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By Fred Isbell, senior director and head of Thought Leadership – Digital Business Services Marketing, SAP

I am amazed that the term “digital economy” is now the same age as my youngest kid – 21 years old. It was 1995 when Don Tapscott first coined the term in his landmark book “The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence.” In that same year, Nicholas Negroponte from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) examined the fundamental shift of digital transformation in his landmark book “Being Digital,”  from the physical movement and transfer of goods and services to digital bits shared over a network. From both of these men’s perspectives, this digital economy was destined to create new forms of communication, collaboration, and commerce.

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Fast-forward to 2016, we’re no longer debating any of these ideas and predictions. In fact, we’re living it now as disruptive technology and business models emerge on a seemingly daily basis.  No one wants to be “ubered” and rendered obsolete in a blink of an eye.  Customers and entire industries expect a new way of doing business as the consumerization of IT and mainstream innovation technology enable seamless, transparent, and non-invasive experiences.  And one of the biggest changes is the notion of “everything as a service” – shifting the world towards a consumption paradigm and away from traditional product and purchase models.

In our most recent SAP Digital Business Services Webcast, “Unlocking the Potential from the Internet of Things,” we focused on one of today’s hottest of topics: how to foster the Internet of Things (IoT) to bring innovation to fruition.

The five pillars of digital transformation

My friend and colleague David Sweetman, senior director of the IoT – Digital Business Services Marketing, SAP, kicked off the discussion by unveiling the five pillars of the digital transformation framework. Recognizing that ever-changing requirements present significant challenges for businesses, this approach offers a structured model for developing digital transformation road map to reimagine business models, processes, and customer interactions.


In this structure, four components come together to address the workforce, customers, and suppliers across an extended supply chain, business networks, and assets of all kinds including machine-to-machine communication and the Internet of Things (IoT). At the center sits the digital core, which is the technology that powers it all without limits. If you’re an SAP customer, you probably know it as SAP S/4HANA.


By incorporating this framework into the business’ DNA and digital evolution, companies can breathe life into the digital enterprise to compete – and win – in the digital economy.  Then, they can bring innovation and new technology to deliver real, tangible business value. Finally, they can define a digital core and transition to cloud-based solutions with a mix that best fits the company, whether it’s a combination or a pure instance of cloud, hybrid, and on-premise technology.

Besides the IoT, there’s a need to address business networks, hyperconnectivity, line-of-business application, new front-office solutions for seamless customer engagement and commerce, integration to back-offices software, and increasingly large amounts of data. And when you gather them together, there’s increased complexity – which is the enemy of innovation.

Complexity drives up costs, cutting into any budget available to innovate. Businesses must provide simplification and implement only what’s necessary. At the same time, they still need to deliver outcomes-based solutions that realize business value quickly and reduce overall costs – akin to the age-old discussion of total cost of ownership and total cost of implementation as the secret sauce to a successful IT infrastructure.

Bonus: Check out this white paper from SAP Digital Business Services that takes a closer look at these critical issues and solutions.


The live business: Taking digital transformation to the next level

A key part of the digital transformation story is the “how,” which is predicated on experience and expertise of service, support, and, of course, people. The role of these change agents and experts is what I love to call the Sherpa. The more digital businesses become, the more they are needed to guide the digital transformation journey.

Personally, I can attest to this reality. At SAP, we created a new organization called SAP Digital Business Services. Ever since the first day, the need for these digital Sherpas hasn’t decreased one iota – rather, it’s increased significantly.


SAP DBS SANOW Thought Leadership @ SANOW 2016 4-25-16.jpgWant to learn where all our digital world is heading? SAPPHIRE NOW is the place to be in mid-May. Not because of the sun, warm temperatures, and mixed drinks – but for specific, actionable, and valuable information on digital transformation that you cannot get anywhere else.

Visit the Digital Business Services (DBS) campus on the show floor to meet with specific experts. We’ll  focus discussions on three main areas:

  • Business reimagination: Find out what it takes to achieve a true digital experience, leverage innovation for new-found business agility, and discover the full benefits of a live business.
  • Digital business framework: Get a deep-dive tour into the key aspects of this approach – from a successful digital core with SAP S/4HANA and a mix of public and private cloud to co-innovation and maximized human capital.
  • Solutions lifecycle: Discover how a true solutions approach can help you make specific recommendations across the complete solutions lifecycle across planning/advising, building/launching a solution, and the run/optimization phase that is essential for operational excellence. Reflect on the new normal to see why proactive, end-to-end support is critical for the entire digital transformation journey and must be considered up front – not just post-implementation.


You can find more information by visiting the overview of SAP Digital Business Services presence at SAPPHIRE NOW. Awaiting you will be insightful customer presentations, sessions featuring subject-matter experts, and workshops. Take a look at the great content including keynotes, breakout sessions, specific expertise, and much more by visiting our agenda builder.


Fred is the senior director and head of Thought Leadership for Digital Business Services Marketing at SAP.

Join Fred online:
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, sap.com, SAP Services Hub

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The digital economy is redefining everything and the Digital Business Services organization is at the forefront of helping SAP customers on every step of their journey. The organization has been renamed from Global Services and Support.

Digital is everywhere and the digital economy is redefining everything. SAP offers a unique digital business framework for customers to transform their businesses and thrive in the new economy. No other company offers such a comprehensive solution portfolio to meet the needs of the digital enterprise. The Digital Business Services organization of SAP is there to help customers go digital so they can thrive in their industries.


The goal is to deliver business value to our customers. We want our customers to have faster time to value, and we want them to experience reduced TCI and TCO. Everything we do should focus on allowing our customers to do more with less.


The consumption of services is generally replacing the purchase of products in the digital economy. Through the Digital Business Services portfolio, we are our customers’ trusted advisors to help them realize previously unimaginable innovations. We advise on digital roadmaps, implement our proven best practices across industries and deployment models, and support for continuous improvement.


