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Dedication for progress: From employees to co-founders

A good idea is based on a combination of intuition, customer understanding and experience. Fortunately, Travis Mattern and Will Caseber have just that. While they’ve been long-time SAP employees, they have proven their entrepreneurial spirit and founded the employee-led venture Source Agent by SAP. With the upcoming Entrepreneurship Day on November 16, 2021 in the US, we thought it would be great to hear from them on their entrepreneurial journey firsthand.

Working as a senior director in the global sales operations team at SAP Ariba, Travis was not actively trying to become a founder. But this all changed when he came across an internal tool that classifies the suppliers of a company in a matter of hours. After encountering the tool, he realized its potential — especially if it could be given to customers directly. With this idea in mind, Travis entered his idea into the SAP.iO accelerator program for employees shortly before the deadline in 2020 and was accepted.

“To be honest, I really had no idea who the SAP.iO team was, what the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship program really was all about,” he said. “But when I was accepted, I learned a lot through that fast-track program and really ended up pivoting the idea through that process.”

Will Caseber joined Travis right before the accelerator program started. With more than 20 years of experience in procurement and sourcing, he was the perfect fit with the right expertise.

“When I last worked with supplier classification as a value advisor, the process was highly manual, and it would take the better part of probably three to four weeks to complete,” Will said. “Travis made the point using this automated process as an entry to sourcing-as-a-service; with the vision of delivering and engaging with customers in a different way, a digital way that aligns with SAP’s corporate strategy. That got my attention. And that’s something that evolved throughout the entire accelerator program.”

A long way to go

Going through the accelerator program with coaching, pitches and weeks of deep focus, Travis and Will received their first investment and founded the venture Source Agent by SAP. Since then, they have worked tirelessly on transforming sourcing into a web-based purchasing process that supports buyers in their procurement strategy. Being the two people in charge of a venture was not only exciting but also challenging. Travis explained that even with the first round of funding he was constantly thinking about the next steps and how to handle the complexity of his new role.

“We have to cover all elements of the business: budgeting, branding, going-to-market, building a product, finding customers, HR, and finance,” he said. “And I am still trying to figure out the best way to build the right culture within the team. I’m constantly challenged with where to spend my time best each day.”

Will said that his biggest challenge was the lack of tangibility of their product.

“In the early stages we were pitching a dream as opposed to an actual product and that’s a challenge. But we’re living the dream now and we’re getting some traction and recently had first customer traction,” he said.

First achievements

Even though the co-founders needed to focus on many issues simultaneously, there were moments in which both could feel their progress and enjoyed the payout of their hard work. Travis felt this acutely when Source Agent by SAP went live.

“For me, a key moment was when we went live with the website, created our LinkedIn company, and updated our personal LinkedIn profiles. This was our way to tell the rest of the world: Hey, we’re doing this!” Travis said.

Co-founder Will, on the other hand, associates this feeling with when the team was able to sign their first contract.

“We have been pitching the concept for quite a few weeks but you’re still unsure whether or not they’re going to make the decision,” he said. “When they came back with a signed contract it was now very real. We have a company that’s put their trust in us and now we have to deliver.”

Personal progression

After eight months of intense work, Travis and Will are now enthusiastic co-founders with a team of eight members and their first customers. It’s not only their job description that changed but also their way of working and of appreciating what they are doing.

“I’ve noticed I’m more inspired when I enjoy the work that I’m doing and I feel like it has more purpose. It has definitely been an awesome experience,” Travis said. “We’ve got the corporate safety net but we do have the independence to run it like our own business within SAP.”

Will thinks back to the moment he recognized the importance of the team: “It’s getting your ego out of the way, and kind of focusing on the team delivery aspect and realizing that you may not be able to convince every customer to convert and take on.”

Travis’s and Will’s journey was challenging and eventful, and it still is. By staying on track with the help of the SAP.iO Venture Studio they didn’t lose sight of their goal: To simplify and automate sourcing to help all businesses run better. And with their first customers today, their dream becomes more and more reality.

