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SAP Business Trends

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The pitches that Venture Capital (VC) firms are hearing over and over again revolve around the idea that beating the competition on their price point is the most important aspect of any new venture. Anybody can beat the competition with a cheaper mousetrap, but lasting brands win on value. Whether that’s providing a more comprehensive service, or enhancing the level of customer service available; the startups that get the most attention are the ones that have at least four different value propositions that set them apart from the rest of the market they’re entering into.


Building Real Value for Consumers

What is it that your customers crave? The best way to answer this question is to put yourself in the shoes of a customer. If you haven’t ever needed the product or service you’re getting ready to try and sell, then I doubt your venture will be successful. Sorry if that’s harsh, but you have to be able to truly relate to your customer. Otherwise you’ll probably miss the mark and end up making the perfect product or service for someone outside of your target audience.

This could turn into an amazing win if you identify a new market or new angle on an existing service. However, the odds are a bit long on that coming through.

The safest best is to know your customer as yourself and build the perfect product or service that you’d love to use every day.


Location, Location, Location

Is the McDonald’s burger really the best tasting burger you’ve ever eaten? Is it the cheapest? For most, the answer to both of those questions is no. There are cheaper burgers in the frozen foods aisle at your grocery store. There are better burgers available at any neighborhood burger joint. BUT, neither of those options are as convenient and easily accessible as McDonalds.

Where are your customers shopping? Where will they make the impulse decision to buy your product or service? Place your product or service in front of them at the opportune time and you’ll be in a very strong position to grow your sales month over month.


Price is Still Important

It’s easy to find amazing deals on the internet. You have to assume that your customers are going to comparison shop. The internet just makes it too easy. So, you still need to be comparable to your competition. However, it’s okay if your prices are slightly higher as long as you can justify that price difference in a few sentences. Your website: seoservicesbangalore.in and marketing material must effectively communicate and highlight the unique value propositions of your product or service.


Value, Price, Marketing and Market Knowledge are Key to VC Pitch Success

Marketing, pricing and value are the keys to your future business. Don’t show up to a VC pitch with a simple “we’re cheaper” presentation. Go in-depth and sell the unique values of your product or service. Show that you understand the industry and how to effective reach your target audience.

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”


Can data-driven, breakthrough technology help accelerate progress in medical research? That’s the premise behind the SAP Medical Research Insights (MRI) solution powered by SAP HANA, which won the Red Dot Award “Communication Design 2015” in the category Interface Design against 7.451 submissions evaluated by the international 27-headed jury. This success was celebrated at the official awards ceremony on November 6, 2015 in Berlin.

Developed in partnership with the German National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg, the Innovation Center Network, the Design & Co-Innovation Center from SAP and the Healthcare Development Team, SAP Medical Research Insights provides secure and instant access to clinical data from multiple sources (such as bio bank systems, tumor registries, physician’s notes) in a unified interface. Complex medical information can be easily managed through the intuitive UI and charts to make informed decisions faster.

It replaces time-consuming processes of different roles and streamlines workflows to increase efficiency among medical research teams. Customizable for cancer centers and hospitals, it improves insight into patient cohorts and facilitates matching patients with clinical trials.


“We are now able to extract and analyze data from various sources and present it to physicians and researchers in a way that enables surprising new insights,” said Prof. Dr. Christof von Kalle, NCT.

Perhaps no other field of work exemplifies the opportunity to gain insights from big data than cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment. Thanks to co-innovation efforts between the SAP teams and the NCT in Germany, working as ONE TEAM and not looking at organizational boundaries, this project was recognized with the sought-after Red Dot Award, which is the 8th award and recognition for SAP Medical Research Insights.

“This Red Dot Award is an exciting recognition because it showcases how the combination of design and industry-leading business software results in innovation that gives doctors and researchers the right tools to deal with the ever-increasing information complexity in their domain,” said Sam Yen, chief design officer for SAP.

This project shows that combining the power of design with the power of SAP HANA leads to a breakthrough innovation: Design + SAP HANA = Innovation.

Curious about our design approach? Check out the project case study.



The Red Dot Design Award

The Red Dot Design Award is one of the world’s largest and most distinguished competitions. Since 60 years, the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen honours excellence in design. The name and brand of the competition which today is well-known internationally were developed in the 1990’s by Prof. Dr. Peter Zec. The sought-after Red Dot established itself as a recognized seal of quality and is awarded in the disciplines of Product Design, Design Concept and Communication Design.

The international jury judged 7,451 entries, and SAP received a Red Dot award recognizing outstanding creative achievements. The award was presented to the winners at the Red Dot Gala 2015 ceremony held in Berlin on 6 November 2015.


For further information about the “Red Dot” Competition click here.



A cleaning business can be a worthy endeavor that allows you to make a lot of money in a field that is not yet overcrowded in many places around the world. There are lots of things that you can do to improve the quality of your services and earn more money for your efforts. It does not matter if you have a maid service in Houston or an apartment cleaning business in England, these ideas will work well for any type of cleaning business.


Here are 4 ideas about how you can make improvements to your cleaning business:


  1. 1. Develop Systems

One of the most important things for you to do as the owner or manager of a cleaning business is to implement systems that allow your team(s) to perform tasks in the shortest amount of time with a minimal amount of effort while producing the highest quality results. These systems should be gradually tweaked over time as better ways to do things are discovered. Having these types of systems in place will let you more easily make a substitution when someone misses work, because the missing member would have specific duties that can be quickly taught to another.


