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SAP, IoT, Machine learning, Co-Innovation, Startup Focus… What does connect all them and more? – SAP ISV partners.


SAP Labs CIS with support of CIS Market Unit SAP CIS ran Innovation Forum: SAP for ISV's (Independent Software Vendors) in Saint Petersburg on March 30 and 31, 2016. It was the first event of this kind in Russia and the second in the history in CIS. The first one was in Minsk in November, 2015.


Photo: Registration board for Forum attendees


The idea of the Forum is rather simple (we Run Simple, we do follow it in SAP Labs CIS). Our experience shows that IT-developers are not aware so well with entire menu we are ready to offer them for cooperation and co-innovation. There are real cases when startup, whom we initially offered to join Startup Focus program, finally started a project with Co-Innovation Lab, or, in contrary, spin-off of a large corporation joint Startup Focus. Neither can ISV's know all our options nor can we divine beforehand what option may suit a potential ISV partner the best way.  Moreover, our potential partners still need to see the advantages to cooperate with us in the area of co-innovation.


Therefore, we decided to let them better know our offering menu in order to have a conscious choice and vision of how they can move forward towards their commercial success with SAP.

Here in CIS, we have several regions and cities, which are best developed in terms of technologies and IT companies of different kind. Saint Petersburg is one of these cities; and so we continued there in Russia after our first experience in Minsk, Belarus.

We had a challenging task to demonstrate the audience both our deep insight and understanding of Global technological and business trends to convince them that we know where to go so that they agree to follow us, and capabilities of SAP technologies to bring an outstanding success and competitive advantage to ISV's using them in new reality. Finally, we had to give them a look into our co-innovation menu in a brief and interactive manner, so that we keep their interest around the entire event, so that our attendees do not slip or deep into their smartphones most of the time, excluding the lunch. And you may believe me, we did manage to win this challenge!


Photo: Innovation Forum: SAP for ISV's, Day 1


85 people from 64 IT companies as well as Press gathered in Solo Sokos Bridge Hotel in Vasilievsky Island of Saint Petersburg. It is not so many as in TechEd or SAPPHIRE, but they were just ISV's, most of who do not work with us at the moment, in just one city. They were attentive and active all day long.  And they had just a set of strong reasons for it.


Joachim von Goetz, Head of Co-Innovation Labs in both Americas, started the Forum with his brilliant key-note presentation on Digital Transformation towards Digital Economy, the way the World has already started and runs today with a very high speed. His performance, followed by Igor Pak, Head of COIL CIS, in his non-typical role of translator, was exciting and full of examples and even some experiments. He spoke about use of SAP technologies in IoT solutions for container logistics and car racing, about revolutionary transformation in helicopter design process, and about safety in mining, ensured by solutions built on HANA Cloud Platform. Even our colleagues who know the topic well mentioned that they found new and useful things for themselves. The audience was delighted and listened to Joachim with a great attention. Just look at the photos below to understand how nice did he look in a speaker role, and you will immediately understand the reaction.


Everybody knows that IT-developers are not trivial people. So, classical scenario may seem too boring for them in ISV Forum. This is why we came to a solution to have not one, but two key-note speeches. So, it might be a surprise for our audience when Inna Tokarev-Sela, Business Development Director – Innovation Center, Israel, followed Joachim with another exciting key-note presentation on use of SAP technological platform for Machine learning and IoT scenarios. And again, Inna was expiring in her speech, rich of real examples of solutions developed for retail, personalized medicine, sports, and others – all based on SAP technologies such as HCP, Fiori, and mobile platform. Computer creating poems and religious texts made an audience to wonder. Another forty five minutes passed as five ones.


Photo: Inna Tokarev-Sela, Innovation Center Israel, inspires IT developers in Saint Petersburg


As we know, there can't be a technical platform without ecosystem of ISV's who use this platform in their work. This Forum is just one small step in the process of constructing such ecosystem around SAP as technological vendor.  But who can convince IT-developers to use vendors technologies best of all? Exactly, another IT-developer, who can share his or her success story, can do it. We invited two SAP co-innovation partners.

First, SKB-Kontur, experienced COIL-partner, told their story of integration of their services with SAP digital document management systems. Andrey Gladkikh, Head of Integration Solutions at SKB-Kontur told about assistance they have got from COIL as well as about advantages of this kind of cooperation with SAP.


