Recap: 2019 SAPPHIRENOW & ASUG Annual Conference

Mrinal Gokhale

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GSIT Updates

Our team has attended the SAPPHIRENOW & ASUG Annual Conference yearly to network with professionals, attend workshops, and listen to engaging keynote speeches about the latest SAP improvements.

This year, the conference was held in Orlando, FL from May 6-9, 2019. Over 30,000 attendees were present, and over one million watchers viewed virtually. Here’s a brief summary of some of the keynotes from the week!

Keynote: Winning the Experience Economy

For the first time ever, the opening keynote was performed by an SAP client, the NBA. Eric Hutcherson, Chief HR Officer of the NBA, spoke about how S4/HANA helps the NBA’s business operations.

The three business components of the NBA that benefit most from S4 HANA were:

  • Fans can access game statistics in real time
  • Financial operations, business metrics and analytics powered by Qualtrics
  • Talent recruiting, on-boarding, powered by Qualtrics

Christian Klein (Chief Operating Officer of SAP) spoke about his role, which includes transforming SAP into an intelligent enterprise. He touched on these business aspects:

Building Seamless Customer and Employee Experience:

Klein stated that the Intelligence Enterprise team aims to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for business process integrations. This includes everything from the front and back offices, and from a manufacturing and supply chain perspective.

He shared that automating core processes, such as cash collection and other labor intensive duties is critical to achieving efficiency. By doing so, he is confident that SAP’s AI can increase the automation level of these processes by 50% by end of 2019. He added that SAP also uses AI to make product recommendations based on prior buying history, which enables salespeople to accomplish more.

End to End Real Time Steering:

The SAP HANA Intelligent Enterprise allows customers to steer the company in real time, end to end across the value chain. The Intelligent Enterprise helps with reporting, predictive analytics, and integrated planning in the following business areas:

  • Front Office: Sales, Marketing, Service
  • Back Office: Finance, Spend Management, Human Resources
  • Manufacturing & Supply Chain

This allows sales to take real time action on pipeline data, as well as use predictive analytics to more accurately match demand and supply.

Discover why Digital Core is the Heartbeat of Intelligent Enterprise

Jan Gilg, Sr. VP of SAP, discussed the significance of S4/HANA. Gilg stated that although the importance of ERP to business success has always been critical, business needs and speed have changed. To keep up with business needs, S/4HANA has been made to serve 25 industries in 180 countries, and it comes in 30 languages. The cloud based system has 23 deeply integrated end to end processes with one user centric experience, with real time steering that comes with reporting predictive analytics, and integrated planning.

He also presented the following predictions:

  • Over 60% of global GDP will be digitized by 2022
  • 65% of manual business processes will be eliminated by 2025
  • Over 75 billion IoT devices will be present in 2025

Accelerate your Industry with SAP C/4HANA

Alex Atzberger, President of SAP Customer Experience, kicked off a discussion on SAP’s industry specific solutions through C/4HANA. Atzberger says that SAP will improve digital customer experiences through co-development and co-innovation on industry specific capabilities.

During this session, they highlighted the following trends as major points customers should be aware of:

  • Front office functions are integrating together with mobile technologies evolving
  • New business models: becoming subscription based (e.g., Uber, Airbnb)
  • New competitors have easier access to sectors, and a well optimized customer experience helps the company better respond to these disruptors

SAPPHIRENOW & ASUG Annual Conference week wrapped up with a strong emphasis on customer experience and the power of the S4/HANA platform partnered with Qualtrics to deliver that data like never before!