Thứ Năm, 31 tháng 12, 2015

Calculation trigger already exists

Hi Master,


     Do we have resolution on how to resolve this kind of billing error? Thanks in advance



Will Virtual Reality Take Off In 2016?

While most tech enthusiasts would contend that virtual reality has already arrived, the rest of us would beg to differ. Where are the killer apps? Where are the jaw-dropping games? Where are the inventive use cases for businesses to usher in the next era of innovation?

To be fair, the big names in virtual reality did make a fair amount of progress this year, however, that progress has not tipped the scales in favor of mainstream adoption. Gazing into the near future, it appears momentum could change very quickly in 2016. Here’s why:

Oculus Rift

There’s no shortage of great reviews and consumer demand for virtual reality but when these intangibles become tangible, it’s time to get really excited. Such is the case with Facebook’s acquisition ofOculus Rift, which brings together a veritable dream team of gaming and optics talent to usher in virtual reality to mainstream audiences. Samsung’s GearVR, the portable virtual reality solution powered by Oculus, sold out of its initial production run this year. Facebook promises it will “continue to invest heavily” in virtual reality in order to bring it even more mainstream in Q1 of 2016.

Sony PlayStation VR

Even though Occulus Rift is currently grabbing all the virtual reality headlines, Sony PlayStationVR, as a single headset, might overtake them. The PlayStation has a huge install-base and it allows easy adoption for games. But the success of PlayStation VR hinges upon its price which Sony hasn’t be clear about. Oculus has been clear about a range, $300-$400, perhaps lower if they can. Sony recently said it will announce price details for PlayStation VR next year. Until then, we can ogle over the games it has lined up for launch: Rez Infinite, Golem, Ace Combat 7 and Job Simulator.


HTC/Valve is developing the HTC Vive headset, set for an April 2016 release. Valve has been in the gaming industry for over twenty years, by producing hits such as Half Life 1 and 2, and Portal. They also have millions of gamers using their Steam software, a community and game distribution service. The partnerships with gamers and publishers places Valve at a great advantage to gain early traction. And according to a recent company blog post, HTC plans to host a developer conference in Beijing on December 18th and launch a second-gen developer kit before the masses can start buying the Vive headset. It also plans to distribute 7,000 units to developers in early 2016 and embark on a global demo tour at a number of high-profile industry events.

VR Beyond Gaming

While gaming will be the first industry to adopt VR, that’s going to change quickly, according to Doug Barr, CEO of PixieDust VR, which specializes in virtual reality home-building experiences. Facebook recently started pitching virtual reality to ad agencies and Oculus has started Oculus Story Studio, a collection of ex-Pixar employees who now create VR films. Barr had the pleasure of experiencing their first short-film, Henry.

“You can quickly see how it’s going to change the medium,” said Barr. “Never have I felt like I was part of the movie and participating. It’s magical.”

After film, Barr said educational content will take hold.

“Imagine students actually visiting the pyramids of Giza, experiencing the scale and feeling like you’re there.  You can’t get that from the two-dimensional medium we have today.  VR to me, is not about the places you can go, it’s about the places you can’t go.”

Where do you want VR to take you next year?

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.
Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Thứ Tư, 30 tháng 12, 2015

Making Parking Painless

SAP Vehicle Insights helps improve driving conditions in cities. This reduces carbon emissions and calms drivers’ nerves.

A blue family car moves slowly down the street for the third time. Today, Saturday, the parking garages are already full and no one seems to have any intention of vacating one of the spots at the side of the road, either.

In American cities, drivers spend an average of eight minutes looking for a suitable spot. According to estimates, searching for parking spaces accounts for around 30% of congestion and a corresponding gasoline consumption, including carbon emissions.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could reserve a parking space in advance, in a parking garage ideally located for your shopping trip?

You can. With SAP Vehicles Network. With the new cloud software, companies can offer their customers integrated vehicle and mobility services, regardless of device or vehicle type. SAP Vehicles Network enables drivers in North America to use digital payment services or apps to share data from the Internet of Things, activate fuel pumps, pay directly at the fuel pump, reserve a parking space, open the barriers to private parking lots, and pay for parking.

SAP Vehicles Network uses the capabilities of SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things and offers participating companies and partners the opportunity to develop new kinds of mobility services and apps for consumers. As a result, drivers can benefit even more from mobile and geodata services. This new, end-to-end digital and mobile user experience spans the entire journey and even supports drivers before and after their trip. Furthermore, with SAP Vehicles Network, app providers and car manufacturers in key markets gain access to tens of thousands of parking garages and service stations with mobile payment facilities. Using digital wallets and third-party apps, they can then offer drivers and passengers an integrated digital experience that simplifies all processes related to driving.

In the United States alone, there are more than 100,000 parking garages with millions of parking spaces. Most of these are managed by a small number of operators. The technology enables them to react to customer requirements and increase sales: If drivers can book a parking space right by their destination, they save time and can enjoy a stress-free journey. However, a “convenience surcharge” is added to the parking fee for this service.

SAP is already cooperating with leading providers of parking space reservation services, including ParkWhiz and ParkingPanda, so that drivers can find spots quickly and efficiently in the area of their choice.

After successfully completing innovation projects with companies such as Volkswagen, Shell, VeriFone, Toyota, and BMW, SAP has joined forces with Samsung Pay, Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), Zipline, and P97 to also develop solutions for mobile payment at fuel pumps.

“With SAP HANA Cloud Platform, we provide our customers and partners with an open platform. By creating this seamless digital experience, SAP moves the digital economy forward,” says SAP Chief Technology Officer Bernd Leukert.

And it also protects the environment – as well as drivers’ nerves.

via SAP News Center

How to customize changes in UI code for call to ERP_UTILITIES_UMC_URM (ISU server scenario only )in umcui5_mobile app



I had customized the standard MCF package(umcui5 mobile) for ISU server scenario only by referring below link.


ISU server SP05



SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector: Setting up Responsive UI templates for IS-U only scenario



Can anyone also guide me on how to perform changes in standard UI code for getting "Existing Sign Up" page functionality working in ISU server scenario only and so changes need to done to call ERP_UTILITIES_UMC_URM service rather then calling CRM_UTILITIES_UMC_URM service in UMCUI5_MOBILE (private/logon) code.I need to do check for getting the functionality works 'User sends a user creation request based on contract account/business agreement ID and email (existing customer scenario)' in umcui5_mobile app in ISU.


For information:-Already done setup activation process for service ERP_UTILITIES_UMC_URM on ISU service and also check collections UserRequest and UserRequestActivationCollection working fine from REST CLIENT.


Also Reffered links below:-

SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector: User Management Overview


User Self Service in SAP NetWeaver Gateway


Getting the below error after clicking on Submit button in ExistingSIgnUp page:-




So please help me with your suggestion and guidance.


Thanks & Regards:-

Anjali Agrawal

Thứ Ba, 29 tháng 12, 2015

Dynamic period Control functionality in meter replacement/ discon/reconn

Hi Experts,


We are using DPC (dynamic period control) in our process. In some case like device replacement or disconnection/reconnection, when current reading is less than the previous estimated reading then bill amount is coming in crores.




MR date



MR Recorded



  1. 12.12.2015






  1. 12.10.2015






  1. 13.08.2015






  1. 12.08.2015






  1. 12.08.2015






  1. 12.06.2015






  1. 12.04.2015






  1. 12.02.2015






  1. 12.12.2014










In the above case (12.12.2015), when we execute billing for dec 2015 the bill amount is coming in crores as meter (meter – 10101682, MR date – 12.08.2015) reading was less than the previous estimated read.

Do we have any solution in standard or any other workaround?


