Thứ Hai, 30 tháng 11, 2015

SAP Positioned as a Leader in 2015 Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Tools

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that it has been positioned by Gartner Inc. in the Leaders Quadrant of the November 2015 “Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Tools”* report. SAP received industry leadership recognition in the report for its “ability to execute” and its “completeness of vision.”

The evaluation marks SAP’s tenth consecutive year as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for DQ Tools.

SAP solutions for enterprise information management (EIM) can help companies manage Big Data for better insights, govern data proactively across the organization and ensure trustworthy information for smarter decisions. As part of the portfolio of EIM solutions, data quality solutions from SAP can deliver accurate, trustworthy and timely information across an enterprise. With these solutions, companies can profile, cleanse, enrich and match customer, product, supplier and material data to improve efficiency of business processes and analytical initiatives.

According to the Gartner report, “Digital business and disruptive technologies continue to fuel solid growth in the data quality tools market, alongside traditional cost reduction and process optimization efforts. This Magic Quadrant will help CIOs, chief data officers and information leaders find the best vendor for their needs.”

“SAP fully recognizes that the use of digital technologies is creating massive volumes of data and also opening new business opportunities for companies that want to leverage information as a corporate asset,” said Philip On, vice president, Enterprise Information Management, SAP. “When carefully managed, thoughtfully governed, strategically used and sensibly controlled, data can be transformative. SAP solutions for EIM give companies the ability to tap into the potential of their data and unlock its value to find ways to win and drive market disruption.”

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

Media Contact:

Susan Miller, +1 (610) 661-9225,, ET

*Gartner Inc., “Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Tools,” November 18, 2015, by Saul Judah and Ted Friedman
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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via SAP News Center

How to Build Culture and Engagement to Win the War for Talent

Human resources (HR) is an important function for businesses of all sizes. Unfortunately it’s often overlooked and underappreciated by small and midsize companies because they just don’t have time for it.

But to grow a small business you need to recruit, develop, and retain talented and motivated people.

On the last episode of #SAPTalks, I spoke with Lisa Campbell, senior director of HR at NeoTract, and Ursula Ringham, director of digital marketing at SAP, about some HR challenges and best practices for small business.

One of the topics we discussed was the importance of building company culture and increasing employee engagement. This is a big issue for companies right now. In the 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report published by Deloitte, 87% of the organizations surveyed cited culture and engagement as their top challenges, but less than half believe they have good programs in place to engage and retain employees.

Campbell said NeoTract has a very performance-driven culture with strong accountability. Twice a year the company performs an engagement survey. Campbell pours through the results, comments, and ratings with C-level executives, shares everything with the leadership team and employees, and then establishes action items.

Performing those types of HR activities, managing employee data, and setting goals and action plans isn’t easy for small companies if they don’t have the right tools in place. NeoTract knows this well. In the past it used PowerPoint to collect and manage HR information. Campbell said it was like herding cats – very time consuming and frustrating for employees.

When the CEO asked Campbell to set up a simple way to look at everyone’s goals at the middle of the year and assess whether they are on track or behind, she decided it was time to implement SAP SuccessFactors solutions. With the help of implementation partner KPIT, NeoTract had solutions for goal management, performance management, and 360-degree reviews up and running in about three weeks.

This is just one of many things NeoTract has done in HR to simplify life for employees and help the business win the war for talent. Listen to the podcast to hear more: Performance Reviews, Employee Engagement, and the War for Talent with NeoTract Inc.

Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

via SAP News Center

When in Rome

Recently, I joined about 800 of our HR customers at SuccessConnect in Rome. I thought it was apropos that from the birth city of modern day essentials like newspapers, roads, highways and the 365 day per year calendar, we gathered to talk about the most essential part of business today — people.

And more importantly, how technology can help people and businesses thrive in today’s digital economy.

At SAP, we recently announced the One4 project, a project very close to our hearts. It began with one employee’s idea in late September – to drive action for refugee relief in Europe by increasing the conversation around the topic while raising money. The idea required buy in from the SAP Board, a band called Imagine Dragons, their record label, their producers and from iTunes, via Apple. All approvals were secured within three weeks.

On launch day, the Imagine Dragons’ song “I Was Me” was released on iTunes with proceeds from the song going to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. In addition to leading the project charge, SAP also committed 10 cents for every download from iTunes up to the first 5 million downloads. In only three weeks, the One4 Project was ready to launch on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram with a social campaign that encouraged people to download the song and show what they are #One4.

The campaign has spread like wildfire, showing that the power of people has no boundaries. Tens of thousands of people downloaded the song & posted their own One4 photos. The traditional and social media efforts reached more than 287 million people…all in the first two weeks. Millions of everyday people, including global celebrities, sports icons and business leaders all jumped on board. They were moved by the opportunity to be a part of something bigger – something truly life changing.

So why do I share this story? First, because I believe in its cause and add in a shameless plug here that if you haven’t downloaded the song, do it now! Second, this entire scenario serves as the perfect illustration of the environment we live in today. An environment in which one person from Chicago can have an idea, and with the help of colleagues and a few strategic partnerships, can make it blossom into a global campaign. A campaign that reached more than 287 million people in just two weeks. I don’t think we could have launched anything like it 15 years ago. It would not have been possible. Then was a world of compact discs. Between production and shipping of CDs, the mere cost and complexity alone would have made it impossible. Yet in today’s digital economy, one person, one act and one download can change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need.

It’s easy to see how disruptive – and enabling – today’s digital world really is, personally and professionally. It’s changing the entire landscape of business. It’s not just about adding social media to your recruiting or marketing efforts, or enabling employees to work from anywhere on a mobile device. Digital disruption is truly pervasive. It’s changing business models, shifting the demands on your workforce and serving as a lens by which your company is viewed. Consider a business model like Airbnb. One person, one room and a business model that is disrupting the entire hotel industry. The benchmark of the competitive hotel industry is the breadth of inventory offered. Who wins? The business model that doesn’t own a single room.

Think about it. When Pope Francis visited Philadelphia this past fall, the city was expecting more than one million people to attend mass with the Pope. One million people, in a city with only 11,200 hotel rooms. Where will they stay? Brick and mortar chains couldn’t scale, yet Airbnb saw a 270% increase in room listings in Philadelphia for that month alone. Amazon is another great example. They started as an online bookstore and turned that industry on its head. Now they are doing the same to the broader retail market. How do you compete when your largest competitor doesn’t own a single retail store? You don’t. Competing in a digital economy requires different ways of thinking, new capabilities and faster execution.

The fact of the matter is that businesses need to go where the consumer is. And consumers today are very digital. They demand a great experience. In my role, I am frequently on the road. Relying on people isn’t always possible, or practical. But when you’re going from city to city, you want things to be simple, fast and personal. A perfect trip may be hard to imagine for many of us, but in a digital world, it’s possible now. But when the business model changes, and technology plays a larger role, it changes the role of your employees. In every industry, Human Resources is in the driver’s seat to help lead employees through that transition as well. What do you do with those staff members who are no longer needed in traditional roles?

Human Resources is responsible for ensuring your employees can meet the expectations of your customers, all the while you need to meet the expectations of your employees. Do them both well, and you contribute to the top line as well as the bottom line via employee engagement and retention. Those who can’t keep up with these expectations simply won’t survive. Think about it – 52% of the Fortune 500 companies went bankrupt or fell off the map since 2000. The average age of companies has gone from 67 years in the 1920’s, to 15 years today and will be 12 years by 2018.

What is today’s CEO focusing on when transforming for a digital world? It comes down to three simple concepts. First, truly embracing a digital strategy is about re-imagining the business. Everything from business models to business processes to how people work. Second, leaders are focusing on having the right technology, designed for faster innovation, shorter business process cycle times, and innately collaborates and thinks on your behalf. It also must have an IT landscape that is simple to run, manage and expand. Finally, leaders will want to infuse digital DNA into their organizations. It’s critical that the right skills are in place across your business to truly harness the value of the data and the ideas. Mindset, technology and talent. Which one of these does an HR leader need to focus on? All of them.

Regardless of how technology advances, people remain at the heart of every business, and being in lock step with the company strategy is critical to success. It’s not just about having the right parts – it’s about how those parts connect.

When I hire a sales leader, I don’t only look at his/her track record in selling. I look at management style and ask myself, will he fit into the team? Will she thrive in our company culture? What is his growth potential? How will we build a rewarding career at SAP beyond this position? But there is one other question you should consider. How will your decision, relative to Human Resources, integrate and impact all the other areas of the business, including your top and bottom line?

