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SAP Business Insights Podcast Highlights of 2021 with Host Tom Raftery – Digital Enterprise & Enterprise Analytics

I not too long ago had the chance to sit down down with Tom Raftery, host of the SAP Business Insights Podcast (amongst others!) to debate a few of the highlights and customary themes in final yr’s episodes. The matters coated all kinds of various industries, with numerous nice, concrete examples of how SAP’s prospects and companions are utilizing know-how to innovate.

Right here’s a hyperlink to the episode itself, adopted by an abridged and edited model of our dialogue — and you will discover the complete record of episodes, with hyperlinks, on the finish of this submit.


Tom Raftery: Good day everybody, work into the business insights podcast by SAP. My identify is Tom Raftery, and with me on the present right this moment, I’ve my particular visitor Timo Elliott—would you prefer to introduce your self?

Timo Elliott: Good day everybody! I’m an innovation evangelist for SAP. It’s a bit of little bit of an odd title, but it surely principally means I work with our prospects on the vanguard of innovation, try to collect the teachings realized after which share that with as many individuals as potential in order that we will all be extra profitable.

Tom Raftery: What do you imply it’s an odd title?! I’ve precisely the identical one! We all know that you just’re a rabidly enthusiastic listener to this podcast, so we’ve invited you to this specific episode as a result of it’s the round-up episode, we’ve had eight or 9 episodes revealed now since September of 2021, you’ve listened to all of them… Thanks for that. So we wished to succeed in out and chat, and for individuals who haven’t perhaps heard the entire episodes, perhaps give them a bit of abstract for people who find themselves considering their themes that we’ve coated. So over to you to — what did you’re taking from the episodes you’ve listened to?

Timo Elliott: Let me begin by turning it round — what have been YOUR  favourite episodes? If you suppose again, which episodes bounce out, and why?

Tom Raftery: There have been so many. I believe the one about getting good about charging electrical automobiles must have been my favourite. I imply, I run numerous podcasts, this one, the local weather 21 podcast, the digital provide chain podcast, and anybody who listens to these will probably be conscious that electrical automobiles are a selected ardour of mine.

I’ve been speaking about them for a very long time. I drove my first totally electrical automobile again in 2010, it was a prototype-ness and leaf, it was certainly one of two totally different on the earth on the time, so this has been one thing that I’ve been banging on about for ages, and that specific episode was actually attention-grabbing as a result of it was with a start-up firm, so loads of instances if we’ve firms on their companions or their huge prospects, however this was a small firm, a small German startup primarily based out of Munich, ChargeX. And so they have provide you with a manner for make it simpler to roll out electrical automobile charging infrastructure. It’s a bit like an influence strip — you initially get an electrician to come back alongside to put in your very first charger however then if you wish to set up extra chargers for extra automobiles that you just lengthen your electrical automobile fleet, you are able to do it your self, you don’t must get an electrician again as a result of they have already got the infrastructure in place. And the software program manages the entire thing, so for organizations who’re beginning out with perhaps one or two electrical automobiles, however plan on additional down the road including extra to their fleet, this can be a improbable resolution

Firms who’re doing this may then handle charging and billing, and all the opposite points of getting electrical automobile fleet.

One other spotlight was the corporate Lizee, who arrange a platform for retailers to do rental the place they might usually be doing simply straight buying. They defined every part within the episode Renting is the brand new shopping for.

One of many examples they utilized in that episode was they work with Decathlon in France. If you wish to go tenting to the countryside, as a substitute of spending numerous cash on a tent and sleeping bag and so forth — gear that you just may not use once more for a very long time — Decathlon makes use of the Lizee platform to allow you to e-book a tent for nonetheless lengthy you want it, after which give it again. After which it may be utilized by any individual else every week later, and so it’s about getting much more utility out of the assets that went into the manufacture of that tent. And naturally they refurbish it each time, and you may depart suggestions, and rankings.

There was additionally an episode on the round financial system that was nice, with SAP’s Stephen Jamieson. It was the primary time I heard the expression Regenerative Enterprise.

General, it’s actually arduous for me to select a favourite, however should you put a gun to my head, it must be {the electrical} automobile charging one, as a result of that’s such a ardour of mine, as you already know…

Timo Elliott: I dwell on this metropolis and I haven’t owned a automobile in over 20 years. So my favourite electrical automobile is an electrical bus! 🙂.

