Martin Brownsword, SBN
Somewhere between 50 – 60 customers and partners gathered at Pearl Consulting’s premises in Lysaker for this year’s “Innovasjonsdagen”. The event has established a familiar structure where keynotes and SAP system experts provide a morning session followed by parallel breakout presentations after lunch.
Geir Thoresen, one of Pearl’s founding partners, started the key notes section with a summary of highlights from the retail sector in Norway. This left us with a clear image of 2018, a tough year for retailers with an ever-increasing level of competition, meagre margins and a wave of bankruptcies. There has been some growth in the retail sector but the highest contributor to this has been through overseas net sales, which is bad news for local retailers. Innovative use of technology and increased awareness of consumer habitscontinue to be key differentiators as actors vie for what they hope is an increased market share.
The key notes continued with the ever popular “father” of ERP in Norway, Bo Hjort Christensen and 2 key messagesI took away were:
SAP rounded out the morning session with a peek at some of the new functionality in the latest version of S/4 HANA, the latest architecture and how customers can leverage the possibilities on the journey to becoming an “Intelligent Enterprise”. This was followed by a whirlwind tour of the latest in SAP Retail where we saw the various roadmaps, heard about the basic differences between the latest on premise and cloud versions and the various deployment options. To round off, SAP mentioned Project Blueberry, SAP Data Warehouse as a Service, SAP Analytics Cloud for Retail, and one of SAP’s latest acquisitions, Qualtrics, and how this product could enhance C/4 HANA.
After lunch, I enjoyed the presentation from Borregaard, where Roger Folke-Olsen explained Borregaard’s SAP journey over the last 20 years. He shared the background and progress of their Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) implementation as a sidecar to their ECC 6 EHP7 backend system. It was interesting to hear that they bought their HANA licenses some years ago, have spent much time analysing their route to S/4 HANA and do not envisage performing the actual move before 2021. In the meantime, they are pushing ahead with their EWM project while moving SAP onto an Azure platform. Additionally, they have put in place partnerships with Pearl for Application Management and Fujitsu for hosting, infrastructure and cloud services.
Other takeaways from the breakout sessions I attended were:
Like last year, the event was interesting, educational and conducted in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere throughout the day.
Geir Thoresen - Pearl
Jan Grimm Torstensen - SAP
Tor Håbrekke - SAP
Stein Tronstad - SAP
Kim Tornes - SAP
Anders Bakken - Pearl
Roger Folke-Olsen - Borregaard