ORLANDO — The SAPPHIRE NOW conference from Orlando kicked off today with 60,000 customers, partners and employees of SAP gathering in person and online to understand how profound new technologies are reshaping companies, industries and the way people live and work. On the opening day, SAP customers, including Coinstar, Inc., Burberry and Ace Hardware, demonstrated how forces shaping today’s IT landscape — big data, cloud and mobile — are helping them keep pace with rapidly changing customer needs and buying behavior. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE NOW, being held in Orlando, Florida, May 14-16, 2012.
Today’s businesses operate in a digital economy where information is vast, interconnected and automated. Companies must continuously transform their business models to remain competitive in a world with rapidly changing global economic conditions and events.
“When I talk to CEOs, I hear three big problems consistently, across all industries: How can we innovate better? How do we grow profitably? How do we transform our business models?” said Bill McDermott, co-CEO, SAP AG. “Businesses today must must be serial innovators and move in almost surreal time to anticipate the needs of customers and deliver an incredible and personal customer experience.”
Top Executives Share Success Stories at SAPPHIRE NOW
Top executives from Ace, Burberry and Coinstar are participating in a keynote panel discussion with McDermott on Monday, May 14, at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Representatives joining McDermott on stage at SAPPHIRE NOW include Ray Griffith, CEO of Ace Hardware; Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry; and J. Scott Di Valerio, chief financial officer of Coinstar, Inc. The panel will be broadcast via the virtual platform at www.sapphirenow.com, with a replay available following the session.
Solving Retail Problems With SAP Solutions
Embracing technology has helped Burberry, the iconic British luxury brand, to build a “young, old” company that combines a 156-year heritage with a modern attitude. Once a federation of businesses, Burberry today is one globally SAP-connected organization, with full visibility across its retail network and a pure, consistent brand worldwide. From concept to customer, every part of the business and culture has been touched and transformed by technology, enabling greater responsiveness, deeper engagement and compelling customer experiences that blur the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds. Burberry has used solutions from the SAP for Retail solution portfolio and other industry-specific solutions from SAP for business-critical functions in the fashion world that include optimizing supply chain logistics, customer segmentation, spotting hot items and driving down stock inventory.
Coinstar, Inc., a leader in automated retail, was faced with a positive yet challenging problem: outdated legacy systems supporting its growing core businesses and promising new ventures. It needed a way to identify synergies and share information to enable the company to continue providing its simple and convenient solutions to a growing number of consumers. Coinstar tackled the problem by revamping its IT infrastructure, retiring legacy systems and adopting a shared-services environment. The company divested under-performing ventures and used that capital to reinvest in its core businesses, Redbox® movie rental and Coinstar® coin-counting kiosks as well as new automated retail concepts. Today, Coinstar is a large enterprise with more than 50,000 kiosks in the market and annual revenue of approximately US$2 billion.
Similarly, Ace Hardware was at risk to the “big box” retailers. Priding itself on being “the helpful place,” Ace understood that customers were becoming increasingly social. Consumers shared experiences – good or bad – with their friends and neighbors verbally and electronically. Ace wanted an enterprise that enabled small retailers to enjoy bulk-buying prices but maintain a local, personal feel. As a prime user of SAP solutions for supply chain management and with SAP Rapid Deployment solutions, Ace has been able to rapidly enable business processes, gain real-time data and distribution for quick reaction to global changes and develop specialized merchandizing capabilities. Ace used its data to understand demographics, and for visibility into things such as seasonal buying trends. Using mobile connectivity, personalization and buyer insight, the company not only maintained profitability, it remained a vital part of the community.
For announcements, blog posts, videos and other coverage during SAPPHIRE NOW, visit the Events Newsroom.
With SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP offers its customers, partners and prospects even more opportunities to engage in dialogue with peers, participants and thought leaders around the globe. Being held in Orlando, Florida, May 14-16, 2012, this enhanced, real-time event connects attendees on site with global participants through state-of-the-art broadcast studios and an online experience that incorporates the latest social media and community functionality. Whether on site or online, participants can gain insight as to how SAP is delivering on its product strategy and helping organizations around the world to run better. For more information, visit www.sapphirenow.com. Follow SAPPHIRE NOW on Twitter at @SAPPHIRENOW and visit the Events Newsroom at www.events.news.sap.com.
Note to Editors:
Webcasts, announcements, media roundtables, keynote presentations and blog posts from SAPPHIRE NOW will be available in the Events Newsroom at: www.events.news.sap.com. To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high-resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.
During SAPPHIRE NOW (from May 14 to 16), to speak with press contacts on site, please dial the SAP press room: +1 (610) 661-0469.