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This week we are celebrating Diversity Days at SAP.I find myself at various times loving diversity and at other times loving uniformity. There are some aspects of our life – electric outlets, financial statements, systems software, computer chips, flight schedules, scientific principles, math, currency etc. In these matters, standards, interoperability, predictability, efficiency, reliability matter a lot. With these things, uniformity reigns supreme. Then there are the matters of the heart – music, food, fashion, poetry, perfume. These are the areas where diversity brings pleasure. Differences are delightful!

The emerging world of software demands a synthesis of both worlds. We must at once create timeless software that is backwards compatible but at the same time be a pleasure to use on the most modern mobile experiences. It must be easy to use on the run, but must return real-time information instantly.

Interestingly, to create this new world of software requires creativity on both sides: from developing the SAP HANA algorithms to creating the most beautiful Recalls Plus user experience. Such creativity springs from diversity of thoughts and ideas and the rigor of scientific method to pick among the options. SAP is a large worldwide company. Many of us must scale our processes across the world.  And this is a challenge, but at the same time we must also take the time to recognize the incredible asset we have, our diversity.  The smartest engineers from around the world collaborate to create our newest innovations.  For example, we routinely come across delightful accents in our teams proposing and debating the next generation of algorithms on conference calls and in Telepresence rooms.  We recognize that these calls include the voices of men and women, people of varied ages.

Therein lies our strenght. This is the time to recognize and celebrate it. Diversity is not only critical to our success, but a lot of fun!

Can you remember the last time when you recognized someone/something that was “different” and you reveled in the difference? In your travels maybe? Pictures? Names? Accents? Food?

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