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Did you catch all our latest SAP.iO Venture Studio highlights?

July — September 2021 | Achievements & News from SAP.iO Venture Studio

SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It invests in new ventures founded by small, entrepreneurial teams inside of SAP who are focused on building the future of enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio provides design, development, and sales support to help these ventures launch. Find more on sap.io/studio.

Autumn is upon us which means another three months have passed! Despite the summer break in many regions of the world, SAP employees have continued to take charge of their venture, pursued the freedom to shape their own strategy and taken their own decisions, also accelerating their own personal growth. Find the highlights of recent events and developments below:

 

The SAP.iO Venture Studio has welcomed a new venture to their portfolio. Yet to be named, it already had its first outing back at SAP’s customer flagship event.

We’ll share more on the venture soon!

Brilliant Hire by SAP

Brilliant Hire by SAP intelligently matches candidates with a personalized shortlist of jobs on your careers page based on what really matters to them, using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

  • Brilliant Hire is now live on the SAP Store!
  • Despite already having mentioned their latest video in last quarter’s edition, we nevertheless wanted to highlight it once more. Watch and read how their product elevates the candidate experience with smart job matching.

More on this venture on https://www.brillianthire.io/

GreenToken by SAP

GreenToken by SAP is a supply chain solution that offers companies new levels of transparency through reliable, blockchain-based information. Gain visibility into where raw materials came from and produce products with knowledge about where and how the materials were produced, even in complex, non-batch supply chains.

  • After featuring prominently in the global opening CEO keynote at SAPPHIRE 2021 and announcing their collaboration with Eastman Chemicals, the partners got together for yet another project, in the form of a 24-hour hackathon. Read more on the event in this blog post on LinkedIn: 24 hour Hackathon delivers cool consumer ‘App’​
  • Further, Eastman also strengthened their commitment to GreenToken and a more sustainable future by mentioning the venture in their quarterly update for investors: “In addition, we continue to drive the circular economy platform from every angle, including digital. We are proud to highlight our collaboration with SAP GreenToken technology. The Eastman and SAP collaboration will leverage the blockchain-based platform of GreenToken to provide visibility through the value chain of sustainable products, such as the specialty plastics produced with Eastman’s molecular recycling technologies. Through data transparency enabled by blockchain, the platform is designed to give brands and consumers traceable information of sustainable attributes of products, including their percentage of certified recycled content.”

More on this venture on http://www.green-token.io/

Paid Promptly by SAP

Paid Promptly by SAP drives cash into your business faster by automating receivable processes. Deliver a seamless, personalized, customer experience through Paid Pronto’s automated communication solution, beginning when an invoice is first released until payment is received.

  • Brilliant Hire has a new General Manager! Paul Parter has taken over the task from Erin Dierker who is on to a new academic chapter at Stanford Business School. We’re wishing both all the best!

More on this venture on https://www.paidpromptly.io/

EverLoop by SAP

EverLoop by SAP aims to empower every business on the planet to achieve zero waste by being a sustainability solution that connects stakeholders across the waste value chain to enable the circular economy, with transparency and traceability.

  • Read here about the founders’ journey and how they developed an idea that was initially discussed over coffee into a product!
  • The team will be from now also sharing updates on their LinkedIn channel, so don’t forget to follow them on their journey of enabling the circular economy through transparent and easy e-waste disposal and recycling management.

More on this venture on https://everloopbysap.webflow.io/

SourceAgent by SAP

Great sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution.

  • The venture celebrated their six months anniversary on September 1! If you need a throwback, re-read their investment announcement from our 2020/2021 cohort here.
  • The team will be from now also sharing updates on their LinkedIn channel, so don’t forget to follow them on their journey of building the future of sourcing.
  • Their pilot program is currently open. Visit their website or email sourceagent@sap.com to learn more.

More on this venture on https://www.sourceagent.io/

Starting a corporate venture: From idea to funding

Co-Founders of EverLoop by SAP

Sometimes the best ideas just come from chatting over a coffee: The founders behind EverLoop by SAP share insights on how they started their business, what hurdles they had to overcome along the way and what makes a successful team.

Co-Founders of EverLoop by SAP

When and how did you know you had a viable idea for a start-up?

So, you have a problem to solve. Now what?

Which difficulties did you have to overcome in your first months as co-founders?

What plans do you have for the future?

About EverLoop by SAP

About SAP.iO Venture Studio

 

Quickly leverage rich external data to improve decision making using Explorium

The need for companies to leverage external data is no longer a nice-to-have, but critical to success. Extracting quality data from a variety of reputable sources is extremely labor-intensive, costly, and manual. Looking to streamline and more effectively leverage external context to feed into your analytical models and improve decision making? Meet Explorium.