In addition, these types of systems will also make sure that your employees know exactly what to do and exactly when to do it. This reduces any confusion or uncertainty about any job and lets everyone get right to work. These types of systems also keep employees from spending time doing the same thing and allow the tasks to be performed in the correct order so that there is no job performed at an awkward moment during an operation. For instance, the floors in living room are being cleaned while the bathroom is being cleaned. Suddenly, a worker needs to get some equipment from outside and leaves a dirty trail on the way in and out the front door.


  1. 2. Find Your Best Market

Do you want to clean businesses or residences, or do you want to clean the apartments of tenants ending their leases? Do you want to clean locations that have not been cleaned for months, or do you want to clean places that are regularly cleaned every week or so? Each type of market has different demands and specialties that are required. You should look for the ones that are the easiest for your particular situation.


  1. 3. Provide a List of Basic Services and Upgrades

In addition to the basic services that you provide, you should also create a list about optional tasks that you would be willing to perform at an extra charge. These services would include additional forms of cleaning and polishing that are not absolutely necessary to make a property clean but would add an additional level of sanitation or visual appeal. For example, your basic contract would include vacuuming the carpets while also giving the client the option to have their carpets shampooed for an extra fee.


  1. 4. Acquire Quality Individuals

One of the most important elements of consideration that you will face is the hiring of team leaders who know how to make sure that projects are completed correctly. Finding high quality people like this is very important for expanding your business because these types of individuals are able to coordinate teams of employees so that you can take on more work assignments. Without these managers firmly in place, you will not be able to effectively expand your operations beyond the team that you are currently supervising.


These types of employees are extremely vital to your business and should be paid well so that they will be happy with their situation and not want to leave.

One of the biggest outcomes of the technology consumerization trend is how it has driven the importance of design. There’s no “waiting out” this trend – an unstoppable wave of interest in design centricity is hitting the business world, shifting the focus in product and service development from features to experience. But why? What is the real value of design? Why is it worth the investment?

Certainly there’s the human value gained through a better designed user experience, including increased user satisfaction, customer loyalty and solution adoption, as well as a stronger relationship between IT and the business. But there is also increasing evidence that design offers measurable monetary value, as well.

According to research conducted by the Design Management Institute, design-driven companies maintain a significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by 219% over a 10-year period.  In short, good design shows up in the business value of the company. Businesses can also realize measurable results, in the form of increased productivity, lower training and support costs, fewer user errors and a decrease in change requests.

A Forrester IT survey from 2013 found IT leaders estimated they spend an average 72% of their budget on “keep-the-lights-on”, while only 28% of the money goes towards new innovations. CIOs want to re-define the role of IT and invest more money to drive business innovation.


In actuality, design centricity promises both short- and long-term value for a variety of business stakeholders, from the employee level to the CEO. An improved user experience (UX), for instance, can help CEOs meet their short-term goal of boosting revenue, as well as CIOs’ need to reduce costs. A better UX can help business managers boost user satisfaction, and better enable employees to get their jobs done. 

An example is Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane where we re-designed its logistics portal to meet the needs of both its customers and suppliers. We achieved a number of objectives, including reducing the number of clicks from 16 to 7, switching to mobile devices to reduce operations costs and receiving a higher acceptance from suppliers and customers.


When the National Hockey League
redesigned its online statistics page, it achieved 408,000 unique views in three days and gained more than 18 million Twitter impressions speaking positively about the experience.


Of course, these outcomes are not enough for real marketplace success; CEOs want to achieve market leadership,
CIOs want to emphasize innovation, business managers want to beat the competition, and employees want to actually enjoy their work. Innovation through design can help organizations achieve these longer term goals, when it is used to launch real innovations, leapfrogging the competition and disrupting entire marketplaces. 


An example is eBay, where we helped market analysts reduce decision-making timeframes from 29 days to one, by using design thinking and the power of SAP HANA to create an entirely new way for them to spot anomalies in online shopping trends.



Another example is the National Center for Tumor Diseases in Heidelberg, Germany, where we combined the power of design thinking with the power of SAP HANA to help the center discover an entirely new way to treat patients and impact peoples’ lives.


With this solution we recently won the prestigious Red Dot Communication Design Award.


Check out the video

Once businesses are convinced of the value of design and design thinking, they can get started on the road to becoming a design-centric organization. Here are a few recommendations for getting there:

  • Show the value of design
    Leverage our UX value calculator and then comparing that value with the costs to find the ROI.

  • Start with quick wins
    Prove the real value of design improvements. Leverage solutions like SAP Fiori or SAP Screen Personas to show quickly value to your business users. People also need to experience design to understand the impact of a truly strong user experience; it’s not something you can teach.  

  • Get top management buy-in
    You need commitment, budget and resources to make it happen. Conduct design thinking workshops with cross-organizational stakeholders, including C-level execs, to let them touch and feel the power of Design.

  • Adopt the mindset
    Design is not an end state but a three-stage process of “discover, design and deliver.”   

  • Build a culture of innovation
    within the organization, using the three key ingredients of people, process and space.

In the end, businesses will be able to expand interest in design thinking throughout the organization, creating a culture of innovation and establishing a more effective – and profitable – way of working.

