The SAP TechEd events in Las Vegas and Barcelona were ambitious and successful showcases for many of SAP’s new technologies. SAP reiterated the company’s HANA-centric strategy and reinvention of its technologies from business processes to entire applications. The implicit message was “the time for digital transformation is right here, right now.”
You may have thought it’s a B2C world, but it’s really C2B. Today, it’s the customer experience that matters and SAP made the point that, “Customers expect to interact in a highly personalized way. They expect a multichannel experience.” Consumer-to-business is the new reality, and businesses need to put the customer experience in the center. SAP explained that this is increasingly recognized by IT professionals. “User experience has become #1 in importance for IT leaders, according to Gartner – up from #16.”
Fact is, many companies aren’t quite there yet, as in the example of German customers looking for hotels in New York City who got different results for room prices depending on which devices they used - a definite fail in the multichannel experience!
A key point was that digital transformation needs to start with revisiting how businesses engage with customers. And for companies, this will mean new systems and updates to old ones, as well as new processes – all of which will result in increased complexity for the CIO, according to SAP.
“Permanent innovation.” That’s a new phrase and a great way to describe the state of enterprise applications today. SAP meant that companies need to have the constant capability to adapt to new business requirements, bring in-house new applications, shed old ones, update their landscape, and do it efficiently and quickly. Here at Worksoft, we like the term because our business process testing and discovery platforms enable just that sort of nimbleness.
The new currency is data. “The new economic currency is digital data. The more data you have, the faster you can analyze, the better you can run your business.”
“Organizations should make their peace with handling terabytes and petabytes of data and view ever-increasing amounts of information as an enabling technology,” SAP said, pointing to HANA Vora, SAP’s new in-memory engine and to the new “Cloud for Analytics” software, which combines analytics, planning, simulation, prediction, modeling, reporting, and alerts into a single product. In fact, SAP is now running its own business on Cloud for Analytics.
Selling outcomes. SAP talked about its view of the software business, and the way solution providers need to think about what they do. “The days of selling individual applications are gone. The future is about selling outcomes, not just software products.”
Time for the digital board room? Built on Cloud for Analytics, SAP demonstrated a series of analytics dashboards pulling in and analyzing dynamic line-of-business data from the S/4HANA business suite and displaying the results on large touch screens. The aim is to replace traditional paper reports at board meetings and allow execs to drill into data and identify their own insights, which they can then share with peers. A compelling vision.
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