Thứ Tư, 31 tháng 8, 2016

Tradition Meets Modern Food Politics in Swiss Dairy Industry

Dairy farming in Switzerland seems as old as the Alps themselves.

Swiss farmers have moved their herds up and down the mountainsides with the changing of the seasons for countless generations. Every September, dairymen still celebrate ‘désalpe’ – the annual event where cows, decked out in colorful flower crowns and clanging bells, are led ceremoniously down from alpine meadows for the winter.

But make no mistake. Dairy is big business in Switzerland. More than half a million cows produce around 3.4 million tons of milk each year.

Yet even as these cows graze peacefully in the bucolic Swiss countryside, there are changes ‘ahoof.’

It appears that the country’s dairy industry is being reshaped by new software and a generation of consumers who demand to know more about the food they eat.

The dairy industry is being reshaped by a generation of consumers who demand to know more about the food they eat

An Industry Leader Explains

Heinz Hodel can tell you a lot about these changes.

“I think our industry will see a digital transformation in the next three to five years,” says Hodel.

He should know. Hodel is the CIO of Emmi Group – the largest milk processor in Switzerland.

Emmi is an international company based in Lucerne that exports to about 60 countries around the globe. It operates some 25 production sites in Switzerland alone, including six major processing centers that turn raw milk into a host of products ranging from cream and butter to ice cream, cheese, yogurt and milk drinks.

Emmi was the first company in the world to implement a new industry-specific dairy management solution from SAP and its partner, msg.

Hodel explains that Emmi decided to upgrade the business systems at its Swiss production facilities in order to consolidate systems, streamline processes, and gain efficiencies in the core dairy processing operations.

Emmi, for example, now has a greater ability to track and manage different milk deliveries based on their specific fat, protein, and lactose content. This helps the company determine which products the raw milk is best suited for – say, butter, mozzarella, or an Emmi yogurt drink.

“Using the same processes at each of our processing plants lets us get more value out of our milk,” says Hodel.

Exactly What are We Eating?

In addition to supporting greater efficiency, this level of traceability also dovetails nicely with fast-growing consumer demand and regulatory pressure to ensure greater transparency in our food supply.

An article earlier this year in Food Safety News quoted Dr. David Acheson, former Chief Medical Officer for both the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

“Consumers want transparency on labels more than anything else,” said Dr. Acheson. “What are they eating; where are these ingredients coming from?” He believes that consumers will want more visibility into the manufacturing processes as well.

Hodel agrees, and both Switzerland and Emmi appear ahead of the curve. (Switzerland is among a select number of countries recognized as having superior food traceability practices.)

“People are demanding more and more transparency in their food, and that includes dairy,” says Hodel. “In the near future, we could show consumers where their milk is coming – from which region, which farm, or even which cow.”

The Answer is in the Data

This kind of insight, however, will depend a lot on how well Emmi can process all the available data.

Acheson points out that one of the biggest challenges facing food companies is data management. “Whether a company uses 10 or 1,000 suppliers, it has a constant stream of information coming in that needs to be analyzed,” Acheson says.

Again, Emmi is taking a proactive approach. Hodel is currently looking at in-memory computing and the SAP HANA database as a way to drive better performance in the company’s data analysis.

Let’s Keep the Bells

Hodel notes that the larger dairy industry in Switzerland has yet to experience a full digital transformation, but imagines industry-specific business software is just the beginning.

“In the next few years the dairy industry will benefit from many of today’s emerging technologies,” Hodel predicts. “This could be robotics, 3D printing, IoT, and even drones.”

This sounds all well and good. Just as long as the Swiss cows get to keep their bells and flower crowns.

Please follow me on Twitter @JohnGWard3.

You might also like to learn more about what’s happening in consumer products by visiting Consumer products: Reimagined for the new economy.

This post orginally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

 



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SAP SuccessFactors Learning Marketplace Designed to Help Improve Customer, Community and Partner Engagement

LAS VEGAS SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the planned release of SAP SuccessFactors Learning Marketplace, a new solution that will extend learning to customers, external communities and partners.

This announcement was made at SuccessConnect, taking place August 29–31 in Las Vegas.


New Offering Transforms and Extends Learning for Better Business Results

“Today more than ever, learning leaders are working to help their organizations increase competitiveness, revenue and customer satisfaction,” said David Ludlow, group vice president of Solution Management at SAP SuccessFactors.* “As we looked at the market, we realized most external learning solutions are complex, have limited capabilities and are not designed for digital transformation. With the upcoming release of SAP SuccessFactors Learning Marketplace, we plan to deliver a turnkey solution that’s easy for learning leaders and organizations to adopt. The new offering will provide a unique way for organizations to extend their existing learning investments to strengthen their brand, engage customers and enable their partner community.”

With SAP SuccessFactors Learning Marketplace, professionals will be able to work with business leaders in marketing, sales and partner organizations to help these organizations:

  • Improve customer satisfaction, by providing easy-to-access training on products and solutions to speed time to value
  • Accelerate partner engagement and effectiveness, through just-in-time training and full certification management
  • Improve organizational branding, reinforcing organizational brand value through targeted marketing and search engine optimization
  • Attract new customers and build new market channels, with a global commerce platform developed to support the unique needs of learning markets

The new solution will be built upon the SAP SuccessFactors learning management system (LMS) and the SAP Hybris customer engagement and commerce technologies. It is expected to help remove the technical burden that companies face when trying to deploy training outside the employee base. It will include industry-leading LMS capabilities such as core course management, qualification and certification management, online content handling and business rule definitions for audience segmentations. The proven and flexible customer experience engine will manage content, optimize search and offer a configurable user registration process and dynamic catalog presentation. With integration capabilities to financial systems, it will support multiple credit-card processors, fraud detection and integration to global tax engines.

“Learning programs are becoming as important and widely distributed as any product in the world,” said Josh Bersin, principal at Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP, a leading research organization. “Platforms such as SAP’s new learning marketplace are becoming indispensable as organizations distribute and market their learning solutions to new audiences and channels.”

Training professionals today require a combination of strong content and platform to deliver learning programs across and beyond the enterprise. SAP SuccessFactors Learning Marketplace will complement an already extensive portfolio of learning and education services and solutions, including SAP SuccessFactors Learning and SAP Workforce Performance Builder software. SAP SuccessFactors President Mike Ettling has appointed award-winning industry veteran Karie Willyerd as the new head of Global Customer Education and Learning.

“Coming into a new position to drive our learning and education agenda with full support from SAP, and innovation from our product team, is a rare opportunity to bring new and exciting products to market,” said Willyerd. “Even though I have had the honor as a CLO of building the number-one ranked training organization in the world, and have been a founder and CEO of the industry’s first social video learning platform, the commitment, people and resources of SAP ensure we will break through in unprecedented ways to deliver the next generation of learning solutions.”

SAP SuccessFactors Learning Marketplace is expected to be available in Q4 2016. It will be showcased at SuccessConnect. In addition to a keynote demonstration, a session titled “Advanced Extended Enterprise Learning — Better than 3 a.m. Pizza” will be a deep dive into the brand new capabilities for an external training platform.

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

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device — SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable approximately 320,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Note to editors:

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

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:

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

For more information, press only:
Geraldine Lim, SAP, +1 (415) 418-0945, geraldine.lim@sap.com, PT
SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com
Adam Novak, PAN Communications, +1 (617) 502-4300, saphr@pancomm.com, ET

*SAP SuccessFactors is a new brand name launched in January 2016 and is used here to mean the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company SuccessFactors, which continues to be our legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2016 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://ift.tt/1gK6Kcn for additional trademark information and notices.
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SAP Reveals New Technology Designed to Help Move Business Beyond Bias

LAS VEGAS SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today outlined plans to use machine learning to detect and help eliminate bias in every decision point of the end-to-end talent lifecycle, from hiring through succession.

