Content & Communications

RISE with SAP and Capgemini: Spotlight Interview with David Lowson

Originally published on the SAP Community

Many organizations are assessing the best ways to address digital transformation holistically.

SAP and Capgemini are teaming with customers around the globe as trusted partners, to go beyond technical migration, and address intelligent business processes and new business models as part of the RISE with SAP initiative.

Capgemini’s Renewable Enterprise with SAP S/4HANA approach which is designed to put the user experience at the center. It uses modern approaches such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and embedded analytics, DevOps, Cloud architecture, APIs and Microservices to help organizations reimagine themselves, unlock business value, and outpace competition.

Recently I had the pleasure to meet David Lowson, Capgemini’s head of SAP Center of Excellence (COE) Europe, to learn more about his journey and views related to RISE with SAP and the digital core.

Philippe Schmitt
SAP Strategic Global Alliances – EMEA North
David Lowson
Capgemini, SAP CoE Europe

Philippe Schmitt (PS): What inspired you to get into the field of consulting and high tech?

David Lowson (DL): When I worked in high-tech, I found I was a very poor engineer so when I had an opportunity to work on an enterprise resource planning (ERP) project, I took it. This experience proved I was quite good at this kind of work and is why I made the move to consultancy.

PS: In your blog Consumer Intelligence Products and Retail Therapy, you shared, “As countries around the world reopen, we observe four priority themes emerging with consumer products: sustainability, digitalization, efficiency, diversification.” How does the RISE with SAP initiative enable these themes based on Capgemini’s expertise?

DL:
 RISE with SAP reinforces many of the messages we have been giving to the market about the renewable enterprise, a standard core, savvy use of a cloud infrastructure and application program interface (API) led architectures. These features have been provoking more activity in the market and shifting SAP to be a platform for digital transformation.

PS: You presented at the SAP Global Partner Summit and shared that you, “believe SAP needed to launch the RISE initiative to remain relative for digital transformation for the next 25 years.” What makes this initiative so impactful to the success of customers?

DL: SAP and Capgemini are in position to address business process redesign, technical migration, and building the intelligent enterprise in one package to simplifies customers’ journey. By focusing on innovation and differentiation taking place in the SAP Business Technology Platform surrounding it, the RISE initiative is a clear statement of the importance of providing accelerated business outcomes with integration, data to value, and extensibility. It opens the door to exciting new consumption models.

PS: You’ve recently commented that the market has responded positively to RISE with SAP. Can you share one or two examples of this positive reaction from Capgemini customers?

DL: As you can appreciate, I can only speak of overall projects vs. individual projects. We have started RISE based projects all over the world. With the use of the RISE model, I have seen customers become more confident that we can deliver and provide a standard core, as well as an architecture that does not build technical debt.

PS: When Capgemini refers to the Renewable Enterprise with SAP S/4HANA, it refers to the “S Curve of Innovation” and Intelligent Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Block Chain, and the Customer Experience power by data and driven by people. What are one or two examples of how customers are adopting these intelligent technologies to support their customers and keep a competitive advantage?

DL: There are so many user cases, and we keep a library of them available for our clients and partners to access. They are also published every week by our innovation leader, Alex Bulat, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer of Global SAP Business, but the two I would pick out are:

  • Servitisation – Where clients move from selling products to selling services. Think of a connected car or washing as a service; this is a perfect solution for the new away of thinking. Multiple products orchestrated to deliver new digital businesses that flex as the market develops.
  • Sustainability – So many of our large engagements are driven by this concept, especially the desire to operate in new, low carbon markets. This requires greater connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), use of data and a fast-agile core.

PS: When students and recent graduates contact you for informational insights what guidance do you give for them to pursue a career in consulting and high tech?

DL: I see SAP consulting as a three-legged stool:

  • Be nice and have good people skills
  • Know about the industry you’re working in
  • Learn about SAP products and solutions

A company like Capgemini can provide the third bullet, but the other two can be done on your own. Also, read business papers and the SAP website at least once a week. Do a bit more to engage with and understand the direction of the company and products that stand out.

