SAP Sapphire 2022: The 5 key takeaways for enterprise leaders

Having been staged virtually for the last two years, SAP Sapphire made a return to Orlando last week, with this year’s conference touted as a ‘hybrid series’ – a virtual event combined with a nine-city, in-person world tour experience.

This year, SAP announced an extensive list of new cloud and product innovations designed to help customers build resilient supply chains, move from talk to action on sustainability, transform their business in the cloud, accelerate innovation with low-code app development and AI, and improve business results with intelligent support.

Here are the top five key areas covered in the 2022 conference:

  1. Improving digital supply chain efficiency

With events from the pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine exposing the fragility of global supply chains, SAP announced several key innovations to improve supply chain efficiency and transparency.

This includes a new suite of apps, co-designed with Apple and built by SAP, which aim to simplify onboarding, decrease the need for training and accelerate productivity improvements in the digital supply chain.

In addition, SAP’s new Digital Manufacturing Cloud will extend plant execution capabilities for process industries, addressing the entire business and integrating processes and production orders from SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

SAP Business Network continues to evolve; with the planned integration of Taulia software solutions, customers will be able to unlock the value tied up in their working capital. A new feature will also enable companies to comply with human rights due diligence laws.

Responding to the need for resilient supply chains in the life sciences sector, SAP has also launched SAP Intelligent Clinical Supply Management to help address the market need for transparent, flexible, integrated, and efficient clinical trial supply management.

  1. Walking the talk on sustainability efforts

In a bid to move businesses from well-intentioned talks to meaningful actions, SAP Cloud for Sustainable Enterprises introduces a portfolio of solutions to holistically manage sustainability performance and help companies innovate across key areas.

These solutions include SAP Product Footprint Management, designed to calculate product footprints periodically and at scale across the entire product lifecycle with live connectivity with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and SAP Responsible Design and Productions, which assesses extended producer responsibility obligations, plastic taxes, and corporate commitments to optimize material choices.

EY also launched EY Energy Industry Cloud for SAP solutions during the Sapphire event. The product aims to help energy organizations around the world accelerate their digital transformation.

The new partnership between EY and SAP will help companies identify mitigate implementation risks during their transformation, overcome challenges and build long-term value.

  1. Enabling business process transformation

SAP customers continue to adopt the RISE with SAP solution to redesign their end-to-end business processes and transition to a modular, agile ERP in the cloud. As we covered earlier this month, Accenture and SAP have introduced a new joint offering combining the RISE with SAP solution and the SOAR with Accenture services solution to enable large enterprises to move to the cloud.

The latest release of the SAP Service Cloud solution now includes new dynamic case management and case modelling capabilities. The solution supports native integration with Qualtrics XM Discover and Microsoft Teams to improve organizations’ ability to deliver on their brand promise with better visibility, greater accountability and faster time to resolution.

This month also saw Google Cloud and SAP unveil new integrations between Google Workspace and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. These native integrations let customers connect core SAP software designed for running mission-critical processes in the cloud with the collaborative capabilities of Google Docs and Google Sheets to innovate how work gets done across the enterprise.

“The global supply chain challenges facing the world today (are) affecting every business across every industry,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud in a blog posted for Sapphire’s launch. “Even cloud-native companies are making changes to ensure they have the insights, equipment, and other assets they need to continue serving customers.

“We are proud to work with SAP on many initiatives that are driving results for our customers and helping them run more intelligent and sustainable companies.”

  1. Accelerating innovation with low-code app development and AI

The rising demand for cloud solutions, a growing talent gap, and the expectation to do more with less while ensuring security and compliance continue to strain the capacity of development teams.

To address this challenge, SAP has been investing in low-code/no-code solutions that improve overall developer efficiency, enable more employees to automate tedious tasks, and create applications that simplify work in a compliant and secure fashion.

The integration of SAP AppGyver, a no-code application development platform, in SAP Service Cloud means that all SAP Service Cloud users can now create custom applications to extend functionality without needing to write code, while SAP Process Automation provides an intuitive, no-code solution for workflow management and robotic process automation (RPA). Both solutions are available as part of the free tier model for SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).

  1. Improving business results and impact

SAP also shared a variety of new learning offerings as part of a growing initiative to educate, certify, and employ people in the SAP ecosystem.

These offerings include free access to learning resources from SAP for all students worldwide, enhanced low-code, no-code (LCNC) offerings for citizen developers, and an expanded and refreshed skills validation programme.

The company also showcased its SAP Companion solution, which will replace the names ‘web assistant’ and ‘desktop assistant’ for in-application help channels provided by SAP Enable Now. By the end of Q2 2022, users of the SAP Enable Now solution for SAP Concur solutions are expected to be able to access the SAP Companion service directly and get help content, guided tours, and customized learnings without having to leave the application.

Finally, SAP revealed that customers of SAP SuccessFactors solutions can now access SAP SuccessFactors software content in SAP Cloud ALM, helping them to drive the ROI on their technology investment.

For further information about the outcomes of the SAP Sapphire event, click here.