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Sapphire Orlando 2013 was big fun for big data start ups in the SAP start of focus program.  Over 30 start ups joined a small crew of Startup Focus folks to enjoy three very packed days.

The keynotes included references to solutions from startups, in the SAP startup focus program, including the final keynotes from Vishal and Hasso.  From the big-screen keynotes, too small stage micro forums, the start ups were everywhere.  Since the keynotes were well covered in the media and social channels I wanted to touch upon some learnings from the micro forums.

In one micro forum a large media provider discussed how they got to know their viewing base through a solution offered by FanAppz.  This media channel had been trying to understand their base through very inaccurate tools.  FanAppz provided a socially engaging alternative channel where viewers could participate in contests, express their preferences.  With the viewers plugged in to the FanAppz suite powered by SAP HANA the media company had very detailed information of their viewing base.  This allowed them to tailor messaging and sell advertising with more certainty and confidence than ever before.  What I found particularly interesting was how programming changes would impact responses from regular viewers.  As an example when a contest was modeled after March madness, the ratio of male participants increased dramatically. This allowed the media company to tailor their programming, marketing and social engagement for male viewers, while also designing other offerings for their female viewing base.  

Next Principles also presented at a microform. Their customer was a large pharmaceutical manufacturer who discussed how they track social engagement at a macro level around particular diseases and treatments. What I found most interesting here is the amount of information that individuals will share regarding diseases, illnesses, and treatment options.  Often people join online forums for information or support either for themselves or for a family member or loved one.  The Next Principles solution offered the pharmaceutical company with insight and analytics to an incredibly open dialogue and discussion. While the industry is heavily regulated and social interaction may be difficult for such companies, the drug maker now benefits from insights into real time market feedback.

At another micro forum Liquid Analytics presented with a beverage distribution customer.  Here the solution is gathering large amounts of historic inventory and regional consumption data to provide pre-populated restocking plans for the remote and mobile field. Instead of a distributor sending out reps unaware as to inventory planning, the distributor was sending out reps with predictive analytical models at their remote fingertips, for restocking, cross-selling and up selling. This allows for more accurate restocking, the identification of net new cross-selling opportunities, and more quality time for the rep to speak with their individual accounts on new opportunities. Individual stores and outlets are also impressed that they do not need to guess their restocking requirements but instead have the benefit of big data analyses backing up their decisions. They also see macro trends from other vendors in the region that they may not have been aware of. 

The forms are hard to capture in a single blog but be sure to pencil in your active participation at your next Tech Ed, SAP Forum or SAPPHIRE NOW event.  See you there!

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