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This year’s SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando was centered on how to enable digital business strategy, how to get most out of technology investment and how to rapidly migrate to S/4HANA at low costs and low risks. The S/4HANA Value Assurance Service Package and the SAP S/4HANA Transition Brochure cater to those needs.

Here are the key takeaways from the event from a chemicals perspective:

The Conference kicked off with a Chemicals Pre-Conference Day. Keith Sturgill of Eastman Chemical shared his perspective on Digital Transformation and how Eastman and others started embracing the advancements being put forth by technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and how they are seizing opportunities that are rapidly emerging from an industry that is rapidly digitizing. According to Keith "it’s not about technology, it’s about business value - technology is just there to support!"
Invista explained how their project team managed through one of the biggest program risks in their transformational journey. Data translation and governance tools are not enough. You need a holistic approach, detailed vetting process, focused cut over activities and a post go-live strategy.
Huntsman enhanced
its SAP Cloud for Customer solution through a new pricing portal for their sales representatives to create SAP pricing records based on the information available in the Cloud 4 Customer and ECC system.
SAP and OSIsoft elaborated on how they worked together to integrate the OSIsoft PI System with SAP’s in-memory database HANA. Chemical use cases where operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) come together and provide new analytical and predictive capabilities were presented and discussed.
Finally Chemours shared the lessons learned about its Performance Chemical Divesture and the strategy taken on Data Extraction/Data Migration/Validation and Data Archiving, moving from multiple SAP environment’s to a new single SAP instance.

Eastman's pilot of the Digital Boardroom of the Future attracted a lot of attention. As Eastman embarks on a digital transformation journey, it expects to be leveraging SAP S/4HANA in the coming years and is currently undergoing a Proof of Concept (POC) with the SAP Digital Boardroom to provide real-time insight into how this technology would significantly impact teams across the organization. The SAP Digital Boardroom POC is allowing Eastman to view a complete strategy into how to realize expectations of stakeholders and grow to meet the needs of its customers. It expects to have increased insight into real time data and make quick decisions based on “what-if scenarios.”

Another highlight was an ENR panel which discussed reinvention of business with Digital Technology, moderated by SAP's Peter Maier and featuring Gary Hayes from CenterPoint Energy, Mike Orr from Murphy Oil, and Michael Stoko from DuPont. Mike Orr said the challenges in O&G are an opportunity to look at technology advancements. "With real-time information, we only fix the wells that are most profitable." Mike Stoko said outcome-based collaboration with their customers has changed the game from how they designed products just a few years ago.  "There are 570 million farms around the world and 500 million are family-owned. To help improve yield, you need weather data soil data, etc., combined with value-added services to improve their bottom line".  Gary Hayes said the electric grid today is becoming the industrial Internet. "When you get an app on your phone, it doesn't always work the way you want.  As industry lines blur, we are more willing to accept commonality". Peter Maier summed up by emphasizing the importance of the digital core to these reimagined business processes. Watch the Replay of this Panel.

As an example of a reimagined business process, the Digitized Order to Delivery for Chemicals demo was well received in two demo sessions that filled the demo theater with customers interested in seeing how integrated SAP solutions could automate and optimize the order to cash process. The demo was also in high demand at the Chemicals booth in the Industries Campus.

Growing in a ‘zero-growth’ market has forced the chemicals industry into a flurry of Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures.  In the past 6 months, five $10Billion+ deals will change the chemicals landscape over the next decade – Dow-Dupont, Air Liquide-Airgas, ChemChina-Syngenta, SherwinWilliams-Valspar, and now Bayer-Monsanto.  The total M&A transacted value is expected to exceed the 2011 record of $150Billion.  The challenge with these mergers and acquisitions is to realize value and synergy that has been committed to the investors, and IT now plays a critical role. Overall SAP with its Digital Framework and Service Portfolio seems to be well positioned to provide the right platform as strategic enabler for such activities. Learn how DuPont used a "Data in Hub" concept to harmonize their data and prepare forthe Dow-Dupont merger as well as for the Digital Economy.

Share your thoughts and ideas from this year's Sapphire with us to ensure that also in future we'll make this a best in class event for the entire SAP ecosystem!

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