SAPPHIRE NOW Conference 2017: Three Breakthrough SAP Innovations!

Every year, enterprise software solutions giant SAP gathers together people from around the world to its SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, Florida. At the event, business leaders, customers, prospects and other decision-makers meet and discuss the technological solutions of today and tomorrow. This event was a opportunity to obtain an overview of SAP innovations and industry trends.

Digital transformation is driving businesses to establish themselves to a greater degree in the digital economy. Today, it is no longer a secret that technologies and business lines must be brought together. For instance, when it comes to sales, customer experience is one of the primary methods by which businesses distinguish themselves from their competitors. But customers have never been as well informed as they are today. Irrespective of the size of businesses and the sector in which they operate, one of their main concerns remains the daunting task of continuously keeping up with new developments and adopting omnichannel strategies while offering a unique customer experience.

But which technological initiatives should businesses adopt in light of their needs? And how will these solutions disrupt and redefine their way of doing things moving forward?

Many interesting innovations were once again presented this year. We provide below an overview of three such innovations that particularly captured our attention:

 

Facilitating Collaborative Creation through Design Thinking

First things first – what is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking can be defined as a management model that advocates for a collaborative work style. A business that adopts Design Thinking will not have its departments collaborate in an isolated manner but will instead aim to promote collective intelligence. How? The answer is to combine the analytical skills of some teams (e.g. engineers) with the more intuitive skills of others (e.g. marketing or creative professionals) to the greatest extent possible.

Understanding its use

Experience is increasingly dominating the economy. In the coming years, Design Thinking will change the way that businesses improve products in addition to their general approach to technology. It allows employees and consumers to converge at the very core of their experience.

Design Thinking is implemented as part of a global strategy. It no longer means simply identifying where a problem is found and resolving it in an isolated manner, but instead consists of addressing the problem from the very start of one’s reflection up to the final integration of the solution.

 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: SAP Leonardo

Intelligently connecting people, things and businesses. If we do it right, you can care more and do more for your customers. And one key to do this right is data.” (Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP)

 

With its new Leonardo solution, SAP offers its clients a simple way to use emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced analysis and blockchain.

In so doing, SAP does not only wishes to accompany its clients as they find solutions, but now aims to address all of their business needs. It will be possible for businesses to connect smart devices with employees, products, infrastructures and markets to optimize their strategic and financial performance.

This offer seems promising for optimizing and transforming the bond among people, objects and technologies.

 

SAP Cloud Platform

According to a CEFRIO report on the subject of digital innovation, 68% of businesses in Quebec have presently adopted a cloud solution.[1] This figure is not to be frowned upon, as it appears only to be increasing. With their simplicity, accessibility and availability, cloud technologies offer a wide range of advantages to businesses by allowing them, among other things, to generate savings and to better control their costs associated with information technology and infrastructure.

SAP is a major player in the field due to the flexibility of its solutions. The agile environment offered through this type of platform allows businesses to develop, operate and instantly connect their applications with the help of data centres.

Together with Design Thinking, the SAP Cloud Platform could position itself as an interesting solution for responding to the niche business needs of organizations.

The innovations presented at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference are, and will continue to be over the coming years, major drivers for the improvement of business strategy, whether it is regarding the internal or external concerns of businesses, particularly with respect to optimizing customer experience.

For a business to benefit the most from its current technological environment and from potential process optimization solutions, it must have proper control over the available tools and products in addition to following market trends regarding digital transformation. To learn more, read Talsom. And for more information concerning the SAP innovations presented at the event, visit the Facebook page for SAPPHIRE NOW.

 

 

[1] Talsom’s 2017 Technology Radar.

 

IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, BPaaS: Do you speak cloud?

Everyone is familiar with the Cloud. But did you know that there are four broad categories of available services, namely IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and BPaaS?

Infrastructure as a Service (or “IaaS”) is the lowest level of service that is found in the Cloud. The service provider hosts a virtual infrastructure, which is composed of a storage space, servers and network elements (e.g. firewalls, load balancers). Customers can thus configure the infrastructure (e.g. memory, storage space, CPU) and use it as they see fit, according to the pricing models that are in effect, which can consist of either a fixed-price model or a price determined according to the volume used. The most known IaaS providers available include Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, Rackspace and Google Compute Engine.

Platform as a Service (or “PaaS”) adds an additional layer to IaaS by proposing, in additing to the physical layer, an operating system, an operating environment, a database and software servers that customers can manage and configure as they wish (for instance, as regards security, user accounts and software parameters). The most well known PaaS providers include AWS Elastic Beanstalk (Amazon), Windows Azure, Heroku, Force.com, Google App Engine and Apache Stratos.

Software as a Service (or “SaaS”) is added above PaaS and offers access to an application. This type of model is frequently referred to as “on-demand software”. Customers no longer have to worry about installing, hosting or maintaining the application, as it is the service provider who takes care of this. The pricing is frequently determined according to a fixed-price model or according to the volume of the service that is used, calculated through various metrics (e.g. number of users, level of service). Most types of application now exist under this form: ERPs (e.g. JD Edwards, SAP HANA); CRMs (e.g. Salesforce); middleware (e.g. Talend); and office tools such as Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365. Some providers even offer integrated solutions that include both an ERP and a CRM, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Lastly, Business Process as a Service (or “BPaaS”) extends beyond SaaS and the scope of a sole application by handling business processes that are frequently cross-functional, such as payroll management. BPaaS thus allows for the coordination of the automatic (services) or partly manual activities of a process, which are spread out across several applications that are hosted in the Cloud or on the organization’s infrastructure. Customers can thus map their processes (BPO) as well as the activities that compose them on the different applications. The pricing is calculated according to the use of the service. Providers of BPaaS include IBM, Wipro, Ovum and Cognizant.

