Apr 032012
 

Today SAP responded to our customers’ advanced analytics needs and ability to derive value from big data with the introduction of a new predictive analytics solution from SAP. Predictive analytics is a hot topic right now, recently cited by several industry analysts as one of the future trends in analytics.

Here are five important points to take note of regarding SAP’s approach to predictive analytics:

1) Data mining and predictive analytics have been around for a long time but with new market forces changing the landscape – more and more people in the business want to derive predictive insights from the increasing volumes of “Big Data” coming online. The market and our customers have been anxiously waiting to hear a concrete predictive strategy from SAP. The time has come and we’re announcing the ramp-up of SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis – a major milestone in SAP’s movement in predictive. The application fills a void for our customers – both Business Objects standalone and joint Business Objects and SAP. It also strengthens the completeness of our analytics portfolio.

2) Predictive analytics is still a data statistician game, but people across the organization are demanding predictive insights. We want to give all users what they need. SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis, gives statisticians what they need most….productivity. The application includes an incredibly modern, easy to use interface for designing predictive models then visualizing, discovering, and sharing insights. It includes its own predictive algorithms and integrates with the hugely successful R open-source statistical function library.  To meet the needs of the broader business and its users, easily digestible predictive insight is being extended and embedded in BI and business applications where those users already work – on the web, on-demand, and on mobile devices.

3) The layering of SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis on top of SAP HANA is the one-two punch of this announcement. Coupled with SAP HANA, users can put speed and power behind their predictive strategy and deliver predictive insights from “Big Data” in real-time.

4) That being said, SAP remains committed to customers that want to layer analytics on top of non-SAP databases. SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis can access other vendor databases (such as Sybase, SQL, Oracle, etc.), can access flat files and spreadsheets, and can pull data from SAP BusinessObjects Universes. This application is another proof point of our commitment to heterogeneity that SAP made to customers almost five years ago when we acquired BusinessObjects.

5) SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis software is currently available via the SAP Ramp-Up program, so we’re just beginning. But when you look at how well SAP is performing in areas like cloud, in-memory databases, mobile, line-of business and industry applications – it isn’t hard to see how SAP could not only lead the predictive market, but change the game.

Mani Gill is vice president and general manager of business intelligence solutions at SAP.

Mar 262012
 

Even though I believe in building a more sustainable future, it comes with a healthy dose of skepticism. Let’s face it, with all of the amazing clean energy progress made with wind, solar and bio-fuels, there’s always major setbacks to spoil the party – like the lukewarm reception to the Chevy Volt for instance.
Toss in accusations of green washing  and tree hugging against those who are trying to make a difference and it’s not hard to see that maybe the world isn’t ready to adopt sustainable best practices. Or is it? Whatever your take is, SAP’S Annual Sustainability Report (now in its fifth year) continues to add much needed clarity around these doubts and challenges.

Sustainability at the Heart of the Business
Because 65-70% of the world’s transactions run on SAP, the company is in the ideal position to nab an accurate pulse on global sustainability initiatives. So what’s the latest prognosis? According to Scott Bolick, Vice President, Sustainability Solution Management for SAP, the aforementioned “storming period” has actually been a good thing for companies. Here’s why, via Scott’s recent blog on Forbes, “Sustainability Now a Strategy, Not Just a Report”:

They are increasingly coalescing on a definition of sustainability that mirrors SAP’s definition – improving short- and long-term profitability by holistically managing economic, societal, and environmental factors. This definition puts sustainability in the heart of the business. Sustainability is seen as strategic lever for operational excellence and differentiation. These initiatives improve profitability by:

  • Driving revenue and competitive advantage by optimizing plants and rapidly developing compliant, sustainable products.
  • Lowering costs by driving down energy consumption and managing compliance effectively.
  • Reducing risks by gaining greater business continuity through risk identification and mitigation.

As many of you know, SAP is no slouch either when it comes to becoming a better steward of the planet.  In 2011, SAP continued to demonstrate its continued commitment to investment and improvement of its solutions, and also remained on track to reduce its carbon emissions to year-2000 levels by 2020 (while SAP’s actual emissions rose over 2010, reflecting growth in overall business, they still fell below the target for the year). And for the first time, SAP measured all of its scope 3 emissions, working closely to develop a new standard with the World Resources Institute.

