How AI And “Gaze Control” Will Help Businesses Reopen Safely

Recent projections by the US federal government estimate that there will be 200,000 new coronavirus cases in the US  by June 1. At the same time, governments around the world are grappling with the complexities of safely reopening businesses, schools and other public institutions.

Technology companies are rushing into that gap with software aimed at keeping people safe, while citizens navigate a patchwork approach to easing shelter-in-place orders. One well-known approach is the use of contact-tracing apps on smart phones created by tech and telecom companies. These apps alert people if they’ve been in close proximity to an infected person.

But other technologies can help. When businesses and other institutions open up, they will need to do a lot of things differently. A new technology called “gaze control” allows people to avoid touching surfaces, like ATM display screens or subway-fare vending machine, that may be potentially contaminated with the virus. Stephan Odörfer is founder and managing director of Munich-based 4tiitoo (pronounced “42”), a startup that creates gaze control technology. Put simply, this technology lets people use their eyes to interact with computers, replacing the need to touch a keyboard, mouse or screen.

Moreover, 4tiitoo has combined gaze control with AI to analyze patterns in users’ eye movement and predict what people want to do next within a particular computer screen or application. “Gaze control allows you to do two things. It controls the computer and we can use it to get an understanding of what the user actually wants to do, “said Odörfer. “By understanding intention, we can proactively support him.”

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SAP In Focus: Tech That Will Help Us Reopen Video

Startup CEO and SAP expert say “gaze control” and AI will help people get back to work, play and life more safely. Stephan Odörfer, founder of 4tiitoo, explains how touchless computing will protect workers. Meanwhile, David Judge, SAP’s Vice President for Intelligent Enterprise Solutions, believes the pandemic will accelerate adoption of technologies like machine learning, blockchain and IoT. Learn how these technologies will help us recover, while protecting our data privacy.

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Vanessa Liu of SAP.iO Shares Global Wisdom

Vanessa Liu is a builder. She is a builder of businesses, concepts, networks and connections.

Vanessa presently leads SAP.iO Foundries in North America, which are SAP’s accelerators for B2B enterprise startups. She has earned degrees in neuroscience and law.

Early in her career, Vanessa worked in the business consulting world with McKinsey Company, which took her around the world to posts in Amsterdam, London and New York, were she presently resides. Along her dynamic career path, Vanessa developed a keen interest in media, and she has launched and invested in a number of successful media ventures, including Inside Hook and Fevo.

Vanessa is a champion for social justice and a tireless advocate for under-represented business start-ups, especially those led by women or diverse founders. With Vanessa’s diverse and fascinating background, it is no wonder she is one of the wisest people I know.

Settle in. Over the next nine minutes, you’ll discover what unique bit of wisdom Vanessa has chosen to share.

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HOW TO BRING A PRODUCT OR SERVICE TO MARKET IN CORONAVIRUS WORLD – VANESSA LIU INTERVIEW

Learn how to bring a new product or service to market in the age of Coronavirus with our guest today, Vanessa Liu. Vanessa graduated from both Harvard University and Harvard Law before going on to help launch multiple media and telecom startups as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She then went on two four two more startups herself before taking on her current role running SAP.io’s Foundries program (www.SAP.io/Foundries), a no-equity accelerator for startups with a current or planned integration with SAP, 40% or more of which have female or under-represented founders.

In this episode, we cover how still-growing organizations should pivot their product, service, and/or messaging to focus on potential clients’ pain-points, and not on simply how great their product is.

SAP.iO: Treiber von Veränderung

Miroslav Dimitrov Head der Berliner Foundry von SAP:iO

Herr Dimitrov, mit welcher Intention fördert SAP.iO Startups?
Mit der klaren Mission, die nächste Generation von Ökosystemen aktiv mitzugestalten. Wir wollen Treiber von Veränderung sein, nicht Getriebene. Und dafür suchen wir über Beteiligungen und das Accelarator-Programm jene vielversprechenden Startups, die unsere Geschäftssoftware sinnvoll ergänzen.

Das heißt, Sie konzentrieren sich als Accelerator auf B2B-Lösungen, die bestehende SAP-Systeme ergänzen?
Wir setzen in jeder neuen Runde auf unterschiedliche Themen, immer aber mit Fokus auf B2B und SaaS. Bei den FinTechs sehen wir aktuell in den Bereichen „Customer Experience“, „Big Data and Analytics“, „Peer-to-Peer Finance“ und „Identity“ großes Potenzial.

Was sind das für Startups, die Sie unterstützen?
PXL Vision aus der Schweiz ist ein Beispiel aus dem Bereich „Identity“, die auf Basis von maschinellem Sehen und Deep Learning das Kunden-Onboarding deutlich verschlanken wollen – für Finanzdienstleister und Kunden gleichermaßen. Ein anderes Beispiel ist troy GmbH aus dem nordrhein-westfälischen Lippstadt. Dort hat man es sich zum Ziel gemacht, die Customer Experience beim Inkasso zu verbessern. Denn ein wesentlicher Teil der Kunden zahlt unverschuldet oder versehentlich nicht.

