Nine teams across three categories — each reflecting a different type of breakthrough thinking, considering the various ways in which innovation drives SAP’s success — are competing for this year’s Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award.

Here, meet the finalists in the Products and Technology category.

The Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award is the highest
employee recognition at SAP, awarded annually by the CEO
to an individual or a team.

Finalist: Carbon Data Network

In the chase for net zero, all businesses must disclose their carbon emissions, but aggregating verified emissions data along their entire supply chains is not possible.

Considering the limited accuracy of public emission databases often used for measurements, numerous suppliers and countries, and no common standards for measuring, auditing, or verifying carbon emissions, pressure is growing on businesses for transparent, credible supply chain emission information.

Carbon Data Network

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Carbon Data Network

Video by Esteban Villate

“If you don’t have the underlying data about the entire footprint of carbon emissions in the supply chain, how are you going to make good decisions about your suppliers? It’s just not possible if you don’t have good quality data,” says Marcus Krug, product manager at SAP.

In addition to verifiable emissions data, the team around Carbon Data Network realized that the carbon emissions sustainability space has a unique feature: all industries — or, at a minimum, certain sectors of industry — are potentially interconnected, regardless of vendor, size, or country. Ultimately, nearly every business, large or small, must track emissions. Any boundaries would be artificial and could exclude businesses.

To secure success in this space, networks must be open and inclusive. How can such a network be secure, trusted and credible?

Decarbonization Is a Team Sport

Using blockchain technology, zero-knowledge proofs, and self-sovereign identity (SSI), the team created Carbon Data Network, an interoperable network that is open to all businesses while safeguarding business data privacy and verifying carbon emissions.

Trusted issuers assign decentralized identities as verifiable credentials to businesses joining the Carbon Data Network. With SSI, businesses have control over when and how they share emissions data. When a request for emissions data is sent to a business (data owner) from another business (requester), the data owner transfers the requested emissions data directly from its back end to the requester’s back end. Zero-knowledge proofs verify accounting standards in the emissions calculations.

Pilot customers include Maersk and H&M, , among others. The team also has proof feasibility in the Chinese blockchain infrastructure, as well as the EU and U.S.

Decentralized and open, Carbon Data Network can be monetized via the network clients. If successful, this network will connect businesses globally and extend the reach of SAP Business Network. A plan to issue decentralized identities to the 3 million customers in SAP Business Network offers another possible revenue stream for SAP; existing SAP Business Network customers will request emissions data from non-SAP Business Network customers.

Decarbonization Is a Global Collaborative Process

With a permission-less blockchain infrastructure and an extremely low barrier for entry, Carbon Data Network offers a vendor-neutral network. Decentralized identifiers guarantee that businesses in the network can be trusted, so every business on the planet will have access to verifiable carbon emissions data and decarbonization becomes a global collaborative process.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission Title: Carbon Data Network
  • Team: Marcus Krug, Mehran Shakeri, Nicola Zanon, Anne Taubitz, Niko Lockenvitz, Madhubala Ganesan, Pembe Karahan, Phipps Xue, Jesper Schleimann, Mohan Shekar, Yan Zhao, Pouline Mensen
  • Number of employees: 12
  • Achievement: An open, decentralized network application allows every business on the planet — regardless of geography, industry, or company size — to share trustworthy, verifiable carbon emission data with each other.
  • Impact: The ability to measure and reduce carbon emissions influences the planet’s decarbonization. The established network could be leveraged to enable any other cross-company business collaboration and is not restricted to sharing only carbon emission data.

Finalist: SAP Intelligent Agriculture

While more than one quarter of the global workforce is employed in agriculture and feeds Earth’s population, agriculture is currently facing an unprecedented mix of challenges driven by climate change, global conflicts, and limited resources.

All players along the agribusiness and food value chain are increasingly concerned about sustainability, how to make regenerative agriculture profitable, and how to remain competitive. A common vision has emerged of efficient, sustainable, and resilient agriculture.

SAP Intelligent Agriculture

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SAP Intelligent Agriculture

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The team around SAP Intelligent Agriculture leveraged the SAP Advisory Council for Agribusiness and worked with the associated Workgroup for Efficient and Sustainable Farming with 14 customers to understand needs and challenges.

“We discovered that the vision of applying technology to make farming smart in many aspects just practically wasn’t working yet,” recalls Cedrik Kern, solution owner at SAP. “Many of our customers had already invested in new capabilities such as drones and AI models, but had significant challenges to leverage these investments in their day-to-day farming processes, services, and decisions.”

