Thứ Sáu, 30 tháng 6, 2017

Fit@SAP: Nothing Can Stop Us

Diversity at SAP: Are You a Kitten?

Recently my colleague and friend Ernesto Marinelli, senior vice president and head of the HR Board Area for EMEA and Greater China at SAP, was awarded as Germany’s First Top 10 Out LGBTI Executives.

What a magnificent honor and appreciation for a great leader. I congratulate him wholeheartedly. But upon reflection, I asked myself: Why do we still have to have such awards in 2017, rather than simply recognizing Ernesto for his great leadership, without mentioning his sexual orientation, gender or cultural background? Ernesto is a great leader irrespective of these factors, just as much as any great leader would remain one regardless of whether their hair was red, black, or blond. (Please also read Ernesto’s great piece on diversity here.)

Learning from the world of animals can be unique and has potential to change the world — remember Otto Lilienthal, who studied the flight behavior of birds before becoming an aviation pioneer. Look at the picture of the kitten playing with a colorful toy; the first impression from looking at the picture is that the kitten is attracted by the yellow, pink, and purple feathers. But, does it really care about colors?

No, the kitten isn’t attracted by color diversity. It can’t really see the different colors, as cats are kind of color blind. Rather, it is attracted by the toy itself and the colors that it has are not important. There are other criteria that determine its attractiveness or unattractiveness. These criteria are also not gender, cultural background, or sexual orientation. Rather, the factors that are important to the kitten are the attributes that make it a great toy.

So, how to become like a kitten?

Unfortunately, we still need role models, because equal opportunities are not yet given. We do not have equal opportunities for everyone and people still experience discrimination based on their gender, sexual orientation, culture, disability, etc. That’s why we also need to create awareness for diversity and inclusion and show that it matters. Therefore, we need to create an inclusive culture for diversity, to track quotas of female leaders, to have LGBTI awards, to have representatives for differently abled employees, and so on.

As it is still not normal reality that a gay man or a woman gets the chance to become a leader at all, it was important for me to show at the German diversity day last May SAP’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. I wanted to create awareness and  express  how grateful we are for our diverse environment. The theme of the day initiated by was “Flagge zeigen” (Raise Your Flag).

No sooner said than done. We wanted to do something special and wanted to reach as many people as possible. It should not be just a booth with information, where only those interested in the topic spent their time. We wanted to go directly to our approximately 20,0000 employees in Germany and talk to them about diversity and inclusion.

But how do you reach busy people in the afternoon? At thirty degrees celsius on a sunny day, who would say no to a sweet ice cream? So we went with ice trolleys and bags packed with ice cream to our employee’s desks to show our commitment for diversity, to talk about it, and to provide more information.

What can I say? It worked out! People wanted to hear our message and moreover many of them posted pictures of themselves with the ice cream, showing pride and commitment for our action. Besides our employees, our board members and senior executives also showed their commitment by taking part.

But diversity is not always easy. It is not always a funny colorful ice cream or comparable with a sweet kitten. Diverse backgrounds and different opinions need more openness, more time for discussion, and often more conflicts. I experienced this myself when I came as a 14-year-old refugee on my own from Afghanistan to Germany. It was not always easy and it never is when different people come together.

My vision is that in 10 years we will not have a Top 10 LGBTI award (sorry, Ernesto!), no quota for female leaders, and no need for a special day on diversity, as every day will be a diversity day. It will be just as normal for us that leaders have different abilities, genders, and sexual orientations as it is that they have red, black, or blond hair.

Join me in dreaming of this future!

Cawa Younosi is head of Human Resources for SAP Deutschland SE & Co. KG

This story originally appeared on LinkedIn.

via SAP News Center

Amp the Supply Chain

Thứ Năm, 29 tháng 6, 2017

Can White-Collar Apprenticeships Close the STEM Skills Gap?

The higher education-career template is still the undisputed way to go for many living in developed countries.

In Canada, where I live, more than 2 million people fill the country’s universities and colleges. Fifty-three percent of Canadians have post-secondary degrees, the highest of any OECD country.

While we’re lucky to live in such a highly educated society, there’s growing anxiety over whether the conventional rites of passage are compatible with the new world technologists are creating.

Some see a scenario in which hordes of young people lament expensive, near-useless university degrees while companies scour for the rare science, technology and mathematics (STEM) skills they need.

Already 1.3 million Canadians are unemployed while 400,000 Canadian jobs go unfilled. Many of the vacancies are in skilled technical professions and trades, which is perhaps why so many jobless or underemployed young people regret not going to trade school (63 percent of Canadian unemployed university graduates feel this way, according to a 2016 study).

Shaking Up Higher Education

Meanwhile, the internet is shaking the very foundation of the education system. The unlimited participation and interaction that takes place in ‘MOOCs’ (massive open online courses) and other forms of online learning can make traditional university education look archaic.

Even without joining a MOOC, disciplined learners can use the internet to fast-track their way to a degree-educated level. Some see this as a way to eschew conventional higher education in favour of more affordable, more efficient and more fluid ways of learning. Really, the only thing they won’t have on their resume is “BSc”.

STEM companies have a huge role to play in encouraging and helping young people to choose this route. Not only must they change what they value when hiring (real skills beat degree certificates), they must also become actively involved in the education process.

To produce more STEM-educated workers and close the skills gap, companies can even use the combined power of MOOCs, internet resources and digital HR tools to create their own educational institutions. They can take responsibility for preparing high school graduates for STEM work just as, if not more, effectively than universities or colleges.

The idea of companies training workers straight out of high school is nothing new. Blue-collar trades call it apprenticeships. White-collar apprenticeships never took off because policy drives over recent decades saw young people pushed into going to university or college. According to Wired, however, coding is the new blue collar job. Does this mean STEM apprenticeships could become the new normal?

Making White-Collar Apprenticeships Work

Apprenticeships typically come with pay, so it’s not within a STEM employer’s best interests to hand them out to high school leavers in the hope that they’ll begin returning value right away. There is an outlandish alternative: What if large STEM companies set up their own universities, offering degree-level education at a more reasonable cost? It’s something that would need to be backed up by strong government regulations, but with today’s technology and job market it’s not unthinkable.

Even if it’s not an employee-paid model, STEM companies can still benefit from making white-collar apprenticeships the way to go for high school graduates. It opens the door to larger pools of talent, allows control over the skills being taught, and gives companies a head start on securing the top talent.

It sounds obvious on paper, so why aren’t STEM companies already doing it? First, there’s the cost and amount of work involved in setting up an educational institution within a company. The complex regulations that apply to higher education are enough to put most companies off the idea.

Apprenticeships have historically been associated with unions, giving employers another reason to shy away from them. Companies are also wary of the possibility that apprentices will up and leave for better salaries or start-ups once they have the skills they need.

Despite these concerns, if university costs keep rising – causing fewer people to do STEM degrees and the skills gap to keep growing – STEM employers could find themselves ruing the decision not to step up and create degree-level apprenticeship programs.

Signs of Change in STEM Education

Just as young people were sold the university dream throughout the 1990s and 2000s, there are signs the same could be about to happen for white-collar apprenticeships. Before his term ended, President Obama put aside $100 million in grants to develop apprenticeships, and with the rise of STEM jobs the stigma associated with choosing apprenticeships over university is fading.

Already partnerships between high schools, post-secondary institutions and tech companies, such as Templeton STEM in Vancouver, are nurturing interest in STEM among teenagers – an indication that the likes of SAP are willing to invest and be directly involved in education for their own future gains.

Some companies have realized that traditional higher education can be a poor indicator of skills, and that there can be more efficient ways of nurturing young talent. IBM HR vice president Sam Ladah says the focus should be on “new-collar jobs” – judging candidates on skills rather than educational background. He believes people who don’t have four-year degrees can prove their technical knowledge through other certifications and coding bootcamps.

If the trend continues, it could one day be white-collar apprentices who are sought after while the university-educated are scoffed at. The by-product of higher quality, hyper-relevant apprenticeships would be businesses treating them equally, if not preferably, to more generic degrees.

A move away from STEM university degrees and towards white-collar apprenticeships will not happen by the will of young people alone. It will take a joint effort from governments, students, and perhaps most importantly, the STEM companies that need it to happen.

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

via SAP News Center

One Code Line, Many Options

Increasing amounts of data, complex yet inflexible business processes, heterogeneous IT landscapes with multiple software platforms and solutions – these challenges may sound familiar to many companies nowadays.

Digital transformation is moving up on businesses’ agendas as they seek to stay ahead of the competition, steer and make better use of technology, and drive innovation.

