Count+Care Adopts SAP Utilities Solutions to Stay Ahead

Central to Count+Care’s technological transformation is the integration of SAP S/4HANA Utilities and SAP Market Communication for Utilities. This strategic move symbolizes Count+Care’s commitment to remain a trendsetter in the energy sector. The synergy between Count+Care’s industry acumen and SAP utilities solutions is poised to redefine industry benchmarks. SAP S/4HANA Utilities is renowned for its […]

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SAP Infosys Solution Pioneers Sustainable Business Practices

In the current business landscape, sustainability is a crucial aspect that companies can no longer afford to overlook. The new SAP Infosys solution emerges as a key player in this arena, offering a powerful suite of tools to help businesses integrate sustainability into their core operations. At the heart of the SAP Infosys solution lies […]

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Digital Transformation Helps Companies Keep Promises

As I meet with business and IT leaders across various industries, I increasingly see how much they value their business’ relationship with customers. Like any relationship or partnership, how brands interact with their customers is essential to forming a foundation of trust and loyalty.

Organizations must deliver their brand promise to customers to establish that deep connection, and it is a lot easier to do when you’ve gained supply chain agility by embracing digital transformation.

The technological developments of recent years have given us greater resilience, flexibility, and visibility into what brands can deliver and what customers expect, but how can brands embrace digital transformation to go even further to enhance those relationships?

I had the chance to discuss this topic with Sally Eaves, professor in Advanced Technologies, and global strategic advisor and special guest Steve Birgfeld, VP of Information Technology and Services at Blue Diamond Growers, as part of SAP’s Live Chat series on Tomorrow’s Tech Today platform. I am pleased to share a few key takeaways from our engaging conversation about how brands can achieve end-to-end visibility of their supply and distribution chains to create the type of customer experiences that drive loyalty and profitability.

Empowering the City of Antibes to Redefine Digital Contract Management

In the era of digital transformation, multi-company processes governed by legal contracts are becoming increasingly common. With the untapped potential of decentralized processes, there is a growing prospect for digitizing and automating collaborative contract management, streamlining operations, and reducing risks and costs. 

Recognizing this potential, the City of Antibes and SAP Innovation Center Network have joined forces to redefine digital contract management with a focus on public procurement processes. Patrick Duverger, chief technology officer of the City of Antibes, describes its previous procurement operations as follows: “Although we achieved a high level of operational proficiency, our business processes lacked full traceability. This resulted in process opacity when it comes to recurring delays, delivery errors, or administrative sanctions. By gaining a deeper understanding of our processes, we can optimize them, reduce costs, and minimize business risks.” 

Transparent and Traceable Collaboration 

The lack of visibility and traceability in these processes hindered automation, cross-organizational data and process mining, and intelligence. This directly affected how disputes were resolved and impacted organizational budgets. 

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To address this challenge, SAP Innovation Center Network developed a prototype based on the SAP Cross-Company Workflow Collaboration service, combined with a blockchain-based shared ledger on SAP HANA Cloud. “This prototype aims to replace manual practices with automated, cross-company orchestrations. By using an SAP HANA Cloud shared ledger, organizations like the City of Antibes can benefit from a permissioned, publicly verifiable, and immutable audit trail of cross-organizational interactions,” says Benjamin Stoeckhert, innovation product manager at SAP Innovation Center Network, illustrating the potential of this innovation. 

“Leveraging the full potential of an SAP HANA Cloud shared ledger allows us to connect digital platforms that unite businesses and government to track the compliance of services and product deliveries according to contractual terms and conditions,” explains Duverger. “We can leverage data from different parties, such as logistics companies and quality certification bodies, and move beyond the era of cumbersome paperwork and manual processes. For example, this pattern is applicable to procurement processes where multiple parties verify the compliance of suppliers and their deliveries.”

Complete Control of Unencrypted Data 

However, opening up collaborative processes directly conflicts with customer privacy concerns. This dilemma poses a significant challenge for next-generation contract management. How can businesses ensure transparency without compromising the privacy of private business information and processes? Duverger emphasizes the importance of protecting sensitive public procurement secrets: “Confidentiality, including negotiated prices and deal sizes, is paramount for us and our suppliers.” 

In response to this pressing need, the SAP Security Research team, in collaboration with the SAP Innovation Center Network blockchain team, has extended SAP Cross-Company Workflow Collaboration with a hardware-based privacy-enhancing technology (PET) innovation. Dr. Laurent Gomez, who led this innovation with Antibes, explains: “Before committing a transaction to the shared ledger, organizations encrypt it along with its associated sensitive information, using their own managed cryptographic material. Encrypted data and processes are only processed within secure and trusted hardware modules, with the explicit consent of each stakeholder.” 

Future-focused solutions can solve today’s challenges and shape the next generation of enterprise software

This innovation can unlock significant business value by helping to automate cross-company operations and protect the privacy of customer data while still allowing for analysis. The key contribution of this approach is that it gives customers complete control and ownership of their encrypted material. “SAP can never access unencrypted data; the only data that leaves our information system is encrypted by us,” says Duverger. “SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) allows us to hold our own encryption keys, which is different from competing solutions.”  

