, the digital core itself must be rooted in data.

Finally, the digitized core increases enterprise agility by enhancing every stakeholder’s understanding of the entire business, elevating each employee’s view of the organization. This can empower sales to close deals with higher margin, and R&D to focus on projects with the greatest market potential.

Think Like a Startup

Today’s enterprises must be agile in order to survive. That means taking advantage of digital opportunities at every turn, even if it flies in the face of established convention. For instance, augmented reality can deliver a virtual showroom or guided maintenance instructions directly to a client site. If that sounds like something only a startup would do, that is not far from the truth. Digital transformation means every business must think and act like a venture capitalist, and a digital core is the surest way to adapt to these modern realities.

Even the most storied enterprises must be able to move with alacrity. “In a world of more data and less certainty, companies have to make decisions and respond to disrupters all the earlier and the more decisively,” McKinsey warns. Without a modern digitized core, even competing on the edges of a market will no longer be an option, as disruption squeezes out those with processes to inflexible to adapt. With a digitized core, an enterprise can disrupt an industry from the inside out.

In future posts, we will explain how to design a digital transformation and how to put that plan into action. For a sneak preview, take a look at how the digital business foundation of SAP S/4HANA is already delivering results.

Learn more how SAP can transform your digitized core and follow me via @SDenecken

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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via SAP News Center

Molecular Health Drastically Improves Cancer Treatment

SAP customers are saving lives.

At SAPPHIRE NOW 2015, I had the pleasure of talking with Mark Rodgers, North American Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, and Alexander Picker, EVP Product Management, both from Molecular Health. Speaking to them only strengthened my passion for healthcare and my belief that advanced technology can fix a struggling industry.

Changing the Way Doctors Approach Cancer

In 2000, for the first time, doctors read all 3.4 billion DNA pairs in the human genome. This insight into the complete genetic blueprint for building a human being opened the door to new and more-effective treatments for diseases like cancer. However, back then, this process of genetic sequencing was costly and time consuming.

In 2014, Molecular Health invented its end-to-end offering TreatmentMAP™, which runs on the SAP HANA platform. It translates the language of genes into actionable information that doctors and patients can use to make informed decisions about cancer care.

Now, thanks to Molecular Health, information on a person’s complete genomic sequence can be read relatively cost-effectively and in just a few days.

Turning Information into Action

As Rodgers and Picker explained, the same cancer treatment that saves one person may be toxic to the health of another. Each case of cancer is unique, and it’s very difficult to determine what treatments will have negative side effects on patients and what will work well. There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment.

With precision medicine, or the practice of analyzing existing treatments to see which is best equipped to tackle a particular case of cancer, Molecular Health is on the forefront of a paradigm shift that can radically improve the prevention and treatment of cancer.

How the Analysis Works

To start the process, a doctor sends a tissue sample from a patient’s tumor to the Molecular Health laboratory. The tissue sample contains both cancerous cell material and healthy cell material from the patient.

At the lab, using TreatmentMAP™, the sample is genetically analyzed and the cancerous genome sequence is compared to the patient’s healthy genome sequence. Then TreatmentMAP™ compares the patient’s genetic material to the massive amount of available research and clinical information that Molecular Health has been collecting over the past 10 years on biomedical knowledge. This data pool contains information from over 23 million publications, hundreds of cancer indicators, 37,000 drugs, more than 90,000 clinical studies, and more.

After a few hours, the treatment options for the patient are identified, and a specially certified oncologist uses TreatmentMAP™ to analyze the results and prepare a report for the treating physician. This report contains effective and ineffective treatment methods for this particular instance of cancer, as well as any risks of side effects or toxicity.

It takes about two weeks total from when the physician originally sends out the patient’s sample to when the physician receives the TreatmentMAP™ report. Physicians can then view the best treatments that exist for that particular patient’s instance of cancer, being sure to avoid any treatment that may be harmful to the patient.

COPE-ing with Cancer

SAP and Molecular Health have teamed to provide SAP employees with the Corporate Oncology Program for Employees (COPE). Through COPE, Molecular Health partners with corporations to provide employees diagnosed with cancer access to TreatmentMAP™The individual tumor analysis and interpretation is part of the company’s benefits package.

SAP was the first company to ever offer COPE to its employees.

COPE has already been rolled out in Germany and the United States. Soon it will be available for Canadian employees, and later more countries will be included in the program.

Through COPE, SAP hopes to inspire wider adoption of similar programs among other companies and to make this technology available to as many people as possible.

Future Goals

In the future, Molecular Health aims to play a bigger role in drug evaluation and safety for cancer patients. In addition, the organization’s main goal is to expand beyond the treatment of cancer and explore the treatment of other diseases, as well as expand the TreatmentMAP TM approach to cover the complete patient lifestyle.

Molecular Health wants to target healthy patients and work toward early identification and disease prevention. The company wants to make its technology directly available to the consumer.

Counting Our Blessings

A cancer diagnosis is very hard. However, knowing that my company will cover the cost of tumor analysis for each and every employee, helping doctors make the best treatment decisions for each individual, makes me feel very fortunate.

Rodgers and Picker share in my pride and appreciation for our employers. Both told me their jobs are extremely rewarding. They are part of an organization that directly improves people’s lives and has completely reinvented the way cancer is treated.