Thank you for sharing comments on the Renewable Enterprise, Digital Transformation, or advanced Intelligent Technologies.

Please post any feedback below.

Useful Links

• SAP S/4HANA Cloud
• RISE with SAP
• SAP Analytics Cloud
• SAP Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Elevating SAP Collaboration with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint

Originally published on the SAP Community.

When SAP and Microsoft announced they are building integrations to Microsoft Teams across solutions many of us were inspired. With the new reality of remote and hybrid work, the importance of elevating collaboration has grown significantly.

While the advancements of this integration are impressive, it is important to deploy these solutions the right way to achieve tangible business outcomes.

Since today’s globally distributed workers are no longer confined to office buildings, the “workplace” has transformed into a digital “workspace” allowing colleagues to meet, collaborate, and connect virtually across organizational boundaries. A great user experience is a necessity versus a “nice to have.”

Christian Klein, SAP CEO and member of the Executive Board, said it best that this partnership will address, “New ways of working, collaborating and interacting to completely transform how we operate,” and bring collaboration to the next level.

Collaboration is changing rapidly. Each of us are collaborating more often, increasingly mobile, and working on a schedule that enables us to connect more virtually.

Disparate information kept in silos and organized in ad-hoc ways becomes an impediment to performance and productivity. One of the challenging things to do is to keep Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, along with the SAP portfolio, organized so that the content is valuable to users.

Thoughtful leaders step back and ensure that SAP Collaboration represents how the business works both in the short-term and going forward.

The Information Architecture Pre-Request 

Each time you create a new Microsoft Teams you automatically get SharePoint with the Microsoft 365 Apps including Power App, Power BI, OneNote, and Exchange with email and calendaring.

Project teams working with SAP applications such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Digital Supply Chain, SAP SuccessFactors and learning communities, SAP CRM and Customer Experience, Industry 4.0 solutions and/or SAP Activate Methodology should prioritize and implement a well-planned information architecture as a pre-request for a high quality, high-performing intranet, central hub, or group.

It’s important to understand the audience and help them find what they need quickly to support them in getting their work completed efficiently. One expert once referred to it as “help the user get to where they need to go in ONE CLICK versus many clicks and endless folders to assist in completing a task.”

Putting in the time to address Information Architecture helps improve user satisfaction and adoption while reducing information overload.

Customer-Centric Enablement

In this video, “Remove Barriers for Your Sales Teams with SAP and Microsoft it shows the power of the integration,” there are many exciting front-line capabilities, but the power is in the information architecture that supports the tangible outcomes.

Could a sales, marketing, consultant, pre-sales, operations, services or other front-line worker to customers, strategic partners or suppliers have everything they need by primarily using their own individual OneDrive or SharePoint?

Clearly, they need the right resources (“assets”), at the right time for effective engagement including:

  1. Access – Enable secure private, enterprise, and/or external access.
  2. Central Hub – Deploy one location for individuals, teams, and the enterprise to find pertinent information.
  3. Teamwork – Allow for collaboration, chat, video conferencing, calls, meetings, and surveys.
  4. Content – Ensure easy to find central hub for content, information, contributions, and useful links.
  5. Components – Leverage multiuse calendars, planning, notebooks, and other tools and web parts.
  6. Collaboration – Microsoft Teams, comments, surveys, discussion treads, and news updates.
  7. Communications – Engagement and outreach to bring the audience to the central hub and share news, planning, announcements, updates, and access to key assets.
  8. Continuity – Plan that the collaboration continues versus the initial excitement and the investment in a quality set-up drop off months later.

When these items are brought together in full or part, the sum is truly greater than the parts.

Digital Transformation Realized with SAP Collaboration

Collaboration is nothing new and yet it remains a critical success factor for every organization.

Enabling workers to leverage and build upon the work of others is a fundamental principle. When team members work in a silo, they reduce productivity and have a higher probability of duplicating efforts.

With SAP Collaboration, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint the goal is to…

  • Help elevate workers to take advantage of modern platforms and digital transformation environments
  • Increase high quality teamwork, cooperation, and communications
  • Impact the value, growth, revenues, services, and outcomes with a focus on exceeding customer satisfaction.

