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Former Member

By Fred Isbell, senior director and head of Though Leadership, Digital Business Services Marketing, SAP

Just off the heels of one great event full of “ah-ha” moments, I’m getting ready to dive into another one: SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 co-located with our annual user group event, ASUG 2016, in Orlando FL.  And I could not be more excited about what we have going on this year!

After a one-year absence from attending SAPPHIRE NOW on site, while still participating in the virtual event, I’m back to experience the event “live”.  After attending 14 SAPPHIRE NOW conferences over the past 16 years, I can definitely say that it is the “Super Bowl” of thought leadership around all things SAP and the topics we cover.  This year the event is all about digital transformation, with an introduction to a critical new concept called “Live Business.”SANOW Blog-1

Consequently, there’s a lot of critical mass of key messages, content, speakers, and more that comprise this amazing event. Throughout SAPPHIRE NOW, I’ll provide a mix of blog and social media coverage between now and the event in mid-May.

Three main things will stand out as we prepare for this great event:

  • The evolution to the digital economy is a journey, not a destination. Guidance is essential. I like to equate this concept to that of a Sherpa. And when it comes to digital transformation, it has never been more appropriate until now.
  • Business and IT are embarking on this journey together, and disruptive technologies and business models are key to successful digital transformation. We’ve come full circle from an era of line-of-business end-runs that was characteristic of earlier cloud-based solutions.  Collaboration and alignment have never been more critical, and the translation between business and IT requirements is truly mission critical.
  • Success in an era of cloud, the Internet of Things, and a collaborative, networked economy require a fresh approach: a digital business framework combined with expertise to reimagine business. The adage “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” has never been truer.  Successful digital transformation requires a road map and key steps to building a framework for a digital The added advantage of hyperconnectivity and the reality of “business at the speed of innovation” are now transforming entire industries at breakneck speed.

I’m really excited about covering SAPPHIRE NOW including our keynotes, customer and partner sessions, and insightful customer-focused activities in our SAP Digital Business Services area adjacent to the main SAPPHIRE NOW campuses.
All of this content, expertise, and customer proof points will support several key areas presented across three days at SAPPHIRE NOW such as:

  • Business transformation and evolution: Digital transformation requires us to reimagine both business and IT – working together to embark on a successful digital transformation journey.
  • Attaining new business value: Business at the speed of innovation requires swiftness and agility. By leveraging all aspects of technological innovation, businesses can accelerate the pace of change while they are on this journey.
  • Ensuring business continuity: Digital transformation is truly a conglomeration of “bet your badge” decisions with next-generation technology and solutions. Always-on business models require a new level of support and business continuity.

In the coming weeks, I will write about each of these key themes highlighted at SAPPHIRE NOW. If you are heading to Orlando for SAPPHIRE NOW or attending the virtual event, take a look at the great content including keynotes, breakout sessions, and much more by visiting our agenda builder.

Fred is the senior director and head of Thought Leadership for Digital Business Services  Marketing at SAP.

Join Fred online:
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,, SAP Services Hub