Studies find cloud computing to be one agent of digital disruption. And indeed, cloud computing is a promising option to lower IT costs, accelerate time to value, and increase flexibility. As such, it is no surprise that enterprise resource planning (ERP) in the cloud has also been gaining momentum as companies look for ways to reduce the upfront costs of ERP systems, reduce deployment times, and easily scale systems up and down, making it easier to customize software to meet their individual needs.

From Prediction to Action with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1705

The latest update to SAP S/4HANA Cloud supports companies in doing exactly that. SAP S/4HANA Cloud is our intelligent ERP software-as-a-service solution with contextual analytics, digital assistant capabilities, machine learning, and the award-winning SAP Fiori user experience. I already outlined the numerous benefits of SAP S/4HANA in my previous blog, and with the 1705 release, we are adding even more intelligence to the core of the solution.

Most notably, 1705 features general availability of SAP CoPilot, a digital assistant that is intuitive to use, highly intelligent, and contextualized. Aware of business context, it offers relevant insights and recommends actions just when you need them based on your role, context, and current business situation. It streamlines tasks and facilitates teamwork, thus laying the foundation for more collaboration so employees can work more quickly, more successful, and more intelligently.

Talking about intelligence: 1705 also features further machine learning capabilities and predictive analytics for increased end-user efficiency, automatic invoice matching, and more. Businesses can quickly respond to changing market requirements and customer demands, thus achieving a new level of agility that allows them to stay competitive. Machine learning functionalities automate mundane manual tasks in business operations, freeing up valuable time and resources for innovations. These are just two of the updates in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1705 – if you are interested in finding out more, make sure you check out the SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 announcement.

Fully Fledged ERP in the Cloud

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is far from a “lighter” version of a full-blown ERP deployed on premise, but the digital cloud suite of choice to run a successful business in the cloud. We offer the full variety of deployment models from on premise to private and public cloud with one single architecture and one data model. Versions are based on the same code line, so any functionality deployed in one version can be moved to another any time without effort. Customers can run hybrid ERP landscapes with low effort and move to the cloud step by step and at their own pace, without disrupting their existing IT landscapes.

In addition to enabling two-tier ERP, whereby a company can move a subsidiary to SAP S/4HANA Cloud to integrate seamlessly with its on-premise system at the headquarters, the single code line approach also enables process equivalence. According to Josh Greenbaum from Enterprise Application Consulting, “this means, for instance, that a new “fit to standard” business process in S/4 HANA, version whatever, could be stress-tested and perfected in one location – say in your offshore subsidiary – and then moved around to world to your other locations in a way that would vastly simplify the change management issues inherent in any new process change. Are these other entities running S/4 HANA on prem or in the cloud? Who cares? If it’s available as ‘fit to standard’, an identical configuration of the one you’ve created for one line of business can be deployed anywhere pretty much as-is.”

As this results in customers being able to separate the strategic decision to move to SAP S/4HANA from the deployment question, they can focus on what matters most – how to best manage their business challenges with technology.

Check out how SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides continuous innovation in this short video and visit for more information.

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

via SAP News Center

Information about upcoming merger of TechniData GmbH into SAP SE

Publication of SAP SE, Walldorf, pursuant to Sec. 62 para. 3 sent. 2 half sent. 1 UmwG

– Information about upcoming merger –

  1. It is intended to merge TechniData GmbH (local court of Freiburg i. Br., HRB 705756) as transferring company in the course of a simplified group merger into SAP SE as acquiring company. Therefore, the assets of TechniData GmbH in its entirety together with all rights and obligations are transferred with effectiveness as of 31 December 2016, 24:00 p.m. to SAP SE. As of 1 January 2017, 0:00 a.m. (“effective merger date”), to the date of the expiry of TechniData GmbH pursuant to Sec. 20 para. 1 No.2 UmwG all acts and businesses undertaken by TechniData GmbH shall be deemed to have been undertaken for the account of SAP SE.
    Besides treasury shares being held by TechniData GmbH, SAP SE is the sole shareholder of TechniData GmbH. A merger resolution of the acquiring company SAP SE is not necessary pursuant to Sec. 62 para. 1 UmwG.
  2. The stakeholders of SAP SE with a combined holding of one-twentieth of the share capital of the company are herewith advised of their right to request the convention of a general meeting to decide on the approval of the merger (Sec. 62 para. 2 sent. 1, para. 3 sent. 3 UmwG).
  3. As of the date of this publication the following documents (German language only) can be accessed by the links below.
    1. The draft merger agreement between SAP SE and TechniData GmbH
    2. The annual financial statements and, where required, the annual reports of the companies who are parties to the Merger:
      2014 SAP SE Statutory Financial Statements and Review of Operations (HGB)
      2015 SAP SE Statutory Financial Statements and Review of Operations (HGB)
      2016 SAP SE Statutory Financial Statements and Review of Operations (HGB)
      2014 TechniData GmbH Financial Statements
      2015 TechniData GmbH Financial Statements
      2016 TechniData GmbH Financial Statements

SAP SE, June 29, 2017
The Board of Directors

via SAP News Center

Thứ Tư, 28 tháng 6, 2017

How Three Industry Leaders Embrace Cloud Optimization

The need for speed has trumped the need for a picture-perfect IT environment; iterative design is now a premium. As a result of this shift, the cloud has soared and become the centerpiece for digital transformation.

Businesses across industries have recognized its immediate and long-term benefits, which include accessibility, scalability, security, reliability and, most importantly, agility.

This transition naturally began in industries operating closer to customers, such as retail and financial services, that recognized an immediate need for these benefits. It also typically focused on discrete application and business areas like customer and people centric processes. However, the impact of the digital core is now being felt in machinery-intensive sectors where the cloud’s benefits were not immediately obvious – think: manufacturing and automotive. The impact of cloud is also being felt in core end to end business processes spanning the entire internal and external enterprise. What is driving this expansion? The insatiable appetite for business innovation of course, and the foundation it sets for true digital transformation. Businesses need to adopt and scale high value use case scenarios involving artificial intelligence, machine learning and a wealth of other advanced technologies. These are now considered competitive necessities to simultaneously meet Industry 4.0 standards and maintain a customer-centric focus. Agility and innovation must span the entire value chain and across the entire enterprise.

Industry-specific cloud optimization (which SAP Leonardo is built on) has fueled new business models, product classes and industries altogether, delivering new value to customers and shaping the future marketplace – all considered major benefits. The tech and automotive industries alone – once separate entities entirely – have merged to give rise to the connected car industry that thrives on IoT and machine learning. Through unique combinations of the latest advancements in AI, analytics, machine learning, IoT and blockchain, industry players have never had a greater opportunity to reimagine their offerings and reinvent their fields.

Here are a few industry examples of this phenomenon taking place today.


Broadening the limits of travel distance and speed is an intensive area of focus in the transportation industry. High-speed rails are one solution but carry unique challenges that service providers must address. Trenitalia is an excellent example of an industry leader adopting new-age technology to address a deep-rooted problem in its line of work and lead the field. Transporting 2 million passengers a day across 250,000,000 kilometers a year places a significant strain on infrastructure. Operating a fleet of over 30,000 locomotives – a maintenance nightmare waiting to happen – Trenitalia embraced the Internet of Things, analyzing sensor data from thousands of sensors linked to equipment to monitor key performance indicators like usage wear.

Trenitalia’s efforts capture the balance and response that transportation companies of the future will have to strike to continue pushing the logistics needle. Greater feats of speed and distance will require innovative uses of the Internet of Things and, more importantly, a digital core capable of handling this type of workload. While the immediate benefits focus on greater asset optimization and overall efficiency, the ultimate benefit is a greater customer experience and sustained loyalty of the business and recreational traveler.


Automotive sales once took a single form: visiting a car lot, speaking with a salesman, test driving and, if the product meets the customer’s expectations, making a sale. Digital technology has disrupted this single point-of-entry system, enabling an end-to-end omnichannel experience for customers that allows them to have greater participation in the process, starting with the car’s design itself. As one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers, Nissan Motor recognized this shift and developed a Digital Innovation Platform by combining the power of the cloud, big data, IoT and mobility. As a result, they have connected the end-to-end supply chain – from suppliers to consumers’ homes – and created new opportunities for retail without inventory, better demand-supply matching, and customer centricity using data analytics.

This investment in a cloud customized for automotive translated to increased sales, enhanced quality for customers, and curated a stronger brand power – all metrics that automotive manufacturers must flawlessly address to succeed moving forward. Big data is now the best car salesman on the lot.


Similarly, the retail industry supply chain is now omnichannel in form and success is based on serving the “segment of one.” Customer point of view must lie at the center of every business decision and technology has helped redefine the boundaries of what was possible in retail years ago and meet this customer centricity standard. In-store technologies such as beacon or augmented reality allow retailers to bring new meaning to personalization and customer service, value-added servicing, and differentiation – all competitive standards in retailing today made possible by smart technology powered by the cloud.