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

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. Find out more on www.sap.io/studio/

5 Innovative Companies Transforming Their Employee Experience with Startup Innovation

Since 2017, our team has been scouting and accelerating innovative startups from around the world with the goal of helping the world run at its best. Today, over 30 solutions from startups in our portfolio are integrated with SAP SuccessFactors and are available on SAP Store. These solutions are uniquely positioned to solve some of the most important challenges facing businesses today that will define a new era in the future of work.

Taking charge of change requires a bold vision and we’re deeply inspired by the five stories below that demonstrate the art of the possible when working with startups to put people at the center of how we work.

 


Nestlé & Pulsifi: Finding Top Talent with AI & Predictive Analytics

Nestlé Malaysia & Singapore received a huge number of applicants for their popular Management Trainee Program and faced a lack of data consistency, a long screening process, and unmet requirements. They worked with Pulsifi, a people data platform, to better understand candidates’ behavior with 97% accuracy and improved efficiency in the processing of candidates by over 70%.

Pulsifi works with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and is available on SAP Store.


GE Healthcare & Immerse Learning: Transforming Radiography Training Through VR

GE Healthcare was able to increase the quality and number of practical training hours for their radiographer trainees with the help of Immerse Learning. Together, they created a VR environment that helped enable faster training processes and real-time tracking to enable instant review and feedback on performance.

Immerse Learning Limited works with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and is available on SAP Store.


ENGIE & Andjaro: Improving operational performance by identifying and redeploying internal talent at scale

ENGIE, the world’s third largest energy company, was struggling with developing a systematic and flexible approach for managing their field technicians and reducing inter-project periods. With the help of Andjaro’s operational performance tool, ENGIE was able to reclassify 94% of its available technicians, reduce their interim costs, and improve inter-agency collaboration.

Andjaro works with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and is available on SAP Store.


Stanley Black & Decker & 360 Learning: Improving ROI of Training Programs

Stanley Black & Decker chose 360 Learning to empower and enable trainers to create programs in real time and receive feedback in an easy-to-use platform. By using 360 Learning, their trainers now produce programs in 2 hours compared to a process that would have previously taken several weeks.

360 Learning works with SAP SuccessFactors Learning and is available on SAP Store.


Bentley Systems & Plum: Driving Equitable Talent Decisions Based on Proven Science

Bentley Systems is leveraging Plum’s predictive data-driven platform to capture candidates’ skills to enable better hiring decisions. Plum’s insights are presented in their SAP SuccessFactors Recruitment Dashboard so hiring teams can quickly evaluate external candidates, match them to open roles, and reduce bias in the hiring process.

Plum works with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and is available on SAP Store.


Interested in collaborating with a startup in our portfolio? Let us know!

 

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Navigating to Zero with Startup Innovations in Sustainability

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is currently being held in Glasgow, Scotland under the co-presidency of the United Kingdom and Italy. The focus of the conference is to work towards securing global net zero by mid-century keeping 1.5 degrees within reach, adapting to protect communities and natural habitats, mobilizing finance, and working together to accelerate an action plan. It is a topic that is of utmost importance and we see action being taken globally across all types of businesses and industries to use innovations to support more sustainable ways to live and do business.

 From consumer to enterprise to federal government action

An economic transformation is underway that can be attributed to new sustainability practices, a call to action that is changing the future of business. Regulatory committees, investors, consumers, and employees increasingly call for more socially, environmentally, and economically responsible goods and services. The market is seeing consumers requesting sustainable products and services through their buying behavior. Evidence to which we can see in the numbers. According to a STERN Center for Sustainability Business report, products marketed as sustainable grew more than five times faster than conventionally marketed products and three times faster than the CPG market. When given choice, today’s consumer is more likely to select the more environmentally responsible option.

