Innovation X: True Innovation Means Improving Lives

Working in technology, it can often be tricky to answer the question: “What does this actually mean for me?” A new API, a redesigned UI, a connection that wasn’t there before. What does this actually mean in the bigger scheme of things and why should I care?

I was thrilled to be invited to InnovationX, SAP UK’s leading event for innovation in technology. I was expecting demo after demo or technical sales pitches galore. What I experienced was completely different and left me exhilarated to be affiliated to a company that has an eye out for technology of the future, particularly as it pertains to making a difference in the lives of both people and animals.

It’s easy to get lost in the plethora of functions SAP plays a part in. Like having numerous fingers in very complicated pies. But InnovationX did a great job of bringing it home and making it real for me. Putting it in context and explaining the technology in a way that not only makes sense, but is meaningful to people like you and me. To expand, here are a few examples:


  • SAP works with a company called Canine Partners. They do all the hard work in terms of training their dogs to support adults with physical difficulties. The dogs can open doors, take clothes out washing machines, and pull back duvet covers. Where SAP comes in is with technology to tap the dog’s coat with your credit card to give a donation to the charity. Or the dog can nuzzle a face reader for a personalised dog-nose print to grant entry to a house. Isn’t that cool?


  • As a South African, a matter that is very close to my heart is the plight of rhinos and elephants across Africa, which are being poached relentlessly for their horns and tusks. SAP technology provides sophisticated GPS tracking and drone data around locations and reveals trends so that rangers can combat attacks on these magnificent beasts. Through initiatives like the ERP (Elephants, Rhinos, People) charity, great strides are being made in curbing the threat to prevent the extinction of these animals.


  • Where does your jumper come from? From source to sale, SAP technologies can facilitate the entire process, helping to ensure you’re selecting from sustainable suppliers, tracking stock movements, ensuring you’re limiting your carbon footprint and choosing value over cost. It’s amazing how technology affects every stage and can help you make smart decisions.


  • Imagine a health care system that can pick up when your sugar levels are low, identify when you haven’t left your house as expected or help carers reclaim their expenses without hassle. Many of these processes are available today and can improve people’s lives if we find a systematic and cost-effective way to introduce it on the NHS.


Finally, I’d like to leave you with one of my biggest “ah ha” moments. Data is a commodity now. What I am doing is of more interest to companies than what I am buying. Patterns of purchase mean more than sales. So that, why I am here, how I came to be here, what I am interested in, where I came from, what I am likely to do next…means more than a simple sale. For that reason, some companies will offer their products for free, like a free coffee, in exchange for data. Context is more meaningful than the cost of that coffee itself.

If you’d like to hear more about the life-changing technology showcased at InnovationX, we’d be thrilled to hear from you.

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