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It’s a cold mid-December night in “Krzyzewskiville,” a makeshift city outside of


Cameron Indoor Stadium – the home of Duke’s Blue Devils. And while the much anticipated basketball game doesn't start for another month, Krzyzewskiville is full of the “Cameron Crazies.” You see, for students, tickets to the game don’t exist; their rite of passage is earned by “tenting,” where legions of blue-faced fanatics unite.

Tent order determines stadium seating and up to 12 people can stay in a tent. Duke Student Government regulates tenting and there must be a certain number of students in the tent during regular, periodic checks. They freeze together, snooze together, attempt to study together, and occasionally eat pizza together… supplied by the legend himself, Coach “K” – who has also been known to hold open forum “team meetings” before games.


The team buys into the fans just as much as the fans buy into the team, and every time they win at home, the impact of the crowd is a trending topic, often verbalized by the players during post-game interviews with the media. Everlasting passion is something that doesn't go unnoticed at Duke, and now the die-hard fans of Duke are in for a real treat…

“We always have and always will look to be a leader in the digital space because that’s what our student athletes and fans deserve,” said Ryan Craig, director of digital media for Duke athletics. “We’re looking forward to providing the greater Duke community with the ability to engage in our history and tradition like never before.”


And what a rich history it is, having won 4 NCAA championships and appeared in 10 championship games, along with 15 final fours. Duke Athletics is taking men’s college basketball data to the next level by launching one of the most intuitive data visualization tools in college sports history.


Designed “by Duke Fans, for Duke Fans” – MBA students at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, teamed up with SAP and NTT Data to design the tool that allows interaction with the team’s historical record books. The powerful in-memory computing capabilities of the SAP HANA platform provide almost instant access to decades of Duke basketball tradition dating all the way back to the 1930’s.


“With the power of SAP HANA, Blue Devil Basketball fans, alumni, players, coaches, and the sports media will now have ubiquitous access to this information and become more knowledgeable in this storied team and university,” said Frank Wheeler, global vice president of strategic sales at SAP.


Now, armed with influential team data, the Cameron Crazies can debate the best Duke players and teams of all time with confidence – and hope that a heated discussion will keep them warm as they prepare to witness history in the making during those cold winter nights at Krzyzewskiville. The student team that drove the project explains their vision in this video.


Did You Know?

  1. “Blue Devils” or “les Diables Bleus” refers to French soldiers that fought in World War One. They toured the U.S. trying to raise money to fund the war.
  2. Other potential names suggested include: Blue Eagles, Blue Warriors, Blue Titans, Polar Bears, and the Royal Blazes.

Check Out how the NBA is leveraging SAP HANA - arming their fans with advanced analytics

Want the ultimate Slam Dunk? Connect with me @airsomers and on LinkedIn for more on Sports & Technology

“SAP is only great because you make it great,” SAP’s President of Platform Solutions said to the developers, engineers and technologists assembled in Las Vegas on Monday. “So we’re going to celebrate you tonight.”


SAP TechEd Keynote 10-21-2014-3.jpg
#SAPtd attendees entered a raffle to win a 2014 Ford Mustang and more.

Steve Lucas was only a few minutes into the keynote presentation that kicked off a week of SAP TechEd && d-code (#SAPtd), the company’s premier SAP tech conference. But he was already setting the tone for an evening that would focus on how others employ the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to solve real-world problems.


So SAP partners and customers joined Lucas on stage to talk about how they fixed issues that trouble people every day at work. Issues they’ve tackled include infant mortality, unwieldy data and workplace hazards.


State of Emergency


What do you do when only three of 50 states have higher infant mortality rates than yours? If you’re the State of Indiana, you start scrutinizing a high volume of data from a variety of sources, such as medical and vaccination records; birth and death certificates; Medicaid benefits and much more.


“We didn’t have these capabilities before -- nothing could give us the real-time ability to analyze the 5 billion rows of data that we’re now analyzing,” Paul Baltzell, Indiana’s CIO, told Lucas and the #SAPtd audience. “Our next focus is being able to take the same datasets we have, add some more to those, and go after child fatalities.”


SAP TechEd Keynote 10-21-2014-2.jpg
SAP mentor Chris Paine (right) of EnterpriseJungle explains how his cloud-based solution can help find exactly the right person for a specific task within an enterprise of 70,000 people.

Baltzell looks to accomplish this with mobile solutions for case workers. Data entered into tablets, phones or laptops could return the probability that children would suffer under particular circumstances, enabling case workers to act on more than gut instinct.


Seeing It Through


You should have access to organized data so you can answer useful business questions, according to Brad Peters, chairman and chief product officer of Birst. But the San Francisco-based on-demand analytics provider has found that developers and other techies do the structuring of their enterprise’s data, making it difficult for their less technical colleagues to use.


“The goal here was to produce something that was beautiful, simple, 100 percent in-cloud, and also affordable,” Peters said. “We sought to combine our agile analytics platform with the most agile data platform we could find.”


So with the help of SAP, non-technical, non-analytic users can easily see information about their company’s performance with visualizations on Birst’s dashboard, which offers a single view drawn from multiple data sources. This means all of the enterprise’s data is on the cloud and ready to use, be it data from Salesforce and SAP or supply chain and manufacturing.


Sensor Sensibility


“We believe that sensors in everything can change how we care for people,” Lucas said, following a Flextronics demonstration of sensors in plants. Sensors in the chairs of volunteers in the keynote audience transmitted their heart rate and breathing data, illustrating how medical monitoring system provider EarlySense intends to elevate the level of care for patients by helping nurses monitor everyone in a ward from a single station.


