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SAP.iO Foundry Paris Accelerates Agribusiness Startups in New Program

SAP launched an agribusiness-focused virtual startup accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry Paris. The eight international startups have been selected by a jury of SAP experts, partners, customers and investment funds to join the program.

As France is one of the largest agricultural powers in the world, SAP.iO Foundry Paris was a natural location for the first accelerator program from SAP.iO entirely dedicated to this industry. The selected startups specialize in procurement, supply chain, production monitoring platforms and decision support tools.

“Digital technology and collaboration are key enablers to feed the rapidly growing world population in a sustainable way,” said Anja Strothkaemper, SAP vice president of Agribusiness and Commodity Management. “Working together with startups, we can combine our innovation power and serve the evolving needs of our agribusiness customers.”

The program addresses three key industry challenges:

  • Integrating data, artificial intelligence, analytics and decision-making into agribusiness
  • Combining compliance and traceability throughout production and processing
  • Ensuring agriculture is more responsible and environmentally sensitive

Over the next 10 weeks, the startups will have access to curated mentorship from SAP executives, exposure to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers around the world.

The following startups are participating in the SAP.iO Foundry Paris program:

  • Agrora enables processors and traders of agricultural commodities to save time on procurement and distribution processes.
  • Clarifruit offers an automated quality control platform for fast, objective and consistent fresh fruit and vegetable quality control.
  • Connecting Food uses blockchain technology and smart modules to provide transparency, traceability and digital auditing of food products.
  • GrainChain Inc. combines blockchain and Internet of Things–driven technologies to verify and auto-execute smart contracts, creating fully automated and digitalized workflows at every stage.
  • HeavyConnect develops easy-to-use mobile software that digitalizes paper-based compliance workflows in farming and processing.
  • Milk Moovement connects all players in the dairy supply chain, improving visibility and generating valuable insights across the raw milk supply chain.
  • ProcSea digitalizes seafood trading by connecting all partners on one digital platform for optimized and secured purchasing and sales processes.
  • Sencrop designs and sells connected weather forecast solutions farmers use to measure humidity, temperature, wind speed and rainfall.

To learn more about how SAP.iO is helping innovators start up and scale with SAP, please visit https://sap.io/.

Work Matters Podcast

Work Matters is a podcast about improving work related experiences that affect happiness, success and engagement both on the job and at home.

Happiness in life depends primarily on three things: our health, our social relationships, and our experiences or the activities we engage in each day. For most of us, this third factor is largely about work. When it comes to living a fulfilling life, work matters! Work impacts our happiness directly by affecting our enjoyment and sense of fulfillment, and indirectly through its impact on our health and relationships. This podcast examines how different aspects of work affect our lives. Each episode we explore a specific topic related to the experience of work with a focus on understanding why it matters and how to make it better. ​

Mental Health Matters

Caring for our mental health is essential to maintaining happiness, motivation, and drive both at work and at home. Regina Athié tells us how we can implement small changes to our everyday lives to improve our overall mental health.

Managing stress by learning to be resilient

Work is often a major source of stress. Even if we cannot eliminate causes of stress, we can learn to manage them. We talk about how to be resilient with Dr. Andrew Shatte’, Chief Science Officer at meQuilibrium a company dedicated to employee wellbeing.

Using e-mail, instant messaging and texting to build work relationships

The way we use e-mail, texting and other electronic communication tools influences how others perceive us at work. We talk with Joe Freed the founder of Cultivate, a company dedicated to improving the quality of electronic communication.

With Data And Analytics, Consumer Products Companies Seize New ‘Moment Of Opportunity’

Since 2015 and the rise of e-commerce hyper scalers,  we have witnessed a fundamental shift in consumer behavior, one that has dramatically accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Bain & Company. Consumers today are increasingly making buying decisions on the values that they hold dear– health and wellness, sustainability, safety, ethically sourced materials – instead of factors like price and convenience.

As businesses look for new ways to reach, engage and serve consumers, the delivery of timely, tailored and relevant experiences have become key. While this shift represents significant transformation challenges for companies, it also represents an enormous opportunity to drive the next wave of growth in consumer industries.

For over 75 years, industries have organized themselves around the concept of the “two moments of truth” – get a consumer into a store to purchase a product, and influence them to use the product. And hopefully, the cycle repeats. In this linear path to purchase with touchpoints that focused on getting consumers to complete transactions in a store, the retailers, consumer products companies and wholesalers in the value chain had well-defined and complementary roles, and all stakeholders favored economies of scale.