At SuccessConnect, taking place in Las Vegas August 29–31, SAP will showcase planned upcoming capabilities within its market-leading cloud-based SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite to help organizations around the world identify and prevent unconscious bias.


SAP Showcases HCM Suite Innovations to Help Drive Inclusion for Better Business Results

“Bias in business undermines employee commitment, performance and retention,” said Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors.* “We’re investing heavily in furthering the functionality we have today, as well as in new capabilities across our suite, because we believe technology can help root out and eliminate bias, and promote more diversity and inclusion across the entire business.”

Diversity in the workforce is a business and economic imperative, with research clearly showing better financial returns and improved employee engagement for companies with diverse workforces. According to consulting firm McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, and the number jumps to 35 percent for racial and ethnic diversity.

In a new study conducted by Oxford Economics and sponsored by SAP, Leaders 2020, executives leading digital transformation are more likely to have established diversity programs (46 percent vs. 38 percent of all respondents), and to recognize diversity’s positive impact on culture (66 percent vs. 47 percent) and financial performance (37 percent vs. 29 percent). These Digital Leaders also report higher revenue and profitability growth.

SAP plans to both optimize existing solutions and roll out unique new functionality in key decision areas that historically have prevented organizations from utilizing total talent. This announcement delivers on the commitment made by the company earlier this year. The planned upcoming technology on display at SuccessConnect includes:

  • Diversity and Inclusion E-Book — a guide to help customers optimize existing features throughout the talent lifecycle that support inclusiveness, enabling customers with SAP SuccessFactors products to better design, utilize and benefit from solutions that help them harness the best talent. The e-book is available today.
  • Recruiting — machine learning–based sentiment analysis of job descriptions within the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Management solution to not only identify potentially biased language in job descriptions but also recommend alternative language to ensure the descriptions are gender-neutral. These enhancements are planned for a future release.
  • Calibration — enhanced calibration within the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solution to include calibration analysis by diversity rules, including in-app 9-box descriptors and bias detection alerts, to help ensure consistent, equitable standards in evaluating performance and potential. These enhancements are planned for a future release.
  • Mentoring — a feature within the career development planning component that will match mentors based on skills and competencies to help ensure mentoring is equitable and inclusive, and efficiently track mentor-mentee relationships. Mentoring is planned for availability in the SAP SuccessFactors solutions Q4 release.

SAP is taking a comprehensive approach to actively address the pressing problem of unconscious bias. By using the diversity of thought and innovation of its own global workforce and harnessing the knowledge and learning from customers and experts such as those in the SAP Diversity and Inclusion Customer Advisory Group, the company is building new technology within the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite.

“The economic impact and business value of workplace diversity and inclusion is undeniable,” said Debra Plousha Moore, chief human resources officer and executive vice president at Carolinas HealthCare System. “Data itself is not going to make the change. SAP is now putting Big Data to use to help us see our diversity framework and adjust how we pick talent, how we promote talent and what we want our organization to represent. Diversity and equity are not philanthropy but business imperatives. SAP is helping to change the dialog on these topics.”

Lisa Rowan, research vice president of HR and Talent Management Services at IDC, said: “Given the higher returns that diversity is expected to bring, SAP is on the right path by helping organizations invest in the right technology now. Companies looking to build diversity and inclusion for a modern workforce will win and pull further ahead, while laggards will fall further behind.”

SAP SuccessFactors road map offerings will be showcased at SuccessConnect, the top HR event of the year, taking place August 29–31 in Las Vegas. In addition to keynote demonstrations, a session titled “Digital Inclusiveness: Using Technology to Support Gender Equity” will feature diversity experts discussing the role human capital management technology can play in addressing issues related to attracting, hiring, managing, developing, compensating, promoting and retaining a more diverse workforce.

We all have defining moments in our lives that have shaped our views on diversity and inclusion. You can join Debra Plousha Moore and others in our “Defining Moment” series on The Digitalist.

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

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device — SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable approximately 320,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Note to editors:

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

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:

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

For more information, press only:
Geraldine Lim, SAP, +1 (415) 418-0945, geraldine.lim@sap.com, PT
SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com
Adam Novak, PAN Communications, +1 (617) 502-4300, saphr@pancomm.com, ET

*SAP SuccessFactors is a new brand name launched in January 2016 and is used here to mean the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company SuccessFactors, which continues to be our legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2016 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://ift.tt/1gK6Kcn for additional trademark information and notices.
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It’s Time for a Beyond Bias Approach to Diversity in the Workplaces of China

While Mao Zedong famously proclaimed that “women hold up half the sky,” gender equality in China is still a work in progress.

Having just hosted the second SAP Women’s Leadership Summit in Beijing, however, I’m firmly of the belief that the opportunities for women in business have never been stronger here.

Opportunities for women in business have never been stronger

Of course there are already some notable business women in China such as Yang Lan, Co-founder and Chairperson of the Sun Media Group and the Sun Culture Foundation, an inspiring role model who was once again kind enough to co-host the SAP Women’s Leadership Summit. Other high-profile participants included Grace Chen, the embodiment of haute couture in China, Beijing Women’s Federation vice chairwoman Zhou Zhijun and British diplomat Carma Elliot. We were also fortunate enough to have Berlin-based Yang Liu, an award-winning designer and professor in communication design, provide a video segment on her work around differences between genders, eastern and western outlooks, and how technology is changing our lives.

Digital Thinking

That last point is particularly significant in terms of women’s prospects in business. We are accelerating into the era of Industry 4.0 and Digital Business with a new wave of innovation around machine learning and advanced robotics beginning to build. This is going to result in a huge shake-up of business, workplace and jobs, disrupting the status quo. With the arsenal of transformational technologies that are at hand there is going to be a premium on innovative business thinking, for which diversity is an essentially underpinning.

Given that start-ups are a wellspring of creative business ideas, it’s interesting to see who’s starting digital businesses in China. According the State Council’s white paper on “Gender Equality and Women’s Development in China” released last year, the number of female entrepreneurs keeps growing and now accounts for a quarter of the total number of entrepreneurs in China. Notably, about 55% of new Internet businesses are being founded by women.

To help sustain this entrepreneurial momentum we donated RMB 1 million to China Women’s Development Foundation to support the @Her Social Dream Program at the SAP Women’s Leadership Summit. The aim is to support the development of young women entrepreneurs in China by unleashing their potential through digital empowerment and social innovation.

Millennial Change

The impressive progress being made by women in China stems in part from the characteristics of China’s exceptional Millennial generation who are far better educated, wealthier, self-confident and digitally-savvy than their predecessors – especially so the women. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Gender Gap Report, China leads the world in terms the enrolment of women in higher education, with gender split 15% in favor of female students at the country’s tertiary institutions.

As China’s Millennial generation continues to flow out of the universities it is reshaping the country’s workplaces and markets. For enterprises keen to hit the marks on customers’ needs and expectations it is therefore important to ensure your workforce is representative of this generation and corporate culture embraces their perspectives. Furthermore, in light of China’s shrinking labor pool, the increasing competition for high-value skills and Government-backed business transformation initiatives such as Internet+ and Made in China 2025, embracing an inclusive work environment would seem essential to business success.

Delivering Diversity’s Dividends

So, how can companies ensure they are tapping into the power of workforce diversity? It’s a challenge that many organizations have struggled with for years, often with costly diversity programs that have yielded little success overall. A major stumbling block seems to lie with unconscious bias (that we all have) which, by definition, are hard to overcome. Even if each occurrence of bias is subtle and we tend to shrug it off as “not a big deal”, their cumulative impact over time can be significant.