When you reimagine your business model, you’re looking at new markets, new processes and new skillsets. You need to be prepared to recruit, hire and develop the skills needed to support these ambitions. Showing you that increasing the speed of impact for your business is not only possible, but within your power to make happen. Amazing opportunities are available to you, your customers, and your employees in the digital economy. Your employees expect you to be ready. Your company needs you to be ready.

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via SAP News Center

How to Understand the Business Benefits of S/4HANA Better

The annual user group meetings in Germany, the US and the UK/Ireland showed that many midsize and smaller companies still have difficulties to see the benefits of S/4HANA for their business. There is nothing wrong with having other priorities than to convert to S/4HANA, but lack of information or even wrong facts about it shouldn’t be the reason.

Some said they would like to see more examples by other customers of their size. Right, but there is the problem: while the large organizations have already embarked on the S/4HANA journey at large scale, their projects will take time. Most of them want to take the opportunity the reevaluate their customer extensions to the suite in order to reduce the cost of maintenance in the future and to streamline their business processes. On the other hand are net new customers, who are attracted by the technical superiority of the product and the lower cost of ownership, but they might not be members of the user groups yet.

Or, there is a question about the roadmap of S/4HANA. It’s simple: first it covers the functionality of ECC 6.0, including the industry specifics, and secondly new application components will be added in cooperation with the customers and the user groups.

It is sad to still hear the same arguments after all the sales success, the implementations in record time and happy productive customers. We have written books, where we describe dozens of new or improved application scenarios, specific events are taking place throughout the world and we have many success stories on our website. I just heard of a Chinese fashion manufacturer who installed S/4HANA and reports a game changing improvement of the MRP2 run from more than 24 hours to under two hours. My advice for the smaller and midsize SAP Business Suite customers is to carefully watch the early adopters, soon approaching 2000, especially in related industries.

When you ask longtime SAP customers what they want from their ERP system in the future, they will tell you: lower cost of operation, a better user interface, easier maintenance, better integration with other applications, mainly services in the cloud, faster MRP2 runs, new business processes for customer interaction and customer service and most importantly, simplification wherever possible. All of the above has been achieved in S/4HANA, but there is much more. The Q3/15 results clearly show how S/4HANA has taken off and it is a pity that, after all the positive feedback, there is still some uncertainty among our customers.

Once again I’ll try to summarize the key advantages of S/4HANA over the current business suite on any db and the ERP systems by other vendors.

S/4HANA is an alternative to the existing SAP Business Suite

The SAP Business Suite ECC X.X will see continued development and maintenance for the next ten years. It is the backbone of many enterprise systems around the world and with the introduction of the HANA database the suite became even better in some critical areas. New solutions developed for S/4HANA will be checked, whether they could also be deployed in the suite as well. A good example are the FIORI self- service scenarios. It is perfectly fine to stay on the business suite for the foreseeable future.

But that doesn’t mean no other system should exist next to it. The in-memory database HANA allows for a radically different application architecture and a new philosophy with regards to the data model simplicity. While most of the business functionality of the business suite will be  carried over to S/4HANA, new workflows, larger transaction volumes, real time analytics on  transactional data, unmatched flexibility when changing reporting structures and even real time  simulation of business scenarios are possible. And all this comes with a completely new UI and a new framework for modifications and extensions. S/4HANA will continue to be developed at a different speed in order to match the new requirements of the digital age.

With BYD SAP first tried a hybrid approach for data management, transactional processing on a traditional disk based relational database and reporting with a redundant copy of the data in-memory using a columnar store. Despite some attractive results it also demonstrated that the future has to be a system where all data is completely in memory, using only one copy of the data in a columnar store and the transactional processing is drastically simplified.

How complete is S/4HANA 

One of the reasons why companies have more long term plans for S/4HANA is the completeness of the product. To recreate the wealth of functionality of the business suite is quite a challenge, but now financials, sales and logistics are available and most of the industry specific solutions will follow soon. SAP wants to achieve a better separation between the industries in order to reduce potential conflicts between them. Every transition case from ECC 6.0 to S/4HANA has to be evaluated individually but most of the installed base should be covered by now. For some time there will always be a constellation, where the suite is the more complete solution for a specific client. That shouldn’t be interpreted as a weakness of S/4HANA but a compliment to the suite. Many clients choose to become familiar with HANA by moving the business warehouse onto S/4HANA or start with completely new projects in product research or service including internet of things scenarios.

S/4HANA only runs on HANA 

Yes, SAP HANA is the only database S/4HANA runs on. The rapid growth of cloud based applications did clearly show that the underlying technology stack has to be simplified.  Actually our largest competitors concentrate their offerings on one database only: Oracle, Salesforce, Workday, Netsuite and Microsoft. The enormous potential of an in-memory database needs to be fully exploited to reshape the way we design enterprise applications and cannot be compromised by finding the lowest common denominator, while using multiple databases. As a result we can see a dramatic simplification of the application code. The HANA database family offers radically new ways of solving today’s and tomorrow’s challenges in enterprise  applications and this gives the S/4HANA system a substantial advantage over the competition.  It supports in addition to S/4HANA many other application scenarios from analytics of big data or scientific research to new iot applications. Through data federation HANA can seamlessly integrate with other databases.

Hardware costs for S/HANA 

Some smaller customers say that the hardware costs are prohibitive. I vigorously dispute that notion. S/4HANA strictly runs on standard Intel x86 servers or now on IBM POWER servers as well. The data footprint reduction can reach a factor 10+, where the columnar store is responsible for a factor 5 and the removal of aggregates and the reorganization of transient data tables add at least another factor 2. We recommend a split of transactional data into actual and historical partitions. The extent for how long you keep data in the historical partition online depends on the type of business. Older historical data can easily be archived on HADOOP and still be accessed by HANA in order to further reduce the online footprint. This means a 10 terabyte ERP system becomes a 1 terabyte system or less. This reduces the time for backup and restore by a factor 10x and more (only the actual data) and allows to use a single CPU board with high speed data access from all cores. Even the largest customers won’t need a scale out configuration for their actual data partitions.

For development and test systems a copy of the actual data is sufficient. I recommend to always test with real data sets. With the split into actual and historical data partition the archiving task for transactional data has been solved in the most elegant way. Older partitions can just be dropped on HADOOP according to legal requirements.

Why does the database speed matter? 

The biggest business advantage of S/4HANA is the simplicity of the data base layout. This allows for higher data entry speed, unbelievable improvements in reporting and most importantly a complete flexibility in reporting using external hierarchies. These hierarchies can be changed any time (restructuring, acquisitions, etc) without changes to the database.   The new UI isn’t just cleaner, easier to understand and use, but completely new processes are possible because of the speed of HANA. The fact that any field in a table can be used as an index adds to the simplicity and no database administrator has to be involved. This system is ready to grow again in functionality and become the backbone for the new digital world.  That management meetings can now use live data to illustrate the current situation of their company’s business, that predictive analytics and simulations help to open up a window into the future in real time, is only possible because of the extreme database speed. The digital boardroom will become fully interactive on current data.  All bottlenecks like ‘back flush of material’ after an assembly process finished or mass data  entry are gone, batch programs become transactions, reports run in seconds and the period end  closing is now completely streamlined.

Deployment in the cloud or on premise? 

There are many advantages to deploy the system in the cloud, but if regional preferences call for an implementation on premise – no problem, it might be just a different cost factor. It has to be understood that the deployment in the cloud has a principal advantage when it comes to the implementation of new functionality. Just take the new online sales scenarios with different revenue creation and recognition practices. Most companies will be in need of these features pretty soon and only with S/4HANA SAP can really accelerate the adoption. SAP offers a test migration of ECC 6.0 systems in the cloud and the customer can later decide where to run the production system.

How disruptive is S/4HANA? 

All master and transactional data will be migrated, all the business processes are still available, the new UI is easy to comprehend and most importantly the application configuration can also be carried forward. Many long term SAP customers are contributing in the design efforts of the new user interaction. By applying the principles of design thinking, end users, consultants, domain experts and developers interact till the most comprehensive solution is found. All predefined aggregate data (totals, info cubes) have been eliminated and the system offers now the highest flexibility in reporting and analysing business data.

