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The bright light of globalization

Globalization shines a brilliant spotlight on everything that’s right – and wrong – with the world.

Thanks to widespread connectivity and instant information access, it’s equally easy for us to see critical social problems (such as Ebola outbreaks) and to share innovative ideas for change (such as steps toward nuclear fusion). As a result, society has the potential for both planetary levels of insight and innovation – allowing individual developers, private enterprises, and multilateral agencies to develop planetary levels of ambition.

Technology for good

Some technologies, like the Internet, mobile devices and computing, and Big Data seem designed to support these ambitions. For example, the Internet enables new information transparency across previously tightly-controlled regimes; mobile devices support democratization “from the street”; Big Data provides previously hidden insights to improve everything from personalized medicine to 3D printing.

If one thing is clear, it is that technology will play an ever-greater role in society, in our evolution, and in fulfilling these planetary levels of ambition. At SAP, our vision is to help the world run better, and to improve peoples’ lives everywhere. We think of this as “doing well by doing good.”

Our planet needs help

When I think about some of the planetary-level challenges we face, I believe that few enterprises are better positioned than SAP to help address some of the most important questions of our time. Think about the issues we face: How can we optimize the world’s supply chain? Raw materials? Food? Water? Waste? Health? Risk? Capital? The list is endless.

My conviction is that SAP is already the “platform for the planet.” SAP solutions manage 65% of the world’s gross domestic product as measured by transactions. We handle $600 billion in commerce – more than Alibaba, eBay, and Amazon combined. Our platform-as-a-service has the potential to allow countless developers throughout the world to access our >260,000 enterprise customers. Said another way, planetary levels of ambition can be fulfilled on a planetary platform that is already in place today. SAP offers this platform.

Science fiction or science fact?

This is no promise of the future. SAP has already developed the networks, platforms, and applications to address problems like these. In every industry, our solutions deliver real benefit to people using our solutions – today. Here are a few examples:

  • In Africa, cashew farmers use SAP technology to avoid fraud in the crop auction system and gain access to real-time pricing data. Information transparency is reducing corruption and empowering farmers to decide when to sell their crops.

  • In South Africa, nearly 10 million people have no access to financial services. Mobile technology from SAP is helping financial services companies open thousands of new bank accounts per month for these people. Inclusive banking and microfinance services are a phenomenon of our time.

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  • Compartamos offers financial inclusion to young entrepreneurs and underprivileged communities in Mexico and Latin America. Through small loans and delivery of business training, Compartamos supports artisan women from rural areas to turn their business ideas into reality.

These are just a few examples of how SAP is doing well by doing good. SAP is not “your grandfather’s ERP.” Instead, it may be your “grandchildren’s ERP.”

Our commitment to developing technologies that help people live better and build a brighter future is also our commitment to not rest on our past successes. By looking ahead and connecting planetary ambition with the needs of individual human beings, we hope to play our role in improving the planet, one person at a time.

Simon Paris. President, Industry Cloud at SAP

Please connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn

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