Fortunately some smart technology is now available that can help to consciously address the issue. Using text mining and machine learning based on the SAP HANA platform, we’re aiming to help companies review job descriptions, performance reviews and similar people processes for potential bias and suggest changes to encourage equity. This complements existing SAP SuccessFactors capabilities – such as analytics and reports focused on diversity and inclusion – that already help address inequity.

SAP SuccessFactors capabilities like reports focused on diversity and inclusion already help address inequity

Business Beyond Bias

SAP CEO Bill McDermott says that “none of us is as smart as all of us”, reflecting the fact that the power of workforce diversity on business and employees is real. So when you look at your workforce, remember that diversity and inclusion are good business practices. And best practices breed strong results.

Companies should step up effort to empower women in the gender-blind digital workplace, making space for diverse range of views and a more creative business culture. After all, an organization’s culture is its heartbeat, enabling it to attract new talent and helping the current workforce thrive.

SAP Greater China donated RMB 1 million to China Women’s Development Foundation (CWDF) to support the @Her Social Dream Program at the SAP Women’s Leadership Summit in Beijing. From left, Yang Lan, Cofounder and Chairperson of the Sun Media Group and the Sun Culture Foundation; Mark Gibbs, Global SVP, SAP SE and President, SAP Greater China; Qin Guoying, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General, CWDF; Beidi Sheng, Chief of Staff and Chairwoman, Business Women’s Network, SAP Greater China

SAP Greater China donated RMB 1 million to China Women’s Development Foundation (CWDF) to support the @Her Social Dream Program at the SAP Women’s Leadership Summit in Beijing. From left, Yang Lan, Cofounder and Chairperson of the Sun Media Group and the Sun Culture Foundation; Mark Gibbs, Global SVP, SAP SE and President, SAP Greater China; Qin Guoying, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General, CWDF; Beidi Sheng, Chief of Staff and Chairwoman, Business Women’s Network, SAP Greater China.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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SAP CEO Bill McDermott Gets Personal at SuccessConnect 2016

From the moment SAP CEO Bill McDermott stepped onto the stage at the largest ever SuccessConnect 2016 in Las Vegas this week, he inspired and entertained the record breaking audience.

Talking with Mike Ettling, President of SAP SuccessFactors, McDermott regaled the crowd with stories of how he made the most of every opportunity, from his roots as a teenaged delicatessen owner in Long Island, to his first job in sales pounding the pavement carrying heavy copiers and typewriters, to his current role as leader of the world’s largest software company.

On his first job interview… “All these kids from Ivy league schools were there, and at first I said I may have overshot a little, promising my dad that I’d come home that night with an employee badge. But what do you do when you know it’s going to be a tough road? You can just be you, and do what you do every day. So I started asking these other kids what their goals were. They told me, I’m playing the field, interviewing here and there. And I thought, this is my day because I want it so much more than you do…It all began with an opportunity. If you get an opportunity you can find your dream. And there’s lots of young people who want to find their dream.”

On having SAP’s CHRO, Stefan Reis, report to him… “We spend 90 percent of our time talking about people issues, including if we have the right leaders, can this person scale, is that person making progress, what’s happening with the next leaders in the pipeline. All of the complicated issues around humans dictate the pace of how a leader runs the company. The most important position on the management team in that context is the CHRO.”

On the impact of youth on the workplace… “When you think about youth and the youth movement, your brand and the way you manage your company has to be stylistically authentic. Young people want to know who they’re working for, and the values and the imperatives of the company. The younger we get, the better we get as a company because it invigorates the culture.”

On SAP’s commitment to HCM… “SAP has a very large R&D budget and the biggest chunk goes to HCM.

On the larger role of HR in collaborative leadership… “The relevance of SAP is not just that we’re totally committed to being a market leader in HCM, but with the digital boardroom, we’re bringing managers together not just from HR but from facilities, sales, finance…giving HR an opportunity to change the way companies run.”

On SAP’s cloud strategy… “We knew cloud computing was the pervasive theme of the 21st century, and the first move was to acquire SuccessFactors. We thought that if we learned to cannibalize ourselves first, we might just have an unbelievable run in HCM. Then we saw the fastest growing group of workers were contingent workers, which led to Fieldglass.”

On his eye injury last year… “What you learn about life comes to full focus in moments of great challenge. Your mind is incredibly rational, and always wants to protect you and keep you away from pain. Then there’s that thing inside of you, that will that wants it more–true grit and that’s the thing that really forms you. People said to me, what did you think about? I thought about my wife and kids, my friends, and 83,000 colleagues that need me and I need them. I thought I have to get up and get on with it. People said that must have brought out your character. But it didn’t bring out my character, it was my character. Everything about my entire life came into full focus for survival.”

McDermott’s advice to the HR professionals that afternoon was simple: “The best part of you is you. You’ve done a lot of things in your life–successes and set-backs and you’ve had to stand up to them. Stay in touch with your inner voice. Winners have to have dreams, goals, and a true north that’s uniquely and only yours. This world is all about having a purpose tied carefully to a vision and a strategy.”

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IoT, Sensors, and All Things Digital: Can We Handle It All?

It seems we are all part of a big experiment. We’re testing our data-driven consciousness and determining how much information we can digest and at what speed.

And if we continue at our current pace, we will soon see sensors and ambient computing infuse our personal and professional lives with a myriad of interactive things. Even items such as coffee mugs may be connected.

In such a digital-driven, hyperconnected world, our perceptions will heavily depend on virtual experiences and our biological view. To get a sense of where we are heading, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Yvonne Förster, professor of philosophy of culture at Leuphana University in Germany, to get her perspective.

Q: The speed of digital change is just incredible. It’s hard to imagine that we will always be able to keep up. Will humans find a way to cope with the speed of digital change?

A: Without a doubt, algorithms are faster than our conscious thinking. And although our physical reflexes and our intuition are quite fast, they are still slower than the latest computers available right now. From this perspective, we face many challenges.

Much of our future experiences in a digitized world will be powered by technological devices that operate on micro-timescales. The Internet of Things is a term that describes technologically permeated lifeworlds comprising billions of sensors and highly interconnected devices, which measure – or more precisely, sense – various activities in their environment. The interesting question is not so much about coping, but the perspectives and possible futures of human life itself. How will we evolve while changing our lifeworld?

If we cannot operate at the speed of computers, will we experience disruptions between more direct, data-induced experiences?

Not necessarily. Disruptions are exactly what modern technology tries to avoid. Smooth operation and flow are ideal in technology and design, allowing applications to be invisible and creating self-learning systems.

Understanding how technology influences our perception today is a subject of aesthetic research. Media artists try the impossible: Make the invisible visible or render the nonexperiential rhythm and speed of algorithms experiential. It would be naïve to think that the exponential growth in exposure to technological devices would leave people unchanged.

Evolution goes on in culture. And nowadays, we are not just passively shaped by adaptive behavior; we can also actively alter our bodies and minds. New digitized environments and our own wish to extend human life will be fundamental forces in the game of evolution, which we should carefully reflect on.

Will we still experience our environment without additional interactions? Will nature become a dull world to us?

I don’t think so. The world will be a fascinating place in the next few decades when it comes to technological development. It doesn’t necessarily mean that every device will remove us from our environments like the dystopian world portrayed in movies such as The Matrix or Surrogates. But, we also shouldn’t forget that our experiences in nature and everything else are always mediated by cultural concepts, attitudes, and technological devices.

Just think of the perception of time, which has been interceded through watches of all kinds for centuries now. Some would even hold that human culture is essentially rooted in technology from its very beginning. Still, as long as we preserve nature, our world will never be a dull place. There are just new perspectives to discover.

How will wearables and sensors help us achieve new perspectives?

The interesting question here is: How will our lifeworld and behavior change when sensors are present everywhere? With the omnipresence of sensors and devices that sense locations and other types of human agency, we find ourselves in an environment that is not only tracked by living beings, but also by highly interconnected technological devices. You could even one day say that walls, streets, or cars have eyes in the most literal sense possible.