For more stories, follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Learn how your organization can benefit from real time analytics here.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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Internet of Things For Energy Efficiency

The world is in urgent need of solutions for its energy problems. Analyst Tom Raftery explains how the Internet of Things (IoT) can counter climate change.

News about natural disasters is taking over the media. Just recently, the U.S. Drought Monitor published a report outlining how California is in the midst of the worst drought it has ever experienced, causing water shortage and dangerous wildfires. May 2015 was the warmest May ever recorded, and 2015 is set to become the warmest year in recorded history.

In 2009, representatives from 176 countries gathered at the World Climate Conference in Copenhagen. They realized that we needed to keep global warming down to a maximum of 2° C (35° F) higher.

“Right now, the average temperature has already risen 0.8 degrees. That means we have only 1.2 degrees left,” warns Tom Raftery, a GreenMonk analyst at RedMonk. Global warming also needs to be dealt with at a technological level. To set course towards an energy revolution, renewable energies must become part of the power grid.

This realization has changed what we require of our electricity networks: Having many small power generators that need to be integrated into the network causes more fluctuations in supply, so the energy consumption has increased significantly in industrialized countries and emerging economies. Load management cannot make the necessary changes with the outdated technology of current networks.

Smart grids help load management

A study by PricewaterhouseCooper revealed that electricity and transport are the greatest causes of CO2 emission at 38% and 32% respectively. “The current trend is to make more and more electric vehicles,” Raftery explains. “This means we could influence an entire 70% of the CO2 emissions.”

The idea behind smart grids is to connect electricity generators and consumers on one big network, so that it can be controlled more efficiently and dependably. Load management plays a big part in controlling the generating and consumption of electricity and makes it possible to include more renewable energies in the system. The more renewable energies in the network, the better: Their varying costs make them cheaper, and they emit less carbon dioxide.

The most important renewable energies right now are solar and wind energy. Unfortunately, these do not produce a constant amount of energy and can thus only offer a varying amount of supply in the energy market. To counter this, demand must somehow be adjusted to the fluctuations in energy supply.

Smart grids are interconnected through the IoT and can help influence energy demand. “Having a source of energy that can’t be controlled is a big problem for energy companies. However, if the supply of a product can’t be controlled, we will just have to control demand instead. For this, we need the Internet of Things,” explains Raftery.

Newest technology needed

The Internet of Things can do more than help everyday users monitor and quantify their daily activities; it can even contribute to getting our global energy problems under control and reducing CO2 emissions.

“The Internet of Things is an important driver for smart grids. It allows us to manage electricity more efficiently, save resources, and use more renewable energies,” says Raftery.

But in order to exert this influence on energy usage and to set up a comprehensive load management, the newest technology is necessary. For example, large wind turbines and solar fields are each connected to their bases. They continually send data back and forth to measure the performance and efficiency of the turbines.

With the help of real-time analysis through SAP HANA, the network utilization is monitored so that the electricity supply can be optimized automatically at any given moment. More and more manufacturers install small chips in their digitized machines that collect data, evaluate it, and identify action areas.

Data collection is also increasing in everyday life with the smart meter. It is being installed in more and more private households, where it shows how much energy you are consuming and the actual usage time. It also allows you to control your electric appliances with a smartphone app.

“Appliances with a high energy consumption like fridges and freezers could be controlled through the Internet of Things. You can set the temperature of your freezer lower when you want to save energy, and higher when you have energy to spare,” Raftery explains. Controlling your electric appliances can save a lot of energy.

Learn more about SAP Smart Meter Analytics here.

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Service & Support Organization of SAP Named a Leader in Industry Analyst Firm’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Implementation Service Providers

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that Gartner Inc. has positioned the Service & Support organization of SAP in the Leaders quadrant for the third year in a row as published in its July 23, 2015, report “Magic Quadrant for SAP Implementation Services, Worldwide.”

The report evaluated service providers for a broad range of implementation services across multiple SAP applications and technologies. Service providers were assessed based on their “ability to execute” and their “completeness of vision.”

In the report Gartner stated, “Leaders are performing well today, gaining traction and mind-share in the market; they have a clear vision of market direction and are actively building competencies to sustain their leadership position in the market. The players in this quadrant generally have a global client base, a track record of implementing complex SAP programs globally that support business transformation and well-balanced business, process and industry consulting and implementation capabilities that are supported by rigorous tools and methodologies.”

“We believe we are positioned in the Leaders quadrant for the third year in a row because of our strong commitment to our customers’ success,” said Michael Kleinemeier, member of the Global Managing Board of SAP SE. “SAP offers clients in-depth knowledge across all major products and a full spectrum of services that ensures maximum return on investment. Our services arm has the most experience implementing new SAP solutions and we offer unparalleled support.”

As announced earlier this year, SAP has transformed its service, support and custom development operations to help customers innovate faster and simplify their experience with SAP. Service & Support is bolstered with about 16,000 delivery consultants, as well as more than 1,200 custom development consultants. It collaborates with more than 8,000 support professionals globally.

The Service & Support organization helps customers reduce complexity and total cost of ownership and navigate rapidly changing technology and business demands.

