SAP Transportation Management System Merges with Sedna’s Software

The integration of SAP Transportation Management System (TMS) with Sedna Systems’ team collaboration and email management solution will allow shippers using both products to gain a whole new level of control over transportation management-related data.

Logistics operations have evolved significantly in recent years and the industry is now seeing more companies embracing digitalisation to ensure efficiency in their businesses. The newly announced partnership between SAP and Sedna Systems solidifies the software giant’s position as a leading provider of the latest technologies for the logistics industry. 

In October 2020, SAP has released an enhanced SAP Logistics Business Network that enables companies to jointly manage logistics transactions and obtain valuable insights across the complete value chain. The addition of new capabilities within the cloud-based global logistics network aims to increase value chain visibility, traceability, collaboration, and reach.

Stefan Sauer, Global Solution Lead for Ports, Terminals, and Shipping Lines at SAP, said in an interview that the company developed a proof of concept to test and evaluate the idea of merging SAP TMS with Sedna’s capabilities.

The integration will allow data that is normally locked away in an isolated email or within a TMS to be more accessible based on Sedna’s smart tagging system that provides cross-company transparency.

Sedna Systems Founder and CEO Bill Dobie mentioned that the company has had several integrations with SAP across its customer base, allowing clients using SAP solutions to organise email and prioritise emerging relevant information. Additionally, Sedna’s integration with SAP TMS is designed to unify all logistics-related conversations and documentation in one place.

“Like bulk logistics, these transactions and customer communications are managed through emails and siloed inboxes. The ‘cc effect’ and unstructured chat creates endless threads, repetitive and redundant conversations, and context catch-up that needlessly bloats email volume,” Dobie further explained.

Incorporating SAP Transportation Management System into Sedna’s Solution

SAP’s TMS is designed for both shippers and logistics service providers. It manages all areas of transportation processes within a company such as transportation planning and optimisation, freight tendering, and change management.

On the other hand, Sedna connects to SAP systems to create tags and import customers’ transactional information. The solution, which also integrates with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, allows messages that come into the email platform to be automatically tagged to the appropriate transactions so clients can maintain a full audit trail of their projects.

Lakshmi Baskaran, Vice President of Engineering at Sedna Systems, said:

“A customer order that is created in SAP Transportation Management is automatically integrated with Sedna.”

She explained that users can refer to the SAP customer order and the relevant data from their platform with a single click, real-time information about the order. Using the same connections, inbound documents received via email can be linked to other directions including SAP’s TMS.

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Getting Energized to Level the Playing Field

A conversation with Amanda Niklaus, PPA Transaction Manager in the renewable industry.

The Road Less Traveled

What initially drew you to the energy industry?

During my Master’s studies, there was a mining boom in Australia. A lot of money was put into energy research, particularly for oil and gas. The Head of my university department suggested that I pursue mathematical economics in energy and work with some prestigious supervisors from the industry which I did. After graduation, I worked as an economist for the government and then in investment banking where we were looking at M&A opportunities. At the time, I found working within this very male-dominated industry a bit unsettling, and left for the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) where I worked on providing training for investors and traders and we looked at battery viability for participating in different markets. A lot happened and changed over the time I worked there and that is one of the elements I like about the power market sector: it’s very dynamic, constantly evolving.

When I came back to Switzerland, I read about Pexapark. They were very new at that time and had a lot of potential. I thought it would be exciting to work with a focus in renewables and to help developing a business. I was right — it’s so far been an incredible experience to be part of and contribute to Pexapark’s development and growth.

What’s the most satisfying part of your role at Pexapark?

I really enjoy working across markets and looking at different issues, that clients are encountering or questions they are trying to answer. While our business is very specialised, I feel like a request is never ever the same. It’s always new, there is so much to learn constantly!

What’s your secret sauce that you bring to work with you each day?

A ‘can do’ attitude and resilience.

Making Strides in Renewables

What thoughts are going through your head (if any) and what are you experiencing when you find yourself to be the only woman in the room?

