It was bound to happen eventually. Having extended its reach to every known civilization, the world’s leading inter-enterprise solution provider now aims to push frontiers beyond conventional geographic boundaries.
On May 5th and 6th 2008, at the SAPPHIRE US conference in Orlando, SAP launches satellites for Industry Business Units (IBUs) Banking and Chemicals, connecting customers and partners on the ground in Florida with teams of experts from marketing and product and solution management in Walldorf and Bangalore.
Instead of the customary rocket-propelled shuttle deployment, these communication satellites are fuelled and driven by pure innovation.
Essentially the SAPPHIRE satellites are micro-conferences that take place online during the Orlando convention, using a webcam, some nifty new web-conferencing tools, and the private collaboration space currently undergoing pilot testing before it’s installed on BPX and SDN.
On the first satellite missions, selected partners and customers are lined up in Orlando to interface with the SAP teams and hold short discussions, testing the knowledge of the experts in Germany and Bangalore on the following topics:
- Manufacturing in Chemicals
- Supply Chain Planning in Chemicals
- Advanced Planning and Optimization
- Innovation Management for the Chemical Industry
- REACH Compliance – SAPPHIRE Showcase
- Industry Value Networks (IVNs)
- Energy Management
- Perfect Plant
The initiative is directed by Natascha Schuberth Thomson of SAP Partner Marketing, Frauke Hassdenteufel of BPX, and Kieran O’Connor of SAP Process Industries.
Natascha directs proceedings in Orlando, effectively acting as mission control, while Kieran manages the communication side from Walldorf and Bangalore. Meanwhile, Frauke evaluates the results of these initial projects and refines the process for general roll-out to support future satellites.
Satellite Crew and Sponsors
Franz Hero and Dr. Paul Centen, of IBUs Chemicals and Banking respectively, provide the much-needed solution expert panels for the Walldorf teams, while Siddharth Rabindran lends his support on industry value network (IVN) topics.
The satellite initiative aims to demonstrate the intersection and interaction of SAP IBUs with what the company terms the communities of innovation:
- BPX Community
- Enterprise Services Community (ESC)
- Ecosystem Partner Marketing
- IVN Community
- Co-innovation Lab (COIL)
Key Aims of the Satellite
Primarily, the SAPPHIRE satellites are designed to enhance the customer experience at the conference, by enabling the IBUs to provide innovative and rapid customer support to augment the information available at the event.
Much as they would like, IBU heads cannot realistically expect to have every single member of their extended solution architecture and solution management teams physically present at such events, so an enriched and updated virtual meeting provides much broader scope for engagement, promising an even more rewarding experience for the customer.
In short, the satellite projects are designed to show the following:
- the cohesion, intersection, and interaction of the communities of innovation (COI) with the IBUs
- a practical application of this collaborative approach in a short exercise with support from colleagues around the globe
- the flexibility of BPX-SDN communications tools
- SAP’s commitment to rapid customer support
- the communities’ ongoing innovative efforts to reduce our collective carbon footprints
We look forward to similar future initiatives from SAP.