Hong Kong Companies Demonstrate Resilience in COVID Crisis

SAP Hong Kong Hosts Virtual SAPPHIRE NOW Forum to Share Strategies from Leaders

Hong Kong, July 16, 2020 – Businesses with an effective technology platform have been best able to recognize and capture opportunities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, SAP Hong Kong managing director Fabian Padilla Crisol said during the SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2020 forum in Hong Kong. Hosting the forum in Hong Kong, he praised local businesses as exemplars of insight-driven resilience.

“There has been a massive increase in the adoption of new technologies by Hong Kong businesses in the past six months. Retailers have pivoted to contactless shopping and delivery. Service providers have embraced digital channels. Manufacturers have leveraged automation. And working from home and learning online are now the norm. While no one is denying that the challenges are substantial, many executives are now expressing confidence in the future with technologies that help their businesses run better,” Mr. Padilla Crisol said.

Being held as a virtual event for the first time in its 30-year history, SAP SAPPHIRE NOW has been reimagined in 2020 to focus on supporting business communities in economic recovery. In Hong Kong, SAP invited distinguished local business leaders to share their strategies for coping with the sudden shifts brought about by COVID-19.

Turn data into insights for action

For Signify, the connected lighting leader formerly known as Philips Lighting, 2020 has required a rapid shift to new distribution channels and production priorities.

“Customers’ buying behaviour has moved online, with urgent delivery as standard. But the more significant shift for us has been the huge rise in demand for products that are more intelligent, more connected, and better integrated as part of a smart home environment,” explained Timothy Mak, Group General Manager, Signify Hong Kong. “For example, we’ve developed a solution for optimal video conferencing lighting at home and lighting effects that enhance the video game experience.”

Make innovation your edge

Property developer Chinachem Group works with SAP to deploy technologies that sharpen its competitive edge: business intelligence improves decision making and the cloud increases agility. Behind all of these are people coming together to create and implement good ideas.

“The ability to innovate is one of the most important factors for success in today’s fast-changing world. At Chinachem we value innovation as a core competency and this is what drives our digital transformation. You cannot just invest in technology. You need to put time and resources into cultivating a culture of innovation so that you can respond to a crisis with win-win solutions,” Damien Wu, Director of Digital Transformation, Chinachem Group, said.

Be your own disruptor

Karl Ting, General Manager – Information System, Crystal International Group, is a 40-year veteran of the IT industry. He advises today’s CIO or CTO to think beyond their technology role. “Work closely with your senior management team. Watch out for threats and opportunities. Challenge yourself to come up with innovative ideas. And accept that you may have to disrupt your current business model. Being a trusted advisor to top management is how you will stay relevant in the future,” he said.

Harness digitalization

The digitization of records, drawings and inspections in the construction industry is laying the foundation for a future where trusted data can be shared on a common platform. As a leader in large-scale infrastructure construction and a digital pioneer, Chun Wo is digitalizing and looking ahead to collaborating with a wider range of partners on mega-projects.

“The past few months have given us the opportunity to accelerate our digital transformation,” Stephen Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Chun Wo Construction, said. “We have deployed SAP cloud technology and artificial intelligence to upgrade our data management, financial reporting and business intelligence capabilities and help our teams generate high-value business insights. We have also streamlined our processes and ensured they work on mobile platforms for improved efficiency.”

Balance the short and long term

Working with SAP under COVID-19 restrictions, insurer Generali Hong Kong has successfully automated its business processes, centralised its data, and incorporated machine learning and predictive insight to enhance its efficiency and compliance. This has helped it create solutions that support customers at this time of need and maintain its long-term viability.

“As part of a global insurance group, Generali, that has been helping clients insure against risks for almost two centuries and has shown the ability to live through crisis, we view our customers as lifetime partners. Our customers need us more during a crisis like COVID-19 which has a direct impact on life, health and wealth. At a global level, Generali Group has set up a 100m Eur dedicated fund to fight COVID-19 and there is centralized monitoring of all initiatives for a proactive response. At Generali Hong Kong we are supporting our customers, staff and business partners by offering relevant insurance coverages, use of technology to further simplify operations and smart working environment. We also have a long term commitment to our customers and hence are maintaining a strong balance sheet and a solid capital position.” said Arsh Kaumi, Chief Financial Officer, Generali Hong Kong.

Constantly evolve

As Asia’s leading travel and lifestyle rewards programme, Asia Miles is looking forward to a recovery that sees people able to enjoy travel again. Chief Executive Officer Paul Smitton believes the company was fortunate to be already in a good place in the digital world long before COVID-19.

“We put the SAP Commerce platform in place last year and consumers are really loving our more seamless modern e-retail experience. Not only that, we are able to create more personalised marketing experiences that are relevant for our over 12 million worldwide members,” he said.

“We’re in a constant process of evolving technologies. We’re creating an omnichannel experience for members where they can go to a great place and experience the type of things that they can use their Miles. We’re reimagining the future, new products, new initiatives.  Meanwhile, the past few months have proved our way to work was different. We’ve worked effectively and efficiently with online tools  and we’ve seen productivity gains. I don’t think we will work the same way again.”

Look ahead with confidence

Ted Suen, Chief Information Officer of MTR Corporation and President of the Hong Kong Computer Society, is confident that Hong Kong can become Asia’s Silicon Valley. This will bring opportunities for start-ups and established businesses and benefit the wider community and economy.

“Hong Kong has all of the right ingredients to emerge as the Silicon Valley of Asia. We are the financial and transportation hub of the Greater Bay Area. We have a good business environment. We have talent, with five of the top 100 universities in the world, and a number of unicorns valued at over US$1 billion. The time is right for Hong Kong to take advantage of these strengths and grow as the region’s innovation centre by focusing on integrating advanced technologies into our business operations and daily life,” Mr. Suen said.

About SAP

As the Experience Company powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 440,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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For more information, press only:
Mr. Benson Chao, SAP Hong Kong Director of Corporate Communications, +852 2539 1800, benson.chao@sap.com