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If You Build It, They Will Come

Combining technology with vertical or industry solutions and add-ons is key in developing your advantage.

SAP Guest Blogger

October 14, 2019

4 Min Read
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In the 1989 classic film Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner played a farmer in Iowa who was inspired by a mysterious voice to plow down his burgeoning corn crop to build a baseball field, despite murmurs around town regarding his sanity.

Using precious farmland to build a baseball diamond was far from status quo–it was radical, and his neighbors simply couldn’t understand his reasoning. Of course, his neighbors also couldn’t see or hear Shoeless Joe Jackson.

The point here is that many of us see things for their obvious intent and sometimes lack the creativity to enhance those things to serve other purposes.

But, like Costner’s character, sometimes it’s necessary to apply new ways of thinking to come up with innovative ideas to maintain relevance, especially as it pertains to technology. If you aren’t pushing the envelope in terms of intuitiveness, you risk becoming stagnant and losing your competitive edge.

Gary Vaynerchuk, serial entrepreneur, author and chairman of VaynerX–who will present at the Innovate LIVE by SAP event in New York in early November–perhaps captured this concept best: “Technology will run you over–someone who’s smaller than you will take on your business.”

That’s why it’s so important to pair vendor solutions with partner innovations to help businesses embrace technology to overcome challenges associated with growing pains. Combining technology with vertical or industry solutions and add-ons to offer the user increased functionality is key in developing your advantage.

With the right solution, you can help your customers strive to become a brand icon, helping to retain and grow loyal customers and acquire new ones. We buy from brands we trust, with experiences we love. When companies don’t meet our expectations, we go elsewhere at the speed of a click. Achieving 5% improvement in customer retention leads to a 95% improvement in profit.

With the right innovation, customers can focus on business, increasing revenue, reducing costs and boosting profits instead of worrying about outgrowing their IT. An intelligent cloud solution can help your customer control costs, grow efficiently and improve performance.

Depending on the need, technology can also help customers attract, nurture and retain the finest talent, helping to build a strong foundation for any business. When the right people are at the heart of HR transformation, the employee experience improves.

SAP SuccessFactors partner Paradox created an amazing assistive intelligence (AI) recruiting assistant, Olivia. Olivia provides real-time assistance much like Amazon’s Alexa, except that she focuses exclusively on the talent experience, including candidate, recruiter and hiring manager communications. With Olivia, organizations can more efficiently screen, schedule and guide qualified candidates through the hiring process. The best part is that recruiters are freed from administrative tasks, thanks to Olivas’s limitless bandwidth, allowing them to spend more time engaging talent and focusing on strategic work.

By embracing smarter technology today, your customers can transform their future. Think of how traditional models have shifted to digital ones, changing how we drive, answer the door and interact with household appliances. At SAP, similar solutions are found on the SAP App Center and are centered on artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain, machine learning and more.

For example, SAP partner Keytree leveraged SAP HANA and SAP Cloud Platform to help customer Sports & Wellbeing Analytics create a smart technology in an IoT-enabled, custom-fitted mouth guard. The mouth guard can detect and measure head impact and provide analytics to minimize risks. The mouthguard is currently being used in professional rugby, with the hope that it can help to make sports safer by providing objective surveillance in all contact sports and support performance benefits through better athlete management.

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s that there’s no room for complacency if you are focused on business growth and technology. I’m not saying you need to channel Shoeless Joe and plow under your cornfield, necessarily, but visionaries are needed to thrive, drive efficiency and outmaneuver the competition.

And, remember: If you build the right innovations, the customers will come!

To learn more, stream the 90-minute Innovate LIVE by SAP online event on Tuesday, Nov. 5, to get business building insights from Gary Vaynerchuck (@GaryVEE) and see examples of technology innovations that are helping small and midsize businesses fuel unpresented growth today.

Ira Simon (follow me on Twitter – @IraASimon) is global vice president, Partner & SME Marketing at SAP. Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://go.sap.com/partner.html.

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This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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