Thứ Sáu, 31 tháng 3, 2017

How SAP Social Sabbatical Can Turn Your Job Upside Down

According to SAP employee Gerda Slagter, “Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone to discover new strengths.”

With 16 years of work experience, Gerda was thrilled to have the chance to participate in the SAP Social Sabbatical program for global engagement in Colombia. What could she expect in Bogotá? Gerda’s “customer” was the Fundacion Proyectar Sin Fronteras (PSF), a non-profit organization that offers financial and social support to disadvantaged people, and helps them become self-sufficient. The ideal client for an HR expert, thought Gerda. But what she didn’t know was that the CSR program would turn her professional life upside down.


SAP Social Sabbatical
The SAP Social Sabbatical Program offers short-term volunteering assignments at non-profit organizations. In mixed expert teams, colleagues spend several weeks solving concrete strategic challenges at charitable organizations and social enterprises which focus on closing the digital divide. There are global, regional and local programs of the SAP Social Sabbatical as well as an Executive Social Sabbatical. Since 2012, SAP volunteers supported more than 180 organizations in 22 countries. Learn more here.


When she arrived in Bogotá, Gerda was quickly confronted with the acute problems facing PSF; a basic business model was essential to make the business profitable. This presented a conflict: How could she best contribute to a project predominantly focused on financial and logistical planning?

Following intense conversations with the employees, Gerda realized that the organization was also lacking an HR strategy, so she worked on appropriate onboarding measures, a sound performance management system, and retention of employees. Working closely on site with the individuals responsible, Gerda could identify the missing pieces of the puzzle, and also further expand the initial scope of the project.

“Within SAP’s HR department, I predominantly supported internal customers. When working with PSF, I realized that I could easily transfer my knowledge to assist external customers, too,” Gerda explained.

New Territory Abroad and Back Home

Non-profit PSF provides socially disadvantaged people with seeds and teaches them to grow food on their own even if they live in urban areas.

“I learned that I’m capable of achieving a lot more than I thought,” said Gerda, proud of her efforts. And she realized that her strengths don’t just stop at PSF; she also found out that she even has what it takes to explore new territory at SAP.

After returning home to the Netherlands, Gerda told her colleagues about her experiences on the SAP Social Sabbatical. During one of these conversations, she was asked whether she could imagine taking on a job outside HR, with a strong customer focus.

“The question whether I should leave my job in HR caused a few sleepless nights,” Gerda admits. In the end, she decided to take a position as Customer Engagement Executive at SAP SuccessFactors.

Gerda: “Working at PSF boosted my self-confidence so much that I really felt ready to take on this new role.”


Management Support of the SAP Social Sabbatical Program
Ricardo Cruz, ‎head of Partner Services Delivery for Latin America is a record holder. He has actively supported around one-third of his team to participate in the SAP Social Sabbatical Program. “If a colleague wishes to take part in a sabbatical, this means we have to manage without her or him for four weeks. But the benefits are overwhelming,” says Ricardo. He knows that involvement in the program can have a major impact on professional development. To date, five employees from his team have participated in the program. One of them has progressed to management level, and another advanced her position from a regional to global level. When asked if he has seen changes in his team members, Ricardo hardly gave it a second thought: “When colleagues return from their projects, they are beaming with self-confidence” They have also been more focused and worked more effectively. “As a manager, I also recognize how the program brings out the participants’ leadership qualities. For me and my team, this is an incredibly valuable asset.”


Changing Plans? No Problem!

Gerda is not the only employee to feel empowered after a social sabbatical. Software developer Shruthi Prakash Shetty also discovered new sides of herself during her social sabbatical in Shanghai. Participating in the program gave her a motivation boost enabling her to pursue new directions upon her return, she says.

Shruthi (third from right) went to Shanghai for four weeks to support the sustainable fashion label NuoMi.

Back at SAP, Shruthi discovered new fields of responsibility. “Since returning to SAP, the organization and management have been very supportive.” Following her social sabbatical, Shruthi assumed global responsibility for driving development operations, strategic programs and processes in her product area SAP Business ByDesign. Shortly after, she and her family had to relocate from India to the U.S. – a huge step, and a major opportunity for Shruthi. In Shanghai, she was able to expand both her skills set and her network. “When the time came for me to transition from one country to another, I could really fall back on this network and leverage their influence,” Shruthi explains. In addition to a change of location, she also had the opportunity for a career change.

“During the social sabbatical, you can take on a whole host of different tasks, and gain insights in virtually every area of the business,” Shruthi explains.

“Something that had a profound influence on me was the value of listening to the customer. In doing so, I discovered the importance of looking at the bigger picture and finding new ways in which I could personally support NuoMi, a social enterprise which focuses on sustainable fashion. This is what first prompted me to consider moving into my new customer-oriented role,” says Shruthi, who is now working as a Customer Engagement Expert for SAP Cloud products.

In response to the question if her participation in the program prompted her to take up her new position in the U.S., Shruthi replied that this wasn’t quite the case. “However, my participation in the SAP Social Sabbatical Program better prepared me for change.”



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Profiling Diversity & Inclusion at SAP: Billie Lynn Ross

In 2011, internal news of an acquisition by SAP incited a unique anxiety for one Ariba employee. At 40, Billie Lynn Ross was already in the midst of a life-altering plan.

Then ‘Bill,’ she was undergoing a pharmaceutically-induced puberty to become the person she’d known she was since the age of four – a woman. That plan included openly doing so in her familiar, much-loved workplace, and new ownership brought new fields of uncertainty.

Those fields, however, would yield some unexpected support and lay a path for this Palo Alto-based production operations engineer to “move forward, less scared and less apprehensive.” While that path would lead to a better, much happier future for herself, Billie’s journey would see her and SAP come together to blaze a trail for future transgender employees and transgender children.

This is Billie’s experience living diversity and inclusion.

What about the acquisition made you anxious?

Ariba was a wonderful place to work. The people and management were caring and nurturing. My first daughter was born while I worked here and management made sure I took all the time off I was entitled to and then some. [Billie Lynn has three children, a 21-year-old son, and two daughters, 10 and 8 with her former partner, their mother.] I was coming up with plans to transition in the workplace I knew so well, and where I was among people I was very comfortable with. The news of SAP was a wrench in the gears.The uncertainty of what this new company was like was a huge question mark.

What did those plans look like now that you’re working at SAP?

I discovered the ‘Homosapiens Group’ (the forerunner to Pride@SAP), attended my first monthly meeting, and decided the group would be a good place to ‘out’ myself as transitioning, which I did, quietly at that first meeting and only to two people who put me in touch with three other transgendered colleagues. They directed me to SAP’s Transitioning Transgender Guidelines document. It was a huge Hail Mary. I remember thinking: I have a way to move forward, less scared and less apprehensive. Eventually I would be asked to attend my first-ever conference, Out & Equal (2014), as one of five delegates from SAP. [In 2015 Billie was a speaker on one of the conference’s highest-rated panels: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Transitioning in the Workplace and the Importance of the Workplace Ally.]

Did you have open support at work during your transition at SAP?

The path I chose from the transition guidelines document led me to spend six or more months prepping all of my co-workers, one-on-one, to tell them about the changes I was undertaking. (“On some date I’ll be leaving and coming back a few days later as myself,” I’d tell them.) By the time I was ready, everyone was well prepared. And it’s a good thing because it was almost an overnight transformation. I left work on a Wednesday as ‘Bill’ and Friday morning returned as ‘Billie,’ in a dress, heels and tights, no longer hiding the feminine curves and features. There were many people who very pleasantly surprised by the

You were a key part of the conversation on SAP’s new wide-ranging transgender benefits. How did that come about? Proactively or reactively?