SAP TechEd Keynote 10-21-2014-1.jpg
SAP’s Steve Lucas donned an RFID-enabled hardhat to demonstrate how Event Stream Processing can keep construction workers safe as automated cranes operate nearby.

And to keep you out of the hospital, SAP partner SK Solutions built a real-time dynamic interface that allows automated SPYDERCRANES working on construction sites from harming people. Lucas proved the point by donning a high-visibility yellow construction vest and an RFID-enabled hardhat as two SPYDERCRANES worked around him without incident.


“SK Solutions uses Sybase technology, where we’re making these decisions before the data is even committed to the database,” Lucas said. In a nod to SAP ESP, he added, “It’s literally an event stream that we are processing, and making these decisions in real-time to cause alerts and stop movement.”


In The End, There Was You


To be fair, Monday night’s #SAPtd keynote talked about more than just “you.” Lucas frequently extolled the virtues of SAP HANA Cloud Platform -- the simplified platform with the simple URL -- that can extend and customize any SAP application.


Further, SAP’s Global VP and GM for Business Intelligence Jayne Landry trumpeted KXEN’s predictive algorithms, which help SAP Lumira suggest the most appropriate visualizations to users. And SAP’s CTO of Global Customer Operations Irfan Khan made several announcements about how SAP is simplifying the way its customers use their data.


But in the end, the keynote presentation really was about “you.” Lucas, Khan and Intel’s Shannon Poulin gave away a 2014 Ford Mustang, 2015 Super Bowl tickets, a football jersey signed by NFL Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk and a guitar signed by #SAPtd’s Thursday night headliner Huey Lewis and the News.


“You truly are amazing people doing unbelievable things with purposeful technology,” Lucas said in closing. “Have a great, great TechEd!”


Watch a replay of the keynote here. And follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher


More From SAP Business Trends:


VIDEO: Making Life Easier with SAS Apps on SAP HANA


VIDEO: #DemoJam Boldly Goes Where No #SAPTechEd Has Gone Before


3 Big Data Lessons from 538 Blogger Nate Silver at #SAPTechEd 2013

As we near the midway point in the NFL regular season, there has been a variety of surprising stories thus far.  This past weekend was no exception.  From the unfortunate injuries and surprising win/loss records, to the unlikely fantasy studs and duds, this season has without a doubt captivated us all.


Although each season has its unique characteristics and storylines, one thing remains constant.  In order to be successful, your team needs a quarterback that is above average – a true top quartile performer compared to his peers.  Being an Industry Value Advisor at SAP, if I had to benchmark every single championship winning quarterback from the beginning of time, I would say well over 90% of those Super Bowl winning quarterbacks were deemed top quartile performers from a statistical standpoint.  Of course, American football is a team game, and it’s important to have productive players at every position, however having that reliable player who is the focal point of your offense is imperative to getting your team to the next level.


So what is the single most important position in football?  Yes, you guessed it – the quarterback – the quintessential back in my eyes.  The quarterback is the only position player to touch the ball on every single down.  From calling audibles at the line of scrimmage to something as trivial as handling the snap properly, there are many critical factors that are at times overlooked by most fans.  Having proper footwork when taking your drop, feeling the rush and adjusting your position in the pocket, anticipating your receivers’ routes, and delivering the ball with pace and touch are some other examples that highlight a quarterback’s giant responsibility.  I may be biased being a former one myself (albeit at a MUCH lower level competitively speaking), but I know firsthand just how difficult and important the position is to a team’s success.


As important a QB is to his individual team’s success, a QB is just as important to a fantasy owner’s success.  Millions of fans come together and participate in fantasy football each and every year.  There’s not only pride on the line, but at times, money – big money.  Fantasy football is big business.  To ensure you’re giving yourself every opportunity to win your matchup each and every week, SAP has developed a Player Comparison Tool in collaboration with the NFL.  With this tool, you are able to forecast player performance based on different criteria – performance, matchup, consistency, upside, and intangibles.


  • Performance:  Player performance (NFL statistics and fantasy points) from the current season
  • Matchup:  Opponent-specific fantasy points against data (FPA) and matchup analysis
  • Consistency:  Stability of historical player fantasy point production
  • Upside:  Potential for significant fantasy point performance
  • Intangibles:  Additional factors including injury status, weather, game location, team support, and player rest




PCT 1.png




As you can see, the tool takes it to the next level.  Above is a screen shot of a comparison of my two QBs prior to their games this past Sunday.  The tool recommended Matthew Stafford by a close margin, and the tool’s recommendation was validated.  Stafford ended up scoring 11 more points than Dalton this past weekend.


In addition to being easy to use, the tool allows you to perform scenario / “what-if” analysis by placing more emphasis / weight on certain criteria.  After customizing the criteria, the tool will instantly give you its recommendation and help you make the right decision.  Making the right decision when it comes to which quarterback to start could be the difference in a win or loss given the potential amount of points QBs put up.  Indecision can lead to poor decisions.  Poor decisions can lead to losses.  Losses can lead to missing your fantasy league’s post-season and your pride and money going down the drain.  In a structured and sage way, the Player Comparison Tool can help eliminate your uncertainty and instill the confidence you need to make the right decision at the right time.


Be sure to check out the Player Comparison Tool yourself on NFL.com to help set your lineup for Week 8.