That’s often the case to be honest. With clients, I do not let that disturb me, I cannot. Otherwise I am going nowhere. It is of course harder to ignore for someone who works in this environment every day. There are many studies about the ‘Onlys’ — referring to the only woman in a team. A notable one is from McKinsey, showing that women in this situation often receive judgement or doubt about their own area of expertise. They feel under a constant pressure to provide a proof of competence compared to their male colleagues. The sad part is that you don’t know if it was intentional, or it is just a dynamic of the competitive environment. That is not always clear. What is clear to me — there is a way to improve the situation. A more gender- balanced team is very important and I’d like to think I try my best to influence in that direction.

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Getting Energized to Level the Playing Field

A conversation with Amanda Niklaus, PPA Transaction Manager in the renewable industry.

The Road Less Traveled

What initially drew you to the energy industry?

During my Master’s studies, there was a mining boom in Australia. A lot of money was put into energy research, particularly for oil and gas. The Head of my university department suggested that I pursue mathematical economics in energy and work with some prestigious supervisors from the industry which I did. After graduation, I worked as an economist for the government and then in investment banking where we were looking at M&A opportunities. At the time, I found working within this very male-dominated industry a bit unsettling, and left for the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) where I worked on providing training for investors and traders and we looked at battery viability for participating in different markets. A lot happened and changed over the time I worked there and that is one of the elements I like about the power market sector: it’s very dynamic, constantly evolving.

When I came back to Switzerland, I read about Pexapark. They were very new at that time and had a lot of potential. I thought it would be exciting to work with a focus in renewables and to help developing a business. I was right — it’s so far been an incredible experience to be part of and contribute to Pexapark’s development and growth.

What’s the most satisfying part of your role at Pexapark?

I really enjoy working across markets and looking at different issues, that clients are encountering or questions they are trying to answer. While our business is very specialised, I feel like a request is never ever the same. It’s always new, there is so much to learn constantly!

What’s your secret sauce that you bring to work with you each day?

A ‘can do’ attitude and resilience.


Making Strides in Renewables

What thoughts are going through your head (if any) and what are you experiencing when you find yourself to be the only woman in the room?

That’s often the case to be honest. With clients, I do not let that disturb me, I cannot. Otherwise I am going nowhere. It is of course harder to ignore for someone who works in this environment every day. There are many studies about the ‘Onlys’ — referring to the only woman in a team. A notable one is from McKinsey, showing that women in this situation often receive judgement or doubt about their own area of expertise. They feel under a constant pressure to provide a proof of competence compared to their male colleagues. The sad part is that you don’t know if it was intentional, or it is just a dynamic of the competitive environment. That is not always clear. What is clear to me — there is a way to improve the situation.A more gender- balanced team is very important and I’d like to think I try my best to influence in that direction.

Did you have any female mentors or role models? How can we facilitate more mentorship initiatives?

In my first job as an economist, I had a female mentor. Since then I have had other mentors and role models, but they haven’t been women. This might be because there are not too many women in leadership / senior positions in my industry to support other women — which is key to how women help each other to grow in other industries. Studies have shown that mentoring and networking activities designed for women are key to break through the glass ceiling and to remain in top positions. Multi-level mentorship and leadership programs are necessary in providing dynamic social support, including promoting gender awareness and building network to support sustainable career development. There are successful mentoring and leadership programs where high-potential women are trained in the company’s leader pipeline. I believe that such programs help increasing female representation at the managerial and C-level.

I am part of the Women in Wind program organised by the Global Energy Wind Council. Through this program, I was given the opportunity to mentor another participant of the program who was from the same industry. Women in Wind is a great example of a mentoring program, particularly to create a network. To be honest I wish I could also participate as a mentee and a few of us mentors from the program have said the same thing. It’s extremely helpful to be able to share experiences and have a support group and of course to network.

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Future Grid: Why Australia Is Proving Grounds For Renewable Energy

Australia is among the most advanced countries worldwide when it comes to renewable energy, making it the ideal proving grounds for Future Grid. This Australian-based startup has developed a SaaS-based solution to help electric utilities manage the vast amounts of new data coming from electric vehicles, solar panels, and other renewable energy technologies.   

“We designed Future Grid to fill the visibility gap, bringing together real-time data and insights from smart meters so electric utilities can better manage the accelerated transition to renewable energy,” said Chris Law, co-founder and CEO at Future Grid. “This will help utilities continue to provide safe, reliable electricity services in regulatory compliance as renewable energy emerges.”