With Explorium, SAP Sales Cloud & Customer Data Cloud customers can tap into their first-party data and dynamically integrate it with outside sources, extracting powerful context-based signals to inform more precise acquisition, conversion and retention decisions, across channels & markets, in far less time. Explorium will help SAP customers increase revenue, streamline operations, reduce risks, and automate model performance, model prediction, and model training.

Read More…

Did you catch all our latest SAP.iO Venture Studio highlights?

April — June 2021 | Achievements & News from SAP.iO Venture Studio

SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It invests in new ventures founded by small, entrepreneurial teams inside of SAP who are focused on building the future of enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio provides design, development, and sales support to help these ventures launch. Find more on sap.io/studio.

It’s been a busy three months recently! SAP employees haven taken charge of their venture, pursued the freedom to shape their own strategy and taken their own decisions, also accelerating their own personal growth. Find the highlights of recent events and developments below:

 

Brilliant Hire by SAP

Brilliant Hire by SAP intelligently matches candidates with a personalized shortlist of jobs on your careers page based on what really matters to them, using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

  • Brilliant Hire has a new General Manager! Jeanine LeFlore already shared some insights on “Busting Product Myths” in this blogpost.
  • Head of Marketing at Brilliant Hire, Katya Pokrovskaya, also shared her tips for successful startup marketing in this blogpost.
  • Did you know that 90% of candidates leave career pages without applying? Their new product video and this article explain more on how they help customers with this challenge and elevate the candidate experience.
  • Brilliant Hire’s offer to their early access program was also announced during SAPPHIRE NOW 2021. Read more in the event’s Innovation News Guide and watch their customer talk in this session on how companies can build their future together with SAP.

More on this venture on https://www.brillianthire.io/

GreenToken by SAP

GreenToken by SAP is a supply chain solution that offers companies new levels of transparency through reliable, blockchain-based information. Gain visibility into where raw materials came from and produce products with knowledge about where and how the materials were produced, even in complex, non-batch supply chains.

  • The venture turned one on April 1! Walk down memory lane with them in this blog post.
  • GreenToken was featured in the global CEO keynote of SAP’s flagship event SAPPHIRE NOW 2021. Watch their segment here. Their early access program was also announced during the event. Read more in the event’s Innovation News Guide.
  • Eastman published a press release on their collaboration with the venture to track recycled content. Together they also joined the SAP Sustainability Summit. Find the replay to their session “Material Return Loops — Accelerating Sustainability Outcomes” here.

More on this venture on http://www.green-token.io/

OwnID by SAP

OwnID by SAP enables your customers to use their phone as a key to instantly access their accounts on your website. This password–less method of login and verification grants a subtle and streamlined user experience, ensuring the highest security standards and complete privacy of every account.

More on this venture on https://www.ownid.com/

Paid Pronto by SAP

Paid Pronto by SAP drives cash into your business faster by automating receivable processes. Deliver a seamless, personalized, customer experience through Paid Pronto’s automated communication solution, beginning when an invoice is first released until payment is received.

  • General Manager Erin Dierker featured on Femventure’s podcast episode on “Founding your own business”. Listen on Apple podcasts or openSAP.
  • Team member Andrew Blum also laid out in this blogpost why receivables teams might need to look across the hall to their procurement and payables counterparts for a transformation roadmap.

More on this venture on https://www.paidpronto.io/

EverLoop by SAP

EverLoop by SAP (formerly ReLoop by SAP) aims to empower every business on the planet to achieve zero waste by being a sustainability solution that connects stakeholders across the waste value chain to enable the circular economy, with transparency and traceability.

  • EverLoop joined the SAP Sustainability Summit. Find the replay to their session ““Growth of Recommerce to Better Manage our Waste” here.
  • The venture is one out of two helping SAP and SAP customers achieve their sustainability goals. Read blog post here.
  • They also have a new website ready for you!

More on this venture on www.ever-loop.io!

SourceAgent by SAP

Great sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution.

  • The venture is actively looking for customers interested in sourcing opportunity assessments (free of charge) right now. Contact them here.
  • And why not check out their new website as well?

More on this venture on https://www.sourceagent.io/

Elevating the Candidate Experience with Brilliant Hire’s Smart Job Matching

Between searching through job postings, refining and revising resumes and cover letters, and prepping for interviews, applying for a job can feel like a full-time job in and of itself. There’s also the additional stressor of potentially falling through the cracks of a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS).

Not only that, but because there are so many open roles to choose from, prospective candidates can be overwhelmed by job sites. So overwhelmed that they end up exiting the page all together. According to a report, 91% of candidates leave career pages without ever applying to a single job.

