Thứ Ba, 31 tháng 1, 2017

Driving Conversational HR with the New SAP SuccessFactors Slack Bot

Take a moment to think about your daily interactions – emails, calls, texts – and you’ll quickly realize that technology has revolutionized communication.

There is nothing groundbreaking about that statement, but we all know technology keeps advancing, so what’s next and what does it mean for us in the HR technology field? Conversations. Imagine if interacting with SuccessFactors was like having a conversation with your HR Business Partner. You would not need to go to a web browser or tap on a mobile app. Instead, you would interact with an SAP SuccessFactors bot in your favorite messaging application. Not a physical robot that may come to mind first. I’m talking about chatbots. HR software is on the verge of a chatbot revolution, ushering in “conversational HR” where processes are streamlined, efficiency is maximized, and communication and engagement is improved.

What exactly are chatbots? They are interactive software programs embedded within messaging apps that imitate conversations with a real person and often rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Chatbots are revolutionizing how enterprise solutions work, making them simple, intuitive and engaging.

Chatbots are revolutionizing how enterprise solutions work

That’s why I’m delighted to be part of the Slack for Enterprise launch event today in San Francisco, announcing the SAP SuccessFactors Slack bot as part of a new portfolio of SAP bot applications designed for Slack. With this new partnership, SAP shares Slack’s vision of the power of conversational interfaces for enterprises.

We at SAP SuccessFactors are committed to continuous innovation. In early 2016 we launched Continuous Performance Management (CPM) as part of the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solution, and we continue to add more features and functionality that meet the needs of customers. CPM is meant to solve many of the frequently cited issues of performance management initiatives by facilitating ongoing check-ins between employees and managers to ensure activities, accomplishments and goals stay on track throughout the year. With continuous performance management, managers have a simple way to provide continuous feedback and coaching to drive ongoing improvements in performance. At the same time, employees stay motivated and engaged to perform at their best.

SAP shares Slack’s vision of the power of conversational interfaces for enterprises

We are constantly looking to enhance the user experience and engagement with our HCM solutions, which led to the collaboration with Slack to create a new bot so employees and managers can interact with the continuous performance management capabilities without taking a break from their day-to-day conversations on Slack. Now in beta, the SAP SuccessFactors Slack bot is intelligent and helps users with a number of continuous performance management tasks:

  • Create an Activity: As a manager and employee are having their daily conversations, the manager may suggest an activity to the employee. The employee can now create this activity from Slack using the SAP SuccessFactors Slack bot. The bot will walk them through the process and will ask for all the needed inputs like activity name, status, which goal the activity needs to be assigned to, etc. It also notifies the manager via Slack that the employee created a new activity.
  • Add Feedback to the Activity: The manager can add feedback to the activity.
  • Review Activities: The employee can review their activities within Slack and can add an update to the activity or mark it as complete.
  • Create an Achievement: When the employee updates an activity as complete, they are asked if they would like to mark it as an achievement.
  • Add Feedback to the Achievement: When the employee create an achievement, their manager is notified via Slack and can provide additional feedback.

The SAP SuccessFactors Slack bot is meant to standardize, simplify, and automate HR transactions such as performance and goals tracking so people can free up time to be more strategic. It helps bridge the communication gap employees and managers often feel by allowing them to conduct HR processes within the Slack application. People communicate on Slack every day – enabling them to manage their workforce performance within Slack is effective, intuitive and just a lot more fun. We will continue to release new use cases across the SuccessFactors portfolio beyond the initial continuous performance management functionality, so be on the lookout for more exciting news to come this year!

If you are a SuccessFactors customer interested in participating in our Beta, tweet with the hashtag #SFSFSlackBeta and our team will be in touch.

Dave Rangones is group vice president of Product Management at SAP SuccessFactors



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SAP HANA: Developer Edition Vs. Express Edition

Anyone looking to dip a toe into the world of SAP HANA doesn’t need to get a license right away. Here, we offer a comparison of what the express and developer editions of the platform have to offer.

What’s the story with the express edition of SAP HANA?

This edition is geared toward all those looking to get on the fast track to developing their own apps with SAP HANA, but on a slightly pared-down version of the platform. First of all, developing and running applications that require less than 32 gigabytes of memory doesn’t cost a thing. For those that need more RAM, the express edition of SAP HANA does come with some usage fees, but a full license is only necessary for applications that demand more than 128 gigabytes of memory. Customers are also free to decide whether they want to run their express edition applications on their own servers or workstations (on Linux, macOS, or Windows), or in virtual environments based on SUSE or Red Hat Linux through infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure (which offer their services through SAP Cloud Appliance Library).

What does the developer edition of SAP HANA bring to the table?

Like the express edition, the developer edition is designed to help users gain some experience in developing with SAP’s in-memory technology. It’s based on the platform edition of SAP HANA, which means it contains some functions not available in the express edition. Smart data streaming, for example, makes it possible to receive data from various sources (such as sensors, social media tools, or market researchers) for immediate processing and analysis. This requires a smart data integration component (also included) that safeguards the flow of data. Unlike with the express edition of SAP HANA, however, developer edition users will have to do without the option to run their applications in live settings. The developer edition is also only available in the cloud through Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, both of which offer clear and manageable payment plans to those in need of infrastructure. SAP, meanwhile, doesn’t charge users for applications that require less than 64 gigabytes of memory.

What are the key differences between the express and developer editions of SAP HANA?

  • Users can run the express edition on physical hardware or through virtual appliances in the cloud; with the developer edition, only the latter option is available.
  • With the express edition, it’s possible to implement developed applications in live environments. The general terms and conditions of the developer edition explicitly prohibit this.
  • To enable users to run the express edition of SAP HANA on less powerful workstations and laptops, SAP had to leave out a number of functions, including smart data integration, smart data streaming,  high availability, and dynamic tiering (which treats data differently based on how often it’s required). For a comprehensive list, please refer to the third question of the express edition FAQ.
  • The developer edition offers a wider functional scope, including the aforementioned smart data streaming and smart data integration.
  • Users can build applications requiring up to 64 gigabytes of memory in the developer edition free of charge; the express edition comes with a limit of 32 gigabytes. Remember, Microsoft and Amazon both charge fees for the use of their infrastructure after one month at the latest depending on which web services you need.

What other options are available to take advantage of the SAP HANA platform’s full range of functions?

While the express edition is mainly designed to give users the chance to kick the tires on SAP HANA, several other variants make it possible to acquire the specific in-memory functionality you need. The base edition of SAP HANA, for instance, comes with core database services, development tools, and libraries for business and application functions. The platform edition adds in algorithms for search and analysis, and the developer edition includes smart data streaming and integration. Finally, the enterprise edition of SAP HANA gives you access to the entire functional scope currently available to SAP HANA developers.

Where can you download the express and developer editions of SAP HANA free of charge?

The express edition of SAP HANA is available for download here. The cloud version is also available through SAP Cloud Appliance Library.

To access the developer edition of SAP HANA, please refer to this tutorial.

If you’d like to start using the developer edition (or the express edition in the cloud), check out the following registration pages:

Further information



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SAP Skills for Africa Wins Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award

This year, SAP’s highest employee award goes to the SAP Skills for Africa team, which placed over 400 consultants in jobs in Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa, and is expanding to Ivory Coast and Algeria.

The winners of the SAP Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award this year are four employees from SAP Africa who launched and grew a jobs-creation program that fills Africa’s skills gap in the IT sector. The employees, Meena Confait, Tarryn Naidoo, Malese Ndhlovu, and Chris van der Merwe, received the award January 24 at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.

190 nominations, 1,700 employees, 38 countries

Launched in May 2014 by CEO Bill McDermott, The Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award represents the highest employee recognition at SAP. In 2016, 190 teams were nominated by their peers with a total of 1,700 employees from 38 countries, a significant increase over previous years. Submissions are evaluated for breakthrough thinking, simplicity, and boldness.