Sensing is not a concept only about living organisms anymore. Rather, it’s a ubiquitous property of our lifeworld. This will deeply change how we act and interact with each other – but more important, it will transform how we engage with objects. Our lifeworld is altered by the Internet of Things as objects sense and communicate among themselves. The impact of this technological development has yet to be estimated and described.

Förster: Our lifeworld is altered by the Internet of Things as objects sense and communicate among themselves

Will everyone become digitized?

If we define digitization as a significant part of everyday life that is connected to digital technology, then we are already digitized. However, if we mean that technology will invade our bodies and turn us into cyborgs that are physically connected to the Internet, this is already becoming a reality in laboratories. This idea is strongly connected to enhancing the human body and mind. Still, most people remain skeptical when it comes to technology invading the body.

We can think of a third alternative of digitization: The co-evolution of humans and technology. When our world is deeply permeated by technology, it will present different and new opportunities to humans. We can develop new ways of behavior, creativity, and thinking. Also, we will need to engage with technology and actively reflect on its use.

This approach calls for an understanding of technology as a precondition for handling such innovation critically and creatively. We see these kinds of engagement emerging from artistic and scientific practice. Jennifer Gabrys, for example, works with sensor technology used by citizens in different environments, such as fracking areas, to better understand and build awareness around changing environmental conditions by using do-it-yourself technology.

Will we have a choice in what we do – or do not – want to know?

Yes, we certainly have a choice. As biological beings, we are adaptive. The presence of technology is evolving – and will continue to change – our perception and behavior. If we don’t reflect on that process, we will remain passive and eventually feel outrun by technology.

Still, technology is our making, even though it is not entirely predictable and manageable. Given that technology functions according to emerging patterns of artificial intelligence, we should be prepared to engage in new processes of understanding and agency in computed environments.

Will digitization change the way I experience my body?

The playful element of digitization will change the way we learn as well as the knowledge space of what can be known. It’s not just transformation of the thinking process or the quality of decisions, but an evolution of the body as well. In gaming, for example, we use evolutionary, yet old and hard-wired, behaviors such as flight-or-fight reflexes. This means digital gaming is less about our culturally and highly rated reflection, but more on gut feeling and our intuitive mode of acting. But, it might also bring about completely new patterns of behavior and action or reaction.

Another aspect of bodily experiences in times of digitization is the measurement of movement and live data such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and more. This is accompanied by an objectification of a bodily experience. We tend to perceive ourselves as numbers, such as the number of steps we have walked or the calories we have eaten. This might be problematic because it can distract us from our actual bodily state, which is not tantamount to a number or chart appearing on a screen.

The flipside of this is the issue of Big Data and control. Where does this information go, and who uses it? Will your insurance company be interested what your everyday habits are? This seems very likely and should be observed carefully.

How will we experience the world in the future? Will it be in the form of data streams?

The world around us is getting sense-driven; it will have eyes and ears. I am waiting for the day when my refrigerator starts arguing with me when I grab a piece of steak instead of a salad. But more interesting is the question of what happens when information goes beyond being presented as text, video, or speech to include body temperature, heart rate, and the pitch of our voice. What kind of knowledge will be generated out of this data?

In the movieEx Machina, such information leads to the first self-conscious android named AVA. But, I am sure that we will not perceive data streams. Data by itself has no value as long as it is not interpreted. Also, our brains are not an information-processing organ. It generates information only through sense-making activities.

Life never deals with raw data. Movement and perception are to be understood as relational activities, which bring about meaningful structures such as me as an individual and you as another person. Similarly, we will conceive technology as part of our environment and, therefore, part of a sense-making process that extends beyond human perception.

If data could be experienced directly one day, where is the border that separates us from it?

Current technologies, such as augmented reality and Google glasses, will not change very much. Even if the physical and virtual worlds merge, these technologies will not interfere with our sense of self. The sense of self is already a stretchy category since cultural practices can alter it profoundly. Mediation techniques, for example, can broaden our ability to be compassionate and make the self subside in meditation and agency.

Another interesting development is the use of invasive techniques that substitute or change our perceptual and cognitive abilities. An example is Neil Harbisson, who can hear colors, or Enno Park, who is using a hearing aid with a speech processor that transfers sounds into digital signals that are sent directly to the brain.

Merging human bodies and technology can create new forms of sensing and acting. Even the ontological gap between what is human and what is technology might become blurred. But this is old news. The self has – and never had – any fixed limitations. We become what we are by interacting with each other and our environment. And we are always evolving; no self is ever complete. The moment you meet another person, you undergo a change. This is why we should not be afraid of losing ourselves in the future.

Will we co-evolve with machines, rather than creating a world similar to The Terminator?

Certainly the merging of humans and machines is an interesting idea as it promises to overcome human limitations. It’s part of our human nature to adapt, and I have the impression that we are entering an era of a new form of cultural evolution that combines biological, technological, and cultural practices.

The most important lesson we will learn is that technology will develop in unforeseen, not programmable, ways. This might destroy the myth of the human as a rational being who can understand and predict the reasons and consequences of an action. Humanity is a very creative species, but we have a hard time understanding complex and nonlinear processes. These processes have become ubiquitous since the Internet became our second nature and stock markets are partly controlled by algorithms.

Complex processes also lie at the core of life. The best example is our own brain whose inner workings are highly complex and nonlinear. Still, we lack the cognitive abilities to understand them. This is why we should experiment and reflect on the possibilities of a life form that engages with technology as a complex process and cannot be simply controlled and predicted. Issues of data privacy, information ownership, and governance need to be discussed in light of ecological entanglement with technology.

Förster: We should experiment and reflect on the possibilities of a life form that engages with technology

For more on this topic, see Live Business: The Importance of the Internet of Things.

Kai Goerlich is the Idea Director of Thought Leadership at SAP.

This story originally appeared on The Digitalist Magazine as part of the 10 Weeks of Live Business series.


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SAP Modernizes Data Warehousing with the Launch of SAP BW/4HANA

WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today unveiled SAP BW/4HANA, a next-generation data warehouse application for running a real-time digital enterprise.

In addition to traditional on-premise deployment, the new solution will soon be available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service so companies can conveniently modernize their data warehousing environments and accelerate their digital journey into the cloud.


Latest SAP HANA Platform Innovation Will Future-Proof Data Warehousing Landscapes and Unleash New Ways to Analyze Data in Real Time


With SAP BW/4HANA, customers will have a much simpler and more powerful way of achieving real-time analytics through a new foundation for logical data warehousing that provides the interactivity with historical and live data residing in a diverse IT landscape, whether within or outside the enterprise. To answer demand for open, highly scalable IT systems, SAP BW/4HANA will provide an open data warehousing environment for rapid application development, a modern user interface, advanced multitemperature data handling and support for cloud-ready offerings including AWS and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, with other third-party cloud platforms expected to follow.

Making Businesses More Agile

To stay ahead of today’s fast-paced business requirements, users of SAP BW/4HANA will be empowered with modern data modeling techniques coupled with a unified and more streamlined data warehouse object model. In addition, simplified governance features will enable agile data warehouse development that will deliver improved business insights in real time. Business applications, including those based on SAP S/4HANA, will be able to leverage a prebuilt data warehouse or more standard, SQL-based development environment, resulting in faster, more versatile data warehouse solutions for improved business agility.

“As an early adopter of SAP BW/4HANA running on AWS, we reduced our end-to-end production time by 50 percent, allowing us to deliver a powerful new analytics platform with minimal up-front investment in just three months,” said Diego Lombardini, head of Finance Systems, Fairfax Media Pty. Ltd. “To support our constantly changing business, we now have an extremely flexible, highly scalable cloud environment that is capable of future-proofing our business.”

