7,000 or so attendees, of course, quite a bit less than Sapphire at its pre-pandemic peak. But this year, Orlando is only the first in a series of regional Sapphire events across the globe, along with a (free) virtual component.
Sapphire isn’t short on news – beyond one master press release, SAP literally published a Sapphire news guide, with clickable chapters.
In no particular order, some of the things we chased down with the Pyxis team around the convention center:
Sustainability is finally getting product traction.
In the keynote at the first post-pandemic Sapphire conference, SAP CEO, Christian Klein discussed supply chain resilience, sustainability, and business process transformation.
The 2022 iteration of the supplier’s annual customer and partner flagship event has been broken down into nine regional conferences, with the first being held as a scaled-down live event in Orlando, Florida. North European SAP customers will meet in The Hague on 17 May.
In a statement, Klein said: “For 50 years, SAP’s mission-critical solutions and deep industry expertise have helped businesses run their best. We’re uniquely positioned to continue enabling our customers’ success in a rapidly evolving world by driving cloud-based digital transformation that solves customers’ most pressing challenges, from supply chain resilience to sustainability.”
Supply chain, resilience, and sustainability have been big themes of Klein’s Sapphire keynotes during the Covid-19 period, and he returned to that ground at this conference.
Julia White, the chief marketing and solutions officer who joined SAP from Microsoft during the pandemic, had rough parity with Klein in the opening keynote, which also featured executives from customers Lenovo, Unilever, and Brazilian packaging company BoxPrint.
Klein welcomed in-person attendees at the start with an admission: “As much as we all got used to working virtually, I cannot tell you how much I missed this week here in Orlando to experience live what makes SAP so special: you, our community with over 400,000 customers, and 23,000 partners, from over 140 countries.”
Rise with SAP took a backseat to sustainability at SAP Sapphire 2022, which returned as a live event. There were no big product announcements, just a flurry of updates.
Klein summed up his address, after an interchange with Accenture’s chair and CEO Julie Sweet, that was mostly about the theme of sustainability. “Let’s reinvent how enterprises run for the next 50 years – resilient, intelligent, and sustainable”, he said.
For her part, Sweet said her firm sees sustainability holistically. “[Sustainability is] one of the forces that will shape the next decade, and the leading companies will be the ones that are able to harness that force. So, when we think about how we operate, SAP has been an important partner,” she said.
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