Meet the Judging Panel for SAP Innovation Awards 2023.
The judging panel comprises external thought and community leaders, and SAP executives to ensure the judging process is objective and fair. We are proud to have these esteemed individuals evaluate the award finalists to determine the winners of the Innovation Awards for 2023.
Thought and Community Leaders
Carl Olofson has performed research and analysis for IDC since 1997, and manages IDC’s Database Management Software service, as well as supporting the Data Integration Software and Data Streaming Pipelines services. Mr. Olofson’s research involves following sales and technical developments in the structured data management (SDM) markets, including database management systems (DBMS), which includes non-schematic database management systems, data lake managers, navigational database management systems, low code database management systems, and memory-optimized shared data managers. Also covered is the database administration and development software market. He also contributes to Big Data research and provides specialized coverage of Hadoop and other Big Data technologies. He advises clients on market and technology directions as well as performing supply and demand-side primary research to size, forecast, and segment the database and related software markets.
Mr. Olofson has worked in the IT industry since 1978, including two years of application development consulting, 10 years of database and tools software development, four years of product consulting, and three years as a senior product manager. His career has been dedicated to effective and practical data and metadata design, development, and management for enterprises.
Chandra Gnanasambandam, Senior Partner with McKinsey & Company, Inc.
Chandra co-leads McKinsey’s Global Software practice. Chandra was also the co-founder of Fuel, McKinsey’s practice that works with Startups and the investor ecosystem. Chandra focuses on serving some of the world’s large Cloud software companies on topics related to Product and GTM Transformations. Prior to McKinsey, Chandra held several operating roles at BEA Systems and Sun Microsystems. Chandra has graduate engineering degrees from Georgia Tech in the US and University of Saskatchewan in Canada.
Chris Ortega, CEO of Fresh FP&A
Chris is a dynamic, empathetic and servant financial leader with extensive experience in finance, accounting, financial planning & analysis (FP&A), strategic planning and financial leadership. Expert in resolving problems, providing strategic options; detail-oriented self-starter with great analytical and leadership skills. Seasoned leader with proven track record building and shaping domestic, multinational and international matrix finance organizations. Wide ranging experiences in finance, accounting and FP&A with Big 4 accounting firm, entrepreneurial, and public & private companies. Committed to aligning passions, skills, talents and experiences to help others realize and achieve 𝗚𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗧𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗦!
Geoff Scott, CEO of ASUG, believes that the connections we make for our members have the potential to become career-defining relationships that inspire innovation and success for their organizations. His forward-thinking leadership prioritizes helping our members make the most of their investment in SAP technologies. To that end, Geoff works closely with customers, members, the SAP Executive Board, and the extensive partner ecosystem to amplify the voice of the SAP customer. Additionally, he enjoys the time he’s able to spend with our members at ASUG conferences, events, as well as in informal meetings.
Geoff has more than 20 years of leadership and technology experience, including seven years of extensive SAP implementation and operations experience. His background in the automotive, food, retail, and startup spaces brings valuable, broad-based experience to ASUG. Past positions include CIO for TOMS Shoes, where he led the implementation of SAP; CIO at JBS; and senior leadership positions at Ford Motor Company. Before becoming CEO, Geoff was an ASUG member and served on the board.
Geoff has served on a number of philanthropic boards and is the founding member of the Denver CIO Executive Council. He is a proud Spartan and alum of Michigan State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting as well as his MBA. In his spare time, Geoff is an avid sports photographer in his community and challenges himself to keep up his application development skills by creating apps for his own enjoyment and use. Connect with Geoff on Twitter @gscott16.
Helge Sanden is editor-in-chief of the SAP community portal ‘IT-Onlinemagazin.de’. In 2004, he founded the ‘Forum for SAP®’, a large business network that aims to connect German-speaking SAP managers, experts and top-level employees.The IT-Onlinemagazin.de is a compact and entertaining guide, focussing on the economic benefits of matching SAP, partner and add-on solutions. And it offers suggestions and impulses for one's own area of responsibility in company environments.Helge also presents this as a speaker at conferences and professional events, giving the idea of a beneficial community an even wider audience.
Jon Reed is an independent analyst and Enterprise Irregular who blogs and videocasts on enterprise trends.
