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Necessity is Driving Innovation: A New Age of Data-Driven Efficiency, Agility, and Flexibility

If we’ve learned one thing during the pandemic, it’s that innovation is a tool for adaptation—and it’s paramount for survival. To overcome disruption and thrive in the New Normal, businesses need to be more data-driven, efficient, and agile. To achieve this, they need full transparency into their processes, to identify opportunities for new business models that take full advantage of their data assets.

‘Necessity is Driving Innovation’ is the topic of this episode of the SAP Business Technology Platform Better Together: Customer Conversations series.

In this episode we heard from Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions, a global leader in measurement and automation. They have made amazing strides in developing a customer-delighting digital solution. We sat down with Mike Cook, PhD, IIoT Collaboration Manager, Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions, for a thought-leadership podcast and then again for a LinkedIn practitioners’ conversation:

  1. For the podcast, Mike joined Tamara McCleary, CEO at Thulium, and Theodora Lau, Founder of Unconventional Ventures. They discussed what’s driving business innovation and the role technology is playing in uncovering problems and creating solutions. They discussed how businesses can unlock new business models through data and analytics: specifically, how a service provider can also become a solutions Theodora rounded out the podcast by sharing her insights on how businesses in a wide variety of industries are putting data to work to drive innovation, including practical examples she’s encountered in her professional and personal life.
  2. During my LinkedIn session, Mike shared more about their company’s incredible journey into digital solutions. Mike and his team were able to discover new business models, more quickly adapt to market demand, and delight their customers, all by harnessing real-time data and cloud-based analytics. It’s a remarkable story of transformation, both for the business and its customers.

Here are a few key takeaways from the conversation.

Customer Demands Drive Business Innovations

Mike explains how, for Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions, the pivot to new services is simply a natural progression in the way of delivering value to customers. “As with any new business there are challenges, but that’s the fun part and allows you to really understand how to provide the best value for the customer,” he says. “Endress+Hauser has a great relationship with its end users and one thing that we are seeing is that the digital revolution touches our traditional users and brings us together with new stakeholders. As such we are developing a clear value proposition to our customers.”

For Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions, the quest to understand and meet their customers’ evolving demand led to investment in real-time data and analytics, finding new ways to bring customers insight in real-time. This process ultimately led Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions to build a robust digital solution offering that puts critical data where customers need it when they need it.

The Path Forward is Digital

To create value through innovation, companies need to look at the factors driving demand for change. Thankfully, they don’t need to look far. Of the many defining trends of our New Normal, a trend toward digital solutions is the most prominent. And while most companies are well-versed in digital business solutions, they’re getting a crash course in digital customer solutions.

According to Theodora, the constraints of the pandemic have opened up brand-new avenues for business growth—so long as companies are willing to navigate from a digital-first mindset. “Humans are humans! We like relationships and interactions with other human beings. But because of the pandemic, we’re no longer able to go out and do things face-to-face, so we end up using technology to do things.”

Mike and his team have seen first-hand just how much customers appreciate having insights on tap, “Customers are excited about these solutions; it makes their work-life easier and allows them to focus on the task at hand,” Mike says. One example Mike gave really shows the extent of how the digital solution changes the customer experience: “Imagine having to climb a long ladder in the rain to connect to a sensor,” he says. “Now imagine that the sensor has connectivity… in many cases, you would not have to leave the office to read it, or at least connect from a safe distance in a comfortable environment.”

Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions can bring crucial customer data from the top of a wet ladder dozens of feet in the air all the way to the customer’s office chair — that’s a powerful way to bring value and inspire customer loyalty.

Looking for more customer success stories where ‘Necessity is Driving Innovation’?

  • Ansaldo Energia – Better serving customers by using SAP S/4HANA, integrating transactional systems with IoT technology to transform into a smart factory.
  • Mitsu Coal – Read how better data and analytics are helping a major coal company make good investments in uncertain times

Register at to check out the podcast and the LinkedIn session for this and previous episodes.

Make sure to catch our next episode, ‘Driving Innovation with Automation’, with Achim Löbke, Head of Architecture & optimization, Uniper and László Gergely, International Project Manager, Uniper, to discuss extending and automating processes, from the plant, to the field, to the back office.

We’ll also touch on SAP Business Technology Platform success stories from KAESER KOMPRESSOREN and Shapoorji Pallonji.

Join the Conversation

The SAP Business Technology Platform Better Together: Customer Conversations series is dedicated to bringing you these stories and insights direct from SAP customers — no brand talking points, no editorializing, no nonsense.

You can access all the details and much more at

I’d also like to get your input on what topics you’d like to discuss in the future and feedback on the questions we should be asking. And please contact us if you’d like to be a guest on an episode.

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