This is no longer the case. Today, companies are reaching consumers directly in “moments of opportunity”, requiring them to have a more holistic understanding of consumer desires. This model favors economies of speed – companies that can spot moments of consumer opportunity and organize themselves the fastest to orchestrate the delivery of experiences and products, will win.

To respond effectively to these behavior shifts, consumer products companies need to differentiate themselves as a ‘category of one’, where their business is so unique that there are no direct competitors, and these companies need to make innovative and data-centric decisions.

One example that illustrates this dramatic shift comes from a Google study.  One participant spent 73 days and made 250 touchpoints (several  blogs, merchant websites, local retailers, product reviews on YouTube) before buying a single pair of jeans. Indicative of today’s consumers, this consumer is engaged with and desires to be inspired by brands through viewing multiple options before making a selection.       

This example demonstrates the changes businesses have to make to succeed going forward. We expect that soon, 50% of consumer products industry growth will occur through a direct business model. Consumer-facing companies will need to build compelling consumer experiences based on:

  1. Consistent master and consumer data across all channels to enable a consistent and meaningful experience
  2.  Full visibility of the entire value network, from sourcing and partner networks to all consumer touchpoints, both physical and virtual, and actual consumption
  3. Live access to, and use of, both structured and unstructured data to assess demand drivers and market dynamics in real time
  4. Scaled, quantitative and qualitative analysis of consumer perception, sentiment and feedback to deliver a unified, personalized user experience

Key Technologies & Innovations

So how can companies transform and adapt quickly to meet these new expectations and needs while reaping benefits in productivity, efficiency, personalization, and profitability. With intelligent technologies that can quickly increase consumer-centricity.

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Energy Transition Meets Digital Transformation – SAP Innovation Strategy for Utilities

Energy Transition Meets Digital Transformation – SAP Innovation Strategy for Utilities

The IPCC reports that limiting the global mean temperature increase to 1.5° C will require CO2 emissions to reach net zero by 2050[1]. This analysis is the foundation for policies like the New Green Deal in the EU, which also aims for climate neutrality by 2050[2]. Decarbonization of the energy sector is the major pillar for this because about 73% of global greenhouse gas emissions are directly related to the use of energy[3] for industry, buildings, and transport.

It is therefore no surprise that Renewable Energies are the fastest growing source of energy, contributing half of the growth in global energy supplies and becoming the largest source of power by 2040[4]. In most regions, wind and solar are also the cheapest source of electricity generation, even without subsidies[5].

This shift to renewables also fosters the growing number of Decentralized Energy Resources (DER). Renewables like solar, wind, or bioenergy are to a large extent generated by small local generation assets, which feed directly into the distribution grid. The intermittent nature of solar and wind causes challenges for the balancing of demand and supply in the power grids.

Also the demand side is changing with industrial, commercial, and household customers more and more generating their own energy and becoming Energy Prosumers. This causes a shift in utilities’ business models from pure selling of energy and water to becoming a full-service provider for energy prosumers.

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German asset monitoring start-up to expand globally with $6.35m fund

LiveEO, a German-based Earth Observation asset monitoring technology start-up, has secured €5.25 million ($6.35 million) in funding to expand its operations globally.

The Series A investment has been secured from venture capital firms btov Partners, Helen Ventures, DvH Ventures, and Motu Ventures as well as from deep technology investor Andreas Kupke.

Daniel Seidel, co-founder of LiveEO, said: “This funding round is a huge milestone for LiveEO. Over the last 3 years we’ve built up a unique technology stack to analyze earth observation data at scale and we now can realize many new revolutionary features on the basis of this tech backbone.”

LiveEO combines data acquired from satellite imagery and from other sources and then uses artificial intelligence to analyse the data to monitor critical infrastructures such as railways, electricity grids and pipelines.

The startup has plans to introduce their technology in other sectors including construction, mining, insurance, forestry, agriculture and finance.

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Cardano Foundation Announces Partnership With Supply Chain Traceability Solution Scantrust

The Cardano foundation has announced a partnership with Scantrust, a supply chain traceability solution, in order to streamline the supply chain management process, as well as optimising security.  

Scantrust is a company that uses QR codes to bring products online, and aims to turn products and packaging into a “direct connection with consumers”. The company provides protection from counterfeiting, supply chain awareness, and consumer engagement, using blockchain technology to secure, track, and create consumer interactivity with a QR code.