Working together, people feel more connected to their work and their organization.

With these integration capabilities in place, combined with a well-deployed information architecture, users will always have access to the right content at the right time, to find what they are looking for more quickly and consistently, and support their business requirements.

SAP Champions & SAP Mentors Spotlight Interviews

Check out the SAP Spotlight Interviews which combine a combination of videos and Q&A format. These blogs help showcase SAP Community experts and advocates. View >>

14 Ways to JumpStart #SAPJam Collaboration, Communities or Groups

How a Group Admin or Leader Ensures Adoption!

Important strategic initiatives, business outcomes and processes, collaboration, content, communications, and/or community building takes “time and effort” to translate onto SAP Jam.

The recent study, “Forrester Total Economic Impact™ of SAP Jam Collaboration for Learning, Onboarding and Employee Development” showcases the impact to cost savings, productivity,  operational efficiencies, and overall strategic objectives. Several customers that my team and I work with participated in this study and continue to realize the value highlighted. Together we see on a first hand, daily basis …that it works!

And yet, sometimes a SAP Jam group admin, business owner, or leader needs to consider ways to drive (or “spark”) sustainable growth and momentum for their respective audience. They need to step back, assess, and plan out the priorities. The last thing any of us want to see is that 3 to 9 months after go-live that the group has “zero” activity.

As a result, my team and I, based on hundreds of work experiences and success stories pinpointed a “Top 14” list to help organizations JumpStart their SAP Jam initiatives.

Which of the following are applicable to you and your current or emerging SAP Jam initiative?

Business is complex. And from complexity we want simplicity. It takes a certain skill set to turn the complex into simple. There are business challenges and technical requirements. SAP Jam can be stand alone or integrate with other SAP, SuccessFactors, or 3rd party applications and data. All of these requirements take cross-discipline expertise.

Every quarter their are new SAP Jam releases. New features and capabilities. My team and I welcome the challenge on a daily basis with the multitude of business and IT considerations (& approaches) to help our customers achieve successful SAP Jam implementations and adoption.

At the end of each day, we appreciate the many important and diverse groups we work with to address their challenges and find solutions. It takes both the “science and art” forms to achieve success.  No matter how many implementations take place and questions are answered there is always more to address, learn about, and discover.

Consider a 1000 piece puzzle. We work together to put the pieces together.Plane.Blog.png

The Many Attributes of SAP Jam
SAP Jam is compared to other platforms which is fine.

The part that’s comforting is that SAP, SuccessFactors, and the SAP Jam product team are market leaders.

SAP Jam and the attributes it represents rank very high in Analyst reports including:

  • Integration – SAP SuccessFactors integration is built in by way of SuccessFactors foundations (previously BizX) (i.e. SuccessFactors Learning / LMS, SAP HCP, SAP CRM, Hybris Cloud 4 Customer, Fiori, S/4HANA, SAP ECC (SD), Document Repositories such as OpenText, Box, etc.) with an excellent Developer and Open API environment (OData).  SAP Jam  works well with SharePoint, Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint (Web Parts), Outlook Plug-in and YouTube. Public documentation is excellent.
  • Social Learning – SAP Jam for Social Learning (Jam + LMS) reduces the cost of training
  • Roadmap – SAP Jam is part of the overall SAP roadmap so the enhancements and value continue to grow in leaps and bounds throughout the SAP portfolio. The SAP Jam roadmap is based on customer feedback and provides continuous innovations on a regular basis.
  • Admin Controls – Strong Permission Levels… Moderation Levels… Language capabilities built into the platform for the users… Users can be removed (made inactive quickly…)…
  • Groups –  Enterprise collaboration goes beyond feed conversations. Both structured and unstructured collaboration is available along with sub-groups and auto groups.
  • Feed Aggregator – SAP Jam provides a feed aggregator, SAP Jam Activity Hub, that can be used. to follow and chat in Yammer, Connections and Jam which allows for one view without having to log-in to multiple applications..
  • Mobile App – SAP Jam Mobile App, which is used for Apple (iOS – iPhone or iPad) or Android, is ready out of the box! No extra programing required.
  • OpenSocial Gadgets – Feeds and data can be embedded  such as RSS Feeds, Stock Tickers, Countdowns, Facebook, Twitter… Survey Monkey which go into widgets.
  • Work Patterns – Admins can leverage templates available, out of the box, to enable repeatable best practice and business processes when creating a group. With work pattern builder, templates can be changed and enhanced easily for custom specific needs.
  • ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS…
    >
    SAP has “1” enterprise collaboration platform only which it invests heavily in.
    > All the information is in one place (uploaded, linked, or embedded), one enterprise collaboration platform, one “central hub.”
    > Offline access allows users to select content from SAP Jam to and from a local file system via Jam File Sync Client

