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.
Focusing on gender diversity and developing entrepreneurial talent are among the top 10 priority areas identified in Innovate Europe: Competing for Global Innovation Leadership, a report published by Digital Europe, an initiative of the World Economic Forum to promote a pan-European approach to innovation.
At a workshop in Berlin in September 2019, over 30 European founders, investors and corporate leaders (both men and women) came together to explore the underlying underrepresentation of women as entrepreneurs and investors in Europe. The workshop was hosted jointly by the World Economic Forum and SAP. The workshop began with a panel representing the founder, investor, corporate and government perspectives, followed by a design-thinking activity in which participants were split into five idea teams, each challenged to develop one new solution leveraging their existing resources and expertise. After the workshop, the five teams continued collaboration via an online platform to further elaborate their ideas and document the first steps needed for implementation.
This paper builds on the workshop results and summarizes the big ideas that will be further explored for implementation.
The pace of innovation for human resources (HR) is at an all-time high. Businesses and HR leaders recognize that a motivated, productive, and engaged workforce is essential to compete and succeed in today’s market. However, the old ways of managing talent are simply not as effective as they once were.
Recognizing there are challenges that require specialized solutions, the SAP.iO program helps innovators both in and outside of SAP build products, find customers, and address industry challenges. These startups push traditional thinking and processes and leverage emerging technologies to drive employee- and people-first cultures.
SAP.iO Venture Studio encourages entrepreneurs specifically inside of SAP by funding employee-led innovations. For example, Brilliant Hire by SAP leverages a network of experts to recruit at scale and bring the best candidates to in-person interviews. The solution now integrates with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Management. FlexPay by SAP, which recently launched a beta program, allows employees to tap into their accrued earnings ahead of payday to cover unforeseen expenses and avoid costly late fees, overdraft fees and payday loans. Integrated into SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, the solution also offers money budgeting and savings tools.
SAP.iO Venture Studio makes a €1 million follow-on seed investment in Brilliant Hire, a bias-free, skill-based pre-screening platform that helps digitize recruiting to provide faster and greater insights
In most hiring processes, hitting the buzzer to catapult candidates to the next round does usually not occur as quickly as on prime television shows. Talent is nevertheless what both are looking for.
There’s a strong connection between achieving business objectives and hiring the right talent, hence increasing the quality of candidates within the hiring funnel is fundamental to success. Tech is promising a shortcut to identifying the best candidates for job offerings, by also eliminating (un-)conscious bias towards applicants, and improving hiring efficiency. Will software be the next recruiting manager you meet in an interview? Not quite, but it could make all the difference.
Brilliant Hire offers skills-based job applicant screening, providing faster and greater insights without bias. The latest funding allows the venture to proceed with the recently released Brilliant Expert Network. Brilliant Experts is a complimentary service to Brilliant Hire, providing experts who evaluate candidates at any skill level and any discipline. With this service, recruiters simply send candidates the Brilliant Hire link and subsequently receive a full breakdown of a candidate’s skills from the expert. On the backend, the Brilliant Hire teamensures the quality and availability of the evaluating expertsremains high. The platform is unique across the screening industry by combining both machine learning with human evaluators.
Brilliant Experts has been used at SAP by the Silicon Valley Next Talent program over the past few months. With the addition of Brilliant Experts, Brilliant Hire removed the burden of assessment evaluation and decreased the wait time of applying candidates by more than 50 percent:
“We went from a one to two weeks response time to just two days. This resulted in over 400 candidates screened and only 100 qualifying ones to be interviewed – all without burdening recruiters or managers.”
Caitie Sullivan, program manager, Silicon Valley Next Talent Program, SAP
The team has shown early successes, including helping software company SAP SuccessFactors hit their ambitious 2019 hiring targets. This includes hiring over 100 engineers across the San Francisco and Bangalore offices. Beyond SAP, Brilliant Hire has been used by Mercedes-Benz R&D and the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Today, Brilliant Hire is offering a 3-month trial allowing companies to screen up to 300 candidates evaluations for just $1. Simply head over to the SAP Store to start your trial today.
To continue delivering their vision of screening-as-a-service, the new funding enables the team to grow in key areas. During the second half of 2019, Brilliant Hire will add Go-To-Market experts, designers and various engineering resources across San Francisco and Bangalore — hence hiring themselves! If you believe in the team’s mission and are interested in joining, reach out to their General Manager, Ryan Phillips, at email@example.com or check out the team’s career page.
About Brilliant Hire
Your hiring process is biased, we can help you fix it. Be brilliant in the way you hire. Try Brilliant Hire via the SAP Store and find more information on brillianthire.io.