Tom Raftery: I used to be trying on the Bloomberg New Vitality Ventures web site not too long ago on electrical automobiles, and totally 40% of latest bus gross sales now are totally electrical buses globally, so that you’re not alone.

Timo Elliott: It’s great. I dwell in within the coronary heart of Paris, and there’s loads of loud automobiles and motorcycle after which huge bus, packed full of individuals, simply glides move nearly  noiselessly.. I actually hope the way forward for transport is much more alongside these strains.

So my favourite was additionally Renting is the brand new shopping for.  Most individuals hire skis relatively than shopping for, as a result of it’s simpler and cheaper and extra handy — so why not apply that mannequin to extra issues? The logic of the argument was very convincing.

I additionally cherished the episode The Race to Zero: Regenerative Enterprise Fashions for a Sustainable Future.

I realized rather a lot out of each of these episodes after which my final favourite was in regards to the Way forward for Work  and the The Rise of the Contingent Workforce
with the CTO of SAP Fieldglass. Once more, it was as a result of I realized rather a lot about one thing I didn’t learn about — simply how a lot of the work that goes on in firms around the globe is completed by individuals apart from your staff, and simply the way it vital it’s to take that under consideration.

Tom Raftery: He mentioned round 40% or one thing that was contingent?

Timo Elliott: He estimated about 50% of the work that will get performed is completed by people who don’t be just right for you immediately — so it’s vital to know who these individuals are. That is very true as we begin transferring in the direction of the gig financial system, when individuals are altering careers much more typically and also you’re speaking about community of networks. As you consider individuals being able to maneuver from job to job and between tasks over time, after which having the ability to hold observe of that throughout an ecosystem, you would see why that makes an enormous quantity of sense.

Tom Raftery: And it makes us make sense for the staff as properly, to have in a single place all of the data of all of the work they’ve performed. I keep in mind just a few years in the past a speaker at an occasion mentioning that his father had had one job his total life, whereas he had had seven jobs at the moment in his lifetime, and he mentioned he totally anticipated his children to have seven jobs concurrently of their lifetimes… And that was again in 2006 when no one had but heard of the expression “gig financial system”. No it’s on everybody’s tongue, and that episode was actually, actually, actually attention-grabbing.

Timo Elliott: Nicely, I’m not likely certified to speak about that as a result of I’ve been the identical firm now for 30 years! Let me ask you one other query: what did you get pleasure from most about internet hosting these episodes?

Tom Raftery: You already know, I believe it’s the variability. I host the local weather 21 podcast, as I discussed earlier, and that’s actually attention-grabbing as a result of it’s one other subject that I’m fairly keen about, but it surely’s fairly slim, and I additionally host the Digital Provide Chain Podcast, and once more, that’s actually attention-grabbing as a result of it’s individuals speaking about stuff that’s actually vital proper now. It’s fairly broad as a result of we outline provide chain as every part from the planning, engineering and manufacturing, the supply, the operation of gadgets, and so on. so the entire gamut, however nonetheless, the industries podcast matters are so broad. You talked about a few of the episodes there. We additionally did one on rail, for instance, one other on telecoms, a bunch of them on retailing…

Timo Elliott: One among issues I discovered attention-grabbing is a few of the frequent themes that got here out that there are some areas the place all people has been scuffling with the identical factor, basically. Clearly, one is change. I can’t actually consider a interval that has been topic to extra change within the final and a half, due to the pandemic — on prime of all of those different developments that have been already accelerating.

Tom Raftery: I believe we’ve referred to it already, sustainability was a giant one, and I believe that’s going to be a giant pattern going ahead, as a result of the rules round sustainability are altering enormously. Right here in Europe, we’ve agreed to a 55% discount in emissions by 2013, which is extremely bold, and I believe lots of people don’t understand the type of degree of systemic change that can require. And that different 45% after 2030 to get to internet zero can be even more durable to get, which suggests much more modifications. Up till now,  sustainability has been fairly often a “good to have”, however going ahead, it’s going to be a requirement. For instance, we’re see all types of laws requiring firms to measure set targets, measure and report their emissions, for instance.

We talked about sustainable journey with rail in one of many episodes, as a result of 2021 is formally the yr of rail. There’s an ideal quote by a man referred to as Gustavo Petro, former Mayor of Bogotá, the place he says that “a developed nation just isn’t one the place poor individuals who have automobiles, it’s one the place wealthy individuals take public transportation.”

