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Author's profile photo Fred Isbell

Jumping onto the Road to Digital Transformation: Learning the “How” at SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando

By Fred Isbell, senior director and head of Thought Leadership – Digital Business Services Marketing, SAP

SAPPHIRE NOW is extraordinary in so many different ways. As an SAP employee for nearly 16 years and a member of the SAP ecosystem for closer to 25 years, I’ve witnessed this event first-hand for nearly a quarter century. Besides the people resources and Sherpas on hand, there’s a wide selection of inspirational content in the form of presentations, sessions, and workshops.

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If I learned anything over the years, it’s that SAPPHIRE NOW doesn’t just provide a great update on the SAP strategy, but it also offers a collective snapshot of customers, experts, and partners – all under one roof. While this can be a transformational opportunity for any business, it can be a bit overwhelming whether you’re a first-timer or veteran attendee. But don’t worry; I have you covered. Here are some places, key areas, and resources that can maximize your SAPPHIRE NOW experience.

This year’s conference will be dedicated to digital transformation and the launch of the live business. As a logical outgrowth of running simple for real-time digitalization driven by innovation, digital transformation is a lot like a symphony orchestra. Every part needs to work seamlessly together under central orchestration and coordination – from the workforce, customers, and suppliers across and extended

Digital Hand.jpgsupply chain to business networks and assets of all kinds including machine-to-machine communication and the Internet of Things (IoT). At the center sits the digital core, which is the technology that powers it all without limits.

Our team from Digital Business Services at SAP has put together world-class content and sessions to help you navigate your digital transformation journey with one-on-one discussions, deep-dives, demos, and much more.

While the road may start with the Digital Business Services campus, it certainly doesn’t end there! There are some amazing opportunities to learn much more, including:

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    1. SAP Digital Business Services Theater Sessions

In addition to the theater sessions scheduled throughout SAPPHIRE NOW, there’s a distinct repertoire of programs located inside the Digital Business Services campus. Occurring every half hour across three days, a variety of topics will be presented concurrently in 20-minute formats in one of two theaters. I encourage everyone to check out the master schedule, but here’s a few that I plan to attend and report live from the event:

See a topic that interests you, but you don’t have time to attend? Don’t worry! Many of these sessions are repeated twice. Just access the SAPPHIRE NOW agenda builder to plan your time. With this handy tool, you can pick your strategic focus areas of interest, choose from a host of Digital Business Services topics, and further refine your own customized agenda. There’s also a great sample agenda that can help you plan and execute your digital business transformation by highlighting relevant sessions and content available throughout the event.

     2. SAP Digital Business Services Interactive Workshops

During these 40-minute sessions, experts and Sherpas will focus on specific issues and topics and provide an interactive deep dive in a group setting scheduled. Like the theater sessions, some are offered at multiple times and days. More important, the people hosting these programs are the one who make the digital magic happen for businesses throughout the world. Scheduled on the hour, here are a few that I am planning to watch:

     3. Mission Control Center Walkthrough Sessions

The “new normal” of cloud solutions, IoT technology, and innovations requires a proactive mode of support like never before. The mission control center, in my view, is similar to the digital boardroom, but designed specifically for the service and support team. Why wait for something to go wrong when you can proactively monitor all aspects of your solutions – and your digital transformation journey?

Attend these interactive sessions to discover how innovation, operations, and mission control centers help address complexity, gain transparency of critical business and IT processes end to end, and strengthen business innovation and transformation. Plus, see how value-added support services drive value through proactive, real-time collaboration – on premise and in the cloud.

This section of the Digital Business Services campus is a great introduction to the topic of real-time, proactive support, which will be covered in our next SAP Digital Business Services thought leadership Webcast “The Future of Support in an Era of Cloud & the IoT” on June 9.

That’s all for now! I’ll come back to discuss my favorite things – customer sessions – in my next and final installment. Visit the overview of SAP Digital Business Services’ presence at SAPPHIRE NOW, and take a look at the keynotes, breakout sessions, specific expertise, and much more by visiting our agenda builder.

Fred is the senior director and head of Thought Leadership for Digital Business Services Marketing at SAP.

Join Fred online:
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,, SAP Services Hub

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