A bit of both, really. Attending Out & Equal  got me thinking about where I wanted to go, the support I’d need, and really looking at the benefits available to me. Some benefits, like gender reassignment surgery coverage, are offered by law. But others, like facial and vocal feminization surgery, aren’t. Yes, they are cosmetic; yes, they are comparatively minor surgeries – but their impact is public and profound.

Billie Lynn, before (l) and after facial feminization surgery.

Kaiser, the health insurance provider, was not offering an end-to-end transition plan in accordance with the internationally recognized and accepted standards for transgender health set forth by WPATH.  Those gaps in coverage – like facial feminization surgery – can mean the difference between a productive member of society and a homeless person. While I was talking – pushing – Kaiser, I was talking with HR about things like how drugs that suppress puberty in transgender kids can help them avoid painful surgeries later. That’s how we got to where we are today.

By sharing experiences, you provided an education that allowed SAP to do the work to enhance the benefits program. Is educator a role you’re comfortable with? Does it have a place in your life outside of SAP?

I’ve always been a ‘teacher,’ of sorts, and take the opportunity to educate whenever I can, and make things better if I can. I am very open about everything I’ve gone through. But being transgender and knowing it for so long, I’ve always avoided being in the spotlight, and chose to avoid those situations. Once I started transitioning, however, I remember thinking: I’m already being stared at, let’s do some good with it.

Outside of work, I joined an online medical support group for women and was given the opportunity to provide some insight into what my lived experience in this group as a transgender woman meant. At first I did it privately, but realized the only way for them to be comfortable with me was to bare all. How better to make women feel comfortable than to be vulnerable and open as one of them? So many women have the image of a man in a dress, and that stereotype is incredibly damaging.

Has there been a role model (in life or career) in light of your diversity?

For transitioning, no. The people I looked to were family and friends, those I trusted. They sought me out when I finally told them I was transitioning. One friend, who also happens to be a former IBM executive, gave me the best piece of advice that stemmed from her corporate career experience. Initially my plan was to transition physically as far as I could, leave Ariba and start somewhere else as a woman; a ‘fresh’ start, if you will. The trouble is, a ‘fresh’ person has no experience. My friend said “Don’t do it. You’ll be committing career suicide.” Her sound advice was to transition at work, then if it doesn’t work out, leave and take all of my experience with me.

Looking back on the transition process, is there anything you would change?

I’m glad I transitioned openly in the workplace. Within months people said to me: You’re so different than you were. By that I think they meant I’m surer of myself, assertive, calm, and even relaxed. I was a bit of a hot-head before and didn’t deal with stress well. I also wasn’t my ‘real’ self either. What they are seeing now is just me; I’m no longer hiding.

Up until you transitioned, did your identity ever play a role in looking/applying for work or being hired?

Yes and no. I have not applied for a job since 2006 (when I started with Ariba). Thinking back to my original plan of transitioning to a point then leaving, it meant I started to consider employers who had an accepting culture. Apple was a good example, which is something I learned from people who were transgender and work there. But prior to 2006, no; I was ‘Bill.’

What would you want readers to know about transitioning, and doing so at SAP?

What most people don’t realize is I’m not the only one transitioning. So are my kids, my partner, my family, friends and colleagues. We are all adjusting and learning and coping. As for doing so at SAP? First, if you’re considering it, don’t be afraid. My experience has been a good one. I know this too because I’ve spoken with people who have done it at other companies. SAP has our back.

Additional Resources



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SMEs May Want to Set Their Sights Higher for Digital Transformation

If there are two distinct advantages of running a small and midsize company, it’s size and simplicity. When compared to their much-larger rivals, smaller firms have the innate ability to fully adopt technology investments quickly while staying laser-focused on specific improvements that will determine implementation success. And for the most part, this mindset has served them well.

According to the IDC InfoBrief “The Next Steps in Digital Transformation: How Small and Midsize Companies Are Applying Technology to Meet Key Business Goals,” sponsored by SAP, 73% to 87% of surveyed small and midsize companies indicated that their expectations regarding technology investments were met or exceeded. But what really caught my eye is the revelation that firms are more interested in achieving immediate needs and quick results:

  • 47.6% focus investment on the greatest need
  • 35.3% choose technology that is easy or quick to implement
  • 27.9% are driven by customer or partner demands

While simple technology implementations and near-term results can generate strong results, it is possible to be too focused.

Are Firms’ Technology Expectations Strategic Enough?

In all my years of working with firms around the globe, I commonly hear boardroom executives ask how to improve competitive advantage:

  • “Which changes will lower operational costs?”
  • “How can we increase revenue?”
  • “What innovations can boost productivity so we can reach and serve more customers?”
  • Although everyone’s intentions are good, clear, and precise, these questions and many more give executives a very narrow view of their technology investment.

Imagine that you are running a logistics company. For this industry, the focus is on the number of trucks available because a bigger fleet means more revenue that pays dividends over the long term. Anything not related to that specific figure or to the cost of maintaining fleet operations is rarely considered. So this firm may miss out on opportunities to reduce costs in other functional areas, serve customers in a new way, or become more competitive in the digital economy.

The same is the case for every small and midsize company. The financial and resource constraints that they face every day don’t allow them to invest in full technology suites – of which only a small percentage of the total functionality is used. Instead, firms tend to invest in targeted solutions that address specific functions and needs.

Whether the key performance indicator is increased foot traffic in stores, more transactions on an e-commerce site, or improved revenue growth and cash flow, point solutions have become great enablers of achieving business goals. However, at the same time, these technologies may not be as flexible in meeting new customer requirements or shifting economic environments.

A Simple Tip for Seeing the Forest Beyond the Trees

The key to delivering on the specific promises of technology while watching out for unforeseen risks is maintaining deep expertise and a strong connection with the business. Failure often happens when there’s a departure from accepted norms, including a merger or acquisition, economic instability, or leadership changes. Handling such events requires a level of know-how and expertise that most firms do not possess in-house.

Looking back at the research, it’s encouraging to see that 41% of firms are learning from past implementations and using those experiences to better plan the deployment of future investments. And more specifically, 27% are realizing the value of involving third-party services more often.

By embracing lessons learned and third-party services, firms can develop flexible strategies, technologies, and processes that open them up to insights and changes that could address internal and external shifts as they happen. Third parties help small and midsize companies not only make the most of innovations based on unique objectives, but also avoid common mistakes, build awareness of potential risks and opportunities, and adopt best practices.

To learn how small and midsize companies are digitally transforming themselves to advance their future success, check out the IDC InfoBrief “The Next Steps in Digital Transformation: How Small and Midsize Companies Are Applying Technology to Meet Key Business Goals,” sponsored by SAP. Be sure to check every Tuesday for new installments to our blog series “Road to Digital Transformation.”

Rodolpho Cardenuto is president of Global Channel and General Business at SAP.

This story originally appeared on the Digitalist.



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Millennials at SAP: #zeitgeist

Do millennials have a life after work or is work their life? Young SAP employees like Jameka appreciate having flexible work schedules, working from anywhere and freed from their desks.

What impact does the trend of work-life integration have on private and professional life? Being available 24/7 and taking work home is a personal decision but, wellness and well-being shouldn’t come up short.

 



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Thứ Năm, 30 tháng 3, 2017

In the Era of Artificial Intelligence, STEM Is Not Enough

Amazon’s Alexa is now your personal butler at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. Self-learning software developed by Google defeated the world’s best player of the highly complex Chinese strategy game Go. IBM’s Watson saved the life of a woman in Japan by correctly diagnosing her with a rare form of cancer that doctors missed.