Sustainability has become a critical topic for enterprises to reduce emissions and waste, increase circularity, and use socially responsible practices throughout product lifecycles. Simply put, business leaders are listening to the customers’ call to buy sustainable products and are looking to address how to make sustainability profitable. Accenture’s CEO study confirmed that 99% of CEOS from companies with $1+ Billion in annual revenues believe sustainability is important to the future success of their business. When it comes to the workforce, research into workplace priorities of Millennial and Generation Z employees has found they rank sustainability as a leading concern when evaluating the companies they choose for employment. Sustainability matters, from the products you make and how you make them, to the type of talent you can attract can all hinge on your company’s sustainability model.

Even federal governments are stepping in to take action. Recently an alliance of German companies, including SAP, called for more tangible measures for climate protection from the federal government. The companies said in a joint statement that Germany must be put on a “clear, reliable and predictable path to climate neutrality.” Besides SAP, other participants include Allianz Insurance, Eon, Bayer, Adidas, General Electrics, Deutsche Post, and Ikea. With governments requesting action, there is a huge opportunity to engage technologies that optimize carbon emissions, increase operational efficiency by activation of circular business processes, and connect with socially responsible partners to help organizations make better informed decisions.

Among CEOs that see sustainability as a driver in the future is SAP’s own Christian Klein, stating, “Sustainability is no longer optional but has become key to the long-term success of any business. It’s about defining new competitive advantages, lowering risks, building resilience to pricing regulations, gaining ground with investors, and being ahead of emerging consumer demands.” Earlier this year, SAP launched its Chasing Zero movement focused on using the power of technology to create a world of ZERO emissions, ZERO waste, and ZERO inequality. In support of SAP’s initiative and in response to new sustainability requirements of the market, SAP.iO engages globally with the latest startup innovations to deliver on the vision of helping customers gain insights into their carbon footprints, material flows, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

We run programs to accelerate startups focused on sustainability.

From the consumer to the enterprise to federal government action, our startup innovation has it covered. The SAP.iO team has the privilege of partnering with startups whose technology assists organizations as they shift their priority towards sustainability. During our partnership with these companies, we bring them together with SAP customers and can learn firsthand what resonates and what solutions meet the industry’s ever-changing needs. Alone this year’s fall / winter cohorts support a wide variety of sustainability goals:

  • Foundry Singapore’s Future of Work Program focuses on helping customers increase the value of their workforce by developing, managing, engaging, and empowering their people to develop a skilled, healthy & inclusive workforce.
  • Foundry Munich’s New Mobility Program is helping customers manage connectivity in transport, fleet management, charging and battery management, and automated and autonomous driving. Solutions that enable incremental steps towards sustainable mobility for urban, sub-urban and intra-urban mobility needs.
  • Foundry New York’s Sustainability in Retail & Consumer Program helps customers in the Retail, Consumer Products & Fashion industries drive sustainability across the value chain, including circular packaging, responsible & ethical sourcing, and responsible design & production.
  • Foundry San Francisco’s Sustainability in Energy & Natural Resources Program supports customers in the Energy and Natural Resources industries build sustainable businesses, improve experiences, and manage their environmental footprint and sustainability goals, including compliance, regulation, tracking, & carbon trading.
  • Foundry Paris’s Circular Economic Program helps drive circularity for customers in service industries such as passenger & cargo travel and engineering construction and operations by helping redefine the design, production, demand, and supply of products through their use cycles for reusability, waste reduction, and new value creation.

What we’ve seen:

This past spring SAP.iO Foundries Berlin & Munich teamed up with Accenture on a Sustainability focused startup program to help address critical challenges across industries and create a positive impact on both society and business. The main objective of our collaboration was to attract the world’s most talented founders by providing the perfect environment to grow their business. Combining Accenture’s industry expertise and specialized skills, with leading SAP technologies, expert mentors, and APIs, we will be able to jointly identify innovative use cases and startups that have the potential to transform our global economy into one that benefits all stakeholders. You can take a closer look at the innovative companies that participated here. In working with Accenture and our startups we were able glean important information which we compiled in our thought leadership paper entitled: Sustainability: The Next Digital.