Good luck the rest of the way.


Twitter:  Kargman_SAP

The current outbreak of #Ebola is its most severe since its discovery in 1976, exceeding the sum of all previously identified cases. #WHO just announced that there could be 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week, and the death rate in the current Ebola outbreak has increased to 70%. What was imagined to be a problem of West Africa has now gone global with 17 cases being treated in Europe and America, and 4 of them resulting in a fatality. The International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (#MSF), the largest NGO working in the affected regions, said "Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it."


How did we allow this to get out of hand? Similar sentiments were expressed during the 2008 financial crisis too. It looks like its ‘Yesterday Once More’. Remember that song from The Carpenters!


To start with, none expected this to blow up into such an unmanageable scale. In the aftermath, the response of the international community has been appalling, to say the least. There is no Ebola cure available yet. Vaccines which could help combat similar situations are in various phases of development still. The lack of a revenue incentive for the large Pharma companies to go after was a big deterrent. West Africa is amongst the most poorest of nations! But now with Europe and US reeling under the Ebola scare, all of them are working at breakneck speed to get this to the market first.


While a concerted effort to contain this has just begun, the question that businesses need to ask themselves is what they could learn from this experience.




1. Lack of Collaboration: If one were to look at this closely, there were numerous players involved in this whole exercise. Starting with the care givers, volunteers, NGOs, Government departments, international bodies like UN, WHO and IMF, donor agencies, developed economies and also the Pharma companies. The glaring fact is that there was complete lack of collaboration between them. Simple aspects like protective gear including gloves, body suits, protective tapes, body bags, disinfectants and research equipment, were in short supply. Given the volatile nature of the disease to spread easily, this was also preventing many more aid workers stepping in. This was available across the world, but there was no visibility into the supply chain, resulting in the disease reaching epidemic proportions, that we are contending with today.


Do businesses encounter such challenges? All the time, some would say! Just imagine how much potential savings and business advantages are missed when organisations lose out on the opportunity to collaborate with their suppliers, partners, influencers and in some cases customers too. Imagine the lost opportunity to develop new products and bring them to market effectively.


Networks like #Ariba, #Alibaba, #Amazon and #eBay provide businesses with a platform to interact and engage with a wider community of sellers and buyers across the globe. Businesses need to leverage the power of such networks to partner better with its ecosystem. Sage Health Solutions in South Africa is a great example of how businesses can leverage the power of a business network to partner better with its ecosystem and ‘Collaborate without boundaries’.


2. Missed opportunities for Co-Innovation: Developing a vaccine was the most crucial element for success here. Vaccine development today is the bastion of a few large Pharma giants, some of whom actually have one in development for similar type of viruses and which could address the issue here. Independent researchers have been working on this since 1976. Health workers and care givers who have been attending to these patients and could share knowledge on the symptoms and infection behavior. There were many with deep and profound knowledge on Ebola. Lack of leadership in being able to bring them together to jointly develop with promised returns could have helped reduce the testing phase, and we might have had a vaccine on the ground before now.


Businesses are so often caught up in their myriad working complexes, and internal egos. Innovation becomes an exclusive club in organisations, which only few are privy to. More importantly they miss out on the opportunity to look at the vast ecosystem, including their suppliers and other potential partners.


Until 2001, less than 10% of Procter & Gamble’ new products involved external innovation partners. It set a goal to increase this ‘Collaborative Innovation’ to more than 50%. By 2008, it had exceeded that goal, and its external partnering strategy – Connect and Develop – had become a fundamental part of its business. The reason for its success was that P&G was open to any kind of partnership - Individual inventors to launch Crest Spinbrush; chemical suppliers to develop Olay Regenerist creams; university spinouts on a line of probiotic supplements; and even with competitors like Clorox on the Glad Press’n Seal plastic wrap. Today, P&G delivers US$3 billion toward its annual sales growth through this network of outside collaborators. The Networked Economy is about bringing together people, businesses and new opportunities!


3. Looking at the big picture: When the first case of an Ebola death in the US was reported, many countries switched into a panic mode. Extra screening at airports, isolation wards in hospitals, additional resources and resulting costs due to all of these, not to mention the economic impact which the World Bank estimates at $32.6 billion. Just imagine if all of us had got together, pledged support, money and resources, there was a better chance that this could have been limited and a working cure available in hand by now!


How many times we have seen this happen in business. Classic examples like Kodak in photography, Nokia in mobile, book publishing houses, music labels, print media, postal services… the list is endless. Quite many of these instances could have been vastly different, if they had been open to look beyond their traditional environment. This could have simply been a different set of suppliers working on newer technologies; different partners who were disrupting the status quo; or innovation in service delivery.


The business environment we live in today is an extremely challenging one, very similar to the Ebola threat – economic uncertainties, geo-political conflicts in many parts of the globe, depleting natural resources combined with aspects like globalization leading to increased interdependence among companies and newer business models emerging every other day. On the other hand technology innovation is making the world a smaller place. There are more connected devices than human beings, which are opening new routes to market. Companies like #Airbnb #Uber are leveraging this ability to connect people and business, to create new business opportunities. This is truly the networked economy.


Businesses today have a great opportunity to connect, collaborate and co-innovate. If they do not, they could end up facing the ‘Ebola’ in their business very soon!


#FOLLOW the conversation on the #Networkedeconomy and the #FutureofBiz here!