5% Less Late Payment Penalty Costs 

The co-innovation has revealed the bottlenecks that slow down the procurement process at the City of Antibes and lead to late payment penalties for suppliers and delivery delays. “By adopting this secure distributed ledger approach, we have improved these key performance indicators without changing the process itself. We can now reliably manage all our procurement transactions,” says Duverger. “A key achievement was that we reduced our delinquency rate by 5%, which significantly minimized the impact of late payment penalty costs on our global spend budget.” 

The project was recently recognized at the highest national level with the Territoria Gold Award by the French Ministries of the Interior, Ecological Transition, and Territorial Cohesion.

© Niclas Fagot Studio9

To find out more about SAP Cross-Company Workflow, get in touch with us at

Corinna Schmidt is part of NVT Communication at SAP.

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The Role of Partnerships in Tackling Climate Change

Industrial developments and related technological advancements have been an important determinant in the course of our history. Over the last century and more, industry has revolutionized our economies and helped drive our societies.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that industry plays an even more ineluctable role in scripting the future of humanity, one that involves sustainable social, environmental, and economic development.

As a global challenge, the climate crisis calls for businesses and countries to move beyond their siloed approaches, commitments, and climate pledges to fully embrace sustainability. The 2030 Agenda philosophy of “no one left behind” requires global partnerships.

With more and more countries investing in resilient infrastructure, there is a growing need to improve our existing industrial infrastructure. Here, technological innovation will be key. Technology is no longer the limiting factor for organizations to become sustainable businesses, rather it is the enabling agent in going green.

Calculate extended producer responsibility obligations, plastic taxes, and corporate commitments to optimize material choices

Sustainable development calls for institutional and value changes as well as cultural adjustments. As organizations worldwide look to don the green cape, behavioral change and transformation in business processes will be critical in making green technology mainstream. It must be incorporated into mainstream policies to promote national and international cooperation.

In 2024, sustainability will not just be the right thing to do, it will become a core strategic imperative for businesses. In addition to managing top- and bottom-line, forward-looking organizations are now focusing on sustainability as the third dimension to drive business growth. Managing the green ledger will be critical to enterprise success as customers, employees, and even investors increasingly turn toward companies that are pro-actively deploying sustainable business practices.

A Shared Responsibility Between Private Sector and Technology Leaders

In the battle against climate change, the private sector and technology leaders bear a significant responsibility. The crucial role businesses play in contributing to environmental goals underscores the importance of partnerships with key stakeholders — be it ecosystem partners, governments, non-governmental organizations, or citizens. The focus is on global and local examples where collaborative efforts have illustrated tangible impact achievable through cross-sector collaboration.

Partnerships that leverage the distinctive strengths and resources of each sector demonstrate how collective action can lead to meaningful change. The collaborative approach is presented as imperative for tackling the complexity of climate challenges.

Governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and citizens are not merely spectators, but active participants in the collective effort to combat climate change.

Governments wield significant influence in shaping policies and regulations that set the tone for environmental stewardship. Their commitment to sustainable practices and climate-friendly policies is pivotal. Businesses, as drivers of economic activity, hold a dual responsibility – not only to operate profitably but also to do so in an environmentally conscious manner. NGOs play a crucial role in advocacy and action, acting as watchdogs and catalysts for change. Citizens, too, are integral, as consumers and advocates who influence the demand for sustainable practices.

The Path to a Low-Carbon Future Is Circular

The path to a low-carbon future is circular. The good news is that a circular economy is not just about fixing environmental wrongs but brings about opportunities and drives positive impact across industries, sectors, and lives. Working toward a circular economy can protect human health and biodiversity in many ways, including better use of natural resources, such as protecting water and land, thus mitigating the climate crisis.

Organizations like SAP are leading this shift with an aim to become carbon-neutral in their own operations by 2023.

At SAP Labs India, 97% of the energy consumed at the Bengaluru campus comes from green energy sources. Additionally, 70% of the transport services are run on electric vehicles with a network of 65 charging stations at the campus for employees. This environmentally conscious approach extends to food sourcing, actively supporting local farmers and communities. Moreover, there has been a seamless replacement of disposable items like cutlery and containers with sustainable alternatives. Dedication to paperless operations is evident in the success of apps like Appane, Physio app, and the digital printing and stationery request system,which collectively contribute to a substantial reduction in paper consumption. The transition from traditional paper food coupons to a user-friendly app developed externally is a clear demonstration of an innovative approach to sustainable practices.

To drive sustainable business practice, it is important to first measure carbon footprint, assess and reduce emissions, increase resource productivity through circular processes, and run safer, sustainable business processes. SAP is uniquely positioned to help firms tackle this challenge and become sustainable enterprises with its suite of technology solutions.

Through partnerships, innovative practices, and a holistic approach to sustainability, all the stakeholders need to come together to shape a future where businesses thrive in harmony with the environment.

Sindhu Gangadharan is senior vice president and managing director of SAP Labs India and head of SAP User Enablement.

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