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It is that time of year again, Sapphire NOW! will kick off next week in Orlando, Florida. Preparations are nearly complete, travel arrangements made and soon the show floor will be open.

Surprisingly the pace of change is still accelerating; transformation due to digitalization is being seen across all industries at probably a faster rate than expected. Finance departments increasingly need technology to help them support their businesses in this digital economy. We are seeing more and more customers turning to SAP S/4HANA to be the platform to support that transformation now and in the future. At Sapphire, there will many opportunities to hear from customers on their transformation and from the SAP experts on what innovations will be available to help you on your journey.

There are an overwhelming number of sessions scheduled for Sapphire, so it is important to have a plan on how you are going to use your time. Therefore to give you some ideas, here are my top picks at Sapphire for all things finance.

1.Listen to customers share their S/4HANA Finance journeys.

There are several customer sessions to choose from or you can attend them all

Dole: has been facing a changing market and increased competition from low cost retailers.  Kevin Elms, VP and CFO, will talk about real time reporting with SAP S/4HANA and the ability to run their business to be able to support fast paced changes in their industry. Tuesday 11.30 @ Theatre 1.

Nestle: Gary Martinolli, Global Business Solutions Manager, Finance and Control. Martinolli who spoke during the SAP Financial Insider keynote will be sharing Nestle’s innovation journey. Nestle has been on this transformation journey for multiple years and as an early adopter of SAP S/4HANA have worked very closely on key innovation topics with SAP.  Martinolli will discuss the benefits Nestle have seen as well as the future expected benefits.  Hear how technology can help finance departments address today’s issues and free up resources to address the issues of tomorrow through the simplifications of processes, systems and data. Wednesday 16.30 @ Theatre 1

ENEL: Pasquale De Pascalis, Central Finance Project Manager. ENEL a global manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas.  Will discuss their approach to SAP S/4HANA for central finance foundation, providing insights on how they have set the  foundation for streamlining closing and operational reporting. Thursday 15.00 @ Theatre 1.

 

2.Learn from research insights on what makes a high performing finance organization

Oxford Economic has recently completed a survey of 1,500 finance executives.  Although surprisingly few executives give themselves high marks for effectiveness, they also identify key areas for improvements,  especially in  areas that will drive growth and innovation.  Join this session to find out which key traits that are needed for high performing CFO’s to stay ahead.  Hear how collaboration is seen as critical in order to extend the influence of finance beyond their own organization.  Neil Krefsky, Solution Marketing, SAP will share the highlights of the study. Wednesday 15:30 @BA330

 

3. What’s new in Finance or Innovation, innovation, innovation

Interactive sessions are smaller 40 minute sessions, with the focus on discussion. Key and upcoming innovation topics in finance will be covered in these sessions. Be sure to get there early as they will Managbe popular.

Central Finance is a way to deploy the latest finance innovations without having to impact your existing systems.  This is especially relevant for customers with complex landscapes or without the ability to upgrade existing systems.  Carsten Hilker, global product owner will discuss how central finance can be used to adopt innovation rapidly and without disruption to realize benefits.  Tuesday 11.30 @BA329

Is blockchain moving into the enterprise, Henner Schliebs discusses in a recent article ?  Come and discuss how can blockchain can help optimize and decentralize finance processes? Do you think it is just hype or reality? Will the benefits be real ? What kind of a mindset change is needed and finally what is SAP doing in this area? Wednesday 16:30 @ BA329

How can you use technology to increase productivity, so that finance executives have the time to become a strategic business partner, Thack Brown discusses in a recent article. Matthias Grabellus, the head of development, finance LOB, will share some of the innovations and potential for intelligent automation and integrating machine learning with SAP S/4HANA finance and beyond.   Thursday 15:00 @ BA329

Want to hear from the experts on SAP’s finance recent enhancements and planned innovations, but more importantly the strategy that drives the portfolio decisions. These innovation are designed to support the finance organizations in the digital enterprise,  driving effi folio across the entire finance portfolio.  Come and listen to the key solution leaders in finance as they give the roadmap presentation, this covers all the finance pillars including fianncail planning and anlysis and GRC. – always one of the most popular sessions.. Thursday 12:00 @ BA329

4.Are you ready for new regulations and to manage !

Join SAP’s Chief Security Officer, Justin Somali, to discuss how you can enhance information security in today’s digital business world, managing cybersecurity threats and risks. Tuesday 15:00 @ BA328

IFRS 15 goes into effect Jan 2018, impacted all companies with contracts with revenue.  Will you be ready? Dayakar Domala from ServiceNow, an early adopter of the SAP revenue accounting and reporting engine will talk about the preparations that are needed and how SAP can help you comply effectively with the new revenue recognition standard. Wednesday 11:30 @ BA329

5.Come to the finance pods and talk to the experts

Finally, I would recommend visiting our pods, if you want more in depth conversation or to see additional demos – come and visit the experts. All the finance areas are covered SAP S/4HANA Finance BA346, Financial Planning Analysis BA347, Treasury and Financial Risk Management BA343, Governance, Risk and Compliance BA345, Intelligent Financial Operations BA344, Cloud Solutions from SAP that extend SAP S/4HANA featuring new solutions including SAP Real Estate and SAP Financial Insights among others BA341 . SAP experts will be there during show floor hour to answer your questions,

For more finance sample agendas check out CFO Agenda and Finance Agenda

Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando!

For more Sapphire and Finance updates follow me @jucubiss

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