Drive sustainable impact with SAP.iO startup solutions

How is this done? How do we begin to steer the ship in a direction that will meet all our sustainability goals? In working with SAP customers and SAP.iO startups, we’ve seen that the desire to impact this matter coupled with the innovative technology needed to turn the tide, but it must be looked at as a journey instead of a destination. Industries and companies are at different stages of maturity, with requirements in other areas across teams. The challenge is how to make sustainability profitable.

The good news is as an SAP customer you can act now; you don’t have to wait; we can help move you along this journey faster. How? We start by initiating an innovation session to define and prioritize the critical sustainability areas. Then we leverage our experience and startup ecosystem to discover innovative solutions specifically for your business and provide the opportunity to meet with startups to learn about their solutions. Then you can pilot and implement startup solutions that will help achieve your sustainability ambitions.

This post was originally published by Alexa Gorman on LinkedIn. To learn more about SAP.iO sustainability programs, you can visit sap.io/sustainability.

How startups can help to create a positive impact on society and business

A good product is no longer enough to win a customer. Sustainability has become the new compass for companies worldwide and has gained enormous importance over the years.

“There is no doubt that sustainability is a key piece of the strategy of most successful companies moving forward, if not all of them,” said Gunther Rothermel, Head of SAP S/4HANA Sustainability.

This increased focus on sustainability has impacted both consumer behaviour and employer branding. According to a global report from The Economist Intelligence Unit and the World Wildlife Fund, global online searches for sustainable goods have increased by 71 percent increase over the last five years, triggering what’s been called an “eco-awakening.”

Not only that, but employees are placing more value on finding responsible and sustainable employers. The global pandemic has only accelerated this demand for sustainable actions, a sense of urgency for businesses to improve their sustainability credentials.

 

What customers want

For customers on their journey to build a more sustainable enterprise, there are three goals to keep in mind:

Software technology can help with these challenges by collecting, analyzing, and providing insights based on that data.

But no company, government, or country will solve the greatest challenges of our time alone. To succeed, companies need to collaborate across value chains, build alliances, and work together with governments and academia.

Global challenges require global solutions

The partnership between SAP and Accenture shows what is possible when two leading companies join forces to help their customers stay ahead of this global transformation.

Together, SAP and Accenture launched the “Sustainable Future” accelerator program with 13 selected startups from eight countries at the SAP.iO Foundries Berlin and Munich. The joint program aimed at helping early-stage B2B startups drive digital transformation and innovation in four target areas: carbon tracking and trading, resource efficiency, climate risk tracking and mitigation, and the circular economy.

“The ‘Sustainable Future’ cohort represents an innovation engine, meant to be leveraged by customers,” said Stephanie Guimbellot, Managing Director and Global SAP Sustainability Lead at Accenture, during a panel discussion at the closing Demo Day.

This collaboration is the latest in a series of initiatives from Accenture and SAP that help businesses support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and capture value from sustainability.

“We are entering the decade of action,” Guimbellot said, adding that today’s companies need to modify their business models to have a real impact on sustainability. “Technology will be an absolute must to reach the SDGs.”

This also means that startups are crucial in this process, across all industries.

“Sustainability will be an ecosystem where startups play an important role as they complement existing offerings with specialized technology,” she said.

How startups can help accelerate the sustainability journey

During the Demo Day, startups Astraea, Carbon Minds and Footprint had the chance to present their solutions and first projects with customers.

Astraea hails from Charlottesville and leverages unique big data from air quality sensors to geospatial analysis for real-time insights and workflow automation toward climate risk tracking and mitigation. In a first integration case with SAP’s Industry Cloud for Agriculture, Astraea will focus on providing satellite-derived data and indexes by field to enable seasonal planning on field level reflecting upcoming growing cycles.

Founded in Cologne, Carbons Minds provides integrated capabilities for holistic steering and reporting that helps companies measure, reduce, and offset CO2 emissions across their supply chain. The team is currently planning a project with a global pharmaceutical company to identify emission hotspots, find efficient mitigation options, and support the sustainable product development.