I like that quote as a result of it speaks to the significance of public transportation as a lever for getting circumstances down. The quantity of individuals you may get on a bus or on a practice is extraordinarily excessive in comparison with private transportation, and should you get the emissions down on these, then immediately, that’s a giant win for everybody.

Timo Elliott: There are another episodes that discuss sustainability… For instance, the episode about how companies can take motion after COP26, which featured Michael Groves of Topolytics.

There have been some nice quotes. “It’s all about analyzing garbage knowledge” , “Waste is  only a useful resource within the fallacious place” — the thought is that one individual waste is one other individual’s enter. And your quote about “individuals discuss throwing issues away, there’s no such place as ‘away’ — it finally ends up underground, or leaks into the surroundings, until you progress to a extra round financial system the place you utilize the outputs of 1 factor into the inputs of one other. Or, as you talked about, nothing in nature is wasted, it at all times goes into the following a part of the cycle, so how can we mimic that with the world financial system? I believed it was fascinating.

And going again to the episode in regards to the Regenerative Enterprise Fashions, I wished to place in an additional plug there for SAP Accountable Design and Manufacturing. We try to assist with applied sciences that assist organizations get rid of waste, and create connections, to be able to join the waste of 1 business with the implementer after which drive new enterprise fashions. It’s basically digital, and it’s basically about networks, so it’s very a lot one thing that we’re enthusiastic about.

Tom Raftery: Yep, completely. Different matters or different themes that I believe have been talked about throughout a number of of the episodes have been the usage of knowledge. We had an episode in regards to the enterprise fashions of streaming content material and buyer expertise, and naturally, that may be very a lot round knowledge… I hate the expression “knowledge is the brand new oil “as a result of I don’t suppose that’s a great factor given the place we’re a local weather change right this moment. However the significance of knowledge has now develop into extraordinarily apparent to everybody, I believe, and the truth that increasingly gadgets have gotten related and good means they’re producing knowledge and transmitting knowledge. If you wish to actually reap the benefits of of your investments, you should seize that knowledge and switch it into actionable insights. And that’s occurring throughout each business — we’re undoubtedly going to see an rising significance round knowledge and methods to behave on that knowledge.

Timo Elliott: Completely. Knowledge was talked about in nearly each episode — for instance, you talked about how automation helps Maple Leaf Meals save money and time. They’re making use of machine studying to create extra clever commerce claims administration.

Tom Raftery: It’s while you get a promotion for some retailer that you just go to — it may be coupons is a newspaper, however extra typically it’s now one thing digital, otherwise you get a reduction off one thing that you just would possibly go shopping for, reminiscent of 10% off your subsequent buy of one thing.

So that you go to the shop, author, bodily or on-line, you make your purchases, you enter your low cost code or your hand over your coupon, after which that needs to be associated, so the shop proprietor who has given us that promotion to all the shoppers or a subset of the shoppers then claims that again towards the corporate who manufactured no matter it’s. The producer has to get all these claims again after which has to match the claims towards the promotion, and it’s a horrific guide menial process.

Timo Elliott: Paul Smith of SAP gave us the business common — it takes round fifty days to do the reconciliation and it value round 5 thousand {dollars} to do a thousand claims. So it’s costly, and though Maple Meals is already higher than the common, they’re seeing some nice outcomes with the pilot use of machine studying know-how, they usually’re hoping to get that all the way down to 1 / 4 to a fifth of the time and the prices.

Tom Raftery: And what the know-how does is it does the automated matching, so it’ll match as much as about 80% of the claims robotically, after which if it’s unsure, it would push the the final 20% for somebody to do it manually.  That’s 80% of the work performed. Mechanically, that’s an enormous time-saving

Timo Elliott: One other episode about utilizing knowledge was with with Michael Scheibner of GK Software program, a companion of SAP that has a platform that helps create really personalised new channel experiences — principally the type of experiences that all of us anticipate now.

One among my favourite elements of that episode was truly an instance that touched on sustainability. Cameras can take a look at recent produce reminiscent of strawberries, after which algorithms detect when the standard goes down and decide at what level the retailer ought to begin discounting in order that that product will get out of the shop earlier than it goes off—bettering margins with much less wastage.

To do this, you’ve given a reduction, however perhaps the algorithms may you additionally allow you to enhance the worth of an corresponding annex product. Michael gave the instance of reducing the worth on strawberries however elevating it on whipped cream, which are usually bought the identical time, in order that your general profitability stays the identical. I believed that was a stunning win-win alternative utilizing know-how.

