Soccer team in a huddle

Selfie in Space

March 10, 2017 by Judith Magyar

Taking selfies in space without ever leaving the ground? That’s not rocket science any more.

The new app by SnapPlanet won this year’s Space App Camp Award at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. SnapPlanet is a social network that brings earth observation data to the mass market, so users can play around with and post the latest space imagery on social networks.

There was no lack of creativity at the Space App Camp which offers developers access to the latest space data from the European Space Agency (ESA) and to SAP Cloud Platform.  Other apps developed this year include the Droughtscan, which uses space data to assist water managers during periods of severe drought, SOUL which provides air-quality data, and Saturnalia, an app that tells you the best year for a  particular wine based on satellite and meteorological data about the soil, atmosphere and weather.

Timeless Transformation

The fact that ordinary people and businesses can now access space data easily through ESA is not only changing consumer perceptions but transforming the way companies do busines. For example, German insurance company, Munich Re is leveraging geospatial satellite data to accurately calculate costs and risks related to wildfires, and to gain insights into the future probability of wildfires.

There is nothing new about digital transformation. The idea was first introduced in 1703 by Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz when he refined the binary number system. The digital aspect developed over the centuries into its modern day form. The transformation part refers to the fact that digital technology enables new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.

Consumers Shape the Trends

“What’s new today,” says Pat Bakey, president of Industries at SAP, “Is the transformation of entire industries. What it boils down to? Consumer trends control every aspect of an industry. When consumers want something new, the industry transforms to meet their needs. I don’t just manage 26 industries at SAP. There are hundreds of macro trends and micro trends forging new industries all the time.”

For example, consumer products goods (CPG) companies around the world have tapped out on growth in emerging markets. They are looking for new opportunities.

“CPG companies are competing on ‘taste,'” says Bakey. “They’ll map the taste profiles of their customers and make personalized recommendations regarding recipes or food groups. This requires an entirely new business model and new technology to support it. It also presents new challenges and opportunities, such as data privacy. Enterprises have reached a new level of maturity in terms of understanding their customers. Successful business today don’t create a digital strategy. They create a business strategy for the digital world.”

One good example is DPaschoal, a Brazilian auto parts dealer. DPaschoal went digital early on with a strategic omni-channel model to engage with customers every step of the way in every single channel.

“Many companies make the mistake of trying to build a digital addition on top of their brick and mortar business,” says Henrique Cavalhieri, E-Commerce manager for DPaschoal Group. “We realized we had to stop thinking in terms of e-commerce and start thinking of commerce in the broader sense. We had to think about the entire end to end customer journey which begins online and ends in the shop.”

From space apps to auto parts, successful companies everywhere are using technology to run their companies efficiently and creatively. They’re doing it because their customers want them to.

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