Pity the business technology company. While investors have rewarded internet retailers like Amazon with its razor thin margins, consumer cloud services like Twitter which has yet to make a profit , and SaaS startups like Salesforce with sky high valuations, traditional enterprise technology companies are struggling to win over Wall Street.

The challenge for enterprise technology companies that are trying to manage the transition from traditional software license sales to the cloud subscription model is particularly acute because their corporate customers are embracing the cloud computing model faster than almost anyone had expected.

This accelerating trend is apparent in the third quarter numbers from enterprise IT suppliers including IBM, Oracle and SAP and highlights the growing importance of how these and other suppliers are perceived to be navigating the transition to the cloud.

For example IBM’s shares fell sharply after the company reported disappointing third quarter earnings including a $1 billion shortfall in consensus revenue and lowered its 2014 earnings target.

While IBM cited sales softness in September as one issue, the much bigger issue is what the company identified as “the unprecedented pace of change in our industry" - a statement that analysts took to be at least partially a reference to cloud services adoption.

Among investors and analysts, IBM is seen as being particularly exposed to the changes underway in enterprise tech because most of its revenues are tied to an old and increasingly outdated business model while its cloud-based revenues - which are running at an annualized rate of a little over $3 billion - make up a negligible three per cent of the total.

Similarly, Oracle's recent earnings results were below estimates for both revenues ($8.6 billion from $8.77 billion) and earnings-per-share ($0.62 from $0.64). But although licenses for software and hardware sales declined, bookings for cloud sales increased 54 per cent.

The story behind the headline numbers at SAP is also one of transition. SAP missed its Q3 revenue estimates (while posting in-line EPS), and reported a 3 per cent year-on-year   drop in traditional software license revenue.

But much more importantly, cloud revenues grew by 41 per cent in the latest quarter and now represent more than a third of license software sales.  SAP now has more than 44 million cloud applications subscribers and an annualized cloud run rate of $1.7 billion.

This shift has profound implications for the shape of SAP’s business in the longer term and for the way investors view enterprise software suppliers.  Cloud-based subscription revenues are recognized over an extended period rather than software sales which boost the top line immediately. So, $100 million of cloud revenue in any one quarter is equivalent to roughly $250 million in software sales.

This reduction in upfront revenues puts pressure on margins in the short term, but should result in higher profitability in the long term due to the greater efficiency and the more recurring nature of the cloud model.

Ultimately this means investors will need to reassess their portfolios and place a premium on those companies that have coherent cloud strategies and the agility to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing market.

At the same time, they may begin to question whether the sky high multiples and triple digit market caps commanded by companies like Amazon, Facebook and most recently Alibaba are really justified.

Perspiration rolling down my temples, I jog over to my car barely having cut a workout at the gym’s last open hour.

Whew! Close call, I think to myself. Popping out my earphones, I notice a Facebook notification on my phone: “Megan Winkelman invited you to like her new Page ‘Find Chris and JP in Nepal.’”

A year ago when I moved to the Bay Area to work at SAP, one of my best friends from college referred me to Chris, who then introduced me to his massive group of terribly caring friends including Meg and JP. In March, Chris left the Bay to embark on a backpacking odyssey to explore our great wide world.


So Chris is in Nepal ...sweet! My ambling mind – apparently still back on the treadmill – manages to focus on the page:



Whoa, Chris and JP in the Himalayas…where a blizzard and avalanche hit…two days ago. Really? No word yet? They’re probably pretty remote, but Chris used to work at Google. He’d hack that in minutes…

My brain decides to ditch the treadmill and hit the spinning machine. So does my stomach. Spin, spin, spin...


Cutting to the chase, the venturesome fellows were tracked in a matter of hours – all through Facebook spearheaded by dedicated friends like Meg and Adam Creasman, the search page co-creator.


What can you do in a similar bind to track someone or get tracked with nothing but Facebook at your fingertips? Believe it or not, Facebook’s recommendations are slim to none. Your brain’s on spin-mode and the clock is ticking. For starters, here are 7 lessons I learned from the hunt for Chris and JP:


You’re the Primary Tracker (like Meg and Adam)


  1. Make a search page like Meg and Adam did for the people you’re tracking including:
    1. The facts: who, what, where, when, and current photos. Keep it clear and concise.
    2. Instructions: this page has tools like a template email with targeted questions to help readers think through specific pieces of information.
    3. Action-Oriented Title: “Find,” “Help,” “Do This.” Why? I don’t know about you, but I get Page “Like” requests every single day.
    4. Encouragement that any small action or insight will make a difference.
  2. Notify and check central Facebook search efforts. Chris and JP’s “found” notification was posted here by someone named Maruska Giacchetto who saw the "Find Chris and JP" page, and was Facebook messaging with someone in the same vicinity as the guys.


You’re the Secondary Tracker (like myself, and all others invited to the page)


  1. Share the search page on your timeline tagging people and groups you think could help.
  2. Post the page directly to targeted groups and friends’ timelines. Message them directly.
  3. Keep checking the search page[s] for updates and notify those you’ve shared with once people have been found. Otherwise people might keep reaching out.


You’re the “Trackee” (like Chris and JP)


  1. Get to safety. Don’t be posting up selfies when you’re in the line of fire!
  2. HOLLER. Seriously, drop a line. Before Mom reads the news, if possible.

BUT the Himalayas are in the boonies (aka no internet): Text someone or have someone else text someone with internet to relay the message.

BUT the Himalayas are in the super boonies (aka no phone service): If you’re really on an island without two sticks to make a smoke signal, okay. Chris and JP were heard from within 5 hours of the Facebook hunt – 48 hours after the avalanche.


