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If you thought blockchain’s major strength was in its ability to make business more efficient and effective, you’d be missing out on its biggest potential, namely how it revolutionizes co-innovation. This is what Torsten Zube, Head of Blockchain at SAP (at right), told me when I called him for a snapshot of what people can expect to learn about blockchain at SAPPHIRE NOW 2018, being held June 5-7 in Orlando.

“Blockchain is not only about technology. Blockchain opens a new world of co-innovation that’s completely aligned to both the intelligent enterprise and network-driven ecosystems,” he said. “It’s actually becoming the starting point for early discussions about what we can change, and how we can work differently together. Blockchain delivers security, transparency and protection for everyone’s differentiating information, allowing organizations to co-innovate in entirely new ways for value-add to the business.”

Collaboration first, technology second

Zube sees a new collaborative network emerging. Motivated by blockchain, along with IoT and machine learning, companies can share data, and define and explore new business processes.

“Companies, and even competitors, meet and collaborate much earlier to figure out together what the next business model looks like. Technology comes second,” said Zube. “Ecosystems are changing from point-to-point interactions to a network of business objects which provide more flexibility across the supply chain. This dramatically opens possibilities for various parties that have common interests such as the problems they want to solve, and opportunities they should pursue. Blockchain is the ultimate trust engine, motivating people to overcome historical mindset barriers and share data for co-innovation.”

Participants at SAPPHIRE NOW will learn how SAP is co-innovating to bring blockchain into the company’s intelligent enterprise strategy. Even so, Zube cautioned against looking at blockchain as “new” and everything before it as “old.”

“We are looking at current processes and together with our customers, finding the best way to evolve their current SAP applications integrating innovations like blockchain, machine learning and IoT so they can build solutions that add value and new business models using the SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Leonardo,” he said.

Watch blockchain demos

Zube was most excited because SAPPHIRE NOW will feature numerous blockchain lighthouse projects SAP has recently co-innovated with customers and partners, the product of lessons learned using real-world business processes. By no means exhaustive, here’s a list of what’s in the spotlight during industry-specific demos using blockchain capabilities to:

  • prevent sophisticated hacking attacks on suppliers and treasuries

  • save patient lives by tracking pharmaceuticals through chain of custody for timely product recalls

  • improve community lifestyles with people-first building management services

  • track and trade renewable energy certificates between utilities, businesses and consumers

  • improve food safety and reduce waste across the farm-to-consumer supply chain

  • thwart mobile device thieves

  • future-proof finance by preventing fraud, improving compliance, and streamlining global payments and cash flow

Talk with experts

Attendees can rub shoulders with others interested in exploring the impact and potential of blockchain technology at an exclusive blockchain meet-up. The agenda also includes a slew of insightful theatre presentations, roundtable conversations and interactive sessions such as:

  • How SAP Leonardo Blockchain enables trust and transparency in business networks

  • Develop Your Digital Supply Chain of One Through Technology Innovation

  • Understand and Explore the Impact of Blockchain

  • Is It a Journal or a Ledger? A Practical Guide to Blockchain

Analysts at Gartner research predicted that innovative blockchain initiatives will generate $3.1 trillion in value by 2030. Learn how to capture your share of this incredible opportunity at SAPPHIRE NOW 2018.

Follow me @smgaler

Related content:

The Best Place to Have Candid Conversations with SAP Customers: SAPPHIRE NOW 2018

SAPPHIRE NOW 2018 Preview: How to Become an Intelligent Enterprise with Machine Learning

This blog was originally posted on the SAP News Center