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1.     What’s new/different about the award program in 2018?

For the 2018 program, we have made several important changes.

       Broadened awards, opening them to customer innovations using any SAP platform technologies. The name of the award has been changed to SAP Innovation Awards to reflect this broader focus of the award.

       Increased visibility for individuals participating on award website, celebration event and on social media.

       Simplified awards – Now 23 award winners with a chance to win a pass to SAPPHIRE NOW and to donate $2,000 to the charity of their choice from the list of eligible charities.

       Require innovation submissions to be live (deployed in production) except for Next-Gen Innovator category where a proof of concept (POC) will be eligible.

       Entries no longer need to specify the category. Instead, entries will be classified by the Award team. The Award team will then select finalists for each of the 23 awards.

       Revamped entry stages. Entries will be evaluated to determine the finalists and Judging panel will review finalists to determine winners. No longer have Honorable Mentions.

       Introduced an optional “Registration of Interest” stage. If customers register their interest, they will receive assistance as they craft their entries and will be added to the distribution list to receive alerts of key deadlines and updates to the program.

       Expanded the countries eligible to participate from 36 to 43 – adding the following 7 countries Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Poland, Colombia, Malaysia and Venezuela.


2.    What is the timeline for the SAP Innovation Awards?

       October 5 2017: Nominations open

       March 2, 2018: Deadline for submissions

       March 26 – April 10: Judging starts and finalists announced

       April 19 : Winners announced

       June 5-7: SAPPHIRE NOW, Celebration event

       July – December: Continued engagement and exposure for award winners


3.    Which countries are eligible to participation in the Innovation Awards?

Submissions are only permitted from individuals (both participants and submitters) resident in one of the following countries:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (Excluding Quebec), Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, The United States and Venezuela.

Additionally, the business application that is the subject of the Entry must be deployed in an Eligible Country, or in the case of the Next-Gen Innovator Award have been developed and intended to be sold to and used by customers in an Eligible Country.


4.    What are the prizes available to winners of the award?

23 SAPPHIRENOW passes and $46,000 in donations to eligible charities are up for grabs.

The judging panel will select the 23 winners. Each winner will be awarded the following prizes:

       One complimentary pass to SAPPHIRE NOW 2018

       A donation of $2,000 to charity of their choice from the list eligible charities.


       Maximum 1 SAPPHIRENOW pass and $2,000 donation per entry

       Additionally, SAPPHIRENOW pass will not be awarded if the recipient is an SAP or government employee


5.    Can a submission win more than one award?

Yes, a single submission can win multiple awards and would receive multiple trophies. However, the customer/partner who is named as the participant in the entry is entitled to a maximum of 1 Sapphire pass and $2,000 to their charity of choice from the approved charity list.


6.    What are the judging criteria for the Innovation Awards?

Finalists will be reviewed and scored by a panel of judges selected by SAP.  The panel of judges includes both SAP employees and SAP partner employees or community members.  The list of judges and a short profile for each participating judge may be found on the SAP Innovation Awards website. The 2018 judging criteria are summarized below:

       Creativity or Complexity of the Use Case - To what degree does the entry demonstrate innovative thinking, creativity and complex application of technology to business challenges?  

       Business or social value created - To what degree has the project impacted the business? Or to what degree has the solution enabled the company to significantly impact serious social challenges or community needs or services?   

       Human Empowerment - How much does the project impact how a person does their job? Or How much does the project change the way customers or users interact with the company? 

       Quantifiable Results - To what degree do the quantifiable business benefits impact the business 

       Embracing the potential for digital transformation - To what degree does the entry demonstrate that the company recognizes the potential for digital transformation and is applying innovative thinking and new ways of working across the company?




7.     Who can submit an entry?

SAP customers who have successfully deployed in production (go-live) a project that utilizes any of the SAP platform technologies may submit an entry.

Partners/startups that have developed an innovative commercial application which has been validated by at least one customer (can be a PoC and need not be live) are eligible to participate and eligible for the Next-Gen Innovator and Regional Choice awards


8.    Can a partner submit on behalf of one of their customers?

  • Yes, SAP partners/startups may submit on behalf of their customers that have successful deployments(go-lives). The customer will be named in the winning entry and the partner/startup will be recognized alongside the customer


However, before any entry submitted on behalf of a customer is accepted, the submitter must include as part of their submission an email from the customer indicating that they have agreed to participate. 

SAP reserves the right to contact any company mentioned in the entry to ensure that they have agreed to participate.


9.    How do I submit an entry?

Participants interested in entering should download the Entry Form and the Pitch deck template. 

Entrants must complete all fields in the Entry Form and prepare their Pitch Deck. The completed Entry Form, Pitch Deck, Logos and Participant’s Photograph must then be submitted on the submission page .

Each entry will be reviewed for eligibility and qualified entries will be posted on the awards website. Entries must be in English.


10. Does the solution have to be live/deployed in order to qualify for an award?

Submissions must utilize at least one of the SAP platform technologies and be deployed in production (go-lives).