The numbers are even more grim when diving into applicant demographics. A frequently cited Hewlett-Packard study found that men will apply for a job when they meet just 60 percent of the qualifications, while women will only apply if they meet 100 percent of the qualifications. What’s more, a LinkedIn Business’s Gender Insights Report also found that women were 16 percent less likely than men to apply to a job after viewing it and apply to 20 percent less jobs than men in the first place.

This isn’t what the team at Brilliant Hire by SAP envisions when they think of the future of inclusive recruiting.

“For us, the future of recruiting is one where candidates can easily find the best roles for their skillsets and companies can find the most qualified and diverse talent for their open roles,” said Jeanine LeFlore, General Manager of Brilliant Hire. “We believe that job applicants and companies alike benefit from a personalized candidate experience and we’re making that a reality with Smart Job Matching.”

Launched last fall, Brilliant Hire Smart Job Matching leverages artificial intelligence to deliver a curated list of best matched roles to each candidate. This bespoke experience doesn’t just help candidates, but also helps companies increase their visitor-to-applicant ratio. It also gives recruiting teams valuable insights on where candidates are dropping off as well as the types of positions and skills job seekers are searching.

How Smart Job Matching works

When a candidate visits an SAP SuccessFactors careers page that has been integrated with Smart Job Matching, the Skill Matcher will ask a few short questions about their professional background and skills. The answers will be analyzed to match them with top jobs based on their experience while also ensuring candidate privacy by not collecting any personally identifiable information.

In doing so, Brilliant Hire can recommend a tailored list of opportunities to each candidate, pointing out jobs that are strong match for their unique background and thus encouraging them to apply. The hypothesis is that this personalized experience can also boost applicant pool diversity by enabling minority groups of candidates that have traditionally been outnumbered (such as females) to send in their resume for the top recommended jobs.

“My personal experience as a woman of color navigating a tech career across various sized companies and industries has shown me that the playing field is not always level when it comes to the recruitment and hiring process,” LeFlore said, adding that Smart Job Matching enables candidates to apply to the roles that fit their skillsets with confidence which in turn helps make recruitment more inclusive.

SAP launched Smart Job Matching capabilities on its own careers site late last year and saw an 11 percent increase in the visitor-to-applicant ratio in just a few weeks because applicants were able to find a matching job more quickly. Another early adopter of Smart Job Matching is leading global supplier of specialty chemicals, W.R. Grace, who will be participating in a session during this year’s virtual SAPPHIRE NOW conference.

“Brilliant Hire by SAP integrates with SuccessFactors and helps us achieve our recruitment goals by attracting more qualified candidates to our open jobs.” said Stephanie Wheeler, Head of Global Talent Acquisition at W.R. Grace.

With goals of optimizing hiring by providing a personalized experience for candidates through Smart Job Matching, Brilliant Hire aims to further inclusive recruiting practices for customers.

“A great candidate experience should be at the center of the hiring process in a way that could also help make recruitment more inclusive for all applicants,” LeFlore said. “And we’re making that happen at Brilliant Hire.”

About Brilliant Hire by SAP

Founded in 2018 within the SAP.iO Venture Studio, Brilliant Hire by SAP believes that everyone deserves a fair chance at landing their dream job. Built to unlock diversity and inclusion in the workforce, Brilliant Hire continues to innovate.

To learn more about Brilliant Hire by SAP, visit www.brillianthire.io/

About SAP.iO Venture Studio

The SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It invests in new ventures founded by small, entrepreneurial teams inside of SAP who are focused on building the future of enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio provides design, development, and sales support to help these ventures launch.

To learn more about SAP.iO, visit www.sap.io/studio

Venture Voices: Tips for successful start-up marketing

Start-up marketing, Storytelling and Co.: The Director of Product Marketing at Brilliant Hire by SAP shares some key lessons that that she has learned through the years. 

By Katya Pokrovskaya, Director of Product Marketing at Brilliant Hire by SAP 

Having recently made a career move, I joined Brilliant Hire by SAP as Director of Product Marketing just over a month ago. Brilliant Hire is an employee-led venture in the SAP.iO Venture Studio, SAP’s in-house incubator designed to build new growth businesses for the company. Having worked for a few early-stage software start-ups in the past, it feels great to be back in the innovation space. I wanted to share two tips that I believe are key in developing strong messaging and positioning for a SaaS start-up: building your story around your audience and communicating value over functionality. 

So, why does my start-up need marketing?

As a marketer, a question that I often get asked from non-marketer colleagues and friends is “Why do we even need marketing in the first place? We’re building a great product. It should sell itself”. It’s an interesting question as there’s no doubt that a great product is the foundation for the success of a business. Organizations such as Product-Led Institute have built fantastic frameworks and entire training programs on building fast-growing SaaS businesses with a product-led approach. However, as important as product is, so is getting the word out about it in a way that will resonate with your market. Marketers exist to craft a clear, compelling story and bring it to the right people at the right time – to ultimately communicate the value of your product and drive growth. 

