Get Ready For The World Cup Of Thought Leadership: SAPPHIRE 2016

Fred Isbell

The journey to digital transformation requires guidance, alignment between the business and IT, and a digital business framework that sets the stage for business rSANOW Blog-1einvention. However, a successful journey requires assistance, starting with reimagination of the possible and a team of Sherpas and experts to guide the journey, which is not unlike scaling a mountain range.

In “Jumping On The Road To Digital Transformation: Learning The ‘How’ At SAPPHIRE NOW,” we discussed the incredible lineup of sessions and workshops delivered by SAP subject-matter experts, customers, partners, and experts, all under one roof. To me, the customer experience at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG is the most interesting and integral part of this massive event. After all, we exist to make our customers successful by operating better. Best of all, they will have an opportunity to learn the benefits of running a Live Business. I can’t wait!

So that’s a formidable amount of content, customers, experts, and more “all under one tent,” as my events colleagues say. As I said early on, SAPPHIRE NOW can be an overwhelming experience, especially to someone new to all of this. While in the past I’ve termed SAPPHIRE NOW the “Super Bowl” of Thought Leadership, it’s really the “World Cup,” as it’s truly an international experience.

But wait – there’s more! Besides the many subject-matter experts, customer proof points, and more that our Digital Business Services team is featuring at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG, there’s a bevy of strategic topics available within the overall SAPPHIRE NOW program:

  • Digital customer experience: The customer experience is multifaceted – from initial engagement and loyalty building to a transformational multichannel experience. As we recognize the impact of technology and consider disruptive technology, entirely new ways of selling will fuse social media and marketing with commerce.
  • Digital supply networks: Digital transformation is heightening the need for smart, intelligent supply chain management. We must leverage digital resource management to manage bits of information and elements of a smart supply chain, applying massive amounts of Big Data and intelligence for a competitive advantage.
  • Future of work: The future of work in an era of digital transformation is many things. It’s leveraging innovation to increase employee engagement, building knowledge networks for e-learning in the cloud, and managing employee and contingent resources in entirely new ways.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT): Much has been written and said about the IoT, and this will be ubiquitous across SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG this year. The continuum of solution needs is as massive as the data created by machine-to-machine communication – from incredible digital assets fueled by an explosion of data to the power of networked business solutions that enable the sharing economy.
  • Digital core: Yes, this is the technology that’s at the heart and soul of our vision and strategy. The theme of SAPPHIRE NOW will be the Live Business – with the digital core enabling real-time commerce, collaboration, and proliferation of IoT devices and sensors. This technology is enabled by a network and new relationships between customers, suppliers, and industry consortiums across an increasingly cloud-based business model.

Personally, I’m planning to attend several informational sessions, running the gamut of stories and experiences, including:

  • Apply Simple to Complex Lessons from the Battlefield to the Digital Economy: Win in today’s digital economy and complex environment using a different kind of leadership. Discuss complexity theory, new global research, and lessons learned from the U.S. Army Special Forces to highlight root causes of many challenges senior executives face and behavior changes required for leaders to overcome these challenges.
  • Create New Opportunities During Your Digital Transformation: Put the IoT to work for your company, and use it to help redefine your business processes. Explore how “things” can be connected with core processes and transformed into digital assets and intelligent machines, delivering unprecedented insight and predictive action. The way to navigate this includes two ways – by topics and across some great sample agendas.

To find the session that interest you most, here are some tips:SAP_Sapphire2015_20964_300_175

  • Pick strategic topics from the SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Session Catalog in the Agenda Builder to filter our session catalog by topic and session type (for example, demo station, interactive session, presentation, and others). This is the easiest and quickest way to pick out key thought leadership topics and to find out where and when to view them.

I sincerely hope this helps frame the art of the possible at our event next week and provides some guidance at what to look for, listen to, and see while at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG. And yes, if you cannot attend SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG in person, catch us online at the SAPPHIRE NOW virtual program. It’s an awesome and simple way to catch the event’s highlights without having to pack your bags and head to Orlando.

SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG ANNUAL CONFERENCE, May 17-19, 2016: Live from the event, watch keynotes, strategic sessions, press conferences, and more. Online and on-demand. Learn more:

About Fred Isbell

Fred Isbell worked at SAP for nearly 19 years in senior roles in SAP Marketing. He is an experienced, results- and goal-oriented senior marketing executive with broad and extensive experience & expertise in high technology and marketing spanning nearly 30 years. He has a BA from Yale and an MBA from the Duke Fuqua School of Business.