“The Award has turned into something very important and inspirational at SAP,” said Torie Clarke, head of Global Corporate Affairs, who moderated the awards ceremony.

Handing the trophy over to the winning team, Bill McDermott said: “Hasso Plattner is the soul and inspiration of SAP. The award’s association with him and all five founders makes it one of the most prestigious in the world.”

Africa’s Employment Challenge

Although Africa currently has seven of the ten fastest growing economies, it has the world’s fastest growing working age population, thus the challenges facing even the most motivated youth to find work are formidable. The only way up is through education.

The SAP Skills for Africa Program delivers on SAP’s vision because it addresses Africa’s skills gap in a simple yet extremely effective way.

“SAP not only trains and certifies young and dynamic graduates through this program, it also puts them into employment, creating our own sustainable skills pipeline and enhancing SAP’s long term viability,” says Meena Confait, head of SAP Skills for Africa at SAP Africa. Using a hybrid approach of classroom and e-learning training, the three-month program is run free of cost for select unemployed graduates in key African regions.

Meena was visibly moved by the award’s ceremony, saying “We have the best jobs at SAP because we get a chance to make a difference in these graduates’ lives, offering them opportunities they wouldn’t normally have had.”

SAP Africa CEO Brett Parker said of the team, “You cannot do this unless you have people with passion in their hearts, because it is a lot of hard work. But it’s clearly been worth the effort, because in 2016 we had a positive impact on 1000 lives.”

A Job Creation Motor

SAP Skills for Africa started in a humble way in Kenya in 2013 with only a handful of recruits. Other countries have been added since, including Morocco and South Africa, with Francophone Africa planned in 2017, covering countries such as Ivory Coast, Algeria and Morocco in its recruitment drive.

“SAP Skills for Africa is a job-creation motor that fully leverages the power of SAP’s existing ecosystem,” says Chris van der Merwe, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist and Talent Delivery Lead for SAP Skills for Africa. “The managers and directors of our partners and strategic customers in the region trust us to find and train the right talent, who have jobs waiting for them three months later when they receive their certificates,” says Chris.

SAP Skills for Africa has already placed 418 associate consultants in SAP ecosystems in Africa.

About the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award

The Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award, which was launched in 2014 by SAP CEO Bill McDermott, is the highest employee recognition at SAP. Awarded annually to one individual or one team whose inspirational and extraordinary achievement best delivers on SAP’s Vision and Strategy and who best reflects the SAP founders’ spirit and legacy of innovation, entrepreneurialism, and courage.



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3 Steps to Benefit from SAP ONE Support in Hybrid Landscapes

While cloud computing growth predictions couldn’t be brighter this year, they represent a potential nightmare of challenges to CIOs. IDC forecasts at least 50 percent of net-new IT spending will be cloud-based by 2020.

CIOs rank supporting digital business and delivering innovations top priorities in the latest Gartner survey. But even as CIOs embrace their new role driving agile, fast innovation, they grapple with ensuring a stable core for mission-critical applications and integration with new cloud solutions. It’s a delicate balancing act to provide integrated support across any company’s complex business process landscape for digitalized business. This is also the case with SAP environments, which typically include both cloud-based and on-premise software.

“Strategic digital business cannot be run in silos,” said Jens Bernotat, vice president of Strategy for Maintenance Go-To-Market at SAP. “SAP has always focused on harmonized support that delivers the greatest value to our customers as they’ve made major, long-term investments in our solutions. Our approach is to help CIOs manage a hybrid business process landscape for a seamless experience across a broad set of SAP solutions.”

In many ways, SAP’s support journey mirrors the one that its customers have been on during the past few years. The company recently achieved what’s widely considered the next milestone in harmonized support. SAP ONE Support now covers Concur, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass in addition to already harmonized cloud solutions including SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, SAP S/4HANA Cloud editions, and SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

As companies increasingly innovate with cloud-based software to manage human resources, customer service, and other business processes, more decision-makers are also realizing the importance of integration. “Our customers have told us that they need to connect data and processes from every department, whether their SAP solutions are on-premise or in the cloud, so they can monitor business processes aligned to strategic objectives. With our ONE Support approach, we’re helping to elevate the Suite principle into hybrid landscapes,” said Bernotat.

These are the three main steps SAP has taken that offer CIOs harmonized support for hybrid scenarios.

Learn the 3 steps that offer CIOs harmonized support for SAP hybrid scenarios

Step 1: Harmonization

Customers now have the same support coverage for all of their cloud solutions based on cloud editions of SAP Enterprise Support. This includes service-level agreement (SLA) policies such as timeframes for problem resolution proposals. SAP is also bringing greater consistency to operational governance by offering one standardized system availability service level for all major cloud solutions – at 99.5 percent for all major Software-as-a-Service solutions and 99.9 percent for Platform-as-a-Service solutions.

“We are providing unified support for our entire solution portfolio,” said Bernotat. “If you are a CIO today you need to effectively and efficiently manage an end-to-end landscape that meets dual demands for agile innovation on a scalable, stable mission-critical backbone of integrated solutions.”

Step 2: Single Entry for Support

Regardless of which solution a customer is contacting SAP about, with SAP ONE Support the plan is to have one access point to obtain support. This is already in place through phone support, and for many solutions through the SAP ONE Support Launchpad. “Customers don’t have to pursue multiple routes to find the right contact or even know exactly where the problem is,” said Bernotat.

Using the SAP ONE Support Launchpad, which is built on SAP Fiori, customers can easily access status, information, and complete history of their support tickets in one single place for an expanded set of solutions. It also offers one single access point for information on cloud solution availability starting with SAP SuccessFactors. This simplifies management of hybrid landscapes substantially

Step 3: End-to-End Monitoring

With the ability to monitor solutions across a customer’s hybrid landscape, SAP helps companies realize the greatest value from their solution investments. Bernotat is quick to point out that this kind of integrated support, powered by SAP Solution Manager, is impossible when solutions are in disconnected silos from different vendors. “CIOs cannot manage a group of loosely coupled cloud solutions from different providers,” he said. “Our umbrella of support covers the entire SAP landscape.”

Future Innovations – Intelligence Everywhere

SAP’s shift from reactive to proactive support for customers is just the beginning, with greater innovations on the horizon.

“Live businesses need live support. We already offer Expert Chat, where users can talk to an expert, and soon will offer the opportunity for customers to book time with a support expert at their convenience,” said Michael Kleinemeier, Executive Board Member of SAP SE and head of Digital Business Services. “We are also exploring artificial intelligence and machine learning embedded in the software, which will provide users with real-time technical assistance as well.”

As more CIOs wake up to the innovative value of cloud-based computing, support is radically changing in sync, simplifying under one umbrella and embedding intelligence everywhere to meet the challenges of digital business.

Follow me @smgaler

Top image via Shutterstock



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Inspiring Young Women as Future Data Scientists and Supporting the UN’s Global Goal for Gender Equality

The data science field is booming as Big Data and advanced analytics become primary players in the boardroom. Dealing with new paradigms, constant evolution, and greater complexity, the entire C-suite now realizes that gut feel, instinct, and experience are no match against volumes of data that are essential components  in solving today’s business challenges.

As a result, the science behind sifting through data and making the right connections is at a tipping point – where rigor, discipline, intellectual curiosity, and empathy are critical when identifying unique breakthroughs and innovative thinking.

For people with an aptitude and passion for math, logic, and investigative sleuthing, the role of data scientist appears to be a good fit. The work is meaningful with high visibility. Salary compensation is good. Career prospects are promising. The role even ranks high in work-life balance. Yet, despite all of these compelling advantages, women are still largely underrepresented.

Although women make up half of the world’s population, it is well-known that they don’t even come close to parity in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Considering that data scientists enjoy many of the benefits that women have been striving to achieve in the workplace for decades, this reality is frustrating for many companies and women’s organizations.