The first step in a S/4HANA project should be the evaluation of the system without the company specific modifications and extensions but using the customer production data set. Many new features are added and may make modifications obsolete. Don’t extrapolate the amount of work and training from previous experience with ERP release changes. Once the data is carried over to S/4HANA everything will be much faster. In case of an on premise or hosted deployment, the previous UI will still be available in order to ease the transition phase.

S/4HANA only for larger companies?  

It is interesting to see regional differences in the speed of adoption. It is similar to the introduction R/3 in 1992/3. The R/3 system was meant to be for smaller companies and who jumped on it first? – the large and super large ones. I am absolutely convinced that smaller and midsize companies will now benefit even more, since they might be able to drop most of their modifications, as a consequence reduce the TCO, and have significantly more productive users, who will gain business insights like never before.

The reduction of complexity 

For years our customers complained about the complexity of the business suite and asked for simplification. Now some fear they have to relearn a lot and that will cost time and money. The simplification of the UI is real and will save time with the first day of productive use. The business functionality of the transactions is still the same but comes in a much more efficient form.

The dramatic simplification of the data model, the fact that any field can be used as an index for selecting data and the unprecedented short response times are allowing for much faster development cycles of new applications. The deployment of extensions in the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) is an elegant way to enhance S/4HANA systems or to build completely new applications.  S/4HANA combines the proven set of core business functionality, in many languages and for nearly all countries, with the ability to venture into completely new dimensions of applications. This capability is key when business processes are developing at an ever increasing speed and core enterprise systems cannot just be complemented by point solutions but have to also accommodate these changes.  This reduction in complexity also lowers the threshold for smaller companies to switch to S/4HANA.

New concepts for sales, customer support and product development 

After the simplification of the main application in sales, logistics and finance, the development of new functionality has started and will be rolled out in short release cycles. It is paramount that SAP and its community learns how to efficiently deal with shorter release cycles, without introducing any kind of instability. The reduced complexity of the data model and the removal of transactional data aggregation clearly improves robustness.   The focus on the HANA platform allows for better applications, because the technical advantages of HANA can now be exploited without consideration for compliancy with other platforms. This is a formidable advantage and as mentioned before a strategy taken by all other providers of cloud services.

SAP still believes in running the new system in the cloud and on premise, but it will be only S/4HANA with which we can achieve this in one software version going forward. This will reduce the TCO and speed up the so much needed step into the future. Every single application area  like data entry, standard reporting, analytics and predictions, the digital boardroom or the multi-channel customer interaction, to name a few, becomes a world class component  in its own right. This alone is a reason to consider an earlier migration to S/4HANA.

HANA allows the access of other databases e.g. HANA VORA or HADOOP, which helps to integrate with IOT scenarios or e.g. data for weather, geography, statistical information, without copying the data into the erp system.  SAP just announced a host of innovations for S/4HANA in Barcelona, including the new logistics components, business planning and the reintegration of some sales management functions.

Transition to S/4HANA

A first step can always be the implementation of the suite ECC 6.0 on HANA. SAP offers the option to help convert an existing ERP 6.0 system in the cloud to a S/4HANA system. All data will be carried forward, the database stripped of unnecessary indices and aggregate tables, the remaining object clusters dissolved into regular tables, all tables converted to columnar store with the exception of transient data like EDI protocols. Customer data extensions will be included. The new S/4HANA applications should work instantly with the exception of the customer extension or modifications, these have to be reevaluated and if necessary reimplemented, using the new extension framework. The interfaces with other customer applications have to be checked and in many cases optimized.  SAP will help to minimize the data footprint with data tiering including archiving, e.g. using HADOOP. The standard S/4HANA system should be thoroughly tested before considering any modifications.  Despite S/4HANA offers a new UI (FIORI based), the customer can choose to have the old UI still available to assist the users in the transition.


S/4HANA is by far the best ERP system SAP has ever offered to the market. In combination  with the new customer facing applications like hybris, the SaaS applications Success Factors,  Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur and the Internet of Things projects with HANA VORA SAP offers a  unique suite of products, which can be installed and activated quickly. The HANA Cloud Platform allows for easy implementations of extensions to integrate other software products or bespoke applications. As a result the new product offers a clear competitive advantage for relatively low costs.  SAP saw a dramatic increase in S/4HANA projects in the 3rd quarter and it would be a shame, if lack of information or an overly conservative attitude hinders companies, which could otherwise benefit a lot in these days of massive changes, to make the move to S/4HANA.

via SAP News Center

Thứ Sáu, 27 tháng 11, 2015

Empowering Kids to be Innovators Delivers Results

Design Thinking is a foundation of any successful, innovative company.

It is a process for creating new and innovative ideas for solving problems, and can be one of the most effective approaches for resolving issues that require deep understanding of root causes and varying perspectives. The process features open and, at times, divergent thinking (no wrong ideas!) to embrace ambiguities and alternative paths. It also requires teamwork, genuine empathy for others’ points of view, the inevitability of failing along the way, and – with luck — an “a-ha moment.”

As Jon Kolko has written recently in the Harvard Business Review (September 2015), organizations today “are recognizing the extraordinary levels of complexity they must manage.  Design Thinking is an essential tool for simplifying and humanizing.  It can’t be extra; it needs to be a core competence.”

Look at any creative, disruptive company. They find solutions to life’s problems. They bring simplicity to a world filled with complexity. They think of ideas, uncover a way to bring them life, and then turn them into reality. This is Design Thinking at its core.

If we can get today’s youth engaged in tackling problems, solving issues, and creating news ideas, we can make our youth better prepared for tomorrow’s business challenges — and ultimately make this a better world.

Two years ago, SAP embarked on a strategic partnership with GENYOUth – a youth-empowerment nonprofit – for the purpose of cultivating young social entrepreneurs across the country. GENYOUth’s AdVenture Capital program, which helps students design and implement impactful school and community-wellness solutions, provides the perfect means for achieving that goal. Using a Design Thinking approach, GENYOUth and SAP worked closely with students to develop, a digital platform that supports students in bringing their innovative school and community wellness ideas to life.

In this spirit, GENYOUth launched a “Social Innovation Series” across five U.S. cities this fall.  At these events, executives and subject-matter experts collaborated with students to use Design Thinking to come up with creative, innovative and unique ways for solving issues in their school or community. Students then pitched their projects to a panel of local judges who awarded prizes and funding to the students’ schools to implement the idea.

This is where you come in! One of those winning students will be named the “SAP Teen Innovator,” and recognized during an event leading up to Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. You can view all of the winning projects and vote for your favorite on the AdCapYOUth website.

I invite all students, parents, teachers, and educators to join us in cultivating and rewarding student entrepreneurs who have the power to solve some of our schools’, our communities’, and our nation’s biggest challenges.  The idea that everyone can make a meaningful impact in the world is why we strive to support our children to engineer positive innovations in all areas of life.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Critical IT project at DHL: SAP rejects accusations

Recent media reports suggest there is a connection between SAP and problems with the implementation of a new logistics system at DHL. These statements regarding SAP are incorrect.

SAP was not commissioned by DHL as general contractor and SAP software was not the root cause of the problems. Since 2011 DHL has revised its global logistics system to be rolled out in more than 120 countries together with a well-known technology and consulting company. SAP was at no time responsible for the project management and software installation. In fact, SAP has offered early support beyond the actual contractual status as a software supplier.

via SAP News Center

Thứ Năm, 26 tháng 11, 2015

Innovation in Unexpected Places: A Conversation with David Kelley

It’s easy to think in terms of big brands — Apple, Microsoft, Nestle — when considering the work we do at SAP. Behind all of those brands, however, are real people doing challenging work everyday.

Typically they use tools that were designed with technical and business considerations, but not so much about their human needs. The goal of teams like mine is to show the potential of human centered Innovation and inject creative confidence into organizations.

I work at the Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC) — a design agency within SAP. Our mission is to change the perception of business software through human-centered design. We use design thinking as the framework to develop empathy for our customers and users, and we work in interdisciplinary teams in a fast agile manner to produce amazing results.

This takes me back to a conversation I had with IDEO and Stanford founder David Kelley.

I had the opportunity to attend one David’s talks on innovation, creative culture and creative confidence at Stanford. One of the students asked him for career advice during the Q&A session. This particular Stanford student was choosing among job opportunities from various tech startups and Internet advertising companies in Silicon Valley. David’s answer to the student was telling. He advised them to “look for innovation in unexpected places”.

I went up to David afterwards and told him that I work in one such unexpected place for innovation.