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

Media Contact:

Martin Gwisdalla, SAP, +49 (6227) 7-67275,, CET
Shauna Kelleher, FleishmanHillard, +1 (617) 692-0511,, ET

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.
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 Tư, 26 tháng 8, 2015

The Road to Rio for Germany’s Sailors

The top positioned teams of Sailing Team Germany are sailing in the pre-Olympic event in Rio and fighting for their place on the start line on the same course in 2016. They want to sail for medals at the Olympic Games.

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Do You Have the Mindset of a Founder?

Over my summer break, I finally caught up on my reading list, at the top of which was Peter Thiel’s book Zero to One. I enjoyed it greatly. Thiel is a man of strong convictions and opinions, and his narrative got me thinking about a question that I have been pondering for a long time:

Can the trained professionals who lead large organizations reach beyond just managing globalization to create new value like the founder of a startup?

As Thiel points out the most important task in business is to drive new thinking that creates new markets, new products and ultimately, new value. I agree. Venture-backed companies have played a very important part in creating new value in today’s digital economy. And unicorn investing is on the rise. These companies are attractive again because they focus intensely on one thing, they take large risks because there is nothing to lose yet, and they attract extraordinary people. And they will change the way we live and work.

But what about large organizations? Are we just helping to grow and expand the existing value we deliver, or can we too create something new?

I wouldn’t have dedicated a large part of my life to work in a large company if I was not convinced that we can. For me, it all comes down to mindset. To create value like a startup, you need to think and act like a founder. You need to be externally focused, curious and think broadly. And as LinkedIn’s Andy Reid wrote in a nice piece, you need to recruit employees with this mindset and create a culture of innovation.

Others before me have coined a great term for all of this: The Founder’s Mindset. What does this term mean? I have not found a definition, but here is my take.

Founders do not think in silos.

Take a “big picture” view. Show curiosity of all aspects of a business. Do not think of what is good for your business area, but for the business as a whole. Too often goals and incentives are counterproductive for the greater good.

Founders focus and say no.

This part is hard. Steve Jobs was very famous for reducing product lines when he returned to Apple. Founders understand that without complete focus, you can’t be the best at what you do.

Founders are owners.

This really has to be engrained in any culture. AB InBev provides a good example of why. Coming in at #6 on their list of company values: “We are a company of owners. Owners take results personally.” Many companies now use stock options to create this ownership.

Founders bring out the best in their people.

Thiel mentions this point in Zero to One, and many other leadership books have been written about this, but being able to inspire others is critical.

Founders relentlessly fight bureaucracy and don’t accept the status quo to achieve their vision.

I am often amazed about the tenacity and energy that founders show in pursuing their dreams. That passionate and deep-rooted drive about your own creation is tough to emulate because the fire either burns in you or it doesn’t.

Joseph Schumpeter is my favorite economist and he argued that the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers’ goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization”. In his view, innovation is the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating the new one.”

Accomplishing this as an individual is not easy regardless of what size of company you are part of. But passion and conviction don’t come in sizes. We might never be a founder of a new company that changes the world, but we can change the world in whatever company when we take the founder’s mindset. The next unicorn might be yours.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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T-Systems and SAP: A Dynamic Duo

T-Systems has been a SAP partner almost since the day it was founded in 2000. Together the duo serve over 5,000 joint customers worldwide, including Brenntag, Continental, Heineken, Pioneer, Shell and Sumitomo. As Dagmar Fischer-Neeb, Global Partner Director at SAP, explains, “Today, our work with T-Systems is increasingly geared towards pioneering innovations.”

The partners work closely together, but on a non-exclusive basis. For example, T-Systems also collaborates with SAP competitors, such as Oracle and Salesforce, while SAP maintains partnerships with other service providers.

Cloud-Based Services Drive Growth

Franz Baljer, formerly responsible for SAP partnership at T-Systems, says, “The recent development of SAP platforms such as HANA and Mobile has seen the bulk of our SAP business gradually shift towards cloud hosting.” Baljer, who recently retired, was based at the Partner-Port site in Walldorf, Germany. Today T-Systems runs the world’s largest cloud platform for SAP (see graphic), according to analysts Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC).

Now, businesses are seeking out potential new ways to deploy these IT innovations. Digital transformation is the order of the day – and with this in mind, T-Systems has already helped more than 250 international SAP ERP customers migrate to the cloud. As Dr. Ferri Abolhassan, Director of the IT Division at T-Systems, explains, “Digitization and the cloud are inextricably linked. Businesses can only keep pace with digitization by providing key services more quickly and flexibly. And the only way to do that is via the cloud.” For Abolhassan, the task facing T-Systems and SAP is clear: “As partners, we need to help our customers fully understand the importance of the cloud.”

Adding Value on Two Fronts

Continental, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, is a prime example. Some 50,000 Continental users around the globe enjoy access to 200 SAP systems and 100 third-party applications. In addition to tried-and-trusted SAP solutions, the corporation now runs new SAP HANA systems for BI in a T-Systems private cloud – enabling real-time business analysis.

Dynamic Development: Cloud hosting for SAP clients from T-Systems enjoys growing popularity. (Source: PAC).

Dynamic Development: Cloud hosting for SAP clients from T-Systems enjoys growing popularity. (Source: PAC).

Elisabeth Hoeflich, Corporate CIO at Continental, says her team is reaping the benefits of SAP in a way that “gives us a genuine competitive edge in the marketplace.” She adds, “We have really benefitted from being able to integrate SAP HANA into our existing operating environment quickly, securely and without any hitches, based on the T-Systems Dynamic Cloud Platform.”