Law, who has extensive experience in the energy industry, co-founded Future Grid to meet the unique demands of utilities that weren’t fully utilizing all the data from their smart meters.

“We wanted to help utilities quickly manage data for their industry-specific outcomes,” he recalled. “Now as utilities have been increasingly challenged by the transition to renewable energy, our service is becoming even more important.”

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Goodr CEO turned her passion into a multimillion-dollar business

After learning that, each year, 72 billion pounds of food goes to waste in the U.S. while 50 million people struggle with hunger, Jasmine Crowe, a serial entrepreneur, felt compelled to do something.

So with donated spaghetti noodles and hamburger meat and lots of grocery coupons, in 2013 Crowe started feeding the hungry every Sunday out of her own kitchen in her one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta.

After feeding up to 500 people a week for years, in 2017, Crowe turned her passion to help into a business — Goodr, a food waste management company that connects restaurants with food surplus to non-profit organizations that can use the food.

“I had friends and family members that were experiencing hunger, [and] that really made me think I had to move forward,” Crowe says.

Building the business wasn’t easy — for one thing, investors doubted her company would succeed. But by 2018, Goodr was valued at $7 million, according to PitchBook, and now, the company is valued at $12 million, Goodr tells CNBC Make It. To date, Crowe has successfully raised over $2.7 million from investors, the company said.

“I’m really motivated by all the naysayers,” says Crowe. “As long as you’re going after something that you love, you shouldn’t give up on your dreams. That’s the biggest thing.”

Here, Crowe shares her advice on overcoming obstacles and building a successful business that you’re passionate about.

Know your audience and why they say ‘no’

Women-owned companies received just 2.6% of the total venture capital funding in the U.S. in 2019, according to PitchBook. And Black women and women entrepreneurs of color get even less, receiving just 0.64% of the total venture capital investment, according to ProjectDiane.

“I probably took over 200 meetings to raise the first million dollars for Goodr. I was told: ‘This sounds like a non-profit,’ ‘Hunger is already being solved,’ ‘Your team isn’t experienced enough and too young,’” Crowe, 37, says. “The fundraising for me has not been something that I’ve enjoyed. It hasn’t been easy.”

The turning point came, Crowe says, when she really thought about her audience.

“I realized I was speaking to cis white men that have never been hungry,” she says. “Of course they don’t understand what I’m building. They never experienced this problem before.”

So in addition to pitching that Goodr could help people, Crowe focused her pitches on numbers, like how much a business could claim in tax benefits by donating its surplus food and how much it would save in eliminating the cost of removing its food waste, she says.

“Learn all the objections and why people typically say ‘no.’ Once you learn that, then it becomes a lot easier to get to a ‘yes,’” she says. “Start to learn how to counter those objections.”

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Impact Manager from Soley Now Available for Purchase on SAP® App Center

Soley announced that its Impact Manager application is now available for online purchase on SAP® App Center, the digital marketplace for SAP partner offerings. Soley’sImpact Manager integrates with SAP S/4HANA® and delivers insights into a customer’s product portfolio and the value chain issues it affects.

Discover and Manage Critical Business Impacts on Your Product Portfolio

Soley supports decision makers in the industry who work under time pressure and enormous complexity. By organizing the whole product portfolio in one comprehensive KPI dashboard, Soley unveils analytical insights and shows where decisiveness is required. The tool, thereby, allows its users to prioritize work on business-critical topics along the value chain that add real value to their customers.

“We provide data driven insights that cut right through complexity and transform them into actionable tasks. That’s how you unlock potential in the millions with a click of a button” says Maximilian Kissel, co-founder, Soley GmbH.

At SAP App Center, businesses can discover approximately 1,600 innovative partner solutions that integrate with and extend SAP solutions. There, customers can find the SAP-validated partner apps they need to grow their business. And for each purchase made on SAP App Center, SAP will plant a tree. Find, try, and buy SAP partner solutions digitally at www.sapappcenter.com.

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S/4HANA helps Queen of Raw improve textile sustainability

Queen of Raw’s S/4HANA-based textile marketplace app is helping suppliers of the fashion industry reduce waste by keeping unused inventory out of landfills.

SAP put a stake in the ground for sustainability when it debuted its Climate 21 initiative.

