“If you simplify everything, you can do anything.” – Bill McDermott, SAPPHIRE NOW, 2014

“When you make business Run Simple, you make life run simple.” – Bill McDermott, SAPPHIRE NOW, 2015

SAPPHIRE NOW was the culmination of a year-long journey. Together with our customers, partners, employees, members of the media and more, SAP showed the world that Run Simple is alive.

But what, exactly, is Run Simple?

The answer, along with the rest of my five biggest takeaways from SAP’s flagship event, is below.

1. An Enterprise that is Data Driven and Seamless

During his opening keynote, SAP CEO Bill McDermott explained that the businesses that Run Simple are the ones that are both “data driven and seamless.” “Data driven” means a business has embraced digital technology, including social media, analytics, and big data. “Seamless” refers to a business that lets customers and employees move smoothly across digital lines, such as omni-channel shopping experience. At SAPPHIRE NOW, I was happy to have real-time social listening from Sprinklr at my fingertips on my dashboard.

2. Complexity is the Enemy

Keith Sturgill, Vice President CIO of Eastman Chemical Company, reminded us why simple is the right direction. Keith said it was a bold vision, but to remember that complexity and status quo are the enemies. In fact, 63% of global executives agree that complexity keeps them awake at night.  Run Simple is how we get things done as a company, and a promise to our customers and partners that SAP will help them tackle complexity that hinders growth and reduces profits.scn hana.png

3. Seeing is Believing

The answer to complexity, and featured proudly in the Run Simple campaign, is SAP HANA. SAP HANA is a great simplifier. The campaign features innovative SAP HANA customers, including Under Armour, the Port Authority of Hamburg, NBA, NHL, NFL, McLaren and others. The ad on the left is about how SAP HANA helps the Hamburg Port Authority more than double its capacity without expanding infrastructure.

At SAPPHIRE NOW, the customer success stories were everywhere, from the keynote stage to the digital showcases. A great campaign is more than a beautiful picture and catchy line of text. The best campaigns put customers in the center.

An enterprise is a living business. It has a soul, a mind, and a purpose. We unveiled this video at SAPPHIRE NOW, which gets to the heart of why Run Simple is right for any business.


4. Run Simple at Any Size

Walmart is, by revenue, the largest company in the world. And Karenann Terrell, Executive Vice President and CIO of Walmart, proved that a large scale business with over 11,000 stores can Run Simple with SAP. “The success we have had in using HANA has been transformational for our overall business.” Karenann was an inspirational speaker on the keynote stage, and special guest of Executive Board member Rob Enslin.

5. Ecosystem is Key

On Monday, May 4, I joined Rodolpho Cardenuto on stage at the Partner Summit and introduced the Run Simple campaign for small and mid-sized enterprises. Entrepreneurs afterward told me that they felt closer to the swell of energy of Run Simple. Also on Monday, SAP and PwC sponsored the Women’s Leadership Summit. This wonderful event was all about inspiring women who are taking charge of their careers to share their experiences with others.

I also want to thank Jamaila Holder and Jacob Stark, two future leaders from the SAP Impact program, who were my social media ambassadors for the three-day event. In addition to sparking great conversations on Twitter and LinkedIn, the J&J team streamed live videos via Periscope. I learned so much from them, and encourage everyone to read their blogs: Jacob wrote about how to use Periscope in your next event, and Jamaila wrote about what she learned from the experience.

Follow me on Twitter @MaggieCJ for more about the tech industry, women in tech, SAP trends, and leadership. 

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.