Last week I was in Orlando to attend my first SAPPHIRE event, and I was quite overwhelmed to see the amount of enormous invaluable knowledge floating around there…Before, the start of the event I had a mixed feeling where I was excited to be a part of such a global event and also little anxious because I had to speak about our organization’s Fiori UX story (if anyone interested can find the session link here) but all that anxiousness went away after my session 🙂
One thing, as a first-timer, i noticed that the amount of content shared in the event is too much so if you don’t have a specific agenda then you may get lost.
So, during my flight back to home I was trying to figure out my key takeaways & observations from the event and I thought would be nice to document those and share with the community.
a) SAP Leonardo – Was one of the biggest highlights of SAPPHIRE, after the announcement of ‘SAP Leonardo’ in the keynote, participants were showing lot of curiosity and attraction towards that, and I was also certainly one of them. ‘SAP Leonardo’ is representing innovation brand for SAP’s cutting edge digital innovation technologies such as IOT, Machine Learning, Big Data, Blockchain, Analytics, along with the design thinking (for ideation, prototyping etc., as a service offering) in one single bucket. Helpful information can be found here – SAP Leonardo
BTW, during one of the show floor session, I got to know that SAP is terming these innovation set of tools after the name of ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’ – Like him, whose expertise spans across a different subject areas, SAP is also branding their innovation bucket as a “SAP Leonardo”.
Interesting fact, I have realized while attending different sap sessions, is the way SAP is trying to promote and show how it can be leveraged in different LOBs with some real life examples. No matter, whatever session is going on, one would find the footprints of ‘SAP Leonardo’ into that…I am from Retail sector and seen couple of OOB IOT solutions such as “Connected Goods” which may not directly fits into my landscape but it’s nice to know that SAP is thriving towards the path of building industry accelerators.
During one of the sessions, I had the opportunity to interact with few of the architects from other organizations who are doing IOT digital transformation. For me more than the success story, the challenges or potential issues which they are seeing such as integration of sensor driven IOT solutions with SAP, massive volume of data, compatibility and choice of different sensors/actors etc. is quite fascinating to hear.
I also had the opportunity to see some cool IOT demos (one of my favorite was the voice controlled smart building) and discuss with SAP experts about couple of IOT scenarios which I’m trying to implement in-house and discussed the challenges and got some insights from them.
b) S4 Hana Cloud – SAP S/4 Hana Cloud is an intelligent & innovative pre-configured business solution as a service by SAP. In other words, it’s a intuitive and intelligent face of ERP.
SAP is configuring intelligent business process (such as service ticketing, invoice comparison etc.) using machine learning, predictive analysis etc. as a part of S/4 Hana cloud offering and the customers who wants to adopt can directly use it or adjust it according to their own needs and get an instant adoption value instead of spending time in developing those business functions.
There were lot of sessions letting customers know how they can plan their journey to S/4 hana public cloud and what services SAP can offer to help them in navigating to that journey. Day 2 keynote would be a good starting point to learn more about that.
c) Design Thinking – This was one another thing which had a lot of traction amongst the people, on a show floor there was a specific session going on for design thinking and whenever I crossed that ‘SAP Booth’ I always found it full of people listening and understanding the innovative problem solving design thinking approach. I also attended that session to see SAP’s perspective and it’s clear that to bring innovation culture in a company and to do a digital transformation design thinking is critical be it UX which already has a design thinking phase as one of the foundation steps in a lifecylce or SAP Leonardo, IOT etc. design thinking is the key aspect.
d) Co-innovation with Apple – This has been already announced sometime back where SAP & Apple are doing co-innovation to enhance mobile user experience by building native iOS apps using sap cloud platform SDK for iOS. Before SAPPHIRE, I was little reluctant to try this but had the opportunity to talk to SAP and Apple experts in the ‘Apple Stand’ regarding the development of native apps, and it was quite interesting to hear and see how easily a native app can be built in a short span of time as long as we know what needs to be done.
Xcode IDE provides specific templates which can easily be integrated with backend enterprise service and letting swift programmers to focus on native apps development whereas as the backend business logic & data can easily be exposed by cloud platform either through cloud connector or oData Provisioning.
e) SAP Cloud Platform – It’s the powerful and rich platform for digital transformation (quote from one of the sessions) ‘Intelligently connecting People, Things & Business Models’. When we talk about IOT, Machine Learning, Mobile Platform, iOS sdks, cloud integration, business microservices, capabilities to build specific solutions, integration with other SAP solutions etc. all are using SAP Cloud Platform as their foundation.
SAP is projecting cloud platform as their hub for all the innovations.
The other announcement that was made in the event that we can run this cloud platform on different environments such as amazon (AWS), microsoft azure (google cloud platform in the future) and obviously SAP Data Center as well, so there are multiple options which can be opted and the entire process would be seamless.
So, these are my pov’s in case you have something similar please feel free to share here in the comments section.