At the Design and Co-Innovation Center we have worked on more than 400 customer projects in less than three years. I invited David to visit the DCC and see some of our projects for himself, and I was thrilled when he accepted. He dropped by the DCC on Sept 21, and here are three things that stand out to me from that wonderful conversation — all of which are important for organizational leaders to know if they seek to become an unexpected place for innovation:

1:Don’t be a victim of over-planning

“Planning is great, once you know what the insight is that … will allow you to innovate,” David told us. He went on to explain how people spend so much time planning for things without being sure what they were planning for. Many organizations fall victim to this, seeking to understand their challenge by planning in lieu of tackling it head-on. “It takes some guts to not know what you’re doing,” David said, “but get out there and mingle — get into the mess, get into the real understanding of what’s going on.”

2. Overcome skeptical managers by double delivering

“Double delivering is the only way I have seen it work without a champion at the top,” said David, explaining one way in which innovative approaches could take root within an organization. If a company is reticent to make change, David recommended empathizing with people who are skeptical. That can mean doing things in the way that is expected at first, and then, in your own time, undertaking some additional work to present an alternative, creative solution. Share the results of both efforts, creating an opportunity for them to see the benefits of a design thinking approach. “Senior management starts paying attention to stuff they don’t understand that’s successful, because they view themselves as having their arms around the whole thing.”

3. Stay at the cutting edge, no matter what

“Whatever you think it takes for you to stay at the cutting edge,” said David, “you have to really be mindful of what you’re doing.” More people will adopt new ways of working within an organization when they see more examples of success, but it’s the practitioners’ responsibility to continue to push the boundaries. He told us to look to places such as the and look for inspiration from the outside constantly. He advocated that companies always be learning organizations that never rest when they think they’ve found the answer. There’s always more to be done. Maintaining that mentality, he said, is important to staying relevant. “You’ve just gotta’ have an incredible thirst for being at the cutting edge.”

Everything from the violin to the clock manifest inefficiencies, and yet human beings have adapted to all of them. Now, thanks to that resilience and our ingenuity, it’s within our power to make technology better fit our needs. If we unleash creative confidence within organizations, we could greatly assist people who do their jobs in spite of every obstacle placed in front of them. Given the confidence to make changes to the tools we work with and the environment we work in, we could, indeed, make a much better world.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

via SAP News Center

Thứ Tư, 25 tháng 11, 2015

Online Holiday Shopping: Businesses Stock up for Stellar Profits on Everything from Turkeys to Protein Powder

SAP Aces Corporate Equality Index for LGBT Inclusion

For the third year in a row, SAP earns 100 percent for its support of LGBT employees.

It’s been a great year for the SAP LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. And as of Wednesday of last week, there’s something new to celebrate. SAP for the third year in a row earned a perfect score of 100 percent for its support for LGBT employees from the Human Rights Campaign, the United States’ largest organization dedicated to LGBT equality.

Each year the Human Rights Campaignconducts a Corporate Equality Index (CEI)survey that evaluates over 1000 businesses. The CEI evaluates companies’ LGBT-related policies and practices including nondiscrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBT community.

This is the third year in a row that SAP’s support of LGBT employees resulted in a 100 percent ranking and designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.”

SAP’s achievements are due to the efforts of Pride@SAP, the company’s global network and advocacy group for LGBT employees. I spoke with David Ramsay, a Program Manager at the SAP Design and Co-Innovation Center. A core member of the Pride@SAP North America chapter, David drives SAP’s engagement with The Human Rights Campaign.

David said that in the early days of the index, SAP lagged behind competitors like Oracle and Microsoft. For example, in 2006 SAP achieved 68 percent vs. 80 and 100 percent for Oracle and Microsoft respectively.


SAP LGBT Rights Improve 2002 – 2016

So what accounts for the jump to 100 percent? David thinks it is a combination of factors. First, society moved forward in its acceptance of LGBT people and expectations that employees ensure fair treatment. SAP kept pace with those changing mores; and from a business perspective, the company recognized that it was important to evolve if they wanted to stay competitive for top talent.

Second, since 2010 SAP has been proactively working with the Human Rights Campaign versus letting the organization access publicly available material. Since that point, David has been the liaison between the Human Rights Campaign and SAP’s North America human resources group, which has been hugely supportive of keeping SAP in top standing as an employer of choice.

For example, in 2012 the Human Rights Campaign changed its criteria and wanted companies to provide healthcare support for transgender people as they went through gender reassignment.

David said, “Healthcare benefits for transgender people were the big sticking point. In 2012, SAP felt like we had good enough support but didn’t need to be the best. In 2013, there wasn’t enough demand to justify adding this benefit versus other new benefits.”

“But in 2014 the industry was shifting and there was more awareness in society regarding what it means to be transgender. In addition, SAP’s own commitment to improving people’s lives helped advance LGBT rights and broaden access to benefits for all employees.”

Developing a good relationship with HR, coupled with cultural changes helped break down the last hurdle and David helped human resources make the business case to expand healthcare for transgender employees.

What’s next for Pride@SAP? David is trying to ensure that all SAP suppliers adhere to the same standards for equality as SAP, and that SAP holds them accountable through our global sustainability and corporate social responsibility policies.

David believes that although this is a US-focused award, it has global implications for SAP, “Participating in this index helps us look at our global policy towards LGBT employees. The conversations we (Pride@SAP) have had with human resources help push that dialogue and how we view our policy globally.”

Learn More

via SAP News Center

Thứ Ba, 24 tháng 11, 2015

A New Twist on Real-Time Public Utilities

When you think about it, real-time operations are really nothing new to public utilities. As consumers we demand nothing less. Flip the switch, and the lights should turn on immediately. Turn the faucet, and we expect to see a steady flow of clean water.

But here’s a new twist.

Up in the Pacific Northwest, the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) wants this same type of instant response across every aspect of its business.

“If we are driving real-time operations in our transmission and distribution systems, doesn’t it make sense to have real-time capabilities on our business side as well?” asks Benjamin Beberness, Snohomish County PUD’s chief information officer.

Starting with the Infrastructure

Snohomish County PUD supplies electricity to 332,000 customers and water to 19,000 customers in a large portion of northwestern Washington State. It is the second-largest utility in the Pacific Northwest and has been a regional leader in energy conservation for more than 30 years.

In recent years, the utility has made a significant investment in digital technology to boost operational efficiencies and improve service reliability.

“We have upgraded our electric grid with smart grid technology and automated key elements of the infrastructure like substations and distribution systems,” Beberness explains. For example, one of the utility’s first digital projects was connecting scores of substations with more than 160 miles of fiber optic cable. This improved Snohomish County PUD’s ability to measure, monitor, and control power via robust two-way communications.

But the use of digital technology at the utility is not restricted to its electric power infrastructure. Snohomish County PUD just completed a major consolidation of its IT landscape onto a single real-time enterprise platform using SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. This included the implementation of ERP, customer relationship management, and asset management solutions.

Energizing the Business

As the CIO sees it, the optimized business platform will not only further improve operational efficiency across a 2,200 square mile service territory, but also increase customer satisfaction and help the utility pursue future energy projects.

“For example, we can now look at our widespread assets in real-time,” says Beberness. “This is huge at a utility that encompasses more than 6,300 miles of electric lines and 375 miles of water pipe. And this visibility will let us make better ongoing decisions around upgrades and capital budgeting.”

He also believes bringing data together from across the enterprise will help the utility develop a clearer picture of its hundreds of thousands of consumers.

“Having all this information in-memory will energize our customer analytics and help us identify which products and conservation programs people are most interested in.”

Fueling Future Innovation

In fact, spurring product innovation is one of the specific long-term benefits that Snohomish County PUD anticipates from its IT transformation project.

This is a good thing, because developing conservation programs and renewable energy sources seems to be particularly relevant in a state considered among the “greenest” in the nation. When asked about the importance of a utility investing in renewable energy sources, Snohomish PUD customers rated it an 8.25 on a 10-point scale.

“Clean hydroelectric power already accounts for more than 80% of our fuel mix,” notes Beberness, “but we continue to explore additional renewable sources such as geothermal.”

According to Snohomish County PUD, geothermal has one of the smallest overall footprints of any energy source. And the region’s many inactive volcanoes, hot springs, and geysers could offer many opportunities. The utility has also been a national leader in the research of tidal energy.

Generating Some Well-Deserved Recognition

Snohomish County PUD’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed.