The third startup which showcased its superpower at the Demo Day was Berlin-based Footprint. Their software allows online shoppers to measure their feet with their smartphones and order the right shoe size, reducing returns, costs, and emissions. As part of their SAP.iO journey, Footprint is exploring collaboration opportunities with a German shoe and fashion retailer in SAP Commerce Cloud.

Check out the other ten startups that were part of the “Sustainable Future” program:

Stay tuned for more exciting customer projects and integrations coming out of this cohort. If you are a startup and want to participate in one of the upcoming SAP.iO programs, learn more and apply now!

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

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

 

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.

SAP receives the European startup-friendly certificate and takes the lead on GlassDollar’s corporate-startup collaborations ranking

We are excited to announce that SAP has received the European startup-friendly certificate by ranking 4th in GlassDollar corporate startup collaborations ranking for 2021. At SAP.iO, we take a lot of pride in helping innovators start up and scale with SAP and help deliver cutting edge solutions to our customers via our open innovation ecosystem. We would therefore like to congratulate everyone that has been part of this incredible journey and may the future be just as exciting for SAP and our customers.

Learn more here.

 

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.

SAP Among the World’s Top 25 Startup-Friendly Companies and Winner of Corporate Startup Accelerator Award

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced it has been recognized with a Corporate Startup Stars Award as one of the Top 25 most active companies to encourage open innovation with startups.

SAP also received a Corporate Startup Accelerator Award for its acceleration efforts and identifying worldwide best practices in corporate-startup collaboration. The announcement was made at the digital award ceremony hosted by open innovation advisory firm Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce, on December 15.

Engaging with early stage startups is an important aspect of SAP’s holistic open innovation approach to remain agile and resilient in today’s global marketplace. This includes dedicated programs within SAP’s early stage venture arm SAP.iO to scout and accelerate new ideas and talent inside and outside of the company.

“At SAP, we know that we can mutually benefit from outside-in perspectives to inspire innovation and drive business impact for our customers,” said Juergen Mueller, chief technology officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “Since 2017, we have helped scale more than 270 promising startups across all lines of business and industries in nine locations across the globe. Providing them with the access and resources they need to build on SAP solutions complements our portfolio and internal innovation efforts, which enables our customers to gain even more value from their SAP investments.”

For the fifth year, startups have been asked to nominate the companies that are most active and friendly in working with small businesses. Started in 2016 under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative, the Corporate Startup Stars Awards have been scaled to include corporations and startups worldwide through the partnership between Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“SAP has consistently proven to be one of the most startup-friendly corporations worldwide by engaging with startups in multiple modes, ranging from acceleration and partnerships to investments and acquisitions,” said Alberto Onetti, chairman, Mind the Bridge. “We appreciate the approach SAP.iO has taken and its recent evolution. The combination of startup and employee-driven innovation and the renewed focus on scaling companies makes SAP.iO a benchmark globally for rethinking and optimizing the corporate accelerator model.”

To learn more about how SAP is helping innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers and change industries, please visit SAP.iO.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SAPNews.

Media Contact:
Lesa Beber, +1 (650) 390-1629, lesa.beber@sap.com, ET
SAP Press Roompress@sap.com

GCV Powerlist 2020: Ram Jambunathan

Ram Jambunathan has been leading SAP.iO, the corporate venture capital (CVC) subsidiary of Germany-based enterprise software producer SAP, as senior vice-president (SVP) and managing director (MD) since the unit was formed in July 2016.

Jambunathan additionally added the head of corporate strategy role in October 2019 at the parent firm. He said: “As head of corporate strategy I lead a team responsible for developing and aligning long-term strategy across various SAP organisational – board – areas, including cloud and application strategy, go-to-market strategy, technology and SAP’s lines of business.

“The team combines both a deep understanding of enterprise software with a structured approach to problem-solving that drives unique insights and an ability to help ‘see around corners’. Our understanding of where adjacent opportunities and disruption may come is informed by many sources, including the startup ecosystem, and particularly through SAP.iO, SAP’s strategic business unit focused on accelerating innovations and pathfinding new areas relevant to SAP and its customers.

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