A Call for Greater Gender Diversity in Data Science

In recent years, global technology leaders have been making significant investments in initiatives to support a rich mix of gender perspectives that can help drive innovation and better serve customers. Such efforts include commitments to place women in 25% of all leadership roles, leadership excellence acceleration, and certification for economic dividends for gender equality. Even community initiatives – such as Girls Who Code, Girl Smarts, TechGirlz, and the European Center for Women and Technology – provide an opportunity to empower millions of young girls to explore their talent in STEM fields.

By offering opportunities to further grow skill sets through education and professional development, businesses are wisely investing in the power of diversity to drive innovation and revenue growth through data science. However, for women, data science is more than just teaching women to code or opening new doors to career growth. It’s about standing up and shaping the next digital revolution.

Over the years, a growing population of women has acquired the economic means, education, and social acceptance needed to take on this challenge. Hopefully, this trend will mean that the conversation around STEM-related fields and data science will shift away from gender equality within the next five to 10 years and focus more on creating more innovative technology and making better decisions. But, unfortunately, we are not there yet. Unless changes are made in the current social system, the conversation will not shift organically.

The Importance of Building and Engaging the Data Science Community

One of the key steps to motivate women of all ages to actively contribute to data science is to engage in meaningful and supportive discussion about best practices, exchange personal successes and failures, and connect with potential mentors and collaborators. In essence, women learn best through a community.

This is one of the many reasons why Ann Rosenberg, vice president and head of Global SAP University Alliances and SAP Next-Gen, has stepped up to become the Global Ambassador for the Women in Data Science Conference (WiDS) for SAP. This partnership with Stanford University is leading a movement across the company and its global ecosystem to encourage young women to pursue education and careers in data science.

In collaboration with Stanford’s Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering (ICME), SAP Next-Gen, Google, Microsoft, and Walmart Labs, the WiDS main conference will take place at Stanford University, and over 50 locations worldwide will host supportive satellite events featuring live streams, recordings, and interactive Skype corners.

With an aim to inspire and educate data scientists of all genders and to support women in the field, this community will present the latest data science research across a variety of industries and scenarios, discuss how leading-edge companies are using data science for success, and provide opportunities to connect with peers. The speaking roster is full of prominent female data science professionals and leaders including Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Google Cloud; Janet George, Fellow and Chief Data Officer of Western Digital; Deborah Frincke, Director of Research for the U.S. National Security Agency; and Sinead Kaiya, Chief Operating Officer of Products and Innovation at SAP.

By sharing stories and participating in community-driven experiences, women of all ages and career levels can get a better sense of how to tackle barriers to personal growth and success. They can find creative ways to leverage their unique skills, mentality, and natural abilities ranging from a collaborative style to nurturing sensibilities such as humility, insight, intellectual curiosity, and empathy.

Over time, these interactions will build on each other – eventually giving women the courage to rise up, take risks, and perform at a level that meets and exceeds corporate expectations. And one by one, every woman who takes up this challenge plays a part in enabling future generations to collaborate, innovate, and compete without bias and with full equality.

We invite women worldwide to join this important movement.

Don’t miss the Women in Data Science Conference keynote, featuring Sinead Kaiya, Chief Operating Officer of Products and Innovation at SAP. Live streamed across over 50 satellite locations worldwide, Sinead will discuss why now is the time for women to consider roles related to data science and how they can play a critical role in the future success of their business, no matter the industry.

This story originally appeared on The Digitalist.



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SAP’s Lori Mitchell-Keller Elected to FMI Board of Directors

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced Lori Mitchell-Keller, global general manager of Consumer Industries at SAP, will serve on the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) board of directors.

The announcement was made at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference, held January 27–30 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“With over 25 years of experience in the software and consumer goods industries, Lori will provide the FMI board a unique perspective on the impact of technology on the food retail industry,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. The FMI board of directors represents the strategic initiatives of FMI including policies, programs and forums supporting its members.

“I am deeply honored to join the FMI board,” said Mitchell-Keller. “Serving as the voice of food retail, FMI provides leadership and advocacy for the food and consumer product industry worldwide. There are abundant opportunities ahead as the industry innovates to meet the changing needs of its customers. SAP looks forward to continued and dynamic involvement in key initiatives such as food and product safety, industry collaboration and networking, as well as sustainability.”

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world.

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

Media Contact:

Stacy Ries, +1 (484) 619-0411, stacy.ries@sap.com, ET

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
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Thứ Hai, 30 tháng 1, 2017

SAP Helps Enterprises Achieve Information Excellence for Better Business Outcomes

The digital economy is driving the desire for data to be more connected, trusted and valued. There is growing consensus that data is one of the most important organizational assets and when carefully managed, thoughtfully governed, strategically used and sensibly controlled it can be transformative.

The enterprise information management (EIM) portfolio from SAP innovations can help customers with enhanced support and connectivity for Big Data sources, improved data stewardship and metadata management capabilities, and a pay-as-you-go cloud data quality service.

By effectively managing enterprise data to deliver trusted, complete, and relevant information, organizations can ensure data is always actionable to gain business insight and drive innovation. We continue to support our customers on their digital transformation journey with a data foundation that provides real-time access to relevant and reliable data.

EIM portfolio updates from SAP include:

SAP Data Services: Offers extended Big Data support and connectivity for integrating and loading large and diverse data types. The latest version includes a patent-pending data extraction capability providing fast data transfer from Google BigQuery to any data processing systems such as Hadoop, SAP HANA Vora, SAP IQ, SAP HANA and other cloud storages. Other enhancements include leveraging SPARK engine to optimize data extraction from a HIVE table and new connectivity support for Amazon Redshift and Apache Cassandra.

SAP Information Steward: Important new functionality in the latest version helps speed data resolution issues with better usability, policy and workflow processes. Users can immediately view and share data quality scorecards across devices without having to log into the application. Users can also more easily access information policies while viewing rules, scorecards, metadata and terms to immediately verify compliance. New information policy web services allow policies outside of the application to be viewed anywhere such as corporate portals. Finally, new and enhanced metadata management capabilities provide data stewards and IT users a way to quickly search metadata and conduct more meaningful metadata discovery.

SAP Agile Data Preparation: A focus on the bridge between agile business data mash-ups and central corporate governance, improves the collaboration capabilities between business users and data stewards. The latest version allows users to share, export and import rules between different worksheets or between different data domains. The rules are shared through a central and managed repository as well as through the ability to import or export the rules using flat files. New data remediation capabilities were added allowing users to change the values of a given cell by just double clicking it, add a new column and populate with relevant data values, or add or remove records in a single action.

SAP HANA smart data integration and smart data quality: Included in the latest release of the SAP HANA platform, features important new performance and connectivity functionality to deliver faster, more robust real-time replication, bulk/batch data movement, data virtualization and data quality through one common User Interface.

SAP Data Quality Management microservices: A new cloud-based offering from SAP is available as a beta on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, developer edition. The pay-as-you-go cloud-based service ensures clean data by providing data validation and enrichment for addresses and geocodes within any application or environment.

Philip On is vice president of Product Marketing at SAP



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Startups Help SAP Write Its IoT Story

Innovation is the driving force behind the digital transformation. Established companies need it. Startups can provide it. This simple truth led SAP to launch the SAP IoT Startup Accelerator program in Berlin.

Tanja Rückert at the Franco-German Digital Conference

Rückert addressed over 300 representatives from startups, international companies, and public institutions at the Franco-German Digital Conference

What are the business models of tomorrow? How can established companies create innovative products for the future? These were some of the key questions at the Franco-German Digital Conference, held by Germany’s government, at the end of 2016. Tanja Rückert, executive vice president of LoB Digital Assets and IoT at SAP, was invited to share her thoughts on these questions.

Speaking to Germany’s minister for economic affairs Sigmar Gabriel, France’s finance minister Michel Sapin, and over 300 representatives from startups, international companies, and public institutions, Rückert said: “New business models are less about technology itself and more about how it is challenging the status quo and making the seemingly impossible possible. To benefit, business and politics must be open to innovation. This is not easy, particularly if you are already successful at what you do. Why change a winning formula?”

