Driving Progress in Sustainability, Adoption, and AI: The 2024 SAP Innovation Award Winners


It is no secret that I have had technology in my blood since I was young, having received my first computer at age 12 and learned programming at 14. We founded our first company at 17 and, as time went on, we created our first professional application — a mini ERP system to help photographers with their business. With that, I began to realize the power of technological improvements for businesses and how enterprise software impacts lives in general.

For example, the introduction of low-code/no-code has made application development accessible to everyone in an organization — with or without a technical background — to improve experiences for everyone. Just take Dak, the then 12-year-old junior app developer from Massachusetts, who was part of my SAP TechEd keynote in 2022. With SAP Build solutions, Dak was able to develop all kinds of apps and publish them to a wide audience, such as the “Knowledge 4 Ever” app that offers kids a playful learning experience during summer break.

Then, there are cloud technologies that further boost accessibility and offer other benefits. Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has put more power into more hands. Another advancement, composable technology, will make it easier for businesses to quickly assemble, reassemble, and compose solutions to meet their needs and those of their customers.

Over the course of my 11-year journey at SAP, the SAP Innovation Awards have served as a one-of-a-kind global platform to showcase customers and partners that have used their creativity, teamwork, SAP products, and cloud technologies to achieve remarkable results. This year, though, is a different experience for me. As an executive sponsor of the awards, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing up close what makes this program and the participating businesses so special.

Today, I am thrilled to announce the 2024 SAP Innovation Award winners. Out of 170 businesses, one in three were chosen as finalists and now the winners have been announced. These winners come from various industries and locations worldwide. What all of them share is the use of SAP products and technologies to create innovative solutions for their customers, employees, and communities. Congratulations to all participants for demonstrating remarkable abilities and highlighting the importance of curiosity and continuous learning!

AI Plays a Critical Role

Generative AI has empowered more people. Many of the participants have utilized SAP Business AI to boost their businesses. Take the winner Martur Fompak, one of the world’s leading suppliers of automotive seat systems, which has leveraged SAP solutions, including SAP AI Launchpad and SAP AI Core, to revolutionize cockpit customization. When personalizing cockpit elements such as seats, door panels, and dashboards, OEMs and customers can see the carbon impact of each choice. By providing and promoting more sustainable and environmentally friendly options, Martur Fompak has decreased carbon emissions by 34% for each seat the company produces. AI has also helped the company increase its efficiency to achieve calculations 50 times faster than with manual methods and accelerate data collection by 75 times. 

Sustainability for a Better World Today – and Tomorrow

At SAP, we love to celebrate inspirational customer and partner stories

Technology has significantly contributed to improving lives, both within and beyond business contexts. Numerous winners like Martur Fompak have prioritized sustainability. Let us look at one more innovator in this area: González Byass S.A.

A producer of high-quality sherries, González Byass is committed to the circular economy concept of eliminating waste, circulating materials, and regenerating nature. The company deploys sustainable and water-saving agricultural techniques. To assist with eliminating and recycling waste, González Byass turned to SAP and SAP Responsible Design and Production. The company needed a faster, more transparent way to gather and manage data, specifically around the purchase and use of plastic. With SAP Responsible Design and Production, González Byass can quickly and effectively monitor, measure, and act on data. The company recovers 99% of the waste generated during production while recycling 100% of paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic.  

Adoption Can Be Challenging

Even top technologies such as AI may need support to gain widespread acceptance. Many of this year’s winners have been innovative with their focus on adopting SAP technology. Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a prime example.

A leader in onshore/offshore wind energy production, Vestas wanted to improve its supplier and partner collaboration and selected SAP for the task. Vestas began its journey with SAP in 2007 by employing SAP ERP Central Component and consolidating to ONE ERP in 2015. Since 2017, the company has been transforming its digital procurement for supplier collaboration with SAP Ariba solutions. Last year, Vestas began to build out its value chain alongside suppliers and partners with SAP Business Network, enabling data transparency and connectivity in finance, production planning, and logistics management. As a result, 6,000 suppliers were onboarded, US$12.5 billion in purchase orders was executed, 350,000 orders were confirmed, and 25,000 advance ship notices were generated, to name a few transactions — all in 2023. 

I am happy to say that the 2024 SAP Innovation Awards honor businesses that have demonstrated their innovation and effective use of SAP products and technologies. They’ve adapted to and met the ever-changing needs of their customers and communities and, as I wrote earlier, achieved remarkable results in diverse areas. Congratulations to all winners! 

The Winners Shine in Seven Categories

If you’re curious about the path to victory for our winners, learn more in this article. Thirty winners were selected, covering the following categories:

  • Business Innovator, focusing on transforming the supply chain, processes, or business networks using cloud solutions from SAP
  • Industry Leader, for employing SAP solutions to address big challenges and change how business is conducted
  • Experience Wizard, for achieving business transformation with cloud solutions from SAP to improve employee and customer experiences
  • Sustainability Hero, achieving sustainability with leading-edge solutions
  • Services Supernova, for outstanding achievements in transforming businesses into sustainable enterprises
  • Transformation Titan, demonstrating exceptional innovation and transformational leadership in using SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP)
  • Partner Paragon, for accelerating the adoption of SAP BTP

Juergen Mueller is chief technology officer and a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.

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