Photo: SKB-Kontur tells their success story as a COIL partner


VeeRoute is an award winning startup company from Saint Petersburg, developing a World-class last-mile-delivery solution. The startup was founded just a couple of years ago by former students from ITMO, some of them were World champions in programming. They just signed their agreement and are in a very beginning of their COIL-project. Nevertheless, they understand very well why they go into such project and how they will benefit. Mikhail Kudinov, Commercial Director at VeeRoute, was very concrete in emphasizing the advantages they get as COIL partner.


After the lunch we had a little challenge to immediately win the audience’s attention. So, Joachim demonstrated one more experiment of noise detection and measurement by a sensor, that transitions data to the Cloud, and we could immediately see the results on a screen through a computer.

When the attention was won, Viacheslav Gershov,  - Forum owner, initiator, compere, and one of the speakers, all in one (it's me, the author of this text, by the way), told about overall SAP approach to our work with ISV partners as well as about the ways we can cooperate to the benefit of their business: OEM, Cloud (with stress on HCP) as well as such support programs as Co-Innovation  Lab, Startup Focus program, and PartnerEdge Build, Innovation Center Network (ICN), Integration and Certification Center (ICC), University Alliance programs for students and Universities, introducing the colleagues from each of named departments and teams.


Photo: Viacheslav Gershov speaks on SAP approach to ISV

Photo: SAP approach to work with ISV


And after this… After this we have broken the standard presentation based scenario. Our experience shows that too many presentations are too boring and act like a lullaby. So, we divided into three groups and invited attendees to join any one they like, even all one-by-one, to better learn about the programs of their interest and interact with us in a direct manner. The plan was that guests speak with us and ask their questions based on their real needs and projects they do at the moment or want to start. And it has worked. We did really discuss a lot of projects and got contacts that may be converted into co-innovation. The only thing we should obviously do is to follow-up all these contacts.  I would like to say our special thanks to Evgeny Matveev, who has another scope of responsibilities today, but who came to support us and tell about OEM and PartnerEdge Build to ISV's, as there is no such person in our today's sales team at the moment and he is the only one who knows these options best of all.


Photo: Rustem Rymkulov (ICC) and Roman Gumenyuk (COIL CIS) discuss opportunities with Forum attendee


But it was one area with the most people interested to get there. It was an area, in which our colleagues Sergey Kuzin, solution architect for HCP and IoT at SAP CIS, Evgeny Simonovich, solution architect for Mobility and HCP, and Vasily Sukhanov, COIL expert and former core HANA developer, have been demonstrating some more capabilities of HANA Cloud Platform, using different sensors and even a drone connected to HCP, so that everybody could see its flight characteristics through a computer on the screen. The audience absolutely delighted and stayed in this area for a long time.


Photo: Evgeny Simonovich pilots a drone connected to HCP


It looked like a real triumph of our Forum and SAP technologies on March 30.


And we had a CodeJam session on the next day. Two colleagues from SAP Labs Bulgaria, members of a Global CodeJam pool, Vladimir Pavlov and Yordan Pavlov came especially to run this session on HCP to let IT-developers from ISV companies get their hands-on experience of working with our technological platform.


Photo: Vladimir Pavlov and Yordan Pavlov run a CodeJam session

But not only external IT developers were the target audience of this CodeJam. Several our colleagues have come there, some of them to learn HCP, and others just to train running CodeJam sessions themselves. And we are happy to announce that we have 8 qualified specialists in SAP Labs CIS able to run CodeJam sessions in Russia and over the Globe, four in Moscow and four in Saint Petersburg offices.

Let's congratulate them:

          Asribabayan, Grant

          Gracheva, Anna

          Gumenyuk, Roman

          Komratov, Anton

          Kovalenko, Nina

          Razhev, Nikita

          Sirotkin, Alexei

          Sukhanov, Vasily


I would like to say thank you to all colleagues and managers who has supported our Forum. Thank you to Andrej Bievetski for his sponsorship.

It was really International team working on it. We had on board colleagues from SAP Labs CIS (Moscow and Saint Petersburg), SAP CIS, SAP Labs Brasil (COIL Americas), Innovation Center Israel, SAP Labs Bulgaria, and Global CodeJam team. Thank you everybody who helped us this happen. And my great dream is that it will help us to get at least one or two, or, better, more excellent co-innovation partners, who will develop their own wonderful solutions to make our common customers more satisfied, and who will sell SAP technologies on their own with minimal support from our side.


Thank you for reading this till these words. I do appreciate it a lot. Be aware of SAP Labs CIS contribution into overall success of SAP SE. Join us, collaborate with us; we guarantee that it will be interesting.


Viacheslav Gershov,

SAP Labs CIS business development at Labs MD office