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The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 12, Iss. 3)

by Lori Mitchell-Keller | SAPinsider

July 1, 2011

Collaborate better, decide better, and operate better — these are the hallmarks of a successful strategy in today's "Networked Normal" business environment. SAP;s Lori Mitchell-Keller offers an introduction to the new solutions and features that SAP has developed to help customers better execute on these three dimensions.

Lori Mitchell-Keller
Senior Vice President
Line-of-Business Solution Management

SAP Labs

Global economic indicators continue to trend upward, showing that growth is returning to more companies and industries. This news is certainly welcome, but the task of effectively managing and fostering that growth while mitigating risk in the post-recession economy brings a new set of challenges to your organization with, very likely, a new sense of urgency.

One of these challenges actually began to emerge well before the recession started — business networks started becoming increasingly complex. Today, your customers, partners, and suppliers are likely more diverse in terms of their location, sophistication, and size. And while that diversity has clear business benefits, such as reduced risk in a particular geography or sector, it also increases the complexity across the supply chain. Companies that learn how to collaborate better with their extended networks will be the most successful when it comes to optimizing that diversity for growth.

As business networks have gotten more complex, so too have data networks. The increasing flow of data from various information systems and inputs brings a wealth of intelligence, but it also brings a risk of data overload. Organizations that can process this data effectively and decide better based on the resulting intelligence will have a competitive advantage in the growing economy.

With a close eye on the bottom line in a post-recession environment, organizations must still focus on controlling costs. Gone are the days when unjustified spending and inefficient processes and systems were tolerated. To manage costs and maximize growth potential, successful enterprises will develop strategies and employ simpler, more streamlined processes to operate better.

Collaborate better, decide better, and operate better — these are the hallmarks of a successful strategy in today’s “Networked Normal” business environment. But a strategy is only as effective as its execution. The top performers — the networked enterprises — are executing on all three of these dimensions simultaneously. Focusing on their core competencies, they efficiently collaborate with customers, employees, and partners to both extract value from and bring value to their broader ecosystem.

SAP has been working with customers to better understand the tactics that networked enterprises are using to execute on these three key dimensions, and to develop solutions to streamline that execution. You will see the results in the form of new solutions and new features across our portfolio. For example, to help you collaborate better and exchange information with your extended networks, we have developed new solutions, such as the SAP StreamWork application, and new capabilities, such as the microblogging feature in SAP

Supply Network Collaboration (SAP SNC). To help you decide better based on business intelligence, we’re launching a set of mobile analytic applications. And our new line of high-value, low-risk SAP Rapid Deployment solutions for supply chain, manufacturing, and product development — including batch manufacturing, energy analysis, and portfolio monitoring offerings — will help you operate better and manage costs by deploying targeted functionality through a uniquely agile delivery model.

And that’s just the beginning of an entirely new wave of offerings we’ll be introducing in the near future. After all, our strategy at SAP is to help you execute your strategy quickly and efficiently in the Networked Normal. 

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