How can we prepare the next generation of students to compete?

We are rapidly approaching an inflection point in human history where artificial intelligence will exceed human intelligence, and debates about humans vs. machines have become part of our common vernacular.

How can we prepare our next generation of students to compete?

One positive step being taken in our K-12 schools is a growing emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education. Clearly, a more comprehensive approach to STEM will help our students fill jobs that require these 21st century skills.

But STEM education is not enough. Geoffrey Colvin, in his book Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will, argues that it is right brain skills like creativity, imagination, collaboration, holistic thinking and emotional intelligence that are the greatest source of competitive advantage for humans vs. machines.

For Colvin, we must play to our strengths and cultivate the uniquely human capabilities of our youth in concert with STEM education.

“As technology takes over more of our work while simultaneously changing us and the way we relate to one another, the people who master the human abilities that are fading all around us will be the most valuable people in our world,” he says.

Teaching entrepreneurship at the middle and high school levels, supported by a network of business coaches and mentors, has proven to be among the most effective ways to develop right brain skills in our youth.  The process of building and presenting a business plan tied to a personal passion allows students to stretch their minds in ways that traditional education misses.  Unfortunately, too few of our students have access to this kind of training.

But with the right training, anything is possible for our young people.  For this reason, I am thrilled by today’s announcement that SAP and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) are joining forces to offer an integrated app development + entrepreneurship curriculum to under-resourced students in the U.S. through a program called Start-Up Tech. This is a small part of a broader effort needed to ignite an entrepreneurial mindset within our next generation so they can thrive in the era of artificial intelligence.

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



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Why Companies of the Future Need Purpose

“Purpose” is the new star in the economic cosmos. But what impact will this new orientation have on workers and on software development?

Just imagine it: the fifth day of your work week entirely at your disposal. You could start working on the project that you’d always dreamed of. You could get involved in social initiatives while drawing on support and resources from your employer. Or perhaps you’d like to spend time with friends and family, or simply be all by yourself.

It sounds too good to be true, right? Not at IXDS. The Berlin-based design and innovation agency believes in a 32-hour week, total employee flexibility, and a company organization free from hierarchies. And it’s proven to be quite a success. For more than 10 years, IXDS has been working with its customers – including startups and DAX companies – on future scenarios, innovative products, and novel services.

 

Nancy Birkhölzer, CEO at IXDS, recently participated in the first SAP Research Round Table hosted in the Data Space in Berlin, alongside other representatives from industry, academia, politics, and associations. The panel discussed how digitalization is shaping the social, economic and ecological framework, and how this could impact people, companies, and the world of work. The panel also discussed what software providers like SAP have to do to not only meet the challenges of this dynamic environment, but to actively shape it.

With these challenges in mind, the organizational team under Norbert Koppenhagen, head of Research at the SAP Innovation Center Network, selected the new location, in which SAP collaborates with startups, and maintains its network in Berlin thanks to a fresh event and design concept. The array of topics was as vibrant as the participants present. Discussions included the new leadership culture, alternative organizational forms, people-centered service systems, solopreneurship, as well as purpose activation in companies. But why purpose activation? At the end of the day, companies all have one purpose: to generate revenue, right?

Click to enlarge

No Place for Empty Words Without Actions

For Markus Heinen, chief innovation officer at EY and keynote speaker at the round table, it’s certainly not all about revenue. In the future, companies which are aware of their social impact will make all the difference: “Companies need to follow a purpose. Purpose is an aspirational reason for being that is grounded in humanity and inspires action,” he explains.

At first sight, it may sound rather philosophical, and have little to do with economic success. Yet social responsibility and having a credible brand promise have become key differentiating factors for companies. Thanks to Big Data, real-time reporting, and digital discussion platforms, people are constantly connected and up-to-date.

“There is no place for empty words without actions. Companies without a purpose will fail to keep pace. Only when all performance factors are rigorously targeted towards that purpose is the concept able to bring genuine added value,” affirms Markus.

But what does this all mean for employees? At IXDS, for instance, company success is measured by how the results contribute to the company’s purpose. For each project, the team decides on a project purpose, which is both derived from the overall purpose and specified for the project-related deliverables. How the employees wish to achieve this is left up to them. And the same for how long they wish to work on it.

“We don’t assess our employees based on the number of hours they work. We also don’t pay them based on their position. Everyone assumes a role in the project based on where they think they can make the best contribution. For that reason, we like to assess colleagues based on their impact, their value contribution,” Birkhölzer explains.

Dedication to the Future of Work

This example shows how it is increasingly important for companies to identify and manage non-monetary assets, such as knowledge, innovativeness, teamwork, and value-oriented conduct. Today, these factors account for 80% of a company’s value. Enterprise software must therefore be able to map not just financial metrics, but also intangible assets. It is precisely these issues that Günter Pecht-Seibert and his team from SAP Innovation Center Network are looking to focus on – in the new “Future of Work” focus area.

Günter explains his team’s ambitions as follows: “We want to develop cloud-based solutions that improve employee engagement and well-being, increase companies’ brand value, and accelerate genuine knowledge work. As a first step, we plan to help companies activate their purpose. Our long-term goal is to support companies who have not yet ventured this far, and help them transform into a purpose-led organization.”

The first two solutions are planned to be launched in 2017 with Knowledge Workspace and People Insights. A complete software suite will follow later.

The same applies for the next research round table session. The event was well received by all participants, and triggered many constructive talks. The result of the round table was the identification of promising research topics that the Research & Innovation Team from the SAP Innovation Center Network would like to tackle, and refine in additional workshops. The overarching goal: to help the world run better and improve people’s lives – yes, SAP has also defined its purpose.


Five Things to Know about the Future of Work

The experts who participated at the round table discussed many interesting topics. Here are the five key takeaways:

1. Companies should dedicate themselves to a purpose that can be globally integrated in the company, and pursued consistently.
2. The health and wellbeing of employees is the way forward to a company’s success. Recognizing, measuring, and managing these factors is a key challenge for companies.
3. Employees must have the opportunity for lifelong learning, which corresponds to their interests, and is useful, orchestrated logically, and independent from their current employer.
4. In the future, organizational structures will be less based on hierarchies, but rather on decentralized networks, which push beyond company boundaries, and create added value.
5. This means that companies will need software tools that can be adapted as required. The applications of the future will enable flexible problem solving, make collective knowledge accessible in organizations, and allow companies to combine data from various internal and external systems.


Günter explains his team’s ambitions as follows: “We want to develop cloud-based solutions that improve employee engagement and well-being, increase companies’ brand value, and accelerate genuine knowledge work. As a first step, we plan to help companies activate their purpose. Our long-term goal is to support companies who have not yet ventured this far, and help them transform into a purpose-led organization.”

The first two solutions are planned to be launched in 2017 with Knowledge Workspace and People Insights. A complete software suite will follow later.

The same applies for the next research round table session. The event was well received by all participants, and triggered many constructive talks. The result of the round table was the identification of promising research topics that the Research & Innovation Team from the SAP Innovation Center Network would like to tackle, and refine in additional workshops. The overarching goal: to help the world run better and improve people’s lives – yes, SAP has also defined its purpose.



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Engaging Employees through Wellness Programs

The hard truth is that the typical worker is overwhelmed and rounding closely on the edge of burnout. We also known that productivity — the average output of work per hour by an employee — is stalling.

To top this off just 13 percent of employees worldwide report that they are engaged, while 24 percent report being actively disengaged. And according to Gallup, “employee engagement has barely budged in well over a decade.”

