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While I’m not sure if it was entirely intended, I found the joint presentation between Jim, as head of products, and Bill, as head of sales, a nice parallel for closing the gap between strategy and execution.

In many organizations, there is a disconnect between what the organization builds and what customers want. Because this is largely a communication problem, the antidote to this disconnect is to be more clear.

Jim and Bill used a value-based cycle of discovery, realization, and optimization to show how an organization can extract true benefits from their SAP solutions. In the process, they were not only clear, they also demonstrated that sales and development are aligned at SAP. 

Ian popped in to show how SAP’s offerings supported the cycle, demoing a benchmarking offering for value discovery, enhancement packs and the ecoHub for value realization, as well as business process management for value optimization.

One concept that I found particularly interesting was the distinction between best practices and own practices. Best practices represent the collective experience of SAP’s vast customer base on how to design end-to-end processes.

While organizations should adopt these best practices for non-differentiating processes, they need to create so-called own practices by tailoring and extending best practices in areas where they require the most differentiation. Own practices can unlock growth opportunities and increase business agility.

Bill and Jim provided a clear call to action for everyone attending SAPPHIRE, both in person and on the virtual platform:

  • 1. Give SAP BusinessObjects Explorer a test drive on your own data (no charge!)
  • 2. Check out the Best Run Now packages to see how you can return high value quickly
  • 3. Leverage SAP’s service offerings to help with system landscape optimization
  • 4. Use the EcoHub and Solution Manager to find other solutions that can be leveraged
  • 5. Take advantage of the value management discipline

The keynote was a good reminder of the breadth, depth, and value of the SAP portfolio. It was quite impressive and even managed to outshine the thunderstorm that raged on outside.

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