Ankur Garg

How Brookshire Grocery is Personalizing The Customer Experience

Brookshire Grocery Company (BGC) has been providing families with quality foods since 1928. It has always provided outstanding service too, but now it’s taking the customer experience to the next level.

The company sees that times have changed. The digital economy is in full swing and BGC is preparing for the next wave of digitally enabled customers.

“By 2020 it is projected that Millennials will go from 5% of the buying power to close to 20% of the buying power. This generation grew up will cell phones in their hands, with laptops, with tablets – they are very digitally engaged. Our business has to change, it has to simplify everything for that customer,” said John D’Anna, senior vice president and CIO of Brookshire Grocery Company.

Over the years, Texas-based BGC has grown from one store into a regional food chain with more than 150 supermarkets. The company has been working hard to upgrade and modernize existing stores and introduced a unique new concept store called FRESH by Brookshire’s, which offers a mix of whole food store and traditional grocery store with unique produce.

BGC is also investing in new technology to make the company as efficient as possible. “Our new strategic plan is all about personalizing the experience for the customer inside of our stores, and a lot of that is going to be done with SAP solutions,” said D’Anna.

BGC has built a loyal following and it wants to keep it that way.  To best serve future generations it has to find new ways to engage customers both digitally and physically while they are in the store. “When a customer is in our store we want to know they are there, know their customer history, and be able to communicate with them in real time,” said D’Anna.

To enable its digital transformation, BGC is implementing the SAP Customer Activity Repository and SAP Customer Relationship Management applications running on the SAP HANA platform. “These tools are going to allow our category managers to see what our customers are buying and automatically set up promotions in real time,” said D’Anna.

Having a solid platform that instantly pulls all customer information together is going to help the company drive its omnichannel retail strategy forward. “It’s going to allow us to put the customer at the forefront of everything we do, from filling our warehouse, to the way that our category manager decides what products to put on the shelf,” said D’Anna.

The company isn’t investing in the latest retail technology for the fun of it. It’s an integral part of BGC’s future strategy, so it is tracking the ROI closely. “Part of the ROI will be determined by how many new digitally engaged customers we get and how much they spend with us. The difference between those two metrics will be how we define the success of the project,” said D’Anna.

By embedding customer data into every business process, BGC will be able to connect and engage with customers at a more personal and contextual level. An optimized in-store shopping experience will drive sales, and a single version of real-time data will ensure sound decision making. “The true benefit for the customer is the personalization of their shopping experience,” said D’Anna.

To learn more, check out this video:

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

via SAP News Center

Thứ Hai, 28 tháng 12, 2015

Siemens Industry: Three Pillars Bolster the First “Big Thing”

In Siemens Industry’s service organization, several hundred employees are tasked with developing ideas and new business models to strengthen the division’s service business. The organization’s first “big thing” is Siemens Cloud for Industry based on SAP HANA.

“Walking skeletons” is how Peter Weckesser refers to products that are not quite complete but already viable enough to demonstrate the principle of a fundamentally new idea – like a skeleton that can walk but still needs “fleshing out”. Weckesser, the CEO of Siemens Industry’s service business, is focusing particularly on developing new business models, markets, and customer groups. “Because this,” says the physicist and doctor of computer science, “is where we’ll see growth happening in the future.” The driving force behind this shift in focus is the digital transformation.

1. Lean start-up model

It’s the job of several hundreds of employees in Siemens Industry’s service organization to investigate new technology-based services, or “value-add services.” As well as opening up new avenues for business, it’s also about “adopting a different attitude to risk,” says Weckesser, who has no problem in accepting that new ideas may as easily fail as succeed. His motto is that it’s better to reach a crossroads and ditch a project early on than to finance a topic for five years before finally having to face the fact that it’s not the right thing for the market.

However, in terms of personnel, the “non risk-averse” members of Siemens Industry’s 10,000-strong service organization are still in a clear minority. And that’s not without good cause. Because Siemens Industry’s existing business portfolio has been built up over decades and typically includes contracts that run for more than ten years, and sometimes for anything up to 30 years. These provide assurance for Siemens’ industrial customers that they will be able to obtain replacement parts for power stations, auto-building machinery, and pumping stations in ten or even 30 years’ time – though the related technologies do not, of course, reinvent themselves as quickly as, say, digital services do.

The members of Siemens Industry’s service organization, which was established four years ago and which operates along the lines of a start-up, come from a range of disciplines: development, product management, and sales. They include business experts who are familiar with product integration and interfaces and who have long-standing relationships with customers – and new recruits with the ability to assess the possibilities offered by new technologies and to channel their insights into the innovation process.

What CEO Weckesser and his colleagues are succeeding in doing is to radically shorten the often years-long product development cycle – from requirements catalog through development and production. He refers to the approach his business unit follows as a “lean start-up model”, which makes it possible to get a “minimal viable offering” to customers “very fast” so that feedback is available quickly for integration into the product in the next step. The new skill here lies in recognizing which functions are absolutely essential for market entry and, equally, which aren’t. “The tricky part is deciding what to leave out,” says Weckesser.

2. Service models

This approach naturally means a change in the company’s traditional relationship with its customers. But, and Weckesser has no doubts on this point, the service business is destined to take on a far greater significance in the future. The only real question mark concerns the degree to which customers will adopt new services and how great the impact of these services will be on their own products. Cloud platforms make it possible to identify and resolve problems, such as those that typically occur in bottle-filling units or compressors, remotely. And they can also measure machine performance parameters, including energy consumption, downtime, and bottle-filling rates.

Looking ahead, Weckesser is sure, “the focus will be more on the production asset’s output than on the production asset itself”. This means in practice that customers who operate production facilities will place more emphasis on the total cost of ownership when they select machinery in the future. New technologies and business models will make it increasingly possible for machine manufacturers to market the output of their products – that is, the number of bottles they fill or the number of parts they produce. If a machine breaks down, it will clearly be in the manufacturer’s interest to get it up and running again fast. Because, in the future, the word “downtime” will be synonymous with “lost revenue”.

3.  B2C success models in B2B

Siemens launched just such a cloud platform at the end of November when it presented Version 1.0 of “Siemens Cloud for Industry” at the SPS IPC Drives electric automation technology trade show in Nuremberg, Germany – seven months after it announced that it would base its solution on the SAP HANA platform. Thanks to the new platform, every single control system, convertor, and drive unit manufactured by Siemens will be able to communicate directly with the cloud via device-to-cloud connectivity in the future. As such, millions of Siemens devices will be able to exchange data with the cloud so that – in the same way as iPhone users access photos and music from the iCloud – enterprises will have a wealth of valuable information about their production assets at their fingertips.

The launch of the new platform is the “start-up” business unit’s first “big thing.” Not only will it prove to those who built it that even the development of such an eagerly anticipated platform does not have to take forever; it will also prove that this particular “walking skeleton” is not just viable but that it’s beginning to breathe by itself.

Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Thứ Năm, 24 tháng 12, 2015

Implement approval functionality in FPE1



I am using event 5500 to implement approval functionality in FPE1. But when I pass E_C4LEV = 1 in event 5500 with valid check reason configured, it has posted document in FPL9. I want that, document should not generate any accounting entry before it has been approved. How can I achieve it?




FPE2 disable notes text document



In FPE2, there is provision to enter notes in the bottom of screen. I want to make it display only once the notes have been entered. Means, once the data have been entered, nobody should able to change it.




Tracking Santa’s Sleigh In 4D

After spending the last year preparing up in the North Pole, Santa and his reindeer are finally ready for their annual journey around the world.