In a national survey of 82 utilities conducted in the fall of 2013, Snohomish County PUD was ranked #1 for program offerings. And more recently, it was recognized as the 2015 Visionary Leader by the SAP Excellence in Utilities awards program.

Still, the CIO thinks utility-wide visibility and virtually instant access to information will drive customer service and innovation to higher levels in the future.

“We believe real-time systems across Snohomish County PUD will help us operate more effectively today and allow us to serve our customers even better tomorrow,” says Beberness.

Join me on Twitter at @JohnGWard3.

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

Thứ Hai, 23 tháng 11, 2015

Zachry Construction Boosts Costing Accuracy 50% with New ERP

If you’ve ever worked in the construction industry, or even pulled off a few smaller construction projects of your own, you know how complicated the projects can be.

To complete a quality job on time and within budget requires careful planning, detailed project and resource management, accurate information, and fluid communication.

For 90 years, Zachry Construction has been successfully executing large-scale, technically unique construction projects around the world. From complex projects like the Embassy of the United States, in Beijing, to the treasured Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas, to America’s first ever high-speed railway in California, this privately owned construction company plays an important part in many of the transportation, civil facilities, and buildings we enjoy every day.

Now in its third generation of family leadership, the company is on a mission to be one of the best construction companies in the world. That means it needs to run its own business as well as it manages its construction projects. But, like its industry peers, the company must work with tight margins, which can lead to IT decisions that only meet short-term business needs.

To ensure long-term success and growth, Zachry needed to replace its legacy systems with an integrated, user-friendly enterprise solution that would provide accurate, real-time information. It also wanted to gain a competitive edge by putting mobile apps in the hands of the field.

The decision to modernize its IT systems was not taken lightly. Over 24 months, Zachry evaluated 18 different ERP and mobile solutions. After careful consideration, the evaluation team determined that an integrated suite of SAP solutions, including SAP Mobile Platform, met the most of their business requirements. The team also felt SAP offered the most widely used and solid product lines in the business. To assist with the implementation, Zachry selected B4 Consulting for both its construction-industry knowledge and SAP software expertise.

Zachry’s new solution has transformed its business. Business processes, workflows, data entry, and IT are all centralized in a single system. Workers can enter accurate, real-time data from the field via mobile device, and costs can be tracked on a weekly and daily basis. Manual and duplicate data entry has been eliminated, customer and sales information is accurate, and all project-related information is in one place – easily accessible via mobile device.

Zachry now has a single view of the business, allowing it to be proactive versus reactive.

Those achievements have resulted in many tangible benefits for the company:

  • Cost collecting is 50% more accurate
  • Cost information is available 50% faster
  • Month-end reconciliation is 25% faster
  • Foreman are 18% more efficient

Zachry now has a single view of the business, allowing it to be proactive versus reactive when it comes to meeting market and customer demands.

“To be the best, you need to know where you stand on project quantities and costs on a daily basis. SAP software provides the foundation and capabilities for accurate, real-time knowledge and growth.” Ranjeet Gadhoke, Senior Project Control Director, Zachry Construction Corporation

Building a success company is hard work. SAP’s affordable solutions for small and midsize companies are designed to make it easier. Simple to install and use, SAP SME Solutions help you automate and integrate your business processes to give real-time, actionable insights. So you can make decisions on the spot. Find out how Run Simple can work for you. Visit

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This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

via SAP News Center

SAP’s Light Bulb Moment

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management: 15 Questions Answered

SAP recently launched the first big SAP S/4HANA release – SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management. It is the first to cover all lines of business.

We spoke to Uwe Grigoleit, the global head of SAP S/4HANA business development, and got the answers to 15 important questions.

1. In addition to simpler financials, SAP S/4HANA will also cover other lines of business in the future. What should we expect and when will the new line-of-business apps be available to customers?

The SAP S/4HANA launch in February 2015 was closely followed by the first “big” SAP S/4HANA release that will bring simplicity to all lines of business. Be it materials management, production, procurement, sales, or planning–everything covered by a “regular” ERP plus financial solution can now be purchased in a simplified version on SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management. Only a few solutions, including SAP Environment, Health, and Safety Management and some quality management functions will follow in upcoming releases.

2. What are the biggest business innovations in this “new” SAP S/4HANA? What advantages does SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management offer businesses?
  • Agile planning: The new solution makes it possible to change plans at any given moment. So far, this required a lot of time – up to five hours – but now you can do it during live operations. If there are sudden complications with a supplier, you can now change your order on the spot without undue complications. This saves time and ultimately means more happy customers.
  • Simulation of logistics processes: If a customer’s product runs out of stock, they can now immediately simulate different solutions and decide what to do based on them. Up until now, production planning was usually a background job that took several weeks. Once a week, a new plan would be developed and implemented. Interactive planning with SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management makes it possible to make adjustments anytime. This is very valuable for both inventory management und supply chain management.
  • Real-time inventory management: We have simplified our data models greatly by distancing ourselves from some 20 tables with partial views and histories, instead working only with master data and movement tables. This way, the employee can see inventory information that is updated every second and react to changes faster than before. If the raw materials and half-finished products are removed, the system will accurately display the new stock on hand immediately. An important improvement is that customers can reduce their inventory because they no longer need as many safety stocks as before. Until now, planned and actual figures lay far apart. SAP S/4HANA will change this.
  • Flexible material valuation: The new solution is more flexible and has more functions for valuing parts that ultimately determine the price of a product. This way, the actual cost valuation of materials can be standardized. ERP customers can already use this option right now, though it may affect performance and mean more work in a normal system. The valuation takes into account the raw material costs and the run-time of machines during production. The solution is especially attractive for customers who work with lower margins. A customer who produces different types of chocolate bar, for example, would want to know which products actually make a profit, and which “just” give revenue. Small changes to the costs in production can cause big cost savings or increases.
  • “Soft Close”: The current solution could already accelerate period-end closing. But by including all lines of business in SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, the books can now be closed permanently. Up until now, this process mostly took several days. The new solution can give you an immediate P/L at any time and gives companies more insight into their current performance. However, there is one condition. Just like with the current SAP S/4HANA-based solution, the central financial system must be based on SAP S/4HANA. Plus, customers using non-SAP systems must run a real-time soft close with Central Finance that will pool the data from different systems in SAP S/4HANA.
3. What, specifically, is simpler in this new wave of applications based on SAP S/4HANA? Could you give a few examples?

One of the big advantages of SAP S/4HANA is that the new user interface (UI) spares people much redundant clicking around by showing the most important information as tiles on a single display. SAP just recently won the Red Dot Design Award for the SAP Fiori 2.0 user experience from among 4,000 competitors.

The following videos highlight the most important simplifications the new design brings using selected financial processes as examples.

Post general journal entry:

Adding entries has become much simpler. The results: 29% fewer fields to fill in, 43% fewer screen changes, and 65% fewer tabs for the same processes. Other processes also showed similar improvements:

Manage Vendor Line Item: Edit Payments

Payment Proposal: Entering Payment Proposal

Post Incoming Payments: Accept Invoices

The shared service center usually takes on the tasks shown in the videos and makes efficiency gains. This way, we can reduce the lead time for manual booking of an incoming payment by half, which makes shared service centers much more profitable.

4. Many users talk about “Simple Logistics” as analogous to “Simple Finance.” Is this accurate?

“Logistics” is not an official term at SAP, but has rather established itself through long-term historical use. Nowadays, “logistics” tends to refer to the transportation sector of an industry. What we mean with “logistics,” however, is not the transportation of products, but the transportation of the entire inventory management and valuation, as well as the operative processes linked to them, such as purchasing, selling, and production. This is why we named the individual sub-sectors of SAP S/4HANA according to their lines of business: SAP S/4HANA Finance, SAP S/4HANA Sales, SAP S/4HANA Supply Chain, etc.

5. How have the operative processes changed? What will change for the material planning processes? How do SAP Integrated Business Planning and SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization interact?

The processes themselves will not change yet; neither the integrated business planning nor the individual elements of SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization. The capacity planning and global availability check (Global ATP) will not change either. We will, however, optimize the processes, for example by bringing the global availability check planning algorithms natively onto the SAP HANA platform. This improved performance of the platform will increase the accuracy of inventory calculations in real time. The processes will also be more deeply integrated. So far, SAP customers needed a full APO system for their capacity planning. This meant the entirety of the master and transition data on the ERP system had to be duplicated. Now we are integrating planning elements such as capacity planning, global availability checks, and transportation management onto SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management (called Co-Deployment). The advantages: Less data has to be duplicated, and planning elements can be directly integrated into the ERP processes. Integrating capacity planning into the material requirements planning makes it possible to show material and capacity requirements jointly on one screen. We will be implementing these extensive functionalities step by step now.