Lidl, a global discount supermarket chain, has responded to the changing grocery marketplace characterized and measured by offline and online convergence, customer-centric marketing, shopping experience, and data-backed personalization. Using a digital core scaled to meet these industry standards, Lidl has point-of-sale insights that help their business reach shoppers across any channel – social media, in-person and online – and create enhanced points of brand interactions for their loyal and future customers. The days of putting printed coupons by the door to attract customers are over – the future of retail starts and ends with getting to know and interacting with your customers using data.

Connecting the Dots

With all of this innovation in mind, one misconception I often see from CIOs and other IT decision-makers is that they mistakenly believe that digital transformation and cloud adoption must be an all-or-nothing process. Regardless of where your business is on the digital maturity curve, it is important to invest in technology that expands your organization’s digital IQ, capabilities and skills. The cloud is an invaluable tool for reaching this state and it is never too late to begin your digital transformation journey. Join me in exploring ways the cloud can be adapted to and used to shape the future of your industry!

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

via SAP News Center

Petya Ransomware / Malware Impact on SAP

To Our Valued Customers,

SAP takes security seriously and the security of our customers’ data is our primary concern. Therefore, we want to inform you about how SAP is addressing the recently discovered malware/ransomware known as “Petya Ransomware.”

Although SAP has not been affected by the malware, we have taken proactive measures to mitigate this threat. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep you apprised of any updates on this topic.

Best Regards,

Your SAP Global Security Team

via SAP News Center

SolarCoin: How Blockchain is Incentivizing a 5,000 Gigawatt Quest to Save the Planet

A trip through the idyllic farmlands of Bavaria, in the south of Germany, is a testament to the enthusiasm here for solar energy, one of the many green technologies Germany is embracing as it undergoes a national Energy Transition to using 60% renewable energy sources by 2050.

Here aging dairy barns are entirely covered with solar panels to capture the sun’s rays that come over the nearby Alpine peaks. Munching on meadow grasses, the bovine residents hardly seem perturbed by the barns’ hyper-modern solar installations – and the barn itself is thus doubly productive for the farmer.

Worldwide there are currently about 7 million solar installations already grid connected, amounting to some 300 gigawatts (GW) of energy capacity, roughly the equivalent generation capacity of 500 nuclear reactors. Germany alone had a solar generation capacity of 41 GW in 2016, delivering more than six percent of its total energy consumption – impressive for a country that lies well outside the sun belt.

With climate change experts forecasting that global warming could possibly increase the earth’s temperature two degrees Celsius by mid-century, people are increasingly turning to low carbon energy sources, like solar, wind, and hydropower to mitigate the effects of global warming. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar energy could become the largest source of electricity by 2050 – ahead of other energy sources like fossil fuels, wind, and hydro. Based on figures from the IEA, the solar community hopes to couple another 5,000 GW of solar power to the grid – that’s the equivalent of an additional 200 million households using solar power.

“We are the first generation to live global climate change in real-time and to feel it, but we are also the last generation to be able to do something about it,” Francois Sonnet, co-founder of ElectriCChain, an affiliate of the SolarCoin Foundation, recently told members of the European Parliament in a session on science and technology options (STOA). “The technology is there; the will and the money isn’t.”

We are the first generation to live climate change in real time but the last to be able to do something about it

Incentivizing Solar Uptake

Rather than wait for more money to flow into the solar industry, the SolarCoin Foundation, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, is incentivizing solar production for participating households and businesses, one megawatt-hour at a time – and it’s using blockchain technology to do it.

Founded in 2014 by a group of solar experts and macro-economists, the SolarCoin Foundation is an international network of volunteers and community whose job it is to oversee the distribution of SolarCoins (cryptoexchange symbol: SLR) – a blockchain-based digital currency that is distributed to solar producers at a rate of one coin per megawatt-hour of solar energy produced, based on verified meter readings. The organization maintains a public ledger that records each SolarCoin given out to solar electricity generators.

The SolarCoin is both an incentive and a reward for solar producers to participate in the solar economy. The program is often likened to air miles for frequent flyers in the airline industry. “Basically, you enable a prosumer to deliver to the grid and to use the infrastructure – or to set a whole new infrastructure, in the case of micro-grids in developing countries – and to bill energy to a neighbor. That’s the purpose of peer-to-peer energy,” explains Sonnet.

SolarCoin is active in 32 countries, with a network of affiliates and partners to serve different regions: Solar Change is active in South America, EMEA, and the United States; Solcrypto is the claims facilitator active in the Asia-Pacific region; and ElectriCChain, registered in Andorra, aims to record solar energy data for the purpose of the betterment of the solar tools as well as monitor human progress and academia.

SolarCoin is the first digital asset to be recognized at the supranational level by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as a source of financial support for the solar industry. Affiliate ElectricChain recently received high praise at the UN Climate Summit in Morocco, winning the “Homes” category for its groundbreaking nano-grid project. The recognitions have served to provide legitimization to the organization as it promotes its work around the world. “Depending on the places we go to, some people don’t necessarily know the good story of solar energy,” says Sonnet. “Working with these big institutions, like the UN and IRENA, certainly helps.”

Harvesting SolarCoins at Home

To manage the distribution of individual SolarCoins, the SolarCoin Foundation operates on its own blockchain, which is 200-300 times more carbon efficient than the limited processing capabilities of the Bitcoin blockchain (SolarCoin Blockchain explorer is available here). Plus, each SolarCoin has real value attached to it: one coin is the equivalent of one megawatt hour of solar power. By way of example, Sonnet explains how people can accumulate the SolarCoins, “Say five kilowatts of solar generation] in Munich would produce six megawatt hours, so that would be six SolarCoins on a yearly basis.”

Approximately 420,000 SolarCoins have been granted to solar producers worldwide. There are currently USD$500 million of SolarCoins waiting to be claimed. The SolarCoin Foundation expects that its distribution program will last 40 years as it distributes the 97.5 billion SolarCoins, which represent 97,500 Terra Watt hours of solar electricity.

For individual owners, the coins are distributed once every six months through the platform to the owner. No equipment is necessary outside of a solar installation. A solar producer would harvest SolarCoins in two ways: 1.) download the digital wallet from the SolarCoin web site; it will embed an API that enables you to claim SolarCoins directly from the blockchain; or 2.) use a $10 piece of equipment called a Raspberry PI, which is a data logger that gathers information from the solar installation and publishes it to the blockchain. Currently, there are also discussions in progress to have some solar equipment providers embed SolarCoin in a more dynamic way onto solar equipment they sell, hence enabling granting down to the minute. Find out how to enroll with SolarCoin here.

Seeding the Solar Economy

What can you do with your SolarCoins? Most people will likely exchange the digital currency for euros or dollars on one of many cryptoexchanges. At the moment, the value of an individual SolarCoin is around $0.24. Perhaps then, a better idea might be to hold the coin until more people join the network. Like many blockchain-based ventures, the value of the network increases markedly as more people join, adding more nodes and producing more transactions. The larger the network, the greater its value. This video from SolarCoin founder Nick Gogerty explains the concept of currency valuation in the network.

The SolarCoin Foundation expects to have one million participants by the end of 2019. This would provide the uplift to bring the value of one coin to between $20 and $30 per megawatt hour. As noted in Scientific American, “For now, the handouts act as a reward – a little token of thanks – to the people who are already doing their part for the environment.”

The envisioned future for the currency is that prosumers will be able to use SolarCoins to directly pay for goods and services, seeding the solar economy, which might for example include battery storage and additional services. “To the extent that solar participants understand that, then it makes a compelling case for SolarCoin,” says Sonnet.

According to Sonnet, SolarCoin plans to onboard “a couple dozen thousand” solar installations in the medium term. This will have the effect of triggering the next wave of installation owners to participate in the network and also for businesses to join the network too. “We’re at the very beginning of the value creation of SolarCoin,” says Sonnet. “It takes time obviously, but it’s like a spinning wheel: once the cogs are in place, it starts spinning by itself, and this will enable the Energy Transition.”

Top image via Shutterstock

via SAP News Center

Perception versus Reality: Conversational Computing

1. Perception: It’s about consumers interacting with devices.

Reality: What makes computing conversational isn’t the mode of input but how you engage an application and perform a transaction. Instead of clicking on a menu of choices or speaking predefined commands, you can type or talk as if you were having a normal conversation with another human. Although most people today associate conversational computing with getting consumer-oriented information, like asking their phones for directions or interacting with customer service, that’s beginning to change. More complex business-use cases show real promise.