Digital Business Services helps our customers quickly adopt innovations from SAP with three clear priorities:

  • help customers move to the cloud,
  • realize the digital enterprise,
  • and establish SAP S/4HANA as the digital core.


The name change echoes these priorities.

If you are attending SAPPHIRE NOW 2016, take the chance and meet our service and support experts within the Digital Business Services campus.
Find more information >>here<<.

If you are interested in learning more about the direction of the Digital Business Services organization, please take this whitepaper >>here<< as a starting point.

The notion of going digital is nothing new. Supply chains have been running digital operations for 25 years, and manufacturers have done the same for much longer. But there is something different about it that’s generating so much buzz: the combined power of technologies such as mobile devices, real-time predictive analytics, and the cloud that’s infiltrating almost every aspect of our human lives.


Most executives understand that this digital era presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to intelligently grow and succeed in an already hyper-competitive marketplace. However, all too many are feeling the crushing burden of complexity. In fact, 51% of CIOs cannot respond promptly to digital opportunities, according to a recent Gartner study, because complexity is squashing innovation.


Some companies are running management structures that prohibit accountability and create distance between employees and leadership. Others cannot pull together real-time data quickly to give an accurate view of the overall business and make decisions. The last thing any enterprise needs is to lag behind because of complexity.


Simplicity drives digital transformation – thanks to a digital core


Revolutionary innovation, unparalleled customer centricity, and outcome-driven strategies are the secrets to success in the digital era. Yet, no organization can achieve all this without a simple approach to digital transformation. To resolve the complexity conundrum, companies need to rethink how they can digitize their entire business network by following the five pillars of digital transformation:


  1. Deliver outcome-based customer experiences
  2. Replatform core processes, unite processes, and leverage real-time analytics to operate smarter, faster, and simpler
  3. Give all employee and contractors the tools to increase engagement and make intelligent decisions
  4. Accelerate growth innovation through supplier collaboration
  5. Drive real-time insights and new business models with Big Data and the Internet of Things


With in-memory computing software, such as SAP S/4HANA, the digital core, companies can deliver these fundamentals while scaling the transition based on the needs of the enterprise, customers, and the overall market. More important, simplification becomes the operational norm, delivering instant value across all lines of business and industries.


Simplification begins with implementation of the digital core – not after


Whether you’re considering an upgrade of your existing SAP landscape, already using the SAP HANA platform, or starting from a pristine new beginning, the goal is the same: To stay operational during the implementation and realize value as quickly as possible.


With the SAP Digital Business Services organization, companies are prepared to strip away complexity and streamline innovation with four distinct offerings for customer and partner led projects that consolidate various services and embedded support for increased levels of engagement:


  1. SAP ActiveEmbedded for planning and safeguarding of SAP S/4HANA: Navigate the potential, impacts, and obstacles related to the adoption of SAP S/4HANA. Get the planning and safeguarding support and on-demand expertise from a dedicated technical quality manager from SAP.
  2. SAP ActiveEmbedded for technical implementation of SAP S/4HANA: Transition your digital core to SAP S/4HANA without disruption. In addition to the planning and safeguarding package, SAP offers best practices for a smooth-running migration strategy. Your organizations benefits from detailed implementation planning, an innovation road map tailored to your needs, and personalized documentation on your technical architecture and infrastructure.
  3. SAP ActiveEmbedded for functional implementation of SAP S/4HANA: Increase your business’ freedom to innovate and focus on value-added business practices by optimizing your digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA. Combined with the technical implementation package, this service delivers the latest innovations and business scenarios, including expertise on custom code modification based on specific system needs.
  4. SAP MaxAttention for innovation with SAP S/4HANA: Anticipate new business process scenarios required in the digital world. Along with the functional implementation package, advanced expertise covering the entire business potential of SAP S/4HANA provides the foresight you need.



Get support from the experts

Digital Business Services helps customers quickly adopt innovations from SAP.

Learn more about SAP S/4HANA service packages: http://sapsupport.info/s4hana-service-packages

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I’ve been reflecting on the great news that, for the fourth consecutive year, TCS has received the SAP Pinnacle Award for Run SAP Partner of the Year. That’s no small feat, and I believe it’s a direct result of our mission to optimize our clients’ critical business processes across their SAP environments and our strategic partnership with SAP. Winners were selected based on recommendations from customer feedback, the SAP field, and performance indicators – and the competition was stiff among 13,000 SAP partner companies.

Our practice is committed to being experts in all things SAP–using SAP’s latest methodologies, best practices, and technologies to help our clients implement solutions better, faster and maximize the benefits they can deliver to the business.

We find that the Run SAP initiative consistently brings efficiencies to global companies and will present our Run SAP experiences in the SAP Max Attention lounge at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW. Our expertise implementing Run SAP to optimize our clients’ critical business processes has resulted in dramatic improvements in finance, manufacturing, distribution, procurement, and other operations for global companies across industries, including:

  • Reduced issue resolution time by 38 percent for a multinational mass media company
  • Reduced daily interface monitoring efforts by 60 percent for an energy technology provider
  • Reduced manual monitoring efforts by 60 days per month for a leading pharmaceutical provider
  • Reduced daily monitoring efforts from 120 to 30 minutes for a communications provider


The significant benefits companies can achieve are highlighted in our work with Birla Carbon, the world’s leading black carbon manufacturer, to unify its disparate ERP systems. I discussed our work with Robyn Hooker McCall, Director of Information Services and CIO, Birla Carbon and Andrew Graham, Director of Partner Management, SAP Global Service and Support, at SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW 2015 conference. I hope you gain insights from our high level video discussion.