What is going on? What can be done? Perhaps the answer is found within.

Wellness and employee care must become a top of mind issue. A focus on personal wellness is not just a feel-good HR issue, this is a business issue. This may well even be a crisis. But instilling a culture of health and employee caring is no easy task. Rethinking the way we measure value and align wellness to organizational culture and business priorities is critical.

When it comes to health and wellness, effective work-life balance is the best prevention employers can offer

Wellness programs have often been an afterthought. They have not been viewed as strategic imperatives and historically have been plagued with issues of under-utilization and limited return. At times they have even had the unintentional effect of creating mistrust within organizations, especially those tackling issues like weight loss and kicking smoking habits.

The fact is that times are changing and so are the ways in which organizations can, do, and should commit to employees wellness in terms of employee care. We will see a sharp focus return here, and Bersin’s 2017 prediction report places the topic of human performance and wellness at No. 5 in their list of the top 11 predictions we will see affecting HR and talent in 2017.

Wellness has ebbed and flowed as a key topic in HR for years and value was often sold by showing hard dollar returns on lower healthcare costs. Certainly this goal remains critical but there are more pieces to the puzzle to help measure the success of a well-executed and thoughtful wellness program. From the impact on engagement, employer brand and loyalty, harmony and happiness, productive and potential, there are so many value levers.

As HR professionals we know that the pathway to success in adoption and utilization of these programs can be found in integrating wellness into our overall people strategies, and more critically to tie the ‘intangible and squishy,’ solidly to business results.

Employee wellness should take into account the entire employee experience not just the physical and mental but also the social, financial and community factors. This is how we demonstrate employee care.

Employee wellness should take into account the entire employee experience

An effective work-life balance is the best prevention that employers can offer its employees in terms of health and wellness. A demanding job and a fulfilling private life are by no means a contradiction in terms. Companies who get this right put an emphasis on helping employees find a balance, so pressure, speed, or exhausting routines do not begin to endanger our health. With the right life management, employees can strengthen not only their resources, but also defend themselves against the stress that creeps into our lives. The key to success is integrating multiple approaches for employees to balance work with their personal lives. Companies that lead in this effort ensure that a clear philosophy is applied through flexible working, time off, generous health and wellness programs, employee on-site and other services, and sustainable work environments.

We are seeing a clear shift over time to a much more comprehensive list of options and experiences that can meet the employee across all the factors of wellness. Here are just a few ways companies can meet the growing demand for high quality and relevant wellness interventions, it is often about innovating on existing concepts.

Flexible working hours gives employees the benefit of arranging their working time around personal circumstances. Well-implemented flexible work guidelines can lead to increased employee commitment, engagement, productivity, and therefore profitability. Within my organization we ensure our employees can achieve a work-life integration that enables them to perform at their best. We have also seen benefits to flex working show up in our ability to attract and retain talent, support the success of global teams, and strengthen employee and manager trust.

Socially good opportunities give employees the opportunity to find meaning and balance by doing work they love and for a much greater good. One example at SAP, there is the SAP Social Sabbatical program, a unique, four-week assignment for key talents who work in highly diverse, international teams to solve business challenges for the entrepreneurial sector in emerging markets, while strengthening their leadership competencies, cross industry sector know-how and intercultural sensitivity.

Maternity and paternity benefits that go above and beyond the standard to take care of employees who are raising a family. Many employers are supporting employees with a paid leave benefit, but additional employee care can be found in expanding benefits to provide unique and needed support in the areas of adoption assistance, return to work transition programs, and support for fertility treatments to name a few.

Employee-focused health and wellness programs to meet the challenges of today’s employee. Beyond group health, dental benefits plans, and vision care benefits, employers can up level and add more specific options. For example, we know that unfortunately many of us will be affected by cancer at some point in our lives. At SAP employees who have been diagnosed with a solid tumor cancer can access a special oncology program that provides access to innovative testing and information that translates the language of genes into actionable data. This information is helping physicians make better, safer cancer treatment decisions. Another example can be found in companies, like SAP, who are now offering transgender benefits that cover gender reassignment surgery. These benefits also include employee access to medically necessary, gender-confirming health care. SAP provides services such as behavioral health and counseling, non-surgical gender affirmation treatment, and surgical gender conforming treatment.

Financial wellness continues to get traction, we know that financial stress can have a negative effect on peoples’ attitudes and health. Instituting events that can increase education and awards such as a Financial Wellness Weeks where organizations can promote sound financial well-being, highlight the available tools, services and educational resources to nourish financial wellness can be quick wins to create a more compelling and holistic approach to employee care and wellbeing. Other examples here include a growing number of organizations offer support for student loan repayment, this is especially popular as a benefit for recruiting talent.

Mindfulness programs to help employees stay focused on the essentials even when they’re stressed. By supporting employees in their emotional intelligence organizations are building healthy mental habits for sustained high performance and wellbeing. Companies are using scientific evidence and mindfulness training from programs like Search Inside Yourself that build the core emotional intelligence skills needed for effective leadership. At SAP, our program focuses on five key areas of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and leadership skills

Personal development is a rising focus area, supporting employees in the development of their skills will improve performance and support sense of purpose. Many organizations have tuition reimbursement programs today, but may not be seeing this as an opportunity for wellness. By creating tuition programs that are more broad and flexible than traditional approaches we can help employees with the financial burden of continuing professional development when education needs go beyond the formal and informal learning and development courses. Supporting employees in their personal development goals inside and outside the walls of the office.

The opportunity to harness employee wellness as a competitive advantage is within reach. There are so many options today that can go into a compelling wellness program, and it’s important to remember:

  • Think quality not quantity: Deliver the things that matter to the employee so you can secure adoption and gain credibility.
  • Think broadly: Outside of the box thinking about the multiple factors of wellness will provide a strong base to embed wellness throughout the organization and across HR priorities.
  • Think innovatively: Focus on bringing offerings that matter to today’s workforce, and use technology to help them see the impact of their participation, while also supporting your business case for wellness.

Bianca McCann is vice president of HR, Cloud HR Expert Network



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Thứ Tư, 29 tháng 3, 2017

SAP Makes Top Workplaces Lists in Philadelphia and Atlanta

If you happen to visit the SAP offices in Newtown Square, PA, or Atlanta, GA, you may find employees are walking with a spring in their steps, their smiles a bit brighter.

Each location has been recognized by Workplace Dynamics as a great place to work in Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Both rankings are based solely on survey feedback provided by SAP employees – a grassroots confirmation that gives these awards an undeniable significance.

Rachel Barger, regional vice president of sales in the Southeast region, said, “We have a fantastic culture…being together, working hard, striving for the best outcomes for our customers and doing what we can for SAP.”

Her enthusiasm is echoed by Dave Spencer, managing director of the U.S. East region who offered the award is “testament to the amazing people and the excitement we have here.”

Top Workplaces bestowed additional and special recognition on SAP that delves deeper into the company’s culture.

In Philadelphia, the Clued-in Senior Management award reflects the sentiment that leaders at SAP lead from within their team as much as they do from the front. “Most senior managers respect the input and opinions of others. There are few ivory towers here,” is how one employee put it.

In Atlanta, SAP received an Ethics award, recognizing the company’s exemplary service to our customers and employees.

Learn More



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The New School of Transformation

If you want to be a doctor, you go to medical school. But where do you go if you want to get the skills and knowledge needed to drive change in a digital world?

The best place is Hyper Island – the “Harvard of digital” and, according to CNN, one of the most interesting learning spaces in the world if you want to keep up with innovation.

