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Recently, one of my Consumer Products customers mentioned that the perception at his food manufacturing company was that “SAP is necessary, but not cool”.  When seeking out examples of innovation or digitization, Silicon Valley firms top the list, and SAP is not usually short-listed.

I have thought quite a bit about this comment since the CIO mentioned this, and really challenged myself to view this honestly and candidly, removing my hat as a 12-year SAP employee.  Sure, SAP is the leader in enterprise software and 76% of business transactions touch an SAP system, but where is the cool factor?

Fresh from SAP’s recent SAPPHIRE NOW, I am ready to challenge this statement.  We are emerging with pockets of cool-ness,as evidenced by items such as these:

  • Apple & SAP partnership: THE uber-cool company, Apple, is now partnering with SAP to revolutionize the mobile work experience for enterprise customers of all sizes, combining powering native apps for iPhone and iPad with the cutting edge capabilities of the SAP HANA platform.  This joint effort will also deliver a new IOS software development kit (SDK) and training academy so that developers, partners and customers can easily build native iOS apps tailored to their business needs.   “This partnership will transform how iPhone and iPad are used in enterprise by bringing together the innovation and security of iOS with SAP’s deep expertise in business software,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
  • Embracing the data and content economy: Living online means a data explosion is happening, and with this, new sources of data and use cases.  Data is the new hot commodity, and companies everywhere are reconsidering their business models from the perspective of what data they have, and how it can be monetized.  SAP understands this new opportunity, and has established a Data As A Service business unit to help enable companies to fully embrace this new frontier.  We’ll start to see SAP provide more data, in various industry-specific offerings, as well.
  • Managing the live business in real-time: Not just buzz words, but fact:  SAP’s Digital Boardroom does exactly this.  SAP S/4HANA allows companies to collaborate in real-time for live business, using immediate insights from anywhere to make fully informed decisions, interactive business simulations gained by connecting financial and non-financial drivers with KPIs to allow manaers to validate assumptions in real time.  Check it out at: http://’go.sap.com/assetdetail/2015/11/b2743c1e-4d7c-0010-82c7-eda71af511fa.html

In today’s tech world, cool comes from innovation.  As Steve Jobs said, “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”.  At SAP, we’ve lead the enterprise software industry for 40+ years, creating the standards along the way.  With S/4HANA, SAP provides a new realm to foster innovation for the next 40.  How cool is that?

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