He is a cofounder of diginomica.com. Launched in the spring of 2013 by Jon and four other enterprise bloggers, diginomica.com provides original commentary and reporting on the digital enterprise. Jon has been involved in enterprise communities since 1995, including time spent building ERP recruiting and training firms.
These days, Jon is a roving blogger/analyst, and also counsels vendors and startups on go-to-market strategy.
Jens Hungershausen has been the chairman of DSAG since October 2020. Since 2012 he is CIO of the MEGA Group, a leading wholesaler in Germany for paints, varnishes, wall and floor coverings. Prior to this, he had been responsible for SAP processes and projects in various roles at MEGA since 1999.
The German-speaking SAP User Group (Deutschsprachige SAP-Anwendergruppe e. V., DSAG) is one of the most influential SAP user groups in the world. Its strong network comprises more than 60,000 members from over 3,600 companies, ranging from medium-sized businesses to DAX corporations, and representing all industries in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Owen Pettiford has been working with SAP and non-SAP systems since 1991 and currently working for Neptune Software. Since 2005 he has worked with SAP clients to create architectures and designs that are aligned to their business objectives. He is known for his ability to translate between business and IT, recognising the needs of both. His passion for using IT to free human talent means he is always looking for how new technologies can be used to remove repetitive tasks, deliver automated insights and simplify the user journey. Outside of IT he has had a "mid-life crisis fitness revolution", restores classic cars and has a very understanding wife, 2 grown up daughters and 2 dogs.
Prof. Sally Eaves is a highly experienced Chief Technology Officer, Professor in Advanced Technologies and Global Strategic Advisor, Author and Speaker on Digital Transformation, Sustainability and Social Impact. She specializes in the application of AI, Cloud, Cyber Security, Blockchain, IoT & 5G disciplines for both business and societal benefit at scale. Sally is Senior Policy Advisor for the Global Foundation of Cyber Studies & Research and has founded ‘edtech' enterprise Aspirational Futures to enhance accessibility, inclusion and diversity in education, technology and beyond.
Scott W. Luton is founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now, an award-winning digital platform that serves global business. With over 15 years of experience in supply chain & manufacturing, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and others.
Steve White Program Vice President, Channels and Alliances at IDC
Steve White is Program Vice President for the WW Channels and Alliances research team. He manages a group of channels and alliances analysts as well as their related research products, with extended teams in EMEA & APeJ.
The Channels and Alliances research team focuses on research around changing partner ecosystem dynamics, following the trends and best practices to allow benchmarking. As part of the channels subscription programs, the WW team also run 'Leadership Councils' where industry channels and alliances leaders & their peers attend twice a year to discuss the latest research, trends, and drive the future research agenda. These councils enable unique analyst hosted conversations around the burning partner ecosystem topics.
Prior to joining IDC, Steve spent over seven years at Microsoft both in the United Kingdom and Canada, and has over 20 years experience in senior marketing roles in enterprise, services and partner businesses with leading technology vendors such as Microsoft, Compaq and Digital Equipment Company in the UK.
Originally educated and trained as a management accountant in the UK, Steve progressed via business analyst roles into marketing early in his career, and enjoys working with clients on their partner ecosystem challenges with a focus on better outcomes for vendors and their partners. He is located in IDC's Toronto office.
Follow Steve on Twitter @Whiterope.
Tamara McCleary is a research scientist and full-time graduate student in-residence at Harvard University pursuing dual degrees. Research includes science, technology and public good; global catastrophic events, existential risk, life extension technologies, synthetic life, artificial general intelligence, and posthumanism. Tamara is an active crew member for off-world projects with Proudly Human devoted to research into preparation for life off-world on the Moon, Mars and beyond including devising solutions for humans living in harsh conditions and resource-constrained environments on Earth. Tamara is founder and CEO of global digital marketing agency, Thulium, and serves as a technology futurist and an advisor to leading global tech companies Amazon, Alexa, Oracle, SAP, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Mercer, Marsh & McLennan Companies, AT&T, Verizon, Citrix, and RSA Security.
Alex Swain is VP of AI and Platform Experiences in the SAP Design organization and is leading a practice focused on expanding our knowledge and application of meaningful AI design and solutions along with formulating cross portfolio initiatives that can serve as global experiences across products for all teams to leverage.
