Driving the Future The highlights and insights of Sapphire Now

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Highlights and Insights of Sapphire Now


Speaker 1: 00:12 So, welcome to the highlights and insights from Sapphire Now. This is Driving the Future, an automotive podcast, and I’m very pleased to be joined by Josean Mendez and Christian Huber. We’re going to be looking back on this huge event Sapphire Now, always a huge event, hosted by SAP and ASUG, which took place in Orlando, Florida from May the seventh to May the ninth. Okay, let’s start with Josean; if you could introduce yourself and your role that would be great.
Josean Mendez: 00:46 Absolutely. Hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening depending on where you are and at what time you’re listening to this podcast. My name is Josean Mendez. I work in Capgemini in the global partner [inaudible 00:00:59] station and I am responsible for an auto cloud initiative that we run during the [inaudible 00:01:07] SAP. So nice to meet you all.
Speaker 1: 01:09 Right, Christian, could you introduce yourself and your role?
Christian Huber: 01:13 Yes of course, also hello everyone from my side. My name is Christian Huber, I am also working for Capgemini. I’m the head of excellence for SAP in Germany and especially in Germany I am taking also the care of the delivery for all our automotive clients.
Speaker 1: 01:33 Well, it’s great to have you once more both with us. Listeners may remember we previewed Sapphire Now with our last podcast. Maybe we could start by… I’ll ask you both for your impressions of the event. It was the 30th anniversary of Sapphire Now and your highlights, insights, your own personal takeaways and impressions of the event. Josean, could we start with you?
Josean Mendez: 01:58 Sure. For me, it was my Sapphire, I believe, number ten, but I can say that, I don’t know why, but this year something was in the air and it was something good. I saw a lot of… First of all, the participation was higher than any other time. I saw a lot of clients. This year I was actually at the booth most of my time, except when I have a meeting with a customer or another [inaudible 00:02:26] SAP. We did a lot of demos and there was a lot of energy in the air, so from my point of view it was very good and I know very soon we’re going to talk about the messages that SAP sent, but I will say experience was a key topic also in the client’s mind. So that’s a brief overview, maybe Christian you would like to share yours?
Christian Huber: 02:51 Yes of course, thanks Josean. So, for me I think it was the fourth Sapphire in Orlando but maybe some of you remember that in former times we had also Sapphire in Europe. So, I participated also at some Sapphires in Europe. But when I come back to the Sapphire in Orlando a few weeks ago, I think it was really a great one and a big one. We had more than 30,000 visitors and it was really great to see and to feel all the energy that we had in Orlando. When it comes to my key takeaways, I think on the second day the keynote of Hasso Plattner was really great, like always. I’m always enjoying participating at speeches from Hasso.

As Josean said, something was in the air and I think one of the key messages, or let’s say new topics, key topics, for the upcoming months and years is to bring the experienced data and the operation data, SAP is calling it …data together, and to see how we can leverage all the information that we then have in the SAP system to do some kind of prediction or whatever. So, I think it was a really great Sapphire, we had a lot of collaboration at our booth as Josean has already mentioned, and it was a great one.

Speaker 1: 04:35 Great and, as Josean mentioned, this idea of experience being the organizing principle of the global economy, this is a direct quote from Bill McDermott. He was the CEO of SAP, incredibly effervescent and charismatic gentlemen, but yeah, that seemed to be what he was focused on, this idea of experience leading the global economy.
Josean Mendez: 05:03 Experience right now is quite important. Let’s put this in the context of the auto industry. So, if you remember in the previous podcast, we were talking a little bit about the – future of auto. We were talking about the experience of someone in the car. If people buy cars or maybe they don’t in the future, they get that as a service, at the end of the day the point is that no longer is that car yours, [it is now] a transportation system. It could be a transportation and entertainment system, and actually you don’t even want to think about it. You just want to know that you can get from A to B in the most convenient, most feasible way. I think that the message that we heard about the experience economy is driving us there. What we mentioned last week is an example of that.
Speaker 1: 05:58 Christian, could you talk about these two kind of data needing to come through and mesh.
Christian Huber: 06:08 Actually, it’s about experience data and operational data. I think when we have in the future all these data in one common system available, I think all clients have to find a way to get the best out of the existing data. You can use it to do some predictions, for instance, about the behavior of your employees, you can do some prediction about their behaviour. You can get a feeling, if an employee’s satisfied or unsatisfied, what you have to do to keep the employee in your company to reduce the amount of people who could leave your company.

For instance, SAP is currently working to implement the acquired software Qualtrics into their system landscape. At first, what they told us at Sapphire, they will work on the hire-to-retire process to get exactly these kind of insights about the employees, about the behaviors, about the feelings that they can predict and to serve more quality to the workplace, to the feelings of the employees, and I think this is the first step. This is just the beginning of a long journey because this is new for all of us. It’s about combining the operational data with the experience data and I think it’s a journey and this starts now.

