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Author's profile photo Ganesh Wadawadigi

SAP debuts at SXSW showcasing blockchain for supply chain and modern experiences in a digital world

It was four busy days at the SAP House at SXSW in Austin. Every day, thousands of visitors flocked the SAP House to see how innovations from SAP are helping transform industries, sustain our environment and deliver beautiful customer experiences. There was plenty of food and drinks all day with live music at the end of each day. Several engaging activities to experience SAP in action were available. The Under Armour Basketball Experience powered by insights from SAP put one in an immersive basketball court to test one’s skills against the NBA’s best players. Even the Harlem Globe Trotters made a surprise visit. At the Under Armour Running Game, SAP in partnership with Under Armour, demonstrated how sensors embedded in shoes help track running metrics and help find the ideal running form. One could also try their hand at foosball and see their personalized statistics by visualizing IoT data from a high-speed camera that following the ball’s position and streamed data in real time.

Innovations driving The Citizen, The Creator, The Customer, and the Employee Experience

The daily agenda included thought provoking and engaging presentations as well as panel discussions on topics such as Resume of the Future Experience, Human-Centered Tech and design Shaping Society, Humanizing Your Brand in the Robot Era, The Circular Economy 2030, What is Human, What is Work in a Superhuman Future, Building the Sustainable Supply Chain of Tomorrow, and Investing in Inclusive Entrepreneurship. Each of the sessions was standing room only with lots of interesting follow-up questions from the audience. Alicia Tillman, CMO of SAP, eloquently talked about how companies can use intelligent technologies to create memorable experiences and lasting engagements with their customers.

Blockchain in action

Each afternoon, the St. John Room was transformed into a Demo Dash area. Visitors could see a live demonstration of the VIVO app and its secure data sharing capabilities that allows one to manage their own data, including fitness data from IoT devices. The data is stored on the blockchain and allows one to share it with specifically chosen entities. Such consent management capabilities are very relevant consumer-to-brand and brand-to-consumer engagement.

Tony Costa (CIO) and Renee Junge (CMO) of Bumble Bee Foods, along with myself and my SAP colleagues Steven Kim and Sathya Narasimhan demonstrated how Bumblee Bee Foods is using blockchain technology from SAP to create Ocean-to-Table transparency.  By simply scanning a QR code on the back of a retail package of a 12-ounce Ahi tuna steak with a smartphone, one can learn which island on Indonesia the tuna was caught, the species of the tuna, the fishing method that was used, and see the fair-trade certification. With blockchain Bumble Bee brings transparency across their entire supply chain with visibility to the secure, tamper-proof data to various participants on the blockchain network, while promoting sustainable fishing and fair-trade practices. You can view the following video to learn more – Bumble Bee Foods also sees blockchain help address problems of mislabeling and fraud that are rampant in the seafood industry.

To learn more about SAP solutions and the Intelligent Enterprise, visit


Ganesh Wadawadigi, Ph.D.

Chief Solution Owner, Blockchain for supply chain

Digital Supply Chain Solutions, SAP

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