Interesting Links:


There are many ways for someone to locate different types of businesses in Australia. Many ways use the tried and true methods that have endured over the decades, and many other techniques use methods that have recently come into existence because of new technology. It would now be prudent to examine some of the more popular ways to locate various organizations and companies in the Australian Region.


Social Media

This technique will bring very fast results and allow for instant communication with an organization once it has been located. In fact, one may also begin to build a growing relationship with that firm through the many social media platforms now in existence. This is probably the most effective and efficient way to locate almost any sort of business not only in Australia, but also in any other country of the world. 


Live Networking

This type of technique has been around for centuries and will be around for many more to come. That is because this strategy works. By attending events and other various social gatherings, such as fairs at parks and contests at museums, one can increase the amount of their social connections and also find out about most of the various businesses in any region of Australia.


Local Directories

The phone book has been around for a very long time and is a great resource for locating various places of business in Australia. This treasure trove of information will provide anyone with many up-to-date business locations in any area of the country. In addition, a local phone book will also provide information about certain places where one might go in order to gain more insight about the local business climate.


The Internet

There are also many wonderful websites that will also allow an individual to find business in Australia. In addition, it is possible to locate smaller subcategories of businesses merely by using the correct search terms. For instance, if one is trying to locate Indian businesses in Australia, then all one has to do is go to an appropriate website in order to get this information.


Word of Mouth

This is the oldest known form of human communication and also remains the most effective. It is especially efficient when a person has a lot of family and friends in a certain location. That having been said, a complete stranger can also enter a certain location and gain this type of information very quickly because it is a rather natural thing to do. All one needs to do is begin talking to other people, and the information about a city's businesses (as well as many other things) will come flooding in.


Therefore, nobody should worry about finding businesses in Australia because it is a simple thing to accomplish. Since businesses want you to find them, this process is easy because of all of the advertising about most of an area's businesses usually permeates the fabric of almost every city and town in the Australian region.

17 weeks to Davos. 17 global goals to achieve a sustainable future. 17 blog posts exploring the UN’s vision for humankind. Here is number 9.

Global Goal #9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation


The poorest in Western countries are better off economically than they were 300 years ago. We can thank the Industrial Revolution for that. Most modern countries offer some form of social security, ensuring that even the unemployed have food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over their heads. I’m not claiming it’s perfect in any way and I don’t wish poverty upon anyone, but given the option between today and 300 years ago I would choose today.


Industrialization radically transformed the lives of everyday people. They left the countryside for the city in droves – some looking for adventure and opportunity; others out of desperation, forced to find work by the mechanization of farming. In the process, the shape of their jobs, families, and daily activities took on a whole new shape. And it improved their financial status. Home ownership, appliances, flushing toilets, hot water, electricity, cars to drive, leisure, and entertainment were part of this new world.


In stark contrast, many of the poorest countries have not yet transitioned into industrial nations. Agriculture-sector employment in sub-Saharan Africa continues to see pre-industrial numbers: 61% in Kenya, 79% in Ethiopia, 80% in Mozambique, 84% in Burkina Faso, 92% in Burundi, to name a few. In comparison, less than 2% of the workforce is employed in agriculture in the United States with similar numbers in Canada, Britain, France, and the rest of the Western world.


Infrastructure was foundational to achieving industrialization and its resulting prosperity. At the core of the Industrial Revolution were innovations in banking and investment to help fund technological invention and production. New factories developed along rivers and near coal fields, close to energy sources necessary to drive emerging industrial complexes. Waterways, railroads, and roads connected new goods to national, and eventually global, markets. Infrastructure spurred on, and developed along with, industrialization.

The infrastructure necessary for industrialization won’t be the same for Africa as it was for 18th century Europe and North America. For starters, we know a lot more about how to build industrial processes that are more sustainable. Less than 20% of the roads are paved in the Sub-Sahara, but drones may provide a new way to get goods to market for example. Energy is critical for production, but renewable electrical production may become the norm.


Data and the information technology that generates, collects, and analyzes it is critical to building a resilient infrastructure that ensures sustainable industrialization. Many emerging countries lack core IT infrastructure needed by large and small businesses alike. However, mobile technologies and cloud services provide an opportunity for smaller enterprises to adopt the latest technology without massive investments in data centers. Innovation won’t have a chance to take root and grow without core infrastructure and motivated entrepreneurs.


Where in Africa is the next Thomas Newcomen and Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Henry Maudsley? They will create small businesses that grow into large enterprises employing thousands. Empowering entrepreneurs with the tools and support to make their dreams a reality takes non-profits like Endeavor, private enterprises like Compartamos Banco, and companies like SAP who make it their vision and purpose to raise up a new generation of innovators for Africa and the rest of the developing world.

This blog was originally published here. To learn more about the Global Goals, and to view previous blogs in this series, visit:  http://www.digitalistmag.com/tag/17-weeks-to-davos

It’s been a great year for the SAP LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. And as of Wednesday of last week, there’s something new to celebrate. SAP for the third year in a row earned a perfect score of 100 percent for its support for LGBT employees from the Human Rights Campaign, the United States’ largest organization dedicated to LGBT equality.


SAP Silicon Valley Marches in the San Francisco Pride Parade

Each year the Human Rights Campaign conducts a Corporate Equality Index (CEI) survey that evaluates over 1000 businesses. The CEI evaluates companies’ LGBT-related policies and practices including nondiscrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBT community.