The business benefits of Run SAP

I expect our Run SAP implementations to continue to increase: We delivered 172 implementations in 2014 and this number jumped to 249 in 2015. Our clients appreciate the measurable savings, reduced total cost of ownership and efficient application lifecycle management (ALM) that enables them to focus on their core business, rather than system monitoring.

Our investment in and use of SAP Solution Manager, the central lifecycle management hub for SAP systems and SAP solutions on premise or in the cloud, has been key to successful client deployments. SAP Solution Manager has been the cornerstone in projects to decrease resolution time and save time during test planning, defect management, and reporting. We’ve mapped entire business processes to help our customers achieve the benchmarks they’ve set. It’s the tool for an efficient application management services model, and one that helps get customers up and running much faster. Our innovations on SAP Solution Manager include dashboards that can run on Windows, Android, and iOS systems.

In addition to the esteemed SAP accolades, TCS has been recognized by research firm Gartner as a leader in its Magic Quadrant for Worldwide SAP Application Management Service Providers. This is our third year in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, and it’s due to our dedicated SAP consultants (15,000 around the world) generating results for our customers, as well as our commitment to new technology investments in SAP S/4HANA. Our innovation labs, expanded SAP UX offerings via SAPUI5 and SAP Fiori, and digital enterprise platform all have helped us stand out as a leader in the marketplace.

TCS is committed to helping our clients’ transform their businesses by adopting digital technologies and as I highlighted in a previous blog post, SAP S4/HANA is unparalleled in its power to help companies make this transition. We look forward to presenting strong SAP S4/HANA digital transformation stories in our SAPPHIRE NOW presentations with Lexmark and CVS.

I look forward to your comments and questions on running efficiently and embracing the latest digital technologies. Please share your thoughts here, and let me know if you’d like to meet with TCS experts during SAPPHIRE NOW to discuss how we can help you achieve your business goals.

In 19 days, SAPPHIRE NOW will be in full swing. SAP employees, partners and customers will be connected through this momentous three-day event, that will highlight the most important topics of our time. To simplify your planning, here are the "must-see" customer presentations and panels from SAP Digital Business Services. 


Achieve Full Integration Between Cloud and On-Premise HR Solutions

Accelerate the realization of your core HR and talent processes in the cloud. Learn about the different hybrid deployment scenarios and review the SAP Rapid Deployment solutions that are available to help you quickly capitalize on your investment in the SAP ERP Human Capital Management solution as you integrate in the cloud.


Develop a Strategic Approach to Implementing and Running SAP Software

Reduce cost and risk in customizing your software using standardized solutions. Learn how Caterpillar Inc. and SAP have partnered to develop a plan to support Caterpillar’s global rollout of SAP software, aligned to key strategic imperatives such as embedded robust governance and building strong partnerships between SAP, Caterpillar, and partners.


Analyze Big Data Faster and Store It Cheaper

Simplify the challenges of Big Data. Hear how CenterPoint Energy partnered with SAP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Hortonworks to execute a proof of concept that uses the SAP HANA platform, SAP HANA Vora software, and other applications (including a Hadoop version from Hortonworks) to re-platform its biggest data warehouse and save storage costs.

Make Quicker and More Informed Decisions with Predictive Analytics

Gain data transparency and increase collaborative planning. Listen to key CenterPoint Energy executives from customers across various industries as they discuss the SAP HANA platform and the Internet of Things. Hear how they differentiate themselves and make quick decisions with access to real-time data predictive analytics tools and dashboards.


Harmonize Data and Prepare for the Digital Economy

Transform and harmonize data from multiple sources. Find out how DuPont, with help from SAP, is quickly addressing business and technology goals from its merger with Dow. Learn how they’re using data-in-hub technology from SAP to take data from multiple sources and produce critical production reports for complex scenarios in near real time.


Journey to Digital Transformation with the Internet of Things

Increase speed on and off the road. Hear how Mercedes-AMG is improving processes with the Internet of Things and real-time analytics software, SAP Predictive Analytics. Learn how it partnered with SAP to provide business transformation, resulting in a real-time quality assurance platform deployed by SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA software.

Drive Simplification and Reduce Complexity with a Unified Approach

Increase the adoption of your software investment. Hear how Loblaws uses a streamlined approach to deliver and govern SAP software. Find out how they are able to increase user adoption and reduce operational costs with SAP MaxAttention services and an SAP solution road map to prioritize innovation and provide transparency to the business.

Improve Competitive Advantage Through Co-Innovation

Configure and sell complex products and services to provide customers with a solution that is right for them. Hear how EMC Corporation and SAP created a front end for SAP Hybris solutions with the SAP CRM application powered by the SAP HANA platform and a custom user interface to streamline the user experience and fulfill EMC’s unique needs.


Make Quicker and More Informed Decisions with Predictive Analytics

Gain data transparency and increase collaborative planning. Listen to key executives from customers across various industries as they discuss the SAP HANA platform and the Internet of Things. Hear how they differentiate themselves and make quick decisions with access to real-time data predictive analytics tools and dashboards.

Improve Spare Parts Planning and Streamline Business Processes

Better integrate and stabilize core processes to prepare for future innovation. Learn how U.S. industrial supply giant Grainger co-innovated with SAP MaxAttention services and embarked on a project to implement one global instance of the SAP Service Parts Planning application to properly stock their distribution centers.

Find all blogs and videos related to this topic here.

Follow us SAP Digital Business Services on Twitter @SAPDigitalSvcs.

Whether you’re a first-timer or veteran attendee, SAPPHIRE NOW can be an overwhelming experience. Packed into three days, there are thousands of hours of sessions and hundreds of leading visionaries and practitioners available to you. It’s nearly impossible to see it all!



With so much riding on a digital transformation roadmap, you cannot afford to miss a moment that can give you the insight, best practices, and tools you need to accelerate your evolution and win over today’s digitally oriented consumer. What if you can't get enough information from a 20-minute demo, but a panel session down the hall is spilling the secrets you need? How can you be sure you’re attending the right sessions at all?

