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.”

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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.

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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.

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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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Startup Injects Pandemic Vaccine Cold Chain With a Healthy Dose of High-Tech

The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology (AIoT) may be the biggest disruption to the industrial refrigeration industry since the invention of the first commercial ice-making machine two centuries ago.

In this second year of a modern pandemic, startup Youtiligent has developed an AIoT-based technology to help companies keep vaccines cold across complex distribution supply chains. Moving far beyond sensor-based temperature monitoring, Youtiligent’s promise is to securely capture real-time electric power anomalies in onsite commercial refrigerators, allowing distributors to take action before vaccine spoilage.

“Sensors that capture when a product’s temperature has decreased below the acceptable degree range are not effective when it comes to distributing something like the coronavirus vaccine,” said Avichai Belitsky, co-founder of Youtiligent. “We combined AI with IoT technology to deliver real-time alerts for cost-effective predictive and preventive maintenance. Organizations can act faster in making data-driven business decisions based on what’s happening in real time, such as sending in a repair technician before it’s too late.”

EKG for cooling appliances

Based in Israel, Youtiligent is piloting its offering with healthcare organizations in that country. Belitsky also expected high interest from refrigeration manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as medical and other institutions with clinics, pharmacies, and research labs, such as hospitals and universities. The startup continues to serve customers in its original target markets that include the food and beverage and retail industries.

“This is what we call the ‘EKG for appliances,’ tracking electric current across compressors, engines, and pumps that power any cooling machine, whether it’s making ice cream to be sold the next week or cooling expensive chemicals that researchers can safely store and use over many years,” said Belitsky. “Every machine action has a unique fingerprint, and being able to track each one with algorithms yields valuable, actionable insights.”

Real-time data prevents problems, opens opportunities

When the customer connects a machine’s power cord into the Youtiligent “smart” plug at the wall socket, the solution’s AI and IoT technology translates the electric consumption signals, by machine part, into usage data that’s saved in the cloud. As the technology detects potential problems, it sends real-time alerts to designated contacts on any device. People can also view detailed historical activity dashboards for recordkeeping and proof of cold-chain compliance.

“Our plug-and-play solution delivers significant ROI with low total cost of ownership,” said Belitsky. “Manufacturers in some industries also like this solution because they can offer products-as-a-service, whether they embed Youtiligent into new refrigerators or as an aftermarket add-on to customers with existing machines.”

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Net2Grid

SAP invests in a lot of promising startups, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. E-3 Magazine has selected the most interesting companies to showcase in our SAP Startup Spotlight Series. In this article, we will take a look at Net2Grid.

Bert Lutje Berenbroek has 20 years of experience in the semiconductor business with innovative companies in Silicon Valley and Boston. He started Net2Grid 10 years ago with the vision that access to real-time energy data is a necessary piece of the puzzle supporting the energy transition. In this interview, he talks about what his company has to offer and what’s next for Net2Grid.

What Does Net2Grid have to offer?

Bert Lutje Berenbroek: Net2Grid is an AI-enabled software company which turns energy consumption data into personalized and actionable insights, empowering end users to become energy efficient. Our clients are energy companies based in Europe, North America, and Australia who offer our products and services to their clients. Increasingly we see interest in our services by tech and financial corporations, too.

One concrete example of what our services can do is the successful collaboration we have with E.ON Germany. Net2Grid is the hardware, platform, and NILM (Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring) supplier of E.ON’s app iONA. Through iONA, customers can view and control their electricity consumption in detail, helping them prevent energy guzzlers, compare devices, and gain an overview of the breakdown of costs. E.ON Germany saw a customer engagement increase from 3 minutes/year to 120 minutes/year after adopting Net2Grid’s energy insight solution.

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STARTUPS, ACCELERATORS, AND CORPORATES: HOW ARE THEY CREATING VALUE TOGETHER?

Large corporates are looking to innovate from the inside out with accelerators, incubators, and other startup programs. Corporates are trying to tie in new developments that startups can ideate and test at a much quicker pace than a vast, cumbersome enterprise with 1000s of employees in multiple locations all over the world. But are these collaborations good for startups? And do the different programs, in turn, also have successes and great collaborations with various startups? 