Tip: Make your customer the hero of your (marketing) story

Who is your target audience? If you’re trying to appeal to everybody, then you’re probably not appealing to anybody. I would argue that the number one rule of marketing is this: know your audience. It starts with taking a step back from what you’re building or selling to listen and empathize with your target user and customer. Try to learn as much about them as possible to understand their unique needs and think about where you can help. Make time for qualitative research such as interviews and focus groups to build detailed buyer/user/customer persona profiles. If your product addresses a few different audiences, repeat the audience profile exercise for each one to understand all the key personas that you are positioning your product to. Ask yourself: Who are you building your product for? What problems does it solve for them? What value can it bring to their lives?   

The expert knowledge you gain from empathizing with your audience should be the foundation for your marketing storytelling. Think of your marketing message as a story and your customer as the hero of the story. I recently came across an interesting framework for crafting a marketing story in a great book that I’m reading: Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller.  As in any story plotline, the hero (your customer) will need to overcome a challenge or obstacle. Eventually, they meet a guide (your product/service/solution) who will offer them a plan and provide a call to action to help them solve the problem. How does your product help customers overcome a challenge and make them successful?   

Tip: Communicate value, not feature/function

In the fast-paced, information-saturated world that we live in, communicating value helps people quickly understand why they should care about your product. When creating marketing messaging for software, it can be easy to resort to listing the features and functions of the amazing SaaS product that you’re building. However, unless you’re targeting a highly technical customer, this approach most likely wouldn’t resonate with your audience. Instead, think about how you can help your customer: specific use cases for your product, the problems solved for the end-users and ultimately, the value that it brings. Even better, could you quantify the value to show things like time saved or ROI?   

Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Slack, once sent a memo to his team that said: “Just as much as our job is to build something genuinely useful, something which really does make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive, our job is also to understand what people think they want and then translate the value of Slack into their terms”. 

The category of company-wide messaging software wasn’t new when Slack entered the market in 2013. However, Slack was unparalleled in translating their platform’s capabilities into a clear value proposition. By positioning themselves as a replacement for email and the place “where work happens”, Slack clearly communicates how its product makes users’ working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive. The strong messaging and positioning, coupled with a fantastic product, powered Slack’s impressive hypergrowth.   

At the end of the day, customer-centric marketing that communicates clear value will make it quick and easy for your audience to understand why they should choose your product over all of the other options out there.

Check out the SAP.iO Venture Studio website to learn more about how we drive organic innovation for SAP.

About Brilliant Hire by SAP

Brilliant Hire intelligently matches candidates with a personalized shortlist of a company’s jobs based on what really matters to them. It allows the candidates to search based on their skills, interests and passions — instead of keywords.

About SAP.iO Venture Studio

SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It invests in new ventures founded by small, entrepreneurial teams inside of SAP who are focused on building the future of enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio provides design, development, and sales support to help these ventures launch. Founding teams join the SAP.iO Venture Studio primarily through the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) programs.

Omnichannel Insights for Marketing Decision Support

An old adage goes like this: 50% of the money spent on marketing programs is wasted. But which 50%?

That question can finally be answered in the new era of advanced analytics – and by Adverity Marketing Data Analytics Platform. No more tedious number crunching on spreadsheets for marketing teams, thanks to this popular solution on SAP Store. Now, data-driven marketers can take advantage of fully automated data integration for a single source of truth on the performance of their programs and move past “point-in-time” performance monitoring toward insights that lead to tangible actions.

I spoke with Sven Woeltjen, partner manager with Adverity GmbH, to find out more about the solution’s impact on the life of a marketer.

“From every source – paid search, social media, direct demand-generation campaigns, events – you get different data in different formats,” Woeltjen said. “Everyone is asking for ROI, and no one has the answer. Many marketing teams work in silos. Harmonizing and cleansing the data from all the different sources is a labor-intensive process that’s prone to mistakes, and typically takes many days. As a result, marketers spend more time wrangling data than they do interpreting it, meaning they miss out on opportunities to optimize performance and improve ROI. They don’t have current info and can’t produce timely reports. Those are the problems Adverity solves.”

Reporting in Near Real Time

With the Adverity solution, marketers can create omnichannel overviews in near real time. Integration with SAP ERP and SAP Marketing Cloud allows them to enrich their insights by pulling in data from finance or HR or whatever interests them, Woeltjen continued. The ability to build ad-hoc reports on their own enables them to explain to the business the impact of what they’re doing whenever they’re asked. Report templates and data visualization tools make that even easier. “With tangible results based on real data, they can turn their attention to the next program or campaign rather than the next report,” he added. “By better understanding what works and what doesn’t, they can make decisions from a strategic standpoint.”