Building on this theme, the ensuing discussion pinpointed support for startups and the integration of Germany’s and France’s ecosystems as key success factors for innovation. The digital transformation, the audience heard, was not a process that any one country could master on its own; it requires both collaboration at international level and support for partnerships between established companies and fledgling startups. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande, both in attendance, agreed.

Data Space by SAP in Berlin: A Place for IoT Founders

While the politicians debate, SAP is already taking a proactive approach and unveiled its new startup center for IoT founders in Berlin the day before the Digital Conference. From February 2017 onwards, startups selected for the SAP IoT Startup Accelerator program will work at the Data Hub with customers and SAP teams on IoT proofs of concept.

Through this structured program, SAP is providing startups ‒ for the first time ‒ with a space where they can work and meet, and where the goal is to achieve business success for startups, SAP customers, and SAP itself.

Eva Zauke, head of the Accelerator and COO LoB Digital Assets and IoT at SAP, says: “By introducing the SAP IoT Startup Accelerator, we’ve laid the foundations. Now we’re pushing toward implementing innovative and profitable proofs of concept. Startups bring in innovation and – often – first customers too. During the next three months, we’ll be teaming up with our customers and partners to help them scale both the innovation and the client base.”

At the opening ceremony in December, the first innovative IoT startup ideas were presented. Forming the basis from which the new solutions for the connected world of tomorrow will emerge, the ideas ranged from maintenance drones for inaccessible locations through flexible route planning powered by real-time data to augmented reality glasses that help factory personnel work more efficiently.

Marian Pufahl from logistics startup Synfioo explains what makes collaborating with SAP in the SAP IoT Startup Accelerator such an attractive option: “SAP has a huge network and it has access to customers. Add our solution to the mix and you create added value for all our mutual customers.”

What exactly has been achieved by implementing innovative prototypes and business models with Synfioo and other startups will become clear over the next few months. The new startup facilities with their high ceilings, open-plan spaces, and colorful furniture are waiting eagerly for startups, customers, and IoT colleagues from all over the world to start getting creative and connecting the world with their innovative business models.

Rückert has a clear vision for 2017: “The SAP IoT Startup Accelerator provides the means for trying new ideas. Our aim is to draw on innovative IoT technologies to make the seemingly impossible possible.” Excitement is in the air, and there is every chance that we’ll see new IoT proofs of concept emerging from the SAP IoT Startup Accelerator as the year goes on.

For more information on the program, visit http://ift.tt/2jUIyfz.


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SAP S/4HANA: 10 Questions Answered

As they consider switching to the new SAP S/4HANA business suite, many customers are wondering how to make their move and when the right time will arrive.

SAP S/4HANA expert Michael Sokollek is here to provide the answers.

1. Why choose SAP HANA?

The main purpose of SAP HANA lies in executing all kinds of complex queries in the blink of an eye without aggregating (and thus sacrificing) data in advance. The in-memory technology at its core makes it possible to analyze even the largest data volumes in a matter of seconds. To facilitate real-time processing like this, SAP HANA takes advantage of the memory capacity and various caches provided by modern hardware. In fact, the technology has also influenced the development of new generations of CPUs.

This is how SAP HANA tackles virtually every challenge users can throw at it in terms of data availability, consistency, and integrity while meeting all the requirements of Acid3 testing (which determines how well applications conform to the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C).


Additional resources:


2. What are the advantages of an in-memory platform?

In-memory databases make it possible to process even the largest masses of data in short order. This alone is a significant advantage over previous technologies. Meanwhile, in-memory technology also opens the door to further options in developing innovative applications that offer practical business utility, including:

  • Integration of text, images, video, and various other data formats through virtual access (without having to import the data into SAP HANA), real-time transfer, time-dependent integration, or data imports from Hadoop clusters
  • Application development directly on the platform without a separate application server
  • Functions that provide a foundation for further data processing, displaying data on maps based on SAP HANA geospatial engine, for instance.

This enables customers to assemble application scenarios without additional hardware and software while avoiding data redundancy.


Additional resources:

  • A platform for applications from both SAP and other providers
  • Business transformation with SAP HANA
  • IT Simplification with the SAP HANA Platform (brochure)
  • IT Simplification with the SAP HANA Platform (infographic)
  • SAP HANA Customer Impact Map, which offers more than 100 use cases from customer projects involving IT simplification, performance enhancement, and lowering TCO with SAP HANA

3. What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is a real-time ERP suite for digital business. It is based entirely on the in-memory SAP HANA platform, which facilitates a much simpler data model. Thanks to SAP Fiori, users enjoy the kind of personalized, role-based interface they’ve grown used to as consumers and increasingly expect in the business world, as well. Here, SAP S/4HANA avoids integration gaps in order to provide end-to-end process support. This means you no longer have to switch to a business warehouse to generate a report, for example, or complete steps manually outside of your SAP landscape.

While SAP S/4HANA has been built from the ground up, it essentially provides the same functional scope as SAP ERP and is based on that application’s data model, although in radically simplified form. As such, SAP S/4HANA is compatible with conventional SAP ERP systems and doesn’t require a full-scale (greenfield) reimplementation.

With SAP S/4HANA Finance, customers have already been simplifying their financial and accounting activities since 2014. SAP S/4HANA has been available as a standalone product since November 2015, and its latest version (1610) was released in late October 2016. SAP has also plotted out a three-year road map to solidify its plans regarding the suite’s ongoing development (see question 7).

4. Why move to SAP S/4HANA?

As the successor to SAP Business Suite, SAP S/4HANA makes in-memory technology accessible to previous users of SAP ERP. To take advantage of the technical possibilities afforded by the SAP HANA in-memory platform, SAP had to simplify the underlying data model and provide for new interfaces in order to streamline processes and ensure an intuitive user experience. Making adjustments of that scale to an already established application like SAP ERP would be simply impossible.

Meanwhile, SAP S/4HANA leverages not only simple interfaces based on streamlined data structures, but the capabilities of its underlying platform, as well – including full text search. This provides companies with a technical foundation for improving their current processes and defining new ones as a basis for new products, services, and brand-new business models.

SAP S/4HANA makes in-memory technology accessible to SAP ERP users

Technical advancements like these can both radically simplify and enhance existing processes, as the following example illustrates. Whether as a hobby or a profession, anyone who wanted to share their own photos in the 1980s and -90s will likely still recall the complicated process of inserting film, snapping shots, developing them, post-processing negatives, and sending out the printed photos by mail. It was an intricate and time-consuming affair to say the least, and the only way to find out whether the results matched your expectations was to see it all the way through.

Along with the Internet, modern smartphones and their built-in high-resolution cameras have changed all this not only by making the process faster, but also by reducing the entire underlying “infrastructure.” Furthermore, this example shows that speed alone isn’t enough: Unless the foundational architecture is simplified, the corresponding processes will also remain complex and unable to provide an environment in which creative solutions can be developed for the problems at hand.

Put another way, existing ERP solutions – including SAP ERP powered by SAP HANA – represent nothing more than the conventional way to share photos by mail. SAP S/4HANA, on the other hand, offers the chance to do more than just accelerate such functions; based on a new architecture, it provides for sweeping simplification and support for processes that were previously unavailable.

5. How does SAP S/4HANA simplify the previous SAP Business Suite?

SAP S/4HANA simplifies various areas of SAP Business Suite in its existing form.

User interface: Moving from the transactional SAP GUI to the role-based SAP Fiori has reduced the number of screens in the application, the need to switch between them, and the fields essential to each role and process.

To see some examples, check out the following video series:

Eliminating the separation between OLTP and OLAP functions has made complex ERP analyses possible again. These analyses can serve as starting points for transactions, including in material planning: If a given stock KPI falls below a certain threshold, for example, the system will report a shortage, enabling users to act immediately in response.

