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Women now constitute a significant part of tech professions. Giving women more visibility and helping them network are the goals of a new partnership between SAP and Global Digital Women, an international network of female digital pioneers.
“Diversity sparks innovation,” said Elke Manjet, senior vice president of Human Resources for Products and Innovation at SAP, when she opened the first joint event hosted by Global Digital Women and SAP last week. About 120 women from tech and digital professions met at the SAP Data Space in Berlin to network and discuss the future of Big Data.
This is an important topic for women, said Manjet, because applied in the right way, Big Data will also contribute to finally closing the gender gap.
Big Data for Diversity and Empowerment
If digitalization means “intelligently connecting people, things, and businesses,” as Michelle Mensing, an SAP software developer in Silicon Valley, pointed out in her keynote, that makes networking a sort of natural component to digital transformation.
Manjet explained: “As an employer of women in tech, it was the obvious thing to do for SAP to cooperate with Global Digital Women and create a network for women in tech to realize their potential.”
“Networking was always important to me during my years in political consulting,” said Tijen Onaran, founder of Global Digital Women. “Three years ago I created a regular meeting here in Berlin called Digital Business Women, which had about 500 members eventually.”
In 2017, Onaran was invited by the U.S. State Department to travel through the U.S. with female founders from 47 countries. “It was an eye-opener,” she said. “I became aware that everywhere in the world diversity and empowerment, digitalization and innovation are the topics to work on, even though the conditions may be varied. I knew then that I wanted to bring a global organization into being for women in the digital age.”
In early 2018, Onaran founded Global Digital Women, an organization financed in cooperation with international companies such as SAP, BMW, Fujitsu, and Microsoft. The partners also provide space for networking events and panel discussions that the organization hosts on a regular basis in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Zurich.
“At Global Digital Women we have three important goals for women in digital professions,” Onaran explained. “Networking to bring great female digital minds together; visibility to make the world more digital and female; and empowerment to open chances for female career paths and the topics women in tech are working on.”
SAP’s Lone Aggersbjerg, vice president Operations for Products and Innovation at SAP and initiator of Women in Tech@SAP, responsible for the cooperation with Global Digital Women, considers visibility perhaps the most important of Onaran’s three goals: “SAP runs lots of internal initiatives to the discover the female ‘hidden gems’ in our workforce. Global Digital Women can support us here with its network, which can help our women make contacts and increase their visibility by, for example, giving keynotes at conferences.”
At SAP, the partnership with Global Digital Women is being driven by HR in cooperation with the Products & Innovation Board Area.
Data Powers Innovative Technologies Like Blockchain, IoT, Machine Learning
The Global Digital Women event at the SAP Data Space included a panel of five female tech experts and soon turned to socially relevant topics. Big Data is a point of intersection for the technological developments of our time — data powers all the other new technologies, such as machine learning, Internet of Things, and blockchain. Refined data shaped to the requirements of the respective technology is a prerequisite for these new technologies to function and realize their full potential.
Participants asked if Europe may be tripping itself up due to its strict data protection regulations when it comes to availability of data as prerequisite for using and further developing new technologies. For the startup scene especially, this concern is justified, but as Professor Heike Hölzner from HTW University of Applied Sciences Berlin noted, changes in the environment, such as regulations, can also act as drivers for innovation. The European startup scene attracts founders and developers interested in data protection, pushing forward ideas such as the “self sovereign identity,” or an exclusively self-controlled digital identity based on the blockchain technology.
“Certainly, we as users must develop awareness for how important our own data is,” said Alexandra Galin from Gtmhub, a company located at the SAP Data Space in Berlin that has developed a data-driven software platform for high-performance companies to manage objectives and key results. “But I also want to be able to rely on developers and legislators to have put their mind to how to protect my data and that related regulations are in place.”
Artiona Bogo, a software engineer leading business development blockchain endeavors at SAP, points to the actions SAP has taken to protect customer data long before GDPR came into force: “With decentralized technologies like blockchain, we take the next step. Blockchain creates a second defense line for personal data as it gives full control to all partners in the network about how much of their data they want to share.”
