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As we all take our usual review of the past year, we come to realize yet again that this one was spectacularly eventful in every way. January and February were spent hitting the ground running with all the momentum that a new year offers – customers meetings, travel, account planning sessions, go to market planning, event organizing… But by March it had all come to a screeching halt and we were left waiting it out. We had a brief respite during the summer only to be smacked in the face with it again this fall at 4 times the level that it was in the spring. Do we even dare to make plans for 2021 when every day brings new changes that we have to adapt to?

It’s easy to fall into the negativity of all that 2020 represents. But let me take you on a journey of all the good that has come out of it too:

SAP’s COVID response – SAP responded to the pandemic by providing a swath of offers to help our customers adapt quickly to the new situation. There was not one industry that was not impacted by COVID19 and we were able to provide swift, sometimes even free support to our chemical customers.

We adapted to new home office situation by producing virtual content for our customers.  We were able to produce a virtual Sapphire as well as a virtual Chemicals Conference together with ASUG. We were able to expand our reach and offer this free conference to interested customers worldwide. The feedback was very positive.  We shifted our customer meetings to Zoom and MS Teams and communicated more virtually with a series of  videos for the chemical industry. We have also decided to stay with the virtual format for our upcoming 2021 International Chemicals Conference – originally planned to be located in beautiful Madrid, we will now offer a compelling online agenda for April 27-29, 2021.

No doubt another silver lining of the pandemic is the effect that stay at home orders have had on the environment. Global CO2 emissions have been reduced by almost 7%  in 2020.  Nearly one year ago our CEO Christian Klein spoke about SAP’s commitment to sustainability both as an exemplar and an enabler for our customers.  We have made great strides this year towards this vision and are gearing up to see real change in 2021. One such solution is our Product Carbon Footprint Analysis, which went live this summer at Döhler. We expect carbon analysis and reporting to be an important topic for our chemical customers moving forward. For more information visit our SAP Community page for Climate 21.

As chemical companies continue to adapt and learn in this new normal we would in closing like to review one of our most popular content pieces this year: The Digital Chemical Industry Unlocking New Business Value with Intelligent Technology. As we move towards a hopefully less disruptive 2021, this document ca serve as a guide to reaching new potential across the value chain in this every changing world we share with each other.

With that I wish you all relaxing, safe and healthy holidays and I look forward to connecting again in the new year.


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