Susanne (Head of [PROTOPIA]) and Katie (Engagement Lead at [PROTOPIA]) and their diverse team, work together to develop future-oriented prototypes to help SAP stay competitive and deliver innovative new products.
“We build all our prototypes on SAP Business Technology Platform, using all the superpowers we have to applications running cloud native in the SAP universe. SAP’s products have a great industry coverage. We know that our customers rely on us to build products based on new capabilities, but at the same time they need to be extremely reliable. Balancing both is SAP’s innovative power.”
Susanne and Katie share the same goal of creating an atmosphere that allows everyone to perform at their best and come up with moon-shot ideas.
Tomorrow’s business is designed today. I believe we can contribute to the success of SAP the best by imagining things differently and while having fun with what we do.
Susanne started at SAP 20 years ago as an ABAP Developer and has held a number of roles on her journey to becoming the leader of a diverse and creative team. By focusing on employee empowerment, she enables every person on her team to make real impact on the future of SAP.
Katie joined the team in December 2020 and shares first-hand how the working culture drives innovation.
Working with a cohort of extremely talented colleagues, on exciting projects, is such an honour. Our spirit of innovation gives us the power and freedom to look beyond traditional business models and products to create limitless possibilities for our customers. We continuously align with sales units to ensure that we build and deliver prototypes that will excite customers and shape the future of SAP technologies.
Have you ever wondered where all our old and broken electronics go once discarded? E-waste is one of the fastest growing challenges globally and irresponsible disposal are not only harmful to the environment, but also are a dangerous threat to human lives. Faced with this challenge, a team of four innovators at SAP came up with a one-stop solution called EverLoop. Formerly known as Recycletronics, EverLoop is a B2B sustainability waste management solution which aims to empower businesses to achieve zero-waste by connecting stakeholders across the waste value chain.
“This just started as a casual talk among four of us over coffee… We submitted our idea, and now it is a two-year journey,” says Kiruthika S, Co-Founder and Head of Product at EverLoop by SAP. Kiruthika and Ajit Chandran, Co-Founder and GM & Head of Business of EverLoop, came together in 2019 to tackle this problem. While Kiruthika already had previous product management experience, Ajit knew how to work effectively with customers, and their other two co-founders had the technical skills to bring their product to life. “We all had skill sets that complemented each other,” says Ajit. Together, they were able to not only create an end-to-end waste management solution with EverLoop, but also help improve circular economy.
However, the formation of EverLoop was not one without its hurdles. Ajit and Kiruthika along with their other two co-founders began developing their idea in 2019 and had to work completely virtually due to the onset of COVID-19. Despite their initial challenges, they were able to work together as a successful team. The EverLoop team says their success would not have been possible without the support of SAP.iO Venture Studio, which invests in new ventures funded by small entrepreneurial teams. “I don’t think there is any organization like SAP which not only supports its employees in starting their own venture within the organization, but also helps you scale it.” says Ajit. The SAP entrepreneurship program provided them with the opportunity to meet with a multitude of mentors and coaches. “Everyone talks about innovation, but SAP nurtures it. You have an opportunity to run your own venture and develop your own idea into reality” says Kiruthika. Next steps for the EverLoop team is to bring their product to SAP customers, so they too can become one step closer to achieving zero-waste. EverLoop by SAP reminds us that we are in this together to solve the global problem of e-waste.
I don’t think there is any organization like SAP which not only supports its employees in starting their own venture within the organization, but also helps you scale it.
Everyone talks about innovation, but SAP nurtures it. You have an opportunity to run your own venture and develop your own idea into reality.
Nirmal Kumar Jain and Yatendra Kumar Tiwari are very different as individuals but have one thing in common- their love for technology and for solving customer problems. They are both driven by the collaborative work culture at SAP and passionate about serving the world and making an impact.
Nirmal is a senior developer with the SAP Document Compliance product as part of Globalization Services team and has been with SAP for four years. While he has always been involved in solution design and development across his previous organizations, he believes SAP’s biggest differentiator is the customer experience and impact. He values the opportunity to see the solution come alive and make a difference to the customer, and community at large. The lifelong learning culture enabled by a supportive leadership, ensures he stays updated on new technologies and tools so he can grow at SAP.