Communicating the Whole Story

Customers that attended the recent SAP Select in São, Paulo, Brazil got the very best.

“We chose Hyper Island because, until now, the SAP Select events were very IT driven,” says Ricardo Kazuo, Chief Marketing Officer, SAP Brazil.  “Now, after listening to customers, the team in Brazil decided to make the event more business driven. We want to strengthen SAP’s reputation with leaders in the various lines of business at key enterprises. This effort will help prepare the ground at the customer, get the LoB heads to ‘open their minds’ and be more receptive toward SAP’s end-to-end solutions.  It makes it much easier to have discussions about holistic transformation across the entire business.”

SAP is helping customers move from a legacy mindset to a digital mindset

At the event, 250 C-level executives from 120 key accounts mingled with SAP CEO Bill McDermott and other digital experts to learn about new ways of thinking in the digital era.

The main mission is to help customers move from a legacy mindset to a digital mindset. To achieve this, SAP is starting to communicate with the companies in a holistic way instead of approaching the different lines of business in the enterprise individually. This will help all players to view themselves as travelers on a long-term journey that requires a proactive, collaborative, and open-minded approach.

Learning from the Pros

“Technology is ready now to support consumer needs,” says Cristina Palmaka, president of SAP Brazil. “The world is divided into companies that adapt and transform, and others that don’t. Our mission is to unleash the potential in our customers!”

Early adopters were on hand to share their stories of digital change.

Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre explained how SAP helps simplify information about 27 bank accounts in 26 countries, 16,000 suppliers, 4,000 employees and 12 million tickets sold each year. SAP is enabling digital transformation in all functions – procurement, HR, finance, marketing, logistics, sales, and distribution – to move its business forward.

Jonathan Ridgwell, Global Supplier Services Operations Director at JP Morgan Chase, described how the company uses the SAP Ariba Supplier Network to create a simple, seamless procurement process. Now they are able to find more goods at better prices and still stay within contractual terms, thereby creating better supplier relationships.

Guilherme Machado Rabello, Marketing Intelligence Head at INCOR, Brazil’s top cardiac institution and one of the world’s top five for heart transplants, revealed how doctors and hospital administrators teamed up with SAP Labs Latin America: “We needed a platform that would integrate and display data on one big dashboard where all medical staff have one view of all patient data. With the right signals in our hands we can get early indicators of a heart attack 6 hours before it happens. This is a lifesaving application!”

Ricardo Kazuo is convinced that true transformation is something that goes beyond products and services: “It starts with empathy and a creative mindset and requires a new way of communicating with customers and employees. In this digital era, innovation comes from everywhere. It’s a multi-directional, fluid process for exchanging ideas between HQ and local market units. This new paradigm fosters business agility. Let’s learn and empower the team.”



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SAP Cloud Platform: New Year, New Name

As 2017 kicks into high gear, I want to focus attention on SAP Cloud Platform (formerly known as SAP HANA Cloud Platform), which was officially rebranded last month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Having “HANA” in the platform offering’s name posited a necessity to run the SAP HANA database service when adopting SAP Cloud Platform, which is not the case. Although SAP HANA can be leveraged when using SAP Cloud Platform, it is by no means the only service that companies adopt when deploying this PaaS offering from SAP.

So to avoid any confusion going forward, SAP decided to remove the “HANA” from SAP Cloud Platform. The platform’s emphasis is as an enterprise cloud platform that covers for a wide range of use cases to help organizations navigate their digital transformation journey.

Originally introduced three years ago, SAP Cloud Platform has evolved to become the digital enterprise platform of choice for thousands of companies thanks to its breadth of capabilities that connect smart devices and machines with people and processes.

As a refresher to readers, SAP Cloud Platform is an open PaaS that provides an in-memory database and services for creating and customizing enterprise applications on-premises or on the cloud. Using SAP Cloud Platform, users can quickly build, extend, and integrate modern, mobile-enabled apps new applications to meet critical business needs.

SAP Cloud Platform has evolved into the digital enterprise platform of choice

To help customers and folks new to SAP better understand how, why, and when to adopt SAP Cloud Platform, we are launching a blog series that will continue through the remainder of 2017.

This post officially kicks off the series, which will offer a consistent learning path to better understand the powerful and innovative capabilities of SAP Cloud Platform. Topics covered will include the role of SAP Cloud Platform in your digital transformation journey, IoT use cases, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), HR initiatives, and much more. Each post will also contain a ‘Did You Know’ section to provide interesting tidbits of information about SAP Cloud Platform.

Stay tuned for the next article focusing on the role SAP Cloud Platform plays in your journey to digital transformation.

Dan Kearnan is senior director of Marketing for Cloud Solutions at SAP.



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Regional Views on Digital Transformation Find Common Ground

Mercedes-AMG Drives Performance with SAP SuccessFactors Solutions

WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that Mercedes-AMG has selected SAP SuccessFactors human capital management (HCM) solutions to help drive the company’s digital HR transformation and optimize talent management.

Mercedes-AMG, the world-renowned sports car and performance brand of Mercedes-Benz, chose SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help centralize its global HR processes, streamline HR service delivery and, most important, attract top talent.

Reinhard Breyer, CIO at Mercedes-AMG, said: “As a global leader in the automotive industry, attracting and retaining the best talent is essential to developing some of the most attractive and innovative sports cars and performance vehicles in the market.”

Jürgen Kress, director of HR at Mercedes-AMG, added: “With the rapid pace of change today, our employees are the heart of our business and are critical to delivering state-of-the-art technological developments. Partnering with the leading provider of cloud-based HCM solutions has been an important step in ensuring our workforce remains happy and engaged, and with SAP SuccessFactors solutions, we are better equipped to remain a global employer of choice.”

Mercedes-AMG selected the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting, SAP SuccessFactors Learning and SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solutions to help consolidate its HR systems, improve the recruiting and performance management processes, and provide leading development programs. With these tools, Mercedes-AMG expects to standardize its HR processes and improve the employee experience by ensuring workers have access to easy-to-use, harmonized solutions.

“As the fight for top talent continues to intensify, businesses require technology to help them find and then retain the best people,” said Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors.* “Cloud-based HCM solutions deliver today’s expected employee experience. We’re delighted to take this journey with Mercedes-AMG to support its commitment to stay at the forefront of innovation within a highly specialized industry, which starts with its people.”

Mercedes-AMG is one of the latest companies to select SAP SuccessFactors solutions to put people first and help them succeed. As more companies look to transform HR to meet the demands of an increasingly global and digital workforce, they are embracing leading SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help unify and optimize HR processes, while also fostering a mobile, cloud-first philosophy.

For more information, visit the SAP SuccessFactors website and 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

*SAP SuccessFactors is a 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.
© 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 SAP Contest Asks Small Business Owners: What’s Your Digital Dream for Your Business?

WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the Dream Digital contest that will give small business owners around the United States the chance to win SAP technology plus a $500 reward to help realize their digital dreams and transform their business; it runs until May 1, 2017.

Winners will be announced on May 5, 2017 — the last day of National Small Business Week — and they can win a prize* worth a total of $4,320. To enter, small businesses must submit a short video or essay online, detailing their digital dream for their business.

Winners will receive a gift card to be used toward the digital purchase of a bundle of insights from the SAP Digital Consumer Insight data service, which uses customer location data to improve marketing and sales activities; a one-year subscription to SAP Digital CRM, a simplified cloud CRM solution for individuals and small teams, but with enterprise-grade capabilities for sales, customer service and simple marketing campaign automation; and a one-year subscription to WorkConnect by SAP, a new recruiting solution from SAP announced today that helps remove the stress of hiring with easy job postings and candidate management — all in one web application.

