Some events are worth noting because they help you find simpler solutions to complex business challenges. That was the case at SAP Forum Brazil last week in São Paulo. Maybe simplicity is all about being smarter. Steve Lucas, global President of SAP Platform Solutions on site to talk about innovation, told customers that SAP HANA makes everything you own smarter. In a connected economy, your things, your networks and systems are all connected, enabling decisions such as restocking vending machines and rerouting trucks to be made without human intervention.
Who cares if it’s bread or cheese?
He also found a simple way to describe SAP’s state of the art technology:
Some people come to Brazil for the beaches, some for the business. I come for the pão de queijo. Is it bread? Is it cheese? Who cares? It’s good. It’s the same with SAP HANA. Is it a database? Is it a platform? Who cares? It’s REALLY good!
Customers got it!
According to Steve, companies that innovate, like the Brazilian energy giant Petrobras, are the ones that lead the world. Innovation is not hard to pinpoint.
“The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones,” said Cristina Palmaka, President of SAP Brazil, during her opening speech. “It ended because people found new ways to make life easier. But it’s not enough to have a good idea; you have to be able to transform it into a competitive advantage.”
One way to gain competitive advantage is to predict the future. Diego Dzodan, President of SAP Southern Latin America (SoLA) noted:
We spend a lot of time thinking about the future. We wonder how our kids will turn out, which team will win the soccer match. The same preoccupation with future results is what drives business. Predicitive analytics is the crystal ball that can help companies anticipate business changes and take the right measures to avoid issues before they materialize.
Finally, Rodolpho Cardenuto, President of SAP Americas, noted that SAP has reduced innovation time to market by 50 percent. However, customers’ time-to-value from these innovations doesn’t always keep up with this pace because traditional application integration and implementation is too complex. The answer to this conundrum is the cloud because it provides a simpler delivery model to accelerate the adoption of innovation. After his keynote, customers flocked to the Cloud Enterprise showfloor where they could watch humorous skits on a day in the life of an enterprise running 100 percent on SAP Cloud Solutions.
The future of business is sustainable business
Besides providing deep insight into SAP’s solutions to customer problems in industries of all sizes, the event offered plenty of opportunity to draw parallels between technology and the other forces shaping the world today. Miguel Nicolelis, a neuroscientist working on brain-to-brain interfaces reminded us that all big data stems from the human brain.
Fabio Barbosa of Grupo Abril, a major Brazilian media conglomerate, spoke about the role of individuals and businesses in shaping the country Brazil seeks to become. He believes the business of business should be sustainable business.
That just about sums up the raison d’etre of SAP’s EmergingEntrepreneur Initiative, which supports high impact entrepreneurs in partnership with Endeavor. The program addresses the issue of talent shortage in IT and helps accelerate job creation. Best of all, it represents SAP’s vision of the future because the innovative startups in the program today will lead the world tomorrow.
Soccer gets a little help from technology
And what would a technology event be in the world’s No. 1 soccer country be without a Soccer Showcase? SAP demoed a new solution for soccer teams that can improve performance and management processes and boost interaction with sports fans. The solution analyzes data during a soccer match in real time to advance game strategy, and also helps fans find out if their friends are in the stadium, putting their social media profile photos in their assigned seats.
We all know technology can solve a lot of problems, but it can also be confusing, especially when it changes faster than it takes to set up. The goal at SAP’s second largest customer event worldwide (after SAPPHIRE NOW) was to reassure customers, partners and developers that we’re not going to solve complex problems with complex technology. We can only do it by keeping it simple.
Having been there, I’d say mission accomplished in Brazil! If you missed the Forum this year, be there in 2015!