Last updated: SAPPHIRE NOW keynote: Chasing zero, with eye on the future of business

SAPPHIRE NOW keynote: Chasing zero, with eye on the future of business


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SAPPHIRE NOW wowed the world with their virtual kick off. Featuring Christian Klein, Julia White, Paige Wei-Cox, and Hasso Plattner during an insightful, action-packed keynote, SAP proved once again why it’s a powerhouse among tech giants – the keynote wasn’t just a vision for SAP; it’s a roadmap for the future of business.

Following the keynote, several thought leaders in our After Party series that spans the timeline of SAPPHIRE NOW, June 2-10 delivered their thoughts. (You can watch the replay of the session HERE.)

So, what are the favorite takeaways and thoughts on technology making our world run better? We’ve got the answers.

First, technology has a transformative ability to connect us and help us adapt quickly

The most resilient organizations transformed their business processes in 2020 via technology, while the need to digitalize and become an intelligent enterprise was made clear.

“A network of networks is the future and this is happening now.” – Marcell Vollmer

“The next level step is to have data for not only your own enterprise and but also others.” – Ronald Van Loon

“My big takeaway was the network effect. What good is it if you’re a smart enterprise, but you’re in a network that’s not intelligent?” – Efi Pylarinou

“We should not carry forward the business processes we created 5, 10, 20 years ago…” – Hasso Plattner

Second, no business does business alone

The pandemic highlighted just how connected organizations are and how vital it is to have an adaptable supply chain. Robust business networks helped the most successful organizations cope with volatile supply and demand. The best run companies collaborated at scale across networks that transcended industry and functional domains.

“What we’ve learned is that customer experience truly is supply chain dependent.” – Denise Lee Yohn

“The supply chain begins at the end – with the customer.” – Rachael White

Third, as the skies cleared and bewildered wildlife returned to parks and cities, minds focused on global sustainability

The desire to reduce waste across supply chains and enter a circular economy is now driving organizations to embed sustainability into their mainstream business.

Leading businesses are going beyond merely seeking new efficiencies and fulfilling compliance requirements: they’re creating new business models for long-term growth.

Throughout the keynote, SAP made very clear that we need to act now on sustainability with the goal of zero waste, zero emissions, and zero inequality.

“Businesses who put profit before purpose generally don’t make as much money. But if you lead with purpose and that’s your focus you naturally become more profitable.” – Martin Newman

“What’s good for business can now also be good for the planet.” – Julia White

“It’s time to build sustainability into the fabric of how we do business. Sustainability is not just a hashtag.” – Christian Klein

Fourth, people make the difference

While applying each of the lessons above, the organizations who fared best remembered their heart, focusing on their people and how to support them. The value of the employee experience took center stage as companies empowered workforces by enriching their employee network – wherever it is – in new ways.

“Creating an experience at work that’s authentic to the employee so that they not only see themselves at work, but see themselves in their workplace is essential.” – Joey Price

“Implementing the human experience in technology solutions is a big part of successful digital transformation.” – M. Nadia Vincent

“No business does business alone.” – Christian Klein

These themes and many more were explored in the SAPPHIRE NOW global keynote, The Enterprise in an Age of Networks, which is available on demand.

Tune in to the SAPPHIRE NOW global keynote to hear how SAP solutions can help you:

  • Become an intelligent enterprise and gain a competitive advantage
  • Harness the power of networks and connected enterprises
  • Bring sustainability to your business processes

During the keynote address, our CEO and member of the executive board, Christian Klein, was joined by fellow board members Julia White, our chief marketing and solutions officer, Paige Wei-Cox, SVP/Global Head, SAP Business Network, and Professor Hasso Plattner, chairman of our supervisory board, as well as thought leaders from diverse industries.

They talked about SAP’s vision and strategy, some exciting company announcements, and customer and partner success stories.

Watch the global keynote to hear about themes including:

  • SAP Business Network: How we are creating one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive network by converging our existing procurement, logistics, asset, and industry-specific networks to enable collective network intelligence
  • Power of business networks: How networks support end-to-end transparency, forecasting accuracy, better customer experiences, and activities such as carbon footprint tracking
  • RISE with SAP package: How we are expanding our RISE with SAP offering with packages for modular cloud ERP transformation and a range of industries
  • Sustainability as a new dimension for doing business: How SAP software innovations can help you make climate protection measurable, diversity and inclusion visible, and ethical responsibilities transparent, including by embedding sustainability insights in your core ERP processes
  • Customer experiences: How integrated processes help you drive new product offerings and business models to provide delightful customer experiences and grow your business
  • Employee experiences: How SAP solutions can support the seamless personalized experiences employees expect, from hire to retire

And learn how AmerisourceBergen Corporation is harnessing the power of the intelligent enterprise, how F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. is embracing business networks for success, and how Allbirds Inc. is putting sustainability first.

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