He additionally cited the Costco instance of utilizing analytics and machine studying to create algorithms to optimize bread manufacturing, once more utilizing cameras. They detect when the bread that’s left might be not sufficient to cowl the demand that’s anticipated for the remainder of the day. In order that they calculate how way more bread to bake, with out leading to waste on the finish of the day.

The truth is, do you know that the very first enterprise use of computer systems was within the UK, in 1951, in Lyons Tea Retailers? And that the very first profitable run of that know-how was calculating what number of sandwiches to make for the following day to try to reduce waste?  Using that know-how in that specific space has been occurring for a very long time.

Tom Raftery: I had no concept! Stay and be taught. Nice, I cherished as properly. They have been utilizing machine studying to do issues like “Cling on— you’re getting spaghetti? Would you like some pasta sauce with that?” Actually intelligent stuff.

Timo Elliott: After which going again to the ChargeX instance: there are extra automobiles that may be charged concurrently, so that they try to work out which of them want charging first — for instance, if a automobile is charged to the airport and you already know that individual’s gone for every week, you possibly can cost it very slowly, as a result of it’s not a precedence. But when any individual’s simply stopped for 5 minutes to have a espresso, they should cost now. They’re engaged on algorithms to have the ability to determine all this robotically, and I believed that was a really attention-grabbing use case as properly.

Tom Raftery: Sure—and if it’s in an worker automobile park, staff can say what time they’re leaving, or if it’s in a carpark in a single day, individuals can program in what time they’re planning to go away within the morning, so the the system can optimize charging round that as properly. So numerous actually attention-grabbing issues you are able to do there with knowledge and clever algorithms

Timo Elliott: And one of many huge matters for me: we speak rather a lot about know-how, however the finish of the day, it’s all about individuals, and a minimum of a few episodes touched on individuals. One was Episode 49 on how human expertise administration can probably assist the trucking business. The opposite one was, as we’ve talked about, Episode 45 about the way forward for work and the rise of the contingent workforce. Each of them actually emphasised how vital individuals are for industries and for all of this innovation that’s occurring.

Tom Raftery: And one level on the trucking: there was a remark which I believed was essential, that the cash given to truck drivers hasn’t saved tempo with the price of residing, and that’s been an enormous issue. Their relative earnings has fallen drastically over the past 20 to 30 years, so no marvel we’ve a scarcity of truck drivers.

Timo Elliott: And the working circumstances are an vital a part of an ecosystem, not simply the pricing. It’s the best way they’re paid—they’re not paid for once they’re ready round or in the event that they’re loading the truck, solely whereas they’re on the highway. And the services are vital—if you’re spending your life in a truck, then you definately’d prefer to go someplace clear when it’s important to go right into a service station as so on.

And we’ve been speaking rather a lot about machine studying and the significance of making efficiencies and doing issues in new methods, however one of many issues that I’d like to emphasise—as a result of I’ve come throughout this many instances speaking to prospects—is each time it’s been a possibility for the present employees to cease doing work they hate: the drudge work. It may be advanced, but it surely’s not attention-grabbing, so these applied sciences are liberating them as much as do extra attention-grabbing issues. Once more, take a look at the Maple Leaf Meals instance. Proper now, there are big groups of people who take care of this paperwork, however they’re now going to be free to work on the extra advanced circumstances, which they presently simply write off. And so they can spend time truly bettering the entire system and making it extra environment friendly.

The ultimate factor that I’d like to say is co-innovation—the entire level of this business collection is to emphasise the alternatives of organizations working collectively in a selected business. Know-how is vital, however there’s additionally context and know-how and connections and networks and bringing that collectively is how we get the innovation. And that’s the place the SAP Business Cloud initiatives are available—for instance, we’re a part of the Catena-x vehicle community.  It’s principally making an attempt to assist the entire gamers within the automobile or automotive business work collectively to create the way forward for what the business appears to be like like, as a result of it’s clearly going to be very totally different from right this moment. And one other instance is GK software program—the omni-channel strategy is an extension to the SAP platform. We all know that we will’t cowl every part, so we need to work rather a lot with our companions and prospects to create these add-on options that work for particular business and makes use of.

Tom Raftery: Nice, we’re coming in the direction of the top of the podcast now. Is there something that we’ve not talked about that you just suppose it’s vital for individuals to conscious of, or any questions I’ve not requested you that you just want I had?