Current Scantrust partners include HP Indigo, Hyperledger, and SAP, and the company has worked with Fortune 500 companies and SMEs across 168 countries. 

One of the areas that blockchain technology has revolutionised is the supply chain. Blockchain solutions have allowed companies to trace, track, and empower the producer and consumer. A number of traceability companies have emerged in recent years, covering industries from food, textiles and high-end consumer products. What they share in common is the ability to create true transparency from the start of the supply chain all the way through to the consumer. 

Advancing innovation in blockchain technology has allowed companies to promote their ethical approach to consumer goods, increase transparency, and secure against counterfeiting. Frederik Gregaard, CEO of the Cardano Foundation, commented on the partnership with Scantrust: 

“Empowering trust and transparency across all industries and digital agreements is at the heart of the Cardano Foundation’s missions. I am proud of our Integrations team, who have worked tirelessly with Scantrust to deliver the first solution of its kind to leverage metadata on the Cardano blockchain. Together with Scantrust, we are helping brands to reconnect with their consumers, increase transparency in their supply chain, and fight counterfeit activity.”

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Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services from NET2GRID Now Available on SAP® Store

NET2GRID announced that its Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services solution is now available on SAP® Store. Built on SAP Business Technology Platform, the solution delivers energy insight and user engagement services to utility customers.

“We are proud to be an SAP partner and we are excited that our Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services solution is now available on SAP Store,” says Bert Lutje Berenbroek, NET2GRID’s founder and CEO. “We have a vision of creating an intelligent, transparent, and cleaner energy value chain by translating energy consumption data into smart, personalized services. With our solution now available on SAP Store, we can benefit from SAP’s global reach, enabling the solution to be readily available for businesses that use SAP technologies with only minimal set-up efforts. Take the billing service, as an example. With Time of Use (ToU) tariffs becoming more and more available, NET2GRID can offer a bill split per activity, aggregated over different ToU tariffs and periods in a very cost-effective way.”

The core functionality of Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services include:

  • Energy bill transparency: The solution disaggregates total energy consumption into a daily and personal list of itemized household events and activities, allowing the end-user to see how much energy is consumed in each category. Our clients have seen Net Promoter Score increase from -13 all the way up to 65, on average, due to increased user engagement and financial benefits for end-users.
  • Cost-saving on energy: Total household energy consumption insights are broken down per appliance type and event category, providing personal, relevant, and actionable energy-saving tips to help reduce costs.
  • Energy load forecasting: For energy retailers and utilities, NET2GRID’s solution offers a highly accurate, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) load forecasting service with a less than a 2% error margin. The solution reaches these high-quality forecasting results for day-ahead forecasts to year-ahead, long-term aggregated load predictions.
  • Engage customers in Electric Vehicle (EV) rate plans or virtual power plant schemes: NET2GRID identifies EV owners and clusters them in a target group for campaigns so that energy suppliers can offer EV rate plans and integration with demand response controls to upsell to virtual power plant schemes and earn money with their investments. For example, users can have EV car chargers upgraded to smart charging devices at low tariffs. The leads generated for EV can also be generated for renewables and energy savings solutions like heat pumps and insulation.
  • Homeowner property investment recommendations: With the actionable energy insights from Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services, a utility or energy supplier can upsell to energy-saving solutions like insulation, heat pumps or renewables, as an output of NET2GRID’s “Next Best Actions” AI engine.

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SetSail Debuts New AI-powered Solutions to Help Sales Teams Unlock More Revenue

SetSail, the AI-powered micro-incentives platform for sales, will unveiled multiple new product features on at the company’s first annual SetSail Voyage virtual conference. New SetSail features include a signal-based coaching app; smart milestone signals to help reps accelerate revenue; and data automation tailored to the way reps use their CRM.

The world of work has changed in the past year, and the ‘new normal’ requires a new way of selling,” said Haggai Levi, CEO of SetSail. “To be successful today, sales teams must embrace data, signals and storytelling. This is where SetSail comes in – providing sales teams with the information they need to take the small steps that lead to closing big deals.”

Founded in 2018 by former Google machine learning experts, SetSail uses AI to identify the buying signals needed to close a deal. The platform then converts these signals into recommendations for sales reps and presents them with micro-rewards (e.g. monetary rewards and recognitions) for following the best path of action and building good selling habits.

