SAP initiated its virtual event – SAPPHIRENOW, with a global keynote on June 2, 2021. SAPPHIRENOW has been planned all through June and July for three regions which can be accessed in nine different languages and have eight dedicated audience tracks including – Customer Experience, Finance, HR, Industries, IT, Midmarket (SMB), Procurement, and Supply Chain. The keynote featured SAP CEO Christian Klein, various board members, and special industry guests.
Julia White, Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer, SAP, kicked off the event with a briefing. White then called on Christian Klein. Klein began his address by expressing thanks to the stakeholders in SAP. He then elaborated on ‘how the pandemic has revolutionized our individual lives and the business community.’ Then, he highlighted the three key insights which he said SAP has learned over the past year. The first insight was that the most resilient companies were the ones who adopted technology to transform their businesses and become intelligent enterprises by changing their traditional business model to an advanced & more modern one and being agile while embedding AI into their processes. Klein put forth the example of Brakes, a UK-based B2B food delivery service. He played a video showing how Brakes reacted to the food supply chain strain due to the pandemic and created an impact by using their world-class food delivery system to create a direct-to-consumer site in a week by putting customers first. Through the same, they were able to deliver groceries at home, food to healthcare workers & hospitals, and care packages to the vulnerable and affected.
Klein then moved on to the next insight: ‘no business does business alone, and we win as a community,’ where he stressed the fact that the world is interconnected, and it is important to do business together while having real-time transparency across the supply chain to succeed. To add to this point, he elaborated how people are leveraging network and interconnectedness at a personal level in daily lives through social media and how nobody has done the same for businesses doing business together. He then announced the strategic plan to create the world’s largest business network and connect all trading partners across the supply chain through a single directory into a unified, collaborative, and intelligent network. Klein also talked about how customers from across various business segments were able to find solutions to their problems by utilizing the SAP network.
Klein’s last insight was about sustainability and how it can impact our planet, future, ecosystem, and individual lives. He then announced the goal of achieving sustainability with zero emissions, zero waste, and zero inequality. He also talked about the importance of sustainability and opined that, like productivity, sustainability should also be standardized across businesses. He added that SAP had created a new sustainability portfolio for fulfilling the company’s commitment concerning sustainability. The portfolio will provide analytics across sustainability metrics of the world economic forum across its value chain to make profitability sustainable and sustainability profitable. The SAP CEO also expressed that sustainability should be an ethical responsibility and not just a legal obligation, before handing back the baton to White.
White then held forth about various aspects related to intelligent business, delivering seamless customer and employee experience across channels. She also introduced various new SAP products for sustainability and expanded capability to the company’s existing product lineup and help businesses deliver efficiency across the value chain and become an intelligent enterprise. She added that the company is releasing several solutions with embedded sustainability into its existing business processes. She then talked about the introduction of ‘RISE with SAP for industries’ to digitally transform processes and how SAP is bringing its 50 years of deep industry expertise and partner ecosystem to provide industry-specific cloud solutions as a service for industries, including retail, consumer products, automotive, utilities, and industrial machinery. This will help to significantly lower the total cost of ownership (TCO), innovate businesses, speed and agility, and seamless collaboration with suppliers, customers, and service providers.
Following this, White talked about a leading pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen, and how SAP’s industry innovation is helping the company to run its business and deliver the drugs needed to treat the Covid-19 infections. She then played a pre-recorded interview with Jeff Denton VP, global secure supply chain, AmerisourceBergen who talked about his journey with SAP. On the occasion, White also introduced the attendees to SAP’s customers from the biotech industry. David Volk, senior director, clinical supply, Roche Group, and Michael Schmidt, partner and member of the executive board, Tenthpin Management Consultants. Volk and Schmidt talked about various aspects of the biotech industry, including supply chains, COVID-19 vaccine development, the rise in complexity of biotech medicine, and how varied the technology is in this space. They also explained how both Volk and Schmidt’s firms have benefited by collaborating with each other.
Following this, Julia White took the centerstage again. She gave a beautiful real-life example of sustainability through a pre-recorded interview with Joey Zwillinger, the co-founder of Allbirds, a company that produces sustainable shoes from wool. He talked about how they expanded and scaled their production despite various complexity and how SAP helped them right from the start-up stage.
Various other members from SAP spoke at the keynote event. They included Paige Cox – SVP, Global Head, SAP Business Network, Eamon Ida – Director of Business Marketing, SAP, Rachel Ho – Senior portfolio marketing manager, SAP, Juriaan Mulder – Sustainability solution advisor, SAP, and Gloria Figaroa – Sustainability business process consultant, SAP. They talked about how SAP is replacing fragmented one-to-one connections to many-to-many networks and how stakeholders gain from this. They also talked about how SAP solution processes and business network impact across the supply chain to help create strong networks and accomplish sustainability initiatives even as it tracks carbon emission and other factors across the value chain. They also talked about Green Token – a multi-commodity supply chain transparency platform.
The keynote concluded with a free-wheeling talk between White and Prof. Dr. Hasso Plattner, founder chairman, SAP, about technological advancement bringing people, processes, systems, and data together for business transformation, SAP’s recent acquisition of business process management firm Signavio, the various obstacles faced by SAP’s customers and the solutions provided by the company, and of course, the future of SAP SE.
All in all, the keynote opened the SAPPHIRE NOW event on a high note with wonderful virtual experiences as well as insights on various SAP products. The events scheduled for June and July will be robustly diversified within those eight audiences tracks to help all the stakeholders create a better understanding of various offerings and solutions by SAP. The SAP customers’ feedback gathered during the event further validated how SAP solutions help businesses of all verticals and sizes. The vision of sustainability and connecting business across the value chain will not just help SAP succeed as a business but also succeed as the entire global ecosystem to provide a better and vibrant future for everyone.
About the Author
Pallavi is a part of Quadrant Knowledge Solutions’ global research and consulting team. She is responsible for enterprise software research.
Pallavi is responsible for conducting global strategic market outlook, SPARK Matrix Analysis, and client consulting assignments. She has worked on strategic research and vendor evaluation projects for Multicounty Payroll Platform (MCP), Customer Communication Management (CCM), Subscription Management Application, Talent Acquisition Application, Integrated Workplace Management, Configure, Price, And Quote (CPQ), Account Receivable Application, Intelligent Business Process Management, and such others. Pallavi is also a part of Quadrant Knowledge Solutions’ best practice team in identifying the most promising companies in the enterprise software domain space. She was part of the team for consulting assignments including detailed market mapping, custom market intelligence, analyst briefing, and others.
Pallavi holds a Post-Graduation in International Business and Marketing from Sri Balaji University and B.com from the University of Delhi, India.