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SAPPHIRE '03: Three Days That Fuel Innovation for Days to Come

by Rick Stockton | SAPinsider

April 2, 2003

by Rick Stockton, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing Services, SAP SAPinsider - 2003 (Volume 4), April (Issue 2)

Rick Stockton,
Senior Vice President,
Global Marketing Services,

Early in my career, when I was an events consultant for Sony Corporation, I happened to witness a turning point in the consumer electronics revolution — the introduction of the Sony Walkman.

The most interesting and innovative thing about the Walkman was that it filled a need most consumers didn’t know they had. After all, who would have thought a cassette player and a pair of headphones — no speakers, no recording capability — could make a difference in people’s daily lives? But within months of the Walkman’s introduction, joggers, commuters, teenagers, and just about everybody else were sporting headphones and singing along to tunes no one else could hear.

The ability to anticipate customer needs is the hallmark of successful companies. True innovators know their customers so well that they can imagine whole new ways for them to live and work. And that’s one reason SAP hosts SAPPHIRE every year — to learn more about you, understand how you work, and help you imagine new ways technology can transform your business.

Careful Preparation
When planning SAPPHIRE, we devote time and resources to understanding what will benefit you. We work with industry analysts to define key economic and business issues facing each of the industries we serve. When these challenges are complex — as they almost always are — we bring together business and technology experts who can master the details and articulate viable solutions.

We also investigate the new technologies and trends that interest you most and we find creative thinkers — both inside and outside SAP — who can help you visualize emerging scenarios for new technologies and opportunities.

Finally, at SAPPHIRE, we deliver all the resources you need to discover effective new solutions. For example, you can hear a panel of CEOs define their business strategies, have coffee with the chief technologist of a Fortune 500 company, and sit down with an SAP systems engineer to discuss a specific software feature — all in a single day. You can also meet other customers who can share their implementation experiences, and industry experts who can tell you precisely what to expect in terms of ROI. And SAPPHIRE remains the only place where you can see, firsthand, the entire depth and breadth of the SAP product line.

Answering the Hard Questions
If we do our jobs right, SAPPHIRE becomes a three-day business and technology think tank where SAP can work with you to answer important questions such as:

  • Which technology strategies are successful companies adopting? How and why are these strategies successful?

  • What implementation approaches work best? Which are least expensive? Which are most practical?

  • How are markets and industries evolving? What do big suppliers want? How much will it cost to gain access to global markets?

  • Are there strategies and business processes from other industries that could benefit my company?

  • What’s the best way to evaluate an SCM, CRM, HR, or financials solution? Which benchmarks mean the most? Which features matter most for my industry?

In short, we believe our determination to work closely with you on real business issues will spur innovation that benefits the entire SAP community.

I look forward to seeing you at SAPPHIRE Orlando this June 16-18.


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