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While Irfan Khan’s keynote on the first full day of SAP TechEd in Las Vegas didn’t have any pyrotechnics similar to Björn Goerke the night before, it was just as dazzling with the spotlight on customers and their unfolding digital journeys. Khan, who is General Manager and Global head of SAP Database & Data Management, said he was intent on “keeping it real. We’re putting on stage three customers demonstrating how their digital journey has unfolded. It’s about how to become faster, simpler and smarter in the context of the business journey.”

Khan explained how SAP HANA in-memory technology has provoked industry-wide disruption, initially simplifying IT architecture, and now featuring a host of new capabilities including the recently announced SAP BW/4HANA and SAP HANA, Express Edition. He invited three SAP customers on stage to share their respective stories.  Here are some excerpts from their conversations. You can also watch my VIDEO interview with Khan, as well as all three of these customers.

Lenovo saves $50M in transition costs

Brian Connors, Vice President of Strategic Technologies at Lenovo, said his company has a special relationship with SAP, not only selling and innovating SAP solutions but also as a huge user of its solutions. Faced with having to integrate acquisitions, Connors detailed how Lenovo is working with SAP to create tremendous opportunities as well as reduce complexity using SAP HANA. The company is focused on real time smart data integration

“We had to optimize our supply chain, expand manufacturing capability, and have real time cost reporting so we understand where things are,” said Connors. “We’ve improved data reporting time by 45 times, and we are a lot closer to how we manage supply chain with customers. With integrated, multiple manufacturing facilities we have broader, more predictable capabilities, and can configure products and ship them directly to customers. Our transformative journey has saved the company $50M in transition costs.”

Epsilon gets closer to customer data for insights and action

Steven Bernstein, Senior Vice President of Digital at Epsilon, explained how his company is innovating with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, powering agility using real-time data to help their clients get closer to customers. Epsilon is upending traditional data analytics with new models that more people can access for faster, better decisions.

“We’re allowing our customers to get closer to the data than ever before,” said Bernstein. “That frees up their time. Something that took weeks now takes minutes. We can integrate processes from a marketing perspective. Overall, we’re reducing speed to action and this excites our customers.”

Noble Corporation discovers amazing possibilities

Mary Mclemore, IT Manager of Analytics at Noble Corporation, talked about the value of having a proof of concept to help implement SAP BW 4/HANA. Mclemore said the use cases opened everyone’s eyes to the possibilities, especially in a data-sensitive industry.

“We realized that developers could do things quicker and easier, and we wouldn’t have questions about why it takes so long to get a report out,” she said. “We also were able to understand from the trend [capabilities] that we no longer have to store all that data. With SAP BW 4/HANA, we could do trend on the fly, and get a snapshot at any time. It was amazing to see the possibilities. We have huge opportunity to access data for monetization.”

Visit SAP TechEd to watch Khan’s complete keynote replay, which includes a video from SAP customer ConAgra.

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Related content:

VIDEO: Watch Irfan Khan’s Keynote Replay at SAP TechEd Las Vegas

VIDEO: SAP’s Björn Goerke Transports TechEd Las Vegas Audience “Back to the Future”

VIDEO: Watch all the SAP TechEd Las Vegas Online Replays