Fighting Fraud with SAP

SAP recently announced its new Fraud Management tool, an analytics application designed to help users improve fraud scenario analysis and adapt to changing fraud patterns. By using this to execute complex analytics on big data sets, using in-memory computing and other advanced processing techniques, the tool is designed to help SAP users better prevent fraud .

Currently in “controlled” (limited) release, the final version is expected to come in three initial flavours of Fraud Management: an insurance claims fraud offering, another designed for use in the public sector and a cross-industry application (for use in, for instance, the purchasing function). It’s certainly true that fraud is a pervasive risk in businesses:  according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the typical organisation is at risk of losing up to five per cent of its revenues to fraud. If that figure sounds surprising, it’s even more so to hear that that this translated to a total global fraud loss of more than $3.5 trillion in 2011. While not all of this fraud may be addressable, it’s clear that the cost of fraud can add up for businesses in many sectors.

Here at the User Group we await to hear more about the product ahead of its final release later in the year.  If you are an SAP user wanting to find out about the latest product updates network with your peers, please check out our current calendar of webinars and SIGS taking place throughout 2013.

Going Mobile

At Mobile World Congress last month in Barcelona, SAP made a number of announcements concerning mobility.  Here is a roundup of some of the notable ones:

SAP announced the launch of its new Mobile Documents app, an enterprise-level app which gives users a single point of access to files and file-sharing capability from any mobile device. When combined with SAP Afaria for mobile device management, it promises to provide businesses with a complete system for securing mobile devices, apps and content.

In addition, SAP also announced a new partnership with Ericsson, which aims to jointly market and sell their cloud-based, Machine to Machine (M2M) solutions and services to enterprises through operators. The aim is to help enhance enterprise efficiency in business processes such as maintenance, remote service, inventory, logistics and road transport management, vending and customer experience management. Clare McCarthy at Ovum noted that, “The solution already has endorsements from Telenor and 3UK, so it is clearly fulfilling a market need.”

SAP even went as far integrating its take on Near Field Communications (NFC) technology into a vending machine to show how users can purchase soft drinks with NFC-compliant devices. Indeed it seems like we have only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes what we can do with mobile applications!

Mobility will again be a big topic at this year’s User Group Conference, so make sure you sign up to take advantage of the current early bird offers.

No need to be disappointed that Sapphire Now is cancelled

We recently heard the news that Sapphire Now 2013 is being cancelled in Europe. It’s a shame that SAP has decided not to host its annual event, as many users have found it a good forum to hear the latest from SAP senior management. However SAP did instead announce a ‘renewed focus on dedicated customer-centric events’ for its 2013 strategy, alongside plans to expand its SAP Forum events in order to compensate for the loss of Sapphire. Hopefully we’ll hear more about these soon.  However, the good news for UK&I User Group members is that we have SAP’s co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe confirmed as a keynote speaker at our User Conference in Birmingham this November.  

It looks like this is going to be the biggest year yet for the conference as we move to the ICC for the first time. We’ll be providing users in the UK and Ireland with the opportunity to hear from SAP’s experts and its partners on the latest innovations, with over 70 breakout sessions on a wide range of topics. At the same time, users will have the chance to network with peers and speak to them regarding how they are using SAP technology. Remember there are some cracking early bird deals at the moment, only available if you book early, saving up to £300 per person.

For more information about the SAP User Group conference, click here.

SAP Co-CEO to Keynote at 25th Anniversary User Group Conference

We are delighted to announce that Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP Co-CEO has agreed to present a Keynote at our 25th Anniversary Conference.

Jim Hagemann Snabe, Co-CEO

 

Jim Hagemann Snabe was appointed co-CEO of SAP alongside Bill McDermott in February 2010. In this capacity, and as a member of the SAP Executive Board and Global Managing Board, Jim Hagemann Snabe focuses on developing and executing SAP’s strategy, together with Bill McDermott. The co-CEOs strengthen relationships with customers and partners, drive SAP’s innovation portfolio across all markets, and ensure operational excellence across the company.

Jim Hagemann Snabe joined SAP in 1990 and has been a member of the SAP Executive Board since July 2008. Since 1990, he has held various management roles in consulting, sales, and development. Beginning as a consultant with SAP Denmark, he quickly went on to lead the local consulting practice. Jim Hagemann Snabe briefly moved to IBM Denmark in 1994 and rejoined SAP in 1996 as managing director (MD) of SAP Sweden, successfully developing this market over the following three years. He was then appointed MD of the SAP Nordic region, and became a member of the SAP EMEA management team.