Ahead of his arrival, air traffic controllers across the world are now in full Christmas mode, preparing to ensure Santa has a safe journey when he enters our skies late on Christmas Eve.

Let’s shed a little light on how Santa’s sleigh is able to fly safely with the help of the latest technology trends of a smart connected, digital world.

To guarantee a safe flight from takeoff to landing, a high-performance air traffic management (ATM) is necessary. 2014 was the first year more than 100,000 flights per day occurred globally — in other words, every 0.8 seconds a plane took off or landed.

Thus, keeping track of every single aircraft is like looking for a moving needle in a moving haystack — or finding Santa’s sleigh among the 100,000 flights.

Air traffic controllers use ATM software to tell the aircraft to go up or down, turn right or left, speed up or slow down. Modern cross-linked ATMs do much more than simply avoid collisions; they also ensure the most efficient and quickest flight routes. An air traffic controller must make compromises quickly between flying time, detours, fuel consumption, bad weather constellations, changing flight plans, and other unexpected events such as unscheduled traffic and emergency situations. To enable this, the aviation industry uses the power of Big Data analysis and the Internet of Things (IoT).

In 2014 SAP and Luciad started a cooperation, LuciadLightspeed, to offer integrated 3D spatial visualization. Lufthansa Systems, a global market leader in ATM solutions, wanted to address potential issues with increasing air traffic. It aims to track and coordinate flights in 4D (all three spatial directions and time as the 4th dimension) and real time, since every flight is simulated several times before its departure.

To face this challenge, Lufthansa Systems has begun to explore the idea of using an in-memory operational Big Data store to perfect flight operations using IoT. The spatial visualization platform provides real-time situational awareness and allows optimization of fuel and crew costs, according to Christoph Krüger, lead architect of Lufthansa Systems. He notes, “The spatial engine has given us the ability to track thousands of flights per day on a rich 3D mapping interface that includes both spatial and temporal coordinates. At the same time, we were able to uncover breakthrough application scenarios that would not have been possible without the platform.”

This video demonstrates how ATM works and how the impact of weather events can be easily analyzed and impacted flight trajectories can be rerouted in real time:

It’s a win-win situation: By combining leading technology solutions with business know-how, airlines can reduce both operating costs and environmental impact. And most important, Santa can safely deliver presents on time to millions of children around the world.

Technology is transforming the way we travel on the ground, too. See Will These Disruptive Devices Change Your Commute?

This story originally appeared on The Digitalist.
Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Thứ Tư, 23 tháng 12, 2015

Digital India on the Rise

India is on track to becoming the world’s third biggest economy. As the country embraces digitization, learn how one private company is playing a role in its transformation.

As economies of other BRIC countries stagnate due to collapsing oil prices, manufacturing competition and other factors, India continues to be a vital market ripe for growth and investment.

The World Bank predicts that India could be the world’s third biggest economy in the next 10 years while the World Economic Forum says the Indian market could grow to more than $5 trillion by 2020. With this level of predicted growth, many believe the time is right to address some of India’s financial and social challenges, setting the stage for continued progress.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes technology very seriously as a way to both modernize India’s infrastructure and address equity issues. In July this year, Prime Minster Modi launched the Digital India program, which he promoted recently in Silicon Valley.

The campaign aims to create a digitally empowered society and infuse technology into government, healthcare and education. The goal: extend internet connectivity and make these services more transparent and accessible to all Indians, particularly those in remote rural areas. Digital India will be implemented in phases to be completed by 2019, at an estimated cost of about USD 17.8 billion.

Even before the launch of Digital India, the Prime Minster was taking steps to digitize India’s banking sector and advance financial inclusion for the 400 million “unbanked.” As a result of the “Jan Dhan” (literally, people money in Hindi)  initiative, “over 193 million new households have received bank accounts, which entitle them to debit cards and other financial tools needed to participate in the formal economy,” reported US AID, a key partner in the project.

To support Prime Minster Modi’s efforts to digitize India, he is looking to partner with both domestic and multinational technology companies. Many of those foreign companies, like SAP, already have a well-established presence in India. The company’s second largest subsidiary, SAP India has 8,000 employees, over 400 Indian partners and an ecosystem of 55,000 trained consultants.

Digitizing the Public Sector

Numbers aside, SAP’s focus on helping organizations transition to the digital economy makes it a particularly effective partner for the Indian government. SAP already works across the public sector to improve the daily lives of Indians by digitizing areas like municipal governance, delivery of services, and transportation.

For example, SAP has digitized operations for the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, helping the city better manage everything from tax collection to migration. As people move to cities from rural India, Mumbai gains 400 new families each day, many of them setting up home on the side of the road. With SAP technology, Mumbai gains better oversight of its growing population, and can anticipate the demand for services or an uptick in revenue.

SAP has digitized operations for the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, helping better manage everything from tax collection to migration.

Mumbai has been so effective in using technology to bring order and accountability to its infrastructure that this model is being adopted by other municipalities like Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh.

SAP has also helped digitize most state-owned transportation systems including the Indian Railways and Airports Authority of India.  For example, SAP applications automatically generate eight million unreserved tickets per day and improve efficiency for the 1600 rail-coaches built each year in Indian Railways. And SAP provides the digital backbone for the Airports Authority Which uses SAP systems to better manage 125 airports which handle the movement of 1.3 million aircraft and 45 million passengers yearly.

Bring Banking to the Countryside

SAP is also an important partner for the Indian government in advancing digital finance. For example, SAP, US AID and the World Economic Forum are investigating how to build extended payment systems so people in India’s rural areas can use cloud and mobile technology to pay for services more easily.

Similarly, Adarsh Credit Co-operative Society, is a leading multi-state credit co-operative society that reaches a million-plus members across India is using SAP financial solutions and mobile technology to make it easier for customers to conduct financial transactions and allowing low-income communities to pay bills with a simplified, secure cash collection system.

New Skills for Digital India

Ultimately, the success of the Digital India initiative will depend on more people understanding how to use IT to advance business and society. One million Indians enter the workforce each month but 67 percent of employers say they struggle to find workers with the right qualifications. This skills gap is being bridged by partnerships amongst the private, public and NGO sectors.

Here too, SAP India has played an active role, engaging with many local non-profits and NGOs to bring computer literacy to disadvantaged communities. For example, working with Project Lakshya, the company established over 40 computer training centers in urban slums and rural areas across India, delivering basic computer training to young people.

Earlier this month SAP announced that it would work with NASSCOM, the trade association for the Indian IT industry, to open 25 centers for digital learning across 12 cities in India. Specifically, SAP is partnering with the NASSCOM Foundation, the social development arm of the trade association.

SAP also supports digital-skills training for government employees helping faculty and designing content for these courses. This will help build capacity into the government, and bolster the sustainability of Digital India.

But there is still much work to be done and questions remain about how the government will deliver on the promise of Digital India.

That’s why partnering with established technology companies like SAP is so critical. With SAP’s global experience helping companies around the world to digitize, it can provide valuable support to the Indian Government on policy and program management issues, including those related to emerging technologies like cloud, analytics, mobile and Internet of Things.

SAP’s years of experience helping the world’s largest organizations successfully negotiate the mercurial technology landscape is exactly the kind of know-how required to help India achieve its ambitious goals and realize its potential.

Learn More

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.
Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Putting Trees Back Where They Belong

SAP has been partnering with the Livelihoods Fund, an innovative program that channels money into re-forestation and climate-protection projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

In September of 2011, leaders from around the world launched the “Bonn Challenge” in the former German capital where the UN Climate Change Secretariat is located. Their target was to restore 150 million hectares of forest by 2020.

