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Technology upgrades are a good way to prepare for the digital economy, but they’re only half the battle. Organizations truly become digital enterprises when they can balance their cool new upgrades with their needs for stability, agility and speed -- not to mention crisis management.

Running a Live Business requires that organizations balance their digital technology with their needs for stability, agility and speed, as well as crisis management.

That’s what Life is Good did, achieving 100 percent on-time fill rate; cutting online turnaround time by 80 percent; and reducing warehouse inventory downtime to zero. The Boston-based clothing manufacturer relies on SAP technology to run its Live Business, selling merchandise through more than 4,500 retail outlets in more than 30 countries.

“The most measurable goals that SAP Apparel & Footwear solution has provided us is the KPI metrics in our distribution center to best plan everything from all our resource needs -- including payroll,” Life is Good VP of Supply Chain Courtney O’Keefe said in an SAP video. “It’s to the minutiae level.”

SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference in May is the place to hear from digital transformation veterans, including Life is Good co-founders Bert and John Jacobs during their guest keynote address. And the showfloor’s Data, Analytics and Cloud Platform Campus is the place for IT managers and technology leaders to learn about the technology platforms that power SAP solutions.

Live Business Science Theater 3000

The Live Business Theater will be a massive venue on the showfloor -- holding up to 500 people, and second in capacity only to the main keynote hall. SAP board members and other prominent customer and partner speakers will lead the Keynotes in the Live Business Theater, which will dovetail with content from the main keynote that precede them each day.

Sessions are meant to cover SAP’s top 20 topics, which include analytics, machine learning and database and database management. Look for some of SAP’s top speakers too.

For example, head of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform business unit Björn Goerke’s keynote will cover the SAP Cloud Platform, especially how users can build enterprise-ready cloud apps -- or customize existing apps -- to respond quickly to business needs, discover new revenue opportunities and better engage employees. And SAP Chief Design Officer Sam Yen’s keynote will discuss user experience (UX), particularly how design elements (such as problem-finding, user focus and mindset) encourage innovation.

The SAP Digital Boardroom VR Experience is a mobile-enabled 360-degree demonstration of the SAP Digital Boardroom, which turns static, one-way presentations into interactive discussions based on real-time information.

Chairman of the Digital Boardroom

Attendees will also get to experience this year’s two-sided showcase of the SAP Digital Boardroom. One side will focus on a new responsive user experience that includes the massive 84-inch Microsoft Surface Hub. And mobility will be a key element, including satellite devices such as Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Pro, as well as the Apple iPad Pro.

The other side will demonstrate how SAP runs the SAP Digital Boardroom, which transforms boardroom and steering meetings -- previously saturated with paper reports and PowerPoint presentations -- into real-time digital enterprise experiences. It does so by pulling data from SAP S/4HANA, as well as SAP and third-party software.

The campus will be even more interactive and immersive, thanks to the SAP Digital Boardroom VR Experience. This mobile-enabled 360-degree demonstration is available for both Android and iOS.

Upgrade Your Workspace

Beyond the world of keynotes and scheduled meetings are unforeseen incidents, such as supply chain disruptions and demand deviation. The Knowledge Workspace helps users achieve future success by preparing to manage these and other critical events; capabilities include:

  • Breaking data silos by providing access to business data across all system boundaries via one central interface

  • Providing tools to interact with business data on an open canvas (e.g., lists, tables, charts and maps)

  • Enabling true live collaboration and decision making by sharing workspaces, notes, to-dos, polls, decisions and actions in one system

Users can resolve issues their own way, immediately assembling the right people and information -- and enhancing problem-solving capabilities with technology from the SAP Innovation Center Network. They can save, retrieve and adjust real scenarios in an interactive, collaborative tool for real-time analysis and decision-making.

Find Your Balance

A big part of running a Live Business is striking a good balance between having the right software and employing it effectively. Helping SAP users find that balance is why SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference happens every year.

Life is Good found its balance, which is clear when watching the company live out its mission “to spread the power of optimism.”

Life is Good co-founder John Jacobs described how the Boston-based clothing manufacturer uses SAP technology to help strike a balance between for-profit and non-profit activities, which helps realize the company’s mission “to spread the power of optimism.”

“We do that through our nonprofit: helping kids overcome violence, poverty and illness,” Life is Good co-founder John Jacobs said in an SAP video. “And on the for-profit side, we distribute a wide variety of products to people who live the ‘do what you like, like what you do’ lifestyle.”

Click here to register for SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference, which runs May 16 to 18 in Orlando. This story originally appeared on the SAP News Center. Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

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