Don’t worry! SAP Digital Business Services is ready to help you navigate the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly digital economy. We have what you need right here to learn what’s in store for you at SAPPHIRE NOW, May 17–19, in Orlando, Florida.



Click on the session types below and access to all SAP Digital Services sessions:


Theater Presentations, Strategic Presentations and Panel Discussion

Hear the latest in thought leadership that can help propel your digital strategy into reality. In just twenty minutes, you will know the secrets of analyzing Big Data faster and cheaper, reducing the cost and risk of software customization, positioning your business for untapped growth, and so much more. Check out the theater presentations, strategic presentations and panel discussions guide for session times and locations so you can plan now.


Topic Area Theaters

Whether you are just learning about digital transformation, getting underway, or engaging in your own journey, our topic area theater sessions have the information you need. During each 20-minute session, you will learn how to accelerate digital transformation, protect your business from disruption, expand your limits with a digitized core, and much more.


Interactive Sessions

Do you want to know what it means to “replatform”? Is complexity keeping digital transformation out of reach? Get an immersive introduction to support services and methodologies that can help. These 40-minute interactive sessions show how you can digitize your business while conquering complexity and strengthening innovation along the way.


Demo Stations

All year, you have probably heard a lot about our offerings – now is the chance to check them out in a no-pressure, interactive environment. Get a first-hand look at reimagining your business with SAP S/4HANA software, Internet of Things solutions, the digital boardroom, preconfigured solutions, and best practices. Be sure to stop by our demo stations and check out what the buzz is all about. These demo stations are open to you during show floor hours from May 17 to May 19.


SAP Digital Business Services will be there for you at SAPPHIRE NOW


In between Steve Wozniak’s keynote and Cold Play’s concert performance, don’t forget to fill your calendar with our Digital Business Services sessions and stop by our campus on the show floor at SAPPHIRE NOW. This is your time to discover how your business can implement the latest technology for disrupting your competitors and industry and delivering more value to your customers!

If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to post questions on Twitter @SAP_AGS with hashtags #MaxAttention.

Supply chain resiliency. How well has your business mastered it?


SANOW.blog.ProcSCM.Facebook.jpgIt requires a careful orchestration of sourcing, procurement, supplier management, workforce staffing, manufacturing, and logistics operations. When that orchestration is rattled, the impact can cascade across the enterprise and halt business. Recent earthquakes that struck Japan’s Kyushu island triggered aftershocks for auto industry suppliers, prompting manufacturers to suspend production. Ecuador’s farming and tuna industries may have a long recovery after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake occurred near its northern coast this month.


In a world where disasters can immobilize industries, business networks offer companies agility to navigate disruptions to their supplier network, workforce and business operations.


This year’s Sourcing, Procurement and Supply Chain sessions at SAPPHIRE NOW offer an abundant array of best practices, new innovations and customer stories. Leaders from procurement, supply chain, finance, HR and IT will find a diverse selection of topics designed for their business needs.

Session formats range from solution demonstrations, customer and partner presentations, and one-on-one interactions with experts to discuss specific topics. Whatever sessions you choose to attend, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet and network with peers and experts.


Here’s a sample of what you’ll find for Sourcing, Procurement and Supply Chain Management:


Preview Upcoming Innovations for Sourcing and Procurement – LB37102

Explore updates for the Ariba Network and other SAP Ariba solutions, including new application rollouts, stronger integration with on-premise applications, enhanced user experience, and adoption of the SAP HANA platform.


Manage Your External Workforce Effectively – LB33965

Join SAP Fieldglass to hear how to successfully navigate the evolving landscape of contingent workforce management, improve workforce quality, and create efficient labor programs, all while cutting costs.

Transform Payables into Strategic Assets Through the Financial Supply Chain – LB33880

Gain supplier support for electronic payments and improve management of cash and working capital with SAP Ariba. Lay a foundation for compliance to contracts using the right approach to payables automation. See a video preview.


Track and Trace Your Supply Network Across Geographies – LB33579

Hear how the digital economy enables a new level of collaboration with innovations such as a business network for logistics hubs, advanced tracking and tracing, and augmented reality for use in warehouse picking.


Enhance Supply Chain Orchestration with an Innovative Supply Network – LB34316

Learn how SAP Supply Chain Solutions Management can enable your business to connect and collaborate with trading partners across a supply network to orchestrate supply, demand, and inventory replenishment processes.


Need help deciding what to attend? Check out the sample agendas to get started with planning your time at SAPPHIRE NOW.


Stay connected to the latest event information by following the Twitter hashtag #SAPPHIRENOW.


Debbie Curtis-Magley shares insights about cloud, procurement, business networks and supply chains on Twitter at @DebCM.



Just three more weeks before SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 will kick-off. If you haven’t done so already it would now be the perfect timing to start creating your personal conference agenda. Just use the official My Agenda tool which comes in handy and is super easy-to-use, as every year.

Let me provide you with some advice regarding what we have in store for you at the SAP Digital Business Services campus. As mentioned in one of my previous blog posts named The SAP Service and Support Presence at SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 it is quite frankly really a lot, with 50+ expert sessions and 16 interactive workshops alone, plus numerous expert tables and other opportunities for networking and interaction with SAP staff and other customers.

To help you get started with your agenda I have created a list of my personal top 5 sessions that I would recommend to attend at our booth:



1) Tuesday, May 17, 12:30-12:50 pm
Protect Your Business with Enhanced Foundational Support
Harmonize your support experience. Learn how the SAP Preferred Care service combines best expertise from on-premise and cloud support to enable the SAP ONE Support program. See how it complements our foundational support offering, SAP Enterprise Support, with an additional level of support. Use SAP Preferred Care for maximum business protection.