Meanwhile, according to Stefan Köhler, SAP Global Account Director at ContinentalL “The SAP HANA platform will support Continental in the development of intelligent technologies for its customers – both now and in the long term. And it’s creating new opportunities, too.” For example, he hopes that Continental will be able to use HANA technology to analyze tire and vehicle data. “We believe SAP could potentially make an even greater contribution to Continental’s overall success,” he adds.

Solutions for the New Industrial Revolution

T-Systems and SAP also working together on the Internet of Things. “The Internet of Things is at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution – also known as Industry 4.0. Smart businesses leverage IT to digitize their processes and reap a host of additional benefits,” says Kevin Ichhpurani, SAP’s Executive Vice President of Ecosystem and Platform Innovation. “Having collaborated successfully with T-Systems in the past, we are now working with them to create real-time IoT solutions.” By combining the SAP HANA platform with T-Systems’ networks and services, Ichhpurani believes that, “we will be able to support our joint customers during their business transformations – and assist them as they enter new markets.”

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) project is another example of the companies’ close collaboration. The project aims to enhance the port’s logistics and road traffic planning, so that it can handle 140 million metric tons of goods every year. To achieve this goal, T-Systems is using its connected car expertise, while SAP contributes connected logistics software.

These components are combined with HPA’s traffic, infrastructure and goods data to create smartPORT Logistics (SPL) which provides truck drivers with key information during their journeys, and directs them to the right locations for loading and unloading. Dispatchers and drivers use an app to coordinate their arrival times – speeding up goods handling, preventing traffic jams, and increasing throughput at the Port.

In March this year, T-Systems and SAP signed an OEM agreement enabling them to roll out the system at other locations, such as airports and key rail freight hubs. The two companies also plan to define technical standards for Industry 4.0 underscoring their belief that to ensure success in the fast-paced world of IT, time is truly of the essence.

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via SAP News Center

Thứ Ba, 25 tháng 8, 2015

When Sail Meets Saddle

Olympic equestrian Ingrid Klimke met Sailing Team Germany’s Elena Stoffers for the first time at the FEI European Championships in Aachen.

The event gave the two professional athletes an ideal chance to chat about SAP technologies for their respective sports, and to eagerly test drive the new Judge App.

via SAP News Center

BUILD: Easy to Use, Open Source Design Technology from SAP

If you have a product idea, but no technical knowledge to make a prototype, you can now visualize and share your idea on BUILD. A new open source technology from SAP, BUILD makes it possible for anyone to design and create interactive prototypes.

Ben Ceaser, Vice President of Product Management for User Experience & Design, talks about the capabilities, market strategy, and potential impact of BUILD.

How did the idea for BUILD emerge?

From the development of the first SAP Fiori apps and subsequent user interface (UI) projects, we knew how important interactive prototypes are for obtaining high quality feedback from end-users. Prototypes are also an extremely effective way to communicate requirements to developers, management, and other stakeholders. Unfortunately, this has traditionally required UI developers, who are precious resources, and are not readily available for prototyping. We asked “How might we make it easy for non-technical users to express requirements and bring their ideas to life?” This was the spark for BUILD.

Who is the customer for BUILD?

Anyone who finds it useful! Our objective is to promote the practice of iterative prototyping with end usersprior to the start of development. The initial focus was on customers and SAP teams that work closely with customers to co-innovate, but we soon realized that there is a lot of interest from partners and internal product teams as well.

Tell us about some of its main features.

BUILD is comprised of two main components: prototyping and user research. User research can be task-based, question oriented, or both. We collect both quantitative and qualitative feedback from end users, which we consolidate and present to BUILD users so that they understand what works and what doesn’t.

Prototyping enables progression from low-fidelity designs to high-fidelity interactive prototypes during the idea-to-development process. Users can start by creating clickable prototypes from sketches or pictures on a whiteboard. Once these ideas have been validated with end users, they can replace the sketches with real UI controls and templates in a WYSIWYG editor. BUILD also provides features to make it easy to incorporate realistic sample data so that the prototypes are more meaningful for end-users. We didn’t want technology to be a limiting factor in expressing ideas, so BUILD can support different UI technologies, including multiple versions of SAPUI5.

BUILD is open source. Why did SAP go with that strategy?

There are three key factors in our decision to open source BUILD.

Time to market – By leveraging readily available open source components, we were able to bring BUILD to market much faster than we could using only proprietary technology.

Scale and adoption – We hope that by open sourcing BUILD and encouraging contribution from customers and partners, we will broaden the scope and breadth of the solution faster than we could alone. We’ve already seen faster adoption from partners, as they know that they can shape the future of the application

Developer efficiency and satisfaction – There is a short learning curve for the technology used in BUILD and we can onboard new developers in a matter of days instead of weeks or months. Our developers are also very motivated to use open source technology, as many already contribute to open source projects. This helps us attract and retain talent, as it provides us with the opportunity to master technologies that are commonly used in Silicon Valley. We are also able to engage better with the development community in the valley where many of these open source projects are being driven.

What is the business value of BUILD for SAP?