Personally, when I found myself 40 meters away from an LAX gunman during open fire a year ago, my first move upon getting to safety was to text my parents “I’m okay,” which they appreciated.


While this guide primarily includes Facebook to-do’s (and sub-to-do’s), other best practices include notifying authorities such as embassies, and keeping up with news and public notices on what trackers and trackees should do.


If you’re reading this and are associated with press, I would recommend including any centralized public instruction for trackers and trackees when reporting events like these in the future. Many of us must have been scanning the same dozen articles to look for information to no avail.


At the end of the day, one can imagine how this sequence of events certainly put “cutting it close” and “breaking a sweat” into perspective for me. For the other thousands invited to this page, I imagine they experienced a similar stand-still amid their day-to-day. More powerfully, the event served as a personal reminder of how connected we all truly are, and how social networks can ultimately have big collective impact when activated by each of us playing a small yet consequential role. 


Do you have helpful tips to add? Comment below or tweet @apolack. For more information:


The play-by-play of updates during the hunt, check out “Find Chris and JP in Nepal.”


Facebook’s recommendations on Using Social Media Before, During, and After a Natural Disaster


And finally, the internal monologue of my brain on the spinning machine:

Uh, WHAT?! Okay,share page on my timeline... Facebook search “Nepal” to stalk friends who’ve tagged themselves there previously. Tag them to my timeline post. Email template email to that one speaker I met at that one conference who said she lived in Nepal. It was Nepal, right? Google the conference. Google the speaker. Google “Nepal.” WHAT IS NEPAL?  (Admit it, you would have Googled Nepal too.)

Did you know that 85% of the world’s data* is held within organizations that have, for the most part, no easy way to monetize it? Imagine, for example, the depth of consumer insights that a Telecommunication company is acquiring every day. What if they could easily sell their data to a marketing department of a Consumer Goods company?


To address this need, q.Datum, a start-up company based in Berlin, has developed a unique cross-industry data exchange platform that connects data providers (like Telcos) to data consumers (such as marketing departments, research labs, universities etc…). Think of it as an eBay to trade data, cross-industry.


I recently talked to Elad Leshem the CEO of q.Datum. According to Elad, “as much as 97% of existing raw and aggregate Big Data that exists today is underutilized due to a lack of accessibility”. q.Datum is addressing this growing gap and provides a way for organizations, individuals or machines to exchange raw and aggregate data either freely or via a subscription fee.

While other similar platforms exist, they are mainly proprietary or address only a specific industry or geography. q.Datum’s approach has been to provide a fully open and global marketplace, aiming to address unanswered needs, such as:

  • horizontal data exchange that is agnostic to the data source - sources can be organizations, machines or individuals
  • data exchange between any provider and any consumer from anywhere in the world
  • a highly customizable pricing, access management, privacy & security control
  • mechanisms to ensure only high data quality is provided
  • tools to provide transformation and enhancement of data from free sources

How does a typical transaction look like?

It’s fairly easy. Imagine a data-driven organization that wants to share and monetize its data assets. It uploads its data via the q.Datum’s API on the platform, and then sets the price, privacy and access according to its policy and needs.

A third-party organization that wants to buy the data from this provider would subscribe to the stream, pay and download the data.

The platform is fully functional as of today and is in Beta phase. The company is aiming for rapid growth and is looking for partners and customers to adopt its platform.


q.Datum is part of a new breed of solutions that successfully leverage the cloud to simplify access to Big Data. Organizations that do not want to invest in complex Big Data infrastructures can get easy and immediate access to a wealth of consumers and other type of data to better run their operations.

It can also represent a good opportunity for data-driven companies to build new business models and monetize data assets they are acquiring anyways.


If you are interested in learning more about q.Datum, they will be presenting their solution at the SAP Business Transformation Summit in Berlin on the 10 – 11 November.

You can also visit their website: www.qdatum.io or contact them directly: contact@qdatum.io


*According to q.Datum's figures

It’s estimated that there are some 64,185,000 kilometers of roadway in the world. In fact, there are more than 4,300,000 kilometers (that’s about 2,672,000 miles) of paved road in the United States alone.timthumb.jpg

And around the globe, these thoroughfares represent one of our most valued public assets. We use these roads on a daily basis to travel between our jobs, schools, shopping markets, and homes.

The residents of Bernalillo County, New Mexico are certainly no exception.

A Gem of the American Southwest

Located in the heart of the Land of Enhancement, you might already be familiar with this gem of the American Southwest. The city of Albuquerque is the county seat, and the region is famous for its high-desert climate, Native American culture, and the world’s largest hot air balloon festival.

Bernalillo County is also the year-round home to more than 673,000 residents who look to their local government for such basic services as clean drinking water, reliable sewer lines, and safe roadways.

All of these services are the responsibility of the county’s Public Works Division, and road maintenance is one of the department’s top priorities.

This is no small task. The county maintains nearly 750 miles of roads that crisscross a territory of some 1,200 square miles – including large unincorporated areas that lie outside of Albuquerque.

But mobile technology is helping shrink these distances for Bernalillo County’s road maintenance crews.

Keeping Road Crews Connected with Real-Time Insight

building.pngToday, Bernalillo County uses a mobile app that gives workers out on the road real-time access to detailed job information. This includes the ability to view and complete assigned work orders and service requests right from their mobile devices.