Yatendra is an Architect, who focusses on localization of the Document Compliance product as part of Globalization Services at SAP. Over his 11-year stint in SAP, he has had the opportunity of working with key customers across the globe. SAP challenges you to be the best and stay relevant. Each day and project bring new experience and opportunities to upskill and grow. He has gained exposure to new technologies, sharpened his technical acumen, and grown as a professional with SAP. Trust, be it from the leadership or his teammates is a huge driving factor for him and enables him to thrive at.
So how did these two colleagues that barely know each other team up to create such a meaningful breakthrough together?
It seemed like yet another regular day at work. But a call from their respective managers disrupted their workflow and gave them a chance to do something bigger than they have ever done. Given the criticality of the ask, both of them jumped onboard to deliver what could really solve a crippling problem faced by the healthcare providers in India.
The second wave of the COVID pandemic was exceptionally severe in India. With the number of daily cases going up exponentially in short period of time, the whole health care infrastructure came under severe stress and the shortage of Medical Oxygen was one of the biggest challenges. India had to scale up the production of Medical Oxygen by 10 times in this short period, and distribute it to those in need.
In order to create a reliable delivery, forecast for the hospitals, the Government of India (GoI) created an Oxygen Delivery Transport System (ODTS) to track the supply chain. However, this would be incomplete without the critical information of dispatch time and details of the trucks. The Indian Government reached out to SAP India to explore the possibility of a real time integration of SAP customer’s systems with that of ODTS, since more than 80% of all Medical Oxygen Suppliers use SAP.
This is where the Globalization team led by Ravi Natarajan stepped in to support and deliver a solution within 36 hours. Nirmal and Yatendra were the two key solution experts tasked with the problem and they immediately swung into action to solve the puzzle.
The key challenge was to use technologies that were already in use with our clients, without causing disruption to their existing systems or requiring any upgrades. Finding this solution required an all-hands-on-deck approach, powered by the full support of SAP. Feeling empowered, both tapped into their technical expertise and passion for serving the world to create a workable solution.
This was tested with the first client and they went live with 5 different systems within 1.5 days of implementation, thereby integrating almost 8% of India’s Medical Oxygen supply with ODTS Portal in one go! The team is now on course to integrate more Oxygen suppliers with ODTS portal and stay prepared for any future disruptions or needs in India.
So how does the duo feel about this achievement?
This project came along at a time that I was feeling very emotional and helpless, given all that was going on around due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I took this project up as a challenge racing against time to solve a crisis using technology. Thanks to the collaboration of various teams and the unflinching support of the leadership, we delivered the project on time. This gave me a sense of fulfilment and inner happiness as it impacted so many lives.
I have always contributed to SAP’s purpose of helping the world run better with my work. But given the crisis triggered by the pandemic, it was a chance to help society using technology to improve people lives. It gave me the feeling of inner peace, self-satisfaction and accomplishment.
When you think of diversity and what it might look like in a big corporate company; you might think of hiring more females and or females in leadership roles. Sara and Rich are showing companies what diversity can really look like and the impact that it has when companies such as SAP embrace what it can do beyond just checking a box. Sara and Rich met in the late 90’s as training cadets at Norwich University in Vermont which is known as the birthplace of ROTC and being the oldest private military college in the US. You may not know that ROTC stands for Reserved Officer Training Corps or that SAP stands for Systems Applications and Products in data processing or that both have embraced the power of diversity, but let us tell you a little more.
In the military Sara and Rich learned the power of values, ethics, pride in themselves for what they accomplish individually and as a team. After graduation in 2001; Sara commissioned as an Army Intelligence Officer and Rich began a career in corporate life. Later in 2001, their lives changed when the twin towers fell. Rich left his civilian job to accept a commission in the US Coast Guard on active duty and Sara would see overseas deployments in Iraq. Fast forward 20 years into the future; Sara and Rich have managed to not only stay friends, but bond through mutual mentorship, and in 2020 Rich referred Sara to a job and a new life at SAP.
A friendship that can last over 20 years, over thousands of miles, and half their current lifespan can’t just be based solely on nostalgia. Rich believes it’s a testament to the mutual friendship they have with one another that motivates them to see each other succeed. Sara and Rich both believe in the power of mentorship and the role diversity can play. Rich not only credits his current success to his past military training and experiences in a high tempo and disciplined environment but also in meeting Sara. His first impression was that even at 19 years old, Sara was a very confident and a self-assured leader. He found himself trying to emulate that in his style and has said “it laid the foundation for the leader I am today”. Being a female, veteran, minority, Sara had not always experienced having a mentor who knew how to mentor her until she reconnected with Rich. Having a mentor who understood her helped Sara learn the importance of having an active learning mindset while having a mentor and being a mentor to others. The best advice she got from Rich was to “know my own worth” which she reminds herself of often.