These different types of services stand in contrast to on-premises software, which refers to software that is hosted on the internal infrastructure of the organization, a solution that many organizations presently use. Businesses that choose on-premises solutions are thus responsible for hosting and ensuring the maintenance of their servers and of their network, in addition to resolving technical bugs that arise with each version upgrade. To do so often requires significant involvement from the IT team that is thus precluded from engaging in other activities that would add value to the business.

According to Gartner, businesses will over the next five years make over one billion dollars of direct and indirect investment to transition to cloud-computing. Roughly 43% of this investment will be spent on BPaaS, with 37% being directed to SaaS, 10% to PaaS and 17% to IaaS.

According to a study conducted by NOVIPRO and Léger on IT trends within small and mid-size enterprises, 54% of IT managers in Canada agree that the future is in Cloud computing, and 52% of these respondents, 52% envision adopting Cloud computing in the next two years.

And what do you plan to do as part of this movement?

4 tendances révolutionnaires pour le Product Life Cycle Management

Dans un monde où la satisfaction du client prime, il est essentiel de comprendre et de gérer le cycle de vie des produits efficacement afin de rester compétitif. On assiste désormais à une digitalisation de la gestion du cycle de vie (PLM) des produits, notamment en raison de l’intégration des chaînes logistiques. L’idée derrière cette intégration est de partager l’information aux bonnes parties prenantes et de savoir tirer les leçons appropriées afin d’améliorer et de faciliter la conception des produits. Il est important de considérer les quatre tendances suivantes dans le PLM puisqu’elles serviront de moteur d’innovation.

L’Internet des Objets (IoT)
Dans la gestion traditionnelle du cycle de vie des produits, le but est d’obtenir un retour sur la satisfaction du client pour connaître les points d’amélioration possibles du produit. Ainsi, il faut attendre de recevoir l’avis de la part des clients, ce qui peut prendre un certain temps. En faisant appel à l’Internet des Objets (IoT), les entreprises peuvent avoir accès à des données en temps réel grâce à des capteurs RFID installés sur le produit. Ces capteurs sont de plus en plus abordables et efficaces et permettent de fournir aux développeurs de l’information concernant les étapes de fabrication et d’utilisation des produits. Cette banque d’informations permet la mise en place d’améliorations plus rapidement, le tout dans un cycle d’innovation continuel. Par exemple, la compagnie Virgin Atlantic utilise des capteurs IoT sur chaque composant de ces Boeing 787. Ainsi, la compagnie peut surveiller chaque pièce afin de s’assurer de leur bon fonctionnement et ainsi effectuer l’entretien de appareils.

Big Data
Les divers capteurs font en sorte que les entreprises ont un volume de données toujours plus grand à traiter. Or, les outils de gestion de base de données traditionnels ne permettent pas de tirer profit du maximum d’informations. En exploitant le Big Data et en développant les bons outils d’analyse, les entreprises peuvent connaître les usages réels de leurs produits et ce, à diverses phases de leurs cycles de vie. Il sera donc possible de déduire comment être plus productif et mettre en évidence les risques potentiels d’utilisation. De plus, ces données renseignent sur la vie opérationnelle des équipements, ce qui facilite la planification de la maintenance, évitant ainsi les bris.

Connectivité
La connectivité des appareils change la façon dont nous interagissons avec les produits. Elle nous permet de suivre en temps réel ce qui se déroule dans notre environnement. La nouvelle génération d’utilisateurs vient bouleverser la façon dont les processus sont perçus. Les milléniaux rejettent les processus formels : ils veulent des expériences interactives. Cela fait en sorte que l’équipe TI d’une entreprise doit continuellement mettre à jour les gammes de produits afin qu’ils soient toujours plus efficaces et infaillibles aux bogues. Sans quoi les usagers risquent de se tourner vers des substituts en raison de leurs standards très élevés. Il est donc primordial que les capteurs installés sur les produits recueillent la meilleure information possible afin de renseigner les développeurs sur les besoins réels des utilisateurs ainsi que sur leur interaction avec le produit pour améliorer l’expérience.

Cloud
La montée des technologies du cloud découle du besoin de consolidation et de partage de l’information sur le cycle de vie des produits des entreprises. Cette technologie permet une centralisation, un meilleur contrôle, un transfert des données optimal ainsi qu’un travail collaboratif parmi les diverses parties prenantes.

En comprenant le rôle des données et en ayant accès à celles-ci partout et en tout temps, on facilite le cycle d’innovation des produits. On parvient ainsi à réduire les délais de mise en marché et la réalisation d’améliorations du produit afin de satisfaire les clients plus rapidement. En faisant converger les données au bon endroit et au bon moment de la chaîne, les entreprises sont en mesure de mieux comprendre l’impact d’une transformation sur le cycle de vie de leurs produits et les partager avec les bonnes parties prenantes.

La gestion du cycle de vie est un processus complexe et en constante évolution. L’intégration logistique complète nécessite une grande implication de la part des entreprises. Une digitalisation et une écoute attentive des besoins est requise pour rester compétitif sur le marché.