In 2002, Jim Hagemann Snabe was asked to join the company’s global development unit to bring product development efforts closer to the market. As senior vice president and chief operations officer of SAP’s business solution group, he was responsible for the design and creation of the flagship enterprise resource planning software, SAP ERP, as well as SAP solutions for financial and public services industries. Later, Jim Hagemann Snabe led SAP’s industry business unit and was responsible for creating industry-specific solutions for more than 24 industry segments. In 2006, Jim Hagemann Snabe was appointed corporate officer of SAP AG, and subsequently was named a member of the Executive Council.

Jim Hagemann Snabe’s views about the role which leaders and IT need to play in creating sustainable growth and responsible business strategies has been strongly shaped by his commitment to environmental and humanitarian issues. His management style is influenced by his interest in classical music, and inspired by leaders like the famous conductor Benjamin Zanders. Long distance running keeps him fit in body and mind, as a way to clear his thoughts and allow new ideas to form.

He is a member of the board of directors of Bang & Olufsen Holding A/S in Denmark – a globally recognized company for high end technology and outstanding design.

Snabe received a master’s degree in operational research from the Aarhus School of Business in Denmark. He lives with his family in Copenhagen, Denmark.

As the world’s leading provider of business software, SAP is an over €64 billion company with more than €14 billion in revenue in 2011. SAP’s more than 55,000 employees and its vast ecosystem enable more than 190,000 customers of all sizes in more than 24 industries and 120 countries worldwide. SAP AG is headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, where Snabe is based.

Business Suite on HANA : What does it mean?

SAP started off the New Year with a bang with a notable announcement around the launch of a new version of its Business Suite that allows database reporting via HANA. The reported goal is to help enterprises businesses to run in real-time on a single in-memory platform and instantly complete transactions, analyse and forecast data.

This announcement has been greeted warmly by most industry experts.  Ray Wang from Constellation Research commented: “The analytics and crunching capabilities is what’s driving organisations to seek faster speed.  Speed is the difference between a five day drug recall and a five minute drug recall.  Speed is the difference between a 30 day supply chain plan versus the ability to reroute 2 iPhones to your store in 30 seconds.  The impact is huge for customers if SAP does succeed. Given SAP’s market share, this is a big deal as this reduces the need for separate business intelligence systems.  The performance difference will create a huge competitive advantage for those who adopt versus those who do not.”

CBR offered the analyst perspective, noting that Ovum described the news as “a potential game changer” by making SAP much more relevant to its customers, but noted that it will be crucial for SAP to avoid confusing the marketplace as it has evolved from a database to an analytics platform to simply a “platform”.

Ovum went on to argue that a further challenge will be convincing customers that the “transformative” benefits of Suite on HANA will be non-disruptive technically. Computer Weekly  reiterated that while the benefits of the SAP Business Suite on HANA are clear, convincing customers that these benefits will deliver more than incremental innovation is where the challenge lies. This is particularly true given that intensive people and technology training to identify the patterns and algorithms required to serve up insight on demand will be needed in order to
realize the full benefits.

From the perspective of the User Group, it’s great to see that SAP listened to the feedback we provided as part of SUGEN and regarding the pricing of HANA on Business Suite and incorporated it into its pricing strategy. We’ve been used to paying for databases in a certain way, so it’s great to see that SAP providing similar licensing options. In terms of the solution itself, it looks great. In the first instance we’d expect those organisations that have a real need for speed to look at migrating. We’re sure new customers will also welcome the news as it simply gives them more database options.

2012: A year in review

2012 was another busy year for SAP with further acquisition activity and a number of new product updates being brought to market.  So here is a brief look back at some of the key goings on in the world of SAP over the last 12 months.

In February, SAP’s offer for SuccessFactors was accepted in full. This undoubtedly raised the company’s cloud credentials, but as our recent member survey revealed many users still aren’t clear how the acquisition will benefit their business.

In March SAP unveiled a partnership with Samsung to make its Android devices safer to use as corporate tools.  At the same time the company also announced updates to its Afaria mobile systems management tool – good news for customers who are becoming increasingly mobile.

April saw SAP celebrate its 40th birthday.  What began as a five-man operation is now one of the world’s largest independent software providers!

June saw SAP announcing its intention to buy cloud-based B2B trading network, Ariba.  The acquisition stands to vastly extend SAP’s network of integratable supplier systems, but also complement the company’s cloud strategy. In 2013 we wait to see what this really means for end-users.

In July, SAP announced a stronger-than-expected rise in profits driven by a rise in software sales, with the growing customer demand for cloud solutions being cited as a big reason for this success.

October saw the User Group release the results of our member survey on licensing, which showed a staggering 95% of SAP users believe that the company’s software licensing policy is overly complicated. In 2013 we will  continue to engage with SAP on what is a challenging topic for all concerned

And finally, November brought about the 2012 UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference. Taking place in Manchester, licensing, mobility and the cloud were some of the big themes covered over the course of the 2 ½ day event. The conference was a great success, and we are already looking forwards to this year’s event in Birmingham.