The app also incorporates data from the county’s geographic information systems (GIS). The GIS data is used to assign a unique location ID for each road segment in the county – that’s more than 5,000 functional locations in all.

This real-time information and visibility has helped Bernalillo County’s road crews improve their response times, reduce downtime in the field, and decrease costs for citizens. And it has eliminated a lot of unnecessary travel as the crews no longer need to travel back to the office just to process paper work.

Meanwhile in the county offices, administrators can track equipment deployment and more accurately assess road conditions. The mobile app is also tightly integrated with the county’s plant maintenance system, which supports better planning, optimized scheduling, and more comprehensive reporting.

So how does all this benefit the residents of Bernalillo County? For them, faster response times by maintenance crews mean safer roads.

A Better Way

Most citizens expect timely repairs and routine road maintenance in return for their tax dollars. But with challenges that range from budget constraints to severe winter weather, many governments are seeking better ways to provide their constituents with the highest levels of service at the least cost.

Looks like Bernalillo County found one of those better ways.

You can learn more about Bernalillo County’s use of mobile technology in this SAP Customer Journey. And be sure to download the free app for all the latest SAP customer stories.

Follow me on Twitter @JohnGWard3.

When it comes to going 'Social' in Enterprise, my feeling is its centre of gravity is still mostly in the Marketing & Sales departments. Why is social media not embraced in a stronger way by other departments? We have taken on the challenge to change this here at my division - SAP Services - and are succeeding. Year-to-date the numbers are up big times.

Visibility Dashboard_2014Q3 v02 - Copy copy.png


Talking to my peers in the services industry, I have always been struck by the fact how little 'social' is embraced by Services executives. That is no different for us at SAP Services.


Some adoption is taking place:  First, as our employee structure changes to include more Millennials and secondly, as we continue to have more exposure to countries where 'social' is more pervasive like the US or parts of Asia.  But in my opinion, the social embrace is still too slow.


At the beginning of the year, we established a baseline to gauge classic metrics like impressions, activity, reach, engagement. The first measurements were - stunningly low.

So we initiated a department-wide Service challenge to improve our 'social' footprint structurally, within 12 months, and with very limited investment. Here was our basic architecture:

All that, yet our numbers were still low in January. We realized our assets at hand had not yet been fully leveraged.So, to improve that baseline, we defined the approach to drive impressions, by increasing activity, to broaden the reach, and get engagement. We took some simple actions:

  • We provided new training and guidelines
  • We pushed a calendar of scheduled tweets to be re-posted
  • We performed light search engine optimization
  • We leveraged campaigns around assets to drive impressions
  • We encouraged more active blogging on corporate platforms


I now share a 'social media impact' dashboard on a quarterly basis with the Services managers. The idea is to remind everybody that this is a topic of interest at the top of the organisation and it should be embraced by them too.


All in all no rocket-science, but it pays off. We are getting significant traction. Above is our dashboard for Q3 (I only omitted the bits of internal proprietary information, so as to be able to share it with here you).

So far, we are very pleased with the results. They are largely due to the increase of activity on better assets. That percolated into more impressions, more absolute engagement, and broadening of the reach.

Last year we focused more on producing curated quality assets, expecting it would drive the whole chain. This year we focus on traffic/volume. For Q4, we launched some special projects (documentary films, case studies, summits) around our high value assets which we will certainly leverage to create extra year-end 'social buzz'.


|  Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Xing  |  Check out my other articles on SCN  or on my personal Blog |

“A Tale of Two Cities” – this is how Laura Alei from nonprofit JVS (Jewish Vocational Service) describes the widening rift in the San Francisco Bay Area.  While Silicon Valley, tech, and the thriving entrepreneurship scene are the topics du jour, a few Bay Area facts illustrate a striking reality:


  • 23,000 individuals in San Francisco alone are unemployed. [Click to Tweet]
  • Low-income households are increasing while middle-wage jobs are on the decline.
  • The Bay is the most unequal region in the U.S. according to leading demographer Professor Manuel Pastor.

SAP Collage.png

SAP with the help of HandsOn Bay Area deployed a team of employees to volunteer their skills to help unemployed individuals prepare for the job search. Volunteers spent a half day on Wednesday at JVS conducting mock interviews and resume reviews. JVS is an organization that has helped 75,000 individuals in San Francisco develop in-demand skills, make connections, and attain career-building jobs during its 40 years of operation. In fact, JVS flaunts greater client employment rates than for-profit staffing agencies. [Click to Tweet]


As for the results of the activity? Feedback from JVS’s job seekers was overwhelmingly positive:


“My SAP volunteers were very well prepared, professional and extremely helpful. They helped me overcome my fear of interviews and I left feeling very confident and empowered.”

“I got VERY insightful feedback from the SAP Mock Interview Event! It was so helpful to practice telling my stories and to gain more strategies to WOW an employer in an interview.”

In addition to making an impact, it turned out the experience also impacted the team in return – through insight, fulfillment, and inspiration.


“I thought I understood some of this harsh reality of my city,” noted Moya Watson an Innovation Product Manager. “Today because of JVS I heard the actual figures associated with joblessness – 23,000 unemployed here in San Francisco – and met two real-world job seekers.  I was struck by our differences (employed versus unemployed), but also the precarious little that separates us in our notoriously unstable job market.”


For Product Manager Kartik Bandhuvula, the experience of sharing skills and contributing to another’s development was “truly rewarding” and “exciting.” He highlighted how “all the interviewees had unique experiences to share and interesting stories to tell. I really enjoyed learning about their career paths, passions and goals.”