Auf welchen Wegen kommen Sie mit solch spannenden neuen Unternehmern zusammen?
Unser Netzwerk und unsere Kunden spielen hierfür natürlich eine wichtige Rolle. Denn am Ende des Tages, wollen wir für sie der Partner der Wahl sein und passende Lösungen bieten. Ein Großteil des Prozesses findet aber auch intern über die Frage statt, in welchen Bereichen wir nach vielversprechenden Partnern Ausschau halten wollen. Und dann gibt es natürlich auch die Startups, die uns finden. Für diejenigen der Hinweis: Die nächste Runde unseres Accelerator-Programms ist in Planung und wir freuen uns bereits jetzt über einen regen Austausch und Kontakt.

Et si l’Europe revenait dans la course à la technologie ?

Qu’il semble loin, le temps où Alcatel, Nokia ou Ericsson faisaient partie des entreprises parmi les plus puissantes du secteur des technologies. Place aujourd’hui aux GAFAM, à Alibaba, Huawei ou Tencent, une course sino-américaine dont l’Europe semble aujourd’hui exclue.

La compétitivité technologique est pourtant une nécessité, à en croire les deux intervenants présents lors de la table ronde “Wargames” de la Maddy Keynote du 31 janvier : Sébastien Gibier, Directeur de SAP.iO Foundry Paris, et Tristan Nitot, Président de Qwant

La course technologique

Ce dernier lance d’emblée un message d’espoir « Je ressens un profondément sentiment d’urgence à accélérer sur le secteur technologique en Europe. Ce n’est pas trop tard, mais il faut agir vite ». Mais d’ailleurs, pourquoi agir ? Pourquoi l’Europe doit-elle reprendre sa marche en avant dans la course à la technologie ? 

D’abord parce que son retard est réel. À titre d’exemple, en 2019, l’ensemble des licornes (entreprises non côtées valorisées à plus d’un milliard de dollars) américaines étaient valorisées à plus de 1600 milliards de dollars, leurs homologues asiatiques à plus de 900 milliards de dollars, et les européennes a à peine plus de 300 milliards.

Ensuite  parce que l’Union Européenne a les moyens de cette ambition. Fort d’un marché porteur, deuxième PIB à parité du pouvoir d’achat mondial derrière la Chine mais devant les Etats-Unis, l’Europe est un terrain fertile quant à l’essor des nouvelles technologies. Ce que résume ainsi Tristan Nitot : “L’Europe présente le double avantage d’avoir une population relativement riche en Europe de l’ouest, et un marché très prometteur en Europe de l’est”.

Enfin, le risque est grand d’aboutir à une situation de trop forte dépendance vis-à-vis des modèles chinois ou américains, comme le précise Sébastien Gibier : « Tant pour l’emploi que pour la protection des données, notamment en matière de sécurité ou de santé, il est nécessaire d’avoir une Europe forte et dynamique sur les marchés de la nouvelle économie ». Sur des sujets aussi sensibles, on ne peut que comprendre la crainte émise par le Directeur de SAP.IO Foundry Paris. Les récents scandales, notamment celui de Cambridge Analytica, rajoutent s’il en était besoin la question de l’éthique et du traitement des données personnelles à cette préoccupante équation. 

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Les nouvelles technologies au service du développement durable

Ce samedi 7 décembre 2019, Olivier Gambari, président d’iNex circular, Fabrice Bonnifet, directeur du développement durable du groupe Bouygues, et Catherine Garcera, directrice innovation et transformation chez SAP, se sont penchés sur les nouvelles technologies qui se mettent au service du développement durable dans l’émission Hors-Série Les Dossiers BFM Business présentée par Frédéric Simottel.

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How to match job candidates on the autism spectrum

The companies SAP.iO and Daivergent are collaborating on a process that matches job candidates who have been identified as being on the autism spectrum. This is through the Daivergent for Autism Recruiting solution.

The partnership enables companies using SAP Fieldglass solutions to hire and manage neurodiverse talent who have been sourced and trained by Daivergent. Key to this mission is software development. SAP.iO helps innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers, and change industries. To discover more, Digital Journal spoke with Vanessa Liu.

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Cracking the Code: From Startup to Scaleup in Enterprise Software with Ram Jambunathan (SAP.iO), Lonnie Rae Kurlander (Medal), Caitlin MacGregor (Plum), and Dimitri Sirota (BigID)

The startup journey is hard. Data shows that 70% of upstart tech companies fail, while only 1% of these startups will go on to gain unicorn status. Success in enterprise software often requires deep industry experience, strong networks, brutally-efficient execution, and a bit of luck. This panel brings together three successful SAP.iO Fund-backed enterprise startups for an open discussion on lessons learned, challenges of scaling, and why the right strategic investors or partners can be beneficial even at early-stages

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Why emerging tech is relevant to enterprise

Tech Crunch is kicking off a conference in San Francisco September 5 and will include interviews with enterprise software leaders, rising founders and VC’s ahead of the game. Yahoo Finance’s Zack Guzman and Sibile Marcellus discuss with SAPIO Senior VP and Managing DIrector, Ram Jambunathan, and “Wall Street Journal” Wealth Reporter, Veronica Dagher.