At one co-working facility in Palo Alto, California, customers can already reserve workspaces with a casually worded text message to a chatbot that texts back to ask for any further information—such as the number of guests—it needs to complete the reservation. In the future, an HR-scheduling app could tell employees how much vacation time they have remaining, help them navigate schedule conflicts to find the most convenient dates, and automatically approve their requests for time off.

2. Perception: Conversations are all pre-programmed.

Reality: Today when we converse with Siri, Alexa, and OK Google, they misinterpret us all the time, sending us preprogrammed responses that feel as disjointed, inappropriate, and awkward as a bad date. As machines get better at understanding how we talk, though, they’ll get smarter; rather than forcing us to learn how to use them, they’ll adapt themselves to how we think, converse, and work.

Conversational systems are already capable of learning from past queries and new data in order to respond more usefully to future queries. Natural language processing technology helps the digital assistants in your devices understand casual speech or text. The digital assistants are then able to interact with other systems, like a search engine, calendar, or business intelligence application, to parse open-ended questions and deliver an answer or take action the way a human would. The more a conversational application is used, the better it is able to further refine its responses. It’s continually learning from transaction data and user behavior just as a human learns a new language.

3. Perception: This is just a new interface for existing systems.

Reality: More than a new interface, conversational computing is poised to completely change the way we interact with the computers that run our businesses. We’ll be able to configure devices, navigate virtual reality, interface with operational systems, and more without having to launch distinct applications. Instead, we’ll speak, gesture, or maybe just make a frustrated noise to indicate we need something, and the smart systems behind the scenes will respond accordingly. Our computers will apply machine learning to determine what we want, ask questions to clarify and add context, decide how to execute our requests, and deliver the results.

For example, we might say we need supplies, and our procurement system could hear the request, correlate it to past purchases, find an appropriate purchase order, and automatically place an order with an approved vendor who can deliver in the right time frame at the right price. Conversational systems may even come to initiate contact instead of waiting for requests: a maintenance system could proactively text a technician with the scheduled delivery date and installation instructions for a replacement part.

This story originally appeared on the Digitalist.

via SAP News Center

Thứ Ba, 27 tháng 6, 2017

New WhatsApp Channels for Product Support Updates

SAP customers can now subscribe to WhatsApp channels for Product Support updates.

Through this new channel, SAP customers receive updates on only the products that apply to their needs.

Read more.

via SAP News Center

Enterprise Social Collaboration: Creating Workplace Interactions That Unite

The role of the HR organization is quickly moving beyond managing employees dispersed across the globe, adjusting to new cultures, ensuring compliance at all levels, and allocating resources promptly.

It’s not just because political and demographic structures are evolving before our very eyes. The world of work is also changing along with our expectations for fairness, demand for best-fit talent, and a vast pool of talent diversity.

With the rise of the gig economy and remote work environments, according to McKinsey Global Institute, more and more workers feel overqualified and underutilized, translating into “costly wasted potential for the global economy.” Further,  as Annabelle Gurwitch, New York Times bestselling author, noted in her latest book “Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To,” people are feeling more lonely and disconnected due to these new workplace environments. Gone are the days of the work family, and workers are desperately searching to regain a sense of community somehow.

The biggest issue faced by HR today is crafting an employee experience that is digital by design and addresses the need for connection and leveling the playing field. Everything that HR does – from recruiting and hiring practices to talent development and leadership succession – must be reconditioned to adapt to an increasingly digital labor marketplace.

More Digital, More Noise

As businesses become more digital, HR is receiving greater pressure to redesign workforce processes and employee experiences to adapt faster, facilitate rapid skill development, and embrace individual career expectations. According to the 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, digitally savvy workers, who are comfortable with self-services and sharing information transparently, demand “an integrated, digital experience at work – one designed around teams, productivity, and empowerment – and HR is ex­pected to deliver it.”

In response, businesses spent more than US$2 billion in HR applications and platforms in 2016, according to CB Insights, which is a 15% over similar investments made in 2015. Although the latest technology – such as cloud, mobile, analytics, artificial intelligence, social recruiting, and wearables – is increasingly adopted in the workplace, employee engagement still hovers below 15% worldwide. These developments are, undoubtedly, reshaping how the workplace runs and how HR supports it – leaving many of the traditional HR systems adopted decades ago obsolete.

Although these technologies are helping businesses innovate new ways of getting work done and generate revenue, they are also encouraging a digital workplace of five generations to engage 24×7 and evolve constantly. But as Josh Bersin, principal and founder, Bersin by DeloitteDeloitte Consulting LLP, mentioned in his blog “Viewpoint: Trends and Predictions for 2017 and a Brief Look Back at 2016,” the digital workplace is also “filled with data, information, and electronic noise,” thanks to an endless streams of “messages on e-mail, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and a few other systems as well.”

Enterprise Social Collaboration Cuts Through the Noise of a Digital Workplace

Knowledge sharing is great, but not at the cost of spending as much as half a workday sifting through messages to assess relevance. Information is only helpful when you can derive and communicate findings and take action in real time. Enterprise collaboration platforms, enable HR to help employees cut through the noise while accelerating talent development, decision making, and bottom-line outcomes.

Whether known or unknown, experts throughout the business store volumes of intricate and mature insights residing in the deep recesses of their brains. All too often, this web of knowledge is tapped only through one-off conversations, in-the-moment action, and internal stories. To maximize the full potential of this intelligence, an enterprise collaboration platform empowers employees to tap into their natural learning styles. Information discovery, peer collaboration, relevant resources, and expert finding can help employees find new and inventive ways to get answers and further on-the-job learning.

Another benefit of enterprise social collaboration is allowing the workforce to entertain and recommend opportunities for career development and succession planning. Employees can put their passion and interests on display and further develop them by connecting with the right subject-matter experts. With visibility into what is happening in the business and which topics are discussed, employees at all levels can post a question, article, or discussion topic to add value and further the conversation.

Through such collaborative experiences, the digital workforce gets what it wants: one-to-one and one-to-many relationships that add value to their work and future. When employees are engaged and feel that their capabilities are valued, they feel connected to the overall success of the company.

To learn more about Deloitte’s 2017 HCM Trends, please see here.

Daisy Hernandez is global vice president of Product Management for Enterprise Collaboration at SAP

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SAP Google Partnership: Taking Data Protection on Public Cloud to the Next Level

As announced back in March 2017, SAP and Google are partnering to offer unprecedented innovation, agility, and global reach to enterprises adopting the public cloud.

Succeeding in the digital economy requires collaborative development and delivery of integrated solutions across the digital value chain through effective partnerships. SAP and Google are now applying these principles to provide an innovative solution to customers concerned about the privacy of their sensitive data on a public cloud platform.

To fully realize the benefits of cloud computing, enterprises need to store and process their sensitive data on public cloud platforms. They need to do this while being compliant with necessary regulations and mitigating unauthorized access risks. Enterprises need to address these requirements as part of a broader governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solution for a public cloud environment.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers robust security capabilities to defend against external attacks and insider threats. In addition, Google has extensive compliance with security and privacy standards relevant to public clouds. Google and SAP are collaborating on this front by going beyond these existing GCP security capabilities. Together, the companies are working towards providing visibility and controls regarding the access to data stored on GCP. As part of this model, customers could use SAP’s technology and expertise as a trusted enterprise solution provider to act as a data custodian.

Overview of the Data Custodian Model

The Data Custodian model will enable enterprises to define a set of controls around the handling of their data on GCP. As data custodian, SAP could continuously monitor compliance with the defined controls and manage exceptions as needed. The initial focus will be on data access transparency for GCP services that store or process customer data. With customer approval, Google will provide relevant access log streams to SAP. Customers could then leverage SAP’s technology and expertise to explain the reasons associated with such accesses. SAP and Google will continue to collaborate on defining an integrated solution that further increases custodian monitoring and control over the handling of customer data on GCP.

What Are the Benefits of the Data Custodian Model?

There are several benefits of the Data Custodian model. It would enable customers to leverage SAP’s deep knowledge of GCP’s security posture, administrative controls and workflows. Customers would therefore not have to build in-house expertise on this front and could use SAP as a data custodian to ensure their data is accessed and stored in compliance with their defined data sovereignty, privacy, and protection policies.

More broadly, with this partnership, SAP and Google are extending and integrating their complementary product portfolios to provide even greater value to customers. In addition to having major SAP products running on GCP and benefiting from the global reach and speed of the network, SAP applications are being integrated with Google’s G Suite to offer the best of both worlds. SAP and Google will continue to collaborate on infrastructure-as-a-service solutions like the Data Custodian model to enable enterprises to consume and build the next generation of digital services.

