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SAP Rolls Out a Business Network to Drive Better Outcomes through Community

Kicking off its global partner and customer conference, SAP’s Christian Klein (pictured) outlined goals and new solutions for making ‘sustainability profitable and profitability sustainable.’ By Colleen Frye

SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW, a global conference for customers and partners, kicked off on June 2 with a keynote from CEO Christian Klein, who announced the new SAP Business Network, a slate of industry-specific business transformation-as-a-service packages, and a new portfolio of sustainability-specific business applications.

SAP Business Network brings together Ariba Network, SAP Logistics Business Network, and SAP Asset Intelligence Network. Network members will be able to access a single, unified portal to gain a holistic view into their supply chain ecosystem, logistics and traceability, and equipment management and maintenance, according to the company.

“The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the urgent need for every company to become an intelligent enterprise,” said Klein, who was appointed co-CEO in October 2019 along with Jennifer Morgan, and then became sole CEO of SAP SE in April 2020. He added that an intelligent enterprise must have “the courage to leave traditional business models behind” as well as become interconnected with its supply chain ecosystem in a way that is similar to social network communities.

“COVID showed us just how crucial it is to have real-time transparency across your entire supply chain,” Klein noted.

Members of the new SAP Business Network will be able to access a single, unified portal to gain a holistic view into their supply chain ecosystem, logistics and traceability, and equipment management and maintenance. “We believe that industries will be revolutionized when businesses turn into communities,” Klein said.

Building on the January introduction of the RISE with SAP business transformation-as-a-service offering, SAP also announced the rollout of industry-specific cloud solutions for retail, consumer products, automotive, utilities, and industrial machinery and components.

Finally, in keeping with SAP’s stated goal to make climate protection measurable, diversity and inclusion visible, and ethical responsibilities transparent, the company introduced a new portfolio of sustainability-specific products, which Klein said will “help you drive sustainable practices, not only inside your organization, but across your entire value chain. We will make carbon footprint tracking available in the Business Network so that you can go to true net zero. … We will jointlyly build networks with you that champion diversity, inclusion, and human rights.”

The portfolio includes the SAP Responsible Design and Production solution, which ensures product designers can make sustainable choices from initial concepts to production; the SAP Product Footprint Management solution to track sustainability through a product’s lifecycle; and the SAP Sustainability Control Tower solution to provide end-to-end visibility.

“It's time to build sustainability into the fabric of how we do business,” Klein said. “It's time to make sustainability a standard dimension of corporate management, just like productivity … but you can't act on what you can't measure. As part of this commitment, SAP will provide standard reporting and analytics on all sustainability metrics of the World Economic Forum, with the intention to help establish them as the global standard.”

Klein summarized the goal: “The SAP community truly has the power to protect our planet and create a future our children want to be part of.”

Next week, SAPPHIRE NOW continues with three regional virtual events starting June 7-10 in the Americas and EMEA, and June 21-24 for the Asia-Pacific region.

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