by David Williams, Analytics Solution Marketing, SAP

More than 1,200 people jammed the Milan Congress Center (Milano Congressi) for day one of SAPinsider’s Financials 2012. The day began with the keynote by James Fisher ,VP marketing, analytics, SAP, walking us through a CEO’s journey:

  • Setting and executing a strategy
  • Managing talent
  • Revolutionizing decision-making
  • Driving efficiency across core business processes
  • Effectively managing (and mobilizing) risk and compliance

Innovation was the common theme throughout – particularly the importance of innovation driving value for both customers and shareholders. James showed a nice graph of the positive correlation between the volume of Apple’s patent filings and share price. SAP celebrated it’s 40th birthday this year and innovation “waves” were featured in a timeline that spanned SAP R/2through the development of the SAP Business Suite, culminating in the key innovation areas of focus today – analytics, in-memory, mobility, and cloud.

Demos, Demos, and More Demos

Innovation demos were embedded throughout the keynote:

 

It was crystal clear coming out of the keynote that SAP is innovating at rapid pace with a mobile first strategy at the helm. Not to toot its own horn, customers shared the stage for the keynote to tell their SAP story, including:

 

Bryan Katis, VP and GM, EPM solution management, captured some of the magic coming out of day one in this video blog.

Day Two Highlights

Not to be outdone, Martin Naraschewski ,VP solution management for SAP’s finance applications, carried the innovation torch forward into the day two keynote, showcasing innovations in finance-based applications. Martin cruised through solutions for key financial processes, such as accounting and financial close, treasury and financial risk management, enterprise risk and compliance management, enterprise performance management, and financial shared services.

And the demo barrage continued with a demo of SAP Financial Closing cockpit, along with several keynote demos:

  • Dow Chemical showing how they use the financial closing cockpit to combine local and global tasks into one template/close schedule
  • Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) analytics on an iPad
  • End-to-end enterprise performance management (EPM) process running on an iPad, featuring sentiment analysis and BI on top of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation and SAP Profitability and Cost Management  as well as SAP RealSpend for expense analysis

 

If anyone was questioning whether SAP was innovating going into the conference, they certainly aren’t coming out.