SAP BW/4HANA customers will benefit from:

  • An end-to-end data management platform for running a live digital business through the automatic generation of views in SAP HANA that combine SQL data logic and application data taken directly from SAP S/4HANA
  • Extreme performance through advanced, in-memory analytics and algorithm pushdown
  • Faster application development with a fully redesigned user interface for enhanced data flow modeling
  • Reduced data management and storage costs through automatic distribution of multitemperature data
  • Efficient data warehouse migration and implementation with unified data load management and full scale-out support, as a de facto standard for customers
  • Easy transition for customers with the SAP Business Warehouse application to SAP BW/4HANA through utility features

Increasing Versatility in the Cloud

To help ensure customers of all sizes can conveniently implement an affordable data warehouse system, SAP BW/4HANA will be available with built-in deployment for AWS and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, with additional cloud deployment options expected to follow. In addition, SAP BW/4HANA will provide the ability to seamlessly connect to the SAP BusinessObjects Cloud solution, which will deliver a powerful environment for visualization, storytelling and data exploration. As a result, SAP BW4HANA comes with built-in connectivity to SAP Digital Boardroom. These highly flexible deployment options will add elasticity, versatility and superior price-performance options for customers.

Coinciding with the launch of SAP BW/4HANA, SAP has issued a new certification for AWS’s memory-optimized X1 instances. The new certification covers scale-out deployments up to 7 nodes totaling 14 TB of memory, making it an ideal platform for customers who want to quickly deploy enterprise workloads in SAP HANA on AWS. For more information about the new certifications and X1 instances, visit the AWS website and the AWS blog.

“With SAP BW/4HANA and AWS, customers get the ability to run SAP’s modernized data warehouse for the real-time analytics that power their business, with the elasticity, flexibility and reliability of the AWS Cloud,” said Peter DeSantis, vice president, Compute Services, AWS. “Offering more memory than any other SAP-certified cloud instance available today, AWS’s X1 instances are purpose built for customers who want to quickly try, deploy, run and optimize their critical workloads in SAP HANA at scale, without investing in on-premise infrastructure.”

Defining the Next-Generation Data Warehouse

SAP BW/4HANA intends to deliver on SAP’s vision of a next-generation data warehouse that will significantly reduce data movement and duplication by analyzing data wherever it resides, whether in data lakes with the SAP HANA Vora engine or in legacy systems within or outside the enterprise. It will also integrate live streaming and time-series sensor data collected from Internet of Things environments via smart data streaming, an event stream processing option in SAP HANA. These advanced approaches will provide unprecedented flexibility, real-time performance and the ability to overcome the challenges of data silos from highly distributed data sources. With the addition of sophisticated hot, warm or cold data temperature management and compression, enterprises can ensure all data is primed to drive rapid results at much lower storage costs.

“The digitization of business requires a modern approach to data management, data processing and analytics that can handle any data source and type in real time,” said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board, Products & Innovation, SAP SE. “With SAP BW/4HANA and our collaboration with AWS, the leading cloud infrastructure provider, we are providing customers with an easy-to-consume next-generation data warehouse platform that will further accelerate their journey toward becoming a live digital business.”

SAP BW/4HANA will be released to customers on September 7, 2016. Please tune into a live stream event on Wednesday, September 7, at 1:00 p.m. EDT with SAP and AWS.

For more information, visit SAP BW/4HANA and the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device — SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable approximately 320,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Note to editors:

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

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:

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

For more information, press only:

Scott Malinowski, +1 (617) 538-6297, scott.malinowski@sap.com, ET
Hilmar Schepp, +49 6227 746799, hilmar.schepp@sap.com, CET
SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com

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.
© 2016 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://ift.tt/1gK6Kcn for additional trademark information and notices.
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Thứ Ba, 30 tháng 8, 2016

SAP and HPE Race into the Future of the Internet of Things

Building on their 27-year partnership, SAP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) show how they will disrupt the world of industrial Internet of Thhings (IoT).

The virtual reality video below shows how IoT makes bike riding better – and what that means for manufacturing industries.

For more than 27 years, SAP and HPE have been working together to bring businesses some of the most innovative solutions. Now they are teaming up to revolutionize the Internet of Things for industrial customers, by analyzing IoT data both in the cloud and right at the edge of the network.

What does that mean exactly? If you think about the traditional computing set up, a router sits at the edge of a network that passes information into the cloud. Once in the cloud, you can perform a variety of functions to make sense of that data like analytics, reporting, calculations and predictive scenarios. HPE is turning that router into what they’re calling “Converged IoT Systems” using HPE’s Edgeline IoT compute technology. These servers, or systems, actually do the work right at the edge of the network, delivering information – and results — even more quickly, on site.

Eventually, SAP software could be on the HPE Edgeline Converged IoT Systems, but for now, the companies are working toward that goal using SAP HANA Cloud Platform. At this stage, the HPE Edgeline system collects and sends IoT sensor information to SAP HANA Cloud Platform where it performs advanced analytics and prompts appropriate action.

This is where the bicycle example comes in.

“We wanted to bring the industrial Internet of Things closer to home to many of our joint customers in an approachable way, so we created this small-scale ‘industrial’ scenario with the bike,” said Chris Strawn, Vice President of Alliances for HPE, SAP. HPE fitted the bikes with sensors. The sensor data generated by the bicyclist’s activity is ingested by the HPE Edgeline EL1000 and sent to HANA Cloud Platform for analysis against real-time and historical data points. Employees can then monitor this data and predict equipment failure. More important, they can anticipate and prevent these problems before they impact performance.

SAP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are charting a path for how IoT technology will evolve. In the meantime, they’re sprinting ahead of the pack.



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SAP SuccessFactors Introduces the Klaus Tschira Human Resources Innovation Award

LAS VEGAS SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the Klaus Tschira Human Resources Innovation Award, an annual program for SAP partners and customers that have contributed a unique and innovative solution in the field of human resources (HR).

The award honors the late Klaus Tschira, a cofounder of SAP who had a vision for how SAP technology could revolutionize HR and business. This announcement was made at SuccessConnect, taking place August 29–31 in Las Vegas.

Tschira’s impact on SAP and the overall technology and HR communities continues to influence the way SAP innovates and delivers its HR solutions. Tschira is remembered for his dedication to helping others build their careers with integrity, and for his enormous financial and personal contributions to science education and research.

SAP Co-Founder Klaus Tschira had a vision for how SAP technology could revolutionize HR and business

Winners will be chosen based on their ability to deliver on SAP’s vision and strategy, and to reflect the SAP founder’s spirit and legacy of innovation, entrepreneurialism and courage in the field of human capital management (HCM).

“As one of the founders of SAP, Klaus Tschira’s impact on the HR community and HR technology remains significant,” said Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors*, in announcing the award on the keynote stage at SuccessConnect. “Tschira understood global and integration better than anyone in the industry. As was noted by Thomas Otter at his passing, Tschira’s view was that HR systems should ‘help the business run better. Make plants safer, have the right people, with the right skills in the right place, and use technology to help managers and employees do a better job.’ Tschira was keen to mentor others, and his legacy of leadership in our company influences many, including myself. In the spirit of Tschira’s contributions to integrity, innovation and technology, this award will honor those who continue to innovate and simplify HR to put people and community first.”

“Tschira was the first vendor executive in the human resources management (HRM) industry to support publicly the work I had been doing in applying advanced domain modeling techniques to rethinking HRM,” said Naomi Bloom, a preeminent HR technology consultant. “Although this approach, and the enabling architectural principles, are now completely mainstream, Tschira saw the promise of my work at a time when it was viewed as interesting but academic.”

The Klaus Tschira Human Resources Innovation Award will be granted annually to an individual or team that has created HCM software or applications using SAP SuccessFactors solutions. The submission will be judged on how well the solution simplified the HR function or created a new and unique outcome for the organization.

