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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

SAPPHIRE NOW is here! Thirty thousand attendees have joined the fun in Orlando, and over one million viewers across the world have joined in online. The first day has been full of exciting presentations and incredible conversations, and I can’t wait for Day 2. Before I get into what to look forward to about tomorrow’s schedule, here’s a recap of what happened today.

Discover the highlights

The day began with a fantastic keynote delivered by SAP CEO Bill McDermott and some high-profile speakers, then continued with fantastic breakout sessions, and concluded with insightful keynotes from special guests Bear Grylls and Soledad O’Brien. The underlying focus throughout today’s sessions was future-oriented business success, and each presenter touched on how we can set ourselves up for triumph in the coming years.

SAP’s Opening Keynote: Winning in the Experience Economy

Bill McDermott and Ryan Smith

SAP CEO Bill McDermott started the morning with an inspiring keynote focused on Experience Management, alongside Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith. Bill and Ryan argue that experience management is the missing link in customer interaction, that it has the power to propel businesses forward, and that it will be the deciding factor in future markets.

Bill explained that Experience Data, or X Data, is what businesses record whenever there’s a “difference between what people expect, versus what they actually receive.” By pairing Operational Data, or O Data, with X Data, you get “true personalization at mass scale, so you can bridge the experience gap.”

That gap is a 1.6 trillion dollar problem, because, as Bill noted, frustrated consumers will always look elsewhere for a better experience.

Ryan emphasized that experience can make or break businesses, citing the examples of Starbucks and Uber. Both businesses have disrupted not only their industries, but our daily routines, by prioritizing consumer and employee experience. Every experience matters.

Ryan concluded by saying that he couldn’t be more excited to join forces with SAP, and to join forces with all of us.

Bill McDermott and Tim Cook

Later on, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Bill for an onstage question and answer period.

As soon as Tim sat down with Bill, he looked out into the audience and smiled.

“Good morning everyone,” he began with a mock-serious expression. “I see a few iPhones out there, thank you. If you have an Android, pass it to the center. Someone will collect those.” That line got a big laugh from the audience.

Tim went on to mention that SAP was a key catalyst in turning Apple around during the late 1990s when they were struggling most. He’s happy that Apple was working with SAP then, and he’s even happier that Apple is still working with SAP now. Through artificial reality, machine learning, SAP Leonardo, matching insights, and privacy protection, Tim is certain that “we are defining the modern world as we want it to be.”

“I think, Tim,” said Bill, “we are in the midst of changing the world together.”

See the whole opening keynote here:

Notable Breakout Sessions

Drive Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 with IoT

When Michele Pelino took the stage this morning for her highly anticipated IoT presentation in Theater 1, there was standing room only. Michele is a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research and she presented the results of a 2019 global Internet of Things survey.

It’s a new world of business, and IoT is leading the pack. Forrester researchers found that security, actionable insights and connecting IoT data to business systems are top considerations for businesses trying to support IoT solutions. However, Michele noted that optimizing the value of IoT solutions and data requires the right automated analytics tools and processes. That’s where SAP comes in: machine learning and artificial intelligence drive significant customer value for IoT programs.

SAP Leonardo IoT will unlock your Experience Management success. Experience the new IoT with SAP Leonardo.

Drive Business Value with the Internet of Things

This afternoon Hanno Schoklitsch, CEO and Founder of Kaiserwetter Energy, took the stage in Theater 1 to deliver an insightful presentation. His SAP Innovation Award winning company fights global warming with SAP Leonardo IoT.

By integrating IoT into their business processes, Kaiserwetter helps its customers increase the financial benefits of renewable energy and slow climate change. As a result, they’re maximizing profits and minimizing risk.

Interested in leveraging SAP Leonardo in your business? Learn more about SAP IoT.

Find out what people are saying

Take a look at what some SAPPHIRE NOW attendees had to say about the first day:

See Filip's tweet

See Florian's tweet

See Chelsea's tweet

For more of the day's tweets, visit #SAPPHIRENOW and @SAPPHIRENOW on Twitter.

Look out for tomorrow’s special events

We’ve had an amazing day here in Orlando, but there’s so much more to come. For a master list of everything SAP Leonardo at SAPPHIRE NOW, check out the SAP Leonardo coverage.

Mark your calendar with tomorrow’s must-see Best-Run Theater sessions:

11:00-11:20 am Markus Noga with HCL
11:30-11:50 am Franz Faerber with Trenitalia
12:00-12:20 pm Juergen Mueller
12:30-12:50 pm Elvira Wallis with Pregis
1:30-1:50 pm Gunther Rothermel with NHL
2:30-2:50 pm Gerrit Kazmaier with Siemens AG

See you there!

Schedule in a tour

If you’re looking for a tour through the show floor, check out the Platform and Intelligent Technologies Tour. Join Karuna Mukherjea from 1:30-2:30 pm as she takes you through all the must-see stops, including:

  • Cloud Data Management

  • SAP Digital Boardroom

  • Applications for Digital Business

  • Intelligent Robotic Process Automation

  • Create a Better Future by Enabling Smart Cities

For more information, visit the Platform and Intelligent Technologies site.

Get ready for tomorrow’s big announcements

There’s going to be some big news shared tomorrow! Look out for tomorrow’s SAPPHIRE NOW Day 2 recap blog to get the inside scoop on all the details.

Stay connected

Tune into the General and Best Run Theater Sessions livestream on SAP Fieldglass and stay updated in real time on Twitter with #SAPPHIRENOW on @SAP Leonardo and @SAPPHIRENOW.

Did we miss any big moments from today? Let us know in the comments below.