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It has been two weeks now since we heard the latest on SAP technology and current trends in IT at SAPPHIRE NOW from Madrid. While there is always a vast amount of great information to digest, there is typically also a key message that stays in your head after these events. So what was your major takeaway from Madrid?

For me, it was all about the opportunity that comes with change and how it can be managed through innovation. In their opening keynote, SAP Co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe stressed the fact that the power is shifting from enterprises to consumers. And they gave a number of examples on how technology can help companies react to that change. For instance by creating a totally new customer experience.

Hearing about the opportunities of innovation is one thing though. I think the best indicator for the actual impact that technology is having on an industry are the stories that we hear from companies that have embarked on their journey with SAP. I therefore really enjoyed listening to the many customer examples that Bill shared in Madrid, as they clearly underlined the overall message (check out this blog post from Timo Elliott to learn more about those customers).

Astim.clark rightfully said in an earlier blog post about the The Evolution Of SAP Business Trends, the glue that is holding it all together are the potential business benefits of SAP’s products, strategies and solutions. So I thought I would start contributing some "glue" to this community by sharing a number of stories that also resonate well with Bill´s and Jim´s message from Madrid.

Looking at the the names below - what do a US university, a US food company, a Bank in South Africa, a Retailer in Russia and a Biscuit producer in Sri Lanka have in common? They all made bold decisions to stay ahead of change. By transforming their business they have achieved quantifiable benefits that will enable future growth and ultimately help them create a new experience for their customers:

University of Kentucky: Continuing a Tradition of Success with a Real-time Data Platform 

From championship basketball to nationally ranked programs in public affairs and healthcare, the University of Kentucky has a strong winning tradition. Faculty and staff work together to ensure a successful experience for every student. Today, the university uses advanced analytics based on the SAP HANA platform to help it retain and graduate a student body of 28,000. “A query that once took 20 minutes now executes in only seconds with SAP HANA". Read the full story

Listen to Vincent Kellen, CIO at University of Kentucky, discussing their project at SAPPHIRE NOW.

ConAgra Foods enters the world of in-memory computing and accelerates transfer of material ledger data by 92.9 %

ConAgra Foods, maker of leading brands such as Hunt’s tomatoes, Healthy Choice meals, and Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, puts heavy demands on its finance team. In order to streamline processes involving vast amounts of data, it entered the world of in-memory computing, opting to start small using rapid-deployment solutions from SAP with the SAP HANA® platform. Read the full story

2012 SAP EMEA Quality Award Winner Standard Bank Opens 7,000 New Accounts per day by using Mobile Technology

How can a responsible financial institution help combat poverty in South Africa, while improving its bottom line? Standard Bank Group Ltd. built innovative mobile apps to bring financial management technologies to potentially 10 million new people. With that, the bank dramatically expanded its customer base and reduced origination costs. Read the full story

Watch their video on YouTube:

MEVI-RUS: Building Transparency and Flexibility to Support Business Growth

A growing business requires a flexible solution to meet the challenge of expanding business operations. The SAP ERP application satisfies this requirement for MEVI-RUS CJSC, helping this producer of leather goods to make purchasing and sales processes more transparent, significantly reduce nonproductive losses, decrease service time, and increase its number of customers.  Read the full story

Ceylon Biscuits Limited: Expanding to Make the World a Sweeter Place

What started as a humanitarian program to make high-protein biscuits for Sri Lanka´s school children has become one of the country´s fastest growing producers of tasty treats. But Ceylon Biscuits Limited needed a unified IT system that could keep up with growth. With the SAP ERP application, the company can now boost a 100% order fulfillment rate, which means more biscuits for everyone!  Read the full story