fbpx Skip to main content

Day 1 Opening Keynote

The SAP Sapphire 2023 event opened in Orlando with a keynote presentation by Christian Klein, Julia White, Dominik Asam, and special guests including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, and John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

This week IgniteSAP’s coverage of the SAP Sapphire 2023 event will begin with a summary of the keynote.

Key Takeaways from the Opening Keynote

SAP and Microsoft partnership extended with collaboration on generative AI functions for business

AI functionality to be embedded in SAP SuccessFactors

New SAP Business Network for Industry, starting with pre-packaged use cases and best practices for consumer products, high tech life science and manufacturing.

New sustainability innovations announced for monitoring and compliance: SAP Data Exchange, SAP Sustainability Footprint Management update, and a Green Ledger for embedded environmental decision making

Special appearance by John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: thanking SAP for environmental commitments, and calling for the environmental mobilization of the private sector

Announcement of Google Cloud and SAP Datasphere Collaboration

New updates to SAP Signavio

SAP and Microsoft AI Partnership

After a short introduction Christian Klein introduced the topic of AI and SAP.

“For 50 years, SAP software is running the world’s most material and workforce intensive business processes. This is why we are convinced that embedding AI in SAP software will deliver enormous value for your business…our software will be able to answer any business related question, and recommend actions to improve your company’s performance…We already increased our own R&D investment to develop additional AI use cases. And at the same time, we are entering technology partnerships to expand our AI offering.”

A short video was run of an interview between Klein and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discussing the extension of the partnership between SAP and Microsoft, bringing Microsoft 365 Copilot together with SAP data. Satya Nadella said:

“It’s the context of the business process and the data mixed with AI that creates the magic… It’s about recruiting, it’s about skilling, think about these two particular tasks and what we can do between the Microsoft 365 Copilot and what you’re doing in human experience management, right? Bringing your data together with this Copilot adding AI capabilities to the data on your side, I think is just going to completely change how human capital management, human experience management are going to change in the enterprise across all the critical business functions that we depend on.”

This interview was followed by a short demonstration of how AI could be used in the onboarding process with a combination of Microsoft Copilot 365 and SAP SuccessFactors.

End-to-End Use Cases

Julia White then spoke with a representative of Unilever about how they use SAP Customer Data Platform, SAP Integrated business Planning, SAP Ariba, and the SAP Business Network to manage their global supply chain to ensure the supply of vanilla with multiple suppliers for their ice cream subsidiaries.

This was followed with a short section presented by Lidia Fonseca, Pfizer’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer about how the SAP Business Network and other SAP innovations help Pfizer to deliver medical products to 1 in 6 of the global population.

“Business Network helps us scale transactions and collaboration across our entire supply chain. We have automated 90 million transactions, enabling our colleagues to focus on what matters most. We use SAP for insights into our global operations for faster decision making, improved capital allocation, and to strategically manage billions of dollars in inventory of our medicines to ensure availability of those medicines around the world.”

Sustainability Innovations

SAP’s new Chief Financial Officer Dominik Asam led a discussion on the increasing importance of the Green Line and carbon accounting particularly in the US, with Hilary Maxson, CFO of Schneider Electric. The talk centered on the need for US companies to comply with legislation (Scope One to Four) on emissions.

Julia White then introduced three new sustainability innovations by SAP.

“First, we’re announcing SAP Data Exchange as part of the SAP Business Network. This creates a scalable way to get accurate Scope Three emissions collected. Customers can now gather actual embodied carbon data directly from their suppliers, rather than estimating emissions.

Second, the major update to SAP Sustainability Footprint Management. We’re enabling companies to granularly manage their carbon flows at the process and product level across Scope One, Two and Three emissions. And the integration with SAP S/4HANA Cloud allows companies to calculate their carbon footprints directly from individual ERP transactional level details at each step of the product production. This level of granular tracking has not been possible before.

And finally, we’re announcing a new Green Ledger that will work with our cloud ERP to provide natively integrated financial and environmental decision making at the required point in time. Our first release will come later this year as a feature of Rise with SAP and Grow with SAP. And you will see ongoing continuous innovation coming to the Green Ledger, thanks to our very significant R&D investment in this area.”

Special Appearance By John Kerry

John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, then gave a speech by video link. He thanked SAP as one of the first companies to commit to the Prepare Plan, part of the US president’s Emergency Plan for adaptation and resilience.

He pointed out that though governments must prepare for climate change and do all they can to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, the participation of the private sector was essential as a means to accelerate climate change reduction objectives.

“One critical area important to many at this conference is carbon accounting. There’s an old adage that you can’t manage which can’t measure, as the private sector mobilizes to make clean investments and decarbonize its supply chains. Rigorous accounting, and transparency are absolutely essential. We need trust in the system. And we need to ensure that all of our actions have the highest environmental integrity, rigorous accounting and strong environmental integrity will be the key to the success of the energy transition accelerator that we’re creating with our partners.”

Google Cloud and SAP Datasphere Collaboration

Christian Klein then introduced Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, as part of a discussion about their new collaboration which combines the newly announced SAP Datasphere on Google Cloud platform as part of Rise with SAP.

Thomas Kurian pointed out the depth of the previously existing partnership between the corporations (the whole of Alphabet runs on S/4HANA), and then described how the new combination would benefit their joint customers.

“So what we’ve done with SAP is to make it trivial to migrate data from SAP Datasphere, into Google’s BigQuery system, where you can enrich from external sources and run analytics that can be surfaced back in SAP.

It makes it better, because you get not just your own information but enrich the information faster, we can replicate using BTP transactions in real time, simpler, because you can see it both in the analytical system and within SAP applications. And then we put a lot of security controls around it to protect and keep this data secure.”

Google already has over 300 customers using this solution and they are also using it themselves.

New Updates To SAP Signavio

After a description by Klein of the way that an implementation of Rise with SAP proceeds, and a brief section on the new Grow with SAP solution package for small-to-medium-sized businesses, Julia White then announced new updates to SAP Signavio, enabling enterprise-wide automation using SAP Build.

She demonstrated how SAP Business Process Insights, in conjunction with automations using bots in SAP Build Process Automation, can accelerate the task of automation across an ERP system to a duration of hours, not weeks.

Christian Klein said SAP is using its ambition to use technology to drive positive change and finished the keynote with a quote by a famous climber: “better raise our skill than lower the climb”.

“At SAP we are not lowering the climb. We are raising the skills: for every role, in every line of business, to future-proof your business for whatever mountain you need to climb next.”

Keep Up To Date With SAP Sapphire 2023

IgniteSAP is going to bring our community members highlights from the keynote presentations and other sessions at SAP Sapphire 2023 over the next two days so stay tuned for our SAP Sapphire 2023 updates.

If you are an SAP consultant looking for a new role in the SAP ecosystem our team of expert SAP recruiters can find your ideal employer and negotiate a competitive salary so join us at IgniteSAP.