Three years later, the New York Declaration, supported by 130 states, organizations, and indigenous peoples announced an even more ambitious target to stop deforestation and restore 350 million ha of deforested and degraded forest landscapes by 2030.

Now, halfway through the Bonn Challenge pledge, countries have only committed to 39% of the reforestation target, and very little of this has actually been planted.

This is why several organizations are asking governments attending the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris this week to consider trees and forests as a solution to climate change and “to take action to put the trees and forests back where they belong”. Among the organizations that have signed the “Trees4Climate-Manifesto” is Paris-based Livelihoods Venture, which manages the Livelihoods investment funds.

Livelihoods was set up in France in December 2011 by a group of French companies including Danone, Crédit Agricole, Schneider Electric, Hermes, and the La Poste Group.

SAP became the first non-French company to invest in the Livelihoods funds in 2013 pledging three million euros to the group which channels the money it receives from SAP and other companies into re-forestation and climate-protection projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The beneficiaries are non-governmental organizations that are committed to restoring and maintaining degraded and threatened ecosystems so that the local population can feed itself and sell timber, fruits, fish, and other products in local markets. Because the new forests capture significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the investment fund can return carbon credits to investors like SAP.

The partnership with Livelihoods is an innovative form of offsetting carbon dioxide emission”, says Daniel Schmid, SAP´s Chief Sustainability Officer. “The funds finance completely new projects,” he says.

For example, Livelihoods  is paying to regenerate an area of 6,000 hectares in India, enabling some 20,000 small farmers to earn a living from selling timber and arable crops. In Senegal, the fund is restoring 10,000 hectares of mangrove forest and giving the inhabitants of 450 villages the chance to farm fish and grow crops.

Aside from tackling poverty, these projects will, over a period of 20 years, sequester around 1.5 million tons of CO2 so by investing in the Livelihoods Fund, companies like SAP can offset their greenhouse gas emissions and help improve the lives of people in poorer countries at the same time.

Since 2011, the Livelihoods Carbon Fund, one of the group’s  two investment funds, has planted more than 130 million trees and helped support about one million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Similarly, the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, launched in 2015, aims to eradicate rural poverty by restoring degraded ecosystems through large-scale sustainable farming practices with an integrated landscape approach. Fund investors include companies seeking to transform their supply chains, private impact investors and public development institutions seeking to maximize their social and environmental impact.

Climate Change Expected to Reduce Yields

By 2050, the global population is set to reach 9 billion. We will need to produce 70% more food by then in order

to meet the demands of this larger, richer and more urban population. However, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the agriculture sector is already the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) after energy. Agricultural production causes around 10-14% of global GHG emissions.

Climate change is expected to reduce yields, disrupt production and make certain regions unfarmable – KPMG estimates that the entire profit of food producers is at risk if the industry does not take steps to mitigate climate change. Agricultural productivity depends more than other sectors on climate-related factors such as temperature, rainfall and extreme weather events. CDP argues, that to protect the industry’s long-term viability, companies must take a long-term view on resilience, and reduce emissions in their agricultural supply chains at the same time as taking measures to adapt.

Learn More

Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Thứ Ba, 22 tháng 12, 2015

ULTA Beauty Gives Beauty Product Shopping a Makeover

Shopping for beauty products isn’t easy. The myriad of choices is overwhelming and the in-store sales process can be quite intimidating. Going online for products is challenging too. A slight variation from expected color, scent, texture, or any other product attribute causes many items to be returned.

ULTA Beauty, America’s largest beauty specialty store, is turning to technology to make shopping for beauty products a little simpler and more enjoyable. It’s developing an omnichannel strategy that will improve the customer experience whether shopping online or in store.  An idea ULTA calls “connected beauty.”

Since ULTA began using SAP solutions in 1998 it has grown its revenue by 300%.

“Our concept of connected beauty is really about making sure that we connect with our guests across all touch-points in the same way,” says Diane Randolph, CIO at ULTA Beauty.

Staying Connected Across Touch Points

ULTA is a trusted advisor to its customers. It understands the ins and outs of the beauty product buying process and wants to stay connected with customers and offer support throughout their journey.

The challenge however, is that there are a lot of touch points. Online ULTA offers tons of product information. It shares video tutorials and inspirational trend reports, offers online beauty consultations, and has a social gallery to share user generated content. In the store customers can consult with associates, test products, and receive treatments in the salon. ULTAs’ mobile app allows customers to check how many loyalty points they’ve earned, receive notifications and offers, and provide feedback.

ULTA’s omnichannel strategy and underlying technology ensures both customers and associates are accessing and utilizing the same set of information at any point. From product discovery to education, through testing and purchase, to social sharing and feedback, ULTA is simplifying and facilitating the process and getting a consistent set of data for business reporting.

“Technology is giving ULTA the opportunity to strive toward its goals. By giving information at a quicker pace to both our executive team and our store associates, they are able to react in a more timely manner,” says Lockie Antonopoulos, IT director of mobility at ULTA Beauty.

Going Mobile Improves Customer Service

Mobile technology is a big part of ULTA’s strategy. The retailer has implemented several in-store mobile solutions that have reduced back-office work. That means associates can spend more time helping customers, offering advice, and deepening relationships.

A new lightweight mobile inventory application with an intuitive user interface replaced old handheld scanners and manual steps. “We are going to see tremendous benefit from our mobile inventory application. We are creating a much easier and more streamlined process for doing daily inventory management tasks, freeing up the associate’s time to be on the floor serving guests,” says Randolph.

Integration between the mobile inventory app and ULTA’s other systems provides associates with real-time inventory visibility.  So if a guest asks about a specific product color, the associate can instantly check if they have it somewhere in the store, or in a nearby store, or when new inventory will arrive.

Clienteling App Boosts Engagement and Brand Awareness

In addition, a new mobile Clienteling app has completely automated and enhanced the in-store beauty consultation process. Previously, associates would document the consultation, provide recommended products on a paper form, and give it to the guest. Now the consultation is done using a mobile device. The device allows associates to bring up detailed product data, how-to videos, and crowd-sourced reviews and content. It’s a very powerful tool that makes the session much more engaging and fun.

“Our new Clienteling app does a couple of things. First, it makes it easy for our associates to execute a cosmetics consultation with a guest, and second they can enroll guests in our rewards program right from the sales floor. That has really improved and simplified the overall guest experience,” says Antonopoulos.

ULTA can also take its Clienteling app on the road. The company participates in over 1,700 events a year and uses the mobile app to enroll customers in its rewards program. “That really drives brand awareness and loyalty outside of our stores,” says Antonopoulos.

Cloud Solutions Ensure Rapid Time to Value

ULTA is also leveraging modern cloud solutions to facilitate its aggressive growth plans at a more attractive cost. “Cloud solutions from SAP offer a rapid time to value. They are simpler to deploy and use,” says Randolph.

The company has 19,000 associates and plans to open 100 stores a year, which will add another 2,000 per year to the ULTA team. That makes talent management a priority. Training, career growth, and job satisfaction are key to building the business. “Success Factors has enabled us to really up our game when it comes to talent management and that is a key component for us in our growth curve,” says Randolph.

Simpler business software implementations also make life easier for the IT department. “Cloud solutions can be implemented quickly with fewer internal IT resources. That allows the IT department to concentrate on things we feel differentiate ULTA from our competitors,” says Antonopoulos.

Since ULTA began using SAP solutions in 1998 it has grown its revenue by 300%. As the company builds out and refines its omnichannel strategy, it will become a real-time, customer-centric enterprise.

“ULTA has laid out a very detailed five-year plan and that includes growing to 1,200 stores, growing our ecommerce, and developing a full scale omnichannel roadmap. SAP software is our underlying backbone – and without a scalable reliable backbone none of those initiatives would be possible,” says Randolph.