This is the third year in a row that SAP’s support of LGBT employees resulted in a 100 percent ranking and designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.”


SAP’s achievements are due to the efforts of Pride@SAP, the company’s global network and advocacy group for LGBT employees. I spoke with David Ramsay, a Program Manager at the SAP Design and Co-Innovation Center. A core member of the Pride@SAP North America chapter, David drives SAP’s engagement with The Human Rights Campaign.


David said that in the early days of the index, SAP lagged behind competitors like Oracle and Microsoft. For example, in 2006 SAP achieved 68 percent vs. 80 and 100 percent for Oracle and Microsoft respectively.


So what accounts for the jump to 100 percent? David thinks it is a combination of factors. First, society moved forward in its acceptance of LGBT people and expectations that employees ensure fair treatment. SAP kept pace with those changing mores; and from a business perspective, the company recognized that it was important to evolve if they wanted to stay competitive for top talent.


Second, beginning in 2010, SAP has been proactively working with the Human Rights Campaign versus letting the organization access publicly available material. Since that point, David has been the liaison between the Human Rights Campaign and SAP’s North America human resources group, which has been hugely supportive of keeping SAP in top standing as an employer of choice.


For example, in 2012 the Human Rights Campaign changed its criteria and wanted companies to provide healthcare support for transgender people as they went through gender reassignment.


David said, “Healthcare benefits for transgender people were the big sticking point. In 2012, SAP felt like we had good enough support but didn’t need to be the best. In 2013, there wasn’t enough demand to justify adding this benefit versus other new benefits.”


“But in 2014 the industry was shifting and there was more awareness in society regarding what it means to be transgender. In addition, SAP’s own commitment to improving people’s lives helped advance LGBT rights and broaden access to benefits for all employees.”


Developing a good relationship with HR, coupled with cultural changes helped break down the last hurdle and David helped human resources make the business case to expand healthcare for transgender employees.


Change over time.PNG

What’s next for Pride@SAP? David is trying to ensure that all SAP suppliers adhere to the same standards for equality as SAP, and that SAP holds them accountable through our global sustainability and corporate social responsibility policies.


David believes that although this is a US-focused award, it has global implications for SAP, “Participating in this index helps us look at our global policy towards LGBT employees. The conversations we (Pride@SAP) have had with human resources help push that dialogue and how we view our policy globally.”


SAP Ranking for LGBT Rights Improves 2002 – 2016

Learn More


Register today for the new webinar on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 10:00 A.M. Eastern Time.


The future looks bright for a career in finance. That's what finance professionals recently told CFO Research in a global survey asking about their vision for the profession. Those entering the finance profession today look forward to a career that is more deeply engaged with, and contributes more value to, the businesses they support.


Digitalization and advanced analytical capabilities are behind this shift. Information of all types, structured and unstructured, is being generated from more sources than could have been imagined only a short while ago. And so senior finance executives are seeking sophisticated information tools that can support them in meeting the new demands of their roles. Behold, the Digital CFO!


During this Webcast, Chris Schmidt of CFO Publishing will present detailed research findings, highlighting nine changes that are transforming the finance function and five actions finance professionals can take to prepare themselves for tomorrow's finance careers. Then Neil Krefsky of SAP will provide a point of view on the type of modern, collaborative and real-time technology, finance teams are capitalizing on to thrive in today's digital business environment and rise in stature across the corporate landscape.



About the speakers of this webcast:


Neil Krefsky, Senior Marketing Director,
SAP Finance Line of Business Solutions


Neil joined SAP in 1998 and spent his first 11 years with SAP in pre-sales as an expert in all SAP Finance Line of Business solutions. Most recently, Neil has applied his expertise to product marketing for SAP Finance Line of Business solutions. Prior to joining SAP, Neil was a CPA with Deloitte, as well as a consultant for a venture capital and business consulting firm.

Chris Schmidt, Director of Research and Custom Content,
CFO Publishing

Chris Schmidt is director of research and custom content for CFO Publishing, overseeing the development of custom-content Webcasts and other tailored outreach to senior finance executives. Chris also works with CFO Research to conduct research studies on a variety of finance topics.

Before joining CFO Publishing, Chris served as director of corporate communications for Oliver Wyman, a global strategy consultancy. He is a graduate of Colby College. Chris is based in Boston.


Jonathan Becher

Digital Dose – 1000

Posted by Jonathan Becher Nov 24, 2015

Below is a collection of #digital tweets from the last 2 weeks – from my perspective the trends, tips and digital news that’s worth a read whether you’re a casual observer or a fellow CDO.


  • 6 Nov 2015 Digital does not distinguish between digitized (e.g. scans, transcriptions, recordings) or so-called born-digital materials (websites, emails, and digital photos). Read more to learn how to keep digital archives from disappearing.
  • 7 Nov 2015 Our medical records were supposed to join the information age: a single repository with a person’s entire medical history, accessible to all who should see it, safe from those who shouldn’t, easily mined to improve individual care. Why haven't our medical records entered the digital age? Read more 
  • 9 Nov 2015 Why No One is Showing Up for Your Digital Transformation – Culture is the secret sauce in digital success and it should be Risk Tolerant, Rapid, and Receptive. Find out more here for your digital transformation.
Digital Dose1.jpg


  • 9 Nov 2015 Why are retail stores no longer expanding their "Black Friday" hours? Because only one-third the number of shoppers are thinking of making their way to stores on Thanksgiving. Read more.
  • 11 Nov 2015 While a strong customer experience has been shown to produce significant results—more customers, more sales, and more loyalty—many companies still struggle to identify the plan of action that will best achieve them. Read more to learn what a great digital customer experience actually looks like.