Arunima Kumar Corporate Affairs expressed how packed, but also meaningful the activity turned out to be. “I enjoyed working one-on-one with someone and am glad I could use my experiences to help them. I would definitely seek out similar opportunities in future. It was also a great way to meet and get to know other people from SAP.”

In calling fellow colleagues to action, Senior Director Satheesh Gannamraju mentioned how, “Personally, it is very fulfilling helping others. I could honestly do more. It takes very little from each one of us to help a larger community." [Click to Tweet]

Hopefully, by continuing to bridge the gap between the “two cities” through community-oriented service, the vision of one inclusive, united city can become reality.

This event is part of SAP’s global Month of Service, which has been happening for 10 years. Worldwide, 15,000 employees will donate 80,000 hours – more than nine years – of service to the communities in which they live and work.

How has helping others helped you? Tweet @apolack and learn more about how you can get involved with JVS, HandsOn Bay Area, and SAP’s Month of Service.

Brand journalism is about telling stories that make your audience want to learn more about the subject matter. Each of these stories from SAP Business Trends has something to teach us about the world -- and good storytelling. Look for lessons in italics.


Business Trends Top 5 10-17-14-.jpg
New technology is helping cut food waste while increasing its safety and traceability.

Trends in Food Innovation: More than Secret Recipes


Some technology in the food industry dates back 10,000 years, but Nadine Huelsen looks at some of the latest breakthroughs in one of humanity’s oldest industries. New technology is helping make food more sustainable, transparent and traceable. And international engineering efforts, smart chopsticks and other solutions are helping people grow, transport and eat better than ever.


Why You Shouldn’t Have “Innovation” in Your Job Title


Readers of technology blogs can’t go a day without seeing the word “innovation.” But Reuven Gorsht explains why that word shouldn’t be on your business card -- no matter how big a big part it plays in what you and your team does. Leading thinkers and business schools back up this ironically innovative approach to deciding on your job title.


Customers Concur: The Flight Path Runs Simple


SAP has acquired travel management solution provider Concur, but it’s still unclear to some people what this will mean for the two companies. Darren Hunter shows how Concur will help SAP focus on the business network, as well as innovation and simplification. CEO quotes, corporate statistics and success stories from similar efforts offer insight into SAP’s future success.


How Much Is a Brand Worth? SAP’s Is Worth Billions


Corporations fiercely protect their brands, and it turns out many of those brands have a substantial dollar value. Derek Klobucher examines Interbrand’s $17.2 billion appraisal of SAP’s brand, which seems to validate the company’s focus on simplicity, the cloud and big data. The New York Times and The Verge add context to Interbrand’s latest report.


Why Car Makers Are No Longer in the Transportation Industry


From Audi’s self-driving cars to GM’s high-speed wireless connections, automobile manufacturers are evolving into service providers. Susan Galer previews next month’s Michelin Challenge Bibendum Global Summit, which will explore science fiction that is becoming reality. Los Angeles Times, the SCN and Netflix help illustrate how industries are changing -- and often colliding.


Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

Determining human behavior through colors dates back thousands of years to the Egyptians who holistically embraced the power of color for cures. Some of their findings, written on papyrus, dating back to 1550 BC conclude:


  • Black: Life and rebirth color-emotion.jpg
  • Purple: Healed skin ailments
  • Orange: Increased energy
  • Yellow: Purification
  • Red: Increased circulation while stimulating body/mind

Today, this power holds true in many ways...

Medicine/Food: The color of placebo pills factors into effectiveness as “hot-colored” pills are more effective as stimulants while “cold-colored” pills are superior as depressants. And think about the effects of color on your food choices. When's the last time you chose the grey salmon over the deep red one? The old adage "we eat with our eyes" is known by many corporations and they'll often add food coloring chemicals to give the impression of a certain taste.

Sports: Research conducted during the 2004 Olympic Games showed that competitors in taekwondo, boxing, and wrestling who wore red clothing or body protection had an increased chance of winning. There’s also a correlation in soccer. Since 1947, English soccer teams wearing red kits have been crowned champion more often than suspected on the basis of the proportion of clubs playing in red. 10% more goals are scored in red, and England hasn't won a World Cup since the last time they wore the confidence boosting color...back in 1966.

Business: Color plays a vital role in purchasing decisions and brand recognition. Customers generally make purchase decisions within 90 seconds of interaction with a product and about 62-90% of judgment is based on color. Choosing the color of a logo is a bit more complicated, but studies show that the most crucial factor is the relationship between brand and product. This is determined by whether or not the color coincides with what is being sold (for instance, there aren't any gun companies with a pink logo).

Surveys in the U.S. and Europe indicate that blue is the color most commonly associated with harmony, faithfulness, confidence, and imagination. It’s also the most popular color, chosen by about half of all men and women as their favorite.

The Blue Light Special For Law Enforcement: In Japan, blue lights were installed at the Uchihara Train Station to thwart would-be jumpers. Shockingly enough, studies have shown that suicidal incidents were reduced by 50% in these areas thanks to the calming effects of the lights. In Scotland, one town decided to improve the ambiance in a popular shopping district by switching the lighting to blue. Much to their surprise, crime went down considerably and it’s attributed to the universal correlation between blue and police – influencing potential thieves to the notion that they’re surely being watched. Much to the chagrin of the metaphor “feeling blue” – a calming stimulus was also attributed to the reduction in crime.