Ultimately, we hope to help internal teams, partners, and customers improve user experience of the apps that are built on SAP technology. We want to make it easy for them to adopt the best practices of design-driven development; specifically by enabling product managers, consultants, business analysts, etc. to design iteratively with end-users. This process results in fewer change requests once development has started and increases the likelihood that what comes out of development will meet the needs of end users. We are also able to reduce the costs of development by generating code for commonly used UI patterns.

How will BUILD integrate with other SAP products?

We’ve had a great partnership with the Cloud Experience team from SAP Labs in Israel, resulting in the initial release of a BUILD WebIDE plugin for developers to import BUILD projects in WebIDE and serve as the basis for UI development.

Working with the SAP Fiori technology teams, we have incorporated Smart Templates into the BUILD prototyping experience. This will allow SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori product owners to prototype and get feedback on Smart Template based applications.

What has been the response from customers/market?

It’s been overwhelmingly positive. Our first two private betas have been oversubscribed and we have a very healthy pipeline of interested customers, which we’ve been able to secure mostly through word-of-mouth.

Tell us where the project currently stands.

We have just released the second beta, which is open to internal users, customers, and partners. This beta introduces prototyping of Smart Templates, user research analytics, and a ton of UX improvements from the first beta. We plan on another major beta release in the next few months, which will bring even more prototyping capabilities.

What’s with the monkey in the BUILD logo?

BUILD’s mascot Lucy is named after the Hominin fossil discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. That fossil is approximately 3.2 million years old and is from mankind’s earliest ancestors. Lucy can be considered to be a prototype of mankind. Lucy also embodies one of the key design principals of BUILD; prototyping should be fun, always!

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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Under Armour Powers International Growth using SuccessFactors

Fast growth is nothing new for Under Armour, a global athletic apparel company headquartered in the United States. Approaching its 20th year in business anticipating close to $4 billion in revenue this year, Under Armour is investing heavily in international growth that includes a rapidly expanding direct-to-consumer business.

A remarkable culture of innovation drives this sportswear powerhouse, from the advanced technology embedded in its clothing and accessories, to the Human Resources (HR) software behind the company’s bold expansion plans. Calling its employees “teammates,” Under Armour prides itself on providing everyone with strategies to win as a team.

Speaking recently at the SuccessConnect 2015 event in Las Vegas, Troy Barnett, Senior Director of Corporate Services Technology at Under Armour, said the challenge was how to get ahead of the company’s 30 percent annual growth rates with an HR strategy able to support a workforce approaching 11,000 teammates worldwide. He shared the results of Under Armour’s transformation from paper-based, decentralized processes to strategic HR.

Troy Barnett, Senior Director of Corporate Services Technology at Under Armour, shared the results of Under Armour’s transformation from paper-based, decentralized processes to strategic HR at the recent SuccessConnect 2015 event in Las Vegas.

Troy Barnett, Senior Director of Corporate Services Technology at Under Armour, shared the results of Under Armour’s transformation from paper-based, decentralized processes to strategic HR at the recent SuccessConnect 2015 event in Las Vegas.

“We knew we had to get ahead of our growth because we wanted to be strategic,” he said. “We asked other leading companies how they got there and they said to build it with the end in mind. That is how we started, now we can give our directors and above a clear picture of how the value they bring to the company will be rewarded to them over the next five years in total compensation. We completely revamped our store recruiting process giving our store managers the ability to manage their recruiting process, from hire to retire, so they can keep the pipeline going in our 140 stores without having to go back to headquarters for support, guidance and approvals.”

Revolutionizing recruitment and more

Like many leading edge companies, Under Armour has its pick of top talent. However, HR realized it needed a way to respond quickly to the talented people who want to work at Under Armour, and provide them with the ability to excel from streamlined onboarding through targeted career development plans.

Scaling an international, highly collaborative, HR process was at the top of the company’s agenda. This was the impetus behind replacing disparate systems with SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, Compensation, Succession & Development, Learning Management and Recruiting.

The streamlined application process features dashboards where recruiters can easily monitor and manage the real-time status of requisitions and candidates. On-boarding is faster than ever as new-hires can automatically populate resume details into the system from existing documents. Most important, Under Armour now provides the same strategic HR support to managers, employees, recruiters and candidates worldwide, meeting each location’s unique regulatory compliance and language requirements.

Overall, speed and ease of use have helped reposition HR as a business partner. Calling SuccessFactors’ recruitment capabilities a huge win, Barnett said Under Armour added Akamai network technology underneath to quadruple system speeds, allowing teammates and candidates easier anywhere, anytime, any device access to manage hiring.

“We wanted to get away from desktop-centric systems and be the thought leaders of our company. That meant moving from day-to-day routine functions and focusing on what matters to Under Armour’s growth objectives,” said Barnett. “We wanted the business to trust us, which required moving complexity out of the landscape while giving them the tools to be more strategic.”

Future innovation

At the core of Under Armour’s HR system is a road map that identifies process and system integrations points, as well as gaps and service level agreements. Armed with this blueprint for success, HR is able to document its present and future value to business. Amanda Oxenreider, Senior Manager of Business Relations at Under Armour, advised HR departments considering transformation to adopt a highly collaborative and constantly evolving approach.

“Don’t make decisions in silos. You want to involve everybody because having more information will help you build a more solid program foundation,” she said. “We’ve re-evaluated often since we began with SuccessFactors Recruiting and Onboarding in 2011. Every year we continue to build something new, looking at the quarterly releases to determine how and when that new functionality can help us.”