To learn more about how ULTA Beauty is simplifying its business using technology, check out this video:

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.
Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Designing a UX Vision with China Grand Auto

Thứ Hai, 21 tháng 12, 2015

Gartner Positions SAP a “Leader” in Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies for Fifth Consecutive Year

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced its placement by Gartner Inc. in the Leaders quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies.”

The announcement marks the fifth consecutive year that SAP Business All-in-One solutions have been placed in the Leaders quadrant by Gartner, recognized as a “set of visionary solutions with strong execution.”

The next-generation business software SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA helps growing businesses Run Simple in the digital economy. SAP S/4HANA, edition for SAP Business All-in-One, enables midsize companies to focus more on the needs of their customers, suppliers and partners while they manage every aspect of their operations in real time and automate many critical processes.

“The positioning of SAP Business All-in-One solutions as leader by Gartner confirms our continuing efforts to offer eminently suited and innovative software to upper midmarket companies,” said Bobby Vetter, senior vice president, Portfolio Management ERP Solutions, Global Partner Operations, SAP. “Our renewed edition makes SAP S/4HANA available to growing companies. It supports them in mastering the digital transformation to drive business innovation with simplicity by connecting people, devices and business networks in real time.”

The industry-specific software that comprises SAP Business All-in-One solutions serves more than 26,500 SAP customers in 55 countries. SAP S/4HANA, edition for SAP Business All-in-One, provides flexibility, agility and reliability to midmarket organizations by offering a broad array of mobile, cloud and analytics features, largely built on the in-memory computing platform of SAP HANA.

Download of a copy of this year’s “Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies” report from Gartner here.

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

Media Contacts:

Angelika Merz, +41 (58) 871-7216,, CET
Nate Hubbell, FleishmanHillard, +1 (617) 692-0531,, ET

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

via SAP News Center

SAP Makes Audience Part of Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK – The First Flight with New Interactive Mobile Experience

MONTREAL — Today SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Cirque du Soleil announced a new, breakthrough digital integration for the highly anticipated production TORUK –The First Flight. Through a collaboration with longtime technology partner SAP, TORUK – The First Flight will be the first Cirque du Soleil show that will allow – and encourage – spectators to use their mobile devices during the show.

By leveraging technology from the SAP HANA platform, the TORUK – The First Flight mobile app enables spectators to become part of the show before, during and after the performance. The app is available now through the Apple Store and Google Play.

“This immersive digital technology brings Cirque du Soleil fans closer to the action and creates a more powerful experience for spectators of the incredible new show TORUK – The First Flight,” said Maggie Chan Jones, chief marketing officer, SAP. “We’re proud to bring technology from SAP HANA front and center, giving audience members an opportunity to interact with the characters and special effects on their mobile devices throughout the production.”

By leveraging SAP HANA, the TORUK – The First Flight mobile app enables spectators to become part of the show.

Before spectators even enter the arena, they can download the TORUK – The First Flight mobile app to receive ticket and show information and immerse themselves into the world of Pandora to learn more about the characters and mythical storyline inspired by James Cameron’s movie “Avatar.” Throughout the performance, the SAP HANA platform will facilitate communication between spectators and the show’s visual effects control system, creating a personalized experience delivered directly to their mobile devices based on their interaction with the app and location in the theater. This is accomplished through native and high-performing spatial processing capabilities in the SAP HANA platform, which provide functions that seamlessly analyze and process geospatial information in real time. After the show, spectators can continue to engage with TORUK – The First Flight through interactive images, videos and content that extends their experience.

“When we set out to create a show that provided an unparalleled audience experience, we knew SAP would be the right partner to make that happen,” said Louis Malafarina, senior director, Corporate Alliances, Cirque du Soleil. “We believe the TORUK – The First Flight mobile app will help enhance the overall spectator experience, bringing fans deeper into the world of Pandora in ways they never thought possible. We look forward to continuing to work with SAP to develop new, innovative experiences for audiences of our future shows.”

TORUK – The First Flight represents the most recent technology collaboration between SAP and Cirque du Soleil. Since 2001, SAP has helped Cirque du Soleil become one of the largest entertainment companies in the world. By implementing a wide range of SAP solutions, Cirque du Soleil continues to simplify its global operations including finance, human resources and procurement systems, helping streamline its business logistics and drive rapid growth.

For more information on the SAP and Cirque du Soleil partnership, please visit the SAP Sponsorships website.

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

About Cirque du Soleil

TORUK – The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit To find out more about the ONE DROP Foundation, visit

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 296,100 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

Note to editors:

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

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:

Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
United States Only: 1 (800) 872-1SAP (1-800-872-1727)

For more information, press only:

Bonnie Rothenstein, SAP, +1 (610) 661-8867,, ET
Brett Cummings, FleischmanHillard for SAP, +1 (212) 453-2469,, ET
SAP News Center press room;
Laura Silverman, Publicist, TORUK – The First Flight, +1 (702) 324-8108, 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.
© 2015 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see for additional trademark information and notices.
Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

11 Real World Examples of Digital Transformation

A cloud platform for services, a catalyst for in-store business, “real-time retail” – these are just three approaches that show how the process of digital transformation is revolutionizing companies’ mindsets and actions.

According to an analysis by the consultancy Roland Berger, there is still a massive gap between companies that consider themselves digitally sophisticated and their actual opportunities. Managers continue to view increased sales as a secondary goal in connection with digitalization. However, it is also evident that more than 90% of companies describe themselves as “well equipped” in this regard based on data from Crisp Research. This seems like reason enough to take a look at a number of interesting projects.

The range of companies that have already carried out digital transformation projects (or are in the process of doing so) is certainly extensive: a mechanical engineering company using predictive maintenance to monitor its machines; an automotive manufacturer increasing traffic safety based on big data; a retailer seeking to improve the performance of its brick-and-mortar stores using digital channels. As diverse as their methods might be, all of these organizations have ultimately set their sights on enriching their enterprises by means of intelligent networking and new business ideas.

1. Gearing Up for Big Data

The Challenge: Back in 2011, 21sportsgroup had not yet cracked €6 million in annual sales; just a year later, that figure suddenly spiked to €12 million. For the current year, Jörg Mayer – founder and CEO of the Mannheim-based multichannel sporting goods retailer – is expecting over €100 million in sales revenue. Along with the thrill of achieving such outstanding success, however, came a number of new challenges. “Our business systems were running up against their limits,” Mayer recalls. 21sportsgroup needed a new ERP system capable of both processing over a million orders from some 2.5 million customers each year and accounting for country-specific payments in more than 15 different nations. In purchasing the action sports retailer Planet Sports in early 2015, the company then sent another clear message that its strategy now focuses on multichannel sales. In the past, however, the lack of integration between its online and brick-and-mortar business had led to problems in selling the same items to multiple customers. This is what 21sportsgroup wanted to avoid in the future. “We want to serve our customers not only online, but locally, as well,” Mayer explains. His company thus offers biomechanical analyses, biometric footprints, and other services designed to help it provide its customers with the best shoes possible. 21sportsgroup’s new system needed to be able to keep up with its impressive growth while achieving even greater synergy between its online and in-store sales channels.

