We have put together a collection of the most important events for you. A look back at the year 2013:
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Next page: Cloud computing, SAP HANA
1. ERP Flagship Runs on SAP HANA
SAP announced a milestone in February: The core applications of the SAP Business Suite are available on SAP HANA, effective immediately. This made SAP the only supplier of an integrated suite of enterprise applications that record and analyze transaction data on a single in-memory platform in real time.
With the release of the first new Rapid Deployment Solutions for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in March, SAP began offering its customers a useful tool for faster, simpler implementation of the integrated business application package.
The majority of industry solutions and core applications has been available generally since May of this year. Major names – including Spirit Aero Systems, Mercedes AMG, and Lenovo – reported on their experiences with real-time systems at SAPPHIRE NOW in June: Financial reports only take half as long to compile, costs can be cut significantly, and CRM processes are sped up by a factor of 40.
2. SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 Introduced at SAP TechEd
SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 (SMP) was announced at SAP TechEd Las Vegas. SAP continues to enhance the connectivity of its mobility products in this new version, with integrated solutions for developing mobile applications (including technology from SAP NetWeaver Gateway, Sybase Mobiliser, and Syclo Agentry) in addition to the existing Sybase Unwired Platform. The basic functions of mobile apps are already defined in the platform, which is based on open and open source standards. The cloud version will make it possible to develop and deploy customer applications all over the world. Other announcements at SAP TechEd Las Vegas included improved usability consulting, new features in SAP HANA, and a new release of SAP Mobile Secure Portfolio.
As in previous years, SAP TechEd events were also held this year in Europe, China, and India. At the Demo Jam, SAP customers, partners, and employees presented their innovative technologies and applications to the attending audience, all with the hope of being crowned the winner.
Next page: SAP Fiori introduced at SAPPHIRE NOW
3. Acquisitions: hybris, KXEN, and Others Expand the SAP Portfolio
In August, SAP completed its acquisition of e-commerce specialist hybris. The acquisition has allowed SAP to broaden its retail portfolio with a modern e-commerce platform. Its main modules are the web shop, the content management system established among SAP customers, and the ordering platform. The platform helps to better assess customer needs and build innovative types of customer interaction.
With the acquisition of Ticket-Web GmbH & Co. KG, SAP further expanded its offerings for the sports and entertainment sector. SAP made another important acquisition with the integration of KXEN, a predictive analytics specialist. This move is intended, in particular, to benefit non-analytics experts. Other new members of the SAP family that joined this year include SmartOps, KMS Software Company, and Camilion Solutions.
4. SAPPHIRE NOW: Sports as New Industry Solution and SAP Fiori
At this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, Florida in May, SAP’s Co-CEO Bill McDermott announced SAP’s decision to develop Sports and Entertainment as the 25th industry solution. Together with partners such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), the company will develop solutions for the sports industry, fans, athletes, and teams.
Alongside other products, SAP presented SAP Fiori to the some 20,000 attendees at its company showcase. SAP Fiori is a collection of apps that aims to simplify use of the 25 most popular SAP applications and to standardize their appearance on desktop computers and mobile devices.
5. Jim Hagemann Snabe to Transfer to the Supervisory Board
In July, SAP announced that Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe will transfer to the Supervisory Board in May 2014 and that Bill McDermott will become the sole CEO. “After more than 20 years at SAP, I have decided to begin a new phase in my career and be closer to my family,” said Snabe about his decision.
On July 1, 2014, Luka Mucic is slated to become CFO at SAP, succeeding Werner Brandt, who is retiring. Mucic, an internationally experienced financial expert, has “a top reputation and the trust of the entire Group,” Brandt said.
In addition, Björn Goerke has been appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO) and head of the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud organization. In this dual function, he will be responsible both for SAP’s internal global program and for driving the delivery of cloud services all over the world.
6. SAP as a Cloud Company
SAP’s cloud portfolio generated a lot of news in 2013. At the beginning of the year, SAP announced that its global partner program, SAP PartnerEdge, would immediately begin supporting a much-expanded portfolio of SAP cloud solutions – integrating 500 partners of SAP company SuccessFactors in the program.
