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Professional Services & Construction was one of four Forums kicked off on day one of SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando, and the scene was effectively set by Eric van Rossum, Vice President and Head of Industry Business Unit Professional Services at SAP, as he took the Forum Keynote stage. Eric identified several trends at play in today’s professional services market.

Talented resources are becoming scarce, and professional organizations have trouble attracting and retaining the best talent. He also cited the unstoppable nature of globalization of projects and services. Eric was absolutely clear in his message to the audience: “The people element needs to be central. “The key to driving value profitably is having the right, trained people.”

John Irvin, Senior Manager of Deloitte’s Analytics and Reporting Studio, was on hand to speak about the new Contact and Influence Finder application his team has developed on SAP HANA. He used the example of a pursuit leader or business development manager looking for points of contact that might exist at Deloitte which could be turned into a potential client opportunity. In this scenario, there might be alumni from Deloitte now working at the client that could provide perspectives on a opportunity. And there might even be Deloitte personnel who previously worked for the client.

It’s only critical to get such data, but to get it fast. Deloitte’s HANA-based solution effectively solves this problem by enabling a comprehensive view of Deloitte’s contacts with a client and delivering performance searching and aggregating of over 120 million rows of data from a variety of different source systems.

Scott Fife, Director of Global HR Systems with CSC, was next on the roster. He painted a vivid picture of the transformation he was leading to enable the talent supply chain within his 90,000+ strong organization. CSC needed to evolve from what he described as “spaghetti code, from a systems standpoint” to establishing a common performance management solution. And this they did, with a solution based on SuccessFactors.

Jonathan Rhodes, Solution Manager of SAP’s Industry Business Unit for Professional Services, took the stage towards the end of the keynote to demo a new solution being introduced at SAPPHIRE NOW: SAP Commercial Project Management. In this short video from SAPPHIRE NOW Madrid in November 2012, Jonathan did a quick demo of the solution, which he calls “a very flexible and highly configurable central point of unification”.

Eric closed with a strong message to customers that the next generation business platform for the Professional Services industry is here today: SAP for Professional Services solution is powered by SAP HANA.