Prior to this role, Alex has amassed over 20 years in the design field and has become a multi-award-winning user experience leader with four design patents. He specializes in the Data and AI domain where he’s led the strategy and vision of an enterprise grade premiere Data and AI collaboration platform, which integrates multiple product experiences, common services, personas and use cases into a single unified environment.
He's passionate about identifying and driving innovation into experiences, simplifying the complex, and pushing the boundaries of user-centered design.
Amogh Umbarkar is VP, SAP Product Engineering. Amogh has worked in various leadership roles during his 19+ years tenure at SAP. He is passionate about adopting and delivering innovation to help customers achieve better business outcomes.
Amogh specializes in bringing the right combination of industry expertise and technological innovation to create collaborative roadmaps for adopting Digital Transformation to create new business models. Amogh’s engagements put new ways of leveraging Industry 4.0, sustainability, Intelligent technologies like Big Data, Machine Learning, IoT etc. at the core of driving measurable business outcomes.
With more than 20 years as a design practitioner and leader, and a Masters degree in HCI, Arin has vast experience in enterprise UX and is passionate about creating user outcome driven digital products at scale. Having led large scale product development and re-imagination efforts, Arin has nurtured and empowered teams to reach their full potential, as well as championed design thinking and doing frameworks, human centered culture adoption, inclusive, ethical design practices and designing for business. Arin loves to be in the forefront of emerging experiences and technologies, and has led his teams to win many international design awards, and also authored several design patents and publications. He has worked for companies like IBM, Oracle, and is most recently the Chief Design Officer at SAP.
Chad Crook is a leader in SAP’s Cloud Success Service area and serves in the capacity of Chief Innovation Officer.
Chad has a combined 15 years of experience, serving in both commercial, and operational executive leadership roles. He most recently was Senior Vice President of Success Centers, and prior to that was Head of Customer Engagement for Procurement leading the SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass teams and was COO of Customer Value Organization.
In his current capacity, Chad is focused on innovating the Advanced Layer of our customer experience having responsibility for our Preferred Success and Training & Adoption brand offerings. These innovations are focused on maximizing efficiency and effectiveness of how we run, which translates into a more consistent and dynamic experience for our customers.
Chad has immense passion for driving key business outcomes and delivering unparalleled value for our customers. In his personal time, this native Georgian, now residing in Texas enjoys family, health, wellness, and travel.
Daniel Lahl, Global Vice President of Product Marketing at SAP, has extensive executive experience in cloud, data management, data warehousing and analytics. While at SAP, Dan has led Product Marketing for emerging technology initiatives, including Cloud Platforms, Data Integration, In-Memory Database and Mobility.
In 2019 and 2020, Dan was named one of the world’s most influential Product Marketing professionals by the Product Marketing Alliance. Dan is currently focused on growing SAP’s Cloud Business Technology Platform business; expanding the reach of SAP’s Cloud Database, EIM, Integration, Extension, and Intelligent Technologies portfolios. Dan has degrees from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago.
Daniel is responsible for solution management and product marketing for SAP Data and Analytics teams. He drives the commercial strategy and go-to-market strategies for all SAP database and analytics products such as SAP HANA Cloud, Data Warehouse Cloud, Analytics Cloud, etc. Before this role, he was responsible for Microsoft Azure’s analytics and data governance business and as well as the head of products for analytics startups such as Usermind (now part of Qualtrics), Apptio, and iSpot.tv.He was also a co-founder of an artificial intelligence startup specializing in process mining and SCM optimization using SAP data.
David Trites has over 25 years of enterprise software experience as a global brand marketer, ERP strategy consultant, and SAP implementation consultant. Currently David writes and produces branded content about SAP’s most strategic and successful customers for use in global marketing campaigns, solution and industry marketing, and social media. Prior to joining SAP, David worked for Gartner and Deloitte.
David Williams is Vice President of Product Marketing for SAP’s data and analytics solutions, including SAP HANA Cloud, Data Warehouse Cloud, and Analytics Cloud, which help maximize the value of your data for the most impactful decisions.
Eric van Rossum
Eric van Rossum is Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer (CMSO) for cloud ERP at SAP. He's responsible for the portfolio growth plan including solution management, solution marketing, commercial terms, and go-to-market model. He partners closely with his engineering and sales counterparts to jointly achieve the growth aspirations for SAP’s cloud ERP portfolio.