Is there still a lot of work to be done? Of course. But sustainability is a journey and as the 2011 SAP Sustainability Report proves, a vast majority of companies are in it for the long haul.  That’s why there’s no better time than now to say “buh-bye” to the green washing and tree hugging naysayers.

Mar 132012
 

This week, we took another important step in accelerating our social enterprise strategy with the hiring of social computing and technology expert Sameer Patel as global vice president, Enterprise Social Software. Sameer will lead the solutions and go-to-market for collaboration and social software from SAP.

As companies that use social technologies are more likely to be market leaders(1) and ‘improving collaboration’ is a top 10 priority for 2012 for CIOs(2),  SAP is committed to enabling companies to reap the results of social technologies to drive their businesses ahead. I am pleased that Sameer will be joining us to deliver on our vision.

SAP has recognized and invested in the power of collaborative technologies for more than a decade, starting with SAP Enterprise Portal in 2001. Since then, we’ve added many key social advancements to our strategy including SAP StreamWork, Crossgate, SAP Sales OnDemand, our recent acquisition of SucessFactors Jam social technology and more. Today, more than 25,000 companies of all sizes use SAP social and collaborative solutions.

Our commitment to social and collaborative technologies is key to our company’s success and to the success of our customers. My boss, Sanjay Poonen, has passionately shared that collaboration, combined with our SAP HANA, in-memory technology, core applications, mobile solutions and analytics capabilities provides the most comprehensive approach in the industry to ensure our customers can drive the best results in an ever-changing, hyper-competitive environment.

Sameer joins us from The Sovos Group, a consulting and execution planning firm working with leading organizations to accelerate employee, customer and partner performance through the use of social and collaboration technology. Sameer was a fellow partner at Sovos where he led engagements for Fortune 500 companies such as Intel, Nike and McKesson to design business transformations via the use of social computing constructs and technology. Prior to The Sovos Group, Sameer held positions as managing director of Span and director of Strategy and Business Development at LiquidThinking and marchFIRST. Those of you entrenched in the enterprise social media arena are probably familiar with Sameer; others may want to get acquainted through his Pretzel Logic blog. We are looking forward to tapping into Sameer’s experience. Stay tuned for a future blog post from Sameer on his vision and plan for SAP’s social strategy.

John Schweitzer is senior vice president and general manager of Analytics for SAP.

Sources:

  1. McKinsey Quarterly, The Rise of the Networked Enterprise: Web 2.0 finds its payday
  2. InformationWeek, October 2011

Head Into the Cloud with SAP

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Aug 162011
 

Where is cloud computing headed, and what path will SAP carve out for its customers and partners on this journey?  SAP’s Jacqueline Vanacek, Vice President, Cloud Computing Evangelist and U.S. CLOUD2 Deputy Commissioner, is tackling the topic head on in a new blog called Into the Cloud with SAP which is hosted on ASUG.com.  In her first blog post, she takes readers inside the U.S. CLOUD2 Commission, which recently issued a report outlining the U.S. cloud computing roadmap. Read more in the  newsbyte.

Jacqueline and other SAP cloud experts will be on hand at the upcoming SAP TechEd 2011 Las Vegas and co-located SAPPHIRE NOW + SAP TechEd Madrid events. A dizzying array of hands-on sessions and lectures will be on offer in the dedicated Cloud Innovation area within the Technology campus, covering such topics as virtualization & cloud management and cloud operations.

Weather is notoriously difficult predict and I’m no meteorologist, but SAP’s forecast is looking bright with a strong chance of Cloud. 

SAP Finds Innovation in Unlikely Places

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Aug 122011
 

What do desert shrimp, Miracle Whip and 3,000 tons of ice have in common? They all play important roles in an oft-overlooked area: innovation found in unlikely places.

Jul 122011
 

When it comes to bringing new products to market, the Pareto Principle  holds true – 80 % of new product launches fail. You can have the best developers, best manufacturing, best supply chain and best management team, optimize every step “by the book” and still fail when launching a new product.