“Small businesses have an incredible economic and social impact on the U.S. economy,” said Madhur Aggarwal, general manager, SAP Digital Commerce. “This contest is an opportunity to celebrate these businesses and help make their jobs a little easier through digital technology. The SAP offerings they can win provide insights for making better business decisions and simplify customer engagement and the hiring process. They are tools to fuel business success.”

WorkConnect by SAP is the newest addition to the SAP Digital portfolio, and the Dream Digital contest marks its debut in the U.S. market. It enables small-business users to reach dozens of job boards, track and manage candidates, and easily collaborate on team feedback. Users can post a job once and it automatically reaches multiple boards, saving hiring managers significant time. It’s an easy-to-use, cloud-based application with no training required, simple onboarding and an even easier purchase process. Access a free 30-day trial version or buy it digitally online at SAP Store. Available initially in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France, SAP plans to expand it into other markets soon.

The submission process for the Dream Digital contest opens today and runs until April 23, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. During that time, small businesses can submit the aforementioned video or essay via this website, provided that they meet the predefined criteria. Public voting will commence on April 17, 2017, and end before midnight EDT on May 1, 2017. Votes can be cast on the Dream Digital contest website. For each vote or social share using the hashtag #DreamDigital, SAP will donate $1 to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE),** a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring young people from low-income communities to stay in school and recognize business opportunities. Winners will be notified on May 5, 2017.

To learn more about the contest, visit http://ift.tt/2oanyGQ. For more information about SAP, visit the SAP News Center or follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

Media Contacts:

Amanda Mountain, SAP, +1 (315) 878-2290, amanda.mountain@sap.com, ET
Jill Tornifoglio, FleishmanHillard, +1 (617) 692-0529, jill.tornifoglio@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.
*The winner will receive a gift card valued at $4,320, which equals the cost of a 5-pack of insights from SAP Digital Consumer Insight (valued at $1,390), a 1-year subscription for 50 users and 5 active job postings for WorkConnect by SAP (valued at $1,050), a 1-year subscription for 5 users of SAP Digital CRM (valued at $1,380) and a remainder of over $500 to support the winner’s digital dream.
**SAP will make a maximum donation of $20,000 to NFTE.



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Siemens and SAP to Offer Meter Data Management for New Utility Business Models

LISBON — Siemens and SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) have signed a global reseller agreement through which SAP will globally resell Siemens’ market-leading meter data management solution, EnergyIP.


  • Agreement will combine SAP for Utilities solutions with Siemens’ meter data management solutions


This cooperative effort is intended to address multiple digital end-to-end business scenarios for energy and utility clients worldwide. The solution will be available directly from SAP, simplifying purchase and support processes for customers. It will be marketed under the name SAP Meter Data Management by Siemens and is expected to be generally available during the second quarter of 2017. As part of the agreement, SAP and Siemens also plan to further align development road maps in an effort to provide the foundation for next-generation business models supporting all future energy market players.

Emerging business models focus on delivering reliable and efficient power, while transitioning to an increasingly distributed energy landscape. SAP and Siemens plan to help utility customers integrate real-time processing of Big Data generated by millions of connected meters and sensors to provide better insight and control for all energy producers and consumers – from the large-scale power plant to small micro grids.

“Siemens and SAP have long-standing relationships with utilities and municipalities. Our smart grid application platform, EnergyIP, combined with SAP for Utilities solutions will reach nearly half of all power utilities in the world and will bring our customers a high level of intelligence and insight to make data not only valuable but actionable in today’s information-driven world,” said Thomas Zimmermann, CEO of the Siemens Digital Grid Business Unit. “End-to-end digital business scenarios will be the key drivers to really change today’s energy system.”

“SAP views today’s announcement as a unique opportunity for our customers to leverage the know-how and the solutions of the two market leaders SAP and Siemens for IT/OT integration,” said Henry Bailey, global vice president of the SAP Utilities Business Unit. “Real-time access to device and meter data combined with customer and commercial data will help provide utilities with a comprehensive view of their customers and technical devices. We anticipate that this will change the landscape in which utilities will operate in the future.”

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2016, which ended on September 30, 2016, Siemens generated revenue of €79.6 billion and net income of €5.6 billion. At the end of September 2016, the company had around 351,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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

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 e-mail 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)

Contact for journalists:

Siemens AG | Annie Satow, phone: +1 (202) 316-0219, annie.seiple@siemens.com
SAP SE | Jason Loesche, phone: +1 (484) 437 0015, j.loesche@sap.com
SAP News Center press room; press@sap.com

This press release and a press picture is available at http://ift.tt/2nKUHYW
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 Ba, 28 tháng 3, 2017

SAP and Hyper Island: The New School of Transformation

SAP and Hyper Island are re-framing the digital revolution for people and networks.

A partnership born in Brazil is helping organizations achieve the flexibility and empathetic mindset needed for thriving in a non-linear world.



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SAP Data Quality Management, Microservices for Location Data, Now Generally Available

SAP Data Quality Management, microservices for location data, allows developers to embed data cleansing and enrichment services within any business process or application to HTTPS/JSON-based services running on SAP Cloud Platform.

Developers can now simply integrate these services into their own applications to provide address cleansing/validation, geocoding, and reverse geocoding capabilities.

In June 2016, SAP released a beta version of the SAP Data Quality Management, microservices for location data offering on SAP Cloud Platform, developer edition. This offering is now generally available (GA) to customers.

Details of the three services provided in the initial release include:

  • Address Cleansing:
    • Verify address per postal authority reference data as correct
    • Standardize the way the address looks and is structured
    • Correct components of an address if incorrect
    • Enhance an address with missing attributes
    • Assign diagnostic codes which describe why incorrect or what was corrected
  • Geocoding: Append latitude and longitude given an address
  • Reverse Geocoding: Provide address(es) given a latitude and longitude

These services integrate easily into any application. However, SAP is developing pre-built integrations of these services in other applications, which will provide a simple way to consume this functionality.

Learn more about this offering via these additional resources:

Integration with SAP Business Suite and SAP S/4HANA

SAP’s out-of-the-box integration provides address cleansing/validation and geocoding at the point of data entry. This allows users to ensure that all data coming into their systems have clean and valid address information. The integration also supports enriching entities with geocodes as well.

This integration currently works with:

This integration will be provided through an ABAP add-on component referred to as SAP Data Quality Management, version for SAP (DQM4SAP). This add-on has been around for a long time and has historically provided this sort of integration leveraging on-premsie solutions SAP Data Services and SAP HANA, smart data quality.

More information about the SP09 release:

Integration with SAP Data Services

SAP Data Services 4.2 SP08 now provides a new transformation integrating with the SAP Data Quality Management, microservices. Data Services customers can now quickly and easily setup address cleansing, geocoding, and reverse geocoding using the microservices vs. using the built-in capabilities which require additional licensing of reference data and management of that reference data on-premise.

SAP Data Services customers could also set up hybrid scenarios to use the on-premise reference data to process countries where there are large volumes of data and to send other countries to the microservice to better manage overall cost.

More information about the integration with SAP Data Services is available on the SAP Community Wiki.



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How to Find the Perfect Balance for Your Live Business at SAPPHIRE NOW

Technology upgrades are a good way to prepare for the digital economy, but they’re only half the battle. Organizations truly become digital enterprises when they can balance their cool new upgrades with their needs for stability, agility and speed — not to mention crisis management.