Session ID 34030


2) Tuesday, May 17, 01:30-01:50 pm
Plan and Execute Your Digital Transformation
Reshape your business and get up to speed on your business innovation journey. Transition to a new platform and address your agile business needs to gain competitive advantage. See how to jointly develop a tailored innovation road map as a first step and then efficiently execute later on by using the new services packages for the SAP S/4HANA suite.

Session ID 34034 (additional times offered)


3) Wednesday, May 18, 11:00-11:40 am
Drive Business Value and Pave the Way to Innovation
Discover how the innovation, operations, and mission control centers help you conquer complexity, gain transparency of critical business and IT processes end to end, and strengthen business innovation and transformation. Learn about our support services that drive value through proactive, real-time collaboration, either on premise or in the cloud.

Session ID 34873 (additional times offered)


4) Wednesday, May 18, 12:30-12:50 am
Explore Deployment Options That Can Help Your Business Run Simple
Discover a safe path through your digital transformation. Transition to the SAP S/4HANA suite with help from new implementation, system conversion, and landscape transformation scenarios. Streamline adoption using SAP Best Practices packages for preconfigured business processes, migration, and integration with cloud solutions.

Session ID 34016


5) Thursday, May 19, 11:30-11:50 am
Reimagine Business Models and Shift from Product Selling to Service Selling
Explore new business models and grow your business. The Internet has fueled the growth of the as-a-service business model for IT infrastructure (infrastructure as a service) and software (software as a service) companies. Learn how the Internet of Things now enables “anything as a service” business models for all kinds of products.

Session ID 34036



As you can see I also included the session links to the agenda tool so feel free to simply add these sessions to your schedule. You can find a complete list of our SAP Digital Business Services sessions here: http://sapsupport.info/sapphirenow.

See you in Orlando! And please stay in the conversation online, just follow our social channels: YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, SlideShare.



Learn more about SAP Digital Business Services at SAPPHIRE NOW here.

Benjamin Wilk is the social media ambassador for SAP Digital Business Services at SAPPHIRE NOW 2016.

Automotive Suppliers know that estimating and managing pre-production costs is a significant determinant of profitability.  Given the need to compete effectively to win business, and then to drive targeted cost reductions year over year, it is vital to understand all aspects of product cost to meet customer requirements and identify where improvements might be realized.


All too often in the current state, this is an offline, Excel based, process.  Not a surprise, as ERP and PLM tools that might otherwise support the cost modeling process have a nasty habit of requiring master data - materials, resources, bills of material, for example, that may not yet exist.  And good system governance discourages adding master data to operational systems without following consistent practices for release and approval, for good reason.


But the fact that the process can't leverage (exclusively) ERP master data does not mean it should not be informed by shared enterprise data.  When comparing possible manufacturing locations, for instance, cost modeling must be transparent in application of labor and overhead rates that are established and agreed upon.


To do so effectively requires a cost modeling environment that is informed by ERP, perhaps multiple instances, as well as by PLM, and by projected cost rates and material prices that the cost engineer or analyst can combine flexibly and share transparently.


Into this void, SAP has recently introduced Product Lifecycle Costing, a completely new product developed on a Hana platform with input from customers in automotive and other manufacturing industries.


Last year at Sapphire, we discussed the concept of this coming application.


This year we have it live.


Given the importance of this tool to our automotive customers, we will be featuring it at the Automotive pod in the Industries Campus.  I'll have basic demonstrations available and welcome discussions on a variety of use cases.


See you there!

The One Thing That’s Probably Missing From Your Digital Transformation Journey


“Digital transformation” is one of those concepts that induces either anxiety or excitement among executives. Nevertheless, it’s increasingly gaining attention. For businesses that realize what opportunities lie ahead, the notion of digital transformation is quickly becoming a CEO priority.


The trick is knowing how to reimagine the business quickly without disrupting the entire enterprise. Mark Oakey, senior vice president, Global Services Sales Go to Market at SAP, observes, “A lot of companies are looking to move to a digital enterprise. But it takes time to get there, and there are certain steps they have to take.“


So how do companies make the shift to the digital business? By using the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service as a bridge so they can standardize their processes and draw out an innovation platform they can use.


Stripping away complexity to clear a way in the cloud to digital transformation


But first, businesses must address one of its biggest challenges: complexity. Every year, companies lose roughly 10% of their profits. Meanwhile, employee morale takes a dive and operations run at suboptimal levels. According to Christoph Hermann, head of Managed Cloud Delivery at SAP, the goal is to “inject innovation and move out the complexity businesses experience when running their own applications.“


SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud allows companies to achieve value very quickly through greater simplification. Gone are the days of acquiring hardware and changing the infrastructure just to suit the needs of new technology. The service brings an opportunity to transition to the cloud and provision those applications in a matter of weeks.


Let’s face it: It’s expensive to buy new hardware. And with today’s pace of technology innovation, it’s impossible to keep up – few companies in the world, if any, could afford it. Greg Tomb, executive vice president of Global Services at SAP, believes that taking that burden away affords companies the flexibility and scale to start small and grow incrementally as business needs change.


Stephen Spears, senior vice president and head of Global Sales for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud at SAP, notes that this strategy is based on incremental steps. “This shift provides a road map to adopting a digital enterprise and making important strategic decisions for their future development and growth,” he states.

Growing in the cloud is faster and easier than doing it in house. “Innovation is the future, and it will happen in the cloud,“ advises Sanjay Kulkarni, global vice president of Cloud Architecture and Advisory at SAP. “Future development drives many business decisions, and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud provides the foundation for innovation and serves as an accelerator of future technology adoption.“


However, Margaret Anderson, head of Partner Management and Launch Advisory at SAP, doesn’t discount the power of incorporating three critical ingredients into any digital transformation strategy: governance, knowledge, and structure. With SAP, businesses get the platform they require as well as the those capabilities necessary to help make their cloud-based digital transformation as simple and successful as possible.