Digital Dose2.jpg


  • 11 Nov 2015 As with physical hoarding, digital hoarding induces anxiety and a feeling of powerlessness. We can’t delete anything, because it might be useful and decision paralysis consumes us. Read about the emerging cure for ‘Digital Hoarding’.
  • 13 Nov 2015 The digital revolution touches all aspects of our human and physical world. It is easy to take for granted this digital ecosystem and it is hard to imagine a time before it. Can the digital revolution be environmentally sustainable? Find out the answer.
  • 13 Nov 2015 Seven signs of corporate innovation culture: hiring the best, trusting, embracing risk, accepting failures, moving fast, experimenting with new ideas, iterating, assimilating fast, and celebrating success. Read more.
  • 14 Nov 2015 The new world of digital music - In desperation, the recording industry has begun to turn its attention to hi-res, which has been around for a while, and the audio industry is now making less esoteric equipment on which to play it. Europe and Asia, however, remain far ahead of the U.S. Read more.
  • 14 Nov 2015 How does digital disruption affect the degree of competitiveness more broadly, across companies and industries – including Strategy? Customers? Innovation? Take a closer look at here.
Digital Dose3.jpg


  • 15 Nov 2015 Mobile payments are growing in popularity and the number of U.S. users is expected to rise to 23.2 million in 2015 from 16.4 million users in 2013. Will digital money soon make the world go round? Read more.
  • 16 Nov 2015 Kroger is rolling out a high tech way to grocery shop – digital price tags. Find out more about the Digital Supermarket.
  • 17 Nov 2015 Mortgage customer satisfaction is better thanks to a heightened focus from lenders on developing functional digital channels and improving operational efficiency. Here’s proof digital mortgages are the future of lending.
  • 18 Nov 2015 A new SSI study on today’s digital citizen reveals distinct differences in how generations live their lives in a digital world and the impact of these changes on the consumer path to purchase. The study reports on three distinct digital generations.
  • 19 Nov 2015 Smart Ltd. announced its plans to take its prototype Selfie Mirror to the open crowdfunding market in an effort to release what it is proclaiming to be the world’s first smart mirror. Read more.

    Digital Dose4.jpg



  • 20 Nov 2015  Ever wonder how much water you drank today? Mark One, a San Francisco-based startup, has created a sensor-loaded bottle that can track your hydration. The goal is to help you stay healthy by combining data about how much you drink with your weight, height, and fitness. Find out more.
  • 21 Nov 2015 The dream across the world, but maybe particularly in the D5 – is that eventually all citizens will prefer using digital services to paper ones. Are you ready to become a digital citizen?
  • 22 Nov 2015 As Europe’s biggest economy, Germany is rightly worried that digitization is a threat to its industrial leadership. In many cases the successful companies will no longer be the ones that make the best products, but the ones that gather the best data and then offer the best digital services. Learn more.

Cash Management Blog.jpg

What if you could see just a little bit further into the future? Even looking ahead by just a few seconds ahead of the rest of the world would give you an enormous advantage in both your life and your business.


Consider an organization caught up in reacting to markets. Like many businesses, their finance functions pull independent data from incompatible systems. They can't react until that data is normalized, collated and compared, which means it's usually too late to seize an opportunity or prevent a serious business risk. Technology can and should have a major role in fixing that. Automating financial transactions through a central processor would help this organization build out deals based on liquidity parameters or keep cash flows updated dynamically in real time. Imagine if you could instantly process data with a high volume, veracity and velocity. Being able to make more precise predictions could revolutionize the core functions of a retailer a manufacturer.

If you could put that kind of sophisticated technology to work for your financial management operations, with up-to-the-second insights on cash management, cash operations and liquidity, your business could be operating on an entirely new playing field.

There's no reason why you can't.

Forecasting for the Finance Function

The CFO mandate for the future is to contribute more to the profitability of the business by seeing opportunities before they exist and predicting where the business will be exposed to risk. The good news is that even the most complex financial challenges are now solvable with enterprise software running on an in-memory database and accessing streams of Big Data in real time.

Advanced Cash Management

In the first video below, you'll see how financial professionals today are handling unexpected liquidity challenges, like decreased lending and increased counterparty risk. They are establishing more accurate reporting on cash flows and liquidity management, since their decisions depend on being certain about the fine details, such as whether all their bank statements were imported successfully and on time.



The next step is to look more deeply at emerging market risks and compliance threats. It's a complex problem, but relying on incompatible software systems introduces too many uncertainties into the decision-making process. A central source of business truth emerges when you stream data from multiple sources and databases into a single business platform that all decision-makers can access. You gain high speed access to accurate, reliable decisions when everyone is rowing in the same direction. That level of certainty is invaluable in a world of change. It forms the foundation for the transactional and analytical capabilities of a market leader.


The Treasury Solution

Another video that focuses on forecasting opportunities and a typical threat matrix is this introduction to predictive finance. Watching this video gives treasury managers more than just visibility into key financial processes. These professionals will learn about managing levels of control. They will need make necessary course adjustments in time to seize narrow windows of opportunity or to minimize risk to operations. The video also investigates why innovation and growth can't survive without adequate liquidity.