The Solution: The new solution had to be robust enough not only to grow along with the company, but to “cope” with 21sportsgroup’s dynamic evolution right from the beginning. To quote Jörg Mayer, the “software with the right solution at its core” is SAP ERP ECC 6.0, which includes key components for finance (FI), sales (SD), and logistics (WM, MM). Based on an enterprise service bus, SAP NetWeaver Process Integration middleware also makes it possible to connect third-party systems to the application. Mayer sees this as a means of keeping his company’s business processes as simple as possible, from ordering and payment all the way to tracking and delivery. Another crucial argument for SAP ERP related to 21sportsgroup’s ambition to increase its share of business abroad from 30% at present to 70%, which would make it a multichannel player on the international stage. “A customer in Spain wants an invoice in Spanish, not English,” Mayer points out. To make this possible, his company needed the ability to integrate its online stores in 15 countries.

21sportsgroup went live with its new system on May 1, 2015 – seven months after the project began. The company’s ratings on and the consumer feedback platform eKomi have remained high ever since, convincing its executives that this step was the right one.

The Future: Since sporting goods manufacturers and retailers will be dealing with more and more data, they will require infrastructures that offer ever-greater speed and flexibility. According to Jörg Mayer, 21sportsgroup is thus already planning the next step in its software evolution: taking advantage of the SAP HANA platform. First, however, the company will be focusing on bringing in the first nine-figure sales result in its history in fiscal year 2015.

2. Laying the Foundation for Digitalization and Big Data

The Challenge: Over the past eight years, the German organic grocery chain Alnatura has nearly quadrupled its sales. In fiscal year 2013/14, the Bickenbach-based company generated €690 million in revenues. Its established IT environment, however, seemed to be standing in the way of its further expansion. The Navision ERP system Alnatura was using at the time was starting to show its age and no longer providing adequate support to its current and future business processes. CIO Richard Kneis resolved to “rethink the company’s IT landscape and devise an IT strategy for the years ahead.”

The Solution: Following an intensive selection process, Alnatura opted to go with SAP, kicking off the company’s largest corporate project to date in early 2013. It has since implemented the industry solution SAP for Retail over a period of 24 months. Since the overarching goal of the project was to stay within the SAP standard, Alnatura set about implementing all of its core business processes in its new SAP solution, from product development and listing to deliveries and sales. In doing so, it concentrated in particular on integrating its in-store and centralized processes and connecting its logistics and materials planning systems to SAP for Retail. One compulsory task involved cleaning up the company’s master data even before the project began. “The actual challenge was to migrate the data from our legacy systems into SAP’s new and different structures, but we did a good job of handling it,” explains Kneis, who is responsible for IT and process design at Alnatura. “Our business processes are now more mature and we’ve made significant improvements to our inventory management, flows of goods, and incoming quality control. All in all, we’ve established a system platform that’s going to help us respond faster to future changes and requirements.”

Six months after going live with SAP for Retail, Alnatura reached another milestone on its new IT road map in implementing a new point-of-sale solution. “We obviously went with point-of-sale software that integrates with our SAP system,” Kneis affirms.

The Future: Upon implementing its SAP solution, Alnatura soon noticed an increase in not only the quantity, but especially the quality of its data. Here, the company expects to achieve enhanced reporting that will enable it to identify potential improvements in short order. “The ability to react to changes quickly and dynamically will be a key component of our future tasks and projects,” Kneis predicts.

Alnatura’s CIO is also paying close attention to subjects like digitalization, big data, and SAP S/4HANA. For the time being, however, the company plans to bide its time and stick to its strategy of “analyzing the latest developments first to determine whether they make sense for us,” as Kneis puts it.

3. Gaining Clarity on Carbon Footprint in Logistics

The Challenge: In the past, the process of calculating CO2 emissions along supply chains was often rife with errors. Many companies used to employ rudimentary tools like Excel spreadsheets to determine their carbon footprint. The result? “Even some corporations listed on the DAX have published inaccurate information,” reports Matthias Wohlfahrt, head of green SCM at the consultancy BearingPoint. Since 2012, however, the European Union has introduced a corresponding norm. France has taken it a step further in passing a law that governs how carbon footprints are to be calculated and disclosed. Meanwhile, environmental awareness is now essential to maintaining a positive image: Related information is published in sustainability reports and even factored into rating agencies’ analyses. Companies that place high on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, for instance, are perceived to be following sustainable business practices, which generally increases their creditworthiness. These factors are part of the reason why the concept of “carbon accounting” has emerged alongside conventional financial bookkeeping. Such efforts seek to maintain a precise running account of the carbon footprint along a company’s supply chain by factoring in manufacturing, delivery, and all of the parts supplied. In doing so, an organization can achieve greater transparency regarding the carbon emissions of its logistics processes. Just as a controller tracks sales in financial accounting, CO2 officers will now need to be able to calculate and optimize the emissions produced by their logistics processes on the fly.

The Solution: In order to come up with as accurate a result as possible, companies need to adhere to the aforementioned norms and link their carbon calculations to the business processes in their ERP systems. If an automotive supplier wants to set CO2 reduction targets for the production and shipping of its parts, for example, it needs a system that can access all of the relevant data on its individual components, vendors, and transport service providers. BearingPoint has developed a calculation tool for precisely this purpose. “Our Logistics Emissions Calculator, or LogEC, was originally developed in Java based on an Oracle database, but we’ve since migrated to the SAP HANA platform,” explains Nicolas Löwe, a senior manager at BearingPoint. “Customers can use the solution on-premise in their own systems or as an SaaS cloud solution on SAP HANA Cloud Platform.” LogEC quantifies the difference between transporting parts by plane and by ship, for instance, or the extent to which shifting manufacturing operations to Asia would compromise a company’s carbon footprint. BearingPoint’s Logistics Cost Calculator (Log COST) takes this a step further by calculating how changes along the entire supply chain would affect a company’s carbon emissions in relation to the costs and transport times at hand. Its simulations make it possible to weigh the pros and cons of focusing more on the environment or the bottom line, such as by equating a 10% reduction in CO2 with a 2% cost increase and up to several weeks of added transport time. So far, the pilot customers taking advantage of these new carbon calculations have mainly included automotive and retail companies and those that sell fast-moving consumer products.

The Future: “The next step will be to extend carbon footprints to individual products,” says Matthias Wohlfahrt. “It will take a few years before there’s a binding EU or global standard, however.” At that point, every car, bottle of water, smartwatch, and pair of jeans will come with two tags: one for its price, and one indicating the amount of CO2 that was produced in making it. Customers will then be able to make their own decisions about how much their environmental awareness is worth.

4. Setting the Stage for Connected Customers

The Challenge: For Andreas Kranabitl, CIO at the Austrian grocery chain SPAR Österreich, the topic that would have the greatest importance and resource requirements in 2015 was clear: digitalization. The past might have been about process automation, but the focus has since shifted to digital consumers, predictive analysis, and the use of mobile and social media. In SPAR ICS, Kranabitl’s company has its own IT subsidiary that has also been operating an innovation lab since 2013. Digitalization, however, was hardly on SPAR Österreich’s agenda – until the company attended a conference that included a presentation on BMW’s ConnectedDrive. With this technology, BMW vehicles now feature not only engines with impressive horsepower, but services made possible by connectivity, as well. The primary objectives of retailers like SPAR have thus begun to turn increasingly toward related concepts like “connected retail” and “connected consumers.”