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Digital behavioural health platform SilverCloud and HSE expand online therapy across Ireland

Digital mental health platform SilverCloud Health, with headquarters in Boston, Dublin and London is making its services available to users nationwide through Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE).

In 2018, the company partnered with the HSE on a pilot programme to offer online psychological tools for depression and anxiety to primary care psychological services and now plans to expand these services in Ireland. 

WHY IT MATTERS

The platform provides evidence-based clinical content, programmes and support for users struggling with their mental health and chronic illness.

A study by the NHS into SilverCloud showed a 50% reduction in symptoms following eight weeks of sessions and improvement in 27% of cases.

The service will also open up referrals from a larger pool of sources, including GPs and Jigsaw, the national centre for youth mental health. SilverCloud’s mental health services are used by 650,000 people globally, acquiring 30,000 new users every month and providing more than 40% of all NHS mental health services.

This surge is in part due to an increase of people seeking support with their mental health during the COVID-19 crisis.

SilverCloud has raised more than €25.5 million from investors to date. In April 2020, the company raised $16 million (€13.6m) in Series B funding to expand into all 50 US states.

Meanwhile, London-based AI digital therapy service HelloSelf raised £5.5 million in Series A funding to expand mental health provisions for post-pandemic Britain. 

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Future Grid Platform Now Available on SAP® Store

Future Grid recently announced that its Future Grid Platform is now available on SAP® Store, which recently merged with SAP App Center as the single digital marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. The Future Grid Platform integrates with SAP Predictive Asset Insights and delivers real-time grid insights previously invisible to electric utilities.

“Now that the Future Grid Platform is available on SAP Store and integrated with SAP Predictive Asset Insights, the generated insights are even more powerful,” said Chris Law, CEO and co-founder of Future Grid. “We are excited to partner with SAP after participating in the SAP.iO Foundries program that was focused on accelerating utilities startups. This will make our solution even more accessible for electric utilities around the world.” 

With Future Grid, businesses that use utility solutions from SAP can save time and money with increased reliability of supply and streamlined automated work orders and processes. Electric utilities will also have the ability to manage asset health issues directly and proactively plan and respond accordingly. Future Grid’s software turns smart meter data into improved grid reliability, asset management and customer safety, enabling electric utilities to integrate renewable energy at scale using their existing network assets.

Future Grid creates visibility into the health of critical yet ‘invisible’ electricity assets such as wires, transformers and fuses. Once its software analyzes and converts smart meter and other IoT data in real time, Future Grid creates a secure feedback loop by analyzing data from the grid edge and integrating grid recommendations back into distribution systems so that networks can be operated in real time. A wide range of use cases are currently being trialed, including dynamic voltage control, safety fault detection and constraint management. The Future Grid Platform is available for a trial on SAP Store.

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Verusen named a Top 10 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) has announced the Top 10 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia. 

The Top 10 companies were selected from the Top 40 Innovative Technology Companies competition, sponsored by Comcast Businessand Cherry Bekaert, and will present at the 2021 Georgia Technology Summit on April 28 – 29.

“These companies demonstrate the amazing talent and innovation in Georgia’s technology industry today,” said Dennis Zakas, Georgia’s Top 40 Innovative Company Awards Chair. “We are eager to watch them continue to grow and contribute to Georgia’s economy.”

The 2021 Top 10 Innovative Companies are:

  • Codoxo, Chamblee – Codoxo builds AI solutions that help healthcare companies and agencies identify problems and act quickly to control costs with artificial intelligence.
  • Florence Healthcare, Midtown – Florence Healthcare is the leading platform for remote connectivity and electronic document workflow management in clinical research, with more than 8,500 research sites, sponsors and CROs in 30 countries.
  • MileAuto, Midtown – Mile Auto is a pay-per-mile auto insurance company using patented computer vision technologies to help low mileage drivers save money.
  • PadSplit, Downtown – PadSplit is an affordable housing tech startup that provides a house-sharing service for the workforce.
  • Roadie, Buckhead – Roadie is a same-day delivery platform that connects people with stuff to send to drivers already heading in the right direction.
  • Stord, Midtown – Stord operates the leading North American omnichannel logistics network using end-to-end logistics services designed to move product rapidly to your end customer—B2B or B2C—with pay-as-you-go pricing and infinite scalability.
  • Ternio, Alpharetta – Ternio is a global fintech platform built on blockchain that connects traditional enterprise, fintech, banking, systems with blockchain infrastructure giving real world utility to digital assets.
  • Verusen, Midtown – Verusen is a Supply Chain Intelligence company focused on materials management that uses AI to provide complex global supply chains material truth for data, inventory optimization and procurement intelligence.
  • Voxie, Alpharetta – Voxie is the conversational text marketing leader that helps retail, service, and restaurant passion brands connect with and learn from their customers in order to drive repeat purchase.
  • Ware2Go, Buckhead – Ware2Go, a UPS Company, is changing the traditional 3PL model to make 1-2-day delivery easy and affordable for all merchants.