6. What are the main differences between a traditional ERP system and SAP S/4HANA?

A big advantage is that we can access all data in real time with the ERP system. Another advantage is the agility of traditional ERP processes. The system is capable of reacting to “outside interference” on its own. Changes in storage can be identified immediately and remedied through re-planning. Plus, the new user experience displays the most important steps on a display with an entirely role-based interface. The fourth advantage is that the solution is available both as a cloud and an on-premise solution, thus allowing for quick innovation cycles in the cloud.

7. Are there any use cases of SAP S/4HANA?

More than 1,300 SAP customers worldwide are already using SAP S/4HANA. Twenty pilot customers and partners have gone through the customer validation process with SAP for the new SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management release. Among them were important representatives of the manufacturing, administration, and financial services sectors.

8. Where can customers find information about the new developments?
  • Detailed descriptions of the functionalities are available on the SAP Help Portal for anyone interested.
  • Information about test versions, use cases, and application scenarios are available on
  • Cookbooks” on SAP Community Network, about the recent SAP S/4HANA releases are available under Specialist Discussions about SAP S/4HANA.
  • Customers and interested individuals can find more specialized information about individual industries, business sectors, and technologies, as well as search for SAP S/4HANA innovations with the SAP Solution Explorer.
  • Customers can receive specialized information about the solutions from SAP in the SAP Service Marketplace.
  • MOOC courses are offered on the openSAP platform to learn all about the solutions and earn an SAP S/4HANA certificate.
9. SAP S/4HANA is now “complete.” Does it make more sense to implement SAP S/4HANA all at once or step by step?

Both options are possible. Customers can change from their current release to SAP S/4HANA in one go, or step by step. It depends on the individual customer scenario and the complexity of their current applications. SAP and partners help customers make the best decision on how to transition onto SAP S/4HANA and plan the process to the smallest detail.

10. Do SAP partners and service providers already know the new solution?

In preparation for the first big SAP S/4HANA release, 1,600 SAP partners worldwide participated in courses on the new solution. Our ecosystem is ready. Our partners have also implemented most of the SAP S/4HANA solutions in the past. They were already learning how to use the improved solutions while they were still being updated.

11. Some of our customers have long-term outsourcing partners that run and support SAP products. Will the service providers also take care of transitioning to SAP S/4HANA?

Of course it is possible for an outsourcing partner to take care of SAP S/4HANA. The outsourcing partner would take over the technical transition aspects. In this case however, customers might be required to take care of the application aspects themselves. It depends on the contract the customer has with the service provider. Most of these outsourcing partners are also implementation partners of SAP, meaning that they could technically also take care of the application aspects for the customer.

12. Some customers have spent a lot of money customizing their ERP systems. Can they keep their individual settings?

In most cases the enhancements can be kept; they are backward compatible. The tables that are no longer covered but the customer wants to use are still available in a dynamic form as SAP HANA View. This allows customers to continue using their ERP system enhancements in an SAP S/4HANA context. Of course you can also optimize your enhancements to achieve the exact optimizations we have already made in SAP S/4HANA. Some tools can be useful for this, such as the SAP Code Inspector. It analyzes current in-house developments and makes optimization proposals based on the current systems.

13. Some customers are running hundreds of systems that are integrated with their SAP software. How much time and effort would it take to reconnect them? Are there any pre-tests for non-SAP systems?

There is nothing to fear in this respect. The application interfaces used to connect non-SAP systems so far have largely remained the same for SAP S/4HANA. In other words, receipts and bills will continue coming in and going out as before. Where we have made larger changes to business processes, it might be necessary to create a special application interface. I would say that in average, four out of five interfaces can be used as before without necessary changes.

14. How much do the on-premise and cloud solutions cost? 

Cloud solutions usually require a subscription. Certain cost elements such as application management, infrastructure, and software use are included in the subscription. However, customers can also continue using their on-premise license for SAP S/4HANA. Also, the SAP HANA database must be licensed, just like every other database.

15. Realistically, how long does the changeover take?

It took 75% of our customers no longer than six months to change to SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. From there, changing onto SAP S/4HANA Finance was a quick process. It is even possible to change from SAP ECC 6.0 to SAP S/4HANA in one go. We believe that changing to SAP S/4HANA will take about as long as a large enhancement package upgrade. This will help every company calculate how easy or complicated the change will be depending on the complexity of their application.

Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

SAP Earns Perfect Score in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced for the third consecutive year it received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality.

“This achievement demonstrates the continuing SAP commitment to diversity and equality in our workplace,” said Jenny Dearborn, chief learning officer and executive sponsor of Pride@SAP. “While we are pleased to earn top marks in this nationwide benchmark, diversity is global matter at SAP and it is a business imperative to push for equality around the world. Our sustained achievement in the HRC CEI certainly makes me feel proud to work at SAP.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. The CEI rated 1,024 businesses in the report, which evaluates LGBT-related policies and practices including nondiscrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBT community. SAP efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria resulted in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.”

“This year also marks the first year of SAP participation in the annual San Francisco Pride Parade where as the SAP grand marshal I was joined by more than 300 colleagues, family and friends,” said Dearborn. “While we were celebrating San Francisco Pride, SAP also marched in the Christopher Street Day Parade in Berlin. In addition, Pride@SAP has programs elsewhere in Europe including Spain and Scandinavia and has just welcomed a new chapter in the Netherlands. We are also proud to celebrate a vibrant and strong community in South America in chapters in Brazil and Argentina.”

For more information on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit

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

Media Contact:

Jason Grosse, +1 (415) 694-8554,, PT

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.
Photo via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

SAP Design Talk: Living Design Company-Wide at Philips

There may be 500 designers at electronics giant Philips, but in fact the whole company lives design.

Paul Gardien, Head of Design Strategy and Innovation at Philips, talks about great design and how to achieve developing design award winning products.

via SAP News Center

Thứ Sáu, 20 tháng 11, 2015

The Spin with Megan Meany: Total Workforce Management, Cyber Security, Musetti Coffee

SAP TV Senior Correspondent Megan Meany has the latest SAP and tech news headlines.

This week’s news, insights and updates include what’s hot in HR; who spun in to SAP Brazil; Musetti Coffee making the switch to SAP; and more.

Watch all episodes of The Spin.

via SAP News Center

SAP Employees Break Volunteering Record

A record numbers of SAP employees worldwide pitched in during the company’s Month of Service in 2015.

As she looks back, the enthusiasm in Maite Viusa Gordils’s voice is easy to hear: “Seeing the joy in so many children’s eyes that day was a true delight. Miracle – the child I’m sponsoring – had never been so full of life.”

Maite took part in a Month of Service event at an indoor playground in Schwetzingen, where she and other SAP employees played, laughed, and romped around with children from refugee families. The revelry even inspired a number of her colleagues to stay involved.

“Plenty of them want to make donations and stay in contact with me on these issues,” affirms Maite, who contributes year-round to refugee-related causes. Another SAP employee looking to do his part was Miklos Szorenyi, who took a series of photos at the Schwetzingen event and is now planning a larger photography project on the lives of refugees. Maite will be giving him access to the nearby camp.

Above and Beyond

Just like those in Schwetzingen, SAP employees all over the world pitched in during this year’s Month of Service. Together, they over-achieved on the company’s goal for 2015 and managed to surpass the volunteer effort from 2014. In total, 18,636 volunteers contributed 116,268 hours to 740 social projects. This means that SAP employees got to work on a new project at almost an hourly rate over the course of October.

Alicia Lenze, head of Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is also thrilled with the level of participation this year: “When I look back at everything that’s happened this October, it seems more like a month of living our vision than a Month of Service because there has been so much going on.”

Through all of these efforts, SAP has also demonstrated how serious it is about supporting the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals through the power of corporate volunteering as a founding partner of the organization IMPACT 2030.

Click to see a full infographic on the Month of Service results.

Click to see a full infographic on the Month of Service results.

Further Highlights

In the spirit of CSR’s strategy to give young people the skills they will need in the digital economy, an array of projects around the world gave SAP employees the chance to apply and pass on their expertise. Many colleagues also lent valuable hands-on support to other efforts designed to achieve practical improvements in the lives of many people in need in their own communities.