Death, Taxes and Video Games

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Jul 082011
 
p>It was Ben Franklin who once said “in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” If Ben were alive today, I wonder if he’d modify his now-legendary quote to include gamification. I’ve delved into the topic before, but two recent developments have really piqued my interest and make it abundantly clear that gamification is not only here to stay, it might just end up saving the (real) world.

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Jun 072011
 

To those unfamiliar with the SAP TechEd event series: I know what you’re thinking. With communication tools like Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and telepresence, and with online training and information available at our fingertips, do we still need in-person events? When it comes to SAP TechEd, the answer is a resounding yes for several reasons.

It’s All About Quality Management

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Jun 012011
 

In July 2010, the SAP Active Quality Management (AQM) organization launched a global pilot quality accreditation program targeted at value-added resellers for SAP Business All-in-One which has already been expanded to SAP Business One channel partners and SAP BusinessObjects partners. The program has been created to focus on actively managing quality with our channel partners. It not only provides transparency across partner-led projects but also goes further to embed high standards of quality within the partner organization itself.

Today, there are more than 120 partners worldwide participating in the program of which more than 20 have already received the active quality management accreditation. The program aims at enabling channel partners to adopt a quality approach to drive successful projects and achieve high quality standards across both sales and delivery. It provides tools, templates and offers a formal SAP quality accreditation, for those who qualify against specific criteria. The success of the pilot has led to the creation of a global team within SAP’s partner services delivery organization that focuses on driving the quality program to partners within our volume partner base.

How do partners achieve the accreditation?
In order to get the accreditation partners need to have a quality plan in place that aligns to SAP’s quality principles, fully participate in the AQM program for at least six months, complete a minimum of two sales or delivery cycles and demonstrate lessons learnt for at least two projects. Partners who have successfully passed the accreditation receive a certificate and may issue a press release. The AQM program carries no charge for participation or accreditation and needs to be renewed on an annual basis. Currently, value-added resellers for SAP Business All-in-One and SAP Business One as well as SAP BusinessObjects partners are eligible to receive the accreditation. Additionally, we are planning to expand the program to selected services partners.

What’s in it for partners?
The program helps channel partners to raise awareness for quality principles, improve customer satisfaction, reduce profit dilution, and avoid escalations. It allows partners to leverage the SAP brand to improve their bids as they are able to document their quality standards to prospects upfront. The quality accreditation creates a certain level of comfort in projects as it ensures and monitors for high quality throughout the process.

What do partners say about the accreditation?
Ian Johnston, Consulting Director at itelligence UK appreciates the advantages the program puts forward for his enterprise: “It is not just the accreditation but the participation that leads to tangible benefits such as the highlighting of potential project risks.”

Breno Gomes, Services Director at Spektrum Comércio e Consultoria, a Brazilian SAP Business All-in-One channel partner, appreciates the following program benefits: “Monitoring quality within the AQM program from SAP helps us to monitor potential risks, to avoid losing time and money or worse to lose credibility from our customers.”

For additional information, please go to the following links:

Is RIM’s Playbook Overrated or Underrated?

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Apr 182011
 
RIM won the first round with the PlayBook: generating huge pre-release interest among tech’s chattering classes for its tablet. With moves such as promising Android compatibility and claiming that “many corporate clients have approached us about each wanting tens of thousands, several tens of thousands of PlayBooks”, it whipped up expectations that no company except one with the address One Infinite Loop could have possibly matched. So it was no surprise that the reviews for the PlayBook were on the whole so negative. “Mossberg’s review of RIM tablet is devastating. We are seeing another decline and fall of tech powerhouse a la Wang, DEC, Palm and others,” acidly tweeted Alan Meckler, former dot-com publisher (Internet World), only one of the many who attempting to start feasting on the carcass of RIM. This is premature prognostication for the sake of being first. RIM is no Nokia, a company with seriously declining profits due to its serious smartphone problem. Nor is it even Cisco with its Flip, a market leader in shrinking industry. RIM is a $20 billion-a-year company  that ships 15 million smartphones a quarter and reaps about $1 billion in net profit per quarter. The above blog exerpt was taken from “The Blackberry Playbook Was Overrated. Now It’s Underrated Again”, penned by Eric Lai.  It can be read in its entirety at:  http://blog.forbes.com/sap.