Simplifying the road to cloud-based innovation and digital success


Digital transformation is not a destination; it’s a journey. And for anyone just starting out, it can be overwhelming. However, SAP knows that it doesn’t have to be that way.


This year’s SAPPHIRE NOW provides four great opportunities to learn more about digital transformation, how to achieve it, and which tools can help you get underway:


Explore the Path to the Next-Generation Business Suite

Discover where you are on your cloud journey. Find out how the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service can help you achieve your company's long-term goals. Understand the current and future landscape and priorities as well as the critical role of this service in simplifying your deployment and preparing your path.

Journey Towards a Digital Transformation

Dream digital and accelerate your path to a digital enterprise. Get started today with the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service. Find out how this offering accelerates adoption of the SAP HANA platform and reduces time to value by overcoming on-premise deployment challenges, complexity, and investment cost.

MIT's Migration to SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud Migration

A Fast-Track Journey Hear how MIT, in six months, successfully migrated its on-premise SAP ERP application systems to SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

Explore MIT’s migration strategy; hardware, operating system, and database selections; project organization; potential pitfalls; mitigations; and lessons learned.

Ready to chart your path to becoming a digital enterprise? Join us at SAPPHIRE NOW to learn how.


By Fred Isbell, senior director and head of Though Leadership, Digital Business Services Marketing, SAP

Just off the heels of one great event full of “ah-ha” moments, I’m getting ready to dive into another one: SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 co-located with our annual user group event, ASUG 2016, in Orlando FL.  And I could not be more excited about what we have going on this year!

After a one-year absence from attending SAPPHIRE NOW on site, while still participating in the virtual event, I’m back to experience the event “live”.  After attending 14 SAPPHIRE NOW conferences over the past 16 years, I can definitely say that it is the “Super Bowl” of thought leadership around all things SAP and the topics we cover.  This year the event is all about digital transformation, with an introduction to a critical new concept called “Live Business.”SANOW Blog-1

Consequently, there’s a lot of critical mass of key messages, content, speakers, and more that comprise this amazing event. Throughout SAPPHIRE NOW, I’ll provide a mix of blog and social media coverage between now and the event in mid-May.


Three main things will stand out as we prepare for this great event:

  • The evolution to the digital economy is a journey, not a destination. Guidance is essential. I like to equate this concept to that of a Sherpa. And when it comes to digital transformation, it has never been more appropriate until now.
  • Business and IT are embarking on this journey together, and disruptive technologies and business models are key to successful digital transformation. We’ve come full circle from an era of line-of-business end-runs that was characteristic of earlier cloud-based solutions.  Collaboration and alignment have never been more critical, and the translation between business and IT requirements is truly mission critical.
  • Success in an era of cloud, the Internet of Things, and a collaborative, networked economy require a fresh approach: a digital business framework combined with expertise to reimagine business. The adage “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” has never been truer.  Successful digital transformation requires a road map and key steps to building a framework for a digital The added advantage of hyperconnectivity and the reality of “business at the speed of innovation” are now transforming entire industries at breakneck speed.

I’m really excited about covering SAPPHIRE NOW including our keynotes, customer and partner sessions, and insightful customer-focused activities in our SAP Digital Business Services area adjacent to the main SAPPHIRE NOW campuses.
All of this content, expertise, and customer proof points will support several key areas presented across three days at SAPPHIRE NOW such as:

  • Business transformation and evolution: Digital transformation requires us to reimagine both business and IT – working together to embark on a successful digital transformation journey.
  • Attaining new business value: Business at the speed of innovation requires swiftness and agility. By leveraging all aspects of technological innovation, businesses can accelerate the pace of change while they are on this journey.
  • Ensuring business continuity: Digital transformation is truly a conglomeration of “bet your badge” decisions with next-generation technology and solutions. Always-on business models require a new level of support and business continuity.

In the coming weeks, I will write about each of these key themes highlighted at SAPPHIRE NOW. If you are heading to Orlando for SAPPHIRE NOW or attending the virtual event, take a look at the great content including keynotes, breakout sessions, and much more by visiting our agenda builder.



Fred is the senior director and head of Thought Leadership for Digital Business Services  Marketing at SAP.

Join Fred online:
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, sap.com, SAP Services Hub

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Automotive manufacturers are sparking the next stage of the digital transformation. Car companies and the vehicles they produces are becoming increasingly smart – and are changing the rules of the game for transportation. What opportunities will digitization bring your company? What role will IT play? And how can you tap these opportunities in the different areas of your organization? Find out at…

SAPPHIRENOW from May 17-17, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. We would love to see you there!

Leading international innovators from Automotive and other Discrete Manufacturers will be sharing their experiences and looking ahead to the future. SAP will showcase its innovative solutions allowing companies to “run live”, transforming their business in amazing new ways.

In addition to keynotes from Bill McDermott, Professor Hasso Plattner and Steve Wozniak from Apple we invite you to join us for a panel discussion on “Prospering with an Outcomes Approach in the Digitally Networked Economy” with our guests from Bosch, Caterpillar, EMC and Spirit Aero Systems and a customer theater presentation on” Improved Asset Performance with Connected Vehicle Technology from Toyota Material Handling USA.

Also in the Discrete Manufacturng and Automotive Industries Campus:

  • Automotive Demo Stations:  SAP experts can demonstrate and discuss innovative SAP solutions ranging from the digital core to cloud solutions and how these solutions can drive business success.
  • Interactive sessions lead by Automotive customers and SAP experts discussing transformational business opportunities. These sessions are for sharing ideas and experiences on business subjects ranging from digital business to process efficiency, profitability, risk avoidance and digital architecture.
  • Demo theaters where SAP experts showcase the latest SAP solutions for Automotive, spanning e-commerce, asset management, customer centricity, business planning and forecasting, life-cycle costing, supply chain and aftermarket services.