The Solution: SPAR Österreich’s IT specialists had already taken a number of steps in this direction along with the company’s partners. In fact, they are currently piloting a new technology involving electronic shelf labels at a SPAR store in Vienna. Barely distinguishable from conventional labels printed on paper, these identifiers display current prices that are set from a central location. “We worked with the company Umdasch Shopfitting on developing this innovation,” Kranabitl reports. “It combines all the advantages of electronic price marking with functional, environmentally friendly technology.” SPAR then collaborated with the lighting specialist Zumtobel on outfitting its supermarkets with lights equipped with iBeacons. It is now planning to expand its use of these transmitter devices. “These days, it’s definitely possible to deploy 100 iBeacons at a store for €3,000,” Kranabitl reveals. He thus considers it a modest investment with potentially significant added value. SPAR could use iBeacons to issue tailored messages about promotional campaigns to customers who frequently buy fish, for example; guide customers to products; or ask them to provide feedback using their smartphones following every shopping trip. To be able to make profitable use of these innovations and fine-tune its offers to individual shoppers, the company needs to know as much as possible about its clientele. This is one of the reasons why SPAR Österreich made the decision to implement SAP HANA as its future platform and migrate its SAP Business Warehouse and SAP Customer Relationship Management applications to the in-memory technology. Another of SPAR’s more recent efforts involves the use of SAP Customer Activity Repository, which also offers in-memory support.

The Future: SAP Customer Activity Respository and its underlying SAP HANA technology are designed to offer greater transparency in point-of-sale transactions, warehouse inventories, sales at individual stores, and customer segmentation, as well as a comprehensive sales-channel overview. This dovetails with SPAR’s current IT strategy, the goals of which include predicting customers’ purchasing behavior, presenting tailored offers, and devising personalized promotions for loyal shoppers across all of its channels. The company plans to continue rolling out SAP Customer Activity Repository in 2016.

5. Digital Innovations Driving In-Store Business

The Challenge: Dodenhof and its more than 2,500 employees are active in a number of fields: The family-run company operates shopping centers in northern Germany; owns a supermarket and a department store that features fashion, sporting goods, electronics, and furnishings; and leases retail space to the likes of H&M, S.Oliver, OBI, and Aldi. For CIO Andreas Iken, its identity lies in the traditional retail business. To this day, many customers are on a first-name basis with Dodenhof’s employees. The process of digital transformation seeks in particular to improve the consumer experience in new, but related ways. “Our digital environment is designed to leverage emotions in encouraging customers to come here for their shopping,” Iken explains. “For us, the digital realm is becoming a catalyst of our in-store business.”

The Solution: Dodenhof is in the process of replacing a range of individual systems and an outmoded application landscape with software from SAP. The company has been running the industry solution SAP for Retail in its fashion and sporting goods department in Düsseldorf since May, and in electronics since October. Having also migrated its financial accounting to SAP, Dodenhof now plans to make the move in its furniture business, as well. “Without this solid foundation, going digital would have been impossible,” Iken says.

The Future: From now on, Dodenhof wants to engage customers through all of its channels. They should be able to book appointments with sales staff at the click of a mouse, for example, and try out interior decorations for their apartments in a virtual setting. In other words, the company is focusing on online activities that are designed to drive in-store business.

While Dodenhof is starting from a strong position – around 500,000 of its customer cards see active use – it believes plenty of potential has gone untapped thus far. “At the moment, we don’t have the ability to address each individual customer the way we’d like to. In the future, however, anyone who buys diapers at Dodenhof shouldn’t be surprised to get an offer on children’s clothing,” Iken reports. “This ERP project with SAP has opened the company’s eyes to the importance of master data. We’ve taken our first steps into a new era with a new point-of-sale system that will use our customer cards to offer a personalized shopping experience.”

6. Using SAP HANA Cloud Platform as a Logistics Hub

The Challenge: By the year 2030, the Port of Hamburg expects its container turnover to increase from just under 10 million at present to 18 million units. Since the space available for its operations is limited, however, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is facing the challenge of finding efficient solutions for utilizing and managing its infrastructure. This is why it kicked off the pilot project smartPORT logistics back in 2011. In cooperation with the container trucking company Stapelfeldt, the logistics specialist and parking lot operator Hoyer, the ADAC motoring association, the implementation partner T-Systems, and SAP as its software provider, HPA began developing a system that would optimize port-side traffic flows. Its ongoing goal is to facilitate increased revenues and container turnover using the same amount of space.

The Solution: Serving as the technological basis for this project is SAP HANA Cloud. By feeding data provided by trucking companies and parking lot operators into SAP’s in-memory database, T-Systems and SAP have enabled truck drivers to track current parking availability and access other information right on their Samsung tablets. As a result, waiting times are shorter, trucking companies can plan their routes more effectively, and communication is easier – particularly for the truck drivers.

Meanwhile, many of the port’s stakeholders can now offer their services based on the SAP HANA platform. The smartPORT logistics team, which comprises specialists from HPA, the logistics IT provider DAKOSY, Deutsche Telekom, and SAP, is busy preparing for an influx of users to HPA’s cloud application. The plan is for more truck drivers and “mobile units” to access the system. Their current locations and destinations – combined intelligently with third-party data (from container terminal operators, for example) and information on road construction – are set to make traffic conditions and flows to and within the Port of Hamburg more efficient. For HPA, the unique advantage of cloud technology lies in the ability to access additional applications quickly and easily through a Web interface to its smartPORT logistics system.

The Future: HPA expects to continually increase the number of participants and information sources involved in the project. The slot information truckers need to retrieve containers will soon be available, and further freight forwarders, port-based forms, and some initial container terminal operators will be brought on board. In addition, the project is serving as a pioneering example for other high-turnover harbors in China, India, and other locations around the world.

7. Extending the Internet of Things to B2C Operations

The Challenge: Whether it’s in street sweepers, scrubber-dryers, or steam cleaners, Dr. Matthias Mehrtens from the cleaning equipment specialist Kärcher has sensed a trend: “Soon, every device is going to have its own IP address.” Two years ago, Kärcher drafted the first plans for making use of the Internet of Things in its professional equipment division. Mehrtens – the company’s vice president of information systems – had set his sights on offering digitalized versions of its machines to interested customers for evaluation purposes. In addition to aiding Kärcher’s product developers by providing feedback on potential flaws, this enabled cleaning services to find out how effective the equipment was and which devices were prone to increased downtime.

The Solution: For around a year now, new teematics components in Kärcher’s machines have delivered data on their location, battery status, and any issues registered back to the company. “We’re giving our customers access to a cloud platform where they can analyze their fleets,” Mehrtens explains. “They can view cost and usage data on their machines on-screen in real time.” Customers can also ascertain the total cost of cleaning an office building or shopping center, for example. This type of transparency is helpful during product development, as well.

The Future: Meanwhile, Mehrtens has observed an exponential increase in the variety of data his company is producing. The number of devices outfitted with IP addresses also continues to rise. In light of these developments, it is only a matter of time before end consumers and the wider service sector start to benefit from interconnected equipment, as well. From watering systems that automatically come to life when plants get thirsty to vacuum cleaners that send their owners a text message when the bag is getting full (along with a link to order more), Matthias Mehrtens describes these advances simply as “making targeted use of Big Data.” In doing so, Kärcher currently uses both SAP Business Objects solutions and SAP Business Warehouse, the latter of which just recently received a new enhancement package (EHP 7). Mehrens also wants to gather some initial experience with the SAP HANA in-memory platform based on the supplier portal his company uses to assess potential partner companies before working with them. “Here, we’ve already taken the first step,” he says.

8. Partially Automated Forklifts

The Challenge: Some time ago, the Hamburg-based company STILL resolved to create a forklift capable of receiving and carrying out orders on its own. “These days, it’s no longer about higher, faster, and farther,” says Thomas Fischer, chief sales officer at STILL GmbH. “It’s about building an intelligent network.”

The Solution: A STILL creation dubbed cubeXX now not only chooses its own destinations, but reacts to sudden obstacles, as well. To integrate its order and vehicle data, the company uses SAP HANA Cloud Platform, which processes huge amounts of information in real time and makes order data available online. It thus serves as a link between STILL’s ERP system and the data produced by its sensors and devices. This is also what gives the cubeXX its autonomy and logistics managers transparent overviews of their fleets. As a result, they can now monitor sensor and process data on entire fleets from any location and quickly devise corrective measures when necessary.

