The event spanned over three days, May 16-18, and featured multiple keynotes and software announcements.
The Newer, Simpler SAP
Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, kicked off the conference on Day 1 with his keynote entitled “The Urgency of Doing.” This session was packed, as around 30,000 people flocked to see McDermott speak to the point where there was only standing room available.
McDermott started with the concept of making our lives simpler by running SAP. He also mentioned SAP is actively working on simplifying their processes, introducing simplified pricing where procure to pay, and order to cash processes are based on order transactions and there is no charge for static reads by third party systems.
Three key partners shared the stage with SAP. Michael Dell (CEO of Dell), provided witness that automation is not an IT project, it is one involving your entire company that must be driven by the CEO.
Leaders from Google and Intel were present as well. Intel is working with SAP to improve the performance of HANA from the hardware side of the equation.
The Next Big Thing: SAP Leonardo
The big announcement at the event was SAP Leonardo, the company’s new digital innovation system. First SAP provided the framework for Digital Core, with SAP Cloud ERP applications like S/4HANA driving day-to-day business operations, and SAP Leonardo driving the cost savings and revenue-generating activities.
SAP Leonardo consists of a set of tools that intelligently connects, people, things, and businesses.
Openness as the New Paradigm
Bernd Leukert, Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, led the remainder of the presentation, speaking for roughly two thirds of the session. Leukert set the stage for his presentation by saying that the new economy is where software is the strategy, and that openness is the new paradigm.
Openness drives new business processes excellence, just as:
- Weather data drives logistics processes
- Machine data drives maintenance processes
- Social data drives customer profiling
All that needs to happen is for the data to be open, as well as integrated and secure. Leukert also mentioned this is a single solution from one vendor, in one data platform. Businesses today need to do two things:
- Get to cloud and to the benefits scale, elasticity, and availability
- Develop user intelligent application to automate as many processes as possible
The following quote from Leukert is at the center of SAP’s beliefs:
Hyper automation, driven by connectivity, by omnipresence of data, and by machine learning, will enable autonomous systems.”
Leukert predicts a few years from now 80% of all business processes running through systems will be autonomous – not just cars. This prediction of the future of businesses is the foundation for why SAP created Leonardo.
The Leonardo Toolset
The SAP Leonardo toolset is the following:
It begins with Machine Learning, and includes Blockchain, Big Data and ERP, Data Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Analytics. The tools also come with a brainstorming methodology for solutions utilizing Leonardo.
For a fixed fee, the SAP team will help develop, build, and create the blueprint. They will leverage industry experience, and develop a flow chart of mockups that can be quasi tested by other employees – this is very like a wire frame in terms of workflow.
Mala Anand, EVP and President of Leonardo, offered a summary of the product in her session following the keynote. She mentioned the enterprise is connected by a data value chain. With the help of SAP Leonardo, the enterprise can now deliver contextual and personalized real-time experiences, where data is a strategic asset.
SAP Leonardo aims to help you ask the questions you never thought to ask, and provides the answers. When data turns into accessible, real-time, and tightly integrated information, it is a huge asset.
To learn more about SAP, visit their website here.