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Author's profile photo Stefan Guertzgen

Key Takeaways from Sapphire 2015

This year’s SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando attracted about 17.000 people on site. The conference was centered around S/4HANA, the biggest launch in SAP’s history, and how it can help to drive more business agility, insight, efficiency and innovation at lower cost through simplification.

Here are the key takeaways from the event from a chemicals perspective:

  • Simon Paris and Christoph Behrendt shared their view on Digital Networks at the industry analyst boot camp, illustrated by real life examples like embedding geospatial information, contingent workforce and the Asset Information Network (AIN) for exploring different options to repair/replace a pump as part of a pipeline.
  • Bert Schulze from the SAP S/4HANA Co-innovation Lab explained the value of S/4HANA for key business processes in chemicals, like e.g. the Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP) process – planners will not only get their results much faster, a FIORI user interface will also equip them with preconfigured proposals for ad-hoc decision making in support of enhanced responsiveness to customer needs.
    In general the messaging around S/4HANA attracted a lot of interest at the event. Watch the
  • The HANA Preconference Day for Chemicals provided detailed insights into the value HANA can deliver in Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Sales via compelling use cases shared by DuPont, Albemarle, Nippon Paints China and Asian Paints. During those sessions it became quite obvious that selling services besides products becomes more and more a competitive differentiator for chemical companies.
  • Discussing overarching, value adding concepts, rather than solutions or products, resonated very well with the chemicals audience. On the sales side
    this means moving from CRM towards profitability based customer engagement, bringing together cloudfor sales with chemical specific add-ons from partner Qnovate, price and margin management, multi-channel sales and services and finally Sales & Operations Planning. On the production side it means combining concepts like IT/OT integration and real-time performance insights supported by partners like ROLTA with holistic capital and asset lifecycle management and services as well as with Asset Information Networks. On the supply chain side
    IBP, Integrated Business Planning, continued to draw a lot of attention both in the LOB campus and in the industry campus. The concept of a unified data model across an integrated platform for supply chain resonated with both the executive and the business user.
  • The Best Run Chemical Company (BRCC) approach got a lot of traction as it provides a highly tactical and pragmatic way to position SAP’s chemical
    solution portfolio along with associated mega-themes and roadmap for adoption. If you want to learn more about this methodology watch the video.


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