New like the year . . . I’m writing about the team behind SAP’s new product for retail, SAP Ganges. And I’m doing so in this new space on the SAP Community Network – “Inside SAP Labs”.

Let me first tell you about this amazing team at SAP Labs India and then – as it may be interesting to you – explain why I’m introducing them in this space.

I had the opportunity to meet the Project Ganges team at SAP Labs in Bangalore a couple weeks back. I was in India for SAP TechEd, and spent the day before the opening of the conference with this special group of developers – at the lab and at a pre-conference employee event.

The team had just developed SAP Ganges, a solution running on the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud that breaks new ground, offering a business network for retail in emerging markets. Vishal Sikka was about to announce the release of the product in front of thousands attending TechEd and the excitement among the developers was palpable. For them, the moment was clearly a meaningful milestone in what had been an intense journey.

During the day, I learned about the project and interviewed its members. They’re a small team that was given a tall order – to go out to the local market, talk to the players in the retail industry (particularly small shop owners) to understand their pain points, completely re-think what had been done in the past, and design and build an entirely new solution for this vertical.

In my conversations with them, a picture emerged of a talented team of young entrepreneurs. It was evident each of them felt privileged to be part of the endeavor. They spoke about having been empowered to solve an acute problem in the marketplace, and having successfully operated in the mode of a lean start up to do it.

Remarkably they didn’t even look the slightest bit exhausted by the effort – or perhaps they were just hiding the effects of sleep deprivation knowing they were on camera. Look for yourself – here’s the video we did with the developers:

I want to extend a special thanks to Sunder Madakshira for providing a camera crew, and to Aritraa Mitra for coordinating all the efforts in creating this. And most of all, I’d like to thank the developers for graciously giving their time and sharing their experiences : Keerthi G, Suhas S, Manikandan Natarajan, Abhishek Hemanth Kumar Desai, Mamatha TR, Sri Vidhya A N, Raghavendra Bhuvan, and Kirti Sharma.

So why am I blogging about this here? Well, we – the SCN team together with the Labs network – just recently launched “Inside SAP Labs”, this new space in the community. The idea is to provide a platform for SAP developers to tell their stories. Here is where they can speak not just about what they developed but about how they developed it and why.  For customers and partners, or anyone external to SAP, it’s here where you’ll be able to glimpse inside the different labs at SAP distributed across the globe to get to know some of the key people building software at SAP and gain insight into their thinking.

It’s meant to be a conversation, and I’d like to invite you – whether you’re a developer at SAP who has an experience to relate or you’re a customer or partner or just someone interested in what SAP is doing – to take part in it.

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