The solution must also exemplify:

  • Breakthrough thinking, by turning challenges into opportunities and innovating with an entrepreneurial spirit in HCM
  • Simplicity, by reducing complexity and optimizing results to drive value
  • Boldness, by having the courage to take risks and learn from mistakes

Winners, announced annually at SuccessConnect, will earn permanent recognition in the Founders’ Exhibits, which will showcase each winner and nominated solution. They will receive a token of recognition and collect a cash donation of $10,000 to give to a charity of the winner’s choice.

Klaus Tschira (1940–2015) founded SAP in 1972 together with Dietmar Hopp, Hasso Plattner, Hans-Werner Hector and Claus Wellenreuther. He served as CEO until 1998 and on the supervisory board until 2007. By establishing the nonprofit Klaus Tschira Foundation in 1995, he created a pillar of support for the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science throughout Germany.

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

Media Contact:

Geraldine Lim, SAP, +1 (415) 418-0945, geraldine.lim@sap.com, PT

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

LAS VEGAS Only one in five business executives is a Digital Leader*, a new study conducted by Oxford Economics and sponsored by SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) shows.

A new class of leaders is emerging that embraces a digital mind-set and reports stronger business outcomes as a result. This announcement was made at SuccessConnect, taking place August 29–31 in Las Vegas.


Digital Leaders Drive Stronger Financial Performance and Employee Engagement Through Strategy, Speed and Inclusiveness

The Leaders 2020 study is based on survey results from more than 4,000 executives and employees in 21 countries. The research identifies the characteristics of organizations that are succeeding in the digital economy. The majority of organizations could benefit from adopting the digital leadership practices identified in the research.

Here’s why it pays to be a Digital Leader:

Stronger financial performance: Seventy-six percent of executives characterized in the study as Digital Leaders report strong revenue and profit growth, compared to 55 percent of all other executives surveyed.

Satisfied and engaged employees: Digital Leaders have employees who are more likely to be satisfied (87 percent) at their work, compared to 63 percent of all other respondents.

An inclusive culture and strong leadership pipeline: Digital Leaders have employees who are more likely to stay in the job even if given the chance to leave, 21 percentage points higher than all other respondents.

“It’s clear that a different kind of leadership is required to succeed in the digital economy,” said Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors**. “People, particularly millennials and the generations behind them, expect more inclusive and social leaders, more diversity at the leadership level, and less hierarchy. Technology plays a role in giving us, as leaders, access to insights needed to make decisions quickly, and to attract and develop the next set of leaders.”

According to the study, today’s Digital Leaders:

Simplify decision making: Four out of five (80 percent) Digital Leaders make decisions that are data-driven, and nearly two out of three (63 percent) report that their organizations are capable of making decisions in real time, compared to only 55 percent and 46 percent respectively of others surveyed. Digital Leaders are more likely to be transparent and to distribute decision making throughout the organization.

Prioritize diversity and inclusion: Organizations leading in the digital economy are more likely to see more diversity in the workforce at midlevel management, and have a higher proportion of female employees than other companies. These companies are also more likely to have diversity programs (46 percent versus 38 percent of all companies), recognize diversity’s positive impact on culture (66 percent versus 37 percent) and equate increased diversity to financial performance (37 percent versus 29 percent).

Despite some organizations outperforming their peers in this category, the study found room for improvement among all levels of leadership. Only 39 percent of employees believed their company has effective diversity programs in place, while less than half (49 percent) of executives believe that leadership recognizes the importance of diversity, and has taken steps to develop it.

Listen to younger executives: The study found that millennials are quickly occupying corporate leadership positions, as 17 percent of the senior executives in the study are classified as millennials. Millennial leaders are more pessimistic than other executives about their organization’s digital readiness. These younger executives ranked their organization’s leadership skills between 15 and 23 percentage points lower than nonmillennial executives across a variety of attributes, including facilitating collaboration, managing diversity, providing feedback and discouraging bureaucracy. Millennials will soon make up 50 percent of the workforce, so they will have a powerful voice to shift corporate culture. What they say really matters. And they are saying: Time for change.

“These findings should serve as a wake-up call for business leaders,” said Edward Cone, deputy director of Thought Leadership at Oxford Economics, who oversaw the research program. “Your employees, your younger executives and your financial results are all sending you a clear message about the importance of updating and upgrading leadership skills for the digital age. It’s time to listen and lead — or get out of the way.”

Learn more about the study and see how to become a Digital Leader here.

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

About the Study

Oxford Economic surveyed more than 2,050 executives and 2,050 nonexecutive employees in 21 countries and across multiple industries during the second quarter of 2016. The executives surveyed included both C-levels and their direct reports. Roughly 48 percent of the sample is from the C suite. Employee roles range from entry-level to line-of-business management.

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics is the world leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis for business and government, and the most trusted resource for decision makers seeking independent thinking and evidence-based research. Headquartered in Oxford, England, with offices in London, New York and Singapore, and elsewhere around the globe, the firm employs more than 150 professional economists, industry experts and business editors — one of the largest teams of macroeconomists and thought leadership specialists.

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 approximately 320,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Note to editors:

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

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:

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

For more information, press only:
Geraldine Lim, SAP, +1 (415) 418-0945, geraldine.lim@sap.com, PT

SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com

Adam Novak, PAN Communications, +1 (617) 502-4300, saphr@pancomm.com, ET

*Digital Leaders are a group of executive respondents who were identified based on their responses to the survey questions. Cluster analysis was performed by Oxford Economics to determine what attributes best fit together in the analysis — these attributes were considered the “profile” of Digital Leaders. This group of executives’ responses were then correlated with outcome measures: revenue and profit growth and employee satisfaction and engagement. The organizations that these executives’ responses represent are called “Digital Winners” in the research.
**SAP SuccessFactors is a new brand name launched in January 2016 and is used here to mean the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company SuccessFactors, which continues to be our legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2016 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://ift.tt/1gK6Kcn for additional trademark information and notices.
Top image via Shutterstock



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Why It’s Worth Having Meaningful Conversations with Machines

Why Diversity Matters to Your Bottom Line

Over the past three years, workplace diversity has increased significantly according to studies conducted by Oxford Economics and SAP in 2014 and again in 2016.

However, while the increase is significant in the general workforce (67%), both mid-level leadership and board/senior leadership levels are lagging behind, respectively experiencing increases of 40% and 34%. This finding is especially concerning when you consider the potential impact of diversity on overall business performance.

In 2015, McKinsey research revealed that gender-diverse companies were 15% more likely to financially outperform their less diverse competitors. Plus, ethnically diverse companies were 35% more likely to financially outperform their more uniform competitors.

The most recent research by Oxford Economics and SAP research, titled “Leaders 2020” (which will be published at the end of August 2016), shows a similar trend, where top-performing companies are significantly more focused on diversity. Not only are leading companies more likely to report that diversity improves financial performance, but they are also specifically calling out improved company culture as a result of organizational diversity.

Diverse companies are more likely to report diversity improves financial performance and company culture

Irrefutably, data supports the notion that companies with a good workplace culture and satisfied employees are more enthusiastic about their leadership. These companies tend to be the ones that enable quick decision making, discourage complexity, provide competitive compensation, and retain executive leadership that understands the value of diversity.

In a Financial Times article earlier this year, it was argued that companies actively engaged in diversity as part of their business culture are not necessarily performing better; but those that do not, in fact, are doing worse. As an example, the article points to a PwC report that revealed 13 times higher earnings per share among mining companies with women on their board, as opposed to those that consisted of all-male boardrooms.