EU Code Week, Africa Code Week

In Europe, SAP was involved in EU Code Week, which in 2015 took place for the second time. In more than 120 workshops, SAP employees showed young people in more than 10 countries that programming isn’t actually all that hard. The participants then had the opportunity to apply their new skills in a fun setting.

EU Code Week in Bulgaria

EU Code Week in Bulgaria

EU Code Week’s resounding success in 2014 prompted the CSR team in EMEA to implement the concept with more than 100 partners in Africa. During the resulting Africa Code Week, nearly 90,000 children and teens in 17 countries learned the basics of programming.

“We succeeded in giving these young people an idea of the opportunities in IT and the jobs they’ll have access to in the future,” Lenze reports. The coaches involved – including some 1,500 SAP employees who now hope to continue sharing their knowledge – had been training for the event since June. SAP is already planning to expand the Africa Code Week initiative to 30 countries in 2016.

Refugee Aid

Efforts in response to the current refugee crisis were another area in which SAP employees got heavily involved. Thousands across the globe took part in the #One4 initiative and purchased the song “I Was Me” by Imagine Dragons, with proceeds benefitting the UN Refugee Agency. Employees were also highly successful in motivating their peers to join in through social networks.

During Month of Service, refugee aid was a prominent theme in Germany in particular. In a design thinking workshop at the AppHaus in Heidelberg, SAP colleagues discussed the best ways to leverage their talents and skills to the direct or indirect benefit of the many people fleeing to the country.

China and APJ

China succeeded in reaching the lofty goals it set for 2015, with twice as many volunteers as in 2014. The projects organized in China also concentrated on making use of SAP employees’ special expertise. In Hong Kong, for example, SAP joined forces with The Women Foundation to provide career advice to young women from socially disadvantaged families at a design thinking workshop.

India, meanwhile, recorded the highest employee participation rate not only of any country, but of all the regions involved in racking up more than 40,000 volunteer hours.

Latin America

This region’s activities also focused on introducing young people to different technologies. At a Family Day in Brazil, for instance, SAP employees’ children and friends between the ages of three and 13 had an awesome time telling stories, acting in plays, learning more about SAP and its technologies through a fun quiz, and using simple programming to make toy robots walk.

North America

In nearly 370 projects, SAP colleagues in the U.S. and Canada got involved in making schools and kindergartens more attractive and working with young people on developing sustainable solutions to specific challenges.

One such example is a social innovation project SAP presented in cooperation with the non-governmental organization GENYOUth in San Francisco: With help from SAP mentors, students vied for the title of “SAP’s Teen Innovator” as they developed business endeavors that would actually be realized in the future. The two best ideas will now receive support to the tune of up to $12,000 each. One of the winning entries chosen by the jury – which included SAP managers and the founders and heads of various start-ups – was “Trash Bash,” which is designed to make waste separation and recycling fun for students.

The jury of the GENYOUth project

The jury of the GENYOUth project

via SAP News Center

Thứ Năm, 19 tháng 11, 2015

The Download: Jenny Dearborn

For The Download, SAP TV Senior Correspondent Megan Meany chats-up SAP leaders outside the office for a personal look at their lives, loves, philosophies, and more.

This time she goes home with Jenny Dearborn, Chief Learning Officer and a real life Wonder Woman.

via SAP News Center

SAP TechEd in Barcelona: Heralding the Future

“The world in 2020 will be digital, ambient, and more intelligent,” says Steve Lucas, President of SAP Platform Solutions.

“Today’s enterprises are digitizing to dramatically simplify infrastructure,” he said while opening SAP TechEd in Barcelona. “They are also learning to reimagine how they do business, and that includes asking different questions. So the question of the future is not ‘what is my forecast’ but ‘am I going to make my numbers.’ That means the system must know all about me and my intent AND provide the right context to answer my question. In the future everything will be digital, every app will be ambient, meaning it’s always on and always listening, and as a result, the system will always be learning so it can provide better answers.”

A Whole New World Ahead

Lucas also explained how SAP will maintain its relevance as a disruptor instead of lagging behind like an old fashioned taxi company. “Uber is successful without owning a single vehicle. Our business network centered on Ariba connects 500,000 companies, none of them owned by us, that together generate $1 trillion per year. That’s the business model of the future, and no one else has it but SAP.”

At the start of his keynote, Bjoern Goerke, EVP SAP Products & Innovation Technology, said he loves science fiction because it teaches us to apply technology to things that were impossible to achieve before.

Using the plot of The Martian, Goerke demonstrated how he would be able to survive if left behind on Mars like the movie hero by using what he has on hand: NASA’s ABAP ERP system updated with SAP HANA. Coding furiously on stage, he was able to communicate with Earth, turn the NASA app into a mobile app so he could walk around Mars, and use SAP IoT Services to predict if another big dust storm would hit the red planet soon. Mission accomplished!

SAP HANA Cloud Platform in the Limelight

After the keynotes, I wandered around to listen and learn. I asked Prakash Darji, SVP SAP Platform as a Service, to explain exactly how SAP HANA Cloud Platform differs from SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. According to Darji, it’s like eating pizza. You can either make it in your own kitchen exactly the way you want it, but then you have to clean up as well. That’s the SAP HANA Cloud Platform equivalent which enables developers to quickly develop apps at their own pace for specific needs. Or you can get your pizza at a restaurant without having to do anything but order and eat. That’s the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud version, which is software as a service. Listen to Darji explain it in more detail.

I also met Thomas Grassl, Head of Developer Relations and SAP’s number one development myth breaker who explained how easy it is to develop apps on SAP HANA Cloud Platform. “There are over 2.6 million people using the SAP Developer Network, and 100,000 have signed up to use the SAP HANA Cloud free trial system,” he said. “We’re very pleased that even analysts and other non techies are taking up the challenge here at TechEd to develop an app in less than 20 minutes.”

What Else is New?

SAP also made some announcements in Barcelona.  Click here to learn about the next wave of simplification and innovation reinforcing SAP S/4HANA as the first digital core for digital business and learn about the SAP Vehicles Network just launched in Europe.

And lastly, simplification and innovation also apply to mobile applications which are a key enabler of the emerging digital economy. Enterprises are looking for quick, simple ways to mobilize their businesses, so SAP simplified the adoption and consumption of SAP Fiori apps with new SAP HANA Cloud Platform Services.

via SAP News Center

10 Amazing Success Secrets of Entrepreneurial Women – Part 2

Women business owners took to the digital airwaves for part two of Success Secrets of Entrepreneurial Women, on Internet talk radio show Coffee Break with Game-Changers, presented by SAP.

The episode aired November 11, 2015 on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel. Host Bonnie D. Graham moderated a lively one-hour discussion with three women entrepreneurs who mentor others as they launch and build their businesses: Jane Wesman, founder of Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc.; Sandi Webster, Consultants 2 Go, LLC; and Nina Kaufmann, Esq., Legal Expert.

The panelists shared their thoughts about what it takes for a woman to make it as an entrepreneur – as well as what are some common mistakes. You can listen to a recording of the show here. If you missed part one of this series, listen here or read the blog to find out what advice this expert panel had for entrepreneurs.

Here are 10 amazing success secrets — for both women and men — that the panel shared during the show:

1. Build a network.

Good advice is worth repeating. “You cannot launch a business on your own. You need other people to help you, whether it’s your lawyer, an accountant, or your informal board of advisors,” said Wesman. As an entrepreneur you always need a team around you. Your team can comprise paid advisors, volunteers who want to help you, or your employees. It’s critical to the success of your business that you’re never alone.

2. “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

The quote from baseball legend Yogi Berra holds true in business too. Even though it’s Q4, keep your mind open. Remember, the books aren’t closed yet. “Stop. Take a breath. Go back to your game plan, and look at very simple things you could execute towards end of year,” said Webster. Her tip: One simple way to drive revenue in Q4 is to get your outstandings to pay you. Pick up the phone and ask for your money.

3. Make sure you get the money you deserve.

Women entrepreneurs can stumble if they have an aversion to being direct in communicating their financial terms, according to Kaufmann, who has guided many entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. “I see that with a number of my clients, for example – the discomfort of asking for money upfront, or making sure their payment terms are disclosed and they are not deviating from them,” said Kaufmann. She advises women that the best way avoid the situation of having to chase people down for money is to make sure to disclose payment terms upfront.