SAP Fiori supports virtually any device (including computers, tablets, and smartphones) in order to offer end users the same user-friendly interface and functions regardless of their preferred platform. Those familiar with the processes they need can essentially jump right into the software without any training.

Function: SAP follows the “principle of one,” which means that SAP S/4HANA’s ERP system (or an entire SAP system landscape) offers a single solution for a given business requirement. In the past, SAP ERP contained multiple transactions for one particular business process. A number of solutions previously found within SAP ERP, including in e-commerce, have also been replaced by SAP Hybris.

Data model: With SAP S/4HANA, aggregating data in established formats for every posting – that is, compiling information in a summarized form in order to produce more compact data packages – is no longer required. In the past, developers predefined aggregates to achieve more efficient data processing. The drawback in doing so, however, is that such aggregates generally pertain to a specific type of query. As a result, most new queries require a new type of aggregate. Foregoing data aggregation in favor of selecting individual items based on arbitrary criteria gives users a great deal of flexibility in generating analyses. It also enables SAP S/4HANA to attain higher throughput rates (read: more postings), as fewer tables need to be updated and no time is wasted waiting due to database locks.

Landscape: In its ongoing mission to simplify your system landscape, the latest release of SAP S/4HANA (1610) now includes SAP Extended Warehouse Management as an embedded EWM component. Release 1610 also incorporates the production planning (PP) and detailed scheduling (DS) components previously exclusive to SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization. This eliminates the need for the Core Interface (CIF) and reduces data redundancy, which in turn lowers operational and infrastructure costs.

6. What functions are available?

In release 1610, customers who already use SAP S/4HANA can access functions in the same manner and scope as in SAP ERP. SAP S/4HANA also offers an array of new user interfaces and capabilities that enable companies to significantly simplify their processes in various ways. Corresponding use cases for releases 1511 and 1610 describe examples of how to do so from both a technical and area-specific perspective.

The differences between SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP have been documented in this Simplification List. Customer experiences have shown that only around 10 percent of these simplifications will be relevant to a given individual system. Meanwhile, functions that have not yet been overhauled are available in compatibility packs.

New customers can implement SAP S/4HANA based on SAP’s own best practices, which involves additional support through SAP Activate.

7. What future plans are in place for SAP S/4HANA?

New releases of SAP S/4HANA are scheduled to appear every year, with updates arriving on a quarterly basis. Each release will receive maintenance support for five years (until December 31, 2021 in the case of release 1610, for example).

Road maps covering a three-year period are also available for SAP S/4HANA. The current road map for the Q4 2016 edition can be found here (and all other road maps here).

8. What added value does SAP S/4HANA offer, and where can I see proof? Are there any use cases?

In essence, SAP S/4HANA features three main characteristics:

  • A new design that focuses on users and their role-specific needs, can be accessed in-browser on any device, and supports communication among all process participants in a given system
  • A modern architecture based on a simplified data model that makes it possible to map all of your processes in a single system – including those that were previously in place in separate installations
  • An intelligent business approach that actively notifies users when certain parameters exceed or fall short of critical KPIs and offers forecasts based on predictive algorithms

At CeBIT 2016, Wieland Schreiner, executive vice president at SAP, explained how SAP S/4HANA is blazing a trail into the digital future. In a simple product demo (video in German), he illustrates how SAP S/4HANA makes it easier to render better decisions in inventory management.  As a result, you’ll be able to minimize your security stocks and reduce capital tie-up. This is just one of many examples of the innovative potential companies like yours can take advantage of in SAP S/4HANA.

The following whitepapers explain how SAP S/4HANA addresses common pain points specific areas have faced in the conventional SAP Business Suite:

9. How can I switch to SAP S/4HANA?

There are three ways to move to SAP S/4HANA:

  • Fresh installation (greenfield approach): Implementation of a new system in line with processes based on SAP’s best practices, data migration from a previous system (SAP ERP or other), inclusion of select enhancements
  • System conversion (brownfield approach): Transition to SAP S/4HANA in a manner similar to an upgrade or a migration; your configuration, data, and enhancements will remain as they are.
  • Landscape transformation: Consolidation of an existing SAP ERP landscape, installation of a new SAP S/4HANA system, or conversion of an existing system

There are no differences between these approaches in terms of the options that used to be available in switching to previous versions of SAP Business Suite. SAP S/4HANA simplifies the established data model and features SAP Fiori, which provides users with a new, standardized interface on a wide variety of devices. At the same time, SAP also gives its customers the option to move to SAP S/4HANA by means of a system conversion. The data models of SAP ERP ECC and SAP S/4HANA are compatible, and SAP GUI will continue to be supported. The adjustments necessary before and during the transition to SAP S/4HANA are also documented in the Simplification List.

Even after completing a technical feasibility analysis, many customers find themselves wondering what their actual goals are in switching to SAP S/4HANA and whether they can achieve them in a system conversion. Answering these questions requires more than just an estimate of what a conversion would initially cost. It’s also important to assess whether it makes more sense to achieve the objectives at hand – making increased use of standard SAP offerings or improving data quality, for example – in a greenfield approach, or by carrying out a technical system conversion and implementing optimizations either simultaneously or after the fact. This is why the ultimate decision for or against a conversion always has to be made by each individual customer.

The fact that moving to SAP S/4HANA is different from a single self-contained project (like an upgrade or a database migration) is another key factor. An endeavor like this will involve your entire IT system landscape, and not because you’ll be upgrading other systems to newer releases or to a SAP HANA database at the same time. The reason is rather that the transition to SAP S/4HANA will simplify and clean up your IT landscape and all of the processes mapped within it, which requires a holistic perspective.


Additional Resources:


10. What are the actual steps I should take to approach this subject?

Every customer should take a look at the SAP HANA in-memory platform and making SAP S/4HANA the digital core of their company – and time is of the essence. This suite makes it possible to base an organization squarely on digital processes, which serve as an effective foundation for implementing and marketing compelling business scenarios. SAP S/4HANA is thus more than just a successor to SAP Business Suite; it represents an all-new product line.

For that reason, current investments and planned projects should be reviewed in terms of the strategic benefits they offer to a target SAP architecture with SAP S/4HANA at its core. Along with the necessary code adjustments and other technical issues, this should also involve analyzing established processes with an eye toward the performance characteristics of SAP S/4HANA; here, the use cases described under question 8 can provide inspiration.

Read more stories about SAP S/4HANA on the SAP News Center.



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Thứ Sáu, 27 tháng 1, 2017

An SAP Manager in the Meadow

How Machine Learning Enables the Intelligent Enterprise

When Google’s AlphaGo algorithm beat the Go world champion in 2016, it became apparent that machine learning had arrived and would significantly shape the future.

As a new breed of software that is able to learn without being explicitly programmed, machine learning will be able to access and analyze structured as well as unstructured data at a level of complexity that human minds find difficult to grasp. Looking at the quality of today’s voice recognition and image recognition software, as well as at the capabilities of self-driving cars, we can already see how self-learning algorithms may influence our lives.

Computer scientists have been pursuing artificial intelligence since the 1950s. Now, thanks to recent advances in technology, including Big Data processing, increased computing power, and better algorithms, computers have begun to compete with, or even surpass, abilities once considered exclusive to humans. Machines are learning to write, speak, and find meaning in images and video. In the future, intelligent machines will increasingly support humans. We will enter the age of the intelligent enterprise.

Machine learning will benefit businesses in numerous ways. Organizations will be able to accelerate and optimize their business processes. Business leaders will gain greater ability to detect patterns in their operations and in customer interactions that will allow them to identify relevant insights. Machine learning can simplify user interactions with devices, reduce human intervention, and automate repetitive tasks, allowing people more time to focus on work requiring the creativity and complex problem-solving that they do best.