The Future: Today, the humble forklift of old has already become not only an autonomous vehicle, but a service that can fulfill orders without human intervention. According to Fischer’s predictions, they will also soon be able to coordinate among themselves and make their own decisions as to which vehicle should handle which order.

9. Using SAP HANA Cloud Platform to Support Patients with Chronic Illnesses

The Challenge: Germany alone is currently home to between six and eight million people who suffer from diabetes. Most of them have type-2 diabetes, which is typically caused in part by an unhealthy lifestyle. The disease affects nearly 350 million patients around the world and generates over €460 billion in costs, placing tremendous strain on healthcare systems everywhere. According to World Health Organization calculations, deaths caused by diabetes have increased by 50% in the past 10 years. Many heart attacks and strokes can be attributed to type-2 diabetes. In collaborating with SAP, Roche Diabetes Care is focusing on providing preventive assistance to “metabolic” patients – that is, those who typically exhibit high blood pressure, excess weight, and elevated blood lipids – to keep them from developing the disease in the first place.

The Solution: The technical solution SAP Health collects data on patients by means of a mobile app and makes it available through SAP HANA Cloud Platform. Their blood glucose meters – Accu-Chek Aviva Connect devices – use Bluetooth to send their current levels to their cell phones. Patients can also incorporate a pedometer to record their daily movement. Through an SAP smartphone app, the measurements taken are automatically stored on the platform, where they can also be accessed by the doctor involved following patient authorization. The ability to peruse the entire history of an illness and assess all of the attendant factors (how much the patient has exercised, for instance) in an online medical portal offers physicians a number of benefits, as patients only need to come in for a checkup when absolutely necessary.

The Future: As time progresses, doctors will increasingly be able to offer remote consultations and take action online based on reliable measurements patients take themselves. The key to this lies in a technology with which data from various sources can be combined and made accessible. As a result, patients will be able to improve their lifestyles by paying more attention to their health and getting enough exercise. “In principle, this platform has the potential to optimize and individualize doctor-patient relationships more than ever before, no matter what the chronic illness at hand,” states Oliver Haferbeck, director of Roche Diagnostics’ Diabetes Care division in Germany.

10. Progressing Toward Lot Size One with “Luxury Toys Every Adult Wants”

The Challenge: In 2009, the Austrian engine specialist BRP-Rotax was suffering under the effects of the global economic crisis. Demand for the premium products made by its Canadian parent corporation, Bombardier Recreational Products, was on the decline. BRP-Rotax is the subsidiary that manufactures engines for “ultimate recreational vehicles” like Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo jetboats, and all-terrain, roadster, and side-by-side models under the Can-Am Spyder brand. “Back then, we were making finished products on a make-to-stock basis and wound up with too much inventory,” recalls Harald Okruch, IT director at BRP-Rotax. Each year, his company produces around 250,000 engines for vehicles that are sold by 4,200 dealers in more than 100 countries. BRP-Rotax then set itself a goal: to pinpoint the number of units the market would bear and adjust its production accordingly. “It was essential that the company become more flexible in order to deal with the kind of ups and downs the economy had been going through,” Okruch explains.

The Solution: The strategists at BRP-Rotax thus resolved to move away from mass production and focus more on custom manufacturing. They also wanted to give consumers the option to configure their own chassis and engine online. “We’re going to be producing fewer standard models from now on,” reports Okruch, who considers the digitalization of the company’s processes as key to this trend. In assembly, for example, BRP-Rotax now relies on automated guided vehicles – highly intelligent, self-driving machines that provide the flexibility the company needs to achieve custom production. BRP-Rotax is also working on increasing the level of integration between its production floor and ERP system. “That will give us better control of our processes than before,” Okruch reveals. As it gains the ability to track the history of each individual component, the company is also watching its products and machines grow more intelligent thanks to built-in RFID chips enriched with additional process and control data. “During the construction of an engine, SAP Manufacturing Execution now monitors the processes involved and catches errors at a very early stage,” Okruch says. These days, he shudders to think of the system BRP-Rotax used before. Real-time transparency; fast, sound decision-making based on the latest manufacturing data; precise monitoring of work progress – in using its new solution, the company has already begun to enjoy many of the benefits touted by SAP. Okruch, however, is enough of a realist to know that for a subsidiary of a corporation with 7,600 employees, the process of change can be even more demanding than the actual technology involved. He adds that BRP-Rotax has not yet finished expanding its predictive maintenance efforts, as it first needs to convince its parent corporation in Canada of the merits of its new approach and the first steps involved in becoming a smart factory by presenting its own best practices as an example. “It’s a lighthouse project of sorts for the corporation,” Okruch notes.

The Future: BRP-Rotax has already begun consolidating its process information into big data. At the moment, however, Okruch has not yet begun to speak of “smart data” or a “control station” that would enable the company to integrate its intelligent analyses. His goal is to see the old assembly lines eventually disappear from the production floor and enable BRP-Rotax to work with a lot size of one throughout its manufacturing. “Then all of our suppliers will be integrated into the process chain,” says Okruch, who happens to drive a Spyder Roadster himself. “In the end, BRP is nothing more than a factory that makes luxury toys for adults – and everybody wants one!”

11. Opting for a “Data Lake”

The Challenge: Back in the 1920s, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR) made it big manufacturing stepping switches for regulating transformers. When more electricity is required, these switches ensure that the voltage provided to power outlets remains stable. Half of all the electricity in the world flows through products made by MR, which leads the global market from its headquarters in Regensburg, Germany. Meanwhile, the top priority in the company’s impending digitalization project involves doing away with many of its individual data silos and allowing their information to flow into a “data lake.” In doing so, MR wants to prevent its IT systems from being overwhelmed with the corresponding processing and maintain a constantly high transfer speed. According to the Reinhausen Group’s 51-year-old CIO Christoph Heiss, another goal is to “consolidate knowledge that’s currently distributed across a series of databases.”

The Solution: MR’s solution goes by the name SAP HANA, which Heiss believes is the right platform for the job. Since the decision was made some 18 months ago, MR has gone live with in-memory versions of SAP Customer Relationship Management in the summer and SAP Business Warehouse just a few days ago. In Q2 2016, this hidden champion – which employs 3,000 people and generated €650 million in revenues in 2014 – also plans to move its ERP to SAP HANA. “We already have big data, but it’s stored in a variety of databases,” Heiss explains. “With SAP HANA, we’ll be able to establish a central repository for this information and integrate it in intelligent ways.”

Right now, the IT experts at MR are coming up with use cases to help ascertain where the company can improve its processes while reducing costs and preventing errors. It wants to track every single stepping switch through each phase in its 30- to 60-year life cycle while optimizing internal processes and using dedicated pattern recognition to generate further benefits for MR customers.

Heiss is also looking forward to analyzing the “mass of sensor data that’s stored around here somewhere.”

The Future: Over the course of next year’s second quarter, MR will be taking the aforementioned next step in this multimillion-euro project: running its ERP on SAP HANA, as well. “If basing our ERP on SAP HANA is a milestone, our data lake will be the icing on the cake,” says Heiss, who already has visions of in-memory financial processes dancing through his head. Until then, however, there are few items left on the agenda. MR has to keep in mind, for example, that only a modest number of SAP HANA specialists have entered the market thus far. As the digital transformation progresses and big data grows even more important, so too will demand for IT experts in these fields. “As a leading employer in the region, MR offers interesting challenges in a stable, family-run environment,” Heiss states in summary.

Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center