So while the data suggests clear advantages from diversity, how are companies truly doing? While there is certainly progress, many companies are still struggling to make headway in this area. The older generation is generally less focused on diversity. And while millennials gain access to the C-suite, companies with a generational gap at the executive level are not feeling the same sense of urgency to change and view diversity as a business investment.

Likewise, women are less likely, overall, to be optimistic about both current and future diversity programs. And even among leading companies, only 30% of women believe that their companies have effective diversity programs. Clearly, there is still room for improvement for most companies – which also means that there are benefits to reap across the board.

Common sense would tell us that having different perspectives from diverse backgrounds brings new ideas to the table. And the research does suggest that diversity has a net-positive organizational and financial impact. So what are we waiting for? What is your company doing around diversity and what do you see as results?

For more on the business value of broadening your network, see Our Digital Planet: The Democracy of Collaborative Networks.

Michael Rander is the Global Research Director for Future Of Work at SAP.

This story originally appeared on The Digitalist Magazine as part of the 10 Weeks of Live Business series.


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Thứ Hai, 29 tháng 8, 2016

From Bricks-and-Mortar to E-Commerce and Back – Retail’s True Shift to Digital

Ever since the first bushel of grain was traded for meat at the local village square, retail has been in a state of flux. Seemingly indestructible bricks-and-mortar retailers refused to stand still, as corner stores morphed into department stores and suburban strip malls gave way to big box stores. But the biggest retail disrupter of them all? Digitization.

Some say the first online retail transaction – back in the digital dark age of 1994 – was performed by NetMarket, others say it was the Internet Shopping Network. But nobody can argue that in the wake of the ensuing tsunami of online shopping and intense global competition, retail was left shaken and virtually unrecognizable.

Amidst the unsettled waters, retailers began disappearing faster than you could say “bankruptcy”. Since 2000, fully three-quarters of retail sales growth has occurred through online channels. Thousands of department stores, previously community stalwarts, have been shuttered.

Retailers slow to adapt have collapsed – spectacularly. Remember the Borders book chain? It ignored the e-books phenomenon and neglected to build a user-friendly e-commerce site, losing sales to Amazon and ultimately closing the books on itself.

Even powerhouse teen brands like Aeropostale and American Apparel have announced re-orgs under Chapter 11 in recent years.

But despite the destabilizing growth of e-commerce, online sales accounted for less than 7% of global retail sales. Customers continue to demand that retail have a physical presence. They browse in physical stores, and then purchase online for less – a phenomenon known as ‘show rooming’. Or they buy online, and then physically pick up their purchases at neighboring retail locations. The resulting retail identity crisis – am I a physical retailer, an online retailer, or some type of hybrid? – is fueling more uncertainty and confusion.

But is it all just doom and gloom for retail?

The shift to digital may have blown the doors off traditional retailing, but as Alexander Graham Bell stated, “When one door closes another door opens …”. However, it’s the rest of the quote that could prove most instructive to retailers: “… but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

Bell knew a thing or two about failure – and eventual success – and he knew how to spot an opportunity. Which doors have been blown open by digital business? Where is the opportunity in retail today?

For retail companies, one of the biggest challenges of digital transformation is fusing physical and digital worlds by designing seamless shopping experiences for customers across all channels. Customers now carry devices everywhere they go and expect a seamless, omnichannel retail experience – whether they’re shopping online from a tablet or mobile device, or in a bricks-and-mortar store.

Developing an omnichannel customer experience is challenging, but it’s where the biggest opportunity lies. Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers.

Developing an omnichannel customer experience is challenging, but it’s where the biggest opportunity lies.

Retailers who thrive will be the ones who learn how to merge physical and digital into a new, ‘omincommerce’ experience for their ‘omnicustomers’. They enable customers to choose where and how to buy across all channels, and understand their preferences and purchase paths. They can provide valuable advice, while letting their clients customize their shopping and delivery experience.

Retailers who thrive will be running live. What does running live look like? It goes beyond ‘online’ or even ‘everywhere’ and becomes ‘everything-at-the-same time’. It integrates the value of a retail store into a customer’s digital interactions.

What does running live look like? It integrates the value of a retail store into a customer’s digital interactions.

Take the example of eBay and the Rebecca Minkoff store, which partnered to open a digitally ‘connected store’ in New York City. A prime example of how some retailers are merging online and physical shopping, the store has ‘connected walls’ that stream video and content. Shopper can ‘touch’ the wall to reserve fitting rooms, order refreshments, and alter the room’s lighting. While customers are trying items on, RFID technology can instantly identify other sizes and colors.

Neiman Marcus’ created a ‘Magic Mirror’ that can capture a customer’s video image and integrate with the store’s retail apps. Customers can see themselves in a variety of outfits without changing their clothes, and can compare outfits side by side.

Target is testing beacon technology to reach out to customers. Beacon use cases for retail range from connecting to consumers’ devices on the sidewalk to invite them into the store, to triggering rewards when they enter, to instantly advertising nearby goods on their device as they explore the store.

Apart from the fact that they all use SAP technology, the common thread to all these examples is that the physical environment is tailored to a customer’s preferences and needs, and integrated with their devices. The brand experience is personalized and consistent across all platforms – physical and virtual.

Retailers are only limited by their imaginations because the SAP technology exists to make running live a reality. Stores of the future will be able to leverage ‘heat maps’ – which show what customers are doing in a store – in real-time. These stores will be able to instantly track KPIs, such as real-time sales by store area, duration of customer stay, and retention rates. The data can be combined with other data, such as the weather, to create critical customer insights, trigger personalized promotions to enhance customer satisfaction, and increase overall sales. Real-time insights gained from online buyer behavior and store buying patterns can be used to fine-tune shopping experiences.

What about small business? With the right technology, they too can run live and compete in the global marketplace. Designed for small business, SAP Anywhere combines CRM e-commerce and order fulfillment – to enable small companies to quickly build an online store, participate on e-commerce marketplaces, automatically sync their inventory between channels, and deliver a compelling customer experience.

Using SAP Anywhere, West Hollywood’s Gray Gallery can instantly give customers a live view of what’s available for purchase – from one-of-a kind jewelry pieces to vintage furniture. With a single platform that integrates their CRM, live inventory system, POS, and website into one single tool, they can reach more people and focus on customer relationships, rather than managing disparate systems.

As long as retailers know what makes them stand out and leverage the right technology to deliver a differentiated customer experience – from their retail location to their online store, social networks, digital marketplaces, and customer service channel – the future of retail is ‘live’ and well.

As long as retailers know what makes them stand out and leverage the right technology – the future of retail is ‘live’ and well.

Joerg Koesters is a Technology Marketing Executive with passion for Retail and Consumer industries, and a retail ambassador for SAP. You can also follow him @joergkoesters on Twitter.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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SAP Will Provide One-Stop Shop for Partner Apps with SAP SuccessFactors App Center

LAS VEGAS  SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the SAP SuccessFactors app center, an open hub providing a directory of partner software offerings that can be connected with the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite.

This announcement was made at SuccessConnect, taking place August 29–31 in Las Vegas.


New Offering Will Help Customers Easily Integrate with Over 100 Partners for a More Seamless Experience

With plans to feature over 100 partners at launch — including ADP Added Value Services, Benefitfocus, Castlight, Dell Boomi, DocuSign, First Advantage, Limeade and WorkForce Software — the SAP SuccessFactors app center will offer clients insight into the solutions and applications that can be connected to help better manage their human resources (HR) operations. By taking advantage of the SAP PartnerEdge program, partners will be able to help drive further value for customers by leveraging open APIs, intelligent services and SAP HANA Cloud Platform to extend SAP SuccessFactors solutions.

With the SAP SuccessFactors app center, partners will be able to help drive further value for customers

Roger Murff, vice president of Business Development at Box, said: “The SAP SuccessFactors app center will be a great resource for businesses seeking tools that improve the way people work, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. With our deep new integration into SAP SuccessFactors,* we’re helping HR departments across the globe work securely in the cloud and become more collaborative and productive.”