Future plans for Under Armour include installing SuccessFactors Employee Central early next year.

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via SAP News Center

Thứ Hai, 24 tháng 8, 2015

Cyber Spies: Attack Scenarios

Advanced persistent threats — cyber attached that target company secrets — can cost companies a significant amount of money and can even put them out of business. Even though these methods are nothing new, the attack combinations themselves are.

A vehicle with the tinted windows had been parked within radio signal distance of the company for days. Concealed inside, a man with a laptop. One call to the CAZ, (Cyber Allianz Zentrum, a cyber defense agency of the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Munich) and cyber sleuths were sent immediately to take a closer look at this suspected hacker.

However, they could not detect anything unusual. Why? Because the man in the car was not targeting the company that called, but a smaller business located in the same building. “The man was a private detective investigating a civil law case,” explained Florian Seitner from the CAZ.

This incident teaches us two things. First, this kind of method can actually be effective for gaining access to a company’s network. But second, many companies are aware of this sort of threat and have become very sensitive to such dangers. They are extremely cautious and quickly report any suspicious behavior.

Cyber Allianz Zentrum Bayern: 200 Calls in Two Years

The Cyber Allianz Zentrum Bayern has already registered 200 calls since its foundation in 2013. So far, it is the only institution of its kind in Germany, and its tasks include acting on reports of suspicious activities from companies, closely watching supposed hackers, evaluating the attacks, and investigating who is behind them. It is crucial that the whole process is kept completely anonymous.

“We guarantee all our clients that nothing about these incidents will become known to the public,” Seitner says. “That would be a great blow to the client’s reputation.” No company would call the CAZ otherwise.

The most dangerous attacks are meticulously planned and executed with great patience over an extended period of time.

Advanced persistent threat (APT)

Foreign intelligence services prepare each attack with elaborate social engineering, detailed research on a company’s product, and details on its business and leadership structure. Some examples of industrial espionage targets include detailed designs, sales strategies, and engineering information of a product.

“The attacks are meticulously planned,” says Seitner. In the end, it all boils down to planting malware in the software, which then serves as the hacker’s free ticket into the company network. “A few years ago, intelligence services used undercover agents to infiltrate companies. Today, they use viruses and trojans.” Seitner speaks from the experience he gathered through previous involvement with intelligence services.

Watering Hole

The attackers identify systems at partner companies or institutions of the target. Like a lion crouched at a watering hole, the attacker waits patiently for all the animals to come one by one, then chooses its victim among them. They know large companies are often equipped with the best cyber defenses, and react to attacks earlier.

However, this is not necessarily the case for the many suppliers of the target. So the attacker infiltrates the supplier’s systems, leaving malware to lurk there until it can access the desired information. In this way, the communication chain can quickly become the security leak the attackers need to spread their malware through the targeted company’s system.

Hacker Strategy: A Professional Attacker Uses Many Methods

For an attack to be successful, a hacker needs to combine different methods:

  • Phishing: Malware is hidden in an e-mail attachment that seems to come from a friend. However, when you open the attachment or click on the link, the malware infiltrates the computer.
  • Social engineering: Intelligence services gain information to access a company’s system from phone calls to employees or personal connections.
  • Zero days: This is how experts call the holes in the security systems that a company is unaware of. When the company finds them, they can be sure there was not a day hackers haven’t been taking full advantage of it. The only thing left to do is react as quickly as possible.
  • USB stick: The attackers use USB sticks to infect computers with malware.

Hackers usually infiltrate a company’s system for one of two goals: cyber espionage or data sabotage. According to the an E-Crime survey by KPMG in 2015, computer fraud (the unauthorized or wrongful use of data and interventions in computer processes) accounted for 37% of IT security crime in Germany. It is followed by espionage (32%), manipulation of financial and customer data (29%), and data theft (15%).

“Small and midsize companies are most at risk,” says Seitner. “Unlike big corporations, they can’t afford the technology to protect themselves.” Experience shows that some small companies don’t even expect to be targeted, thinking “We are so small and barely use the internet, so why would intelligence services want to attack us?” That is exactly the kind of mindset that makes a “watering hole” scenario possible.

Photo: Shutterstock

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Game On: Managing Player Wellness with Injury Risk Monitor Scores Big in Seoul

Hong Sung Hyun joined the Yonsei University (South Korea) soccer team, a top collegiate team, in 2010, winning the U-League in the same year and again in 2012. As a promising and upcoming player, he joined a soccer club in 2014. Things were looking up for the young man.

And then, there was a knee injury. He was forced to quit his professional soccer career in July 2014, even before it had begun. I spent some time with Hong this past week in Seoul during the SAP Hyper Connected Healthcare Summit.

So what was the occasion?

Representing the SAP Customer Innovation & Strategic Projects team’s latest iteration of the Injury Risk Monitor now focused on soccer, I had the honor of asking Hong to demonstrate the proposed solution, currently in the proof-of-concept stage.

The demonstration was a clear expression of all that is beautiful and creative at SAP. Absorbing input from experts, the solution provides actionable analytics based on data from across a variety of sources – sensors, video, text, and historical structured and unstructured data. I requested Hong to wear a vest that was equipped with sensors and we conducted an exercise that showed – in real time – how data being picked up by the sensors was producing real-time analytics that a physio or coach would find very useful in managing the wellness of a soccer player.