About SAP.iO Venture Studio
The SAP.iO Venture Studio invests in small, entrepreneurial teams inside SAP and helps them build and launch successful products that attack some of the biggest problems in enterprise software. More information on sap.io/studio.
Building a robust relationship between stakeholders from the get-go is essential. Relationships require a foundation of trust and an understanding of the interests of each party – and nurturing these relationships throughout the partnership is equally critical. As leadership change takes place at different rates in academia, start-ups and large corporations, it can be challenging to re-establish trust and re-align on the goals in the face of change. It’s important to have a strategic consensus to sustain the essence of mutual goals and reinforce the relationship to maintain a solid relationship throughout their partnership.
“In particular, aligning on expectations from each stakeholder – academia, start-ups, and corporations – is a key to establishing trust and long-term success,” said Ram Jambunathan, Managing Director, SAP.iO. “Academia is often focused on pushing the boundaries forward through proof-of-concept demonstrations, while corporates may be looking for something incremental that can align to existing offerings, mature development processes or sales motions. And in between are start-ups coming from universities that are in the process of establishing product-market fit.”
SAP.iO Fund and Unilever Ventures join Series A investment round as WeGift reports 500 per cent annual revenue growth. This investment round will help WeGift deliver on its vision of creating the world’s first real-time infrastructure for digital rewards and incentives. The funds will be used to further scale WeGift’s operations, as well as to support the company’s expansion to the US, and for further investment in its technology platform.
In 2017, SAP.iO, an open innovation model enabling visionary startups to use the power of SAP data, APIs, platform technologies and new business models, launched its two components, the SAP.iO Fund, and SAP.iO Foundries. The SAP.iO Fund invests in external, early-stage enterprise software startups that enable SAP customers to realize the new, highly incremental value to investments in SAP solutions. The SAP.iO Foundries are SAP’s global network of top-tier startup programs, including accelerators that enable startups to build innovative software that delivers value for SAP customers.
Since its launch, SAP.iO Fund and Foundries have driven early stage startup innovation helping its customers win in their markets. To date, SAP.iO has over 125 startups in more than 8 locations across 25+ industries. Last year, SAP.iO Foundry launched a demo event for nine female-led startups in New York.
SAP is removing obstacles that can get in the way of a startup going from idea to real business. The technology vendor is now providing resources for would-be entrepreneurs through a startup incubator called SAP.iO. The program, which launched in 2017, offers investment and resources — technical and business — for emerging startup companies.
We all know the numbers by now: women CEOs get only about 2.3 percent of all venture capital. At Inc., we want to change that equation. There are now dozens of venture funds seeking out women-led businesses, one of those is SAP.iO. The only problem? There’s never been an easy way to figure out who these VCs are and what they’re looking for. With the Fundery, you can discover who’s looking to invest in female CEOs and diverse founding teams, in specific industries, geographical areas, and funding stages.
Serial entrepreneur, So-Young Kang, is reinventing how people learn, with a personalized, mobile experience. Lightyears ahead of yesterday’s content delivery training, the Gnowbe microlearning mobile platform represents Kang’s life work to make learning easy – for as many people as possible. Instead of participant headcounts or feedback scores, Gnowbe measures skills development based on someone’s demonstrable capabilities before and after training. One customer saw improvements of almost 30 percent in the sales behaviors of employees who participated in microlearning modules on Gnowbe.
Gnowbe is among the HR startups participating in the SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco, an accelerator for early-stage enterprise tech companies. Besides mobile microlearning, these startups are using AI-enabled recruiting, and development tools based on behavioral science.
The SAP CX Live conference is coming up in just a few days in Orlando and a lot of exciting things are planned for the show. One of the things I’m most excited about is the Startups Area which will feature a few of the innovative startups that are part of the “innovation ecosystem” that complements and extends our SAP CX solutions.
Once upon a time, the startup vs. big company story was like that of David and Goliath. The large company, comfortable in its market dominance, only to be upset by the agile, hungry, underdog startup who used its lowly position to have an ear closer to the ground of innovation. The managing Director of SAP.iO had the privilege of helping to direct a different story: that of the mouse and the lion realized how their unique strengths and sizes can complement each other.
Verusen launched its pioneering cloud platform at the “Salute to Digital Innovation and Intelligence in the Supply Chain” event. Verusen is a SAP.iO company that provides artificial intelligence to harmonize and provide visibility into materials inventory data from ERP and other systems
U First Capital is bringing together big companies, venture capitalists, startups, universities, to to explore investments in internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence startups. U First Capital’s advisory board has venture capitalists and executives from Fortune 500 companies including SAP’s Ram Jambunathan (managing director, SAP.io venture capital fund) and Manju Bansal (vice president, SAP).
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