This was followed in May by the launch of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, a new, cloud-based offering that makes the features of SAP HANA available as a service. SAP ERP, SAP CRM, and SAP Net Weaver Business Warehouse applications can now be used as managed cloud services. The SAP HANA cloud platform will also serve as the future foundation for SAP’s entire portfolio of cloud solutions.
In October, SAP announced its intention to make all its cloud offerings available on the SAP HANA platform. SAP Business ByDesign will become part of the SAP HANA cloud.
Next page: Augmented reality with SAP Smart Glasses
7. Google Glass and SAP Smart Glasses
Augmented reality has become more than just a trend – Google Glass and other products are making inroads into companies. Vuzix is collaborating with SAP to launch smart glasses that companies can deploy in production, logistics, and for service technicians. This video shows the smart glasses in action:
Analyst firm Gartner forecasts tremendous cost savings in the next three to five years for companies that use smart glasses for field service, naming five practical benefits of their use. Jörg Rett, Senior Researcher at SAP, also examined the potential of smart glasses for business use in an interview with SAP.info. In combination with SAP software, this opens entirely new possibilities: service technicians can scan a customer’s machine pool, for example, and obtain information about its status and instructions for repair – thanks to integration with SAP Predictive Analysis.
8. Autism as an Asset, Accessibility for People with Disabilities
In May, SAP announced plans to hire people with autism as software testers, programmers, and specialists for data quality. According to estimates, around one percent of the global population is affected by autism. By the year 2020, according to schedule, one percent of positions at SAP will also be staffed by people with autism.
In addition, SAP published an action plan in July to actively support people with disabilities and enable barrier-free collaboration between all employees. It is set to be fully implemented by the end of 2016. The action plan includes orientation tools for vision-impaired and blind employees, for example, as well as needs-based modifications to company cars.
9. Sensitive Topics at the German SAP User Group Congress
Mobile applications, cloud computing, and in-memory are just a few of the hot topics on the minds of German SAP users. The goal of the DSAG Annual Congress 2013, held in Nuremberg in September, was to examine the impact of these technologies on company business processes in more detail.
DSAG Chairman Marco Lenck, who serves as Head of IT at Rhein-Chemie Rheingau GmbH, did not hesitate to put sensitive topics on the agenda. New demands for data security were voiced, especially in the cloud computing area; in light of the revelations of the NSA affair, this subject is more important to users than ever before.
SAP Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe ensured that SAP will respond to the demands of the German SAP User Group: He spoke of a European cloud and expansion of the regional computing centers.
Next page: Sports and SAP
10. SAP User Group Emphasizes Collaboration for 2014
“Tomorrow’s World: Creating the Future Together” was the theme at this year’s UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference, held November 24 to 26 at the ICC Birmingham in Birmingham, UK. It is the only annual event in the UK and Ireland that is “by users for users” – and it gives SAP customers the opportunity to share with one another their experiences and best practices for maximizing the value of their SAP investment.
This year’s event program comprised 16 subject tracks, offering delegates a choice of more than 100 knowledge-transfer sessions presented by customers and SAP experts on subjects such as SAP HANA, cloud, mobility, supply chain management, user experience, human resources, payroll , financial excellence, and more.
Read more about the event, experiences, and best practices at SAP.info.
11. One-Two Passes between DFB and SAP
At the SAP forum for the sports and entertainment industry in early November, new SAP brand ambassador Oliver Bierhoff reported that the German national soccer team began relying on technology to improve its training methods, match analysis, and scouting as early as 2004. Working as a partner, SAP has helped to meet the challenges faced by the team. At the stadium of the German Bundesliga team TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, SAP demonstrated how sports are evolving with the help of powerful software, both on and off the playing field. The new technology is being piloted by Hoffenheim’s under-19s team in their daily training sessions.
Next page: The SAP Startup Forum Berlin
12. SAP Startup Forum Berlin Brings SAP HANA and Startups Together
At the Startup Forum in Berlin in June, 32 young entrepreneurs came together and presented their business concepts. The 21 winners were invited to join this year’s SAP Startup Focus Program, where they enjoy access to free SAP HANA software and marketing and support services, as well as the possibility to obtain VC funding. The first Startup Forum took place in 2012 in Palo Alto. The series of events is intended to bring SAP together with entrepreneurs from around the world whose ideas have advanced far enough to benefit from the SAP HANA technology platform.
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More highlights from the year, summarized on SAP TV.