“China is facing challenges with its industry structure and growth model,” said SAP China president Hera Siu in her welcome keynote on day one of China SAPPHIRE. “Key to China’s economic transformation is the creation of a new development focus and enhanced competitiveness.”
Siu’s statements pertained to the government’s aspirations to move the country from traditional, manufacturing-based and export industries to knowledge-based industries, as outlined in China’s current (12th) Five Year Plan. These strategic emerging industries are to form the basis of China’s economy in the future and contribute a significantly higher amount to the country’s GDP.
SAP is in the thick of this transformation in and is taking part in economic and social development in China by supporting more than 5,700 customers and working with more than 100 partners.
SAP’s innovations around mobility, big data, and cloud are changing the way people live and work, Siu continued. “The advancements in these areas help us break all kinds of barriers. With integrated solutions and long-term commitment to local market, SAP is confident of the development in China.”
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When Executive Board member Vishal Sikka presented at China SAPPHIRE in November last year, he introduced to many a “revolutionary new product”: SAP HANA. Nine months and EUR 300 million in revenue later, SAP HANA has become a “platform for us all.”
HANA on a Mac Mini
Vishal touted the platform’s adherence to the principals of design thinking: desirability, feasibility, and viability. Three demos during his keynote of SAP HANA-enabled applications showed how the platform is delivering on all three of these tenants.
- My Runway, a consumer-grade app, builds on SAP HANA’s speed and an engaging user interface to help consumers plan and purchase their wardrobe.
- Event Rain, an interactive tool for tracking consumer activity, relies on SAP HANA to visualize massive amounts of data and help users monitor their customers’ buying behavior in an engaging, near-gamified experience.
- Demo expert Simon Lee of SAP showed how SAP Business One running on SAP HANA can give users real-time visibility into their cash flow and inventory, with the meager hardware requirements of a Mac Mini.
The speed that SAP HANA enables is not only breaking records, Vishal noted, it is redefining the metrics used to measure databases. Both in OLAP and OLTP, the platform is pushing the envelope. Coupled with SAP’s other technologies such as cloud and mobile, this power is making its way to the masses, to the front-line employees who can make decisions at the optimal window of opportunity.
Vishal let more than 10 customers speak for themselves on stage, via video messages to the audience. He profiled the success of customers such as Suning, T-Mobile, China Telecom, Colgate-Palmolive, Cisco, Delta Airlines, ICICI Bank, Mitsui Knowledge Industries, Alliander, BigPoint, Liverpool, Kingfisher, Nongfu Spring, Haier, and others had with the SAP HANA platform.
Vishal also announced the “SAP Startup Focus program” for China, aiming to help startups scale their business through the adoption and development of new applications on the SAP HANA platform.
Trying out his Mandarin, Vishal offered a proverb to the crowd: “The future does not have to be an extension of the past; it can be anything that we can make it.”
40 years of China and Germany
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was an appropriate figurehead to address the crowd of over 10,000 at the event, which was also the occasion of 40 years of official relations between China and Germany. He emphasized the importance of collaboration among nations to master the world’s pressing challenges.
In the long term, Schröder said, innovation and sustainable economic growth are only possible in an open society. Sustainable growth should drive the modernization strategy for all countries. The concept of sustainable growth includes economic growth, environmental protection, and social progress.
Technology is key, he affirmed, in enabling innovation and the development of talent. “No talent should go undiscovered,” he said, and the opportunity for education is paramount for the advancement of China and all countries.
New technologies, products, and services will reinforce the position of the China and German economies in the world market, Schröder continued. SAP is a prime example of how commercial partnerships between China and Germany can advance both countries toward their economic and social goals.
“This conference proves that the experience and know-how of a company like SAP is of particular importance,” he said. “I can say that the Chinese partners are well advised to work together with the company intensively and sustainably.”
Business makes the world a better place
Schröder acknowledged the unique requirements of the countries, but noted both are facing the challenges of ensuring sustainable growth, a better distribution of wealth, and appropriate social security systems. “We both need to adjust our growth model to achieve the right mix between domestic economy and export-led models with sustainable growth,” he said.
“What the global economy needs now is growth and reforms,” he continued. “This is not only a task for politicians, but also a responsibility of business. Our response to these challenges will determine the direction our globalized world will take – politically and economically. The business communities are key driving forces in improving our economic and political relations.”