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Fashion Tech India: Real-Time AI Data Drives Competitive Retail Advantage

Consumer fashion may be among the most unpredictable markets on the planet, but one startup in India has created an AI-based demand sensing platform that combines the brilliance of data scientists with seasoned industry experts to ferret out trends with uncanny accuracy. The idea is to close the gap between supply and demand.

“We help companies create demand-driven fashion forecasts from consumer data across a holistic value chain,” Ganesh Subramanian, founder and CEO at Stylumia. “Our demand sensing engine collects and analyzes publicly available global data to rank product trends, providing fashion designers, retail buyers, and merchandisers with a much deeper understanding of real-time consumer demand signals.”

More profitable and sustainable business

Forecasting fickle consumer appetites for unseen products has long stymied the most experienced minds in the fashion world. Stylumia can reveal breaking trends, allowing people to make design and merchandising decisions perfectly in synch. This can reduce underbuying and overbuying.

According to Subramanian, the typical Stylumia customer has improved the prediction accuracy of style and color levels by up to 30 percent, and increased sales and revenue between 25 to 50 percent, compared to the performance of products not designed and merchandized using the platform. Customers have also reduced excess inventory and carbon footprint levels by an aggregated average of up to 40 percent.

“When products are selling well, companies have less stock and are able to lower their carbon footprint because they’re using fewer resources, while generating the same amount of revenue,” he said. “Since our founding, we have reduced the number of garments that our customers have produced by over 60 million, while their sales and profits have grown.”

Consumer intelligence research on steroids

From its headquarters in India, to hubs in Australia, the United States, and the UK, Stylumia’s teams work with fashion, sports, and lifestyle brands that represent companies of all sizes worldwide.

Instead of brainstorming solely by intuition, designers and buyers log into their personalized portal to storyboard ideas using Stylumia’s AI-fueled algorithm or their own images for design inspiration. As they select colors, materials, patterns, and other product features, Stylumia instantly surfaces trending demands against the designer’s ideas. They can view similar products, see where selling levels are highest, and save and share their ideas with colleagues.

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Predicting ETAS Accurately

Through a global partnership with French transportation visibility specialist Shippeo, Krone Telematics can now accurately predict the estimated time of arrival (ETA) for every shipment. The collaboration is expected to yield further innovations.

Up to twelve hours in advance, the Krone Telematics technical monitoring system can accurately predict the arrival time of a truck. A cooperation with the European leader in real-time transportation visibility Shippeo makes this precise information possible. The estimated time of arrival (ETA) for a truck is much more difficult to calculate than for private parcel shipments, for example. This is because, in addition to traffic and weather conditions, it is influenced by many other parameters such as the duration of loading and unloading. Shippeo achieves the most accurate prediction of ETA on the market with machine learning and an algorithm that takes over 200 parameters into account. For Krone’s customers, this means they get reliable information about their shipments that they can use for planning and increasing efficiency.

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Stockly lets e-commerce websites sell out-of-stock items from a shared inventory

Meet Stockly, a French startup that keeps the inventory of various e-commerce websites in sync. When you see an out-of-stock item on an e-commerce website, chances are you leave that website and try to find the same item on another site.

If you operate an e-commerce website, Stockly lets you sell items even when they’re currently out of stock. The startup automatically finds a third-party Stockly supplier with that specific item.

The order will go through and be sent by that supplier directly. Stockly tells its partners to use neutral packaging so that the end consumer isn’t confused.

This could be particularly useful for small-scale e-commerce companies that don’t have a healthy marketplace of third-party retailers. For instance, Amazon can already sell you an out-of-stock item if a supplier has listed that specific item on Amazon’s own marketplace. But that’s not the case for most e-commerce websites.

The main challenge for Stockly is that it has to sort through various catalog formats and match the different inventories of different retailers. It is focusing on clothing items at first. When an order is routed through Stockly, it selects a specific supplier based on different criteria, such as logistics, delivery time and historical data.

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