At the same time, Bogo stressed the benefits that Big Data can bring to the individual user. Personal analytics is a field of application only now developing; it may give us information about our own lives that we wouldn’t have had without Big Data.
If and how Big Data may be leveraged against discrimination was an important question for the panelists as well. While they agreed that Big Data won’t abolish discrimination, applied in the right way, it may contribute to taking more bias-free decisions.
Manjet explains: “This is what we at SAP are aiming at with our software on principle, for example, in recruiting processes where data is being used to identify decision-making patterns and influence them in a positive way.” She is convinced that women in tech must be the new norm.
But both within SAP and throughout the industry, Manjet sees a demand for action to get more women into tech professions: “This is where the partnership with Global Digital Women comes in, as it helps SAP position itself as an employer for women in tech. With their help, we manage to create and maintain a female network where women can get inspired by women.”
The digital twin has arrived, even in industries that are not normally associated with high-tech tools — like wine making.
Producing a fine wine takes craftmanship and experience. These days, though, having the right technology and data at hand can help too. One producer that has gone digital is Germany’s Markgräflich Badisches Weinhaus, a joint venture between traditional winemaker Haus Baden and Rotkäppchen-Mumm, Germany’s largest producer of sparkling wines.
The two are bringing innovative software to the art of wine making to redefine wine-growing in the region and tell consumers more about how each wine was produced.
More and more midsize companies are following the trend and are now adopting the latest technology to stay competitive. In 2017, four out five companies in Germany’s Mittelstand used software that runs in the cloud. And one in five midsize companies deployed enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from the cloud.
But what matters is that data exchange is fast among different software solutions. Markgräflich Badisches Weinhaus is one midsize company whose business is benefiting from cloud solutions. Using specially adapted software, it applies the latest technology to wine making.
Until now, the two companies in the joint venture each had its own separate ERP systems. To work as one, though, they needed a solution they could both use.
The ERP system the Markgraf von Baden winery had been using could not connect with Rotkäppchen-Mumm’s SAP Business Suite and would not have met the latest regulatory requirements, introduced at the start of the year.
The answer was vineaByD, an SAP-approved solution package built by SAP partner sine qua non and based on SAP Business ByDesign. It can be implemented rapidly and is tailored to the specific needs of the wine industry. The standardized features in SAP Business ByDesign means it dovetails with Rotkäppchen-Mumm’s software.
Now the IT systems of the two joint venture partners are fully connected, both parties can access all the data they require and still act autonomously when they need to. This project also shows how the latest technologies enable joint ventures to work together but also act independently.
“New technologies don’t just benefit individual businesses. When companies team up, both partners benefit from the capabilities of today’s business software,” says Rainer Zinow, senior vice president of Product Management for SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign. “Our partners know how best to adapt SAP solutions to the needs of their customers so that the software is the right fit for their businesses.”
Nothing screams people, passion, and purpose like a thunderous video presentation — involving live acrobatics and tribal drumming — at the MGM Park Theater at SuccessConnect in Las Vegas this week.
This one-of-a-kind keynote presentation was clearly designed to make the more than 4,000 HR professionals in attendance sit up and pay attention to a major movement happening in the workforce today, a “human revolution” that’s now banging on their door.
A human revolution, according to Greg Tomb, president of SAP SuccessFactors, “is when your employees voices are heard loud and proud” while ensuring your entire workforce is motivated. The heart of the human revolution “beats to the speed of business,” and Tomb shared some astounding examples with the SuccessConnect audience to back his claims:
Millennials and generation Z will represent more than 50 percent of the workforce by 2020. This largest segment of the workforce is used to having tech integrated into their everyday lives, which they also expect in the workplace. “We’ve got to give then the type of environment they can be successful in,” said Tomb.
44 percent of the workforce spend occurs outside of the employee base and it keeps growing. “The ability to harness that external workforce is paramount if companies are going to grow and succeed in the future,” said Tomb.
35 percent of employees say their jobs are hurting their physical and/or emotional health. “Think about the positive impact on your business if we can improve mentally and physically the well-being of every single employee in your company,” said Tomb.
