SapphireNow is now less than 10 days away. Planning has been going on for many months, and is now in the final stages.  There is a great line up of customer, partner and SAP sessions. Digitalization was a key theme at the SAP Insider, in March, and continues through Sapphire.   Many finance professional recognize that this is a time of significant finance transformation due to digitalization.  “Becoming a Digital CFO” is the theme of a series of ongoing blogs from Thack Brown, GM and Global Head of LOB Finance, SAP,

So what are finance organizations looking at to meet the challenges of the digital economy? Real time planning? Provide more accurate results throughout the month? Move to real time processes?  Improve liquidity and working capital planning? Extend automation of accounts payable and receivables out to suppliers and customers through business networks? In the moment analytics?  They want to do all of these things and more. So as a foundation finance professions are looking for “live”, continuous (not batch) processes.   How to remove all manual processes and media breaks.  Simplify data and processes and provide full transparency of information so it is accessible to everyone in the moment.  Fortunately, today’s technologies are delivering solutions to problems that would have seemed impossible a few years ago. 

So if you want to answers to the following questions.  “What does digitalization and being a live business mean for finance organizations, and how can SAP S/4HANA Finance help”. Sapphire NOW is just the place to be.  In this blog I have highlighted some key sessions that will address those questions. Most of them are interactive sessions, which are 40 minutes long. Interactive sessions provide the opportunity to to join in the discussion with thought leaders and SAP experts – so come prepared.

Perspective from Finance Thought Leaders. My top pick is the strategy session “Reimagine Finance for the Digital Age with a Live Business System Strategy” held on Wednesday afternoon 1pm in Theatre 5.  LB37101. Thack Brown, SAP will be joined on stage by thought leaders from Deloitte Consulting, EY, and Accenture. They will discuss  “ What does being a live business mean for finance organization ?” and “How SAP S/4HANA Finance can become the foundation for a live system strategy”   This session will also highlight a demo to show how finance  processes can be reimagined in SAP S/4HANA Finance

What does the research show? Celina Rogers, VP, CFO.com will be hosting an interactive session LB33820, Wednesday afternoon 5pm to discuss the results from a comprehensive study CFO.com carried out late last year.  Find out about new opportunities in finance careers that are evolving from digitalization. Hear what finance professionals are already doing today to meet those challenges.  Rogers will also share the impact that technology is having.  Take the opportunity to join the session and ask questions. 

Determine the value proposition?  Join Frank Rodriguez, Industry Value Engineering, SAP for interactive session LB33826 on Wednesday 12pm. Rodriguez will discuss key value scenarios that customers have identified and the associated value proposition,

What does digitalization mean for finance operations?  Martin Naraschewski, Head of Solution Management, LOB Finance, SAP will host interactive session LB33833, on Thursday 11am. He will discuss the need for greater levels of efficiency in finance operations to support new business models. This means new levels of speed and accuracy, what tools and systems can support that ?

And what about the cloud? Join Bettina Zedlitz, SAP on Tuesday at 12pm LB 33825 to discuss the SAP S/4HANA Finance cloud offerings.  They are easy to consume solutions which still deliver the maturity and scope of the existing portfolio.

Where is SAP on this journey?  Join Joachim Mette from SAP’s Business Innovation and IT Strategic Initiatives on Wednesday 2pm LB37103 to discuss SAPs experience. Mette will share how SAP transformed and modernized its own financial systems using SAP S/4HANA.  Delivering improved compliance, increased operational efficiency and live insight for better financial analysis.  Also Mette will have 2 demo sessions LB33786 to show how the implementation of SAP S/4HANA Finance helped transform the finance organization within SAP, revolutionizing reporting and analysis throughout the company.

How do I start? Rich Bowler, Solution Architect, SAP will host an interactive session LB33839 “Craft an Innovation Road Map to Transform Finance” on Thursday 1pm.   Hear how SAP can help you define value-based business scenarios. Discover tools and offerings that can speed up the deployment of SAP S/4HANA software and other digital solutions

This is only a small sample of sessions at Sapphire Now, there are over 100+ Finance sessions and presentations.  A sample finance agenda can be found here.  I have also included some other blogs from colleagues with their Sapphire top picks:

Neil Krefsky discusses key finance customer sessions

Chris Grundy shares his top 5 picks for EPM professionals

Benno Eberle highlights key sessions for Finance operations

Hope you can join us to share your perspective, as well as learn and network with other finance professionals and executives.  Click here to register for SAPPHIRE NOW (#SAPPHIRENOW) and the ASUG Annual Conference (#ASUG2016), which will run concurrently from May 17 to May 19 in Orlando.

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