Dev Ghoshal, senior vice president of Global Alliances & Customer Success at CipherCloud, said: “CipherCloud has worked closely with SAP SuccessFactors to provide enhanced security and encryption key management for its customers. We are pleased that we will be featured on the SAP SuccessFactors app center so customers and prospects can learn more about CipherCloud and our enhanced encryption capabilities.”

Chuck Fontana, vice president of Corporate & Business Development at Okta, said: “We are excited to introduce our HR-Driven IT Provisioning integration with SAP SuccessFactors. This integrates Okta directly into core HR systems so that SAP customers can help manage IT tasks throughout an employee’s lifecycle seamlessly, based on user identity. As people management software and services evolve and become more cloud-based, it’s more important than ever for both HR and IT to make sure identity comes first when implementing a variety of vendors, which is what the SAP SuccessFactors app center will help enterprises to do.”

The SAP SuccessFactors app center is intended to give customers easy access to partner software applications that are integrated with SAP SuccessFactors solutions. The app center will also serve to encourage developers to think about add-on offerings in the HR space, knowing there is now a marketplace for these applications.

“In my view, with the pace of digitalization today, no one company will ever own all the innovation possible in the world around us,” said Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors. “The SAP SuccessFactors app center will give our clients access to innovative apps we and our partners create, and it also provides a compelling reason for millions of developers out there to innovate and build HR apps that talk to our platform and support our clients.”

The SAP SuccessFactors app center will be demoed at SuccessConnect, the premier HR event, taking place August 29–31 in Las Vegas. A preview is available at http://ift.tt/2c933Vg. The app center will be released in Q4 2016.

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

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable approximately 320,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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*SAP SuccessFactors is a new brand name launched in January 2016 and is used here to mean the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company SuccessFactors, which continues to be our legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.
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How to Get the Most from SAP S/4HANA

Many companies plan the switch to SAP S/4HANA in the form of a system conversion. But if you want to tap the innovative potential of this suite, it’s worth considering a greenfield implementation or – if you have a system landscape with several ERP systems – a landscape transformation.

Companies that already work with SAP ERP 6.0 (from enhancement package 0) often choose a system conversion as the way to transition to SAP S/4HANA. The reasons are obvious: If you’ve already invested in an SAP solution, you’ll want to continue to utilize the investments you made.

But the move to SAP S/4HANA is always more than a one-off project or purely a database migration. It always involves the entire IT system landscape, which is why it should always be viewed with an optimal SAP target architecture in mind – one where complexity is reduced and processes are simplified. An analysis against this background may result in opting for another transformation approach, namely a greenfield (that is, new) implementation or a landscape transformation.

Convert or Go for Greenfield?

While a greenfield implementation involves setting up a completely new system, a landscape transformation also offers the opportunity to convert an existing system. In this case, the existing SAP ERP landscape is reduced step-by-step through selective data transfer, and the scope of the SAP S/4HANA software is enhanced where necessary.

IT organizations are generally familiar with both options, although they had reservations about them in the past. One reason with greenfield implementations is that configurations, enhancements, and data are not automatically retained, despite the use of SAP upgrade and migration tools – something that is possible with upgrades or system conversions. And with landscape transformations, too, the greenfield approach is now often necessary, even if a system conversion would be theoretically possible, either because the processes mapped in the ERP systems are different or because the current ERP systems don’t provide a valid basis for a new start with SAP S/4HANA.

But even if both project approaches mean starting from scratch – and the investments made might have to be written off – this option makes long-term sense for customers in many situations. The reason is that added value can only be gained from SAP S/4HANA if the company’s processes take advantage of the technical possibilities offered by the SAP S/4HANA software and if the data in the system – particularly the master data – reflects the current business situation. If the transformation to the SAP S/4HANA suite is viewed purely as a technical switch, the innovative potential of SAP S/4HANA won’t be realized. A step-by-step adjustment of processes and a subsequent purge of the data basis then becomes difficult, because it’s seen as an option and not as an integral part of the project.

Ultimately, the decision about the route to take should be made based on an analysis that compares the duration, complexity, effort, and achievable benefits of a system conversion and compares it with a greenfield approach.

Greenfield in the Cloud

If the decision is made to transition by way of a new implementation – for example, if there’s only one system in the landscape – it’s worth looking at SAP S/4HANA Cloud as an option. The type and scope of the processes in this operating model aren’t exactly the same as with the on-premise version, and more functions are added on a quarterly basis. In principle, individual enhancements are possible. However, the public cloud option is especially suited to organizations that give high priority to standardization.

Option: Greenfield

New Implementation: When and Why?

A new implementation makes most sense if:

  • Companies have high ongoing operating costs or complex end-to-end processes with low user buy-in.
  • The system landscape includes many custom developments that have grown over time and don’t have a clear use, especially if functions were transferred to SAP R/3 when legacy systems were replaced. (A reduction in the number of such developments is almost impossible and, from a business perspective, will not generate added value.)
  • Established processes no longer fit the company structure, for example, if an organization goes from operating locally to globally.
  • The data from a unit in the organizational structure no longer reflects current needs with its number of controlling areas, company codes, or hierarchies.
New Implementation Step-by-Step

Step 1: Installation of a local or cloud-based SAP-S/4HANA suite using the best practices that are part of the SAP Activate innovation adoption framework

Step 2: At the same time, assessment of the as-is processes and enhancements

Step 3: Performance of a fit-gap analysis: Which processes already fit? Which ones need adjusting? The IT team must then make the necessary adjustments based on the assessment, and achieve an 80% build status.

Step 4: Transfer of the data from the SAP ERP system, for example, using SAP S/4HANA Migration Cockpit

Objectives

The new implementation will simplify processes, and possibly change them, too. Users will work in a role-based way with SAP S/4HANA using the SAP Fiori launchpad with native SAP Fiori apps and familiar SAP transactions. From a business perspective, the setting up of new processes and the redesigning of existing processes is combined in line with requirements.

With the greenfield approach, another key benefit of the transformation to SAP S/4HANA can be tapped in the process design: the reduction of complexity, for example, the creation of operational reports without using a business warehouse.

More complex enhancements are no longer implemented in SAP-S/4HANA directly, but are instead realized on the basis of SAP HANA Cloud Platform. The goals of the transition are: to make system maintenance easier, to simplify the transition to the next version of SAP S/4HANA, and to optimize the enhancements outside of the SAP S/4HANA system and with a faster innovation cycle – based on the two-speed IT concept.

Option: Landscape Transformation

Landscape Transformation: When and Why?

Unlike a new implementation, a landscape transformation makes sense, for example, if comprehensive restructuring is needed and it’s no longer appropriate to deploy X number of SAP systems for a company’s divisions or regions. Companies that are in such a situation usually:

  • Have high operating costs
  • Lack a common view of data in real time
  • Need to make changes to processes in X number of systems, which leads to reduced speed and agility in the further development of the system as well as difficulties in coping with the digital transformation, where it’s necessary to adjust processes in ever shorter cycles
Landscape Transformation Step-by-Step

Step 1: Decision about whether the basis for the landscape transformation should be greenfield or system conversion

Step 2: Analysis to ascertain the order in which the SAP ERP systems can be replaced

Step 3: Option: First achieve a cross-system view in the area of financials. By deploying Central Finance in the SAP S/4HANA suite, it’s possible to see all financial data in real time.

Step 4: Expansion of the system by fully configuring SAP S/4HANA and transferring data step-by-step from the other ERP systems

A landscape transformation thus leads to a significant consolidation of the system landscape and uniform processes across the company. If that’s your goal, the landscape transformation option is the right path to take to SAP S/4HANA.

More information

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