Where Machine Learning Shows Promise

Public attention to machine learning often focuses on consumer applications such as recommendation engines and smart devices. But it also holds great promise for business-to-business uses. In the B2B context, we envision that machine intelligence will be applied first in the following domains:

Intelligent business processes
Many of today’s business processes still run according to rigid rules and depend on human interaction. Often, these processes involve highly repetitive work such as checking invoices and travel expenses for accuracy or going through hundreds of résumés to fill a position. By letting self-learning algorithms find patterns and solutions in data instead of following preprogrammed rules, certain business systems will reach a new level of intelligence and efficiency.

Intelligent infrastructure
Our economy depends on various elements of infrastructure, including energy, logistics, and IT, as well as on services that support society, such as education and healthcare. But we seem to have reached an efficiency plateau in these areas, just as we have done with our business processes. Machine learning has the potential to find better and more flexible rules to run the complex and fast-changing systems that provide the foundation for growth.

Digital assistants and bots
Recent advances in machine-learning technology suggest a future where devices running on self-learning algorithms will operate much more independently than they do now. They may come to their own conclusions within certain parameters, develop context-sensitive behavior, and interact with humans much more directly. Our devices—already able to react to our voices—will become interactive, continuously learning assistants that help us with our daily business routines by scheduling meetings, translating documents, or analyzing text and data.

The Starting Point

Data is the fuel for machine learning. To get their enterprises ready to embrace machine learning, business leaders must embark on a serious effort to eliminate data silos and gain access to data from their ecosystem of suppliers, partners, and customers. Doing so is a key prerequisite for success. Furthermore, organizations need to start identifying the sweet spots for machine-induced improvements, such as highly repetitive work.

In time, machine learning will be like electricity to us—we’ll find it hard to imagine the world without it. It will bring intelligence to business environments, uncovering new market opportunities and enabling humans to focus on work that adds value instead of spending time on tedious, repetitive tasks.

Juegen Mueller is chief innovation officer at SAP.

This story originally appeared on The Digitalist.



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SAP: 2016-os gyorsjelentés

 

Walldorf, Németország , 2017. január 24. – Kiemelkedően pozitív évet zárt tavaly az SAP- közölte gyorsjelentésében a világ vezető üzleti szoftvercége.

Főbb számok

A 84 ezer embert foglalkoztató vállalat 22,1 milliárd eurós összárbevételt ért el, amely 6%-os növekedést jelent 2015-ös adathoz képest. A működési eredmény 5,1 milliárd euróra bővült, ez 20%-os növekménynek felel meg. A felhőszoftverekből származó bevétel 31%-al ugrott meg, 2,99 milliárd euróra. A növekvő felhős előfizetésnek, és támogatásnak köszönhetően a visszatérő árbevétel immár a teljes bevétel 61%-át adja. A profit 18%-ot nőtt, 3,61 milliárd euró összegre.

„Az SAP kiemelkedő 2016-os eredménye a legújabb, a hét évre visszatekintő profitábilis növekedési pályáján. Az üzleti szoftverpiac vezetői vagyunk nemcsak az állandóan erős szoftverértékesítéssel, hanem gyors növekedéssel a felhő alapú számítástechnika és a működési eredmény terén is. Felgyorsítjuk innovációs tevékenységünket a gépi tanulás (machine learning), a dolgok internete (internet of things) és a bloklánc (blockchain) területén”– mondta Bill McDermott, az SAP vezérigazgatója.

Üzleti kilátások

A szoftvergyártó egyúttal megnövelte eredményvárakozását az idei évre is; teljes árbevétel soron 23,2-23,6 milliárd euróval számol. Ez 2020-ra már a 28-29 milliárd euró közötti sávon várható. Akkora 8-8,5 milliárd eurót fog kitenni a felhős előfizetésekből befolyó összeg, amellyel 70-75%-ra ugrik a folyamatosan visszatérő árbevétel nagysága.

 

A részletes adatok elérhetőek itt.

 

 

Az SAP-ról
Az SAP (NYSE:SAP) az üzleti alkalmazások piacvezetőjeként abban segít, hogy a vállalatok jobb működési hatékonyságot érjenek el iparágtól és mérettől függetlenül. Az SAP felruházza az embereket és szervezeteket a hatékonyabb együttműködés képességével- a háttértámogatástól az igazgatótanácsig, a raktártól Ez eladás helyéig, az asztaltól a mobil eszközökig. Az SAP alkalmazásai és szolgáltatásai több mint 345 000 ügyfélnek teszik lehetővé az eredményesebb működést, a folyamatos változást, és a fenntartható növekedést. Bővebb információért kérjük, látogassa meg a www.sap.com oldalt.

Az SAP-ról
Az SAP Hungary Kft. a hazai üzleti informatikai szektor vezető szereplője, melynek megoldásai áthatják a magyar gazdaságot. Ügyfelei között megtalálhatóak a párfős vállalkozástól kezdve a több ezer főt foglalkoztató tőzsdei cégig minden szektor vállalata, ide értve az állami szervezeteket is. A hatékonyabb működést biztosító szoftverek értékesítése, bevezetése mellett, világpiacra is készülő innovatív és komplex termékfejlesztést, és nemzetközi terméktámogatási munkát egyaránt végez az SAP magyar leányvállalata. A jelenleg több mint 900 főt foglalkoztató vállalat többször nyert munkáltatói, és egyéb díjakat, melyek jól példázzák a munkaerő, a fenntarthatóság, a gazdasági fejlődés iránti elkötelezettségét. Bővebb információk a www.sap.hu oldalon.

Copyright © 2017 – SAP SE.

 



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Thứ Năm, 26 tháng 1, 2017

Can High-Tech Farming Help Feed the Planet? Stara’s CEO Says Yes!

Look at a few photographs of Gilson Trennepohl and you start to notice something. Whether he’s making a pilgrimage along the ancient Camino de Santiago trail in Spain or posing in front of a modern farm tractor, there’s a good chance he’s smiling and giving you a thumbs up.

Trennepohl is the CEO of Stara, a Brazilian company that makes seed spreaders, agricultural sprayers, tractors, and a full range of farm equipment.

To say that this guy has a positive attitude would be a bit of an understatement.

Here is a man who clearly loves life, family, and being part of a business that does its best to help to feed the world.

Positiva No Brasil

“The beautiful thing about Stara is that it is a family-owned company born in a small workshop and inspired by a parents’ dream to create a legacy for their children,” Trennepohl says.

But Stara didn’t stay small for long.

What started out in the 1960s as a regional business in the south of Brazil, today exports its machinery to more than 35 countries around the world. In fact, Stara is now growing faster than a field of spring wheat. Trennepohl believes much of the company’s spectacular growth is rooted in its use of technology.

Stara’s agricultural machinery incorporates some very high-tech componentry. This includes GPS-guided automatic steering and internet-connected telemetry systems that can provide farmers real-time information such as planting and spraying rates, overlap percentages, and color-coded application maps.

“There is a lot of talk about the internet of things,” says Trennepohl, “but we are actually making it happen out in the fields every day.”

That’s good, because according to a publication from The Economist, between now and 2050 the planet’s population is likely to rise from the present 7.3 billion to 9.7 billion. The authors believe that if agriculture is to continue to feed the world, it needs to become more like manufacturing with its increasing use of newer technologies.

Manufacturers like Stara perhaps.

Precision Agriculture, Precision Business Operations

Information technology plays an important role in Stara’s own business operations.

In-memory computing supported by the SAP HANA platform and cloud solutions from SAP SuccessFactors, for example, are helping the company run with greater speed, agility, and immediacy.

Stara has been able to reduce inventory and rev up its material requirements planning. The company has also strengthened integration between itself, equipment retailers, and the farmers who put the machines to work.

“I think it’s the dream of every entrepreneur to be able to track their business in real time,” Trennepohl says. “We can now track and monitor a machine anywhere in the world as it moves from our factory floor to the farm field.”