That’s what Life is Good did, achieving 100 percent on-time fill rate; cutting online turnaround time by 80 percent; and reducing warehouse inventory downtime to zero. The Boston-based clothing manufacturer relies on SAP technology to run its Live Business, selling merchandise through more than 4,500 retail outlets in more than 30 countries.

Running a Live Business requires that organizations balance their digital technology with their needs for stability, agility and speed, as well as crisis management.

“The most measurable goals that SAP Apparel & Footwear solution has provided us is the KPI metrics in our distribution center to best plan everything from all our resource needs — including payroll,” Life is Good VP of Supply Chain Courtney O’Keefe said in an SAP video. “It’s to the minutiae level.”

SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference in May is the place to hear from digital transformation veterans, including Life is Good co-founders Bert and John Jacobs during their guest keynote address. And the showfloor’s Data, Analytics and Cloud Platform Campus is the place for IT managers and technology leaders to learn about the technology platforms that power SAP solutions.

Live Business Science Theater 3000

The Live Business Theater will be a massive venue on the showfloor — holding up to 500 people, and second in capacity only to the main keynote hall. SAP board members and other prominent customer and partner speakers will lead the keynotes in the Live Business Theater, which will dovetail with content from the main keynote that precede them each day.

Sessions are meant to cover SAP’s top 20 topics, which include analytics, machine learning and database and database management. Look for some of SAP’s top speakers too.

For example, head of SAP HANA Cloud Platform business unit Björn Goerke’s keynote will cover SAP Cloud Platform, especially how users can build enterprise-ready cloud apps — or customize existing apps — to respond quickly to business needs, discover new revenue opportunities and better engage employees. And SAP Chief Design Officer Sam Yen’s keynote will discuss user experience (UX), particularly how design elements (such as problem-finding, user focus and mindset) encourage innovation.

Chairman of the Digital Boardroom

Attendees will also get to experience this year’s updated setup of SAP Digital Boardroom. New elements and capabilities will further showcase how this technology transforms boardroom and steering meetings — previously saturated with paper reports and PowerPoint presentations — into real-time digital enterprise experiences, pulling data from SAP S/4HANA, as well as SAP and third-party software.

The SAP Digital Boardroom VR Experience is a mobile-enabled 360-degree demonstration of the SAP Digital Boardroom, which turns static, one-way presentations into interactive discussions based on real-time information.

C-level executives are at a severe disadvantage if they still rely on legacy-style meetings — those one-way discussions based on batch-processed data and assorted reporting solutions. Insights from SAP Digital Boardroom can dramatically enhance an organization’s agility, turning presentations into interactive discussions based on real-time information.

The campus will be even more interactive and immersive, thanks to the SAP Digital Boardroom VR Experience. This mobile-enabled 360-degree demonstration is available for both Android and iOS.

Upgrade Your Workspace

Beyond the world of keynotes and scheduled meetings are unforeseen incidents, such as supply chain disruptions and demand deviation. The Knowledge Workspace Touchscreen will demonstrate how users can achieve future success by preparing to manage such critical events. Knowledge Workspace capabilities include:

  • Breaking data silos by providing access to business data across all system boundaries via one central interface
  • Providing tools to interact with business data on an open canvas (g., lists, tables, charts and maps)
  • Enabling true live collaboration and decision making by sharing workspaces, notes, to-dos, polls, decisions and actions in one system

Users can resolve issues their own way, immediately assembling the right people and information — and enhancing problem-solving capabilities with technology from the SAP Innovation Center Network. They can save, retrieve and adjust real scenarios in an interactive, collaborative tool for real-time analysis and decision-making.

Find Your Balance

A big part of running a Live Business is striking a good balance between having the right software and employing it effectively. Helping SAP users find that balance is why SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference happens every year.

Life is Good co-founder John Jacobs described how the Boston-based clothing manufacturer uses SAP technology to help strike a balance between for-profit and non-profit activities, which helps realize the company’s mission “to spread the power of optimism.”

Life is Good found its balance, which is clear when watching the company live out its mission “to spread the power of optimism.”

“We do that through our nonprofit: helping kids overcome violence, poverty and illness,” Life is Good co-founder John Jacobs said in an SAP video. “And on the for-profit side, we distribute a wide variety of products to people who live the ‘do what you like, like what you do’ lifestyle.”

Click here to register for SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference, which runs May 16 to 18 in Orlando.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher



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Research: 3 Ways To Fight Back Against Hyperconnectivity Overload

Despite the hoopla about always-on, social connectivity, too many workers are falling victim to collaborative overload. Results from a global survey of over 4,000 executives and employees found most companies lack the management skills, organizational culture, and technology to make collaboration pay off at scale.

Conducted by Oxford Economics, the SAP SuccessFactors-sponsored study found a direct correlation between an elite group of respondents from high-performing companies – called “Digital Winners” − and organizational practices and results. Oxford Economics also incorporated the research data into a benchmarking survey companies can use to compare their performance with “Digital Winners.” These companies are distinguished by how they manage three aspects of the business: leadership, diversity and technology.

Study shows effective collaboration isn’t a guaranteed outcome of the hyper-connected workplace

Collaboration Starts at the Top

Employees of Digital Winners said management was more proficient in facilitating collaboration inside the organization (62 percent, vs. 47 percent of others). What’s more, the most satisfied workers from this survey rated their organization’s collaboration capabilities higher ─ leaders at their organizations were more responsive to requests on meaningful decisions, providing more feedback, and discouraging complexity and bureaucracy, and were better at fostering internal partnerships.

Source: Oxford Economics Leaders 2020 study 2016. The next-generation executive: Getting collaboration right. Image via SAP; click for full size.

Looking ahead, just 24 percent of executives and 20 percent of employees said their organization considered collaboration a top capability for a manager of the future. Additionally, they rated related behaviors low, including openness to new ideas from others and approachability. While Digital Winners already report stronger collaboration skills among management compared to peers, they were also more likely to be actively building this skill set among managers over the next three years (74 percent vs. 53 percent of others).

Transparency, Diversity Build Collaborative Culture

Executives from Digital Winners were more likely to say decisions were transparent to those affected by them (58 percent) and distributed across the organization (62 percent), and employees at these companies tended to agree.

Diversity also looms large in creating a collaborative culture. This goes beyond scorekeeping employee demographics. Organizations have to foster respect and communication allowing people to work well together. Surveyed Digital Winners were likelier to report increases in diversity among the general workforce and mid-level leadership—and were more likely to report a positive impact on both culture (66 percent, vs. 47 percent of others) and financial performance (37 percent vs. 29 percent).

Using Technology Effectively

Despite the proliferation of social networking and other digital tools, most companies lack the technology to foster effective collaboration. This may be because they tend to prioritize process improvement, innovation, data analytics, and the customer experience over initiatives like collaboration, real-time decision-making, and communication. However, Digital Winners were more likely to use collaboration platforms to determine employee wants and needs (60 percent vs. 40 percent of others).

Source: Oxford Economics Leaders 2020 study 2016: The next-generation executive: Getting collaboration right

Source: Oxford Economics Leaders 2020 study 2016. The next-generation executive: Getting collaboration right. Image via SAP; click for full size.

The Collaborative Way Forward

This study shows that effective collaboration isn’t a guaranteed outcome of the hyper-connected workplace. Collaboration has to be woven into processes, workflows, and the organizational culture. Leadership has to make partnerships and teamwork important corporate values, empowering mid-management appropriately.  Workers need not only the technology, but the ability to take full advantage of it for information sharing and innovation. Companies have to figure out how to manage diverse, global workforces so they can bring fresh perspectives to hard problems, for better overall market performance.

