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What is the role of collaboration in the digital age?

The recent SAP Executive Summit 2017 in Italy, the home of Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, shared insights on the “4th industrial revolution” to remind us that we can learn from each new wave of progress and change.

Bill McDermott, SAP, CEO, referenced in his keynote at Sapphire NOW the “fourth industrial revolution and an incredible opportunity for companies to re-imagine themselves in this digital age.”

And now with the overwhelming success of  Leonardo Live in Frankfurt Germany there is an opportunity to further understand digital innovation and leading-edge solutions with customers, partners, and experts from around the globe.

As we consider the historic and future trends related to the cloud and digital transformation, one of the leading common denominator grows in importance: collaboration.


The Industrial Revolution – A Look Back & Forward

Upon hearing and reviewing these presentations, keynotes, and events, I decided to research the previous industrial revolutions and consider the role of collaboration in respect to connecting people, processes, and technology.

  1. The first industrial revolution saw the growth of steam power, coal, iron, railroads and textiles
  2. The second one involved mass production advancements in industry, technology, energy, electricity, petroleum, steel, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation
  3. The third realized information technology, new energy, and renewable electricity
  4. Now the fourth is the digital revolution

Collaboration played an important part in each of these industrial revolutions.  And now we look forward to the digital age before us and the next big wave of opportunity: SAP Leonardo.

For SAP Leonardo solutions to work at their optimum level there will be many business and IT considerations including a key universal theme = collaboration. Whether addressing all or one of the following: Internet of Things (IOT), Machine Learning, Blockchain, Analytics, Big Data, SAP Cloud Platform, Digital Supply Chain, Leonardo Bridge, and Design Thinking — they all work best when people team together. 


Collaboration – A View from the Top

Perhaps Hasso Plattner, SAP co-founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board said it best, “Simplicity, Speed, Collaboration, Security Drive – The Intelligent Future.” During Sapphire NOW he shared a key message about “tapping into the collective intelligence of workers” (Proof point: watch the first 20 seconds of this video, see the orange arrow below where he identified SAP Jam).


SAP Jam Collaboration Plays a Central Role

SAP will continue to invest in SAP Jam as a central component of the digital modular suit. As the value map and roadmap continue to evolve, SAP Jam will play a unique role to enable SAP Leonardo and Digital Transformation. SAP’s Modular Suite highlights the importance of collaboration, SAP Jam Collaboration.


Collaboration has a Purpose & Unique Place in the Digital Age

It all makes perfect sense.  Digital Transformation for business and IT requires collaboration to harness the intellect of the entire workforce. Where there is collaboration, individual and group intelligence can be realized to accelerate revenues, growth, value, learning, productivity, and success.

Jobs and successful outcomes, between now, 2030 and beyond, depend on collaboration to address and stay ahead of the rapidly changing marketplace.

Where there is innovation…
When a team redefines a business challenge or opportunity. As SAP and third-party apps and data are used to turn ideas into action. Where rollouts go from pilot programs to scale across the enterprise.

From disparate silos to holistic central hubs of knowledge.

To turn a vision into reality. For the early adopters, business colleagues and lines of business, both internal and external to the organization, who are empowered to transform the business.

For community building.
To gain the competitive advantage.
To accelerate initiatives and create win-wins.

The best bet, both now and as we go to 2030 and beyond, is SAP, SAP Leonardo and for collaboration: SAP Jam.

Useful Links / References

About the Author

Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) (www.WorldSalesSolutions.com) providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations, innovation, and adoption.


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