Day 1: SAP SAPPHIRE NOW Keynote Highlights

The first day of SAP SAPPHIRE NOW kicked off with bold moves … and a song. SAP CEO Bill McDermott once again gave the opening keynote. And, like past years he led the speech with a review of the unbelievable success of HANA – calling HANA "the soul of SAP."

sap sapphire 2018 keynote
GDPR, which went into effect last week, was also mentioned when McDermott asked the crowd “Anyone here get a GDPR memo in their email box lately?” If you have been dealing with GDPR you know GDPR is all about protecting personal data. If you haven’t heard of GDPR, we recommend taking look at the blog “GDPR is Here! What have you done about it?” SAP believes that GDPR will cause businesses to take a critical look at their legacy CRM investments. And with that came the big announcement of the morning – C/4HANA.

SAP C/4HANA – SAP’s Bold Move into CRM  

In addition to the announcement of C/4HANA, SAP also announced the acquisition of Core Systems AG. “SAP was the last to accept the status quo of CRM and is now the first to change it,” McDermott said. “The legacy CRM systems are all about sales. SAP C/4HANA is all about the consumer. We recognize that every part of a business needs to be focused on a single view of the consumer. When you connect all SAP applications together in an intelligent cloud suite, the demand chain directly fuels the behaviors of the supply chain.”

McDermott made his commitment to SAP C/4HANA clear when meeting with analysts stating, “We will not waiver, we will not bend until we finally take over the CRM marketplace.”

The real reason for the announcement may lie in the numbers as reported in a blog in the Register out of the UK. Gartner analyst Ed Thompson said the CRM market is expected to reach more than $75 billion by end of 2022, compared with $44nn for ERP, meaning that SAP has to do well in CRM - but it still has more to do1.”

McDermott closed the conversation on SAP C/4HANA by asking the crowd, “Whose rooting for SAP in this space?” While this question will most likely have to wait to be answered until SAPPHIRE NOW 2019, one thing we know for sure is Worksoft will be there to help clients test SAP C/4HANA as they move forward in the adoption process.

McDermott moved on to discuss AI and how the real value of AI would come from embedding AI into business processes. But before that, clients need to better manage their data because everything begins with data. And with that, McDermott shifted to his next big topic – SAP Data Management Suite and Data Hub.

SAP Data Hub: “SAPs Next Big Game Changer”  

SAP Data Management Suite, announced at SAPPHIRE 2017, and SAP Data Hub, announced in September both strive to provide customers with the tools needed to protect, improve and manage data.
sapphire 2018 sap data hub
Data Hub is one element of the Data Management Suite and provides master data as a service, eliminating the mass amount of time companies spend managing metadata. It centralizes landscape orchestration and governs data across all sources (whether on premise or in the cloud). In addition, stored data can be masked, encrypted or made anonymous in real time without duplicating the data – which help with GDPR compliance.2

For those who weren’t at SAPPHIRE who are looking to learn more about SAP Data Management Suite and Data Hub, SAP is hosting a webcast on June 21 titled Delivering Trusted, Comprehensive and Intelligent Data for Your Organization which is open for registration.

McDermott closed the presentation portion of the keynote with a list of the “Intelligent Enterprise Top 10,” which included most of what is showcased at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW. This list included:

  1. Data Foundation
  2. Platform for Innovation
  3. Single View of the Customer
  4. Intelligent ERP
  5. Total Workforce
  6. Industry 4.0
  7. Business Networks
  8. Advanced Analytics
  9. Augmented Humanity
  10. Integration

Following that, Simon Cowell joined him on stage to introduce his latest ambition, the first ever global pop band, Now United. The group is composed of 14 different singers and dancers from 14 different countries who closed the morning session with a hip new song and dance.

The afternoon keynotes were delivered by ASUG and focused on end-user successes and empowerment. ASUG CEO Geoff Scott led the session and reminded us all “end users put it to work for us,” explaining "there the people that spend hours a day working with a technology." His words remind us we have to be concerned about user experiences. And, ensuring great user experiences requires testing software the way a user would use it, which is exactly what Worksoft’s industry-leading test automation platform helps clients do!

Success stories from Cintas, Johnsonville and others were shared and then Keith Sturgil, Outgoing Chairperson, ASUG Board of Directors and CIO of Eastman, took to the stage with a powerful analogy comparing success in business today to the Barclay Marathon.

The Barclay Marathon: Always be Prepared and Celebrate Effort

Prior to this presentation I personally had never heard of the Barclay Marathon but gleaned from the presentation that it must have been really difficult. In fact, after some quick research it appears no one finished the 2018 March race!3 But finishing or winning wasn’t important. What was important was the preparation and effort the racers put into the actual event. There is no specific start time for the race. Racers are given a 12-hour window for the start of the race. Sturgil stated "In life and business we must be constantly be ready to respond." Outages aren’t planned, and neither are new competitors that enter the market. In the new digital age, we must always be prepared.

Sturgil also pointed out the importance of "celebrating effort and the willingness to try to do big things.” Yes, there will always be risk but a “do nothing, change nothing" attitude guarantees you will be left behind.

Worksoft’s theme for this year’s SAP SAPPHIRE NOW echos this sentiment. Our best-in-class test automation platform is the "Ultimate Insurance Policy for Digital Transformations," helping customers like Honda R&D accelerate migrations to SAP HANA while offering them “peace of mind” because they are able to “easily validate business processes without manual effort4.” Worksoft helps clients minimize risk by providing the best practices and technology needed to manage the changes caused by the rapidly changing Enterprise ID landscape.


1The Register, SAP hopes to blow the doors off Salesforce with a block of C/4HANA, Rebecca Hill.

2SAP Blogs, Imperative #1: Business Needs More Trusted Data, Tim Hardy,

3Runners World, When the Course Wins: No Finishers at the 2018 Barkley Marathons,

4 SAPinsider, Issue 2 2018, Volume 19,