In the panel “ Accelerator and Startups” at AsiaBerlin Summit last year, we spoke about the various types of programs on offer (from corporate programs to privately initiated ones to those for specific topics only or those bound to a certain time frame) and which pitfalls to avoid in order to make the collaboration a success for both sides.

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BigID Data Security Platform is SAP.iO’s First Startup Unicorn

SAP.iO reveals in its 2020 Impact and Insight Report that BigID, one of the its early investments and an SAP Solution Extension Partner, is the first startup unicorn in the SAP.iO portfolio with a valuation of over $1 billion. The company’s data security platform helps organisations secure customer data, satisfy privacy regulations, and manage risks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, following the emergence of increased remote work (brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic) and a rise in high-profile cyberattacks, risk-management and cybersecurity startups are in the spotlight among venture capitalists.

SAP.iO, SAP’s early-stage venture-capital arm, invested an undisclosed sum in BigID in multiple rounds between 2017 and 2019. As of December 2020, BigID announced a $70 million Series D on a valuation of $1 billion. 

In 2019, BigID and SAP forged a global reseller agreement, allowing SAP to sell two BigID powered products: SAP Privacy Management application by BigID and SAP Data Mapping and Protection application by BigID.

Now, more than ever, effectively managing risk and privacy compliance associated with big data is critical and a must for organisations. 

John Licata, Vice President and Fellow at SAP.iO Startup Accelerator explains:

“Data is increasingly valuable, and the backbone to AI, so tapping next-generation cybersecurity technologies is no longer a nice have. It’s a requirement to secure data and leverage it for growth opportunities. At least it should be for the modern enterprise that will witness over 500 billion connected things by 2030.”

Driving Innovation in Data Security

BigID is a recognised as a leader in data-centric personal data discovery and privacy, intelligence and automation. The cybersecurity startup has been bestowed with several awards for its innovative privacy technology, including:

  • 2018 RSA Conference Innovation Sandbox winner
  • CB Insights 2018 Cyber Defender
  • Network Products Guide 2018 IT World Awards “Hot Company of the Year” winner
  • 2019 InformationWeek Vendor to Watch
  • 2019 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer
  • 2020 Forbes Cloud 100
  • Business Insider 2020 AI Startup to Watch
  • Database Trend-Setting Products 2020

Dimitri Sirota, CEO and co-founder of BigID, explains how the startup’s data security platform provide the best of breed point solutions that address enterprise security gaps:

“Since starting in 2016, BigID has aimed to rethink how organisations provide data accountability to their customers through more intelligent data accounting. Before BigID, data privacy was largely about policy and process. BigID put data at the center, redefining how enterprises find, manage and protect their most important asset: their customer and employee data.”

The BigID data security platform leverages advanced machine learning (ML) and identity intelligence to help enterprises better protect their customer and employee data at petabyte scale. BigID’s technology enables organisations to manage IT complexities, minimise risk, and comply with ememerging data protection regulations such as the Europian Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

BigID also plans to expand its marketplace to third-party developers, offering them the ability to build applications on top of its data security platform. According to Sirota, the company aims to further accelerate sales and marketing in 2021.

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Every Return Saved Is a Win for Consumers, Brands, and the Planet

If the CEO of Presize has his way, clothing returns will be a relic of the past, and online retail brands will not sacrifice business for the sake of the environment.

The startup’s cloud-based app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to calculate clothing sizes for individual online shoppers. Much more than welcome relief for anyone who has ever hesitated to buy clothing online because they were uncertain of their size, the tool reduces size-related product returns by 50% on average.

“Sustainability is core to our mission,” said Leon Szeli, co-founder and CEO. “Every product return we save is a win for the consumer, the brand, and the planet. Every item of clothing that consumers scan using our app means fewer returns. This contributes to a lower carbon footprint for the planet, less time wasted for shoppers, and greater cost-savings for retail brands.”

Sustainability Is the Perfect Fit for Online Shopping

Based in Germany, Presize serves well-known clothing apparel brands in that country and throughout Western Europe. Its online sizing tool has provided half a million recommendations to delighted consumers. Instead of second-guessing ambiguous size charts, shoppers simply click on the “find my size” button, answer basic questions that include their height, weight, and gender, upload a video of themselves if they choose, and then the algorithm provides their best size for that product. Behind the scenes, AI-fueled algorithms learn from dynamic data analyses.