In fact, Woeltjen speaks from experience after spending his career in marketing, including tenure with an agency where he was using the Adverity solution himself. He ended up approaching the company about potential partner opportunities and, not long after, joined the firm and worked with its most important partner, SAP.

Understanding Marketing Challenges – as Marketers

I asked Woeltjen to tell me more about the company, which was established in 2015. Like him, the founders themselves were working in the marketing field, experiencing the data challenges , and saw an opportunity. The company has grown steadily since then, largely by building relationships, understanding customers’ needs, and building new features accordingly – as all good marketers do. For example, an augmented analytics module uses machine learning to analyze large amounts of data, identify trends and anomalies, and deliver suggestions for improvements that enable marketers to proactively address issues affecting performance.

Teamwork is a crucial factor for Adverity. The implementation team sits next to the developers to promote collaboration. Even as they have transitioned to working from home, the relationships are in place. Now with about 250 employees, based largely in Austria, the U.S., and the UK, the company plans to double in size this year. With offices in London and New York City already, Adverity plans to establish a presence on the West Coast of the U.S. and in the Asia-Pacific-Japan region. As a digital company with most employees working remotely, not just during the pandemic, he commented, “We can hire the best people.”

And speaking of the pandemic, Adverity has been in the position to cushion some of the fallout for customers suddenly making the transition to online marketing. “Here in Germany, for example, many stores have been closed for a full year,” Woeltjen remarked. “People have had to get used to buying more online, causing many smaller businesses – distilleries, for example – to sell directly to consumers and use their marketing budgets to acquire customers online. We can help them with our tool.”

Read More…

From a Crowded Field, Three SAP Store Partners Stand Out

Introducing the 2021 SAP Store Pinnacle Winner and Finalists

Partner SolutionsWhile 2020 was a challenging year in countless respects, there were silver linings – including the astonishing innovation among SAP partners developing new solutions available on SAP Store. Among them are longtime SAP partners as well as brand-new startups, all of which brought cutting-edge technologies to our customers. There are so many of these solutions, in fact, and such tough competition, that we would have been hard pressed to decide on our 2021 SAP Pinnacle Award winner without a raft of supporting data. A clear favorite and two runners-up emerged with agreement from a range of stakeholders. We are very pleased to congratulate these companies, beginning with Icertis Inc

Icertis: 2021 SAP Pinnacle Winner / SAP Store Partner of the Year

With three solutions available on SAP Store, Icertis had one of the highest numbers of transactions and contributed to the overall 2020 success of SAP Store. These criteria clearly demonstrate that the solutions are succeeding in addressing customers’ unmet needs, while supporting SAP’s digital transformation strategy. But that’s not all.Icertis’s three offerings on SAP Store integrate with two categories of SAP products – SAP Ariba and SAP Customer Experience solutions – and address a different aspect of supply chain management. Icertis Contract Intelligence is an AI-powered contract lifecycle management solution that integrates with SAP Ariba solutions to push contract data to complete downstream procurement processes. Icertis Integration for SAP Customer Experience accelerates lead-to-cash processes by connecting to the SAP CPQ and SAP Sales Cloud solutions. And Icertis AI for Accelerated Contract Transformation provides insights for improving contract management by digitizing legacy and third-party contracts, using AI to analyze negotiation history .All of these offerings address thorny supply chain management challenges that have become especially acute for companies during the disruptions caused by the pandemic: spikes in demand, uncertain transportation schedules, remote work scenarios, and much more. Already gaining traction on SAP Store, the Icertis solutions became even more popular during 2020 as businesses faced intense pressure to streamline processes in this arena.

Paradox: A Startup with a Unique Solution for Recruiting

First runner-up for SAP Store Partner of the Year is Paradox Inc., a startup that entered the SAP PartnerEdge, Build track from the SAP.iO program. Soon after onboarding its solution to SAP Store, Paradox sprinted quickly ahead to gain “Spotlight” status on the strength of its top-selling solution, Olivia. Olivia is a conversational AI assistant that automates administrative work for recruiters and hiring teams, integrating with the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting solution. With Spotlight status, Paradox is entitled to additional go-to-market support provided by SAP Digital Commerce and the SAP field sales organization – and had one of the highest numbers of unique visits to its SAP Store landing page in 2020.