In addition, greater access to information enables Stara’s 2,000 employees – which now include fourth-generation members of the founding family – to build their individual careers. Trennepohl explains that Stara is implementing a new HR and training portal that he believes will let both the company and its employees “to continue growing together.”

A Beautiful Goal Too

Agriculture is extremely important in Brazil, and the country produces hundreds of millions of tons of crops such as coffee, soybeans, wheat, corn, and sugarcane each year for both export and domestic use. And southern Brazil, where Stara is headquartered, is considered home to the country’s more advanced farming technology.

Trennepohl is justifiably proud of the industry and the manufacturing companies that support it.

“Farmers are heroes; they feed the world,” he says. “Farming may be one of the most beautiful professions in the world.”

You come to expect such upbeat remarks from Trennepohl, and the CEO’s sentiments are genuine.

“My goals are simple,” says Trennepohl. “I just want to make modern farm machinery that improves productivity and helps generate more food to feed the planet.”

Here’s a thumbs-up right back at you, Gilson.

Please follow me on Twitter @JohnGWard3.

You can hear more from Gilson Trennepohl in this SAP video where he describes how his company is using SAP solutions to support Stara’s goal to Run Live.

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



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Let Kids Control Robots and See the Skills Gap Shrink

According to reports by the World Economic Forum (WEF), there are 218 million unemployed people who have been left out of the growth economy, and a further 295 million young people who are neither employed nor being educated. What do these people do all day?

A human rights activist named Mohamed Ali tells the story of two young men in Somalia who left their villages to find work in Mogadishu. They were living in a war-torn shantytown, waiting for a break. The first was lured by an ideological opportunity and became a car bomber, killing himself and others; the second started planting flowers around the city. He now has a thriving landscaping business and runs workshops to teach entrepreneurial skills. “Entrepreneurship,” he says, “is the most powerful tool to help young people create their own economic opportunities.”

The Race Between Man and Machine

The vast majority of people want to work. It brings purpose to their lives. But the world of work is in turmoil. Each phase of the industrial revolution, from the first steam powered mechanical manufacturing facilities to today’s cyber-physical systems, has caused massive disruption in the workforce. As certain skills and professions became obsolete, others evolved to replace them. However, mechanization and digitization have reached new heights, and machines and computers can now do the tasks that teachers and salespeople and just about everyone else did in the past.

Our deepest fears seem to be materializing: will we even need a human workforce in the future? Rest assured; we will. According to the statistics in the WEF report, by 2020 there will be a global surplus of 90 million low-skilled workers and a shortfall of 85 million skilled workers.

Karolina Telejko is a political scientist who participated in one of SAP’s recent Code Week events. This initiative tackles the digital skills gap by teaching kids job-relevant coding skills. In 2016, the program reached 470,000 young people in Africa alone; other code weeks took place in Europe and the Middle East.

Describing her experience, Karolina writes that “at the beginning of each coding workshop, when asked who is more intelligent, humans or computers, many children answer ‘computers’. But as they start writing their first commands for a robot to cross the room, it suddenly dawns on them that they are now in charge of the machine, and they can instruct it to do exactly what they want.”

Just like the Somali entrepreneur helps people discover economic opportunities, coding helps youngsters understand that they can be in control of their destinies – if they have the right skills.

Skills for the Future

“In the future, any kind of job is going to have a digital component,” says Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. “It doesn’t mean everyone’s got to be a computer scientist.”

Consider the top three skills companies will be looking for in 2020, as identified by the WEF Future of Jobs report: complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. In fact, since 2015, two new skills have made it to the list of what will be the ten most sought after skills in three years’ time: emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility.

This means people will be hired for their skills and not their credentials, but these traits are hard to acquire in today’s traditional educational systems. New ways of learning are necessary. In fact, thanks to the fast pace of change, staying up to speed will require a continuous learning mindset.

Antony Gatuke, a graduate of the SAP Skills for Africa program, says, “In high school, I thought the key to business was accounting, so that’s what I studied. Later I found out that businesses run on enterprise management systems, and if I wanted to enter that world, I would need a whole new skill set.” Today Antony works as consultant for Indra on SAP implementations. “The program completely changed my life,” he says.

Education, Gender, and Work

To achieve a sustainable workforce for the long term, we must close that gap between the surplus of unskilled workers and the shortfall of skilled ones. Besides fostering an entrepreneurial culture, we must take an unbiased approach to hiring and training people to be productive in the digital economy.

Women, for example, are being targeted by private and public stakeholders as key contributors to the digital economy. Thanks to numerous gender equality initiatives around the world, it is not uncommon today to encounter a fashion model who is also a computer programmer or an inventor who grew up tinkering with radios and TVs instead of playing with Barbie dolls.

When SAP recently became the first tech company to receive the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certification, CEO Bill McDermott commented that this marks a major milestone in SAP’s ongoing efforts to eliminate bias in the workplace.  Another one of those efforts is the Business Beyond Bias program which helps leaders make unbiased hiring decisions using functionality to reduce discrimination during the recruiting process.

With efforts like these, SAP, and many like-minded companies, are helping diverse populations and communities around the world gain access to the digital economy in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Together, we can surely move the needle.

Follow me on Twitter @magyarj

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



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SAP Opens Industrial 3D Printing Early Access Program to More Customers

WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the opening of the early access program for the SAP Distributed Manufacturing application to new customers as part of its joint collaboration with UPS (NYSE: UPS).

The move bolsters SAP’s effort to make 3D printing and on-demand manufacturing an integral part of the digital manufacturing landscape.

The SAP Distributed Manufacturing early access program intends to provide discrete manufacturers, industrial 3D printing companies and service providers, materials providers, postal companies and global logistics networks with standard and scalable business processes for digitizing, approving, certifying and manufacturing digital parts in an end-to-end digital manufacturing process. The program is part of the SAP Leonardo IoT portfolio.

“At Moog we are both suppliers and consumers of additive manufacturing as a service,” said Gonzalo Rey, chief technology officer, Moog Inc. “Our collaboration with SAP is accelerating the development of the tools necessary to find the best candidates for 3D printing. As a service, these tools can help accelerate the adoption process for everyone.”

Beyond Prototyping

SAP is currently working with 28 co-innovation companies in the program, and is expanding the initiative to offer more organizations the ability to test and approve 3D printing before the anticipated general availability of the new application from SAP planned for later this year. Participating companies can explore opportunities to drive innovation by rethinking product design, optimizing manufacturing and logistics processes, and creating new business models. They can “right size” their inventory for slow-moving parts while meeting time-sensitive customer needs, take advantage of opportunities to easily produce unique custom goods, and improve production consistency with high-quality, low-cost certified parts.

“This SAP program is a perfect fit for us,” said Nikolai Zaepernick, senior vice president, EOS Central Europe. “It provides an ideal collaboration platform to merge supply and demand for the industrial 3D printing technology we offer. As a leader in this field, EOS contributes a wealth of deep and long-standing technology experience. The platform, on the other hand, enables us to integrate our technology into existing supply chains and production environments on the way to becoming an established way of manufacturing.”

To learn more about the next phase of the early access program and how to register for participation, interested companies can visit here.

SAP + UPS: Connecting the Shop Floor to the Front Door

This collaboration brings together two of the industry’s most trusted brands to advance 3D printing with digital supply chain solutions from SAP and the additive industrial manufacturing and logistics network of UPS. To advance awareness of the transformative potential of distributed manufacturing, SAP and UPS recently engaged industry leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos to examine how 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and emerging technologies in manufacturing and logistics will transform markets, policies and world trade networks. Replays of the session and interviews with panelists are available here.

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

Media Contacts:

Jim Dever, SAP, +1 (610) 662-1341, james.dever@sap.com, ET
Kathrin Eiermann, SAP, +49 6227 78-51527, simone.kathrin.eiermann@sap.com, CET
Kyle Tildsley, PAN Communications, +1 (617) 502-4300, sapsc@pancomm.com, ET

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2017 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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New Digital Banking Solution from SAP Simplifies IT and Fosters Co-Innovation for the Bank of Tomorrow

WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the latest release of SAP Omnichannel Banking, a digital banking solution that went live on December 23, 2016.