While the influence of colors on the subconscious mind may not be as brainwashing as The Manchurian Candidate, it is clear that colors deliver commanding subliminal messaging in many different ways. I just hope that those in need of control at all times can embrace it, rather than wishing they were colorblind.

Have you noticed any specific affects that colors may have on you? Perhaps it's time to dig up that old mood ring from childhood for some answers.

sap_ibm_logo.jpgOn Tuesday, IBM and SAP announced a partnership that plays to their strengths and addresses growing demand from customers for cloud-delivered software. It also deals with data sovereignty issues of customers who want data to be stored locally, and significantly widens SAP's global reach.


This partnership will help with SAP's emphasis on HANA. In a survey, the company found that half of its customers want to move some or all of its business applications to the cloud. That makes sense. Companies want to save on costs and avoid the hassle of maintaining on-premises servers. SAP can now utilize IBM-operated facilities in addition to its own to deliver its software over the internet. And IBM is investing as much as $1.2 billion to create 40 new data centers after its $2 billion purchase last year of SoftLayer Corp.


That creates a lot more capacity for SAP to deliver more on the cloud in near future. It also addresses concerns of some European customers about storage of their data. They are now pushing to have it stored locally, rather than in other countries, to ensure laws governing privacy are stringent. Such requirements were always a top priority for organizations, and further gained in importance after disclosures about data-collection by intelligence agencies last year.


IBM and SAP are also on the same page when it comes to realizing how important cloud has become. SAP's customers are now ready for it; they are more comfortable with sensitive corporate data residing outside company walls as cloud security has improved. Also, this leaves SAP free to focus on its software than worry about creating new data centers, which can be quite expensive and require compliance with data and security regulations. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has been acquiring companies to build a significant cloud presence, which would be bolstered by its traditional expertise in computer security and disaster recovery. This was one important reason why SAP chose IBM.


SAP CEO Bill McDermott has been clear that cloud is the way forward. Last month's $7.4 billion acquisition of Concur Technologies Ltd., was another step towards that. Now, with the deal with IBM, it can push its flagship HANA to the cloud, showing that you can run full-fledged core enterprise applications in the cloud. The result of this deal will be more visible in the fourth quarter, when the cloud-delivered software will be available on a limited basis followed by a full introduction next year.


Competitors of both SAP and IBM might follow with deals of their own. But they will be up against a formidable team of SAP-IBM who understand the cloud business, are creative in their thinking, and constantly innovating. It will be hard to run better than them.



Follow me on Twitter @anirvanghosh

Extremely well informed and demanding customers with little or no brand loyalty, super-aggregators with ultra-reliable fulfillment, omnichannel commerce, and lots of new business models emerging every week -  Change is pervasive and ever accelerating – driven by the consumer and amplified by technology.


Hear what SAP’s Retail executives have to say:


Pat Bakey, Global General Manager Retail, and Thomas Vetter, Head of Development for Consumer Products at SAP, got together to share their points of view and opinions about challenges and opportunities in the Retail industry. The conversation resulted in a series of five, short informational videos:


Changes in Retail - driven by the consumer and ever-accelerating

Simplification of the Retail Landscape - complexity is the enemy

How SAP delivers Innovation - working directly with our customers

Cloud in Retail - what does it mean and how can our customers benefit?

SAP in Retail - why should SAP be considered? 



I hope Pat and Thomas’ unique perspective helps give you insight as to how SAP can make your organization more successful with a heightened level of customer service expectations and demands.                 


Watch all videos on the SAP Retail YouTube channel

Untether is a good word. It makes me think of ships pulling anchor and sailing off to new horizons. Augmented reality apps have the same effect because they free people from the physical restrictions of their bodies enabling them to experience new ways of living, working and shopping, even disrupting entire industries such as retail.


hands2.jpgLowe’s, the home improvement company, for example, is attracting business with the Holoroom, an augmented reality experience inspired by science fiction, that helps customers visualize how their remodeled bathroom will look after it’s done. Some supermarkets are offering a new experience with Google Glass. Just command the glass tostart shoppingand as you walk through the store, you’ll get recipe suggestions and nutritional information as you keep tabs on your bill or call your family from a display so they can help make a selection.


Cool as these apps may be for the consumer, they are even more impressive when it comes to the work environment. Augmented reality apps can untether field service technicians from their own hands.  Using voice recognition, gesture and touch commands and functionality like remote expert calling, field works can easily perform tasks such as putting in work orders and ordering parts while using their hands for servicing machines or making repairs.


The good news is that SAP now offers Business Augmented Reality apps that have been developed using a co-innovation approach with customers and partners. Two such apps using smart glasses are the SAP AR Warehouse Picker and SAP AR Service Technician.


The first one will enable  warehouse workers to increase efficiency in data entry, for example, through scanning and voice recognition and improves security by providing inventory location, alerts and instructions for maintenance handling and delivering safety messages to prevent accidents. The second one will allow field service technicians to have hands-free access to visual enterprise model instructions with 3D animation along with a remote expert calling function to request support from any expert, lowering costs by focusing resources where they are needed. This kind of over the shoulder instruction is also a great way to train workers new to the job.


Advances like these are shaping the future of field service and the future of work. By simplifying and enhancing user experience and providing access to enterprise information from anywhere, at any time, users stay focused on their work and environment. That’s good for the enterprise, good for employees and good for consumers who will pay less for products thanks to cost savings generated by augmented reality apps.




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