At the global event of the SAP Development Kick-Off Meeting (SAP d-kom), held in Mannheim, Germany on January 14, 2016, it was exciting for me to hear how our customers are partnering with SAP to drive innovation. Customers and technology partners shared their SAP innovation journey with developers and designers. And I had the honor to welcome our Executive Board Members Gerhard Oswald, Luka Mucic, and Steve Singh in person.

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More than 6,200 people came to Mannheim and attended the global kick-off event in person. Additionally, thousands more joined online to learn about our strategy and development priorities for 2016. SAP d-kom, in fact, represents one of our largest internal gatherings, addressing more than 25,000 employees worldwide. It sets the framework and tone for the upcoming year in development.

At the first deep-dive event in Karlsruhe on January 15, we did not only get outside-in views from customers and partners, but also had the chance to learn from start-ups and to engage with SAP mentors.

What Attendees Can Learn

At SAP d-kom, we do not only have the chance learn about our strategy and development priorities, but also to dive into topics of our interest, into our innovation projects and products during numerous presentations, demos, learning and hands-on experience sessions. Beside the content deep-dives, we also take the chance to celebrate the most innovative and entrepreneurial projects, teams and individuals. This is what the d-kom spirit is about!

The global kick-off meeting was just the starting point for many local learning events that will be held around the world. The event series will continue through March, with an additional thirteen events in development locations worldwide, including our major SAP Labs in Silicon Valley, Bangalore, and Shanghai, complemented by many more events in our labs.

We Are on a Mission

With our overall aim to become THE cloud company, powered by SAP HANA, my leadership team and I shared the strategy and priorities for 2016. Here are my main takeaways from Mannheim:

  • We must provide all our capabilities in the cloud. I provided a digital business framework of capabilities that we will deliver in the cloud, helping companies thrive in the digital economy.
  • The core of our digital strategy is SAP S/4HANA. Our new generation business suite currently has more than 2,700 customers, and is being adopted faster than any other product in SAP’s history. Going into 2016, we will shift our investment focus towards the cloud and show the customer adoption of S/4HANA Cloud Edition.
  • Additional development priorities in 2016 include line of business solutions to help companies differentiate themselves in the digital economy. Examples include: workforce engagement, business networks for supplier collaboration, applications for customer engagement and commerce, and solutions that enable enterprises to take advantage of extended Supply Chain Management and IoT.
  • We intend to establish the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (SAP HCP) as the de facto industry standard development platform for partners, customers, and other third parties. In addition, SAP HCP will also be SAP’s standard development platform for all of its internal applications.
  • According to Tanja Rueckert, EVP Internet of Things & Customer Innovation at SAP, the Internet of Things is one of the biggest opportunities for SAP and its customers to reinvent their businesses. I cannot agree more! With our knowledge of business processes, our in-memory technology, predictive algorithms and pre-packaged IoT apps, SAP is well positioned to lead in this space. Together with its ecosystem, SAP provides customers access to the full IoT stack to better understand data patterns and close the loop from Thing-To-Insight-To Action.


Enabling Customers to ‘Run Simple’ in the Digital Economy

Both days in Mannheim and Karlsruhe were filled with an amazing spirit of innovation and dedication! We all could see, hear, and experience how everyone within development at SAP is crucial to turning our strategy into a digital reality for our customers.

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I was most impressed by the inspired ideas and the passion of our people. Their enthusiasm for innovation, and for building new, smart applications for the digital economy, was the most exciting experience for me.

Another thing became very clear: We are heading into 2016 ready to shape the future of our industry. We have great products and innovations – and we have the best people, with the right skills, who drive innovation every single day. We have all the assets at hand. Now we have to execute!

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  1. Jason Cao

    These are great missions Bernd!

    Thanks for sharing the highlights from d-kom Germany! Especially liked the mention and inclusion of SAP Mentors in the event. I know they appreciated the opportunity to engage 1:1 with SAP developers, and sharing their outlook of SAP developers in the discussion panel.

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