Christoph Boehm is senior vice president of Cloud Delivery Services and Global Infrastructure at SAP

This story originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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Customers Choose SAP Analytics Cloud to Simplify Planning and Analysis, Improve Business Performance

WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that customers including Northern Gas Networks and Yazaki Europe Ltd. are benefitting from the modern planning and analysis and the enterprise performance management (EPM) capabilities delivered by the SAP Analytics Cloud solution (formerly called SAP BusinessObjects Cloud) and SAP Digital Boardroom (built on SAP Analytics Cloud).

With more than 300 SAP partners selling and supporting SAP Analytics Cloud, customers are rapidly adopting this software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for planning, business analytics and managing business performance in the moment.

According to Forrester Research Analyst Paul Hamerman, “SAP’s new SaaS EPM offering, SAP BusinessObjects Cloud (BOC), and its innovative Digital Boardroom management reporting solution are gaining some early adoption as SAP plays out its strategy for real-time business.”*

Northern Gas Networks, a gas distribution network in the North of England that transports gas to 6.7 million customers, is in the midst of digital transformation. “Our mission at Northern Gas Networks is to be the most loved and admired company within the UK, delivering exceptional customer service every minute of every day,” said Tom Pollock, head of Smart Information Management at Northern Gas Networks. “People are at the heart of everything that we do, because without motivated colleagues, we can’t hope to become the world-beating business we aspire to be, but this must be supported with smart technology.”

The utility bought SAP Digital Boardroom, coined it the “Digital Operations room,” and is on a path to providing real-time cost reporting and insights for regulators and other key stakeholders. Pollock continued, “One of the great things about the Digital Operations room is that it provides a platform for us to have all our colleagues be able to make decisions based on data. What we’re moving toward is an environment where people are making decisions based on what’s happening right now. And going forward, making decisions based on a forecast of what’s going to happen in the next minute, in the next hour, the next week, the next year.”

Yazaki Europe Ltd. is the world’s largest producer of wiring harnesses and a worldwide market leader in the automotive industry. The company chose SAP Analytics Cloud to integrate with its existing SAP solutions to support human resource processes such as aligning and standardizing monthly headcount and full-time equivalent reporting, forecasting and personnel headcount, and budget planning.

“We chose SAP Analytics Cloud because we wanted a modern, SaaS offering that tightly integrated with SAP Business Planning and Consolidation and SAP SuccessFactors solutions,” said Philip Preissing, Data & Analytics, CoC Business Intelligence, Yazaki Europe Ltd. “With SAP Analytics Cloud we now have a highly sophisticated solution in place that helps us improve and streamline our HR planning processes.”

SAP Analytics Cloud combines all analytics capabilities — including planning, predictive analytics, reporting and business intelligence (BI) — in a single SaaS solution. Users can take advantage of a modern, intuitive user experience and save time by planning, analyzing, predicting and collaborating in context. As a true SaaS solution, SAP Analytics Cloud offers scalability, accommodating everything from small, nimble departmental deployments to global implementations.

Companies can access a free 30-day trial of SAP Analytics Cloud here. The trial includes local file upload or connection to Google Drive, and support from a dedicated business enablement specialist.

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

Media Contact: Dana Dye, +1 (415) 928-1310,, PT

*Source: “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Performance Management, Q4 2016, The 10 Providers That Matter Most And How They Stack Up” by Paul D. Hamerman, October 6, 2016
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Thứ Hai, 26 tháng 6, 2017

Startup Advantage: Converting New Technologies into Exponential Value

Like many, I am not into shopping. I don’t mind buying things, but spending precious time in a store, dealing with the sales process makes me uneasy. I like to shop online, but not for clothes; the prospect of having to return something that is not a good fit or color is, to say the least, discouraging.

So, when I recently needed to buy a new business suit I found myself dreaming of how I could enter a store, be recognized by a salesperson who already knew my shopping history, preferences, and even my social media interactions – all enabled by analytics and machine learning. Inside the dressing room, a smart mirror would scan me for my exact measurements and reflect especially tailored images of suits on me. If I inquire about the cloth quality, texture, and stitching, a virtual reality headset could display a detailed view, and offer a complementary tie, to be 3-D printed onsite for me. As I leave the store, a combination of sensors and blockchain technology would silently charge my purchases to my account, and my new suit would be delivered to my doorstep by a drone. Am I in the future?

The truth is, those new technologies are not only in my dreams. They exist, and we are already starting to see them in action in the retail industry, as well as in many other industries and segments.

As we begin to experience the exponential power of technology, digital native startups have an important advantage

Recently I spoke about this at eMerge Americas, an event that gathers over 10,000 entrepreneurs and startups in Miami. I reflected on how these new technologies are readily available to drive exponential value for businesses, regardless of their size. These data-driven systems of intelligence integrate machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and other technologies, with the ability to work together for better insights and capabilities, to re-imagine business processes and even help companies adopt more competitive business models. At SAP, we call this digital innovation SAP Leonardo, and it can also integrate these breakthrough technologies with services, and run them seamlessly in the cloud.

We are just starting to experience the exponential power of technology, and startups have an important advantage as digital natives. With the right idea, business model, and access to technology they can quickly scale their innovation and challenge long established industry leaders. Once again, technology has the potential of leveling the playing field for startups and accelerating their value.

Startups everywhere are turning innovative ideas into value in unexpected ways. This is the case of a company called Postmetria, that joined the SAP Startup Focus program at the SAP Labs in Southern Brazil. Using SAP HANA and machine learning to analyze and automate petabytes of unstructured data, they help companies understand client satisfaction and monitor customer loyalty. It is no wonder that they rank as one of the 100 Open Startups in Brazil.

Just like Postmetria, startups across the Americas are helping to redefine business in this new digital era. At SAP, we’re excited about co-innovating, helping them achieve their ambitions, and creating the future in the present.

Claudio Muruzabal is president of SAP Latin America & Caribbean

This story originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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Discussing IoT with SAP’s Tanja Rueckert

What did IoT do for you today? Tanja Rueckert, president of IoT and Digital Supply Chain at SAP, discusses current technology trends and looks to the future.

The Internet of Things is all around us and many of us probably don’t even realize it. It is changing the way we interact with so many things – from our cars and our homes, to our cities and the way we purchase. If you are on a train, IoT has probably made sure that your train ran on time and didn’t breakdown. If you are craving a fizzy drink, it has ensured that the vending machine you are using has not run out, and is beautifully stocked with all your favorite ice-cold beverages!

We are also working with a company that is looking for an Uber-type model for repairing air conditioners. With a phone app and predictive analytics, they are fixing air conditioners through third parties, before they have a chance to break down — a huge success during the hot days of summer. Using sensors, we can collect vast quantities of data and turn that data into insights for business.

If you live in a smart city IoT has allowed the city to reduce its energy consumption, in some cases by over 50 percent, while keeping you safe at night, with well-lit streets.  Or saved the truck driver time at the busy ports, waiting to unload his goods, getting him in, without delay, and back on his way, with minimal wait times, also helping the port to double its amount of cargo handling.

There is also the example of where IoT can now estimate the fatigue of a bus driver by analyzing vital data from a vest that he wears that indicates heart rate and nervous agitation and feeds back to an operator helping to keep school children safer.  This is a great innovation story about SAP and NTT using IoT technology to save lives.

But what is fascinating is the speed with which everything is happening. If you think about the telephone, which was invented in 1876, but it was not until 1973 that we had the first mobile phones nearly 100 years later – today everything is so much faster and new business models are created daily.

Pay Per Use

Take for example Hilti, a large manufacturer of drills and construction equipment.  They have changed the way they sell to customers – for example they are not selling drills any more, they are selling time.  it’s a pay per use model, however long it takes you to drill your holes, that’s what you pay for and what’s more, these companies are doing it with SAP. The solutions I just mentioned are either SAP solutions or SAP in partnership with likeminded companies.

It is our IoT & Digital Supply Chain solutions that have helped transform these business models. Some examples –  the train in Italy I mentioned– Trenitalia.  The train company fitted its fleet of trains with sensors to monitor its fleet and prevent breakdowns before they happen using –  SAP Predictive Maintenance & Service and SAP Asset Intelligence Network (our Facebook of assets).  Customers are demanding applications that are seamlessly integrated.

We have enhanced our offerings with our acquisition of Fedem, with our Digital Twin and SAP Asset Intelligence Network, manufacturers and operators are now able to optimize the design and operations of a wide variety of industrial assets, particularly in remote and hard-to-reach places like Antarctic without having to leave the building.

For vehicles – cars, forklifts, trucks etc. – connected fleets there is SAP Vehicle Insights – the capability to take unstructured data from the vehicle and turn it into useful information, looking at fuel consumption, issues with the vehicle, to booking a service from your car.

