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Author's profile photo Andrew Marti

Every Journey is Different: The RISE Customer Storytelling Series

What do a vegan food manufacturer, a Formula-1 racing team, and a provider of on-demand custom printing solutions have in common? 

They’re all current SAP customers. And more specifically they’re all undergoing an enterprise-spanning digital transformation, running in the cloud. 

As the market leader in enterprise application software, SAP’s achievements are exemplified through our customer’s success. Customer testimonials are powerful tools to adducing these positive engagements with first-hand authenticity. 

The SAP North American S/4HANA Center of Excellence is offering an ongoing virtual event series that captures current customer success stories of digital transformation in a format that feels like the best parts of a one-on-one conversation and a front row pass to an exclusive live event.  

“Focusing on just digital transformation is what makes the Customer Storytelling Series stand out,” says Jennifer McGrory, one of the host/moderators and Go-to-Market lead. “The format fosters a lot of interaction even if you’re watching on demand.” 

On demand, while still feeling in the moment, is exactly what the S/4HANA Center of Excellence team who coordinates and facilitates the series had in mind when they began conducting the one-hour-or-less sessions. Since its launch in 2020, the team of seasoned SAP moderators including industry advisors and account leads has put together over BLANK number of sessions with an impressive dance card of guests from a wide range of industries. 

“We’ve found participants ask a lot of reoccurring questions in the chat. In addition to what’s happening live,” adds McGrory, “if I’ve done my homework then I’m doing my best to generate responses from our customers that will spur more engagement well beyond the session. The knowledge share becomes infectious.” 

Moderators like McGrory and others have done their homework – a lot of it. Meticulously asking questions and going in depth curating inquiries specific to each customer story. This allows viewers to see customer challenges come into focus in vibrant detail not only because of the time put towards diligent research, but because of the customers being interviewed. Speakers are picked for their perspective working with SAP not simply because of their relationship with SAP. This allows each session to foster common reoccurring themes like the important connections between IT and business. 

Additionally, participants immediately get a sense of the differentiating role SAP plays in digital transformation. Hosts inquisitively and with equal precision pull on the threads of why S/4HANA as much as they do on the threads of why SAP. The format is ideal for understanding these customers’ stories, their motivations, and most prominently – their wins.  

There’s also a reprising theme on how intuitive much of the digital transformation adoption process can be especially in larger organizations – and how eagerly it is embraced by their employees. This series helps bring clarity to the effects on individual employees, something you don’t often hear about in a traditional case study. 

This organic combination of casual conversation with a more in-depth discussion is why the S/4 Center for Excellence began organizing the Customer Storytelling series to begin with: to help IT and business decision makers alike take the first step. 

“When it comes to RISE customers, we receive as much feedback and interest on how to get started as we do around what a digital transformation looks like” says Amy Craven, North America Marketing S/4HANA Plan Lead. “Hearing the ambitious goals achieved by others can be rocket fuel to your own initiatives. This series bottles that and makes it accessible to anyone who might be looking for answers about how to begin their company’s digital transformation.” 

There’s more than name recognition to companies like MOD Pizza, Wolfspeed, VistaPrint, Mercedes Benz Racing, and LiveKindly – all of which have recently been featured. There’s a relatability to each customer’s business case that clearly rings through – regardless of industry.  

As an example, for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Race Team, the people (a racing team), the process (building and maintaining a car to go as fast as possible around a track) and the outcomes (making every thousandth of a second count) are very distinct. But the challenges S/4HANA helped overcome like proving consistent global access for every team member, delivery of real-time system data, and benchmarking parameters for future growth – all within a very venturesome time period – are analogous to many different customer’s strategies. 

“Leading the conversation on a topic where everyone might define success differently, you start to see how many businesses actually just want the same thing – to run better and more sustainably by creating an environment that attracts and retains talent,” Jennifer McGrory says rounding things out. 

“Because it’s truly a dialogue between SAP and a customer, there’s unexpected, some might say serendipitous, consequences of these conversations – insights, anecdotes, asides, even humor. But the biggest point of comparison is that every company regardless of their size or how they define success can face and overcome obstacles as part of digital transformation.” 

What’s the one-word pitch for attending a session?  

The key-take away is in the title itself, Customer Storytelling Series. Every customer’s story is different but they’re each part of a singular journey that ends in success. And that’s how a company’s digital transformation should be viewed. 

It’s a journey where every roadmap is different. 

There will be twists and turns, maybe even detours and traffic jams, but arriving at your destination as an intelligent enterprise is the foundation for more profitable, productive, and sustainable long-term growth. 

Join for One Event or the Entire Series. All sessions are currently available on demand. 


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