Nine teams are vying for the highest employee recognition at SAP: the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award. The award is organized around three categories, each reflecting a different type of breakthrough thinking, considering the various ways in which innovation drives SAP’s success.

Here, we kick it off with the 2023 Go to Market finalists.

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

Transforming Learning in the SAP Ecosystem

Learning within the SAP ecosystem can be a daunting task. For both customers and SAP professionals, it can be hard to keep up with the landscape of ever-evolving innovations and advancing technologies. Constant learning has become somewhat of a standard with the transition to the cloud, which has resulted in a greater requirement for skilled talent. Yet the team behind the SAP Learning site noticed an unfortunate trend. “Most SAP professionals are not engaging in SAP Learning and certification activities,” says team leader Jan Meyer, global head of SAP Learning Systems. “Many customers feared a skills shortage impacting their move to SAP S/4HANA.” However, the SAP Learning team also determined that when customers and partners engaged in learning activities, there were tremendous positive effects in their technical skills and overall work satisfaction.

The next steps were therefore clear for the team. As team member Marina Noble, head of Learning Systems Product and Solution Management, states, “These challenges and opportunities motivated us to significantly reduce learning, experiential, and commercial barriers and to create opportunities through learning and development for everyone.” Their realization led to the creation of learning.sap.com. In doing so, they garnered support from leaders across SAP, including Customer Success, Partner Ecosystem Success, Intelligent Enterprise Group, and SAP Learning. The goal was to tear down as many barriers to entry as possible by simplifying and consolidating information into one all-encompassing learning destination.

SAP Learning Site and Learning Business Transformation

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SAP Learning Site and Learning Business Transformation
Video by David Aguirre

Within the site, the team focused on simplifying discovery and access for all users. They eliminated the need for registration, simplified the complexity of the learning process by consolidating multiple learning destinations, and increased optimization for search engines and digital learning. They also made a wealth of learning content available for free. Timo Schuette, team member and global head of SAP Product Learning CoE, explains how, “Today, 191 learning journeys, many leading to SAP certification, are available in this new experience on SAP Learning in front of the paywall.” The results of this decision have already bore fruit, with 2023 showcasing a 250% year-over-year growth in users and a record 1.7 million active learners. On the other side of the paywall, the team created a premium learning experience that uses key methods to help maximize learning impact. Premium users can gain access to hands-on practice systems, expert-led sessions, role-based certification, and advanced learning analytics. Additionally, the premium learning experience has been substantially reduced in cost, allowing more partners and customers to reap the benefits.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission Title: SAP Learning Site and Learning Business Transformation
  • Team: Marina Noble, Tine Vandenbreeden, Sabine Benz, Amy Sellers, Riz Khan, Paul Maguire, Manuel Rodriguez, Timo Schuette, Dave LeFevre, Jan Meyer
  • Number of Employees: 10
  • Achievement: A completely new, world-class learning experience on learning.sap.com, designed for building and sustaining SAP product knowledge and deep skills at scale, with free and self-paced learning content in front of the paywall and the most compelling premium learning value proposition in our industry behind the paywall
  • Impact: This initiative will help bridge the skills gap in our ecosystem; add value to every phase of the customer value journey, leading to accelerated and more sustainable customer success; generate incremental cloud revenue for SAP; and provide development and career opportunities for all in SAP’s ecosystem.

A New and Improved AI Customer Support Experience

The team behind the new “get support” application on SAP for Me began with a blank slate. Instead of taking the solutions from SAP ONE Support Launchpad and applying them to a new application, they knew that the needs of customers using SAP for Me were different. For instance, the get support app would house the customer service requirements of many more employees using a multitude of SAP products. The case creation process would therefore have to properly support Digital Core & Platform and People & Operations, as well as SAP Signavio, SAP Fieldglass, and SAP Ariba solutions. Additionally, due to the influx in customer volume, it became a necessity to increase the customer self-service rate while making sure customers could still connect with the right experts to solve their issues.

The team found their solution to these challenges in the implementation of AI. Built alongside the Artificial Intelligence Technologies team in the Customer Support & Innovation organization, they utilized the innovative technology to help reduce customer effort and improve the accuracy of responses. One of the key improvements AI has facilitated within the get support app is helping customers correctly qualify their problems through the channel recommender. As explained by John Bowley, team leader and product manager of Support Applications in SAP for Me, “Based on data analysis, an AI service derives the most suitable support channel to solve an issue, whether that is SAP Community or Expert Chat.”