Timo Elliott: We spend loads of time and our assets for these sorts of reveals speaking about what individuals actually care about, so one factor that I might encourage individuals is: please give us suggestions! Inform us what you’d like to listen to extra about, and if in case you have an ideal story to inform, please contact us and we’ll try to get you on the present.

Tom Raftery: You’ll be able to attain out to me at any time on any of my social networks. I’m very seen on Twitter, I’m very seen on Linkedin, or simply ship me an over-fashioned electronic mail to at any time.

Okay, Timo. That’s been improbable. Thanks 1,000,000 for coming in to podcast right this moment.

Timo Elliott: Thanks! I’m trying ahead to the following episode!

Tom Raftery:  If you wish to discover our business portfolio to seek out the options you should run your enterprise higher, please go to us at


Appendix: an inventory of Business Perception episodes hosted by Tom Raftery in 2021:

Episode 40: The Race to Zero: Regenerative Enterprise Fashions for a Sustainable Future

Within the first episode of Season 2 of the Business Insights by SAP podcast, new host Tom Raftery speaks with Wesley Spindler, International Round Economic system Lead at Accenture and Stephen Jamieson, SAP International Head of Round Economic system Options.

Episode 41: Seven Key Traits Driving the Way forward for the Client Merchandise Business

Host Tom Raftery and Sunny Neely, SAP International Resolution Director for Client Merchandise, focus on insights from a latest analysis examine which revealed 7 key developments which are driving the Client Merchandise business right this moment.

Episode 42: The Way forward for Sustainable Purchasing

This week, host Tom Raftery sits down with Achim Schneider, International Head, SAP Retail Enterprise Unit and Michael Scheibner, Head of Technique, GK Software program to learn how retailers can construct again higher from the pandemic.

Episode 43: Getting Good About Charging Electrical Automobiles

Tobias Wagner (CEO/co-founder, ChargeX) and Hagen Huebach (Head of Automotive business, SAP) focus on how the shift to electrical mobility will affect the grid and the way companies can put together.

Episode 44: Streaming Companies: Nice CX is the Key to Buyer Loyalty

Streaming providers noticed speedy progress throughout covid – however which is able to prospects stick round as soon as life returns to regular? Richard Whittington, International Head of Media at SAP and Erik Vogel, International Head of Excessive Tech & Telco at SAP Qualtrics, share their ideas.

Episode 45: Way forward for Work – The Rise of the Contingent Workforce

Vish Baliga (CTO, SAP Fieldglass) talks in regards to the challenges companies face, throughout industries, in sustaining visibility and reference to an more and more contingent workforce in a risky and quickly shifting market.

Episode 46: Modernizing Rail For A Digital and Sustainable Future

2021 is the Yr of Rail, an EU huge initiative to advertise rail as “a sustainable, revolutionary, and protected mode of transport.” Alicia Gutierrez and Kevin Schock from SAP focus on what this implies for SAP, our prospects, and their prospects.

Episode 47: The Way forward for Telecommunications – 5G

Domen Rakovec, SAP Basic Supervisor for Companies Industries, Center & Japanese Europe, talks in regards to the previous, current, & way forward for the telecommunications business and the alternatives for telcos to leverage 5G know-how to diversify their income streams.

Episode 48: Retailers: Why Renting Is The New Shopping for

On this week’s episode, Tanguy Frécon, Co-Founder & Chairman at Lizee shares how Lizee helps manufacturers and retailers attain each their progress and sustainability objectives by increasing their rental enterprise and increasing the usage of their merchandise.

Episode 49: How Can The Trucking Business Retain and Appeal to Drivers To Forestall Provide Shocks?

Attracting and retaining drivers are two prime trucking business points, particularly in context of the present driver scarcity. Firms should discover an efficient strategy to innovate towards these points. Can HXM know-how assist with international provide chain points?

Episode 50: How Automation is Serving to Maple Leaf Meals Save Time and Cash

This week on the podcast, our company Manny Ki (Dir, Data Options, Maple Leaf Meals) and Paul Smith (SAP) share with us how shopper merchandise firms can automate commerce claims administration to avoid wasting money and time.

Episode 51: After COP 26 – how companies can take motion

Michael Groves (Topolytics) and Natasha Pergl (SAP) to debate how firms can use knowledge science modelling to trace supplies throughout the provision chain for sustainable decision-making.



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