Centrical: Helping Employees with the Work-from-Home Transition

Second runner-up is Centrical, another company that recognized a major contemporary challenge and found a way to help companies cope. Centrical for Enterprise Learning Solutions from SAP helps employees suddenly working at home to stay engaged and connected. Through integration with SAP SuccessFactors Learning, the app gives managers visibility into individual performance to identify who might need a helping hand. What’s really unique about this offering is its gamification capabilities. Teams can compete in contests and earn badges and rewards, and built-in features for recognition and peer acknowledgement help keep employees motivated and alert managers to potential for talent development. We are so proud to be aligned with these great companies and congratulate them on their achievements. We also commend all the many superb innovators participating on SAP Store and look forward to more brilliant solutions making strides in the coming months. Most important: our customers thank you!

For more information on the 2021 SAP Pinnacle awards, read the newsbyte.

SAP.iO Startups Deliver Personalized and Holistic Experiences for Consumers on SAP Store

Shifting consumer values are driving new innovations to market at a speed like never before. Consumer products companies must be able to serve consumers by orchestrating an ecosystem that delivers personalized experiences in the service of achieving an outcome, all at the most favorable cost.

To help drive their own innovation efforts, consumer products companies are increasingly looking to startups and new technologies to fuel future growth. By collaborating with startups to address the industry’s most pressing challenges with innovative solutions through SAP.iO, SAP is dedicated to empowering its customers to continue to thrive as prominent industry leaders. The seven startups that participated in SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s consumer products cohort last year are now all available on SAP Store in the latest set of solutions for SAP customers.“

We chose these seven companies to join SAP’s partner ecosystem as a result of due diligence and close collaboration with the industry and product teams at SAP. These startup offerings that are available on SAP Store provide critical solutions to the biggest challenges in the consumer products industry, helping SAP customers best utilize their existing data in order to improve the consumer experience,” said Inbar Yacoby, Program Manager, SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv.

Read More…

Venture Voices: A year of and with GreenToken by SAP

Sometimes news unfold on April Fools Day that isn’t a joke, but real and exciting: The founders behind Green Token by SAP share their venture’s founding anniversary with other greats in the tech industry. Here are some of their highlights from their first year.

Founded on April 1, 1976, Apple most certainly wasn’t a joke. Nor was Google’s announcement in 2004, introducing the beta version of Gmail, its new — and free! — web-based email service. And of course, though hard to believe today, SAP was once also considered a start-up. When five entrepreneurs started the company on April 1 in 1972, Hasso Plattner didn’t even own a personal computer.

Today, almost all of the world’s 100 most valuable brands use SAP software and the company has grown to more than 100,000 employees. Even with its storied history and reputation in the tech industry, SAP has not strayed far from its start-up roots. Among its 100,000 employees, some continue to build products and teams from scratch through the SAP.iO Venture Studio, an organization dedicated to fostering employee-driven innovation. Since 2016, SAP has been investing in small, entrepreneurial teams to find and test new areas with products that attack some of the biggest problems in enterprise. On April 1, 2019, Green Token by SAP, a venture building a solution focusing on supply chain transparency for more ethical business, also joined the ranks of SAP’s employee-led ventures. Hear what James Veale and Nitin Jain have to say, looking back on their first 12 months and ahead as venture founders:

Exactly one year ago you started GreenToken by SAP after 18 months of evolving the idea. What happened since?

Nitin & James: “Like one-year-old humans we have learnt an incredible amount in the last 12 months and now proudly stand on our own two feet. Our memorable successes since April 1, 2019 have to be :

  • Building a fantastic team of eleven passionate individuals who go above and beyond in their daily tasks to make GreenToken a success.
  • Great meetings with our motivated advisory board members who have given us excellent guidance and share our drive and enthusiasm for this project.
  • Our launch customers who helped us prove GreenToken at scale at the end of last year and continue to challenge us to make the product frictionless and fit for purpose.”

Biggest misconception on founding and building a venture you had so far?

Nitin & James: “One of the biggest myths we faced was ‘you all have to be based in one location for this to work.’ We have team members in APJ, Europe and North America and we and made it work! What’s more, GreenToken works with global supply chains and our globally distributed team is actually able to talk to any customer or prospect in the world in their local business hours.”

Plans for your second year as venture founders?

Nitin & James: “Our second year is shaping up to be as exciting as our first! This year we plan to release the production-ready version of GreenToken and run it at scale, we intend to expand into new industries across many different raw material supply chains, and we aim at adding new features that will give our customers meaningful insights into their raw material supply chains showing them the good actors, the risk and the blind spots. We want to enable them to make meaningful procurement decisions and help drive sustainable and circular economies. And we already hit the ground running in year 2: Watch this space and our personal LinkedIn accounts for our new initiatives in a circular economy industry.”

Feel free to personally connect with Nitin and James on LinkedIn and never miss a beat on their upcoming projects & results.

