Soccer team in a huddle

Recipe for a Sports App

August 5, 2015 by John Hunt, Michael Zipf

Cooking, sports, and travel: Upen Barve, an SAP services manager, shares his secret ingredients to developing cricket apps.

Upen Barve enjoys travel, cooking, sports–and Berlin. For the past five years, the SAP Services executive has lived in the German capital with his wife and son. Why Berlin? “I love the energy and diversity of the city,” says Barve, who takes friends, partners and customers on walking tours of the city.

While developing the cricket assets, Barve worked closely with the global and regional teams in Services, Product Development and Sales. His team was responsible for innovation, thought leadership, and strategy execution to enable growth and accelerate the transformation of Global Services and SAP. Currently, he is part of the Office of the Chief Operating Officer within Global Services and Support.

His broad experience and team spirit made him the logical choice to lead a project very close to his heart: “I grew up in India and became a passionate cricket player. As soon as I saw what SAP had done in soccer, I thought: Why not cricket? How could we do something for a game that has a long history of embracing technology?” Not long afterwards, an opportunity arose when Jenni Lewis, Head of Tennis and Cricket Sponsorships for SAP, reached out to Barve to join the team.

When Barve was asked to take a leadership role, he quickly assembled a team from across the globe to brainstorm various ideas for creating cricket applications. In the end, they decided to focus on three assets–a social media stream based on research at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, analytical tools using SAP Lumira Cloud, and player insights using historical and live data based on patented algorithms in SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

The team was made up of colleagues from Berlin, the UK, India, and Australia as well as organizations ranging from Services and Development to Global Marketing. Dharmen Kumar and his team together with the Office of the Managing Director at SAP Labs India, were particularly instrumental to our success. According to Barve: “We worked across time zones and organizational boundaries–the game was always on.”

Feedback on the cricket assets has been very positive. Barve had a chance to not only demo the solution to customers, but also to former players and SAP ambassadors. Barve explains: “Representing SAP with these assets for this great sport was definitely a highlight in my career.

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