And please visit the American SAP Users Group (ASUG), “Ready to Re-Invent the future Again”.  ASUG’s 100,000 members are the digital transformation leaders, drivers, collaborators and inventors that make things happen!

Be part of the most important SAP event for the automotive industry and sign up now

Digital business models are proving to be incredibly disruptive. Industry boundaries are blurring. Embedded software is changing everything. Customers are demanding solutions that are highly scalable, secure, robust, and always on. The commerce experience must be seamless, and the technology powering is all must be invisible. Meeting these expectations demands new strategies and services for consumption, delivery, and integration that reduce risk, add value, and can be sustained beyond prototypes.


Driven by hyperconnectivity and the science of Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) is helping business models adapt to this new environment. Flexible and integrated business process built on a digital core of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions is the first step to running in real time and integrating predictive analytics, Big Data, and mobile technologies. Information is analyzed quickly with in-memory systems – enabling people to detect trends and work smarter and more efficiently.


How can companies embrace these capabilities to meet their unique innovations and industry practices? Recent research reveals that simple, seamless, and personalized customer engagements is the best approach. According to a recent Ovum study, the most successful long-term strategies consider current and future IT landscapes and optimize a path that includes IoT-enabling applications, platform, and services.


Hear more about this research and learn from over 500 organizations that tackling the challenges of developing a sustainable digital transformation strategy. Join our Webinar on April 21, 2016.

From lessons learned to road map

While Ovum’s findings are eye-opening, this is only one of many steps in your digital transformation journey. The key is taking those lessons and turning them into an effective IoT road map.


At this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW, our goal is to give you the guidance you need to create and execute an effective strategy that will disrupt your competition and wow your customers. Check out these sessions at SAPPHIRE NOW to see what’s in store for you.

Reimagine Business Models and Shift From Product Selling to Service Selling

Explore new business models and grow your business. The Internet has fueled the growth of the as-a-service business model for IT infrastructure (infrastructure as a service) and software (software as a service) companies. Learn how the Internet of Things now enables “anything as a service” business models for all kinds of products.

Develop, Plan, and Implement an Innovative Asset Strategy with IoT

Deliver industrial-strength, IoT business models and processes that work with integrated networks and supply chains. Achieve a competitive edge for retention, expansion, and new-market development with clearer insight in asset usage.



Join us at our Ovum research Webcast and SAPPHIRE NOW. Whether you’re just getting started, shifting the direction of your digital transformation journey, or learning what’s next, this is your chance to see how the IoT can give your business that edge it needs.

These days, it seems that everyone in enamored with all things digital. Digital transformation.  Digital dashboards. People are even writing and speaking in "Digital English" (please don’t!). And while all buzzwords come and go, there’s two that have always remained in our lexicon: “disruption” and “transformation”. 


Technology certainly is creating opportunities that barely existed yesterday and can now bulldoze a business tomorrow. But you cannot blame digital disruption on technology alone. In reality, it’s the business models underlying its use that erode some competitors’ foothold in the market.


Think about it: Netflix knocked out Blockbuster. Pandora ate iTunes’ lunch. TaskRabbit creates new markets. What do these disruptions have in common?  Each is an example of a company using digital technology to support a new business model that create unheard-of value to the customer. That’s right – it’s all about value creation through digital transformation.  


Does this mean that the businesses world now belongs to inspired hipsters who guzzle Redbull , survive on Minecraft, and “app” their way through life? Well, not at all.  Even corporate types are coming up with all sorts of new products, ideas, and processes that use digital technology to unleash untapped business value and potential. And many businesses are realizing that it’s worth spending their time and energy on driving success around digital transformation – especially when it comes from moving from bottom- to top-line benefits. 


At this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW, we’re getting ready to help businesses like yours prepare for the digital leap. We’ll share how organizations big and small are exploring new business models to accelerate their transformation. For example, our Digital Business Services lounge will featured General Motors’ experience in capturing the "art of transformation"  Aligning their financials road map to their innovation strategy, the company is designing a connected car that will deliver a whole new level of customer experience. Discover how the business model canvas is becoming a great tool and thoughtful approach for General Motors to think through ways to innovate their business model and create new ones.


Do you have an experience using business model innovation techniques?  Join us in the Digital Business Services lounge on Tuesday, May 17 at 2pm or on Wednesday, May 18 at 5pm  to dive in and discuss these methods with us.  We’d love to hear what you have to share.

SAPPHIRE NOW is coming soon, and we are excited to share some details about the asset management presence at the three-day event in Orlando, Florida, on May 17–19.

Check out the list of can’t-miss asset management sessions we’ve compiled below:


Achieve Operational Excellence by Spatially Enabling Asset Management

Tuesday, May 17 | 11:00 a.m.

Address two of the most pressing issues for the utility industry: locating your assets and uncovering their work history. Learn how SAP software uses geographic information to help you do both. Hear how American Water streamlined asset management using the SAP Geographical Enablement Framework solution to manage work and assets from a map.


Explore Innovations in Asset Management

Tuesday, May 17 | 11:00 a.m.

Help your asset management team run simply by adopting the latest IT innovations. Learn about the exceptional user experience enabled by the SAP HANA platform and SAP Cloud portfolio. See what the latest enhancements in augmented reality, mobile apps, predictive maintenance, and 3D visualization have to offer your team.


Unlocking SAP EAM with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Predictive Analysis

Tuesday, May 17 | 12:30 p.m.

This session provides a vision about the SAP EAM solution and a spectrum of hot topics. Get a view on improvements in asset availability and maintenance operations made possible through IoT, predictive maintenance and analytics, and improved master data, discover their integral roles in lowering asset-related risks.


Enhance Operational Performance with Asset Network Solutions

Tuesday, May 17 | 2:00 p.m.

