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Recap of SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference 2018

23-04-2021 10min read

Well as you may know by now, this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference marked the relaunch of our new company – Serrala!

The former Hanse Orga Group, including SymQ, Soplex, Tembit and Cogon, as well as Dolphin and e5 solutions rolled out our new combined name and image in a big launch at SAPPHIRE: Serrala. The new Serrala team is excited to tell you all about the new company and share the good news. To learn more about Serrala and the new company visit contact us at contact@serrala.com.

But enough about us….while at SAPPHIRE, there were many new and exciting things we learned while at the event. 

Definitely one recurring theme was the need to innovate and differentiate in a fast moving business environment. As Bill McDermott, SAP CEO said in his keynote “Things have never moved this fast before, but they are never going to move this slow again.” Luckily there were lots of new ideas on how companies which run SAP, which Bill called “the best run companies in the world” can stay ahead of the competition and get business done. 

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intelligent enterprise screenshot from keynote

SAP Introduces SAP C/4HANA, the SAP Data Management Suite, & the Intelligent Enterprise

As part of his keynote, Bill McDermott introduced two new products: SAP C/4HANA and SAP Data Management Suite.

SAP C/4HANA is a Cloud-based, next generation CRM solution. C/4HANA combines the capabilities of Hybris and the other CRM solutions recently acquired by SAP into a new solution that will enable businesses to achieve a 360 view of the individual and connect the entire supply chain to the customer experience. And it will do all this while protecting the privacy and security of an individual’s data. As Alex Atzberger, president, SAP Customer Experience stated, customers want a great experience but “customers are done with creepy”. According to Bill, maintaining a positive customer experience is essential to future success, because “a 5% improvement in customer retention is equal to a 95% improvement in profits.” Based on this presentation it seems as though SAP is focused on helping companies better manage the beating heart of the business – the people who are your customers, suppliers and employees.

The important role that data management will play in supporting SAP solutions such as SAP C/4HANA was not overlooked, as Bill brought up how he had recently received several notices about GDPR and data privacy lately. Many in the audience acknowledged that they had as well. The SAP Data Management Suite is an integrated suite of data management solutions that supports the intelligent solutions available with SAP systems. The suite will enable businesses to reduce the complexity of ensuring enterprise applications and analytics are using only secure, governed information. We look forward to learning more about this solution suite for handling SAP customers’ rapidly growing data resources.

On Day 2, Hasso Platner discussed the evolution of the Intelligent Enterprise in his keynote. The SAP co-founder said In his typical low key style, said “Even toasters will become intelligent…. but the intelligent enterprise is more than a marketing buzzword …”. Hasso and his team, which included Björn Goerke  Franck Cohen, Markus Noga, Jeurgen Mueller, and Mala Anand discussed how the combination of SAP HANA along with SAP Cloud Platform, Machine Learning, Intelligent ERP applications, and Leonardo can help businesses achieve the real-time, data-driven decision making necessary to power the Intelligent Enterprise.

Our Customers Exclaim that Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable are “Kinda Cool”

Amidst all the educational sessions that were presented in the ASUG forum, we at Serrala were thrilled to have two customers who were able to present at the event.

City of Edmonton on Accounts Payable Automation

Lisa Pichette of the City of Edmonton presented on the City’s Accounts Payable solution. She described how important it is for the City to have a modern, automated solution that enables them to pay the millions of invoices they receive each year. As part of the public sector, maintaining a positive customer experience for suppliers is essential, especially because that list includes the more than 1,000,000 citizens of the Edmonton metropolitan area who receive reimbursements for swimming lessons, taxes and more through the AP department. Another advantage of the City’s digitized solution is that it has helped the AP team respond quickly to the Freedom of Information requests that are common in the public sector. Responding to these requests, used to take staff many hours as they searched through archives for physical documents. This process now takes minutes. The staff has easy access to the complete invoice history for any supplier and can quickly extract reports and supporting documents with the click of a button. As Lisa said “When you think about it AP is kind of cool!” The crowd as the show definitely agreed!

DowDupont on Global Cash Application

David Brasseur of DowDupont presented on the company’s automated Cash Application solution, which they’ve been running successfully on a single global instance since 2014. Since implementing the solution, FS2 AutoBank, the company has been able to achieve an almost 70% automated cash application rate, which is impressive considering the breadth of their global customer base and product catalog. The team finds the solution very easy to use. David discussed how it is easy for him and his colleagues to set up and maintain regional and customer specific posting rules very quickly – without IT support. The efficiencies from the solution aren’t simply restricted to Accounts Receivable team. The real-time information on inbound cash makes it easy for the AR team to provide information on cash flows for corporate cash forecasting. Other teams including FinStat Accounting, Accounts Payable and Treasury are also leveraging the inbound cash information as well. Certainly the people in attendance were nodding in agreement when he recounted how pleased the AR team is that they have an automated solution that has eliminated much of the manual work related to applying cash. The solution has not only made for happier customers, who know their payments will be applied quickly so they can keep their accounts balanced and credit lines open, it also makes for a happier AR team! We at Serrala think that’s pretty cool too.

 

Our Executives Speak on Trends in Treasury and Blockchain

Serrala executives, Ingo Czok, Jaime Ryan, and Jochen Stiebe were also at the event speaking in various sessions. Jaime and Jochen presented the latest innovations in the SAP Treasury Resource Management solutions, emphasizing how SAP customers can maximize the value of what they already have available in their SAP landscape. According to Jaime “There’s no need to use other treasury systems such as FiREapps to do currency risk management solutions and FX risk management. You already have everything you need right in your SAP system!”

In his presentation on Payments X.0? Ingo Czok discussed how Blockchain and Crypto Currencies are a major paradigm shift for payments and that using them with the proper trust protocol in place will enable new digital processes. To sum it up – Ingo said “We might see the Blockchain used in many unspectacular ways, because it is just plain useful”. We look forward to hearing more real world stories about using blockchain in industries as more SAP customers adopt this exciting new technology.

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Christoph Dubies presenting keynote

Serrala Announces the Results of the Future of Finance Survey

On the last day of the show, Christoph Dubies, Chief Strategy Officer presented the results of our survey on the Future of Finance to a packed crowd. As part of the survey, we asked finance leaders across the world about the most pressing challenges facing their departments today and in the future.

The survey results highlighted the uphill battle leaders are facing as they push to drive adoption of automated solutions in their financial functions. Improving productivity and lowering costs are tied as the primary driving forces behind automating financial functions, but a whopping 71% of respondents say their financial processes are only somewhat automated – leaving a huge amount of efficiency (and savings) yet to be realized.

Christoph discussed how integrated solutions that leverage Cloud, intelligent robotic automation, and new concepts like blockchain can deliver greater value to organizations now and in the future.

You can view our infographic summarizing of the Future of Finance survey results here.

 

Summary

With more than 22,000 people in attendance at the 2018 SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual conference, we were able to get out the message that our new company, Serrala, is ready to help bring clarity to complexity for SAP customers. We look forward to the opportunity to meet more people this year as we continue to spread the word about how Serrala and our integrated process solutions that help our customers manage the universe of payments. We also look forward to seeing you again in Orlando in May 2019!

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