Eric has been with SAP for 20 years and most recently led Service Industries, where he built a strong foundation for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Prior to this he held several cross-functional roles at SAP in Consulting, Sales, Corporate Strategy, and Support.
Eric earned his master’s degree in international business from Maastricht University and an advanced management certificate from the Graduate School of Business, Economics, and Social Sciences at St. Gallen.
Fabian is in charge of SAP’s Strategic Partnerships Programs. In this role he is overseeing the go-to-market, performance and support of programs for strategic partnerships.
Before, Fabian was in charge of SAP’s overall market performance in Hong Kong and Macau, and supported enterprise customers to navigate complex digital landscapes and explore new growth opportunities through innovation. He champions SAP’s customer-first approach and enables customers to become Intelligent Enterprises, and accelerate digital transformation through SAP’s best-in-class applications.
He brings two decades of strategic, executive, and product development experience at SAP to his new role. Fabian has held various roles in solution development, project implementation, sales management, and strategic counselling. He has led multi-cultural teams across Asia Pacific and Japan, EMEA and the Americas and spearheaded successful transformation programs, and developed new business ecosystems.
Before taking the helm in Hong Kong, Fabian’s prior positions included providing counsel and support to SAP Executive Board members Jennifer Morgan, now SAP co-CEO, and Adaire Fox-Martin, in running strategic projects within the Global Customer Operations organization. He earlier served as Global Vice President of Global Customer Operations and was Head of Strategic Finance Projects Delivery at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.
Jonas started his career in 2009 as the global environment manager of SAP. In this role, he was responsible for the corporate CO2 accounting, the roll out of a global environmental management system, and various CO2 reduction initiatives like the Green Cloud, e-mobility or introducing an internal price for carbon. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Swiss Climate Foundation and a member of the investment committee of the Livelihoods Fund. After different positions in the regional Customer Advisory team, Jonas Dennler now leads the global Go to Market for SAP’s sustainability solutions and services. Jonas also holds a degree in Environmental Physics from ETH Zurich, as well as an Executive MBA in Business Engineering from HSG St. Gallen.
Lara Albert is global vice president of solution marketing at SAP SuccessFactors. In her role, Albert leads the go-to-market strategy and execution globally for the SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite, which includes talent management, core HR and payroll; workforce planning and analytics; employee experience management; sales performance management; cloud platform tools and technology; and initiatives such as diversity and inclusion and well-being at work. Prior to her career at SAP, she was Head of Marketing for a Seattle-based marketing tech startup, and held leadership positions in brand and product marketing at VeriSign, AOL and Kraft Foods.
Albert has a master’s in business administration from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
Albert enjoys life on the water in Savannah Georgia, is a busy mom of three children, and has a passion for exploring new places, SEC college football, and mentoring young professionals.
Lisa Harding is Vice President of Product Marketing for SAP’s procurement and external workforce solutions portfolio. She is passionate about technology, storytelling, and helping our customers with their digital transformation journeys. Prior to joining SAP almost eight years ago, Lisa worked in a variety of product marketing and management roles for start-up and fast-growth companies. Lisa earned her master of science in integrated marketing from Northwestern University and bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.
Michelle Craig is VP of Thought Leadership & Integrated Marketing at SAP Concur and a strategic marketing leader and business partner—guiding high-profile strategies and campaigns and driving global business results.
Michelle works across the global marketing team to unify messaging across channels, elevating SAP Concur thought leadership presence and accelerating business transformation.
Michelle’s earlier roles included senior corporate communications and agency leadership positions, working with both start-ups and established global companies in the tech sector, and leading creative programs and high-performing teams with results beyond expectations.
Mike Keilen has over 30 years’ experience in the enterprise software industry, specializing in Integration, Enterprise Information Management, Process Automation and Application Development Solutions. Over his career he has built and led teams responsible for solution/product management, product marketing, product development and channel sales. Currently Mike serves as a Global VP leading SAP’s BTP Integration and Data Management (EIM) Product Marketing and Solutions group. Mike holds a degree in Computer Science and an MBA.
