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Author's profile photo Nadia Casagrande

How True Co-Innovation Bears Fruits

What a journey.

I would like to share an exemplary success story of an exciting journey from start-up to SAP Partner and from solution idea to co-innovation project to live customer to SAP Store to SAP Innovation Award winner.

What are the key data?

We recently published a blog  about a remarkable solution, but why are we publishing another one? Because today, only a few weeks later, we are even more convinced of that amazing solution. And as cherry on the cake, we are very happy to announce, that EnergyCommunity for SAP for Utilities by Swiss start-up Exnaton and SAP gold partner best practice consulting AG (bpc) not only made it into SAP Innovation Awards 2022 finals, but has now WON in the category “Partner Paragon”. This category recognizes partners that have developed a next-generation application deployed by at least one customer, that uses at least one advanced technology from SAP Business Technology Platform solutions.

How it all started and evolved.

What has begun as a co-innovation project with this remarkable Swiss startup, has turned into a solution available in the SAP Store, now progressing as a live customer solution integrated into SAP S/4HANA. This is an exemplary success story for Exnaton and their original solution idea, and winning the innovation award is well deserved!

How did we do it?

It all sounds simple, and, if you truly believe in the power of co-innovation, it definitely is. It’s all about bringing the right people – who share the same vision on the one hand, but complement each other in different facets on the other – to the table.

In this particular case we gathered great, enthusiastic people – an innovative startup, a mature SAP partner and several SAP colleagues from various teams – to believe in and work on a common vision.

  1. Exnaton brought in their “PowerQuartier platform” as a kind of seedling,
  2. bpc brought in their enormous domain knowledge as a deep-rooted SAP Partner serving the Energy market customers since ages,
  3. and SAP supported with their product and solution teams to make the integration work.

Above and beyond having many technical discussions on how to best bring all things together, there was also the need to pave the way to the energy market and bring it all together as a unified solution.

Hear from those directly involved.

To get a small but unsurpassed impression of this co-innovation journey, it is best to let the involved parties have their say:


“For us as a startup, working with the SAP Co-Innovation Lab was a great experience, because, even though we are a small partner, we always had the feeling that we were being taken seriously. Everyone involved from SAP and the SAP Partner bpc, with whom we worked as part of the co-innovation, were really motivated, committed to the task and pushed the project forward together with us. We are particularly proud that the cooperation has now also resulted in a long-term partnership, as we have become a SAP BUILD partner as a startup, and we now offer a joint solution in the SAP Store, with which we won the SAP Innovation Award.” Dr. Anselma Wörner, Co-founder Exnaton


“The cooperation with the SAP Co-Innovation Lab, the product teams and the Swiss market unit is of great importance for us as a long-standing SAP partner. We really appreciate the opportunity through the SAP Co-Innovation Lab to advance the joint development of new SAP solutions at an early stage to create added value for our customers, which enables us to generate new business opportunities for all parties in this Co-Innovation project. Thanks to the entire SAP Co-Innovation Lab team for the cooperation – we are looking forward to the next joint innovation.” Nina Schermann, Manager Corporate Strategy and Business Development at bpc AG


“We as SAP Co-Innovation Lab are glad of and enjoyed being part of that co-innovation journey and are thankful to our two partners bpc and Exnaton, the latter turned into a SAP partner during this journey. Both partners dedicated a lot of resources into the project and made it possible with their open mind to collaborate.

A big ‘thank you’ also goes to our colleagues from the product teams “Cloud for Energy” (Michael Dobler) and “Subscription Billing” (Christian Ilmberger), and last but not least Alexander Finger from the SAP market unit Switzerland who all supported this project tirelessly on a regular basis until today. True co-innovation from the very beginning!” Pascal Hagedorn, SAP Co-Innovation Lab Switzerland


“Especially in times when sustainable energy production and climate protection are among the greatest challenges, we are pleased to be part of such an innovative project and to contribute to the fact that SAP solutions can make a significant contribution to mastering these challenges.” Martin Rosjat, SAP Co-Innovation Lab Germany


Author of the blog: Pascal Hagedorn

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