Industry Cloud Solution Helps Future Food Security

“We knew we needed to deliver fast to capture a critical time window in the market, so the whole team committed to releasing after only nine months of development,” says Florian Waidner, product manager at SAP. “The team worked relentlessly and we were able to get the solution to the market in time, which is truly remarkable.”

SAP Intelligent Agriculture makes next-generation, data-driven farming processes and services a reality. For the first time, SAP customers can now rely on an enterprise-grade, native cloud solution to capture and manage farm data at a granular level and optimize farm planning and operations based on their valuable experience. Combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and data science models, agribusinesses now have the potential to produce more while reducing water, fertilizer, and pesticides.

Driving innovation, SAP Intelligent Agriculture is also a frontrunner in multiple areas, such as feature-driven development supported by deploy with confidence, which helps to release new features instantly, and the new Industry Cloud Enterprise Agreement.

Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation Limited is already on board as an early adopter customer, with others in the pipeline.

Farming for the Future

SAP Intelligent Agriculture is unlocking a market of intelligent farming operations for SAP – estimated to be worth US$1 to $2 billion – empowering agriculture customers to remain competitive, run resilient operations, farm efficiently and sustainably, and help ensure food security.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission Title: SAP Intelligent Agriculture – Sustainably Feeding the World
  • Team: Cross-functional team
  • Number of employees: Core team of approximately 50, with many other stakeholders and supporters across the company
  • Achievement: Enabling data-driven farming processes and services for more a sustainable, efficient, and resilient agricultural production, now working with the first early adoption customer to bring the solution capabilities to the field.
  • Impact: Enormous potential for SAP to grow with cloud solutions in the agribusiness industry’s total addressable market of US$5 to $10 billion, with the solution as a driver and enabler for SAP S/4HANA, SAP Digital Supply Chain, SAP Business Technology Platform, and SAP Customer Experience solutions in the space.

Finalist: Feather by SAP

Brand retailers often use dedicated brand-owned channels to sell their premium apparel. These channels offer carefully curated customer journeys and customer touchpoints. Outstanding customer experience is the key to customer brand loyalty.

However, Joanna Maryeswka, general manager and founder of the SAP.iO Venture Studio program in New York, experienced another journey when selling and buying secondhand brand apparel, a journey that “felt very tedious” to her as a customer. “Why,” she wondered, “are these consignment marketplaces making so much money out of a product they never made?”

Feather by SAP

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Feather by SAP

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Venture capital funding trends today are showing the continued rise of the secondhand apparel market. One estimate projects that the global market for secondhand apparel will grow 127% to US$218 billion in the next five years, driven in part by a demographic looking for lower acquisition costs, concern for the planet, or both.

How can brand retailers appeal to this market, particularly consumers motivated by lower acquisition costs and concern for the planet? How can they take control of their secondhand apparel, monetize it, promote responsible consumption, and protect their brand?

Apparel Retailers Grow Sales Without Manufacturing More

The answer is Feather by SAP, which unlocks recommerce, a new growth area for SAP and brand retailers, with an end-to-end solution to launch, manage, and scale resell.

Built on a cloud-based platform, Feather by SAP, now part of the SAP Customer Experience portfolio, comprises back-end integrations and workflows that feed all transaction data to a reporting dashboard. From managing inventory and taking back the apparel to issuing store credits, preparing apparel for recommerce, and posting the apparel to a branded storefront, Feather by SAP manages the complete resell cycle.

From five full-time members after their first year to 11 today, the lean team has had more than 30 customer engagements, including Tapestry, PVH, and one active pilot customer, Sports Basement.

Fashion for the Future

With this new business model and solution, Feather by SAP is shifting brand retailers from a linear to a circular business model, increasing business value with no additional resource consumption with a model that manages the green line, unlocks a new market for customers and SAP, and grows the customer’s and SAP’s top line at the same time.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission Title: Feather by SAP – Reimagine Recommerce
  • Team: Joanna Maryewska, Raghunath Posa, Kenneth Fajardo, and a global team spanning four continents
  • Number of employees: 11 employees supported by fellows and interns
  • Achievement: The enterprise-ready end-to-end solution for a new sustainable business model of resale had its first customer onboarded, a planned a recommerce pilot, and more than 30+ accounts engaged this year. Resale capabilities to SAP customers at scale are in the pipeline.
  • Impact: For a better, more sustainable tomorrow, Feather by SAP is an enabler for launching and scaling recommerce, allowing customers to purchase, manage, and resell pre-owned goods while simultaneously tracking key financial and performance indicators.