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Preparing for a Profitable Future: The Roadmap to Simple from SAPPHIRE® NOW for the Professional Services Industry

“This year we are giving you the roadmap to simple.” With those simple words, Bill McDermott, the loquacious leader of SAP, ignited an excitement at SAPPHIRE® NOW that caught fire and roared through the next three days unabated. And with each subsequent speaker, the enthusiasm for how technology enables business today continued to mount.

I know you all couldn’t be at the conference, so I want to share with you my top five takeaways for the professional services industry. I’m sure you’ll find the excitement to be as infectious as we did.

Eric van Rossum, vice president and head of industry business unit professional services at SAP, shared ideas about how to deliver client value profitably. Rossum gave insights into the latest professional services innovations in enterprise mobility, analytics, in-memory computing, and cloud. He also shared his vision for the future of the industry, clearly a subject that’s near and dear to our hearts. You’ll want to watch the session now.

Narendra Sonwane, associate vice president and head of business services at Infosys, shared how his company deployed SAP HANA technology in just five months. SAP HANA, an in-memory relational database management system designed to handle both high transaction rates and complex query processing on the same platform, makes it possible for customers to achieve extraordinary business results. “It’s like falling in love. One day or another, you’re going to decide to buy HANA,” said Sonwane. Want to accelerate your financial closing processes? We’ve got you covered. Want to progressively move more batch activities into a real-time environment? Yep, we can do that, too. With SAP HANA, Infosys renewed its user experience across devices, and you can catch Sonwane’s session to find out how.

Colin Golding, manager of consulting services sourcing at Verizon, discussed how the company takes a broader, more active approach to managing the external workforce. Their “secret sauce”?  SAP’s vendor management system, Fieldglass, a cloud-based technology used to manage external workforces. “It really helps us leverage Verizon’s spend, drive competitive bidding, and get the best quality candidates at the lowest possible price,” Golding said. Watch Golding’s session to learn about the evolution and strategic value of flexible workforce management.

Deepak Seth, senior director of mobile product management and strategy at Concur, illustrated how his company’s business apps not only make life easier for traveling employees, but also improves productivity and workflow. An industry-certified, safe, and secure solution, Concur now has a platform within the app that allows users to connect to more than 100 partners including Über and Starbucks. Tired of having your expense report hanging over your head like the Sword of Damocles? What if you could have your report completed by the time your trip ends? Watch Seth’s session to find out how mobile apps from Concur, now part of SAP, can aid in mobile travel management, expense reporting, and spend management.

SAP CEO Bill McDermott emphasized the importance of consumer focus and user experience in his keynote address. “We’re no longer in a business-to-business or business-to-consumer market,” he said. “This is a consumer-to-business market. The consumer rules.” McDermott cheered on businesses that continue striving to give their customers and employees the same seamless digital experience they’ve come to expect in their everyday lives. Tune in to the keynote now.

We all know that as professional services firms grow, their needs become more and more complex, but, with the right technological tools, your organization can embrace change and innovation for a simpler, more successful future. For yourselves and for your clients, I truly believe that the best is yet to come.

Want to hear more sessions, keynotes, and interviews from this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference? Browse the session replays now.

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