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      3 min read

      3 themes from Sapphire 2023

      SAPPHIRE 2023 marked another significant milestone, leaving a lasting impression in the books. Returning to the Orlando Convention Center, the event had that ‘SAP energy’ we’re used to as thousands of like minded individuals congregated to exchange experiences, delve into SAP's upcoming plans, and foster valuable connections. Going beyond the walls of the convention center, SAPPHIRE extended its reach into the surrounding areas of Orlando. This year's SAPPHIRE stood out with its unique blend of new announcements and a renewed emphasis on reinforcing SAP's past decisions, evoking a sense of excitement among attendees.

      Business Technology Platform (BTP) 

      Central to the discussions at SAPPHIRE was the prominence of the Business Technology Platform (BTP). It became clear that BTP is here to stay. Many of us are now recognizing the vision of how BTP can be instrumental in our operations. The concept of a 'clean core' has taken root, and BTP is here to help drive that within our organizations.  As many of us have taken, or are about to embark on our cloud journey, the idea of an easier architecture is an added benefit. However, the complexity of SAP system architectures shifts from on premise models to hybrid environments with a vast set of integrations and data points.  CIOs find themselves grappling with disparate data silos, and BTP emerges as the solution to seamlessly harmonize these integrations. Furthermore, BTP harnesses the power of SAP DataSphere to incorporate external data sources, extending its capabilities beyond the realm of SAP data.

      Keynote takeaways - Artificial Intelligence and BTP

      While BTP took center stage, in my perspective, it wasn't the focal point of the keynote. As expected in the spring of 2023, the keynote started with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. Although some attendees may have anticipated more on this topic, there were still some notable highlights to take away. Notably, a partnership between SAP and Microsoft was unveiled, with Christian Klein (SAP CEO) and Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO) speaking to Generative AI for the industry. The presentation then transitioned into an example of SuccessFactors for human capital management, showcasing how the integration with Microsoft can bring AI to the forefront. While some may have desired a deeper exploration of AI, Christian Klein's mention of doubling down on AI initiatives suggests that further developments in this field are on the horizon.

      Following the discussion on BTP and AI, the keynote transitioned to the topic of sustainability. Building upon Christian Klein's previous remarks on this subject in last year's keynote, the team delved even deeper this year, introducing Green Ledger, SAP’s solution to bring financial grade accounting practices into carbon accounting. A conversation between SAP's CFO and Schneider Electric's CFO shed light on the differences between financial and sustainability data and how the two can often be inconsistent.  By being able to sync the two into a single ledger, combine averages and actuals for footprint calculations at various levels, data can now all be easily recognized across the organization's value chain. As I left the keynote, I wondered whether this announcement might be perceived as ‘marketing fluff’ by the attendees. However, walking the show floor revealed multiple presentations, some at the larger perimeter stages, centering around sustainability and carbon footprints. My hope is that SAP will continue its focus on sustainability into the architectural layer, highlighting automation to drive the reduction of carbon footprints from an IT Operations perspective.

      Final words

      The remainder of the conference mirrored the themes highlighted in the keynote—BTP, AI, and sustainability, truly underscoring their relevance.  In past SAPPHIRE conference announcements, there was always this feeling of ‘Ok, will this actually take off?’, but I think I speak for a lot of the attendees this year when I say I don’t think that was the case for 2023. Conversations throughout the event seamlessly extended from the sessions and presentations, a testament to the fact the presentations were in line with the issues and subjects organizations are seeing at home.

      If you would like to learn how Avantra can help optimize your IT operations through automation, talk with one of our SAP experts today.