Both Sara and Rich took what they learned in ROTC and their experience in the military to their roles at SAP. Sara is on the physical side of security and on a team made up of almost all veterans. Rich oversees external product audits and led the team that supported the compliance efforts for SAP in signing contracts with customers such as the Department of Defense. Rich takes pride in the high level of compliance and transparency that SAP demonstrates to have a client like the DOD. Being a German based company Rich believes SAP to be very diverse and is “continuously impressed in SAP’s commitment to hiring to achieve representation”. Sara believes that companies should follow SAP’s example and hire more veterans because veterans take pride in everything they do. “Veterans are hardworking and if they don’t understand how to do something, they find out how to accomplish it. Veterans as a whole want to work for something bigger than themselves. One of their core values is selfless service, we work for the greater good” and in the civilian world, that means making decisions that impact the company for the greater good not just their own personal achievement.
The next time we think about diversity and the value it brings, we can follow Sara and Rich’s lead and understand that diversity is not being like everyone else, it’s knowing and understanding that not everyone is the same. Each person should feel free to be who they are and thrive in their workplace like Sara, Rich, and so many others at SAP.
The startup world is not for the fainthearted. Early startup founders face immense pressures to compete for funding, talent, and users, while juggling the day-to-day work of operations, development and marketing to scale and grow.
For founders looking to take their product to the next level, enterprise-led accelerator programs, such as SAP’s very own SAP.iO, offer an established ecosystem, a ready pool of customers as well as mentorship and access to industry experts.
Meet Alexa Gorman, SVP and Global Head SAP.iO Foundries & Intrapreneurship, who oversees SAP’s global startup and intrapreneurship activities. As part of the New Ventures and Technology group that reports directly into our CTO office, Alexa and her team drive and manage startup-driven and employee-driven innovation and acceleration. Alexa enthusiasm is contagious when she talks about the possibilities, the openness, and innovation that SAP offers.
The real goal of our startup activities is to build an open innovation ecosystem and create a win-win-win situation for our customers, startups and SAP. We are just scratching the surface in terms of possibilities; there is still so much potential to unleash.
Alexa shares her innovative ideas with her colleague Lior Weizman, Director of SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv, which is part of SAP’s global network of top-tier startup programs. Lior Weizman joined SAP two years ago to lead SAP.iO Foundry in Israel. For the past decade he has led large corporate accelerators and his passion lies in defining an open innovation strategy, and forming long term and innovative technology based partnerships.
When we started exploring collaboration, we understood that our combined expertise in technology and business, as well as our network across major industries, is a springboard for startups. I enjoy working with Alexa and many others at SAP. We can implement innovative solutions that address concrete business challenges and that deliver immediate value for our clients.
Murali was in Australia, Rishi was in Germany, but together they built a solution on SAP’s Business Technology Platform for a federal customer that had a big impact on its country’s citizens.
Rishi Abrol is a Senior HANA Consultant and Murali Shanmugham is a Solution Advisor. Both were born in India but met working for SAP in Australia. Both have a passion for supporting customers on their journeys to becoming intelligent enterprises.
Murali and Rishi are a great example of SAP’s culture of collaboration and career development. Before the pandemic, Rishi was given the opportunity to spend six months with the SAP HANA Development team in Germany and become an expert in SAP HANA as a product. During this fellowship opportunity, Murali was back in Australia working on a bespoke solution for a government organisation. This was a challenging project, with short deadline, which would have a huge impact. Usually Murali is more involved in the sales cycle of a product, but this project was important to him and so he stepped up to work across scope, build and release.
It was during the build of the solution on the Business Technology Platform that Murali and the team ran into an issue. An issue in which Rishi was the expert. So, despite very different time zones, the two worked together to release the solution in only three weeks!
As Murali says: “It’s a great feeling when you have different teams in SAP come together to help bring a better outcome for our customers.”