Imagine an Internet of Things–based (IoT) solution linking all your equipment into an ecosystem. Envision many applications running on this collaborative platform to simplify maintenance and enhance cooperation for complex tasks. Discover how asset network solutions enable this digital transformation, new business models, more speed, and faster insights.


Reduce Asset Downtime Through Predictive Maintenance       

Tuesday, May 17 | 3:00 p.m.

Explore ways you can increase return on assets by predicting machine and equipment malfunctions before they happen. Learn how predictive maintenance can help increase revenue by improving asset availability and lower costs by enabling smarter decision making, all while supporting overall efficiency and sustainability in asset management.


Improved Scheduling at Hershey by Upgrading SAP Multiresource Scheduling

Wednesday, May 18 | 11:00 a.m.

Hershey started using SAP Multiresource Scheduling 610 in 2009 and decided to upgrade to 900 in 2015 to take advantage of new functionality and its five years of SAP Multiresource Scheduling experience. Learn about the challenges they faced, the functionality they have taken advantage of, and how they are moving forward to world-class scheduling using SAP Multiresource Scheduling 900.


Strengthen Operations with Holistic EHS Management

Wednesday, May 18 | 11:00 a.m.

Promote operational excellence through efficient and holistic environment, health, and safety (EHS) management. Learn how you can help ensure workplace safety as well as business continuity by reducing EHS risks.


Improve Master Data Governance in Asset-Intensive Industries

Wednesday, May 18 | 1:30 p.m.

Learn the importance of consistent, accurate master data in asset-intensive enterprises in the energy and natural resources sectors. Discover how you can establish enterprise-strength data governance to help ensure the integrity of your master data with the SAP Master Data Governance application, enterprise asset management extension by Utopia.


Connect People, Machines, and Businesses Everywhere

Wednesday, May 18 | 2:00 p.m.

Grasp how the transition to a digital economy and adoption of new technologies like the Internet of Things and cloud-based networks are creating opportunities. Capture your opportunity to automate asset-related data exchange and simplify collaboration among asset manufacturers, operators, and service providers with SAP Asset Intelligence Network.


Protect the Safety of People, Assets, and the Environment

Wednesday, May 18 | 3:00 p.m.

Safeguard your manufacturing and asset-intensive operations. Learn how you can better manage health and safety, measurements, and environmental emissions, all while improving compliance reporting, with our latest solutions for EHS. Learn how the SAP Fiori user experience helps simplify EHS management.


The Convergence of Mobile Asset Management and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Wednesday, May 18 | 3:30 p.m.

Mobility and IT-OT integration’s use of sensor technologies combined with predictive maintenance provides high business value for maintenance and reliability engineers. This session will elaborate on business cases and benefits, use cases, device options, mobility strategy, and road maps. Current and upcoming mobile solutions will be highlighted.


Top Ten Ways to Squeeze More Value from Your Investment in SAP EAM

Thursday, May 19 | 11:00 a.m.

On your journey with SAP EAM, you are continually looking for opportunities to gain more business value from your SAP software investments while reducing your total cost of ownership. It does not matter whether your industry is growing rapidly or facing challenges, this is a major topic of interest for everyone.


Predictive Maintenance and Service and Lessons Learned in the Internet of Things

Thursday, May 19 | 12:30 p.m.

This presentation will highlight experiences from over 20 customers in the field of predictive maintenance and service, fusing machine and business data and gaining new insights from applying data science models to keep machines running and maintenance costs low. It will showcase business scenarios, data science, and SAP products.


Interact Seamlessly with Asset Management Systems and GISs

Thursday, May 19 | 1:00 p.m.

Learn how you can interact with geo-enabled asset management business processes and master data to navigate intuitively and obtain better insights. See how combining business data with geographic information system (GIS) engineering data provides a single map view, lowering total cost of ownership and enhancing the business value of your asset management information.


Leveraging Warranty Claims Data to Drive Predictive Maintenance for Heavy Equipment Manufacturers

Thursday, May 19 | 2:00 p.m.

In this session, the SAP predictive maintenance team will share several use cases and lessons learned based on several customer predictive maintenance projects leveraging a combined data set of warranty data and machine sensor data.


Asset Synchronization Between Equipment and Fixed Assets

Thursday, May 19 | 2:00 p.m.

Hear how Newmont Mining implemented – without synchronization – equipment and fixed assets for SAP ERP software. This session will cover the changes required for activating the synchronization.


Asset Intelligence Network (AIN) Is Ready for You

Thursday, May 19 | 3:30 p.m.

Today, there are difficulties and slowness in exchanging information between asset manufacturers and operators. In addition, the lack of standardization between them makes their integration very poor – sometimes impossible. Imagine the benefits they will have if they follow the same standardization and are fully connected to a network.


Achieve Better Resource Scheduling Through Collaboration and Automation

Thursday, May 19 | 4:00 p.m.

Use technology to strengthen cross-organizational collaboration, increase maintenance efficiency, and benchmark achievement. Discover how automated scheduling processes can improve your visibility into resource availability and how real-time communication helps increase the safety and reliability of your assets.


SAP Enterprise Asset Management

Demo Station | Open During Show Floor Hours

Explore consistent approaches to EAM that can help you sustain value over the entire asset lifecycle. Discover how you can maximize return on physical assets, improve overall equipment effectiveness, and manage asset-related risks with SAP solutions.


SAP EHS Management

Demo Station | Open During Show Floor Hours

See how EHS solutions enable proactive compliance and operational risk management. Reduce compliance costs and risk with product safety and stewardship solutions while increasing market share. Grow your company with confidence with SAP solutions for sustainability.


Start putting together your personal agenda today. Check out the full SAPPHIRE NOW Asset Management Sample Agenda.


Stay updated on all of the latest announcement regarding asset management and supply chain by following us on Twitter: @SCMatSAP.


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