While our mettle continues to be tested in profound ways, digital resilience is flourishing. The push to rethink how we do everything — from business and schooling to birthday parties — drives creativity with a new urgency. The value of innovation has never meant more. SAP was founded on innovation and recognizing its role and promise is core to who we are.
SAP supports innovation — and innovators — in a variety of ways, but among our hallmarks is the annual challenge to companies to take SAP technology and use it to tackle some of the world’s most vexing challenges. While this year effectively dismantled every conventional norm, SAP never gives up on the power of ideas. Today more than ever, innovation paves the way to sustainability and growth. The lesson is clear for business and in life: those who successfully innovate thrive.
In that spirit, I am thrilled to announce the launch of our eighth annual SAP Innovation Awards. For 2021, the program offers a showcase for our customers to put their best ideas into action while driving real and replicable success.
The reach and impact of the challenge grows bigger every year. When we launched in 2014, 27 companies submitted entries from 15 eligible countries. Last year in 2020, with over 50 countries eligible, we received more than 260 entries from customers and partners that harnessed the power of SAP technology to become intelligent enterprises, develop next-gen applications that are helping the world run better and creating positive social impact to improve people’s lives.
Last year, each winner received a $1,000 gift card to Global Giving for them to donate to a cause of their choosing. Winners also received a beautiful and exclusively designed glass trophy and participated in a virtual celebration where each shared their stories. The event was hosted by the SAP Innovation Awards team, as well as Marty Mrugal, Max Wessel, and me. Hard work deserves special recognition no matter the circumstances.
For 2021, we made participation even easier and more attractive. The eligibility and submission processes have been simplified, plus we updated the categories, added new prizes, and increased the visibility and amplification opportunities.
My goal is to encourage everyone to consider participating in the awards. Entries can be submitted now through February 1, 2021, but please don’t hesitate! The sooner you submit your entry, the sooner others can hear your inspiring story. Please visit the 2021 SAP Innovation Awards website for information on how to enter, as well as the judging criteria, frequently asked questions, and more.
Witnessing the creative thinking of our customers is one of the highlights of my year. However, with the inherent realities of the past seven months, the possibilities for the 2021 challenge are boundless. Be thoughtful and have fun. Focus on success and winning will follow.
Adaire Fox-Martin is a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.