Summary: SAP Jam is the Best Bet!
Given the investments and attributes of SAP Jam and with a long-time career in the high tech, entrepreneurial, cross-industry, and SAP Ecosystem space, my team and I bet on SAP to make the continuous investments in collaborative enterprise business software as an essential part of the portfolio to support customers.

The value of SAP Jam is both a today and tomorrow decision. Today for what it can deliver and tomorrow for the investments to the roadmap which is based on a 40+ year history of SAP success.

At the end of the day, my team and I enjoy working with a diverse, smart, progressive group of senior executives, leaders, business owners, instructors, group admins, and stakeholders who want to work on a platform, which delivers the most value and impact, to help them and their fellow internal and external colleagues do their jobs and realize the type of outcomes highlighted in the Forrester Study.

The ideas associated with enterprise collaboration have been around for hundreds of years. However, the realization in the cloud with digital transformation are available NOW in full force with SAP Jam.

About the Author

  Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) (www.WorldSalesSolutions.com) providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations and adoption.


Blogs

Featured Link: SAP Jam Collaboration Help Portal

This video highlights the value of turning the complex into a more simple productivity resource.

SAP Jam: Using all the Piano’s Keys and Pedals

The Importance of SAP Jam Implementation & Adoption Expertise

The rewards of using SAP Jam are awesome! Getting to the point where business and IT value is realized takes time, logic, dedication, and expertise.  Successful SAP Jam implementations and adoption requires many considerations, some of which are often overlooked.

pianoIt reminds me of the day when my family got a piano from my in-laws house for our son. While other children and friends would bang on the keys he wanted to play meaningful songs at an early age. There were adult friends and teachers who remembered playing a bit growing up (or knew a few songs) but could only offer a few ideas around how to play the piano beyond the basics.

Only when we got an expert piano teacher (on the second try) who had the style and skills which were complimentary to his interests did we see his enjoyment and piano playing skills soar forward.

untitledFor my team and I working with leading customers and business units around the globe we see that no two SAP Jam implementations are alike. Like a snow flake each one has its own unique work patterns based on their customers, industry, lines of business and culture.

As a result we must be agile and dig deep on each engagement to address a wide range of skills, requirements, work experiences which range from HR, Learning, Onboarding …to Sales, Marketing, Services, Commerce and Customer Engagement …to Communications, IT, Procurement, Operations, Communities of Practice, and User Experiences …to working within a wide range of SAP and 3rd Party Apps and related Management Information System (MIS) environments …to the ability to write, provide visual consistency, and program management …as well as help turn complexity into …simplicity.

There are a number of best practice guidelines to consider:

ROI_DiagramConsideration #1 – Getting Started!

  • Understanding the business requirements
  • Enabling overall usability
  • Translating the business process to SAP Jam
  • Ensuring relevance by way of content / communications
  • Utilizing dynamic widgets vs. static text and images
  • Assessing Change Management
  • Ensuring participation

Consideration #2 – ROI & Value

Pinpoint the SAP Jam Return On Investment (ROI) and business drivers important to your organization centered around “Time” “Money” and “People” scalability to ensure measurable (“quantifiable” and “qualifiable”) gains.

