In a time when organizations can seamlessly access the cloud to unearth tools like analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), “collaboration with customers and partners around the globe can drive sustainable, impactful innovation,” Timo Elliott, SAP’s global head of partner digital selling and marketing director, told the audience.
Let’s think about the recent past – companies were largely reliant on the people skills of employees to ensure that customers had a pleasant experience.
Today, in an age when digital interactions have become commonplace, it appears that satisfaction can be found simply by going to the cloud. But can it, really?
The answer is a definitive “No!”
Dedicated workers are still required to make a difference. And with the availability of a multitude of software solutions to remedy such issues as manufacturing, supply chain, finance, and procurement, the innovations derived from those applications are done by the people, transforming both industries and society.
That was the overall message conveyed this past June at a virtual celebration for the winners of SAP’s 2023 Innovation Awards, an annual event honoring an elite group using the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software leader’s technologies – not to mention creativity, ingenuity, and hard work – to elevate their organizations to the leading edge of innovation.
When the first Innovation Awards was launched in 2014, the judges received 27 admissions. This year, the number exceeded 220 across ten categories, including Sustainability Hero, Industry Leader, Partner Paragon, and Cutting-Edge Genius.
Check out this e-book, which has everything you need to know about the SAP 2023 Innovation Awards: winners, finalists, honorable mentions, and more.
Changing the world
At the celebration, as the winners accepted the accolades for their achievements and addressed each other online, all agreed that, in this post-pandemic period, the goal of technological innovation must transcend simply improving one’s business.
By their actions, the 2023 SAP Innovation Award winners embody that philosophy.
For instance, after the war in Ukraine forced more than 8 million people to flee their homeland, professional services corporation EY (Ernst & Young) developed an emergency response application to access critical and time-sensitive information and direct the refugees to resources in 53 cities.
The humanitarian undertaking was accomplished in an astonishing six weeks.
In its mission to develop novel and multifunctional therapeutics for rare cancers and other serious diseases, global biotechnology company Zymeworks found that its previous, manual system was inefficient and labor-intensive. After it created a single, integrated platform, the organization had real-time information to make important, data-driven decisions while continuing to save lives.
In Australia, where the country’s growing aging population has increased the demand for in-home and community-delivered care, HomeMade – a company founded in 2020 – designed a self-service portal enabling the elderly to choose providers for services like cleaning and cooking and lead a fulfilling life, while reducing administrative overhead.
And on the Japanese island of Kyushu, where natural disasters are all too frequent, Oita University developed an information platform called the Earth Disaster Intelligent System Operational Network (EDiSON), providing accurate and timely data to assist emergency response organizations.
A sustainable planet
From the time the 2023 Innovation Awards were announced, judges were “looking for tangible examples of sustainability that are delivering impact,” said Dorit Shackleton, SAP’s senior vice president of customer advocacy and adoption marketing, “using SAP technologies for good.”
In addition to supplying people in Switzerland’s Basel region with electricity, heat, and drinking water, along with telecom and mobility solutions, Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB) produces and sells renewable and CO2-netural energy to achieve climate goals. Using Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, a new adaptable application can predict solar power production with unprecedented accuracy, supporting IWB’s ongoing sustainability drive.
As Elliot pointed out, “If you can help with just a small percentage” of reducing the carbon footprint, “you can make a big difference to the planet.”
In trying to reach its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives, Indonesian mining, infrastructure, and oil and gas services company Petrosea was frustrated that its old, largely paper-based system complicated the process. By creating a unified platform, the company now has one source of truth to monitor carbon emissions, waste, and water usage, make informed choices and realize what it calls its 3D strategy – for diversification, digitalization, and decarbonization.
As the 2023 SAP Innovation Awards winners continue to bask in the glow of their success, planning for the 2024 festivities is underway. And even organizations that don’t plan to enter will be watching – to find inspiration for new ways to improve.
“By sharing your success stories and lessons learned,” Elliott said, “you are helping other organizations innovate. And you are helping the world run better.”
Once the SAP 2024 Innovation Awards submissions are open, follow each update by clicking the link to this newsletter.