Design-Led Innovation and SAP’s Journey

In a new podcast series, learn about design’s role in innovation, culture, and technology and how SAP is leveraging it internally and with customers.

Many organizations are in the midst of disrupting their business by re-imagining business models, business processes, and the way they work. Re-imagining everything requires an innovation mindset and there’s an equation that I like to use to help make innovation real. Specifically, I say that that innovation = creativity x execution.

What I find is that most organizations are good at execution. The real challenge is taking a step back and redefining a new problem that is worth solving and then scaling this creative mindset throughout the organization. The ability to do this will allow companies to reinvent and create breakthrough ideas. The methodology of scaling creativity and raising the creative competency of the entire organization is at the heart of design-led innovation.

Starting in 2004, SAP realized that having a design-led innovation approach must be at the core of our own transformation and culture. We started applying design thinking very specifically to the user experience of our products and processes and since then this mindset is core to our entire organization.

In 2013, we started extending this approach with our customers and have since then worked with hundreds of customers to leverage this methodology for innovation. One example that comes to mind is how SAP and Daimler worked together to establish a culture of innovation and a design-driven mindset — a mindset focused on human needs that embraced creativity and agility and fostered collaboration across organizational boundaries.

Based on this collaboration, Helmut Schuett, CIO of Daimler Trucks, Buses, and Vans, stated: “We selected SAP as a partner for design thinking journey because we were looking for a partner that is really experienced in the area and has done this transformation already in their own organization.”

To learn more about design-led innovation, we have launched a podcast series covering the following seven topics:

  • Introducing the SAP You Need to Know: Learn how SAP started on its design-led innovation journey, helped customers, and has become the “on-ramp to the enterprise” for partners.

Listen to part one on YouTube | iTunes | SoundCloud


  • SAP and Design-Driven Innovation: Learn how companies prioritize innovation and what the “equation” for successful innovation is.

Listen to part two on YouTube | iTunes | SoundCloud


  • SAP and Cultivating a Culture of Innovation: Learn how companies can cultivate a culture of innovation that is pervasive across the entire organization.

Listen to part three on YouTube | iTunes | SoundCloud


  • SAP Design’s Role in SAP Leonardo: Learn about SAP Leonardo and its role in design-led innovation.

Listen to part four on YouTube | iTunes | SoundCloud


  • SAP’s Open Ecosystems and Partnerships: Understand the changing nature of partnerships and why disruptors like Silicon Valley startups and technology companies see SAP as the ultimate enterprise partner.

Listen to part five on YouTube | iTunes | SoundCloud


  • Customer Stories from the SAP Design Team: Listen to customer stories about how design thinking has been used to help the world run better and save people’s lives.

Listen to part six on YouTube | iTunes | SoundCloud


  • SAP and the Future of Design and UX: Hear about some of the predictions I believe are next for the future of design innovation, how trends will affect design and ultimately new products and services

Listen to part seven on YouTube | iTunes | SoundCloud