Summer Reading At Its Best: Top Six Takeaways For IT From SAPPHIRE NOW

Martin Mrugal

sapphire nowWelcome to the summer, where we have those few moments to sit back, relax, and enjoy a good story. For those that prefer to use their downtime to catch up on business trends and developments in industry, I’ve created my own “reading list” from our recent SAPPHIRE NOW conference, which was touted by attendees as the “best SAPPHIRE ever!” In developing this list, I have to say that I definitely agree.

The IT sessions at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference emphasized the importance of simple, integrated platforms. As technological advancements continue to change the way we do business, integrating complex technologies into one simple platform, such as the new SAP business suite, SAP S/4HANA, has never been more important.

These are my top six IT takeaways. I believe each of these insights has the power to help you learn how to run simple, even as you embrace complex technological advancements.

TAKEAWAY #1: Technological Disruptions Pave the Way

Irfan Khan, CTO for SAP global customs operations, urged businesses to take advantage of technological disruptions. “If we look at the big disruptions in technology over the last decade, you only need to look at the Fortune 1000 companies and how many of those companies have fallen to the wayside because they did not embrace technology,” Khan said, emphasizing that Big Data, the Internet of Things, mobile, and cloud technologies “will pave the way for the modern era of IT, but more importantly the modern era of business.” Watch the session now.

TAKEWAY #2: Shift from Selling Products to Selling Outcomes

In the keynote “Run Simple: Reimagine the Promise at the Heart of Your Business,” Bernd Leukert, a member of the Executive Board at SAP, shares his thoughts on what it means to reinvent the business model. In today’s digital economy, being data driven means more than leveraging resources. Companies need to become innovative and forward thinking to stay competitive in an ever-changing market. As Leukert explained, “You have the chance to change your company from selling products, from selling things, towards selling outcomes.” In order to succeed, technology must become your business. Watch the keynote session now.

TAKEAWAY #3: SAP S/4HANA Lets You Reimagine Your Business

Simo Said, VP of SAP S/4HANA product marketing at SAP, led an informative panel discussion on how businesses can “run simple.” The panelists illustrated how the next-generation business suite from SAP built on the SAP HANA platform can help reimagine companies, the user’s experience, and IT to drive immediate value across lines of business and industries. “S/4HANA is the digital core that really connects to the outside world, to the Internet of Things, to industry 4.0, and that enables our customers to participate in the digital economy,” explained panelist Markus Schwarz, SVP and global head of SAP education. Watch the panel discussion now. And to dig deeper into the benefits SAP S/4HANA can bring to business, check out this blog.

TAKEAWAY #4: Eliminating Complexity Drives Innovation

Ingrid-Helen Arnold, CIO and head of cloud delivery at SAP, shared tips for how to eliminate complexity through innovation. Arnold highlighted insights on top-of-mind issues for business leaders and illustrated the role CIOs can play in leading the way for radical digital business transformation with what she called the “once-in-a-generation technology change” of SAP S/4HANA and the cloud. Watch the session now.

TAKEAWAY #5: Mobile Technology Serves Customers and Employees Alike

Clemens Praendl, SVP and global general manager at SAP, led a panel discussion on how businesses can use analytics and mobile technology to simplify and innovate. Panelists shared ideas about what companies can do to stay competitive and innovative, make business solutions scalable, and provide great user experiences anywhere. Find out how other companies have harnessed the power of technology from SAP to transform the way they serve their customers and employees and to maximize performance and innovate business models. Watch the panel discussion now.

The biggest takeaway for me is that it’s more important than ever to keep up with the latest technological advancements in order to adapt to changing market needs. No matter the specifics of your business, your primary goal should always be to deliver the best possible experience to your customers and your employees. That’s the challenge and the opportunity that we face together as we drive toward success in 2015.

Hear more sessions, keynotes, and interviews from this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference. Browse the session replays now.

Martin Mrugal is Chief Innovation Officer for SAP North America.



Martin Mrugal

About Martin Mrugal

Martin Mrugal is the Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Customer Experience at SAP. His responsibilities include overseeing the Chief Customer Office, Product Centers Of Excellence, Industry and Value Engineering and Solution Engineering (pre-sales) organizations.