As a Solution Advisor, I work with customers across Australia & New Zealand helping them adopt and use SAP Business Technology Platform for their business needs. I enjoy working closely with the architects in the customer and partner ecosystem to help build solutions on the cloud. The most challenging aspect of my job is dealing with changes. This is something which also keeps me motivated and excited. There is always a constant change in the cloud technologies. There are constantly new advancements in the market and SAP always explores options to bring those new technologies to customers at enterprise scale. At SAP, I always get an opportunity to learn new things – be it blockchain, IoT etc and see how these can help different industries from a business perspective.
As a Senior HANA Consultant, I engage with customers to help them solve their business challenges using new cloud technologies. My typical day would involve activities like critical customer issues and helping customers solve those issues; meeting with the customer to explore how SAP can help their organization run better. My background as a Technical Basis Consultant really helps me to engage with the different personas in the customer organization. I talk with architects and give them confidence in the proposed solution, and also help them arrive at realistic timelines for an implementation program. I help our customers to go-live without any issues.
For me success is all about seeing customers adopt and embrace cloud technologies to accelerate their digital transformation. SAP has given me plenty of opportunities to work along with customers and take them in the cloud transformation journey.
Cybersecurity is not a “nice to have” for a tech company – it is a fundamental capability and a basic expectation from SAP’s customers. Cybersecurity is the heart of every product and operation. Helen and Torsten develop security standards and frameworks for SAP’s applications to ensure consistent and established security baseline across SAP. For Helen and Torsten, cybersecurity is more than just a job. It’s a lifestyle.
“I knew SAP as a top employer when I applied. There are lots of opportunities and the people here are really great” Torsten says. “I can really bring my strengths to SAP; this is why I enjoy working here so much. And then I met Helen” “And I was pressing your pain points!” Helen adds with a laugh, referring to pointing out to potential improvements that Torsten also had in mind.
When they first met, Helen worked as a Security Expert in application development and had many security-related concerns which Torsten took the time to listen and adopted her suggested improvements. This collaboration led them to great results and as soon as Torsten’s team had an opening, he asked Helen if she wanted to apply. “It was my dream job, so I’ve applied, got the job and Torsten has spent the last few weeks onboarding me into the Global Security organization.”
Now, Helen and Torsten are on the same team and together, they make SAP cloud products more secure and ensure SAP is a leader in product security. What they value most about their roles is that they get to see how their work continuously impacts SAP and customers around the world.
When they started their careers, cybersecurity was an afterthought, cybersecurity education did not exist. Torsten was head of a data center, and Helen came from a software development background. With curiosity and passion in cybersecurity, both had made their move into the field. Torsten and Helen agree that in cybersecurity you never stop learning. Frankly, SAP provides plenty of training and fellowship opportunities to up-skill on the topic. But you keep learning not just within SAP, you also stay on top of the industry best practices, learning about publicly published attacks and continuously exchanging on the topic with the cybersecurity community. Being a cybersecurity enthusiast goes beyond your work and extends to educating family and friends and changing the way you manage personal accounts on the internet. “My motto is, cybersecurity is a lifestyle – learn it, live it, share it” explains Helen.
My curiosity brought me here – in this topic, you never stop learning. This passion goes beyond your work, your whole mindset changes. if you have the spark, you will enjoy and succeed in cybersecurity.
For me, it is really a passion. This is my motivation. I can bring value and do what I love.
Although coming from completely different backgrounds, professional teams, and career journeys, Anne Strohmeier, former Human Resources Associate, and Deepa Gautam-Nigge, former Senior Director heading up SAP Next-Gen Ecosystems globally and currently working in SAP´s Corporate Development, came together to work as a powerful duo to inspire the next generations of innovators. Together, they were able to ramp up innovation activities and networks by combining their skills to attract new and successful talent to SAP.
“Two different generations working together different experiences; it was a very fruitful collaboration,” says Deepa. Their partnership all began when an internal program kicked off that tied three different parties together, the University Alliance, Talent Attraction, and Labs Network, for one common goal, which was to attract passionate early talent for SAP. From then on, Anne and Deepa have been building up new structures, new processes, and new programs to inspire young thinkers. While Deepa is a senior colleague with a wide range of experience and Anne is an early talent, together their mixture of skills perspectives was the key in making this project successful. They organized and piloted new formats for young talent experience with SAP. “We have very different backgrounds and very different points in career,” says Anne. Nevertheless, by uniting their different strengths together, they encouraged young innovators to become confident decision-makers for the intelligent enterprise. As Anne and Deepa inspire the next generation of innovators, they are also consistently innovating their own careers at SAP. While Deepa founded her own program for empowering women and is member of advisory boards, Anne is taking full advantage of “opportunities inside SAP, which you would not necessarily search outside” as she switched her career path from HR and is now currently working for the line of business of SAP S/4 HANA for the Chief Operating Office. They both agree that what they love most about SAP is how people centric it is and the broad range of support that SAP provides. Anne is exceling in her new role and shares her advice for others in the early years of their careers, “With SAP as a company, we are really supported to try out new things and go other directions.” Both Anne and Deepa feel personally empowered by SAP for not only its flexibility and work-life balance, but ultimately how they can pursue what they love and “have the freedom to really drive things that you think that are valuable,” says Deepa.