Oliver Betz is the Head of the Business Transformation Office and Automation & Scale for the SAP Adoption Services Center at SAP Cloud Success Services. In this role he is responsible for driving transformation initiatives to execute the SAP Cloud Success Services, transforming the delivery model to the cloud focusing on product adoption and consumption. As the head of Automation & Scale he is responsible to standardize, automate and scale the way SAP delivers services for its clients to accelerate time to value for SAP’s customers. This is achieved by reducing repetitive and manual activities integrating expert knowledge and best practices into the Services portfolio and scaling the delivery factories. In addition he manages the Enterprise Support Value Maps and the Enterprise Support Academy delivering value at scale to 1000’s of SAP customers.
Oliver began his professional career as a software developer and consultant in 1996 and joined SAP in 2000 as a technical support consultant. Later, he was leading the SAP Innovative Business Solutions Organization collaborating with clients globally – from discovery to delivery – to develop tailored, high-value solutions that are fully maintained and operated by SAP. Prior to assuming his current position in April 2021, he was the Global Head Industry and Product Management SAP S/4HANA where he and his team defined SAP’s next generation ERP solution for the Cloud.
Oliver holds a Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.
Richard Howells has been working in the supply chain management and manufacturing space for over 30 years. He is responsible for driving the thought leadership and awareness of SAP’s ERP, Finance and Supply Chain solutions and is an active writer and thought leader on the topics of supply chain, industry 4.0, digitization and sustainability.
Seema Vishnoi Kesselring is Global VP of Product Strategy in Customer Experience organization. Seema is passionate about innovation & adoption of SAP Customer Experience product portfolio to help customers succeed in the digitally transformative projects leveraging intelligent technologies. She has played key roles in product and engineering organization, sales go to market, sales operations, Innovative business solutions and successfully lead various strategic initiatives with customers and within SAP.
Seema is also an adjunct professor and teaches in the Villanova School of Business at Villanova University. She earned her MBA from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Sciences. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sid Misra is Vice President of Product Marketing and Solution Management for Application Development, SAP Business Technology Platform. He has over 18+ years of experience working in leading enterprise B2B companies where he has held multiple leadership roles in Product Marketing, Product Management, Developer Marketing and Partner Ecosystem Development . At SAP, he is responsible for product marketing, solution management and commercial strategy for SAP Build low-code offering and SAP’s pro-code solutions.
Simone Engelhardt is Senior Vice President and Head of the Customer Engagement Support in SAP’s Cloud Success Services area. Her organization actively contributes to Customer Lifetime Value by supporting and engaging with customer-facing colleagues and customers directly, with the goal to improve customer health, satisfaction, and to foster SAP customers’ success in the cloud. In her current role Simone is also responsible for the Essential Success Experience.
During her 34 years tenure at SAP, Simone has worked in various leadership roles. She joined SAP in 1988 as a software developer and became a member of the core development team for SAP’s System R/3 for enterprise logistics. She then served as an Executive Board Assistant to Dietmar Hopp, Chairman of the SAP Executive Board, and later to Gerhard Oswald, member of the SAP Executive Board. In 2002, she became Vice President Business Development of SAP Hosting AG responsible for Process Management, Audit & Risk Management as well as People Development. Later on she joined Global IT Infrastructure Services (IT-IS) as Global Vice President Operations and became a major contributor to the Run Simpler Initiative, the creation of “SAP runs SAP” showcases, and the implementation of a Continuous Improvement System within IT-IS. From 2013 to 2015, she was Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Scale Quality & Support board area, reporting directly to Executive Board member Gerhard Oswald. After that, she became Senior Vice President and Head of Events & Communication for the Board area Digital Business Services (DBS).
Sven Denecken is Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer for Industries at SAP. In this role Sven is charged with strengthening our go-to-market approach, driving product marketing and solution management across SAP’s Industry solutions.
Sven has many years of experience working with customers and partners to create success and value within the SAP network. He has held a variety of roles across functional areas including ERP product management, driving acquisition post-merger integrations, and in Product Engineering as head of Product Success and COO for the flagship solution SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
As a senior executive, Sven works closely with customers, partners, influencers and SAP experts to shape and deliver effective outcomes for Industry customers to support their digital transformation.
Timo Elliott is a Global Innovation Evangelist for SAP. He works closely with leading-edge organizations around the world on their digital transformation initiatives. Over the last 30 years with the company, he has given presentations to business and IT leaders in over 60 different countries, talking about SAP's strategy and future trends, illustrated with real-world examples of customer innovation. He has worked in the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and California, and currently lives in Paris, France. He has a degree in Econometrics and holds a patent in the area of mobile analytics.