A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a great adventure began. I want you to cast your mind back to 1997, the early days of the Internet itself. A time when Google didn’t even exist and, if you were really posh, you had two phone lines so you could use the phone and browse Netscape dial-up at the same time while your modem clicked and pinged.
At this time, no one could know where the internet was headed – or anticipate quite how dramatically it would revolutionize everything. And revolution is the word. It has forced us to rethink everything from how we do business to how we learn and interact – even how we dream, design and govern. Back then, portable tech and big data were still the province of science fiction. But as the green shoots of opportunity emerged, a few brave pioneers emerged, the original disruptors.
Early adopters – and disruptors
This was the world 20 years ago in Munich, where a small gang of students living in rented apartments realized that selling stuff on the internet was going to be the next big thing. Carsten Thoma and friends began to create a software for e-commerce and set the foundations for what is now SAP Hybris.
Meanwhile in the UK, Martha Lane Fox (now Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho) had a vision for the selling power of the web and founded lastminute.com, harnessing the power of relevancy and immediacy with the energy of the web to create one of the first – and at the time most successful – enterprises to put customer engagement first.
Lastminute.com was more than just a booking site. It commoditized experiences, and did so at the bleeding edge of a zeitgeist that spoke directly to the first generation of online shoppers. In many ways it defined the market in its first iterations, and its founder continues to shape how individuals, enterprises and Government understand the power and potential of the web.
In the midst all of this change, one thing has remained constant: The customer’s demands always seem to outstrip the current technology and leave the door open to innovation and disruption. That’s why we need to look not just at what the market and the tech that drives it is doing now, but what it could be doing for your business in five, ten, twenty years time. It’s the foundations we lay now that give us the agility to act with purpose in the future.
Plot a course to the future, together
Here we are, 20 years on from those early days of the first startups, and both Lane Fox and SAP Hybris are coming together to build on that history. SAP Hybris LIVE: Global Summit, which takes place October 17-19 in Barcelona, gives us an occasion to do exactly that, to explore a path to future success and understand what’s coming next. It’s a celebration, a homecoming, a time to recognize all the achievements and innovations that came before, as well as a chance to look ahead and explore the potential disruptions and opportunities that lie ahead.
At SAP Hybris LIVE: Global Summit, we’re going to discuss, elaborate on and investigate the future, with conversation and topics driven by pioneers who continue to blaze a trail in this space, driving innovation, commerce, insight and engagement for enterprises of all types.
You’ll be able to hear Carsten Thoma, President of SAP Hybris. As well as a passion for new and innovative technology, he also has long believed in the power of an entrepreneurial culture and the transformative power of turning insight into action. He walks the walk as an active mentor and backer of several emerging start-ups. It’s also a chance to hear what Rob Enslin, President of the SAP Cloud Business Group and Member of the SAP Executive Board has to say. Rob is driving SAP’s transition to the cloud, and understands better than anyone what that means for customers.
And then of course there’s Martha Lane Fox: Activist, futurist and entrepreneur. Her keynote will be fascinating. She’s on the board of Twitter and founded Doteveryone, an independent think tank that focuses on the human side of the internet, and what a truly digital society can and should look like. It isn’t just about giving people skills, it’s about giving them an understanding of what things like data privacy, AI and machine learning mean – and building an understanding of how these things are perceived.
On the floor: an experience like no other
What you learn at the keynotes will be invaluable, but there’s so much more to see and do. Four main theaters and six micro-theaters mean that attendees will be able to benefit from the insights and expertise of a huge range of speakers and sessions, combining commerce, marketing, sales, service, revenue and IT with fascinating future-forward topics, such as AI, GDPR, machine learning, IoT and microservices.
Interactive showcases and demo pods will allow you to see, touch and hear how SAP Hybris technologies are changing the future of customer engagement today. While at the heart of it all will be Galaxy. A serious showstopper, this incredible, immersive VR experience puts you at the nexus of what your customers need. It takes you to an interactive environment where you can visualize your own data and that of your fellow attendees in real time, demonstrating how you can put the customer in control and build trust and relationships while still delivering outstanding experiences, every time.
Barcelona has always been a fascinating city to visit, blending great beauty and innovation with an energy and style that is unique. That’s why we chose it for SAP Hybris LIVE: Global Summit. Join us for an adventure in innovation and to experience a Galaxy that’s not far, far away. It’s right here, right now.
Don’t miss out. Stay tuned for more announcements – and sign up now to make the most of early bird pricing.