SAP Business Transformation Summit 2015The 5th SAP Business Transformation Summit was held last week at SAP’s birthplace St Leon Rot, near Heidelberg in Germany. The event was kicked off by Michael Kleinemeier, a member of the SAP Global Managing Board, and Dr. Christoph Steiger, the new Global Head of SAP Business Transformation Services.
100s of SAP staff, customers and partners pulled up into the nearby city of Heidelberg for an entertaining, educational and enjoyable few days of focus on how digital has, and will continue to change business, the planet, and the way we live our lives.
The SAP auditorium stage hosted an eclectic blend of speakers who delivered engaging insights and stories, with social media channels sharing the experience with the outside world.

Summit Day-1

Anders Soreman Nilsson gave a thoroughly entertaining talk about winning our customers’ digital minds and analogue hearts, while Karel Paarhuis told us the story of FrieslandCampina and its transformation journey. Kerstin Plehwe took us on the journey of US presidential campaigns and how digital plays a significant role in success of the leaders jousting for a place in the Whitehouse.
Juri Straessle of Samsung and Benjamin de Wit of WeMakeVR gave us a fascinating glimpse into virtual reality and how it will become a game changer, while Professor Dr. Christoph Meinel, CEO of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany helped us re-imagine the future in an age of connection and insight.
The charismatic author Professor Dr. Lothar Seiwert closed day-1 of the summit by coaching us on how to slow down, manage our time better, and rebalance our lives in this digital age.

Digital Experience Area

SAP and its partners set up a digital experience area where everyone was free to experience and learn more about what is coming our way thanks to a broad range of innovative digital solutions.
CXO Transform Founder Rob Llewellyn first hopped onto a BMW motorbike to experience the world’s first virtual test ride, and kept the adrenalin flowing with a virtual reality lap in a Lamborghini race car using the latest Samsung Gear VR equipment.
Rob quenched his thirst at a smart vending machine with an app-like interface before entering the SAP Digital Boardroom to learn how the latest technological offerings can help executives better predict their business future and drive execution.
He finished up by learning about several innovative digital use cases developed by the Hasso Plattner Institute and its industry partners.

Evening Event

SAP hosted its several hundred guests at an evening cocktail reception and dinner inside the incredibly spectacular Heidelberg Castle, and the following awards were presented:
SAP Business Transformation Achievement Award
Joint Winners: Dole and PCITC
SAP Business Transformation Distinction Award
Winner: British American Tobacco
SAP Business Transformation Excellence Award
Winner: Valorem
Close to 20 members of the SAP Big Band then took the stage to entertain guests with an evening of jazz and soul.

Summit Day-2

On Friday morning, Professor Dr. Walter Brenner from the University of St. Gallen helped us better understand the race for the industrial Internet. This was followed by Philip Carter, VP of the European Enterprise Infrastructure and Software Group who presented the audience with an intriguing collection of IDC research and why the race to becoming a digital enterprise is fundamental to the companies that thrive or diminish in the years ahead.
Hannes Jaenicke, the German environmental activist shared his views on how the innovative use of digital solutions can help save our planet, and Maggie Fox, Senior VP of Digital Marketing at SAP gave an equally passionate take on SAP’s own transformation journey, before Christoph Steiger formally closed the event.

 In Summary

After the spectacular SAP Business Transformation Summit at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin last year, it was hard to imagine how the event could live up to such standards. But in a very different venue, the team at SAP once again over-delivered and put on a world-class show for its staff, customers and partners – and we thank you for your hospitality.
Read the SAP report on the event here
See the photos and videos from the event here