AI-Powered Customer Support Experience

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AI-Powered Customer Support Experience
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The team also used AI to help improve the self-service features of the app. While customers are providing information and getting support, an AI service will run alongside and present relevant knowledge articles to the customer. These articles will be based on customer input and will happen in parallel with the customer receiving support, helping to expedite the whole process.

The new and improved get support app has already proven itself with positive outcomes. There is now a significant increase in the percentage of customers that start the case creation process within the app but don’t fully create a support case (64.5%, up from 32% in the previous application). This means that these customers began searching for help in the app and found a solution during the process without needing to create a case. Additionally, the app helps bolster the operational efficiency of the SAP support organization with its improvements in routing customers to the right support teams.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission Title: Introducing a Groundbreaking AI-Powered Customer Support Experience
  • Team: Katrin Bauer, Rosemary Gaine, John Bowley, Mike Trott, Peter Kappelmann, Amanda Gong, Silvia Niklass, Yuan Wang, Felicia Shafiq, Biyu Zhao
  • Number of Employees: core team of 10
  • Achievement: The new get support application on SAP for Me helps guide customers to solve technical product issues in real time or reach SAP experts with relevant information through an AI-enabled framework.
  • Impact: The application is used about 280,000 times every month, resulting in around 110,000 interactions created with our application (cases, expert chats, Schedule an Expert sessions).

Reimagining Sales Engagements with SAP Signavio

The Value Advisory team collaborates with customers to help link their business strategies and experiences to their desired outcomes. But in the process of shifting to a cloud-first approach, the team faced a dilemma: it became apparent that their sales engagement strategy required modernization. An increase in the volume of deals within the cloud space required a faster, more efficient, and more consistent sales engagement approach that aligns with the specific needs of the customer. And pitching the cloud to customers came with its own unique crop of difficulties. “Justifying the value of cloud [to customers] is challenging due to the comprehensiveness of the solution spanning across the entire value chain of an enterprise,” says Nitin Singh, team leader and Value Advisory principal. The team knew that a data-driven sales perspective was the key to a more streamlined and dependable method for crafting compelling value propositions.

To aid them in this endeavor, the team implemented the SAP Signavio portfolio of cloud-based business process management solutions within their practice to demonstrate value to customers through data-driven insights. As Singh explains, “This new approach involved merging business metrics from SAP Value Lifecycle Manager with process performance data from SAP Signavio solutions. This integration allowed our customers to clearly see the connection between business outcomes and the process capabilities supported by data.”

SAP Signavio & SAP Value Lifecycle Manager Integration

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SAP Signavio & SAP Value Lifecycle Manager Integration
Video by John Hunt

Previously, business cases relied on benchmarking a customer’s performance KPIs against competitors in specific functions, like finance and asset management, demonstrating problematic areas within the business. SAP Signavio solutions, on the other hand, rely on analyzing performance through metrics such as work order automation and backlogs, which in turn identify specific pain points. The team combined these two approaches – business centric and process centric – to create a system where data produced by SAP Signavio solutions was applied to business’ KPIs to help identify cases of suboptimal performance.

So far, this new approach has impacted 170 customers. The approach offers a highly repeatable performance diagnostic that can be utilized across the SAP sales landscape. “It can be used to identify, clarify, verify, and amplify value throughout the customer value journey,” says Singh. With the merging of SAP Signavio and Value Advisory, the team even wound up creating a new category: process-driven value management. Customer feedback regarding the innovation has already proven to be incredibly positive.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission Title: Reimagined RISE with SAP Business Case with SAP Signavio and Value Lifecycle Manager Integration
  • Team: Nitin Singh, Devesh Thakur, Axel Hecke, Gerry McCool, Jonathon Ngo, Vikas Gupta, Jasjeet Singh, Hartosh Singh Bugra, Abhishek Dhawan, Christian Oehler
  • Number of employees: 10 (North America Value Advisory, global Value Advisory, SAP Signavio customer transformation)
  • Achievement: The team innovated a new approach to integrate business and process data to help analyze customer maturity and embed that into customer engagements, which in turn helps articulate the value of the cloud and RISE with SAP to customers.
  • Impact: The ability for SAP teams to provide a linkage between process performance indicators and key performance indicators in a streamlined manner to provide a more robust business value case for over 100 customer transformations
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Top photo courtesy of SAP employee Denise Moll