My Take on 2015 (Part II)
Last week, I already shared some impressions of the first half of 2015. So let’s continue with July onwards!
In July, I headed to SAP Select Tokyo, the first ever top-level event in SAP Japan’s 23-year-history. The overarching theme of the event was “Innovation and Globalization for Japan Revitalization,” with a clear focus on transformation.
This was also the topic of the SAP Executive Summit Internet of Things in Tokyo the next day.
At SAP Select Tokyo, we had more than 1,300 attendees, with over 400 C-level executives from the automotive, retail, manufacturing, trading, financial services, and professional services sectors, as well as many more from our core industries. Thirty-seven customers shared their views on IoT as a driver for innovation and globalization of Japanese goods and services, as well as its influence on today’s economy.
One thing became clear: our customers are keen to learn everything about our innovative offerings, and they are specifically interested in IoT, Industry 4.0, globalization and governance.
This month marked the preparation for another important launch: SAP HANA VORA, a new in-memory engine that allows companies to apply business analytics to unstructured data from the Hadoop ecosystem. Using the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, VORA provides enhanced connectivity, workplace collaboration, mobile security and more efficient types of business services.
Today, companies struggle with remote data synchronization services, unreliable networks and IoT.
With VORA, however, customers can digitize new areas of their businesses and implement pre-packaged and certified business processes, providing greater efficiency.
Updates for SAP HANA Cloud Platform for fall 2015 allow businesses greater scalability, too. They have more choices to accelerate the development and deployment of new cloud-based apps, and to deal with challenges unique to the Digital Economy.
September was packed! During the SAP Executive Summit Internet of Things Berlin, more than 100 customers, among them GEA, Still, Hamburg Port Authority, BASF, Roche, Siemens, and Trenitalia, came together to discuss trends and challenges of IoT – and experience the latest innovative IoT scenarios. In Bremen, we met with the German SAP User Group (DSAG) during their annual congress, where SAP demonstrated how we support our customers on their journey into the digital economy.
Another highlight for me clearly was the redefinition of CRM. Consumer behaviors have changed, and companies need to keep up. Every customer is engaging differently – across a range of channels and touchpoints – and this changes every time customers engage with a business. This, in turn, impacts the entire value chain of a company, right down to the suppliers.
With our launch in September, we went beyond traditional CRM, encompassing marketing, sales, service, and omni-channel commerce – all integrated into the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. SAP is supporting end-to-end customer engagement in a way that none of its competitors can. Our solutions deliver what customers demand in a digital world: a simplified front office that goes beyond traditional marketing, sales and service “automation” functions to include real-time contextualization, web and mobile commerce, social customer service, and more.
Henning Kagermann once stated: “If SAP started to win design awards, that would surprise me.” Well, in 2015, SAP won the prestigious Red Dot Award for SAP Fiori 2.0 in the category of Interaction! This is an amazing achievement, and proof that we’re playing at the top of the UX league. I am immensely proud of how we have elevated the perception of the user experience at SAP.
At SAP TechEd Las Vegas, we announced that more than 1,300 customers had already chosen SAP S/4HANA. I also had the pleasure to introduce live on stage the newest member of our SAP product family: SAP Cloud for Analytics. It combines analytics, planning and simulation in ONE Cloud application. Analytics will never be the same again!
This is shown in the SAP Digital Boardroom; it uses line-of-business data taken from SAP S/4HANA and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to provide a single source of truth about a company’s most critical business metrics. As a result, companies can monitor and drive change in the digital economy.
With more than 80% of our customers being SMEs, we were thrilled to announce the general availability of SAP Anywhere in China in October— our first front-office suite for SMEs that seamlessly manages sales, marketing, e-commerce and inventory activities in one complete system. It is a pure cloud innovation, specifically for retailers and distributors in the SME space.
Powered by SAP HANA, SAP Anywhere opens doors, gives better insight, and stronger results. It is a completely mobile solution in the cloud, accessible without any complex or expensive hardware investment. Simply put: employees can manage and monitor operations from any device, at any time. Complete flexibility, full access!
When companies move their business to the cloud, security is their top priority. So I was really proud that SAP won the it-sa IT Security Award 2015 in the category of Cloud Security. While security is a must in the digital economy, being recognized as a leader in this space re-emphasizes our measures to protect SAP customers and ourselves.
In November, we released SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition. Powered by SAP HANA and designed with the award winner SAP Fiori, this new Digital Core redesigns the mission-critical business processes via a massive wave of simplifications across all lines of business: finance, sales, service, marketing, commerce, procurement and sourcing, manufacturing, supply chain, asset management, R&D, and human resources. In addition, we hit the mark of 50,000 customers on the SAP Business One application.
I also attended the German national IT Summit 2015 in Berlin. It brings together politics, economy, science, and society to shape the digital transformation in Germany. Once again, I had the chance to meet Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and Prof. Johanna Wanka, Minister for Education and Research. I had lunch with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during which I provided her with an update on the platform “Industrie 4.0.” Interestingly enough, the IT Summit 2017 will take place in the Rhine Neckar region near to Walldorf, and we are really looking forward to this.
In the course of the event, “Labs Network Industrie 4.0” was announced. The aim of the Labs Network Industrie 4.0 is to connect test beds for Industry 4.0 in Germany. With its focus on standardization efforts, Labs Network is another important step in making Industry 4.0 available to an industry or market, no matter the size.
At SAP Select Barcelona, I met with many customers who all stated the same: businesses today need to go digital in order to hold their ground.
November came with another great surprise. With the SAP Medical Research Insights solution, a real-time analytics tool for cancer research, we won another Red Dot Award, this time for Communication Design 2015 in the Interface Design category.
After the successful IoT events in Berlin and Tokyo, we hosted the SAP Executive Forum – Internet of Things in New York City. More than 110 senior level executives came together to discover how SAP is making IoT a reality and share their unique digital transformation and IoT success stories.
During the SAP HANA Frankfurt Forum, we showcased how SAP HANA enables business transformation. We discussed the launch of SAP Foundation for Health, SAP Medical Research Insights and new capabilities in SAP HANA SPS11. By unlocking patient data and uncovering insights in real time, healthcare organizations, life sciences companies and research institutions can use technology to realize the full potential of personalized medicine.
We were joined on stage by customers, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which is working with SAP to develop CancerLinQ, a health-information technology platform that harnesses big data to deliver high-quality, personalized care to cancer patients and survivors. The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) delivers patient care, cancer research, and cancer prevention/education. NCT and SAP also co-developed SAP Medical Research Insights — a solution based on SAP Foundation for Health that allows fast, easy and secure access to patient data and comparison of profiles from various sources.
With personalized healthcare, we can truly deliver on our mission of helping the world run better and improve people’s lives. I look forward to more healthcare innovations in 2016!
Thanks to the Team!
All these events, launches, and achievements show what we can achieve as ONE team, no matter the area or function. I am proud to be part of such an outstanding company, and I am really looking forward to an exciting 2016.
And I’d love to hear from you. What were your biggest achievements in 2015? What’s on your list for 2016? Let me know in the comments section! I wish you and your families and friends happy holidays and an amazing start to the New Year!