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Author's profile photo Derek Klobucher

How to Connect Everything with Best-In-Class Technology, #SAPPHIRENOW

SAP’s Rob Enslin, Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh host customers who share how they Run Live with seamlessly integrated best-in-class technology.

An app on your smartphone can probably tell you what you ate for lunch on a business trip 10 years ago. But there probably isn’t one that could say when you got your last tetanus shot — and SAP thinks that’s a problem.

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“We have to stop thinking about how the world works today, and start thinking about how the world should work,” SAP’s Steve Singh said during his SAPPHIRE NOW keynote address. The diagram behind him depicts the Digital Core: SAP S/4HANA.

“When it comes to one of the most fundamental issues in our lives — our health — we’re still completely disconnected,” SAP Executive Board Member Steve Singh said during a keynote presentation at SAPPHIRE NOW on Wednesday. “Not bringing to bear the power of modern technology — HANA, cloud computing and our ecosystem of partners — on this problem is simply not acceptable.”

Singh announced two solutions to help put patients in charge of their care. SAP Health Record stores all of a person’s medical records in a single mobile application, which makes it a lot easier for you to look up your last tetanus shot. And SAP Connected Health is a connected global platform that developers, researchers and healthcare organizations can build upon to foster and accelerate medical innovation and improve patient outcomes.

Providing such seamless experiences requires a lot of technological integration. And it was a crucial point for all three keynote speakers.

Connecting For Success

“The connected world is becoming a reality,” Singh said. “And it’s being brought about by best-in-class applications that are starting to integrate in ways that were never before possible.”

But today’s customers demand applications that are seamlessly integrated. So SAP designs its software based on four business network principles:

  • Best-In-Class: Solutions must be the easiest, most reliable, intelligent and beautiful experience in the world. If they’re not, why would any customer choose them?
  • Connect Across SAP: Solutions from SAP’s most prominent acquisitions (SAP Fieldglass, SAP Ariba, Concur, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Hybris) must seamlessly work with each other.
  • Connect to Others: There are other software vendors in the world, and SAP’s solutions must be able to work with their stuff too.
  • Open Platform: No company can have a solution for everything. So a robust ecosystem fills in most of the gaps — and solutions that don’t yet exist can be built.

“If we don’t live by these principles,” Singh said, “we don’t get to succeed.”

Happiness Is Running Best-In-Class

“We see cloud solutions within SAP as being some of those best-in-class,” Nestlé CIO and GLOBE Director Terence Stacey told SAP President of Global Customer Operations Rob Enslin. Stacey spoke about Nestlé’s massive SAP implementation, which replaced a split architecture that was in place since 2000. “It is about having world-class end-to-end business processes, supported by world-class high-performing systems.”

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“It is about having world-class end-to-end business processes, supported by world-class high-performing systems,” Nestlé’s Terence Stacey (left) told SAP’s Rob Enslin during the keynote address at SAPPHIRE NOW on Wednesday.

As if to presage Singh’s message about integrating SAP’s acquired technology, Stacey also discussed Nestlé’s happiness with technology across SAP, such as:

“Our portfolio of solutions is interconnected,” Enslin said. “And SAP S/4HANA serves as the digital core.”

All User’s Big and Small

“S/4HANA can serve the largest companies in the world,” SAP Executive Board Member Bernd Leukert said, following Enslin and Nestlé’s Stacey onstage. “But, at the same time, it is attractive for startups.”

The thought of running SAP was a “daunting” for GreyOrange, according to the startup’s CEO for APAC and Japan, Nalin Advani. But the advanced robotics designer/manufacturer used SAP ERP solutions to solve several data and growth problems; GreyOrange is now a LiveBusiness, following a “very smooth” implementation.

A bigger company, Red Bull, uses SAP Business Objects for a different kind of integration: encouraging collaboration between the energy drink juggernaut’s IT department and its sales, marketing and finance teams. Red Bull also wanted flexible visualization to help gain up-to-the-moment insights.

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“For us, it’s a huge step forward to have the ability to access the data in a live environment,” Red Bull’s Christian Stoxreiter (right) told SAP’s Bernd Leukert during Wednesday morning’s keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando.

“For us, it’s a huge step forward to have the ability to access the data in a live environment,” Red Bull’s Head of Business Applications Christian Stoxreiter told Leukert. “But the most important thing is usability … now what we see — what really gets excites end users — is a completely new interface: intuitive, beautiful and easy to use.”

When You Can’t Beat SAP, Join SAP

Wrapping up the many stories of inclusion and integration, Singh invited attendees to join SAP across its digital core, business cloud applications, business networks and healthcare platform.

“We are committed to you, wherever you are and wherever you’re going,” Singh said. “And we’ll do that by being best-in-class at what we do — and we will earn your business every single day.”

Watch the keynote replay here.

SAPPHIRE NOW (#SAPPHIRENOW) and the ASUG Annual Conference (#ASUG2016) will run concurrently from May 17 to May 19 in Orlando. Coldplay will play Concert Night on Thursday.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

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