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3 Things with Ram Jambunathan

1. Ram, SAP is a purpose-led organization. What is one thing you do, in life or business, that demonstrates this?

I am often asked why we are doing this.  Well, fundamental to everything we do is for our customers’ benefit, which is in turn reflected in business performance. It turns out that these groups of founders, such as women and minorities who have traditionally been ‘underinvested in’, consistently deliver high business returns, because they are building solutions that customers want.  It makes sense to prioritize and emphasize our efforts and investments to support these groups – they’re doing all the right things.  

As managing director of SAP.iO, I have global responsibility for supporting early-stage external startups through our unique mix of investments and incubation.  As part of this, I am extremely proud to be driving SAP.iO No Boundaries, our commitment to supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs in business to business tech, through which we have pledged to support more than 200 select, high potential B2B tech startups by 2023. 

Some critics ask if we have lowered the bar. My response to that is absolutely not! It simply means we need to search harder to find these entrepreneurs because they generally don’t have the access or the network to find funding or customer introductions that other groups typically enjoy.  So it’s not about giving special favors, but it’s about ensuring we are able to hear their voices. 

I personally know of the struggles and hurdles that women or other underrepresented entrepreneurs in tech face – in building a network, getting funding, attracting customers and being taken seriously.  I personally know women who were told ‘You don’t need an investor, you need a rich boyfriend’‘I can’t invest in someone if they are going to have a family at some point’, or even (believe it or not) ‘You won’t date an investor? Sorry, I can’t work with you’

As an entrepreneur and innovator, myself, this one is personal for me and we need to change the status quo!

2. Ram, who is the one person you consistently read and why? 

One person who I consistently read, and follow is Horace Dediu (@asymco), author of the asymco blog and an expert on how innovations are absorbed by markets, and why some platforms end up winning.   Horace combines a structured way of thinking with deep content expertise that results in foresight on how the future will evolve, including in areas such as mobile computing and the future of transport (e.g., micro-mobility, electric vehicles).  He then tests these predictions over time with a rigorous, data-driven approach, but also notes: “All great insights I’ve ever seen have come from n=1 [data points]”. 

I first discovered Horace in 2009 when I stumbled onto his initial blog post where he shared his predictions (starting from 2007) how Nokia / like competitors would evolve through 2014.  And, as the years evolved, his predictions came to be stunningly prescient.  He ended his first post in this way: 

“The key takeaway from this analysis is that the industry standard product cycle for an integrated, platform-based product is 5 to 8 years and if one competitor can achieve a 2 to 3 year cycle, then the more nimble competitor can “turn inside” the industry and, within two cycles, dominate it. Although smaller competitors are able to turn product faster, they are usually unable to sustain the platform heavy lifting (which takes an order of magnitude more effort/assets).” 

I think all of us at SAP can recognize parallels to what’s happening in enterprise software, and the importance for SAP to run nimble and simple. And I’ve been hooked since. 

3. What is one life lesson that you’d share with your younger self.

About Ram Jambunathan

Ram is the Managing Director of SAP.iO. In this role, Ram is responsible for the SAP.iO Fund, which makes direct investments into early stage startups and the SAP.iO Foundries, a global network of top-tier, primarily zero-equity ask startup acceleration programs for startups in areas strategic to SAP. Ram has been with SAP for 10 years, leading various strategic initiatives. Before joining SAP, Ram was consultant at McKinsey & Co., a founder of T-Networks (now part of Broadcom), and a Member of Technical Research & Development at Lucent Technologies. Ram has more than 5 patents and more than 10 peer-reviewed publications, and received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan Ann-Arbor. In his spare time, Ram practices freestyle rapping about SAP.iO.

Hors-Série L’innovation au cœur du retail: Le digital au service du parcours client

Stratégie client omnicanal, quelle concrétisation sur le terrain pour Intersport ? Expérience client: quelle maturité pour les entreprises ? Quelles sont les contraintes ? Comment améliorer les interactions avec les marques ? Le mobile a-t-il tout changé ? Quels sont les apports de l’évolution des outils de relation client de CRM en mode Cloud ? Quid du futur des magasins physiques ? – Avec: Matthieu Pellet, directeur du Digital chez Intersport. Vincent Torres, président et fondateur de Revers.io. Et François Massemin, directeur de l’expérience utilisateur chez SAP France. – Hors-Série L’innovation au cœur du retail, du dimanche 19 mai 2019, présenté par Frédéric Simottel, sur BFM Business.