The business world is changing at a faster rate than ever before. Shifts in consumer behavior, the need for increased personalization, and faster, shorter product lifecycles are just a few of the factors that drive how digital transformation will take shape.
Savvy digital innovators are already disrupting entire industries and rewriting the rules for traditional business models. That’s why every company – regardless of size or industry – must eliminate silos and drive digital innovation by connecting business processes with new technology, software, devices and people. Software has now become every company’s strategy to win, with openness being the ultimate game-changer – and this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW made this crystal clear.
Openness allows you to further expand your network, offering customers, partners, and developers alike the chance to actively contribute to an ever-increasing ecosystem. It allows you to ingest external data for logistics planning. It enables you to integrate machine data into your maintenance planning. You can also profile your customers and anticipate their needs by using social data. From businesses, processes, applications and platforms – everything needs to be open, but tightly integrated and secure.
Openness makes the software offered by SAP that much richer. Components like Apache Hadoop, Cloud Foundry, Docker, Kubernetes and TensorFlow today already are seamlessly integrated into the SAP technology stack. For our customers, that degree of openness means greater value and faster speed of innovation.
During my keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW, I shared with the audience three ways in which SAP has embraced openness.
1. SAP cloud applications are designed to run your core processes in an open, fully automated way – and SAP offers its customers additional choice, flexibility, scalability, and speed in the cloud.
Our comprehensive cloud portfolio includes SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Ariba, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Hybris, Concur, among many other cloud-based solutions. We give you a modular suite of open, best-in-class cloud apps.
Why is this important? First, to benefit from scale, elasticity and availability needed in the digital economy, companies must leverage the cloud. Second, companies must use intelligent applications to automate as many processes as possible. Cloud solutions are fundamental to digital transformation. In fact, digital transformation is no longer a question of “if”, but rather “how fast” you can move. Take the example of Sovanta, a software-development company, which had already decided that the transition to the cloud would make their business faster, more flexible, and better able to scale. For Sovanta, the expanded partnership between SAP and Google came at exactly the right time. They moved SAP S/4HANA on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in only four weeks. And talking about GCP: SAP is a proud partner of all three of the largest cloud infrastructure vendors – Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure. We will also continue to focus on our own fully scalable infrastructure-as-a-service offering SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud with fully-managed services. By pursuing this strategy, we are offering a broad and flexible portfolio across the choice of platforms.
2. SAP Leonardo is the open digital business system that lets you innovate and scale rapidly.
You may already know SAP Leonardo as our brand for the Internet of Things. But at SAPPHIRE NOW, we relaunched SAP Leonardo as SAP’s digital brand, enabling our customers to redefine and reinvent their business models for the digital world.
SAP Leonardo intelligently connects people, things and businesses, making it the digital innovation system a company needs to succeed. It sounds simple, but every use case is unique. When you undertake digital differentiation, you step into the unknown. So, you must have a vision for new ideas, then test and implement them quickly to set yourself apart from the competition. With our design thinking innovation services – and your industry expertise – you can turn your business vision into code, allowing you to leap from concept to blueprint in just 10 to 12 weeks. Read more about the latest SAP Leonardo innovations.
3. SAP offers integration between running your processes and releasing new, disruptive products.
At the end of the day, companies must not only succeed in keeping their business up and running, but also in winning in today’s digital economy. With SAP cloud applications, you can “run” your core business in an open, hyper-automated fashion. With SAP Leonardo, you can accelerate how quickly you bring new ideas to market – to “win” and make your business ready for the future. The secret sauce is our ability to interweave these two modes – “run” and “win.”
The positive energy of SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 was amazing, and I am really looking forward to keeping up the momentum.
Bernd Leukert is a member of the Executive Board and head of Products & Innovation at SAP
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