Within SAP you can easily take over large portions of responsibility… you have the freedom to really drive things that you think that are valuable, that really change markets, change perceptions, and support younger talents but also more mature talents. To be inspired to be passionate has nothing to do with age. We do this diverse mentoring and bridge the gap between generations because education starts with leading by example.
I think you have so many opportunities inside SAP, which you would not necessarily search for outside, which is a clear advantage. We really encourage our people to try new things, and I think that really is the beauty of working at SAP.
As a manager, Ashok understands that he plays a huge part in guiding and influencing people’s careers. He believes that one of the key responsibilities of managers is helping people identify and understand what their career aspirations are. This is what he did for Shipra Chaudhary, a fresh graduate whose many activities still left her hungry for more and room to grow. When SAP HANA was introduced, Ashok asked himself “how large amounts of data could be visualized” and decided to bring in Shipra to further develop the logic around the concept and build a prototype for the solution. The result in this partnership was not only unique but earned them a patent as well as recognition.
At SAP, everyone has a role to play and contribute, and everyone canmake a difference.
I really appreciate the flat structure, flexibility, open transparent communication with leaders, and the concept of learning anywhere and anytime!
Usually, when you share data you lose privacy. Kristin Ulrich and Stephan Kessler — along with their teams in Berlin, Minneapolis, and Walldorf — solved that problem when they developed SAP HANA data anonymization. Their solution allows hospitals to share data safely. In addition to health applications, the underlying technology can be applied to range of issues from tracking CO2 emissions to analyzing buyer behavior and predicting traffic jams. “SAP HANA data anonymization symbolizes the birth of a new market,” Stephan says. “It is the first IT solution to offer anonymization features in the database core system. There is no peer to our solution yet.”
It’s motivating to know that at SAP the projects we work on not only have a positive impact for our customers but on society as a whole. In our case, data anonymization disconnects data from individuals so healthcare companies can improve COVID-19 trials by sharing anonymized data with researchers
I love to learn new things, whether that is languages, skills or perspectives, and SAP provides a great environment for that. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, as long as you are willing to learn and understand our products you can add value.
In 2020 one of the winners of the Hasso Plattner award, SAP’s highest award for innovation, was the Intelligent Case Routing Solution created within SAP Concur in Prague. The solution leveraged AI and machine learning to route customer problems directly to engineers, allowing engineers to work smarter and provides a streamlined and improved experience to customers.
This breakthrough was a team effort. A team made up of colleagues in both customer facing and engineering roles, providing different perspectives, making the solution so effective. Two such people are Alena and Justin.
People see SAP as this behemoth but within SAP there is an incredible amount of innovative work going on. An added benefit is that with the size of SAP the internal community is a massive resource in itself.
I have been at SAP 10 years now and I am loyal to the company because of the culture. People spend most of their time at work and when you can work for a company where you feel supported, constantly developed and energized, that makes a difference.
Miles Chen and Vu Ngo are working together to build a platform for SAP’s Industry Cloud team that supports cloud native development on top of Kubernetes, with a roadmap to roll this out across SAP in the future. The way they are building SAP products to day is shaping the way SAP will build products tomorrow.
I work in our Newport Beach office and the environment is very much like a start-up. What we are doing is new and we work at pace on the latest and greatest technologies.
What I like best about the SAP culture is the innovation and diversity. Through innovation, I can contribute my ideas to make impact to the future of SAP products. The diversity of our employees has meant I have made a lot of friends who accompany me in travelling, learning, and hanging out.What I like best about the SAP culture is the innovation and diversity. Through innovation, I can contribute my ideas to make impact to the future of SAP products. The diversity of our employees has meant I have made a lot of friends who accompany me in travelling, learning, and hanging out.