The initiative, which was unveiled at Sapphire Now Reimagined in May, provides businesses with resources to build applications on SAP S/4HANA, a next-gen ERP, and SAP C/4HANA, a customer experience and e-commerce platform, that can capture and use data to further global sustainability goals.

One of Climate 21’s target areas is the retail industry. Retailers can use SAP technology to not only become more environmentally responsible, but to also derive some of the economic benefits that go along with sustainable practices, such as waste reduction and supply chain improvements.

Queen of Raw, a textile marketplace in New York, was one of the first businesses to take advantage of the program, launching the Unused Inventory Onboarding and Sales Integration app, a global textile sustainability application based on SAP S/4HANA, in August.

Waste, inefficiency in textile supply chain

Waste is a significant problem for the textile industry, making it a perfect target for sustainability efforts, said Stephanie Benedetto, co-founder and CEO of Queen of Raw.

In 2014, Benedetto, an attorney who came from a family with deep roots in the textile industry, teamed up with Phil Derasmo, a technologist in the financial industry, to find solutions to the textile sustainability and waste problem.

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AI-Fueled Startup Turns Disrupted Supply Chains Into Last Mile Opportunity

When Shamir Rahim, founder and CEO of VersaFleet, transformed his bio-medical startup into an AI-powered transportation management system, he never imagined being at the epicenter (in a good way) of a supply chain revolution during a worldwide pandemic. As anyone desperately searching for toilet paper discovered earlier this year, the last mile is the crucial link in every supply chain.

“We wanted to provide our customers with a command center view of last mile product delivery with cost and time savings,” said Shamir Rahim, founder and CEO of VersaFleet. “As our customers slowly open up again, VersaFleet is providing greater agility so they can quickly adjust logistics for maximum efficiency, whether people are out sick or returning to work, quarantines are lifted or imposed again, and operational hours shift at any time.”

Huge time savings improve customer experience 

Planners using VersaFleet’s SaaS-based cloud platform can dynamically schedule, dispatch, and track deliveries. Meantime, drivers send updates on completed deliveries in real-time using a mobile app. The algorithm also factors in data from orders connected through an ERP system like SAP S/4HANA.

“In a few clicks, planners can see which drivers are available, including their working hours and location preferences. They can select the most efficient route plan that uses the fewest vehicles traveling the least amount of distance for the highest number of items delivered,” said Rahim. “This reduces planning time from hours to minutes, saving valuable resources.”

Based in Singapore, VersaFleet serves customers primarily in Southeast Asia across many industries including consumer packaged goods, food manufacturing, white goods, casinos, and environmental services. One customer’s recent go-live actually coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Malaysia. It proved fortuitous for the global health and beauty retailer.

“Their implementation of VersaFleet couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Rahim. “Despite working remotely from their respective homes, the planners were able to work collaboratively in real time. They were able to restock high-demand items like toilet paper and sanitizing wipes up to five times a day, something they had never been able to do before.”

The company has slashed daily planning time by 90 percent, from up to four hours down to under 10 minutes. In addition, by digitalizing proof-of-delivery, the retailer sped up billing processes four-fold. Instead of waiting for drivers to return from their routes with paper-based records, finance immediately receives delivery confirmation for same day invoice processing. This kind of business agility cascades down to boost the customer’s experience.

“Companies can reduce stock-outs, which is so important in meeting people’s heightened demands, especially with fast-moving consumer goods,” said Rahim. “Several of our other customers have improved customer service levels by 50 percent.”

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Governance Risk and Compliance: 6 Startup Game-changers

With ongoing financial transformation, increased regulations and growing complexity, there is huge potential in working with early-stage start-ups that help bring financial process innovation to SAP S/4HANA® customers. For this cohort, the SAP.iO Foundry Berlin Program teamed up with the S/4HANA® team to work with startups focused on GRC and FinTech innovations.

AIVIDENS: Predictive cash and risk management

WHAT THEY DO

On average, losses due to unpaid invoices represent 0.3 to 1% of companies’ annual revenue. Collection processes often start too late leading to cash or P&L issues, that is why we designed our Predictive Risk Management solution (PRIM). PRIM is designed to anticipate payment issues and calculate various financial and risk indicators. It can also prioritize cash collection processes and propose specific actions. PRIM can be applied on any debt portfolio.

