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My Incredible Week at CeBIT – Part 2.0

What else about my experience at CeBIT will last forever in my memories? If my first blog was all about futuristic technology, here I’d like to tell you more about some of the astonishing ideas and creativity that made the atmosphere so electric.

But first, let me set the stage. My vantage point was the SAP Digital booth at Scale 11, a special CeBIT exhibition area devoted to startups. As part of the SAP Digital team, I had the very fun job of using the latest social media to share my impressions with the world. And one of those impressions was the keynote and interview with our SAP Chief Digital Officer, Jonathan Becher, who does such an amazing job of explaining the mission of our team in just a few words. Here, he talks about disruption – and how the biggest disruption today is how goods and services are delivered, seamlessly and without human intervention. (If you have a few minutes, check out the podcast, too.) One of the ways we’re doing that at SAP is with At SAP Store, anybody can go online and shop for software, content, data, and education-related offerings from SAP and third parties, pay for it with a credit card, and start using it immediately.

So I was pretty excited when I attended the award ceremony for the InnoJam++ competition, and realized that the two winners had built their cool apps on SAP HANA Cloud Platform – one of the offerings on SAP Store! In fact, that was the whole purpose of InnoJam++, a hackathon sponsored by SAP and VW with the theme “Mobility of the Future” and the Internet of Things. Starting at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, teams of competitors worked all night long in a coding frenzy, trying to best each other in building the coolest app on SAP HANA Cloud Platform. More than 83 international university students from 30 countries participated in InnoJam++, the brainstorm of the SAP Next-Gen Consulting team, which calls itself a “strategic innovation youth service for the SAP ecosystem.” (It’s part of SAP University Alliances.)

And after 30 hours of work, four finalists were invited to present their inventions. The winning team was a group of students from the Hochschule Karlsruhe, who developed an app for driving schools based on SAP HANA Cloud Platform and using design thinking (a collaborative process for problem solving). The Smart Driving School app gives new drivers a fun and exciting learning experience that helps improve their skills – and lets their parents see how they’re doing. Volkswagen also awarded team “Pendler” a special prize for their smart commuting app.

The next thing you know, these young people might be off launching their own startups. And when they do, they can even download a user-based package for SAP HANA Cloud Platform from SAP Store. How cool is that?

Meanwhile, another launch was taking place outdoors at CeBIT: the kickoff on March 16 of the SAP “Go Beyond CRM” tour. Imagine this: a brightly colored truck, full of the latest SAP Hybris solutions, traveling around Europe with its crew, showing audiences how they can take advantage of these innovations for customer engagement and commerce. It stops in Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, and 10 other destinations around Europe – maybe a location near you. Follow @saphybris to find out!

I’d like to share one last thing before wrapping up my CeBIT diary, and that’s of Socialfunders, a startup company exhibiting in Scale 11 that really impressed me.  This company has developed a platform for supporting philanthropy. Companies can sign up with Socialfunders and support regional or global charity projects. On the Socialfunders Web site, you can give people vouchers as gifts that they can use for their favorite cause. So instead of a bottle of wine or a gift card for the holidays, my boss can give me a voucher that I can use to invest in an organization of my choice.  And you can upload your own charitable project free of charge and start your own donation campaign. Check it out! I think it’s a wonderful idea.

All in all, CeBIT was inspiring to me in so many ways, and I was really proud to be a part of it. Did you attend CeBIT as well? What were your personal highlights? I’d love to hear about your experience as well!


Federica De Monte is social and community manager at SAP Digital. Follow @federicademonte on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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