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The Perfect Kickstart for Innovative Ideas

Feature Article | October 26, 2017 by Barbara Östreich

The economy is booming and the engines of growth are running strong. So far, so good. But what does the future hold?

The digital transformation, automation, and hyperconnectivity are challenges that companies must address if they want to keep up in the digital economy. Yet many businesses are unsure about how they can benefit from going digital ‒ and about where to start.

The German economy is known the world over for its quality and continuity and, increasingly, for its innovative energy. However, trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning are only just gaining traction, particularly in the SME space.

Yet the digital transformation is an imperative, not an option, and no company can afford to lose momentum in making it happen. Consequently, many businesses are worried that they will “miss the boat”, and are looking for guidance. At least that is the impression that the consulting experts from SAP Digital Business Services get from talking to their customers.

Through SAP Leonardo Innovation Services, SAP Digital Business Services and SAP Digital Studio offer enterprises the ideal launchpad for developing innovative ideas and bringing them to the market in a way that creates value.

Developing Digital Strategies for New Products

SAP SE Executive Board member Michael Kleinemeier sums up the benefits of the offering from SAP Digital Business Services like this: “With the world becoming increasingly digital, businesses are at a crossroads. SAP Leonardo Innovation Services provide customers with a safe way to experiment with new technologies and find the best fit for their business before making an investment in new technology.”

SAP Digital Studio is an element of SAP Leonardo Innovation Services and refers to both a transformation approach and a physical space. Customers signing up for SAP Digital Studio are invited to attend creative, hands-on sessions where they can collaborate with partners and SAP specialists in an inspirational atmosphere. These sessions take place at various locations in Germany ‒ including SAP AppHaus in Heidelberg, BPW Innovation Lab in Siegburg, and SAP Data Space in Berlin ‒ or at the new SAP location in Ratingen, near Dusseldorf, which is home to the (as yet) only physical SAP Digital Studio.

During strategy workshops, consultants from SAP Digital Business Services apply design thinking and other proven agile methods for developing strategies. Their motto is “think and act like a startup”. In design thinking rooms equipped with mobile writeable walls and smart corners for group work, the participants discuss existing business models, explore ways of revamping them, or develop brand new ones from scratch.

The design thinking workshop is taking place in a group.

Hands-On Approach to Digital Transformation and the IoT

SAP Digital Business Services also offers strategy workshops ‒ known as “Future Workshops” ‒ at customer sites, such as BPW in Siegburg. “We’re amazed at the quality of the results and at the possibilities this agile development methodology offers,” says a participant, adding, “The consultants steer absolutely clear of theoretical digressions; and they make even complex interrelationships transparent, which means you can bring solution ideas to life much faster.”

The combination of the customer’s subject knowledge and the digital transformation expertise that the consultants from SAP Leonardo Innovation Services offer is a winning ticket, and there are plenty of showcases to prove it. Construction sets such as Fischertechnik and Lego are often used to visualize ideas – providing both innovative and tangible results.

Blockchain showcase for the real estate industry.

From Idea to Business Outcome: Quickly and Effectively

After strategy development comes the prototyping phase. Here, the consultants work ‒ among other things ‒ with preconfigured model companies. These are ideally suited to illustrating the technological options for implementing digitalization strategies and designing roadmaps.

“You get a result really fast,” confirms an experienced SAP Digital Studio consultant. “You can combine tools and technologies to tailor the innovation to match the customer’s wishes and requirements to the letter. In this phase, the customer has access to SAP Digital Business Services’ full expertise in design, business transformation, and industry and technology consulting, and can therefore prepare thoroughly for implementing its innovation.”

Hands-On Workshops: Practical and to the Point

SAP Digital Business Services and SAP Digital Studio deploy agile methods and best practices that make technology trends and the digital transformation clear and tangible. Attendance levels tell their own story: SAP Digital Business Services has so far welcomed over 1,000 participants to its creative workshops and distributed more than 800 IoT Simulators to help customers leverage future-oriented technologies to create compelling business models.

Having gained inspiration from the IoT Simulator, customers frequently attend follow-on workshops ‒ which is a great way of finding out about the technological possibilities for implementing digital initiatives and watching them in action.

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