Mastering SAP OnAir Highlights Innovation Across SAP Industries


This year’s Mastering SAP OnAir brings SAP customers, partners, experts, and enthusiasts together in an online conference that focuses on innovation, leadership, strategy, and digital transformation across a wide range of SAP industries. 

Packed with more than 90 hours of researched content delivered through unique channels and discovery-learning formats, Mastering SAP OnAir provides in-depth interviews, expert-led sessions, and a great source of insights and partner solutions throughout the three-day virtual event. Aside from serving a digital menu where individuals get to pick a presentation based on their schedules and interests, it also aims to offer a “plethora of unrivalled networking opportunities.” The platform’s channel guide divided into categories of various SAP industries such as Technologies and Cloud, Finance, HR and Payroll, Data and Analytics, Security and Risk, and Public Sector makes it easier for participants to select a topic that appeals to them.

Similar to last year’s interface, meeting and connecting with the speakers and other attendees take place through live video calls, a chat forum, and an “Ask the Speaker” feature to allow for more engagement that fosters extensive discussions.

Inspire Sessions from Mastering SAP OnAir

Day 1 officially kicked off last July 27 with a passionate presentation from Ray Wang, the CEO of Silicon Valley-based Constellation Research Inc., in his opening keynote titled “Cloud ERP Drives Back-Office Digital Transformation.” Other Inspire sessions during the day included a talk with Don Mahoney, SVP and Global General Manager of the Platinum Customer Unit at SAP, where he expounded on the importance of transforming today’s business processes. When asked about how to convince an organisation into exploring new IT initiatives for digital transformation, Mahoney gave this analogy:

“The ‘canvas’ of the pyramid against the business processes is often a sobering window into how ‘clumped’ the current investments are. In many of those cases, the initiatives are claiming the same business credits. Simply showing where the investments sit on the canvas, and making the case for greater balance can be an incentive to move in new directions.”

Digital Transformation in SAP Industries — Technologies and Cloud

For the first two days of Mastering SAP OnAir, InsideSAP, the official media partner of the virtual conference, had the chance to participate in Perspective sessions on Technologies and Cloud and HR and Payroll.

One particular digital transformation story that piqued InsideSAP’s interest is the innovative use of the SAP Cloud Platform by Taronga Conservation Society Australia (TCSA) to help improve its workflow efficiencies. The session was presented by Jerome Bowman of Bourne Digital and Mark Kemp of TCSA. With the help of implementation partner Bourne Digital, TCSA leveraged the Design Thinking framework of the SAP AppHaus Network to develop a single, unified mobile app called StaX (Staff Experience) that streamlines content and core business processes. Kemp explained:

“I think the real value of Design Thinking particularly when it comes to solving some of the technical challenges we had is that it forces our staff to sort of step back and analyse the step by step process of a workflow, which is something we hadn’t previously done in the past.”

In terms of coming up with the use case through to implementation and rollout of the solution in the NSW agency responsible for operating Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Kemp further shared:

“I think it comes down to us collecting staff feedback. As part of the program of this rollout, we’ve been collecting user feedback all the way through. It is almost like basic prioritisation framework scoring.”

Expert-Led Sessions

Furthermore, with TCSA’s recent migration to SAP S/4HANA, Bowman believes the StaX application’s seamless integration into the new system is a “huge win” and something that has demonstrated a lot of value in the SAP Business Technology Platform. By upgrading their ERP to SAP S/4HANA, TCSA is now able to link the purchasing workflow to a technology-first, mobile solution on the S/4HANA database and streamline additional form-based workflows to relieve some of the administrative workloads on ground-staff.

Moreover, Day 2 of Mastering SAP OnAir started with the Inspire session titled “The Nervous Organisation’s Guide to Moving to the Cloud” led by David Keil of Tricentis, Dave Scullin of Zespri, Davinia Simon of Amazon Web Services (AWS), and SAP’s Sally Kingston and Brett Love.

The panel shared their different views on how to help organisations in upgrading their customised SAP on-premise system to SAP S/4HANA Cloud. The “Ask the Speaker” feature of the online conference was utilised during this session with several attendees from across different SAP industries throwing questions around balancing cybersecurity and moving to the cloud.

Innovation in SAP Industries — HR and Payroll

InsideSAP also attended the Perspective session presented by Australia Post’s Brad De Groot and Sarah Reid about using SAP Fiori to harmonise its self-service offerings. Since Australia Post does not have plans to move to a cloud-based solution like SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central for a few years yet, it started developing SAP Fiori apps to serve as an overlay. According to Australia Post, SAP Fiori has enabled them to improve harmonisation across its workforce segments and entities, increase the uptake of self-service tools to managers and employees, and achieve efficiency and productivity in HR and payroll operations. De Groot shared:

“We had an old SAP portal self-service offering that was hard to use when compared to what had been developed by Fiori. Fiori required low knowledge of an end-user and speed of completing activity was much quicker.”

Around 52% of this session’s attendees said that they have started to migrate some of their Employee HR tasks to SAP Fiori. Meanwhile, about 38% of those polled indicated that funding has been their biggest challenge in the department so far, followed by a business buy-in.

Stay tuned on InsideSAP for updates on Day 3 of the Mastering SAP OnAir series.

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