The offering simplifies the process of managing mobile and online applications for retail, small business and commercial banking customers on a single platform built on open standards. With more than 500 available microservices, the new digital banking solution helps banks build responsive mobile, tablet and desktop apps with a unique, digital customer experience.

SAP Omnichannel Banking complements the solutions for customer engagement and commerce in the SAP Hybris portfolio to form a comprehensive offering for banks to manage all aspects of customer interaction. Planned application programming interface (API) integration between these components will provide customers a seamless experience across multiple touchpoints. Together, SAP Omnichannel Banking and the SAP Hybris solution portfolio will enable banks to deploy intelligent digital sales and service processes, creating personalized customer interaction across all channels and helping banks get a 360-degree view of their customers.

The modular architecture of SAP Omnichannel Banking enables banks to roll out new products and services in an incremental fashion, without disrupting existing functionality. The solution can be deployed on premise or in the cloud and also addresses the need for faster time to market as well as an increasing frequency of updates. By providing an extensive library of customization accelerators and a single call-out for over 200 configuration services, the solution can substantially reduce the effort involved in developing bank-specific extensions. In addition, SAP Omnichannel Banking provides state-of-the-art tooling in the form of Eclipse plug-ins, a widely used integrated development environment (IDE) for developing microservices. This vastly increases development productivity and allows a growing ecosystem of established partners and FinTechs to further enrich SAP’s offering.

“For banks, maintaining multiple platforms requires multiple work streams, separate maintenance schedules and a slow, complex approach to updates,” said Falk Rieker, global head of the banking business unit at SAP. “With SAP Omnichannel Banking and SAP Hybris solutions, we are providing a holistic offering to manage all types of digital customer engagement – mobile and online, and across multiple lines of business. This is nothing short of a game changer, one that empowers banks to differentiate from each other and allows them to provide a tailored, digital customer experience.”

The latest release of SAP Omnichannel Banking provides:

  • Comprehensive business logic and robust self-service features that power out-of-the-box applications for retail and commercial banking
  • Components to centralize critical, operational tasks by providing frameworks for security, entitlements, approvals, alerting, channel management, scheduling, distributed caching, notifications, validations, customer insight aggregation, digital process framework, user administration, and channel and device management
  • Open architecture that supports third-party business services and partner integration with the goal of creating collaborative scenarios and accelerating innovation
  • Fully responsive SAPUI5, removing all restrictions on the technology used for UI development
  • Optional integration with SAP’s core banking solution

A recent IDC study commissioned by SAP found that banks want to collaborate with FinTech startups; however, the complexity of the IT architectures within banks makes that collaboration cumbersome. The API framework built into SAP Omnichannel Banking streamlines this process. Banks now are flexible enough to take an active role in the ecosystem, partner with FinTech companies and engage with established partners and industry leaders.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center or follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews. To learn more about SAP Omnichannel Banking, visit http://ift.tt/1mImQd9.

Media Contacts:

Birgit Dolny, SAP, +49 (6227) 7-61664, birgit.dolny@sap.com, CET
Jill Fisk, FleishmanHillard, +1 (617) 692-0529, jill.fisk@fleishman.com, ET

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2017 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 Tư, 25 tháng 1, 2017

Top Three Research Firms Name SAP SuccessFactors a Leader in Cloud HR

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that SAP SuccessFactors* has been recognized as a leader in human capital management (HCM) research published in 2016 by Forrester, Gartner and IDC.

SAP SuccessFactors believes its position as a leader in the eight reports is based on its commitment to continuous innovation across the entire suite of cloud-based HCM solutions, providing HR teams with workforce technology that sparks people’s passions and empowers organizations to embrace opportunities in real time.

“The expectations continue to grow around having tools in the workplace that are easy to use, mobile, support collaboration and are just plain cool,” said Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors. “We are focused on meeting those expectations for over 45 million people at more than 6,000 organizations around the globe today. We’re constantly reimagining how to delight these users, while also ensuring that we are a leading provider of solutions that help simplify processes, improve the employee experience and allow people to deliver results.”

Forrester Research Inc.’s “The Forrester Wave™: Learning and Performance Management, Q4 2016”[1] report recognizes SAP SuccessFactors as a leader based on its current offering, strategy and market presence. The Forrester Wave evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the top cloud-based learning and performance management offerings from HR software vendors.

The report said: “SAP SuccessFactors is a long-time worldwide leader in performance management. SuccessFactors provides customers with a market-leading, well-integrated performance and learning offering. The Open Content Network enables users to easily access content developed for both consumer and corporate learning. SuccessFactors is looking to the future of performance as continuous with its continuous performance management (CPM) tool … Products support mobile throughout, including offline mobile access, a search capability that enables the users to find formal and informal content they need, and products with a user interface that is intuitive and adaptive. Customers are very satisfied with product integration and product flexibility.”

Gartner, Inc.’s “Critical Capabilities for Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) Suites for Midmarket and Large Enterprises”[2] October 2016 report gave SAP SuccessFactors the highest score for two use cases out of four — Core HR + Talent HCM Suite, Larger Global Org (>5k), and European HQ’d Midmarket HCM Suite (1k–5k). This was Gartner’s first Critical Capabilities report for cloud HCM suites, and vendors were evaluated based on the following Critical Capabilities: Core HR/Benefits Admin, Payroll Admin, Workforce Management, Prehire Talent Management, Posthire Talent Management, Reporting Tools/WFA/WFP, Technology/UX, Overall Product Satisfaction and Overall Vendor-Customer Relationship (VCR) Satisfaction.

Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Cloud HCM Suites for Midmarket and Large Enterprises”[3] June 2016 report also named SAP SuccessFactors a leader based on completeness of vision and ability to execute.

International Data Corporation’s “IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Integrated Talent Management 2016 Vendor Assessment”[4] recognized SAP SuccessFactors as a leader based on its cited strengths of robust research and development, market momentum, depth of portfolio, vendor viability and global reach. SAP SuccessFactors was also named a leader in the IDC MarketScapes for Recruiting, Learning Management, Performance Management and Compensation Management.

The report said: “SAP SuccessFactors continues to innovate across the talent portfolio to ensure all modules remain relevant and in step with the latest trends and technologies. SuccessFactors has made many updates to learning management and continues to deploy SAP Jam throughout its talent solution to up social utility. The user experience has been unified across all modules with the adoption of the SAP Fiori framework. On the services side, SAP SuccessFactors has dramatically grown the cloud support team.”

To learn more about SAP’s leadership in cloud-based human capital management, download the reports here.

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

Media Contact:

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

Gartner Disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
*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.
1] Forrester, “The Forrester Wave™: Learning and Performance Management, Q4 2016” by Claire Schooley, Christopher Andrews, Joseph Miller, Ian McPherson, December 2016.
2] Gartner, “Critical Capabilities for Cloud HCM Suites for Midmarket and Large Enterprises” by Ron Hanscome, Chris Pang, Jeff Freyermuth, Helen Poitevin, Sam Grinter, Melanie Lougee, October 2016.
3] Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Cloud HCM Suites for Midmarket and Large Enterprises” by Ron Hanscome, Chris Pang, Jeff Freyermuth, Helen Poitevin, Melanie Lougee, Sam Grinter, June 2016.
4] IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Integrated Talent Management 2016 Vendor Assessment, #US40644116, May 2016.
IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Recruiting in Integrated Talent Management 2016 Vendor Assessment, #US40644516, May 2016.
IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Learning Management in Integrated Talent Management 2016 Vendor Assessment, #US40644216, May 2016.
IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Performance Management in Integrated Talent Management 2016 Vendor Assessment, #US40644416, May 2016.
IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Compensation Management in Integrated Talent Management 2016 Vendor Assessment, #US40644016, May 2016.



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