We are using IoT at our site in Walldorf enabling our employees to get around the campus with a digital shuttle service.  SAP IoT & DSC Operations, SAP IoT Moving Assets, SAP IT, SAP Global Design, and SAP Logistics Center implemented SAP’s very own IoT using SAP Vehicle Insights. This solution transforms the shuttle service experience of over 50,000 passengers every year in Walldorf and Rot SAP campus. By cutting down five minute waiting time per passenger on an average, SAP can save €2,000 per day or €400,000 per year.

So how does SAP market all these new capabilities? The answer – SAP Leonardo. We launched SAP Leonardo as SAP’s IoT brand early this year to encompass our IoT and Digital Supply Chain solution offering. The market understood SAP Leonardo – it was kind of like Watson, but it didn’t encompass all the latest technologies and services that SAP had to offer – so we launched, at SAPPHIRE NOW, expanded SAP Leonardo brand which now includes machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics, Big Data, blockchain, and IoT — all running seamlessly in the cloud.

New Technologies Drive New Business Models

We are also very strongly focused on helping our customers with “Industrie 4.0,” which of course started in Germany, and will put an emphasis on helping our customers with the many challenges they face today with digital transformation as the market moves more towards extreme design and demand variability. We are already working with Harley Davidson and other car producers.

Looking to the future, which is not that far away, we are starting to investigate how we use drones’ robotics and enhanced machine to machine communication. These new technologies will also help to drive new business models. For example, using drones to help in agriculture, public sector and security and robotics are becoming increasing important as our customers look to transform their business processes from shop-floor to improved financial performance. With global spending on robotics expected to be in the trillions by 2019 this is an area to watch.

To learn more about SAP Leonardo IoT and SAP Leonardo, visit the SAP Leonardo website.

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Meet Sovanta, the First Company to Run SAP S/4HANA on the Google Cloud Platform

The partnership announced between SAP and Google earlier this year was perfect timing for Michael Kern, co-founder and member of the Executive Board at Sovanta.

I snagged a one-on-one with Kern at the recent SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference to get the inside story on Sovanta’s decision to become the first SAP S/4HANA customer running live on the Google Cloud Platform.

“We decided on SAP S/4HANA because we needed a stable foundation to support our aggressive, ongoing growth in developing business applications,” said Kern. “Given our size, we don’t want to manage infrastructure. The Google Cloud Platform provides us with scalability, flexibility and speed. For example, with upgrades we might need sandbox systems, and with the Google platform we can switch them on and off as needed.”

Talking with Kern, it’s immensely clear that this partnership aligns with Sovanta’s business goals.  A mid-sized company headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, Sovanta is innovating fast and furiously to deliver next-generation business applications supporting how people work today. We’re talking self-service, untethered to a fixed physical location, and immediate results. Sovanta’s objective is to bring innovations like mobile, IoT and machine learning into the daily working lives of people in departments across the company including sales, service technicians, logistics and management.

“It’s all about revolutionizing how people work using business applications software,” said Kern. “We put the end-user at the center of all activities, designing and delivering technologies tailored to supporting their business tasks.”

Kern said Sovanta was up and running with SAP S/4HANA hosted on the Google Cloud Platform in just four weeks, driven by strong collaboration between SAP and Google. SAP S/4HANA Finance is live now, and Sovanta plans to add other business processes over time.

SAP S/4HANA on Google Cloud Platform means Sovanta won’t let customers down

Make the Customer the Center of Your Universe

Sovanta’s customers are primarily located in Central Europe, and cut across industries such as automotive, manufacturing, retail and utilities. Each is counting on Sovanta’s applications to expand their business possibilities. As Kern sees it, the combination of SAP S/4HANA and the Google Cloud Platform means Sovanta won’t let customers down.

“The key thing is that we don’t have to spend time taking care of our system so we can focus on creating value for our customers,” said Kern. “This is especially important when you are a small or mid-sized company.  We need smooth, efficient operations for our core finance processes and the infrastructure it runs on. With SAP S/4HANA and Google, we’re able to deliver innovation with minimal disruption to our daily business.”

Bold Decisions Pay Off

Kern advised small and midsize companies to look beyond their current business situation when making technology decisions.

“It’s important to have a clear picture of where you want to be in three to five years,” he said. “Make decisions that not only fit your needs now, but also in the future. You may need to decide on something that feels a little big, but if you believe in your plans and road map, you have to make the bold decision, and it will pay off in the future when you need more.”

As we looked around the massive, multi-media show floor at SAPPHIRE NOW, teeming with people hunched around demos, having intense conversations, wearing virtual reality headsets, etc., Kern said that “You can feel the pulse of the energy growing in the ecosystem as SAP conquers completely new areas like SAP Leonardo. The importance of partners is rising every year.”

Follow me: @smgaler

Top image via Shutterstock

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Thứ Sáu, 23 tháng 6, 2017

SAP Leonardo Center Opens in Paris to Support Companies’ Digital Transformations

On June 21 in Paris, SAP held its first official SAP Leonardo Center opening ceremony.

“We are happy to announce the opening of our SAP Leonardo Center Paris,” said Tanja Rückert,  president of IoT and Digital Supply Chain at SAP. “It is SAP’s ‘front end’ for customers and partners to accelerate their digital innovation journey utilizing design thinking and the capabilities of SAP Leonardo, our digital innovation system.”

The SAP Leonardo Center opening brought together customers, partners and the latest innovations from SAP.

SAP France invited customers and partners to cut the ribbon on the first official SAP Leonardo Center. Hosting the event at SAP’s offices in Paris were Tanja Rückert (third from left); Marc Genevois, general manager, SAP France (fifth from left); and Clemens Daeschle, managing director, SAP Labs in Paris (second from left).

SAP Leonardo Centers are a global network of connected, physical locations that are the go-to places for digital inspiration and co-innovation, while also being the delivery mechanism of SAP Leonardo Innovation Services. The location in Paris showcases SAP Leonardo with the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, analytics, blockchain, Big Data, data intelligence, and SAP Cloud Platform as key ingredients for digital transformation, making “digital” tangible. It also provides a space for innovation to jointly explore the digital future. An additional SAP Leonardo Center is located in New York City, with locations planned for São Leopoldo, Brazil, and Bangalore, India.

It’s no coincidence that SAP chose to open the SAP Leonardo Center at its modern Paris office with a view over the city. It combines a high concentration of customers and partners with one of SAP’s largest market units. SAP’s channel partners will play a major role in implementing the SAP Leonardo strategy.

“A major objective of the SAP Leonardo Center Paris is to empower all our partners so they are better able to serve SAP’s customers from an operational perspective,” said Marc Genevois, general manager of SAP France. “Our ecosystem is a very strong asset in supporting our customers during their implementation phase. That’s why we would like to have the entire channel involved from the very beginning of each prototype project.”

One of the key learnings of the current shift to a digital economy is that companies need to reimagine how their customers and other stakeholders would like to interact with their product or services in the future, and what benefits can be gained applying new technologies. The road to digitalization for many companies therefore often involves a process of introspection and discovery, asking questions like “How can I apply new technologies to operate more efficiently?”, “How can I build stronger brand loyalty?”, or “How can I adapt my business model to gain market share?”

One of the first customers to co-innovate with SAP France at the SAP Leonardo Center was French coffee company Cafés Richards, which aims to grow its market share and brand loyalty by improving the quality of services to its distributors around the country. A design thinking workshop at SAP France resulted in the prototype “Connected Coffee Machine,” a solution that monitors vendors’ coffee machines, provides useful dashboard showing sales and consumption data for its customers, and enables the 160 technicians from Cafés Richard to remotely perform machine analytics or even repair or adjust coffee machines. The process, from initial idea to a working prototype, took only eight days.

“SAP has a long track record of collaborating and co-innovating with its customers, and SAP Leonardo builds on this for the digital economy,” says Clemens Daeschle, managing director of SAP Labs in Paris and COO of the SAP Labs Network. “Paris as an ideal location for an SAP Leonardo Center because of its concentration of customers and partners with a very strong SAP market unit, state-of-the-art facilities for collaboration, and the execution power of an SAP Labs location with experts in analytics, machine learning, IoT, and user experience.”

Becoming a digital business also requires business model and business process changes that no single technology can deliver. SAP reacted to these needs in May this year by launching its digital innovation system. SAP Leonardo brings together differentiating software capabilities in machine learning, IoT, Big Data, analytics, and blockchain on SAP Cloud Platform together with SAP experience, deep process and industry knowledge, and advanced design thinking methodology.

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SAP Alumni Network: Making a Difference with Your Old Laptop

Empowering Employees to Better Serve Consumers

Companies must empower employees with experience. That’s how you keep them from going to another employer.

