Give us 40 minutes of your precious time at a premiere business conference, and you’ll learn how to tackle some of your biggest challenges in the experience economy. Many customers gladly accepted this offer at the recent SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference. They sat down in small targeted workshops for in-depth conversations about the fast-changing technologies and trends most important to their intelligent enterprises.
“We wanted to foster the exchange of ideas in small groups because it’s a great way to get people to open up and share their own experiences,” said Dan Wellers, senior analyst for SAP Insights. “After listening to on-stage speakers share SAP’s intelligent enterprise vision, people came to the workshops for deeper conversations about applying that vision to their company. Talking with each other, they gained a better understanding of SAP’s unique value, plus the impact on their business, industry, and society. It helped them think differently about their unique business problems and how to solve them.
Exploring the Business Impact of X-Data + O-Data
In one People Engagement workshop, participants put themselves in the shoes of an employee who was considering another career opportunity. Working in small groups, they wrote down three thoughts: what they knew about that employee now, what they wish they knew about that person, and what they thought the employee wished they knew about them. The “aha moment” came when they classified all of their thoughts under either experience data (X-data) and operational data (O-data).
“We could see the light bulbs going off because this exercise stretched people to shift their perspective about improving employee engagement,” said Wellers. “Customers realized they could have a better understanding of an employee’s motivation by combining O-data, such as budget, and X-data, including human factors like recognition and motivation. Managers could see what was possible when they had these combined insights.”
At the close of a workshop on Applied Intelligent Decision-Making, one participant had an epiphany about the relevance of human experience on business decisions. She opened the conversation by saying she didn’t like talking about feelings, which made everything too complicated. Forty minutes later, she conceded that “adding empathy helps people understand the why, and I guess this makes it less complicated.”
Participants in Customer Experience workshops considered how customer expectations will change as experiential data grows. This comment typified the positive reactions: “These insights are terrific. I’m leaving with lots of questions [to bring back to my company].”
Worthwhile Dialogues on Becoming Intelligent Enterprises
Wellers said the workshops reflected SAP’s commitment to partnering with customers, helping them understand the implications of technology in the context of their business. “There are many ways SAP helps customers explore innovations. Having a place to share experiences with each other in small group conversations was a valuable exercise in knowledge sharing for us and our customers,” he said.
Feedback from the targeted workshops indicated most participants agreed with Wellers. Numerous long-time SAPPHIRE NOW attendees were surprised and delighted, having never experienced this kind of intimate learning conversation at the event. Some participants wanted to keep going beyond the designated time slot because they were learning so much from each other.
Forty minutes isn’t a long time, but it was just enough for valuable customer conversations about becoming an intelligent enterprise in the experience economy.
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