UNIQUE APPROACH

By using AI and applying a proprietary risk model on customers’ financial and operational data, PRIM first predicts whether an invoice will be paid and when. PRIM then segments the debt portfolio according to payment profiles and risk levels. With this combination, PRIM helps increase cash accuracy and understand the risk breakdown. It also helps identify events requiring immediate actions, concentrate efforts where required and ease the collection strategy decision process.

TEAM: Edouard Beauvois — Co-Founder, Nicolas Mertens — Co-Founder

HANKO: FIDO-based Identity- and Authentication-as-a-Service

WHAT THEY DO

Hanko offers a passwordless multi-factor identity and authentication Cloud service for convenient and secure user authentication, enabling its customers to eliminate fraud, phishing, and credential reuse while offering a cutting-edge UX.

UNIQUE APPROACH

With Hanko, businesses can quickly integrate the most advanced authentication methods into their web portals and applications. The service is developer-friendly, supporting open Web standards and open-source SDKs. They also offer a white-label authenticator app as an option. Hanko is GDPR and PSD2 compliant.

TEAM: Felix Magedanz — Founder & CEO, Felix Dubrownik — Technical Lead, Daniel Faulhaber — Product Manager

IRISTRACE: Transforming the management of Business Risk into Value

WHAT THEY DO

Iristrace enables enterprises to better manage their business risks using control frames for their operations that can easily be changed as processes evolve.

UNIQUE APPROACH

Business experts without IT knowledge can easily design and roll out their own controls across their organisation in a record time, ensuring that the strategy reaches the front-line employees, contractors, suppliers and partners. Controls and follow-up action plans are distributed via mobile application, web or messenger. They can be rule based and scheduled automatically, triggered by events or used in self-service. The benefits include a faster implementation of strategy, better staff and supplier engagement on the company’s objectives, improved compliance, proof of execution, shorter learning cycles, lower costs and a far superior customer experience as a result.

TEAM: André Kingham — Chairman, César Mariel Alberto — CEO

PXL VISION: The secure gateway to digital identity

WHAT THEY DO

PXL Vision provides leading solutions for the automation and enhancement of digital identity verification and customer onboarding through tailored and off-the-shelf software solutions powered by the latest developments in Computer Vision and Machine Learning.

UNIQUE APPROACH

PXL Vision’s identity verification solutions deliver both seamless UX and high security through proprietary methodologies, within a fully automated software platform. Offered as both SaaS and custom hosted or on-premise solutions, PXL’s powerful technology stack is available how and where you need it.

TEAM: Michael Born — Founder & CEO, Karim Nemr — Founder & CBO, Nevena Shamoska — Founder & CTO, Roxana Porada — Founder & CPO

SPHERITY: Bridging the physical, biological and digital spheres

WHAT THEY DO

Spherity is building decentralized identity management solutions to power the 4th industrial revolution, bringing secure identities (“Digital Twins”) to machines, algorithms, and other non- human entities. Digital twins enables transactions with the following features: verifiable digital identities, P2P trust with credential-based verification, verifiable business transactions & payments, verifiable data chains (audit trails) and data provenance.

UNIQUE APPROACH

Spherity is providing the “missing puzzle piece” in solving with blockchain technologies and “Self- Sovereign Identity” design principles the challenge of data integrity in the industrial IoT applications. Their digital twins enable tamper-proof data exchange within customer journeys across mobility, supply chain and other business processes.

TEAM: Carsten Stöcker — Founder & CEO, Michael Rüther — Founder & COO

TROY: Reinvents debt collection, reduces clients’ write-offs AND preserves their customers

WHAT THEY DO

Troy is a full-service debt collection agency that builds THE platform for customer experience in debt collection. Their platform drives troy’s debt collection services which have repeatedly proven to outclass traditional providers. Their solution can be used as white-label and also supports financial BPO of receivables management.

UNIQUE APPROACH

Troy is a digital, data-driven, automated and cloud-only solution which incorporates best practices from marketing and CRM to improve the debt collection experience. And the friendliness works. Customers pay more, faster, and happily — proven by clients’ feedback and customer surveys after payment.

TEAM: Philip Rürup — Founder & MD, Till Völzke — Founder & MD, Gunnar Zarncke — CTO

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