A recent Korn Ferry study says a global talent deficit could surpass 85.2 million workers by 2030, costing $8.5 trillion in revenue potential. “We know today it’s hard to compete for talent,” said Tomb. “Think how hard it will be in five to 10 years. Companies that invest in attracting and retaining and re-tooling their talent will be the winners.”
To further flesh out the human revolution narrative, and its undeniable impact on global businesses, Tomb invited SAP Chief Marketing Officer Alicia Tillman and SAP CEO Bill McDermott onto the stage. The duo played off each other well, leading the audience through a fascinating and frank discussion.
When McDermott joined SAP as CEO in 2010 he had a vision to help make the world run better and improve people’s lives.
“If we’re going to be great, we have to take on the world’s biggest challenges because they are also the biggest opportunities,” said McDermott. “How can you possibly be purpose-driven without people at the center of the vision?”
As a result, SAP’s first strategic move into the cloud was the acquisition of SuccessFactors in 2011.
Connection to Company Culture
According to McDermott, everything you do in a company has to connect with the people you serve outside the company.
“The culture of a company is everything. It’s what drives innovation, great products, amazing services, and makes leaders understand the power of hiring the very best people because you have to make the perfect link between the consumer experience and the employee experience.”
McDermott believes the employee experience and consumer experience are similar, with every person in the company holding an incredibly important role in solving that customer’s requirement.
“Unfortunately, many companies have gotten big, complex and we’ve lost the humanity — the people power — because silos, walls, and org charts got in the way.”
McDermott urged the audience to think about a seamless connection between the ultimate customer experience and how an employee understands their role. To make this work, the employee experience, the passion for people, and the link to their individual goals is essential in the achievement of corporate goals. “If you can connect on that goal development and human orientation and their experience in the workplace, it could change the world.”
Looking from the Outside in
Nearly all the experiences taking place outside the company have to be driven from inside the company, according to McDermott. And the only way to ensure this vision comes to life is to have the chief human resources officer and other human capital professionals completely linked to the CEO.
“People have a deep, human need to understand what piece of the puzzle belongs to them and the role they play in ultimately leading their company to greatness,” said McDermott. “The strategy of a company is inextricably linked to the people.”
SAP is leading by example as Stefan Ries, the company’s chief human resources officer, has a seat the table with the CEO and all the top managers, plugged into everything they do. SAP also wanted to make the company younger by one year, every year, and increase its employee retention rate.
An inspired work culture has the power to provide stellar customer service, not just delivering what they want today but what they need five years down the road.
“It’s important to build products and services that the customer may not even know they need yet,” said McDermott. “Once they get them they won’t know how they ever lived without them.”
SAP customer Komatsu America is transforming its construction and mining business. Colin Boyd, CIO of Komatsu America, spoke to CXO Talk’s Michael Krigsman about the advances in technology and operations shaping the industry.
“You talk about autonomous vehicles; the mining industry has that already. Some of the technology that’s going into the construction products, they’ve had the same technology coming out. We have a product called Smart Construction,” Boyd tells Krigsman. “You can map a three-dimensional model of your construction site. You can then map out the three-dimensional model that you want it to look like when you’re finished. Here’s where the material is, and here’s what it has to look like. We want a six percent grade slope. Press the button, and let the excavator deliver.”
On his role as the CIO:
“I think it’s evolving. The distinction for me between a CIO role and the CTO role is kind of starting to blur, what traditionally used to be your CIO role, your infrastructure, applications. When you get into the product technology, IT then becomes part of the solution, so you’re integrated with the engineers designing the product and the people servicing the product. Really, you become a de facto CTO even if you’re not officially a CTO.”
On translating tech data to business information:
“We are close to a position where the machine can start to call for maintenance. Machine to machine is coming. Collision avoidance will be an initial place to start… and imposing operational parameters that would stop a machine operator taking it out of the safety envelope of the machine, overloading a truck. The trucks all have tonnage sensors on them, and they’ll tell you to stop if you’re trying to overload them.”