Coach Choi Young Joon, Instructor and Technical Commitee Member, Korea Football Association, and Kim Jin-goo, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Konkuk  University, joined me for a panel discussion shortly after this demonstration and appreciated the need for such solutions. This was heartening to note as we believe that the sporting fraternity across the globe and across a spectrum of sports can benefit tremendously from a solution such as Injury Risk Monitor.

So what is unique about this?

Well, to appreciate that, let us consider the fact that it is estimated that soccer leagues could lose up to 30% of player payroll to injuries (Global Sports Salaries Survey 2015). The estimated average cost of player injuries in the top four professional soccer leagues in 2015 was $12.4 million per team. In soccer alone, an average of 17 to 24 injuries per 1,000 playing hours have been reported.  Many of these injuries can be very serious and potentially career-ending – as in the case of Hong Sung Hyun. In “The Crippling Cost of Sports Injuries,” my colleague, Kasem Abotel, who was with me in Seoul, shared an infographic that summarizes the case well.

Now that we have acknowledged the financial impact, let us consider the nature of the solution. There might be a number of point solutions out there that look at monitoring injuries and perhaps suggesting possible courses of remedy. Injury Risk Monitor proposes taking things to the next level – it is geared to predict, monitor, and help implement a relevant intervention program. It is designed to leverage copious quantities of available data together with live data to help compute the possible risk of injury. It does intend to then help plan and execute, with appropriate monitoring, measures that will reduce injury risk and help a player attain a more healthy playing life.

To sum it up, Injury Risk Monitor uniquely applies a predictive model approach and helps cater to personalized management of player wellness. I use the word, “wellness” as Injury Risk Monitor seeks to look at composite risk across factors and aims to apply measures that are comprehensive, and not be limited to narrowly defined physical fitness parameters. I emphasize “personalized” because one-size-fits-all as an approach would be a disaster. Today, with respect to many aspects of healthcare it is recognized that every treatment option for serious conditions can yield different results merely because no two individuals are alike. Why should we not hold player wellness to the same standards?

As a solution built on SAP HANA that lives in the cloud it will be an SAP thoroughbred that knows how to work in an increasingly digital world. To some the nature of this comprehensive approach might seem ambitious, but ideas that were mere wishful thinking at one time are now very real possibilities thanks to the capabilities of SAP HANA that include working across technology boundaries, as we must, to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT).

So what’s next?

We are finding resonance within the sporting fraternity about SAP’s approach to building solutions for sporting needs.SAP Sports One has already been launched and seeks to provide a comprehensive approach to team management, training, scouting, and performance optimization. The intent is to build Injury Risk Monitor to augment this solution in a synergistic manner. A composite risk of injury will be derived by taking data from training, physical fitness tests, matches, demographics, location, and so on. The solution’s ability to seamlessly process data across sources and modes of collection, including wearable devices, will provide a completely data-based, smarter, and more efficient way for team physiotherapists to help enhance player wellness and longevity.

This is what I was proud to bring to South Korea. And it was heartening to be met with great affection and understanding. In fact, I am very impressed with how well South Korea has adopted the move to becoming digital. Some claim that it has the fastest internet capabilities on the planet for general use, and is one of the most hyperconnected economies on the planet. I can buy that argument because I did have at least one very superlative digital experience. Every time I used my credit card in a taxi-cab in Seoul, a split second after the card was swiped – and I mean, literally, a split second – the transaction was approved and a receipt printed out. I believe this society is far more ready to get aggressive with IoT-driven solutions than some others. And, they do have a passion for sports – soccer is definitely one of them.

Given what can be accomplished with technology as we demonstrated recently, we might yet be able to prevent the disappointment that players such as Hong, and by extension the respective sport, have had to face. I am optimistic about a great IoT future in sports and healthcare that SAP can help bring to South Korea and beyond.

I am thankful for the opportunity provided by our friends and colleagues in Seoul – Kamsahamnida.

Follow me on Twitter at: @puneetsuppal

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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via SAP News Center

Thứ Sáu, 21 tháng 8, 2015

Parlez-Vous Business in Africa?

Africa is brimming with innovation, energy and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s time to move beyond typical images of hunger, war and disease and see this diverse continent as a success story in the making.

By 2100, 40% of the world’s population will be African. The continent is brimming with innovation, energy and entrepreneurial spirit. That’s why it’s incumbent on us all to get smarter about Africa (and move beyond typical images of hunger, war and disease.)

In this article, I’ll look at something very specific: doing business in French-speaking, or Francophone, Africa. There are 26 predominantly French-speaking countries in Africa. I went to Morocco recently and spoke with the Gilles Lepretre, the Managing Director of SAP’s Francophone Africa territory. This vast area will be critical in helping SAP succeed in its Africa growth strategy, announced last year. Lepretre’s region has already shown strong growth, noted in the recently announced second-quarter results for 2015. Looking at it through Lepretre’s eyes provides some critical lessons for anyone interested in building a successful business there.

Here were my top five take aways:

1. Francophone Africa is huge and incredibly diverse.

Within the continent, Francophone Africa represents the biggest geographic territory in square meters and contains more than 100 million people. These countries are united by their French Colonial past and not much else. Within each country there are multiple tribal groups, each with their own distinct culture, languages (in addition to French) and ways of doing business.

