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Author's profile photo Susan Galer

Bernd Leukert Tells Customers at SAPPHIRE NOW: Software Is Strategy to “Run and Win”

In a sharp detour from the past when strategy became software, Bernd Leukert, Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Products & Innovation, said that software has now become every company’s strategy to win, and SAP is breaking down the barriers that hinder innovation by delivering an open, integrated and secure technology stack with SAP HANA as the stable core, proven cloud applications on SAP S/4HANA, and the new SAP Leonardo portfolio to intelligently connect people, things and processes.

“The power of innovation is based on a modular feed of open, best-in-class cloud applications. SAP Leonardo is the next-generation digital innovation engine that empowers you to rapidly innovate at scale, reinvent processes and redefine your business,” said Leukert. “It’s fully integrated as only SAP can do. In this new world, technology becomes central and decisive for our economy, your business and society. Let’s invent, build, run and win together!”

Speaking before a capacity crowd at the annual SAPPHIRE NOW & ASUG Conference being held May 16-18 in Orlando, Florida, Leukert demonstrated exactly how SAP is fundamentally embracing openness that delivers greater value to customers by accelerating innovation.

“Openness is the game-changer, driving new business value,” he said. “Openness in every part of the company allows you to reach completely new levels of business process excellence. You can inject data and derive insights across every layer of your company, like traffic and other data into logistics, machine learning data into maintenance plans, and social data from your customer profiles.”

Fast access to data that turns into action

Emphasizing the importance of cloud-based computing to take full advantage of the digital business opportunity, Leukert punctuated his talk with a series of proof points demonstrating SAP’s innovation leadership.

“Now is the time to run ERP in the cloud. SAP S/4HANA is a modern system that is always up-to-date and scales as you grow your business,” said Leukert. “It’s autonomous and intelligent, which makes for faster innovation. We are also opening up our cloud applications using APIs in a micro services architecture for seamless connectivity across business processes. We’ve developed machine learning innovations that are changing industries, like invoicing matching and SAP CoPilot, our digital assistant that’s fully aware of the user the business context. Thousands of partners are already innovating on the SAP Cloud Platform, building enterprise-grade applications that are using big data to extract insights for real-time business.”

Leukert invited Diane Bryant, Group President, Data Center Group at Intel on stage, who projected 60 percent performance increases for SAP HANA workloads using the next generation Intel Xeon Processor.

Diane Greene, Head of Google Cloud, Member of the Board of Directors at Alphabet, Inc., provided an update on results from the partnership between Google and SAP, showcasing Sovanta, the first shared customer using SAP S/4HANA hosted on the Google Cloud Platform.

Dr. Wladimir Klitschko, Entrepreneur and Initiator of Challenge Management, brought an entirely new dimension to the conversation, reminding everyone that people are what matter most, and it’s possible to turn frustrations into positive outcomes.

“It’s complicated ─we have to digitalize ourselves and our business,” he said. “You need to have a goal, understand the consequences if you don’t take the challenge, imagine how successful you’ll be when you reach your goal, and be obsessed with your goal. Obsession is love, and when you love something you’ll do anything to reach your goal.”

SAP Transformation Navigator delivers road map to cloud

Leukert reinforced SAP’s commitment to empathy, showing how the company has doubled down on innovation that supports the customer experience. Case in point was the launch of SAP Transformation Navigator which answers the most burning questions customers have about the fastest way to move to the cloud.  This new tool provides product and license recommendations based on a customer’s current SAP investments and unique business value requirements, offering services as well as a complete road map to the cloud.

Machine learning changes industries

Ian Kimbell of SAP came on stage for two mind-bending demonstrations of the power of SAP Leonardo. The first showed how a power tool rental company could disrupt its business model. Kimbell turned on a connected drill that collected and analyzed live digital data from its sensors, helping the company better manage maintenance, extend the lifetime of these assets, and improve the customer experience with personalized services. The second demonstration brought virtual windmills from Norway on stage, calling up real-time data using SAP CoPilot to literally see where problems are, and through integration with SAP S/4HANA, locate and hire available technicians to fix it.

It’s easy to get started

Sam Yen, Chief Design Officer at SAP, explained how using SAP Leonardo Services, customers can move from vision to blueprint in just weeks. Design thinking identifies end-user needs, and predesigned templates with visualized feedback “heat maps” help even non-developers rapidly create prototypes and iterate solutions.

“SAP Leonardo Services dramatically reduce the time it takes to make your digital transformation real with SAP,” said Yen. “Design Thinking and Leonardo Build break down the barriers between business users and developers, significantly lowering the cost of implementation,” said Yen.

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