Broadcast live from the new SAP office in North Sydney, I attended the SAP Australian User Group‘s SAUG Summit Online 2020. The experience was remarkably similar to attending a SUAG Summit in-person.
The event portal was deceptively simple, comprising of three virtual conference rooms, featuring presenters patched in from various locations via live stream. A chat room enabled all attendees to search for and connect with one another between sessions and a well-designed Exhibitors space allowed delegates to browse content and offers from the event sponsors, with seamless UX enabling later follow up on those much-needed services.
Address and Keynotes
In his first Summit as SAUG CEO and sporting a fine Movember ‘stache, Jason Hincks discussed the importance of User Groups in the global SAP Ecosystem before welcoming Damien Bueno, President and MD of SAP ANZ.
Bueno discussed the ability of groups common interests to get together and work on common issues, saying:
“It’s a two way street. If we’re not listening to you and we don’t feel the user community is listening to us, then I don’t feel it lends itself to a productive engagement. I like to think that we’ve made significant strides in that area in recent times… If we were both looking to listen to one another, what is it that SAP would like to talk about?”
Citing SAP CEO Christian Klein’s announcement that SAP will invest more heavily in Cloud, he added:
“I would like us to really embrace that, and to push SAP hard on demonstrating why it’s a good idea, how it can work, how it ensures privacy – all the concerns that somebody would have, but importantly because it is a driver of value.”
Following the address were a series of keynotes. First was a presentation by Patrick Elliott, VP Head of Platform & Technology ANZ – SAP Australia, on how to use technology to move forward in current circumstances, by turning data into insights into actions that steer your organization. Next was by Marcus Scott, Managing Director | Director Solution Sales JAPAC – SNP Australia, on how to move to SAP Hana in 5 months with SNP’s Bluefield approach.
My personal favourite of the keynotes was by Ms Sunjoo Kim – renowned Innovation Strategist, on User Experience and Innovation. Ms Kim discussed the why, what, and how Human Centred Design-led UX drives the success of tomorrow. She walked us through Apple’s systematic redesigning of existing technology to create design led success by creating innovative UX, and moved on to tell us that great customer experience starts with employee experience. She said:
“There are many words… describing good UX. What is common in these words? Most of them are about our emotions. This is why the empathy-driven design thinking process is critical.”
Sharing a personal success involving a busy service elevator requiring 24/7 engineer presence, she continued:
“Design thinking is not just having a workshop in a meeting room, it requires meeting your users where they are and seeing the world through their eyes.”
After a short break was a series of alternating presentations by SAP experts and customers on a variety of topics. BHP’s Patrick Gan discussed Workforce Planning for SAC. Alicja Mosbauer and Oliver Hippel of TasNetworks shared insights into using SAP Analytics Cloud (SAP) to improve end user access to data and business insights as well as reduce costs and time to data, and Mark Golley shared how Lion enabled end to end visibility of its supply chain using tools such as C4C, Ariba and IBP.
Representing the SAP Experts, Solutions Director of Epi-Use Labs, Daniel Parker took a look at some of the implications of GDPR, APP, NZ Privacy Act and similar regulations with practical advice on SAP data scrambling approach and design. Tony de Thomasis of SAPWorks and Karl Wood of Tricentis APAC ackled change impact techniques, risk avoidance, and delivering the right information at the right time to make critical decisions.
With the 2027 deadline for S/4HANA looming large, I found particular value from:
Optimising SAP Costs enables renewed investment in other SAP products – at a fraction of the cost
Mathijs ten Tusscher, Solution Consultant – Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software, Snow Software explained that Companies must migrate to S/4HANA 2027, but are at risk of overspending on licenses.
He shared that if you have visibility into your licenses, it becomes cost effective to trade in shelf-ware and unused licenses for the licenses that you really need, preparing the way for the next stage of your digitization. He said:
“This is what really shows the business case for spending on the software which you really need from SAP and you get also the best outcomes” [sic].
Stream A: Deep Dive Sessions
The rest of Day One was divided into two breakout rooms. This is where the summit’s DelegateConnect portal really shone – the ability switch quickly between the streams across both rooms was seamless. In Stream A, the highlight for me personally was in the innovative new SAP product demonstration:
Introducing SAP Work Zone – the consolidated dashboard for the whole workforce
The presentation was conducted by Dr Nicholas Nicoloudis – Innovation Leader – SAP and Machine Learning Principle for APJ at the Innovation Factory, SAP Australia.
Built for Cloud Platform extension suite, the solution sits in the digital experience category and integrates with other tools and extensions. The dashboard tackles how to connect the right people to each other, to processes, to knowledge bases and to the most relevant data in a timely and effective manner.
With UX at its core, the product is built to increase user productivity and increase user engagement as well as speed up decision making processes by providing centralized access for apps, notifications, information and communication. Integrated collaboration and 3rd party app capabilities.
The dashboard is a persona-led user experience. Each user can design their dashboard in order to execute rapidly. It includes a native app for mobile that allows remote access to workspaces and business information at any time. During the demonstration, Nicoloudis said:
“The benefit of it is the ability to execute and collaborate quickly… Basically it’s a persona-led user experience. Each user can design their screens, design their tools, design their capabilities which they can view quickly and be able to execute very quickly as well.”
Work Zone for HR is currently available with more to come.
Stream B: Dive Sessions
Stream B went into deep technical detail, with SUSE’s Sherry Yu sharing SAP Optimization with SUSE in the cloud, while Lenovo’s Vijayakumar S Kulageri brought us a new revolution in memory persistency with SAP HANA: the Intel Optane on Lenovo ThinkSystem portfolio.
With Supply Chain being big on InsideSAP this year, I personally elected to view:
Data, Analytics and Supply Chain
Adam Peanna, Centre of Excellence – Digital Supply Chain – SAP ANZ discussed how SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) can drive visibility and align risks and opportunities.
Peanna referenced a heightened focus on building and maintaining a resilient supply chain during a global disruption, such as a pandemic, and presented the value of recording and acting upon data and analytics in supply chain.
Before handing over to Andreas Kral, Centre of Excellence for Analytics, SAP ANZ, he touched on intelligent visualization with IBP:
“Visibility from a maping and visualization point of view… this has been an area we’ve been doing a large amount of work in. It’s about how to take those exceptions and… allow those end users to visualize data in whole new way.”
Next, Kral looked at why we would need SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) if we re using IBP: Because SAC aligns operational and financial planning.
“Not everyone in an organization would be using a tool like IBP that is mostly focused on people who specifically specialize on supply chain and logistics. But i you have other contributors… who would also benefit from having access to this information, they would be using a tool like Analytics Cloud.”
SAUG Summit Online 2020 – Day One Wrap-Up
Day One wrapped up with a chance to meet and mingle with other delegates, speakers and exhibitors via the virtual space, as well as representatives from Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Ltd.
Cloud was a frequent topic at this year’s summit, being mentioned in the welcoming presentation and many of the subsequent keynotes and demonstrations. I felt Damien Bueno perfectly set the tone for the day when he referenced SAP’s commitment to increased investment in the Cloud.
Australia’s Human Nature attended.