4. Avoid the naysayers.

Surround yourself instead with positive, supportive people. If you don’t have the support of family and friends, it is important to seek out people who do understand entrepreneurship. “The naysayers come from the unlikeliest of places. The people in your family who you think should support you are the ones that are very invested in your success for a variety of reasons,” said Webster, who shared her personal experiences with family concerns as well as gender bias in business support groups. “You have to have positivity within yourself, because you’re going to come across all kinds of people who are naysayers, and you have to push back.”

5. Make sure your employees know what you expect of them.

“To motivate employees, you really need to begin right at the hiring process,” said Wesman, who tells business owners to be very clear about what the job is when talking to candidates. Wesman recommended training employees well, having processes in place, and being clear about expected outcomes. “You really need a training process. You cannot expect someone to come right in to your business, sit down, and get to work.”

6. Banish fear in your work environment.

Employees need to feel that it’s safe to speak up and communicate problems in a timely manner. “One of the problems I’ve seen in small businesses is that the business owner starts to think people are making mistakes on purpose,” said Wesman. “They don’t understand that people really want to do a good job; they’re not making mistakes because it’s fun. They’re usually making mistakes because they don’t have the proper tools or information to do a good job.” This advice applies to independent contractors too. Kaufmann said, be clear about what you want but also encourage the contractor to give input with their expertise.

7. Write down the processes that guide your business.

If someone leaves your company and you don’t have processes written down, you lose a lot of intellectual capital. Webster shared her own experience of when a lead person left her organization. She observed, “In smaller businesses, when one person leaves, it’s detrimental to your business. You don’t want to have to start over from scratch.”

8. Remove yourself from some meetings.

Your team should be able to function well without your constant oversight. They also need freedom to express ideas. Webster has made it a practice to not attend every meeting, but instead to read the meeting minutes, which she says are valuable for passive feedback. She recommended Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish, for its tips on how growing businesses can structure meetings effectively, among other best practices.

9. Think carefully before taking on a business partner.

“What competitive advantage will a business partner bring that you would not otherwise get by hiring an employee?” Kaufman suggests asking yourself first. Panel members agreed that it really depends on your unique business requirements as to whether it is a good idea to add a business partner. You also have to ask yourself what you will do when you stop being in alignment with one another, noted Kaufmann. In her book The Entrepreneur’s Prenup, she outlines how to make arrangements to cover such situations, because it’s not so easy to remove a business partner. “It’s not like throwing out an old blouse. It’s more like uprooting a tree,” she observed, relating an old saying: If there are two of you in a business and you agree on everything – then one of you is redundant.

10. Avoid deadbeat clients and customers.

“The best way to avoid them is by not taking them on in the first place,” advised Kaufman. Be clear about who you are going to serve, what you are offering, your price point, and your terms for payment. Also, if you are not going to get paid in advance for your work, make sure you don’t become a bank for your customer by extending them liberal payment deadlines, said Kaufmann, who suggested making a plan for what your follow up is going to be in the event that you don’t get paid.

Photo source: Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Thứ Tư, 18 tháng 11, 2015

Forget Foosball: Creating a Collaborative Workplace

Mars Drinks’ new West Chester, Pennsylvania, headquarters features working spaces that resemble dens, kitchens, and living rooms, as well as conference rooms. While there are no private offices, there are places to get away for a phone call or other work requiring privacy.

Floor-to-ceiling glass along each side of the building offers employees—the company calls them associates—views of the surrounding lawn and landscaped walking paths. As befits a company that  supplies  other  businesses  with  coffee,  tea,  hot  chocolate, and brewing equipment, hot drinks are always close at hand.

The company invested US$29 million in the renovation, which includes a new coffee-roasting operation and expanded research and development facilities. It aims to promote closer collaboration among associates and foster product and service innovation. “Much of the space is organized into neighborhoods, where people feel a sense of alignment and connection with their colleagues,” says Tracy Brower, global vice president of workplace vitality with the company, a division of US$33 billion Mars Inc. “You feel like you’re empowered to do the work, like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself, and that your work matters.”

There is more to these office transformations than a once-every-few-years update to the furniture.

It can be tempting to view such investments as a fad, a way to split the difference between two common and frequently criticized workplace designs. The warren of cubicles surrounded by private offices and punctuated by conference rooms with large tables discourages interaction; the open-plan expanse, with its lack of quiet spaces, thwarts concentration. A layout that offers the best of all worlds—private spaces where employees can work without interruption, public spaces where they can meet and mingle, meeting rooms that support teamwork among groups of any size, and wireless connectivity for everyone’s laptop—accommodates a spectrum of work styles and makes employees productive and happy.

But to digital business leaders, researchers, and others who study workplace trends, there is more to these office transformations than a once-every-few-years update to the furniture. Forward-thinking companies are responding to how the nature of work itself is changing. Today, employees must be able to access information quickly, interact with each other easily, and collaborate across large distances. The workplace design and the equipment provided can make the difference between engaging and empowering the best employees, and losing their expertise and contributions to another firm.

A Vision for the Modern Workspace

In a connected, human-centered workspace, the virtual and physical environments aren’t at odds. Whether a company is developing digital business models or improved kitchen knives, employees have flexible spaces that support group collaboration, private work, and presentations. They can pick the tools they need in the moment to access information and connect with colleagues, whether or not they’re in the same location.

To get it right, employers will have to let employees’ needs drive decisions about the space and the tools they use, rather than forcing workers to adapt to a generic environment and the company’s predetermined tools. It’s conceivable that every physical workspace will look different, depending on where it is in the world, the type of work that is done there, the prevailing corporate culture, and the business strategy. The same factors will likely determine how, and when, people interact virtually and the tools that they use to do so. An R&D group developing new products and services will have a different type of space and different tools than a call center.

In a connected, human-centered workspace, the virtual and physical environments aren’t at odds.

At MIT, the Sloan Office of Executive Education includes staff and contractors who establish and run programs overseas. The headquarters team is used to working with colleagues in remote locations. But until a portion of the core team had to move out of its home base at the Sloan School of Management in 2013 for a building renovation—to a space three-quarters of a mile away—local employees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, came to the office every day. After moving, staff frequently traveled across campus to meet with colleagues.

“We ended up running, without really formalizing it, an organization where people were spending a lot of time out of the office,” says Peter Hirst, associate dean for executive education. “It seemed a bit artificial to be resisting the requests that we were increasingly getting from people to have more flexible work arrangements.”

Hirst and colleagues responded by rethinking every job, starting with the idea that no job required an employee to be on site five days a week if they could work better elsewhere. Then they looked for ways to keep everyone connected. The solutions included mandating one day per week that the entire team comes to the office, requiring everyone to share their calendars, and deploying new communications technologies, including telepresence robots that enable remote workers to “visit” colleagues in their offices by driving a videoconferencing-enabled iPad around the building.

Because the education programs that the team develops increasingly employ digital-delivery models (including virtual classrooms, where students participate as avatars), using a variety of collaboration tools for meetings when employees are off site helps everyone understand how to apply them. “We’ve been quite successful in creating these environments where people really feel immersed,” Hirst says. “It helps when we use those platforms for innovation meetings.”

Now Hirst is contemplating what type of space—and how much of it—the team will need in the future. With competition for space in the renovated building, the team isn’t likely to get all of its old space back. “The team would love to have a base of operations that is 10 yards away from the nexus of activity in the school,” he explains. “So how can we leverage these flexible working arrangements? If we don’t ask for a more traditional-type space, maybe we can get workspace that is closer.”

For instance, although some people work best if they have a permanent desk to come to every day, others won’t care where they work as long as they have access to all the information and systems they need. “My ideal would be that we have a flexible enough space that everybody will be able to find a way to work most effectively—that we recognize that we are a very diverse team and that diversity is one of our strengths,” Hirst says.

For many companies, the transformation to a flexible, connected workplace is a leap, just as it has been for Hirst and his team. A lot can go wrong when you shake up people’s work routines, whether it’s their morning conversation with colleagues in the coffee room or where they plug in their laptops. “Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can simply put in a slide and soft seating and it will drive productivity and collaboration and make the workplace more fun. Productivity drops because it’s not part of the core values or strategy,” notes Regus’s Golgart.

This story is an excerpt from “Forget Foosball: You Can’t Rely on Games and Gimmicks to Create a Collaborative Workplace,”  from the Q4 2015 issue of Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly. 

To read the full cover story, click here.


via SAP News Center