Treasury managers need a more streamlined approach to working capital, risk management and compliance. You should be able to immediately pull up drill-down analysis into global bank balances and cash positions across the globe, in any currency. Too much time and resources are wasted in moving data between incompatible systems. This, in turn, introduces a greater possibility of errors into the analysis.



Finance Simplified

That's precisely why SAP designed a single platform, integrating horizontal lines of business with industry-specific solutions that are on premise, in the cloud, and accessible from any of your mobile devices. You should be ready to react to financial conditions as soon as they change.

From a device-independent control panel, you will gain comprehensive integration of cash flows, transactions, commodity positions and market data. At the same time, the in-memory database (HANA) helps you mitigate risks with built-in audit trail processes and compliance reporting rules that can instantly adjust to new market conditions.

Get a glimpse into what the future of your business could look like using the simple finance solutions from SAP. Explore the business values of SAP Finance Solutions on our Finance Solutions Hub. The market leaders of tomorrow will be those who can see just a little bit further into future.

speed of change.jpg

Can you change? Of course you can. Everybody changes every day. But how versatile, agile and quickly can you adapt yourself and your organization to stay relevant in today’s society?


Organizations are always evolving. What’s different now, is that we set new speed record of change on a daily basis. Technology gives us unprecedented possibilities. And this sea of opportunities is pushing the traditional bureaucratic, controlled and hierarchical organization into an identity crisis.


These companies are not disrupted by other companies.

They have disrupted themselves!


Overestimating your change

In these bureaucratic organizations, too many departments and employees became blind, inactive and unpassionate about the purpose of their organization and with that the purpose of themselves. Desire for control, useless management layers and fear have disrupted them to a paralyzed state, leaving them inactive. They are about to become unfit for natural selection in the competitive environment of today’s marketplace.


So what happens? They try to adapt. But too many organizations spin the wheel before their own eyes running big change campaigns without proper intrinsic changing. Some examples.


  1. The purpose of too many companies shifted to money, money and money. A great idea became a great start-up company because it has a purpose to change something. To improve a way of life. Of course they needed money for that, but money was a means. Not a goal. Somewhere down the line, while growing up, the means (to have money) became the goal, clouding the original purpose of the organization. And the moment the organization celebrated their public offering they effectively toasted to their purpose becoming a marketing slogan on their website.
  2. Fear of losing is the biggest catch 22. Employees that dig into their bureaucratic job description because they are afraid to lose their job, are effectively building silos. Silos give a false sense of safety, because these employees can ultimately lose their job because the company becomes obsolete, because it cannot adopt to changing circumstances. It’s a no-win situation in which people can lose more than their job. They might lose something truly valuable: their passion.
  3. The companies with complex 3D matrixes and structures can’t scale. Some companies add a chief strategy officer and a chief innovation office on top of all the layers already in place and shout that they are innovative. That is just adding layers of complexity. It’s in fact reducing the power to innovate. It’s a fake perspective on innovation, which they spin towards their employees and customers. It’s the same way of thinking with a new marketing message.
  4. Hierarchy, fear and spreadsheet management are the enemies of an open mind. These industrial instruments limit the potential of our brains in a destructive way. It effectively puts people in boxes and then people are asked to think outside the box. If you want people to think outside the box, then remove the boxes all together! That will bring a completely different paradigm.


So… The question becomes not if you change, but how smart and fast you change.


So… what can we do?

It’s impossible to face today’s challenges with yesterday’s solutions. That’s insanity. Instead, think about your organization as an organism. The name already implies it. A company cannot be a concrete bureaucratic factory of the 20th century anymore. It should be able to connect and adopt with its environment. Be flexible. Be scalable. And modern technology allows this in amazing ways. Two ideas that can help.


I. Crowdsource more

Crowdsourcing is a fantastic way to become more agile and natural. Trust the/your crowd and embrace the power of social collaboration to do so. How? Investigate processes that can be crowdsourced and hand them over to the crowd. Simple right? Some inspiration:

  • Crowdsourcing a helpdesk is a great and proven example. A “traditional” helpdesk loses 10 out of 10 times from the crowdsourced helpdesk. Answers come faster and are better when delivered by crowd of experts.
  • Teams without managers are also a way of crowdsourcing. A team is a tiny crowd that is perfectly capable of being productive. Ricardo Semler’s TED talk is inspirational.
  • Marketing departments all over the world generate crowdsource campaigns through platforms like Eyeka
  • The development of cloud software is also a crowdsourcing mechanism. The crowd of users determines the needs and ideas. The developers create it. And developers don’t need to be from one organization. Software development has proven to be very crowdsource able as well. Like Github.
  • Not everything can be crowdsourced (yet). So focus on the processes that can be crowdsourced and evolve from there. Uber and AirBnB are just the start. Blockchain most likely the next. Uncage your company from its physical boundaries to be digitally connected and an integral part of the collaborative economy. Read more on SCN here.

II. Play more

Behave more like a kid. Because doing is the best kind of thinking. When we grow up we tend to lose our appetite for games. During meetings, I often ask “Who plays games here?” The response is astonishing low in business meetings. Either nobody plays, which is a problem. Or they don’t dare to say it, which is a problem too. My arguments to play more:

  • A game has a clear set of rules. It can be refreshing to adopt these changing set of different “rules” every time you play a different game. It makes life less complex for a short period of time, which can be rejuvenating, almost in a meditating kind of way by focusing on a simple set of rules.
  • Nobody likes to lose a game, but most people prefer losing in a game over losing in real life. Losing in a game often means that you learn how to win next time. You’ll be better at it and reach the next level. This principle is the same in real life! But somehow we are too afraid to fail and thus limit ourselves to learn.
  • It’s fun!


