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Former Member

To many, SAP is traditionally known for owning one of the most robust "out-of-the-box" solution portfolios in the software space. Interestingly, as the acceptance of cloud-based solutions soars, many businesses are realizing how critical it is to create and maintain software that differentiates their business and offers a competitive advantage. Now that we live in a world of increasingly commoditized public cloud offerings, regardless of how comprehensive any provider's offering might be, these differentiators are the "secret sauce" of an organization.

As alluded to, standard cloud solutions are essentially handcuffed into having a tinge of "vanilla" to their features and functionality since the same instance of the software is being provided to many customers in the multi-tenancy model. How, then, are best-in-class companies taking this potential limitation and turning it into an opportunity to outperform organizations that are unwilling to think outside of the box? Through innovative process and result driven cloud developments built specifically for the forward thinking enterprise.

Whether those developments are stand-alone, completely original cloud applications, custom extensions to, or even integrations between, existing solutions or apps; the goal remains the same. That goal is to use the flexibility of the cloud, while maintaining the “always up” dependability enterprises require, to match the customer’s solution and app landscape to their business processes, achieving a perfect fit between the two. Put simply, helping customer’s to mix and apply THEIR OWN “secret sauce.”

The new-age business model’s shift towards using technology as a means to gain an edge over competitors continues to evolve. Innovative ideas are creating greater value for all parties these solutions affect in a sustainable way, and not just the business that paid the largest portion of the bill! Take, for instance, a custom application we've lovingly dubbed SAP Rural Sourcing Management (RSM). With RSM, SAP is planning an innovation to engrain smallholder farmers, suppliers and supplier organizations located in emerging countries deeply into supply chains of global agribusinesses through visibility, platform flexibility and the power of analytics. It will redefine just who can derive value from a supply chain app and the way value is delivered to each party involved. Here's how….

Large multinational agricultural organizations have started to experience increasing pressure in recent years to provide transparency at every step of their value chain.  This is most pronounced in emerging and developing countries where the majority of farms are smallholder farms in areas that lack what most IT Pros would consider sufficient infrastructure. Using the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP is planning an innovation that will address this industry-specific issue, or, how we like to think of it, potential opportunity. This innovation will include information collection and dispersion related to farmer registration/master data, pricing information, farmer purchasing, advances and mobile payments, transportation and logistics, grading and quality indicators, labor practices and farm survey/inspections….and that's just what's done in the field from a cell phone on a mobile app!

Central collection and monitoring of historical and transactional financial data, such as payments and cashless transactions, opens a door for these small famers which leads to financial services and other opportunities never before made available on a wide scale. The ultimate effect of which will be improved livelihoods of farmers coupled with increased quality and scale of their crop.

At Sapphire 2016, I will be presenting a deeper look at how SAP's Custom Cloud Apps & Extensions provide previously unimagined value for our customers through, not only through our planned SAP RSM innovation, but also by completely reimagining any business or industry process and the technology that facilitates it. With the deep industry knowledge SAP has acquired over years of experience, I've worked hand in hand with our Agribusiness group to reimagine modern agriculture and help bring us all into the age of Digital Agribusiness, where increased farming efficiency, transparent and sustainable food supply chains, closely managed supply and price volatility backed efficient risk management are essential components for all. And this digital transformation isn't limited to just the Agribusiness industry. It's available to all organizations that are willing to put convention aside and redefine the way they run in ANY industry. I'd love to get a chance to speak with you about how we can work together with your organization to put a healthy portion of your company's "secret sauce" into the technology that backs the business.

Join me at SAPPHIRE to learn more about Building a Sustainable and Traceable Agricultural Supply Chain.  I’ll be presenting on Thursday May 19th at noon in the SAP Digital Business Services area (DB514). Add the session to your agenda now. Looking forward to seeing you all there!


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