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1. The pace of innovation will accelerate.

This is just continuing the trend over the past decade. Few people would have expected mobile devices (including tablets) to become the primary way that many people consume content. Similarly, the rapid trend towards cloud computing caught many organizations by surprise and they are making moves to react now. I’m confident that SAP is on track with S/4 and other initiatives that we can remain market leaders in enterprise application software.

My action plan: experiment with new technologies to understand them and integrate the best into my daily routine.

2. Organizations will need to simplify so they can innovate.

Most of the keynotes focused on simplifying IT and making everything seamless to enable innovation. I’m pleased that my product, SAP Screen Personas, is a key part of this initiative at SAP. It allows organizations to streamline business process and simplify screens to improve both user productivity and employee satisfaction. People can use the time they save performing routine tasks in SAP for thinking about the next big thing. As part of the move to the Fiori user experience, SAP Screen Personas allows you to transform SAP GUI screens into the Fiori UX, with minimal development resources.

My action plan: continue to make SAP Screen Personas easier to use and explore ways to speed the way people can simplify screens.

3. Individuals will need to embrace change and reinvent themselves periodically.

For me, Michael Strahan’s ASUG keynote (he starts at around 39:50 in) was the most meaningful part of SAPPHIRE. His focus on teamwork and accountability reminded me why the SAP Imagineering team is so successful in innovating, bringing products to market, and retaining key talent. In fact, one of our customers emailed me after the event that “It’s inspiring to witness the synergy that you have as a team.” This is one of the main reasons we all enjoy coming to work every day.

On a more personal level, I was really impressed by Strahan’s ability to reinvent himself (as he entered new roles or even new careers), embrace change, and constantly learn from everyone and everything (at every stage of his career, even when he was at the top of his game).

My action plan: learn new skills, even if they may be outside of my comfort zone. Expanding my JavaScript skills is on the list for 2015.

I also appreciated Strahan’s message that leadership comes in different forms and that motivation is unique for each person. A former sales executive always reminded his team that everyone needed to be a leader, even individual contributors.

Moving forward, I will strive to keep Strahan’s lessons in mind:

  • Embrace change
  • Learn from everyone
  • Lead by example

How did SAPPHIRE NOW 2015 influence you?

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