As SAP Chief Human Resources Officer Stefan Ries pumped up the crowd at SuccessConnect London last week with The Clash classic on stage, the audience were nodding their heads in agreement on the topic of empowering employees to better serve consumers.

“’Should I stay or should I go?’ is the question candidates and employees are asking themselves as industries and enterprises deal with the pressure of changing business models and digital transformation,” said Ries. “Enterprises in all industries are scrambling to define and acquire the new skill sets that are required for the consumer-grade experience in a world where machine learning and artificial intelligence are changing the game. In HR, we need to think like a consumer business. We must focus on impact and not on activities.”

Experience Matters

During his keynote, Ries had a candid conversation with customers on stage. Yulia Chupina, CHRO of Sperbank, Russia’s largest bank with 300,000 employees, reminded the audience that people don’t need banks anymore.

“If we want to remain relevant, we must add services to improve the consumer experience. People don’t want a mortgage; they want a new home,” she said. “Our job now is to help customers find the home, deal with bureaucracy, save time and money, all in a frictionless experience. But we cannot provide good customer experiences without good employees who are able to deliver the new model.”

For Jon West of Jaguar and Land Rover, the role of HR is to help the company scale seamlessly to address rapid growth: “When we first implemented HR self services, managers thought we were increasing their workloads by making them do things formerly done by HR specialists. But managing people is the manager’s job, not HR’s. Our job is to make the management process as smooth as possible with automation so managers have more time to actually engage with people. We’re making good progress with SAP SuccessFactors.”

Continuous Dialogue with Employees, Anywhere, Anytime

Nestlé, for example, is empowering a modern digital workforce in 191 countries by giving employees access to a mobile-enabled, flexible HR platform. By shifting to a continuous performance management model, Nestlé’s employees and managers can turn a backward-looking annual assessment into an ongoing series of activities that focus on employee development and align performance management with other critical HR and business processes.

True empowerment depends on full access anywhere, anytime. That’s why mobile access is critical in today’s digital workforce, where success depends on being faster, smarter and more connected than the competition. The stunning new design of the SAP SuccessFactors Mobile app for iOS by Apple and SAP announced at the event will revolutionize the HR experience for employees and managers.

It’s already enabling Conrad Electronic, an electronics retailer, to remain an attractive employer as it increases their number of products from 750,000 to 10 million in the B2B market over the next years. SAP SuccessFactors solutions — all optimized for mobile — not only save time and empower users, but they also take the workforce and HR into the future to support the company’s overall digitalization.

Success is Simply Human

The key message, however, was not about technology. It was about people. Throughout the event, customer after customer mentioned the need for empowering people with the right skills to succeed in the digital economy. Not every millennial is tech savvy, and many baby boomers remain flexible and eager to learn.

HR was a different animal five years ago. Thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, more and more tasks in all lines of business are being automated. To differentiate themselves from machines, people will need skills to solve problems that arise when bots can’t answer the standard questions. People will need more training than ever before.

Clearly, there can be no success without people. In his closing statement, SAP CEO Bill McDermott explained that SAP’s business success is closely linked to its people-enablement culture: “We encourage our employees to spend 80% of their time achieving their own goals in alignment to the company’s goals and 20% of their time on discretionary efforts to help other people in the company achieve their goals. That’s about giving back.”

He also told the crowd that the acquisition of SuccessFactors back in 2010 was the most important M&A move in terms of making SAP the largest cloud based company in the world.

“When we acquired SuccessFactors,” said Bill, “someone in marketing told me we have to rethink the logo, because we can’t have a heart in it. I said, why not? We can’t be successful without people or passion.”

News from SuccessConnect:

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SAP Design Talks: How Design is Helping adidas Breathe New Life into Sportswear Classics

Already a popular magnet for SAP employees around the globe since 2015, the SAP Design Talks series recently made its Berlin debut. And, in another first, the presentation given by Lars Kampf, director Graphics at adidas, at the SAP Data Space in Berlin was open to external participants as well.

New York-based designer and startup founder Frank Chimero once said, “People ignore design that ignores people.” He was spot on. Whether it’s bathroom fittings, backpacks, or iPhone apps, good design simplifies things – and makes us want to use them. If a product is poorly designed, the likelihood is that customers will disregard it completely.

But ensuring good design isn’t just the responsibility of designers; it’s the duty of every single person involved in creating a product. SAP Design Talks aim to raise SAP employees’ awareness of precisely this point. And to give SAP employees the broadest possible range of insights into the design world, companies as diverse as IBM, Cirque du Soleil, Nike, BMW, and Philips have been invited to come to SAP and share their experiences and winning formulas.

“We make a point of inviting design experts from all sectors of industry,” says Christian Stark, who initiated the series. “At first glance, software designers could be forgiven for wondering how the design of sports shoes or cars is relevant to them. But it’s the differences that inspire lateral thinking and generate new ideas.”

If a product is poorly designed, customers will disregard it completely

Lars Kampf, director Graphics at adidas Originals, can also shed new light on the topic of design: His talk at the SAP Data Space in Berlin on June 16 was the first to also be attended by some 30 participants from outside SAP. After working as a freelancer, predominantly in packaging design and instruction manual illustration, Kampf joined adidas as a T-shirt designer in 2010. Now director of the graphics department, he is responsible for apparel and footwear and leads an international team of creative minds located across Europe and North America.

Sneakers for the Reunified City

In the early days, adidas’ marketing strategy for classics like the “Superstar” which was originally designed as a sports shoe, centered on associations with well-known and successful sports stars. But, from the 70s onward, shoes began evolving into lifestyle objects. To keep their products attractive to a changing market, the designers at adidas started drawing more and more of their inspiration from popular culture and contemporary history, as in the Star Wars collaboration (2010-2011) and the “Fall of the Wall” collection (2014) to mark the 25th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Wall. The latter featured a running shoe design from 1989 in the colors of the various Berlin Wall checkpoints and manufactured in Germany. One shoe was inspired by the white border crossing point at Checkpoint Charlie; another by the muted red of Checkpoint Bravo in the district of Berlin-Dreilinden.

This approach led to the emergence of a sneaker community with a passion for adidas designs, not least because of their clever allusions to events past and present. adidas has fostered interaction within this community in a number of ways, including selling different colored versions of the same shoe in different regional markets. As Kampf explains, cultural codes play a key role here, because design characteristics such as colors and numbers can signify one thing in one culture and something quite different in another.

Customers Get Creative

“In a fast-moving world like ours, you can no longer anticipate every single trend,” says Kampf. “Today’s trends are shaped by and within a creative community.”

This is where adidas gets a great deal of its inspiration. Fashion-conscious adidas customers, particularly from the younger generation, use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as platforms for experimenting with outfits and backgrounds that complement their sneakers. And hashtags like #adidasoriginals and #zxflux keep Twitter and Instagram users up to date with the latest developments in the community.

Similarly, YouTube is a rich source of videos posted by customers to provide feedback on certain sneaker editions or to demonstrate the best way to lace the various models. These are a great way for adidas to track customer responses to new products and to observe emerging trends.

adidas embraced a very new approach in 2014 when it developed  a personalization app that invited customers to design their own footwear. For his shoe design, soccer legend Zinédine Zidane chose a picture of the backyard where he learned to play the game as a child. To make sure customers’ ideas and preferences aligned with the adidas brand strategy, customers were given a selection of possible materials, colors, and graphics to choose from.

For Lars Kampf, involving customers in the creative process is key: “The combination of graphics, materials, and colors ‒ the design ‒ creates both the emotional and the functional connection between the product and the customer.”

To find out more about the SAP Design Talks, visit the SAP User Experience Community.

Images via Jason Terschüren

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Ride Sharing Goes Hyperlocal with Jugnoo

Thứ Năm, 22 tháng 6, 2017

Leading Research Firms Recognize SAP as a Leader in Enabling the Real-Time Supply Chain

WALLDORFSAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that it has been recognized as a leader by both Gartner and ARC Advisory Group for planning and management systems.

The recognition demonstrates SAP’s commitment to helping global businesses respond to new market expectations with real-time supply chain planning features that help meet demand profitably.

According to recent reports, SAP has been:

“The new business processes in today’s digital economy place an unprecedented emphasis on a responsive and flexible supply chain,” said Hans Thalbauer, senior vice president, Digital Supply Chain and Internet of Things, SAP. “This group of industry recognitions provides further proof that we have created a supply chain planning solution that meets the needs of today’s complex business environment. We continue to deliver innovations for our customers that set the standard for digital supply chain leadership.”

Gartner’s 2017 “Magic Quadrant for Sales and Operations Planning Systems of Differentiation”1 report listed the SAP Integrated Business Planning solution in the leader’s quadrant. SAP Integrated Business Planning for sales and operations delivers a cross-departmental plan that balances the impact of product mix, inventory, service levels and profitability. It further aligns sales and operations plans to corporate strategy and goals to drive revenue growth, increase market share and attain financial targets.