The conclusion

Do not settle for an average transition model. If you are in a business transition program that is supported with a boring 112-slide PowerPoint deck, a 5-year roadmap and more steering committee members than people who actually create content, then think again! It’s the speed and direction of your change that matters.

My 15-year old Volvo is an analogue car with some digital trappings. The Tesla is a true Digital Platform. Which best describes your Enterprise?


Cold mornings returned with a vengeance here in England this week.


When I was much younger, cars would cough on a cold morning with a Wah-wah-wah as the cold starter motor tri276338_l_srgb_s_gl.jpged to get enough torque to get the heavy cam shaft to start rotating (I'm a bit hazy on the details, frankly). On a cold morning a weak battery would make increasing feeble attempts: sometimes you were lucky, and sometimes you took the bus. With the advent of Electronic Ignition, there is a straight yes-no. If there isn't even charge in the battery: click is all you get from the ignition. No coaxing, no totemic rocking, no earnest pleadings, no "let me try, you're flooding it" from a helpful spouse. Just a straight Yes-no. Click.


It's just one of the ways that your car has gone digital.


Over the last decade or so an increasing number of a car's components are now digital: you have a digital radio (no hissing as it fades out), the climate control is controlled by a digital thermostat, the clock is digital, the odometer doesn't have little cogs in it, your air-bags work from a micro-controller, you have parking sensors, a GPS: and that's before you look under the bonnet. To be honest, I don't understand anything in there any more. My knowledge of what's "under the hood" remains fossilised in the era of points, distributor caps and carburettors.


The computer becomes the car


My 15 year-old Volvo, is just a car with computers on it. The Tesla is really a case of the car becoming a computer, or if you like, the computer becoming a car. Take a look at the their monthly release note where they announce a new capability "Automatic Emergency Breaking". Remember, this is a new capability added to a car you already own.


The car has become a digital platform, muscling out its analogue predecessors. It is speaking digital to its suppliers, its customers and increasingly to other cars on the road. How about your company? Is it like my Volvo: an analogue platform with digital components here and there? Or like the Tesla: with a digital core, speaking digital to your suppliers and your customers?


The power of Digital: Core plus Connections


A Digital Core means that you have transformed you whole company on to a modern, digital platform: and the only game in town is S4/HANA from SAP. In addition you need to make sure that you are Connected. The power of the digital car derives not just from its innovative power-train, and other electronic wizardry within the vehicle but with the connections it makes beyond its own chassis. Connections are made via the SAP Business Network which allows high fidelity digital communication with your customers, your suppliers and your employees.


The automobile industry is being transformed before our eyes: the internal combustion engine, human driving, even car ownership may not be something my children experience. The Enterprise software business is also changing: out goes the relational database, the data warehouse even the month-end close. If your customers and suppliers only speak digitally: how will you interact with them if you are still running analogue with PDFs or Excel embedded in Emails?


Don't be the last analogue driver in a digital world.


SAP has some interesting innovations for the Connected Car. Learn more about going Digital and the SAP Business Network.

Digitalization is changing the business world, and the finance profession must change right along with it. This finding was at the core of a recent CFO Research study, based on a survey of 1,544 finance professionals around the globe. Sponsored by SAP, the study sought to gain a better understanding of the outlook for the finance function and what finance professionals see as the key enablers of their future success. For more research insights, register for our upcoming webinar “Don't Get Left Behind: How Finance Can Thrive in a Digital World” on December 8, 2015 at 10:00am EST.


Digitalization is the process of transforming any kind of activity or information into digital formats that can be collected, stored, retrieved, and analyzed electronically. The data can include anything from real-time sales figures to local weather patterns to vast amounts of unstructured social media posts and email messages. Ultimately, digitalization is all about using digital technologies to transform business models and develop innovative, new revenue opportunities.


The survey found that fully 85% of respondents agree that, over the next five years, their companies’ success will increasingly depend on their ability to adapt to the rapid pace of change and greater business complexity. For 84% of respondents, success will also mean being able to translate the flow of data into swift and decisive action. The study’s in-depth interviews with finance executives provided further clarity on how digitalization is impacting the finance function.




“Every day we have access to more data,” says Marcello Botelho Rodrigues, Global Controller Director for the global mining company Vale, which is headquartered in Brazil. For that reason, he continues, “the information technology has to enable us to transform that data into real information … from making information available on our mobile devices, to having the agility of running on platforms based on in-memory concepts.”


Jennifer Thom, Regional Finance Manager at the accounting and consulting services firm BDO USA, notes that, these days, “managers expect accurate, real-time information at their fingertips.” That means a change in how finance teams work.  “The month-end close looks at history,” she notes, “but [managers] need a look toward the future, or even at the current state—what’s happening right now.”


Digitalization and advanced technology give the finance professional the means to deliver on these new demands. Says Rodrigues, “[The technology capabilities] will allow us to be more predictive, to react faster to the scenario, and better face the uncertainties.” And that’s critical to using today’s information to be prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.  “Nowadays, we react and are prepared for a specific risk,” Rodrigues explains.  “But that doesn’t mean you are prepared for a new scenario, a new situation, the uncertainties, and how adaptive you are to the changes of the market and the customers.”