Follow me @smgaler



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Thứ Hai, 27 tháng 3, 2017

Disruption Is the New Normal. Is Your Company Ready?

The SAP Hybris LIVE: Digital Summit 2017 was all about disruption. The event itself disrupted both space and time by moving seamlessly from Singapore to Munich to New York and proving a live global experience accessible to audiences in every time zone.

During the New York segment, a panel of business leaders from a diverse set of industries took the stage to discuss Disruption and Change – The New Normal.

To get the conversation rolling, moderator John Gurski, Senior VP and General Manager, SAP Hybris asked the panel to describe the biggest disruptors facing them today.

Julie Collins, global head of digital at Alcon, said the speed of change and high expectations coming from customers and patients are key disruptors for them. Alcon has to provide solutions and information faster and more efficiently than ever before.

According to, Asif Beg, director and digital enterprise architect at Mars Global Services, CPG companies are facing disruption from increased online shopping and new players invading the space. He said, as in-store shopping diminishes, CPG companies need to find the next avenue to consumers. In addition, they need to prepare for tough new competition coming from outside the industry, like from IT and software companies that become manufactures.

Jennifer Buko, director of financial services, governance, and insights at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, said her company is trying to be a disruptor and pacesetter in an industry going through major upheaval. The physical world of print media is turning digital and the advent of new services is changing the business model. Her company needs to be able to offer a complete package of products and services to its customers.

Cloud computing and elevated user experience expectations are disruptors for Sealed Air Corporation. Naveen Kandasami, global IT director, business partnership and CRM strategy at the company, said they have to spin up new IT environments very quickly to maintain business agility. The business side is coming up with creative new use cases that push the envelope in the IT department and they expect the solutions to be clean and sexy. He said consumer apps like Uber and Air B-n-B have already set the expectation in terms of user experience and his IT team has to bridge that gap quickly.

Professional sports are also facing disruption. Neda Tabatabaie, vice president, business intelligence at the San Jose Sharks said sports consumption habits have changed drastically. Five years ago people watched sports very differently both in the stadium and at home. She said the digital and mobile revolution has really impacted the industry and they have to make sure they provide a unique and engaging experience for fans inside and outside the arena.

Carlos Amesquita, CIO at The Hershey Company said that changes in the way people eat and shop are disrupting his business. People no longer sit down to eat three meals a day. They snack throughout the day and care more about what they put in their bodies, which means greater transparency around ingredients is expected. And as brick and mortar retail declines, so does impulse buying in checkout lines. He said whoever solves that problem will win.

So what are these companies doing about the disruptions they face? Common focus areas were better data and analytics, deeper customer engagement, and increased business speed and agility.

Amesquita said Hershey’s former CEO characterized it as a knowledge company that happens to make chocolate. Knowing your consumers, what they want and when and where they want it, is very important. The key is turning excessive amounts of data into useful information and insight.

Beg said, to tackle CPG market disruption, Mars has to find where the consumer is in their buying journey and meet their needs.  They can no longer just rely on strong brand awareness and traditional marketing and sales channels to sell products. They have to become an influential content marketing and social media company as well.

Collins said Alcon is focused on speed to market.  Customers can’t react and give feedback on products sitting behind the walls of the company. They work to get viable products into the hands of customers quickly, then iterate to make the products better. She said done is better than perfect in a competitive market.

Tabatabaie said it all comes down to data. In sports, the traditional business model was if your team wins your stadium sells out. But that has changed. San Jose Sharks are investing in technology that makes them more intelligent about its customers and the products and services it offers. She said anything that is data driven and is going to make life easier and better for the fans is a priority.

Kandasami said disruption has prompted Sealed Air to think differently about customer engagement. They are approaching customers with a knowledge based attitude not a traditional product or service offer. They have flipped the conversation to value selling and are coming up with solutions for customers that will save them time and money.

Buko said HMH has to take a collaborative approach and be agile to get ahead of the disruption. Optimizing technology and data is critical. Traditional economic and demographic information is not the only piece of information driving the company’s growth or go-to-market strategy anymore.

In the end, all panelists agreed that disruption can create opportunities, if you embrace it. Collins said when you see disruption as a window of opportunity it makes you look at your business a lot differently. Beg said disruption can open the boundaries of organizations and help look at the world from the outside in. Don’t create products in isolation and push them out. Knowledge is power, connect with customers, listen, engage, and sense what their needs are and move in that direction.

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



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Acquiring Customers Doesn’t Have to Be Harder Than Finding a Lucky Penny

The traditional rhyme “find a penny, pick it up, all day long, you’ll have good luck” is a great saying – as long as you find that lucky penny. But what if you had to find 10 pennies each day to pay the bills – or even 50 or 100?

Some people may decide to head to the beach with a metal detector, search the pavement outside a fast food drive-up window, or dig deep between the cushions of their couch. Regardless of the approach, most of us would likely rely on good luck and karma to hit our goal.

But as hard as it is to find pennies and loose change, it doesn’t compare to the difficulty many small and midsize businesses have acquiring new customers. A recently released IDC InfoBrief, “The Next Steps in Digital Transformation: How Small and Midsize Companies Are Applying Technology to Meet Key Business Goals,” sponsored by SAP, reported that this one activity is the top priority for between 44.7% and 66.0% of respondents in 13 countries.

No matter the location or culture, most small and midsize businesses understand the importance of amassing more customers to fuel growth and pay the bills. Even companies with the best products or services are tremendously challenged with earning the attention and loyalty of customers. Word of mouth may generate some traffic in the online and physical store; but in the digital world, customers want to be engaged and define their own buying journey.

Meet Your Digitally Empowered Customer

The new digital age is changing how small and midsize businesses engage with their customers across the globe. eMarketer estimates that there are over 2 billion smartphone users in the world, and some analysts expect that number to swell beyond 6 billion by 2020. This means that roughly 70% of the world’s population will be able to engage with your brand at any time and on any device. In fact, the Nielsen Global Connected Commerce survey revealed that the majority of customers conduct research online before buying in a store or through an e-commerce site.

As this digitally minded consumer base continues to grow, expectations for the buyer’s experience will evolve. And, according to the IDC InfoBrief, firms worldwide are taking notice of every shift. Survey respondents indicated that two of their top three software investments are focused on targeting and selling to their customers: e-commerce (51%) and customer relationship management (54%). These technologies not only provide marketers with insight into shopping behaviors, but also give customers a natural, consistent, and contextual buying experience.

The Customer Experience Is Everything for SMEs

You may have seen those catchy ads for Dollar Shave Club or heard how Ringly connects a ring or bracelet to your smartphone. The lifeblood of these small and midsize firms are their customers, and it’s never been a better time to take on a Goliath.

Since 2011, more than US$18 billion in market share has shifted to small and midsize brands, which now account for nearly half of all U.S. sales in the consumer products industry. And among the top 100 consumer brands in the United States, 90% have lost market share and 68% have experienced falling sales.

To stay healthy and prosper, the firms must find new buyers while retaining their existing customers. The shopping experience must meet the needs of all customers, reflecting their expectations and brand sentiment. Fulfilling this requirement can be as simple as delivering product information that is easily consumable online, making the e-commerce site mobile-friendly, and offering personalized content and product recommendations based on their search and purchase history. And it’s this kind of customer experience that can transform your business from searching endlessly for loose change to consistently finding that lucky penny.

To learn how small and midsize businesses are digitally transforming themselves to advance their future success, check out IDC InfoBrief, “The Next Steps in Digital Transformation: How Small and Midsize Companies Are Applying Technology to Meet Key Business Goals,” sponsored by SAP.

This story originally appeared on the Digitalist.



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