Gartner’s “Market Snapshot: ERP Manufacturing and Operations Software, Worldwide”2 names SAP a top-five software vendor by revenue in the manufacturing and operations market.

SAP’s customer base was also recognized by Gartner, as 23 SAP users were named as supply chain leaders in “The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2017.”3 The report “identifies the companies that best exemplify the demand-driven ideal for today’s supply chain and document their best practices, which can help all companies move closer to their demand-driven goals.”

ARC Advisory Group’s “Warehouse Management Systems Global Market Research Study4 recognizes SAP as a leading supplier in six categories. This study evaluated warehouse management systems and named SAP a leading supplier in terms of software revenues, a leading supplier in EMEA, Asia and Latin America, and a leading supplier for both the automotive and machinery industries. The study said: “Unlike the other leading suppliers, SAP also offers a warehouse control system integrated into their WMS for the control of material handling equipment.” It also cited SAP’s “major investment focus” in the Internet of Things for its impact on logistics solutions.

ARC Advisory Group’s “Transportation Management Systems Global Market Research Study5 recognizes SAP as a leading supplier in 18 categories. This study evaluated transportation management systems and named SAP a leading supplier in total market, fleet management, planning and execution, services revenues, software revenues, maintenance/support, EMEA, Asia, Latin America, aerospace and defense, automotive, chemical, government, machinery, tier 1, tier 2, department and general merchandise, and grocer/food and beverage.

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

About Gartner
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About ARC Advisory Group
Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is the leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure. ARC stands apart due to our in-depth coverage of both information technologies (IT) and operational technologies (OT) and associated business trends. Our analysts and consultants have the industry knowledge and the first-hand experience to help our clients find the best answers to the complex business issues facing organizations today. We provide technology supplier clients with strategic market research, and help technology end user clients develop appropriate adoption strategies and evaluate and select the best technology solutions for their needs. You can take advantage of ARC’s extensive ongoing research plus the experience of our staff members through our Advisory Services. ARC’s Advisory Services are specifically designed for executives responsible for developing strategies and directions for their organizations. For membership information, please call or write us or visit our website at

Media Contacts:
Jim Dever, SAP, +1 (610) 661-2161,, EDT
Kyle Tildsley, PAN Communications, +1 (617) 503-4352,, EDT

1) Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Sales & Operations Planning System of Differentiation,” May 2017
2) Gartner, “Market Snapshot: ERP Manufacturing and Operations Software, Worldwide,” May 2017
3) “The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2017,” May 2017,
4) ARC Advisory Group, “Warehouse Management Systems Global Market Research Study,” April 2017
5) ARC Advisory Group, “Transportation Management Systems Global Market Research Study, June 2017

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 for additional trademark information and notices.

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2017 Nominating Period for Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award Opens

In the words of SAP CEO Bill Mc Dermott, “Few companies can lay claim to being the originator of an entire industry. SAP is one of the exceptions.”

Forty-five years ago, the founders of SAP set off to start an ERP company, armed with an untainted sense of courage and a lot of entrepreneurial passion. Since then, Hasso Plattner and the company’s founders have inspired countless young professionals to boldly pursue their academic, business, and technology passions and build something new.

To ensure that the legacy is alive and well within SAP, Hasso Plattner and the SAP Executive Board conceived the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award in 2014. Granted annually by the CEO to a deserving employee or team, the award has become the highest internal recognition possible at SAP. The award now needs a deserving candidate for 2017. The winner will receive a crystal glass lens trophy, a grand of prize a €100,000 in cash and equity, in addition to other ways of recognition.

To ensure that its entrepreneurial legacy is alive and well, SAP conceived the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award

Last year, 190 teams were nominated by their peers with a total of 1,700 employees from 38 countries, marking a significant increase over previous years.

The SAP Skills for Africa team stood out from the crowd and was selected as the winner of the 2016 award.

The four employees from the winning team launched and grew a jobs creation program that fills Africa’s skills gap in the IT sector. More than 400 consultants have now been placed in jobs in Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa, and the project is currently expanding to the Ivory Coast and Algeria.

SAP Africa CEO Brett Parker praised the team for their hard work, saying: “It’s clearly been worth the effort, because in 2016 we had a positive impact on 1,000 lives.”

At SAP, we recognize that an innovation-led culture with an abundance of entrepreneurial thinking is the key to future success and to improving people lives.

The award seeks to reward employees who took a risk, charged ahead with their new ideas, and showed a new vision for the future — just like the SAP founders did. We eagerly await the winner of the Hasso Plattner Founder Award 2017.

via SAP News Center

SAP S/4HANA Powers Healthy Water, Cool Places to Eat, Connected Cars, Safe Homes

Clean water, good food, secure homes and sustainable transportation are among the basics we count on every day. Thanks to innovations like SAP S/4HANA, access to these basics is changing for the better.

Four leaders from companies at the vanguard of a better future recently shared their experiences at the annual SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference.

Connected, Electric Cars

SAP cloud software was the unexpected yet entirely logical choice for Karma Automotive, a two-year old plug-in electric luxury car manufacturer that just shipped its first vehicles.

“When I said we’re going with SAP mainly because of their deep industry expertise, and out-of-the-box best practices for processes, that was not the answer our interim CEO expected,” said Mikael Elley, CIO at Karma. “In his mind, we’re a startup company so of course, we’d be completely in cloud. It became obvious through our research that to meet the demands of our new company for flexible, scalable, easy-to-use and cost-effective we had to go to SAP S/4HANA, and in addition, go to the SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Hybris. We’re running our complete business on the SAP platform.”

Real-time data in the SAP cloud is behind Karma’s complete car experience, from buying a vehicle in the dealership to manufacturing in the factory and driving every day. With a few clicks, customers can configure cars that match their personal preferences using SAP Cloud Platform. Employees on the factory floor at Karma Automotive conduct quality inspections and quickly manage rework. Once on the road, cars emit diagnostic codes that automatically trigger workflows alerting customers of steps to take.

People-First, Inclusive Workplace

L to R: Mikael Elley, Karma Automotive; Tara Gambill, MOD Pizza; Manish Sinha, Vectus Industries; Jerry Druce, Vivint Smart Home.

As a cloud-only shop with a lean IT organization, MOD Pizza found SAP S/4HANA Cloud was the ideal solution to support the casual eatery’s aggressive growth and achieve its goal “to be a cool place to eat and an inspiring place to work.” Over 4,000 employees work in more than 200 MOD Pizza locations across the United States and the United Kingdom.

“We needed to continue to expand while creating a platform for innovation. SAP S/4HANA helped simplify our control points and data, and standardize core processes so we can focus on innovation and differentiation,” said Tara Gambill, director of IT at MOD Pizza. “One of our biggest differentiators is our employees. We have a people-first mantra called spreading MODness, where we empower employees doing things like second-chance hires, embracing diversity, focusing on someone’s future and not being hampered by their past. SAP S/4HANA in the cloud, with its natural integration with SAP SuccessFactors, made it the best possible solution for us.”

Clean, Safe Water

For Vectus Industries, SAP S/4HANA delivered much-needed transparency and speed, helping connect its mobile workforce of over 200 people across India that brings life-saving water to communities.

“We needed visibility into how our products were moving into the market, insights about our users, and the ability to share information across departments,” said Manish Sinha, head of IT at Vectus Industries. “We’re helping address a water crisis, and the insights that SAP S/4HANA provides help us stay in touch with customers, integrate our mobile workforce, and have a connected platform for using innovations like IoT.”

Since implementing SAP S/4HANA, Manish said Vectus Industries has increased efficiency by 60 percent while reducing operational costs. “Now there’s no downtime, and year-end closings have gone from taking months to days.”

Agility to Grow on Demand

High-growth company Vivint SmartHome had to innovate systems in synch with its rapidly changing business model. They replaced a patchwork of siloed software and apps across finance, inventory, warehousing and sales with SAP S/4HANA.

“As innovative as we are, we’re taking on new initiatives with new partnerships for a direct sales direct model,” Jerry Druce, senior director and program manager at Vivint Smart Home. “To reach our goals we need to go through retail markets. The expansion of our sales and distribution channels led us to SAP. We needed the agility to grow on demand, especially as new channels for multi-dwelling short-term rentals are growing.”

As for advice to companies “standing on the ledge” of digital transformation, Elley said to “read through SAP’s well-documented release notes to make sure the version and release supports the business processes you have, try out the solution, and assess where you should go. We did the same things, and it was remarkably easy to upgrade compared to what we had thought.”

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

Top image via Shutterstock

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