We headlined at SAP Innovation Forum this year again as Platinum Partner. Just like for SAP, these events provide an exceptional interface to the local SAP market-place. Those customers who have a genuine need to innovate with and deploy SAP solutions flock to this event. They get an executive summary to the latest solutions, customer testimonials and access to the relevant ecosystem partners.
A year ago, the general mood of this event was just as electric as this year but for entirely different reasons. SAP hadn’t come out with any block-buster releases and the humming came from a stagnating market. This year the hum came from a variety of interesting releases such as S/4 HANA, Simple Finance, HANA Cloud Platform, Cloud-for-Customer etc. The number of attendees reportedly hit an all-time record with some 700 professionals showing up at Marina Congress Center.
SAP’s current rhetoric is largely about driving innovation with simplification. Bilot bows to the ode of simplicity but our approach is to be smart at the same time – hence our punchline ‘Smart & Simple’. The definition of our doctrine can be found in an earlier blog.
The best part of these events is naturally meeting customers and prospects. Our cute “Smart’n’Simple-mobile”’ was stuck in traffic at our stand caused by customers and prospects swarming around it. We also had the honor to have some our prominent customers tell their story. Heinon Tukku CEO Marja Hämäläinen gave an excellent, down-to-earth speech on the main stage. It is always refreshing and inspiring to have the most senior manager of company explain how IT (and in this case SAP) has given genuine competitive advantage. Hämäläinen fluently explained how customer management is being improved with a layered business IT solution consisting of SAP Profitability and Cost Management, hybris Commerce, Bilot SmartChannel and SAP Cloud-for-Customer (CRM).
Why is this solution relevant and extremely business driven? It starts with enhanced analytics and understanding the customer better. This information is fed into the Customer Engagement and Commerce engine which exploits the leading commerce platform from hybris and the turbo-charged SmartChannel solution. SAP Cloud-for-customer gives the final touch as it gives Heinon Tukku a cutting-edge management solution to foster the customer relationship.
Two months have now passed. Did this event have an impact on anything? I would say it did – big time. And especially Marja Hämäläinen’s speech and for that am grateful indeed. Just in the past two weeks, I’ve had three discussions with customers/prospects who cited Hämäläinen and her take on how IT can genuinely support business.
Also the concept of Bilot Smart Solutions is gradually making its way into more discussions about thinking differently about solution roadmaps, business-IT platforms and adoption of best-practices and purpose built functionalities. It is quite evident that businesses like the idea of getting more for less and intelligently cutting corners without sacrifices.