We are only a couple of weeks into 2013 and it is already looking like it will be another busy 12 months for all things SAP. In addition, this year also sees the 25th anniversary of the UK & Ireland User Group J

Here is to a successful and prosperous 2013!

It’s cold out there

Happy New year everyone!

As I sit here preparing for falling temperatures and the associated winter weather across the UK and Ireland, I’m reflecting on how this weather reflects our current challenges. It is definitely frosty out there – some massive economic challenges that show little sign of thawing at the moment. It’s going to be a year of further value chasing and value creation for everyone, irrespective of the nature of your organisations.

SAP last week have announced that Business Suite is available on HANA opening up some areas that are worthy of chasing. SAP have been offering Databases for some time, but in my view, never before one that has the potential to change the landscape so markedly. It changes the structure of your solution by offering embedded analytics, throwing into question things like how you use BI functionality and the future of batch jobs – now it is feasible to process the full end to end as it happens – repeatedly. Then there is the question of your database – it’s not the one that you have been using for years, but it is so much quicker and also so much smaller. This brings you to the question of your hardware – which will now different and working in a different way. Oh, and you could also do this in the cloud if you wished. So literally SAP solutions are all change with this announcement, and as a consequence your forward landscape could be all change as well. More importantly your business could be all change as well. Doings things you simply couldn’t before. Don’t underestimate the impact that this could have. Investigate it. And understand.

But change like this needs time and effort, which as we all know is focused on the business at hand, so the real question is likely to be who is brave enough and bold enough to see what these winds of change can bring to the party? My answer to that is people who are close to SAP’s vision of the future. Working with the User Group gives you that advantage – don’t waste it.

I also have a message to SAP – life is very frosty at the moment – you only have to read the press at the moment, and businesses need space to reinvent themselves. With the pricing formula that has been suggested for HANA it goes some of the way to helping – so thank you for listening to the combined User Groups of SUGEN, and those involved in the charters. But it doesn’t stop there – we have talked about some other of the licencing challenges – SAP’s estate is so complicated, with the devil in the detail which leads so often to ill-informed commercial decisions standing in the way of value creation. And value creation is what everyone needs at the moment to allow all of us to break the cycle of contraction, and use that value creation to create a growth cycle. So to contraction. Many of our user group member organisations know only too well about this at the moment, and it has a negative impact on their value creation capabilities when the millstone of unused licences and associated maintenance costs hangs heavy around them. This positioning is driving organisations in a direction that will not help to promote growth, other than in areas that will ultimately remove the possibility of growth through taking advantage of things like Business Suite on HANA off the agenda. SAP, think very carefully about this conundrum, just as many of our User Group member organisations are.

2013 is a significant year for everyone – I believe it is a year that will mark a turning point for many of us, if the levers are correctly activated by all the value partners in our delivery chains. It also marks 25 years as an organisation for us – and I don’t believe we have ever been so well positioned to add and champion value for all our members but…….it is down to our membership how well we all exploit this. Taking part in UG events is critical to both the User Groups well-being and also you and your organisations well-being. Make sure you take advantage of the outstanding value that membership brings. What we do and how we represent the membership is driven by you, and with that in mind we will shortly be sending out our annual survey. This makes it possible for us to reflect what you want and want you need, and also allows us to validate what other sources are saying about the SAP ecosphere. Please don’t consign it to the junk bin, and spend a few minutes answering it for the good of all the membership.

A couple of final thoughts – firstly we always welcome volunteers to help your organisation. If you can help run SIGs, if you can add value at SIGs by sharing, if you can offer venues, if you would like to share something by talking at our conference in November then please either contact the User group office or make yourself known at a SIG. I’ve been volunteering for 10 years and it gives me a real buzz to help others – the first time I stuck my head above the parapet was very challenging, but I’ve never looked back since and I never ever thought I would get an opportunity to Chair an organisation like this. Just do it! Philip Adams our new Chair to be in 2013 – has done just the same.

Secondly our conference – in our 25th Anniversary year I want this to be our best ever conference and all the board, employees and current SIG chairs have their hearts set on doing that. It’s at a wonderful new venue for us at the ICC in Birmingham, and it will be great! So think about this as an opportunity to share in that celebration, an opportunity to share something important to you and others, an opportunity to learn from others, and as so many seem to be doing, an opportunity to reward your teams for their efforts across the year, whilst enhancing their value to you. And book it now, whilst it’s a lower price. You can always change the names later if you need to. Grab the opportunity!

So 2013 is all about you and how you can all work together to secure value. Chase the value. Share. Take part.