If a partner or startup has developed an innovative commercial application and it is a Proof of Concept (PoC), they can enter and will be eligible for the Next Gen Innovator and Regional Choice award categories. However, it is a requirement that the solution be validated by at least one customer.

11.  What languages does the innovation contest support?

While the winning entries can be in any language, all entries must be in English.


12. How does a customer register their interest in participating?

Download the Registration of Interest form and email the completed form to

Note deadline for Registration of Interest to receive entry assistance is 5th Feb 2018


13. Why should they fill out the “Registration of interest” form?

Customers who register their interest essentially save their place in line. This benefits the customer as they will receive entry assistance and will be added to the distribution list to receive alerts of key deadlines and updates to the program


14. What are the benefits of participating in the SAP Innovation Awards to a customer and to a partner?

There are many benefits of participating in the award program to both partners and customers.

For SAP customers:


Celebrate your project success

       Gain bragging rights for you and your team with a trophy for your office and a badge to share socially

       Earn a FREE pass to SAPPHIRE NOW if selected as one of 23 award winners

       Chance to get a professionally crafted story

       A personalized visual graphic of your story


Share your expertise in exclusive promotional opportunities at SAPPHIRENOW and beyond

       Engage with SAP executives at exclusive celebration event 

       Get your photo and company logo promoted at SAPPHIRENOW and social channels

       Share your success on live-streamed videos at SAPPHIRENOW

       Written interview (for SAP branded success story, thought leadership paper or blog)

       Press release/Journalist/analyst /influencer interviews & surveys

       Speaking Engagements at Events (SAP and Partner) or online (webinar / podcasts)


Extend your network and do good

       Connect with prominent business leaders and SAP executives

       Donations to charity to improve people’s lives

       Create new opportunities for you and your enterprise


For SAP partners & startups:

       Get customers that are hesitant to participate in reference activities to share their story

       Promote your own innovative solutions and your role as a trusted partner helping your customers to innovate

       Take advantage of the many opportunities to tell your customers’ stories through Innovation Award activities (online / social media, SAPPHIRE NOW activities press and analyst opportunities, inclusion in SAP demand generation campaigns, HANA Spotlight webinar and Podcasts)

       Benefit from jointly developed customer content published on and on your website

       Exposure and opportunities to interact with SAP executives



15. What are the special Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) for government entities?

Government employees may participate in the award but are not eligible for SAPPHIRE NOW pass or donation to charity.


16. Where can I see examples of other Innovation Award entries?

All previous award winners are publicly available. Get inspiration from previous SAP HANA Innovation award winners: 2014  , 2015, 2016  and 2017






17.  Which charities have been selected this year?

This year the SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team has selected the following charities to donate prize awards to:

       Ākina Foundation: Ākina’s mission is to grow the emerging New Zealand social enterprise sector and its vision is for a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive world. The name, Ākina, is a Māori word meaning a call for bold action. Established in 2008, the founders believe that social entrepreneurs and social enterprise represents a powerful opportunity to build a new economy that regenerates the environment and creates social foundations for people to thrive. In 2017, as part of the SAP Social Sabbatical for regional engagement, a team of 12 SAP ANZ employees devoted their expertise to four Christchurch-based social enterprises within the Ākina network. Furthermore, SAP proudly supported the Social Enterprise World Forum 2017, New Zealand’s largest international event dedicated to corporate social responsibility, which is taking place end September 2017 and is hosted by the Akina Foundation.
Additional content: Cultivate (video) and Kilmarnock Enterprises (video)

       Junior Achievement Worldwide: Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to success in a global economy. As one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs, JA Worldwide activates youth for the future of jobs. Through the delivery of experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, they create pathways for employability and job creation. Each year, their network of over 470,000 volunteers serves more than 10 million students in over 100 countries. SAP works with Junior Achievement worldwide in a variety of ways. On a global level, CSR has worked to build the capacity of Junior Achievement organizations in Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia through the SAP Social Sabbatical. On a regional level, Junior Achievement is the implementing partner for Latin Code Week, a digital literacy initiative that provides training in coding tools, entrepreneurship and life skills throughout Latin America. Many SAP employees in North America also volunteer as mentors for Junior Achievement.

       Teach For All: Teach For All is a global network of 45 independent, locally led and governed partner organizations and a global organization that works to accelerate the progress of the network. Each network partner recruits and develops promising future leaders to teach in their nations’ high-need schools and communities and, with this foundation, to work with others, inside and outside of education, to ensure all children are able to fulfill their potential. Teach For All’s global organization works to increase the network's impact by providing partners with direct support, facilitating connections among them, accessing global resources, and fostering the leadership development of partner staff, participants, and alumni. SAP has worked with various Teach for All affiliates around in the world through the SAP Social Sabbatical. Locations include Argentina, Philippines, and Vietnam.



NOTE:  Please check this FAQ for periodic updates and additions throughout the term of the SAP Innovation Awards 2018.

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