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Innovation Has a New Home: SAP’s AppHaus Palo Alto

If every great idea comes from somewhere, SAP’s new AppHaus Palo Alto will be a busy place.

The newly renovated building officially opens its doors this week, and the world is now invited to take in Silicon Valley’s newest space for creativity, collaboration and innovation. AppHaus Palo Alto – one of three official AppHaus locations around the world that exist under the umbrella of the Design and Co-Innovation Center (DCC) – will serve as a place where SAP clients, community members and beyond can come together to dream and create.

“Every little aspect of the experience is curated,” says Janaki Kumar, Head of DCC Americas. Open spaces and sound-proofed project rooms; exposed ceilings and concrete floors; walls that double as whiteboards, furniture that moves: every inch of AppHaus Palo Alto is designed to inspire.

To add a level of meaning to the decor, the DCC team was the brains and brawn behind the entire space, from constructing the tables to assembling the suspended art installation. “When you walk up the stairs, it should feel like a treehouse of creativity,” says Kumar. “We wanted to have a rough, DIY look to the space, so when people come in they are inspired to create and try something new. People come here to open themselves up to new possibilities.”

Place is important in that respect. Physical environment sends a strong message to people on how they should behave, and the team believes that when locking people away in offices, the message is that you need to close yourself off and work as efficiently as possible – alone. But, as problems have grown more complex, solutions are no longer in any one pair of hands or single mind.

“All the organizational silos, the constraints, the hierarchies – they don’t exist anymore,” says Kumar. “We will have senior executives and junior associates in the same workshop, and we want everybody within the organization – regardless of their status – to be able to contribute ideas.”

Beyond the obvious advantages to being nestled in the Valley that has produced some of the most revolutionary advancements of the 20th and 21st century, AppHaus Palo Alto’s location amidst an environment of undulating hills and old-growth forests further encourages creativity. Windows that circumvent the entire building offer unobstructed views into this natural well of inspiration.

The building itself, #9 on SAP’s Palo Alto campus, is no stranger to ideas or greatness. Steve Jobs once called this space home, choosing it as the headquarters for his company NeXTin the late 80s and early 90s.

Now, whether you are a healthcare company rethinking how big data can help cure cancer, a professional sports league envisioning the future of athletic entertainment and performance, or an organization looking to experiment with machine learning, virtual reality, chat bots, 3D printers or other cutting edge technology, you are welcome to tap into the creative spirit of the AppHaus and work with the talented DCC staff.

AppHaus Palo Alto marks the third SAP AppHaus that the DCC calls home – one in Heidelberg, Germany and the other in Pangyo, Korea. The spaces exemplify SAP’s continued commitment to creativity and co-innovation, and as the Heidelberg location celebrates its 10,000th visitor since the 2014 opening, there is little doubt that these AppHauses will be the birthplace of countless world-shaping ideas for years to come.

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