“We know where the half a million machines are,” he continues. “We know how much they’re being used. Therefore, we know how many hours they’re going through in terms of operations. This gives us direction on when their scheduled maintenance is coming up. So, if we know that you’re hammering the machines really hard in one country, the spare parts inventory will move in. If we see that your market has declined in your country and a lot of those machines are parked, we’ll move that inventory elsewhere.”
“You have to shift the culture in your organization,” he says. “You have to move from we are a manufacturer of machines to we are a provider of solutions.”
Watch the full interview above to learn more about Komatsu and how they are converting operational data into business data.
LAS VEGAS — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that it is building an open community of purpose-built and easy-to-consume applications designed to tackle the most critical people issues facing human resources (HR) professionals and business leaders today.
With this community approach, the company and its SAP SuccessFactors division is bringing together organizations of all sizes, from enterprises to startups, to co-create “simple solutions to big problems.”
“Today, we are seeing unprecedented levels of innovation in HR technology,” SAP SuccessFactors President Greg Tomb said. “The old ways of working are no longer relevant for HR or for employees. We are in the midst of a ‘human revolution’ that requires organizations to invest and intently focus on the people who differentiate their businesses and drive business outcomes. With this community, we can help assemble a complementary set of solutions for our customers’ diverse needs. And, if they don’t exist yet, we can co-create them together.”
Building upon the success of SAP App Center, this new community consists of partners organized around six initial pillars: well-being, pay equity, real-time feedback, unbiased recruiting, predictive performance and internal mobility. It will offer current and prospective SAP SuccessFactors customers a curated set of solutions to augment their existing systems and tap into the latest sources of innovation faster than ever.
SAP will continue to expand its network of partners and pillars in the coming quarters to cover all aspects of the employee journey.
As an example, the SAP SuccessFactors organization is working together with Thrive Global to operationalize a culture of well-being and improve the employee experience overall. As with SAP, Thrive Global believes that to inspire peak performance in employees and companies, it is critical to focus on the human element. Together with SAP SuccessFactors solutions and Thrive Global, organizations can truly offer a comprehensive well-being strategy for their employees.
Additional partners comprising this new community are focused on providing solutions to other critical people issues, including:
Helping employees dial down financial stress with Best Money Moves
Ensuring employees are paid equitably with PayScale
Developing next-generation leaders with AI-powered coaching from Cultivate, an SAP.iO Foundry company
Providing insightful feedback to enhance employee engagement with Culture Amp
Achieving diversity goals with Blendoor, an SAP.iO Foundry company
Eliminating recruiting bias with Brilliant Hire, an SAP.iO Venture Studio company
Hiring, growing and retaining top talent using AI to build a deep talent database with Plum, an SAP.iO Fund company
Hiring internal, external and contingent talent more effectively with AI from HiredScore
Mobilizing the workforce to cover understaffing with Andjaro, an SAP.iO Fund company
SAP also offers an open platform and tools to help developers and entrepreneurs create the next generation of innovative HR solutions. In October, SAP will launch a new SAP.iO Foundry in San Francisco, where the SAP SuccessFactors organization will provide support to select startups with access to curated mentorship, exposure to SAP technology and APIs, and opportunities to collaborate with SAP enterprise customers. Additionally, through SAP.iO Venture Studio, SAP helps its internal talent build successful businesses that enable customers to solve big problems. Together, this community will help address a wide range of people issues using emerging technologies such as machine learning and the Internet of Things.
Learn more about the SAP SuccessFactors app community here.
For more information, visit the SAP SuccessFactors solutions website and the SAP News Center. Follow SAP solutions on Twitter at @SuccessFactors and @sapnews.
SAP.iO is catalyzing an early-stage ecosystem of innovation for SAP by investing in and accelerating entrepreneurs building great software. The SAP.iO Fund directly invests in visionary, early-stage startups that leverage SAP’s unique assets, including SAP data, APIs or platform technologies, to deliver extraordinary value for SAP customers. The SAP.iO Foundries (“accelerators”) are top-tier programs that provide select startups with access to SAP data, SAP technologies and opportunities for exposure to SAP customers. SAP.iO Venture Studio helps its internal talent build successful businesses that enable customers to solve big problems.
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Tags: SAP SuccessFactors, SAP.io, SuccessConnect, Thrive Global