Consideration #3 – Differentiators

SAP Jam is a unique market leading solution.  It seamlessly integrates social business capabilities into existing (& planned) business process whereas as other 3rd party platforms are focused on the tools.  SAP has made SAP Jam an integral part of all SAP solutions addressing:

  • All lines of business centric vs. CRM as the primary
  • One SAP Jam vision vs. multiple roadmaps which have overlaps
  • SAP’s proven 40-year history of business software, processes, and market leadership
  • Collaborative ecosystem (Out of the Box – i.e. OpenText, Box, SharePoint, etc.)
  • Application integration (i.e. OData, REST APIs) by utilizing the SAP Jam Developer Center
  • Integrated platform as a foundational principal vs. a standalone which increases costs
  • Internal & external SAP Jam group capabilities which easily set-up
  • Structured collaboration to support problem solving, issue resolution, and decision making
  • Screen and video capture
  • Mobile App alignment with SAP Jam Page Designer provides out of the box mobile capabilities

Consideration #4 – Roles & Responsibilities

When addressing an SAP Jam initiative the executive sponsor, business owner(s), and project leader must consider 3 key roles including:

  • Administrator(s) (or Power Users)
  • Content Manager(s) (& Contributors)
  • End Users

While one SAP Jam tactical action can be straight forward. Each action has a consequence on another aspect of the project or initiative.

ChessFor those of us who watch (or remember) Star Trek and Spok’s 3D chess game, each move has an impact to another chess piece which may be on the board you are working on or another.  It takes a lot of SAP Jam experience to address these moves which have important relationships to other business processes.

A successful SAP Jam implementation addresses 5 phases:

  1. Preparation
  2. Realization
  3. Verification
  4. Launch
  5. Post Go-Live

EagleIt takes vision, leadership, teamwork, compelling business outcomes, and passion to build any successful community which meets either face-to-face or virtually. SAP Jam requires the same consideration to achieve successful implementations and adoption.

Whether its learning how to play the piano or SAP Jam, it takes multi-dimensional expertise to ensure that all the “keys and pedals” are optimized.

SAP Jam has many self-evident, out of the box templates and capabilities that are excellent, but to gain the full advantage it takes the right skills, work experiences, and expertise to achieve the highest level of success.

About the Author

RDBRichard D. Blumberg, President, World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) (www.WorldSalesSolutions.com) provides 25+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations and adoption.
WSS is a SAP Service Partner for SAP Jam and long-time supporter of the SAP Community Network and the SAP Ecosystem.

Prior Blogs:
View from the Top: Bill McDermott shares his success secrets at a #fireside chat!
The Path to SAP Jam ROI Success
SAP Jam Work Patterns:  The Big $ or € &/or ¥ Game Changer for a New Product Launch!
SAP Jam: The ROI Impacting Sales Productivity
Split Second Selling with SAP Jam – 7 Use Cases!
The Customer Go-to-Market Imperative – Transforming Silos to Social Business and Community Building

Originally posted on the SAP Community Network – full blog >>

 

Workshop & Blog: The Customer Go-to-Market Imperative – Transforming Silos to Social Business and Community Building

Featured Blog: SAP Community Network

Announcement:
The following workshop took place as part of Drexel’s CEO LEAD (“Creating Experiential Opportunities for Leadership Education and Development”) on Drexel University’s campus.

Title: The Customer Go-to-Market Imperative – Transforming Silos to Social Business and Community Building

Date/Time: May 16, 2013 @ 6 PM, EST – Complete

Presenter: Rich Blumberg, President, World Sales Solutions, LLC (Alumni Board of Governors and Volunteer)

Summary: Increasing revenues, profits, value, and growth depends on collaboration with customers at the center of an organization’s support system. Silos impact performance when geographic, business unit, and functional boundaries impact sales and the delivery of products, solutions, and services.

For today’s students, who are the future business and technology leaders, it is critical to recognize the compelling business issues, priorities, and market conditions which impact CEOs and customers’ decisions.  Those who understand these trends have better job and career opportunities which ultimately results in more hiring or firing.

Learn about the best practices, case studies, tools, and resources required to help organizations go from ordinary to extraordinary. Understand the critical importance of equipping the sales team on a daily basis. Find out how executives, experts and content contributors provide the essential source of information which customers require one economic decision maker at a time.