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The Boardroom redefined – revolutionizing the way we run businesses

We have presented the Boardroom redefined at Sapphire. The feedback from customers, partners, our community and also our own employees was extremely positive. Let me share with you my view of the Boardroom redefined and give you some color on the interactions with our customers at SAPPHIRE and what is about to come next

Intro…or what the Boardroom redefined is about:
SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA brings incredible real-time reporting capabilities, yet on executive level we find many heterogeneous reporting solutions and
meetings dominated by static PowerPoint content. Now we are redefining the way we business are being steered and boardmeetings are being run by bringing the power of SAP S/4HANA into the hands of the decision makers driving the company. In the boardroom redesigned, the executive team shares a harmonized view of the company and can answer ad-hoc questions immediately. This enables them to focus discussions on current key figures and quickly come to factbased business decisions. Some of the key features include:

  • Business power user-enabled configuration environment, flexible screen set up and content definition
  • Realtime view on key performance indicators and understand trends and depencies across all company divisions
  • Unifying report viewing experience for different systems and divisions via information design
  • Real-time reporting directly from operational data based on line item data bringing the ability to slice and dice the data in any dimension
  • Simple user interface for powerful exploration capabilities, simulations and what-if analysis on any level of the company by bringing together actual and forecast data on same granularity
  • Track meeting agenda, issue discussions and action items in the boardroom tool

Or in other words:

  1. We look at the state of the company – holistically
  2. We understand the past – in detail
  3. We get the context – in different dimensions
  4. We identify the opportunity – ad hoc
  5. We explore and drill in – down to any level
  6. We simulate and predict the impact – in realtime
  7. We understand and take immediate action – in the meeting

Here is a video I did that gives you a good impression of the power of S/4 HANA and the capabilities of the Boardroom redefined.

My take on the Boardroom from (I can tell you) many, many customer interactions:

All (and I really mean ALL!!!) of my customer interactions were very positive. The feedback was that they now see the real power of S/4 Hana and understand the value that this would provide to their business. Even only the dashboarding part on realtime data was very convincing to many of them, but then the ability to look at historical patterns, compare different datasets and then get the contextual information to complent the holisitc picture was really cool…..

Many more tech focused visitiors said that they urgently need to show this to their C-Level and asked on how we can arrange this (btw, there are demo set up in Germany and USA and we will have one in Asia coming soon – so let me know if case you want to show it). So I think we hit a spot with our customers making a case out of realtime data, line item capabilities and prediction/simulation scenarios. The scenario we showed (see video above) resonated very well  with the visitors and we also explained the variety of other scenarios for other industries, e.g.simulation for currency changes or raw material price changes.

The 3 main questions of our customers:

  1. What is the technological foundation and what tools do we see? Answer: The foundation of all of this is S/4 HANA. This enables the boardroom in the first place and provides the analytical power. On top of S/4 HANA are sitting different analytical applications such as the Smart Business Executive Edition or Cloud for Planning and Analytics.
  2. When will this be available? Anwer: We are aiming for a productization towards the end of the year. Internally we will be using a first version in Q3 for our board meetings. So stay tuned to get an update on how this looks like and how it changes our board meetings
  3. What does the set up cost? For the Sapphire set up also shown in the Video apart from the licenses for the applications (which still is tbd during productization) you need 3 touchscreens. But they can be bought on the internet, so its standard and not too expensive. We also have a single screen version of the boardroom which can be used with any laptop or computer. However, the 3-touchscreen interaction is way cooler 🙂

So what’s next:

As I said, we are now productizing the pilot that was demoed at Sapphire and will provide news on this as soon as they are available. We are also working on the internal adoption is planned for Q3 – so not too much time. It is very exciting to be the frontrunner on this with my Enterprise Analytics organization in making sure that our Board gets the benefits out of this new solution. To satisfy the huge interest of our customer in the meantime we have/will set up 5 demo locations of the 3 screen setups (Walldorf, Potsdam, Newtown Square, Palo Alto and a tbd location in Asia). And obviously we are currently making sure that our sales representatives get ramped up to help the customers with any questions on this topic.

So in nutshell, these are exciting times with S/4 HANA. It enables kind of the perfect storm for data analysis and by that will revolutionize the way we steer, make decisions and operate in boardmeetings and on all levels with real-time data, insights beyond the ordinary and simulation like never before. This is our chance to show the world the power of S/4 HANA in a tangible and C-level relevant use case. And rest assured – we will!

Looking forward to discussing this with you in more detail


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