About Green Token by SAP

GreenToken by SAP is a supply chain solution that offers companies new levels of transparency through reliable, blockchain-based information. Gain visibility into where raw materials came from and produce products with knowledge about where and how the materials were produced, even in complex, non-batch supply chains. More on www.green-token.io

About SAP.iO Venture Studio

SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It invests in new ventures founded by small, entrepreneurial teams inside of SAP who are focused on building the future of enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio provides design, development, and sales support to help these ventures launch. Founding teams join the SAP.iO Venture Studio primarily through the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) programs.

Venture Voices: Isn’t it time that we see a Chief Receivables Officer?

Receivables teams might need to look across the hall to their procurement and payables counterparts for a transformation roadmap.

By Andrew Blum, Head of GTM and Customer Engagements, Paid Pronto by SAP

The path is laid out

The procurement and payables space has been transformed by a digital revolution over the last few decades. This has in turn enabled significant automation. I’m lucky to have witnessed it firsthand as a practitioner, consultant, and technology advisor. Procurement and accounts payable organizations have evolved from focusing on tactical, cost-control measures to adding meaningful value towards the organization’s bottom line. Local or regional organization structures have been replaced by centralized global procurement organizations.

Technology has been at the center of this revolution and the results are clear. Compliance and cost-control is managed by the technology which allows procurement professionals to focus on higher-value, strategic initiatives.

This great transformation has increased the importance and visibility of the roles within the organization. Often an afterthought, a Procurement Manager used to be the middle person executing on the tactical parts of purchasing. Now that the tactical tasks are automated, and focus is on adding strategic value to the bottom line, we’ve seen a surge in companies adopting the title of Chief Procurement Officer — a reflection of the value that they bring to the enterprise.

Is Accounts Receivables really that much different than Procurement and Accounts Payable?

When I joined Paid Pronto by SAP and took a deeper look into the accounts receivable space, I realized that it’s very similar to where procurement was 20 years ago and ripe for evolution. In fact the only major differences between accounts receivable and its procurement and accounts payable counterparts are that we’re talking customers instead of suppliers and managing invoices instead of purchase orders.

If the global pandemic has taught us anything in the business world, it’s that a strong cash flow helps prepare enterprises for anything. Outside of increasing sales or improving margins, there are two levers that finance organizations have to improve cash flow: (1) increase payment terms or (2) decrease receivables.

All too often, I see organizations only focus on the first lever. I’ve seen firsthand where a company made a blanket increase to their standard payment terms, from Net-45 to Net-120. And while larger suppliers can (uncomfortably) accept that, this is potentially fatal to smaller businesses that don’t have deep capital pockets.

So, we need to start focusing on the second lever, and optimize receivables. This presents a massive opportunity for Receivables Managers to provide strategic value to the enterprise. They are now at the same inflection point that procurement and accounts payable managers were at 20 years ago.

The opportunity case is there. Improving days sales outstanding by one day provides a $2.7M cash flow benefit for every $1B in sales. Simply put, the receivables team can easily make a material impact on the bottom line. A cash flow benefit of this magnitude is sure to make any C-suite notice, especially in capital intensive industries.

The key to unlocking this value is automation of tactical activities so receivables professionals can use their expertise to focus on the complex problems. A receivables agent typically spends most of their day putting out fires and executing routine tasks, unable to tackle their work in a strategic manner. Whether it’s asks from a customer to update a contact or upload to a portal, internal payment status queries, or just trying to get others to respond, there is a huge opportunity for automation.

It’s uncanny how similar this opportunity is to what procurement and accounts payable teams faced a just a few decades ago. They’ve successfully tackled this problem and have been rewarded with a seat in the C-Suite. So, I ask the question: Isn’t it time that we see a Chief Receivables Officer?

Paid Pronto by SAP is your transformation partner

We at Paid Pronto want to be your partner as you embark on this transformation. Our solution automates standardized receivables tasks, so that your receivables team can focus on the complex, high-value-added activities. Early pilots have shown significant improvement in day sales outstanding, total cash collected, and number of open invoices.

Paid Pronto by SAP is currently looking to expand our pilot program. If you are interested in letting us obsess over your success as part of the program, reach out to paidpronto@sap.com.

Find more also on www.paidpronto.io

About SAP.iO Venture Studio

SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It invests in new ventures founded by small, entrepreneurial teams inside of SAP who are focused on building the future of enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio provides design, development, and sales support to help these ventures launch. Founding teams join the SAP.iO Venture Studio primarily through the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) programs.

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.