Speaker 1: 07:50 Yeah, and the amount of data is growing all the time, isn’t it. with the, I suppose, the advent of the Internet of Things and just the amount of data that needs to be analyzed is absolutely vast, and I suppose the solutions need to be up to that task.
Christian Huber: 08:08 Definitely, data is growing and I think especially when we know that all these experienced data are also in the system. We need almost to find a way not to get lost in all this data which will be available in the future. And for this, we need to find the best way for our clients and then to guide our clients how they can leverage all the data and to find the best [inaudible 00:08:45] out of it.
Speaker 1: 08:47 Great, and then one for you, Josean. Ryan Smith of Qualtrics, now a company in the SAP family, is the CEO of Qualtrics. He talked about this idea of an experience gap, that 80% of CEOs believe they are providing a good experience and only 8% of their customer agree. This was quite a striking statistic for me.
Josean Mendez: 09:16 Well, me as well, by the way. Imagine that, imagine you are the CEO of a company and you are blindsided by this information, right? 80% of the CEOs based on this, they think that the companies are doing fantastic in their experience. Now, on the other hand, only 8% of the people actually think and they perceive that, yeah, they are getting that good sort of experience. Imagine the consequence of that, imagine the programs that you may not be sponsoring or the areas that you may not be working with. That’s why having this access to the information in the way that, for example, [inaudible 00:09:53] where we are connecting the experienced data, the operational data, it’s important having this overall view of the information in one single view.

A few years about we were talking about the single view of a customer, right now we’re taking this to the next level. Of course, the customer is important but it’s a single view of the data, period. And from where the data comes, and what kind of data, SAP spoke about this a little bit, they presented the new cloud-warehouse solutions.

Part of the issue here is that data resides in different systems. You may have operational data in your SAP system, you may have other data in other systems. How do you bring all this together, and then you can have one single source of the truth, so you can then make decisions based on this data? How do you know that data is up to date? Well, what happens in many cases is that you need to export the data from different systems into another system where you actually do the analysis of the data, but then you are not dealing with real-time data anymore. You are dealing with data that is a batch manage. What SAP is trying to… The message that they are trying to send is that data should be handled in the place where the data is. The data is in the core system; why not analyze the data right there? And, I think that that’s the key message here.

Speaker 1: 11:20 Great, as you say, you talk about the core and I remember last time you were talking about the backbone of a company. That companies should have, if you like, their digital affairs in order before they can move on to innovate. What are your views on that? Because, there does seem to be an incredibly pressing need for automotive companies to innovate and adjust to the new reality.
Josean Mendez: 11:48 Yeah, absolutely. Here is where I would say is the dilemma of many companies today. Imagine that you have your systems in one place, everything is centralized and everything will be perfect, but in reality, that is not what’s happened. Over the years there are many programs that the [inaudible 00:12:07] infrastructure is very complex.

However, what do you do now? You want to move forward, do you wait until you have everything in one place? Just doing that will take years of [inaudible 00:12:20] work that will not generate value, versus can you start acting on the data that you have right now and you keep enhancing that over time and that’s kind of the recommendation.

Again, if you have your data in your core system and that core system is SAP, with the tools that SAP’s releasing right now you can start working on that right now. So you don’t need to do much, you don’t need to engage into any data program just to manage the data, the data is just right there. What you do need to do is bring additional data into that system. Now SAP is the center of that and that is, I would say, part of the message that SAP is telling [inaudible 00:13:03]. Embrace the data, what it is, not work in exporting that out. There is no value in that.

Speaker 1: 13:10 One for Christian. Christian Klein, the SAP COO, talked about becoming an intelligent enterprise and the importance of this and an outside-in approach, making the end user and employee a priority. But he also talked about how AI would remain a key focus topic on development road maps, so this obviously is a huge topic, it’s a whole topic, so what role do you think AI will take for automotive companies?
Christian Huber: 13:49 AI is definitely one of the hottest topics, not just in automotive, it’s everywhere. So, I think two years ago at Sapphire, SAP announced the first artificial intelligence functionality in the SAP system, and it is the cash application. Here it’s all about to clear out more items in a financial document, and just imagine that an employee has not to do this work anymore. Last week, I had a chat with some guys from SAP and they told me, “Right now, we have clearance rate of 97%.” Imagine a person was doing, clearing out more items for four hours a day, so now it’s completely done by the system, so this means an employee has four hours more time to do different things and to focus maybe on more important things and not just doing such regular work and recurring work clearing about more items. When we go one step further for the automotive industry, artificial intelligence I think Josean mentioned it also before, when it comes to autonomous driving. This is a really, really big thing for automotive so car driving will not be done by the…