In the view of Alejandro Scannapieco, CFO of the Argentina-based software company Globant, “Technology will turn information into a commodity, so an expectation on the finance function is that we’ll spend most of the time providing added value to the business—being more of a strategic partner than a data-gathering function.”  By taking full advantage of the capabilities offered by digitalization, the modern finance professional can ensure that he or she is doing the work that provides the highest value to the business.


For detailed study results and more information, download “Thriving in the Digital Economy: The Innovative Finance Function.”

Sven Denecken

SAP´s Digital Core

Posted by Sven Denecken Nov 23, 2015

Let us speak about the why, the what and the how of SAP´s digital core – SAP s4hana, and it is best to start with the market perspective.


The Digital Economy enables you to re imagine your business - and it is real

you can re-envision the promise to your customer and create new business models across your value chain


A world of real-time, digital connections across businesses, people, and devices is converging to create a new Digital.


Instead of marginal improvements to existing business models, leaders are looking to create entirely new digital experiences that completely reimagine the way organizations relate to customers, suppliers, and resources.



There are many areas of digital disruption, let us focus on 3:


  • Digitization of the Work
  • Digitization of the Customer Experience
  • Digitization of Resources


So, the key to success lies in harnessing the power of digital technologies

86% of Global CEO’s are investing in cloud, mobile, social and Big Data and personally championing their use


While cloud, mobile, social, Big Data and the Internet of Things hold significant promise, the key is to harness and adapt the power of these technologies to completely reimagine your business and re-envision the promise to your customers.


And there are clearly new business models leading the digital transformation. So what role does the digital core play in this?


Again we need to look why we need a digital core. Customers today are looking for ways to transform their businesses and cater to our digitized, networked, and complex world. They need to deliver services rather than products, and everything needs to happen fast, so innovation with speed is key. But it is not speed only. Customers are looking to improve their decisions, processes and products next.


Ultimately they need to cater towards EXISTING AND NEW business models, this is where we come in with simplifying the core of their business.


And this is indeed needed as our environment is changing. Customers are used to seamless design, customized user experience and improvements on a regular basis. If you cannot deliver this as an organization, you will soon be overrun by your more agile and smarter competition.


This push from the customer side forces many new channels and connection points, which are supposed to make buying or collaborating more intuitive and user-friendly.


But too often, the infrastructure behind the surface cannot deliver to the speed that for example a digital store or a B2B network enables and requires.

Because we are now in a segment of one, the number of incoming orders rises and the size of each lot becomes smaller by the promised customization.

This greatly increases the complexity and puts the whole organizational infrastructure on the test.


This is the point where many fail. But the problem resides not in the employees or the company’s philosophy, no; it is the complexity of the IT and workflow processes which often unnecessarily complicate things.


And worse, some tend to throw technology in, just to desperately transform, they just digitize the analog world.


So, fact – every meaningful business process touches the core that runs a company. Something needs to be planned, produced (even if product or service) , shipped and paid. If ever this goes away – no digital core is needed. But it does not.


So we focused on the business challenges at hand, like Segment of 1, lot size of 1, huge volumes of data at scale to be processed without latency and more.


With S/4 we have extended the value play beyond the traditional core, taking also into account how digital trends like IoT, Big data, business networks and others impact business.


More on the how you will find in this video here



Let us stay connected and follow me here @SDenecken

277496_l_srgb_s_gl.jpgHuman resources (HR) is an important function for businesses of all sizes. Unfortunately it’s often overlooked and underappreciated by small and midsize companies because they just don’t have time for it. But to grow a small business you need to recruit, develop, and retain talented and motivated people.


On the last episode of #SAPTalks, I spoke with Lisa Campbell, senior director of HR at NeoTract, and Ursula Ringham, director of digital marketing at SAP, about some HR challenges and best practices for small business.


One of the topics we discussed was the importance of building company culture and increasing employee engagement. This is a big issue for companies right now. In the 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report published by Deloitte, 87% of the organizations surveyed cited culture and engagement as their top challenges, but less than half believe they have good programs in place to engage and retain employees.


Campbell said NeoTract has a very performance-driven culture with strong accountability. Twice a year the company performs an engagement survey. Campbell pours through the results, comments, and ratings with C-level executives, shares everything with the leadership team and employees, and then establishes action items.


Performing those types of HR activities, managing employee data, and setting goals and action plans isn’t easy for small companies if they don’t have the right tools in place. NeoTract knows this well. In the past it used PowerPoint to collect and manage HR information. Campbell said it was like herding cats – very time consuming and frustrating for employees.


When the CEO asked Campbell to set up a simple way to look at everyone’s goals at the middle of the year and assess whether they are on track or behind, she decided it was time to implement SAP SuccessFactors solutions. With the help of implementation partner KPIT, NeoTract had solutions for goal management, performance management, and 360-degree reviews up and running in about three weeks.


This is just one of many things NeoTract has done in HR to simplify life for employees and help the business win the war for talent. Listen to the podcast to hear more: Performance Reviews, Employee Engagement, and the War for Talent with NeoTract Inc.


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How Prime Meats Cuts Through Business Complexity

Zachry Construction Boosts Costing Accuracy 50% with New ERP


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