Read More…

SAP.iO: Why 3 is Key to SAP’s Startup Wins

Written by Alexa Gorman SVP, SAP.iO Foundries & Intrapreneurship at SAP

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the NVT Houseparty with Mark Osborn, Global VP of Business Development and Strategy for SAP Consumer Industries, about how SAP.iO delivers on our 3-fold value proposition.  SAP’s startup driven innovation activities strive to deliver value to SAP customers, benefits to startups and strategic impact for SAP. Our conversation focused on how SAP.iO helps innovators start-up with SAP as we bring together leaders from every region, industry and line of business to transform how businesses run. If you are interested in listening to our discussion, you can watch it here

Since 2017, we’ve helped 300+ startups and ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access the startup solutions on the SAP Store. At SAP.iO, we work closely with startups and help them extend their networks, integrate their startup solutions, and support their go-to-market efforts with SAP. This allows us to get valuable feedback on our technology and APIs while expanding SAP’s offering to include the latest innovations in the market and building the next generation of partners for SAP. We collaborate with SAP’s customers and connect them with relevant startup innovation that helps to transform their business and extends the value of their investments in SAP solutions.  

Over the past 4 years SAP.iO has become the matchmaker of the enterprise software world. We look into customers pain points and match their needs to the startups that will best support their business transformation. Many SAP customers collaborate with us to select the startups we bring into the SAP ecosystem. One of the ways we excel at matchmaking is evaluating customer and market needs and providing programs specifically focused on addressing those current needs.  

An industry that is going through major transformations, is the consumer products industry, which is an area of focus for us. In our discussion, Mark spoke about the importance and value for customers and SAP of working with consumer industry startups. Not only does the collaboration shape the perception of SAP as an innovator in the industry but also opens new doors and strengthens relationships within our customers. “It has exposed our teams more broadly to cutting-edge innovations that are all complementary to our investments in the core SAP portfolio to take a bigger and better story to our customers about the value we provide.” Mark said.  

As far as latest trends, Mark noted that trends that were transforming the consumer products industry before the pandemic have only been accelerated as a result of it. For example, consumer values are shifting fast, quoting a Nielsen report “consumers are buying the change they are seeing in the world.”  

There are creative people around the world seeing this as an area of untapped opportunity which is leading to the next shift, moving us from the age of resources to the age of ideas. Today, what is most important is the idea that you have, making it ever so imperative that companies attract the right talent to bring these ideas to life. All of this is happening, and we are seeing areas of declining cost, like in sales and marketing where is it considerably cheaper to reach your audience through social media channels. It’s not only cheaper, it can be an almost instant, meaningful connection with the consumer.  

We’ve seen this with global companies, like Unilever, that recently partnered with an SAP.iO startup Scantrust, who developed technology for QR codes that they applied to packaging. Unilever applied codes to soup packets so that the consumer can easily scan the packages and learn more about the source of all ingredients. What that has done is create an additional channel for the company to interact with its consumers that had never existed before. Here they can foster trust, share more content, push marketing offers, and interact through sharing recipes. Read more on Moments of Opportunity Tel Aviv Demo Day  

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Changing Our Perspective on Women Entrepreneurs

Slowly, but surely, glass ceilings around the world are beginning to crack and break. Although it is a slow progress, it is progress. We are not only finally seeing a change in the perception of women in business, but more specifically we are seeing a rise of women entrepreneurs. CEOs, Founders, Managers, and event organizers have begun to shine the spotlight on the underrepresented, which includes women entrepreneurs.

Ensuring all innovators, from all backgrounds are empowered to start-up with SAP, SAP.iO No Boundaries, the first comprehensive inclusive entrepreneurship initiative in the business software industry was created. Since 2019, 50% of the startups we’ve worked with have a female/underrepresented founder or CXO.

The SAP.iO Foundry Paris has supported 38 startups since late 2018. Of these companies, many have women in management positions. We recently had the opportunity to interview some of these female leaders and learn more about their unique experiences, operating in a world that is largely run by men. These entrepreneurs occupy a rare place today, they are part of only 16% of employees in the tech sector and only 8% of tech entrepreneurs.

We asked how they choose their career, their profession? What are their strengths? We found out that what they all have in common is that they dared to explore what they love. Out of desire, curiosity, need or conviction they chose a field in technology. They listened to their inner voice and considered what it is that they really enjoyed. Charlotte Fanneau, Director of Operations at Heuritech said, “I did not choose the job of Director of Operations, but the mission of putting cutting-edge technology at the service of the fashion industry.” All shared the desire to step out of their comfort zone, to learn “on the job”, to explore areas that were unfamiliar or that could not be learned in school. “To become Marketing Manager in a field that I did not know, I found similarities with sports training. I was curious, I trained on my own. I tested, I documented myself to create my own knowledge,” said Manon Pellet Marketing Manager at Hiboo.

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