“We constantly train the algorithm using data from hundreds of thousands of human shapes and other variables, plus stock-keeping units (SKUs) from clothing manufacturers, and layer that with product return information,” Szeli said. “Once someone saves their size ID, it can be applied to any brand that uses the Presize app, making shopping much easier. Shoppers can even share their size information with family and friends.”

According to Szeli, online retailers that use the Presize app on their website have increased conversion rates, meaning consumer sales, by up to 25%. As with any AI-based tool, user adoption is critical for calculation accuracy. Szeli said that approximately 10% of shoppers use the tool when it is available on a brand’s site.

“A big part of sizing uncertainty is the diversity between brands, Szeli explained. “Every product is different, and we want to help consumers regardless of what brand of clothing they buy.”

Digital Insights for Sustainable Results

Presize is the culmination of Szeli’s two major career passions: conducting research and having a positive impact on the world. As a university student in the U.S. and the UK, he focused on human trust in AI-based technology. However, he quickly realized that he wanted to accomplish much more than producing papers for niche audiences. When he met his co-founders, who were working with computer vision and AI, they embarked on a journey to literally change the world – beginning with online shopping.

“I wanted to do something entrepreneurial that would have a much wider impact and change people’s lives for the better,” Szeli said. “I saw the problem of product returns as a sustainability issue that wasted environmental resources, as well as time and money for businesses and their customers.”

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What the Rockefeller Center Tree Means for Last-Mile Deliveries

The celebrated Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree arrived in New York recently, ready to take its place as the epicenter of the 2020 holidays. This perennial centerpiece of millions of photos and family memories is a sparkly, over-the-top reminder that while many aspects of our lives are different this year, certain institutions and traditions will not be disrupted. But, where many look at the arrival of the tree and reflect on the pandemic’s impact on beloved holiday traditions, the last-mile delivery industry has a different view.

Last-mile professionals—networks of dispatchers and drivers that get goods and parcels from warehouses and distribution centers to retailers, businesses, and residential doorsteps—make it possible for so many people to stay safely home and receive the goods they need. But, even before the pandemic and the 2020 holiday season, the industry was already struggling to meet its efficiency and customer service goals while using legacy technologies.

Then, virtually overnight, COVID-19 accelerated customers’ willingness to shop online, adding volume to already stressed systems—e-commerce surpassed expectations and grew by over 30% this year. So instead of a measured, steady progression that last-mile teams could gradually absorb, the long-promised changes in customer behavior arrived at lightspeed. This condensed adaptation offered last-mile operations precious little time to match customer behavior or implement more modern, dynamic infrastructure.

Customer behavior has been massively influenced by the pandemic, reducing overall spending and changing purchasing plans. The Deloitte State of the Consumer survey offers a fascinating window into current consumer attitudes and concerns, including shopping intent, with grim implications for the retail sector, which has already seen several notable brands declare bankruptcy. For this year’s holiday shopping, many are expected to forgo Black Friday and crowded malls for the safety and efficiency of their nearest screen. They’ll rely on complex-yet-invisible processes to get purchases from their digital shopping basket to their doorsteps. And retailers are bracing for an expected surge to already high online sales. But exactly how do items get to the customer?

Once an order is complete, items are picked and packed at the local retailer or retailer’s warehouse. From there, packages are sent to a regional distribution center where they’re sorted, routed, and delivered by a driver. That last leg of the relay from the distribution center to the customer’s doorstep—the “last mile”—is an incredibly challenging and fast-moving industry. The logistics industry estimates the last-mile can account for up to 40% of total transportation cost. It’s where things can come together beautifully to deliver on a brand’s promise, or fall apart spectacularly, tarnishing reputations and customers’ goodwill.

So why is last-mile delivery so complicated? Mathematically, it’s one of the most complex problems to solve—how to efficiently route many vehicles with multiple stops and numerous other variables and constraints. In academic circles, it’s known as the Traveling Salesman Problem or TSP. It has applications ranging from logistics to DNA sequencing to chip design. In the real world, it’s a mix of mathematical and human factors.

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