Also, enormous discrepancies exist among countries with regards to economic development.  For example, Algeria is a relatively stable economy based on oil and gas. While Togo is largely dependent on agriculture and working with the International Monetary Fund on structural reforms.

2. Partnerships are key

Says Lepretre, “We are dealing with so many variables, a huge matrix that includes culture and customs, geographies and industries.  The only way to deal with this is through partners.”

“Partners are critical where speaking the local language matters – primarily in West Africa. They help qualify where the opportunities are.”

Ernst & Young, global business services consultant, agrees. They say, “Find a local firm to partner with when entering the region. A local partner can add invaluable knowledge, local resources and secure a strong network to your business.”

3. Morocco makes sense as a business center for Francophone Africa

Morocco’s political stability, economic liberalization and diversification, and strong financial institutions have helped the country position itself as a “gateway” to Africa for foreign investors.

This is where SAP is setting up headquarters for its Francophone Africa operations. Scheduled to open a new office this September, the office already approximately 25 employees. They hope to establish best practices that can be deployed by partners and other offices in the region.

Lepretre also sees SAP’s position in Morocco as an opportunity, “SAP can help companies be the ‘open door’ by providing the information infrastructure. With automation – augmented by Big Data, cloud, and mobile – SAP can help build an extended digital economy that encompasses French-speaking Africa, and connect it with the global business network.”

4. The public sector matters

According to Lepretre, “more than 80 percent of business is managed by public sector processes,” so winning that arena is critical for any company doing business in Francophone Africa.

But providing IT solutions to government goes beyond capturing market share. It’s the foundation to building a stronger, more viable economy. “Increasing the efficiency and transparency of government will improve citizens’ trust, which goes hand-in-hand with improving the private sector,” says Lepretre.

5. There is a huge IT innovation opportunity

This brings us to the potential transformation IT can offer countries in Africa. Take the public sector again. Many of these organizations face basic automation challenges, like setting up tech-based tax systems versus administering taxes on paper.

But once the basics are in place, the public sector has an opportunity to leapfrog with Big Data technology like SAP HANA, which will let them use all that digitized information to make smarter governance decisions, be more accountable and administer more effectively.

As Lepretre puts it, “There are two waves here. First, everyone must increase speed with automation. Then we’ll get to the second wave where we’ll see real innovation using mobility, cloud and big data. Once we can get to that place, we will see an explosion in this region.”

Top image: Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

What Shaped My Career as a Leader in Design Thinking

A bit about me: I am a passionate global leader who inspires and coaches teams to apply a design thinking approach to create compelling solutions that meet real needs of people.

I am also a single mom with two boys – 11 and 13 years old, and two cats of undetermined age. I grew up in Germany and Italy and moved to the U.S. after college. I love my job, and when not at work, enjoy spending time with my boys, gardening, rock climbing, and yoga.

So how do leadership, design thinking and women make for a great combination? I talked to some of my women friends on how they have succeeded in leadership roles. I spoke with Wendy, who runs a warehouse for a paper company in Sacramento; Ajaita, the CEO of a social impact startup in India; Romana, who was promoted recently to lead SAP’s design thinking team in Germany, Anamarie who runs GTM for User Experience at SAP.

What got us where we are?

Here is what we don’t do. We don’t think of being a woman as a disadvantage and dwell on inequalities. We don’t try to be more like men. Instead, we embrace who we are, and put our talents to work.

We all share a passion for new challenges, dare to question the status quo, and push the boundaries to explore beyond how things are done today.


We care about the people we work with, and recognize their talents, mentor them, and provide them with opportunities to broaden their skills.

We balance (not always well) our personal lives with our business lives. Being wired as caregivers, this is often not easy. I like to bring perfection to what I do, and this can make it tough to balance things. Letting go and entrusting others to get the job done is essential to delivering great result and fostering individual growth.

We love what we do. We don’t show up to work because we have to, but because we want to. If we are not in the right position, we take charge of our destination and move to a project or job that leverages our talent. We don’t wait for our manager to make that happen, nor do we get discouraged by the “bad days”.

Here is an example of how this worked for me. About 11 years ago, SAP’s founder, Hasso Plattner, introduced a formal approach to innovation called design thinking. Some of the core values of this approach are empathy, diversity, and testing ideas early and often to come up with the most compelling solution for a problem.

Back then, I was asked to create awareness for design thinking and how it helps create useful and delightful software. I have had the opportunity to teach the methods of design thinking to teams inside and outside SAP. Realizing that this is my passion, I have chosen managers and projects that let me practice design thinking ever since.


For example, in our Cloud organization I applied a design thinking approach to our go-to-market and product strategy for SAP Travel OnDemand. This helped us to formulate priorities along user needs versus features and functions.

I was entrusted with a chairman sponsored project for one of our largest CPG customers to create an SAP HANA application for their CEO and his team to run strategic reviews of their business. This co-innovation project has resulted in an analytics product code-named “Boardroom of the Future.”

My latest venture is to scale sharing our knowledge around design and design thinking across our 70,000 employees and outside of SAP. This has resulted in innovative experiential e-learning offerings, or MOOCs, that reach participants around the world.

My message to those who want to be leaders is that gender should not hold you back. Believe in your talents, go for new challenges, and most importantly do what you are passionate about.

This story originally appeared on SAP Community Network.

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via SAP News Center