The Digital Era is transforming the world. Finally the Global Village (Marshall McLuhan) is taking shape. New companies and new products and services are created and reach the mass market in an unprecedented speed. How can large corporations – the focus of this analysis via Porter’s Five Forces – deal with this power? How can SAP offerings address the subject?

The Dynamo

Traditional barriers for market protection became an inefficient reaction once disruptive products ignore these shields. Adapting Newton’s Third Law — for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — each threat should be fought with an opposite force generated by a permanent and constant state of innovation. It should not be only a reactive behaviour but dynamic and pro-active. In other words: innovation should be combated with innovation!

For every innovation threat, an equal opposite reaction should be created

SAP and Innovation

In terms of technology and business SAP and partners are in a position to help companies on the journey to digital transformation in two ways:

New Products: SAP and Partners can contribute to new products developments e.g. Nespresso from Nestle, or improvement of existent ones. In both cases insights can come from social media, for example, or from real-time analytics and Big Data.

New Processes: a disruptive idea might not be related to a product or service or even to a new company such as Uber or Airbnb. The innovation can be triggered by reviewing or creating new and more efficient processes; allowing, for instance, strategic and management teams access to information not available before.

Finally, a third component, beyond technology and business, should be presented: listening our clients. By doing so we have a long journey ahead. With our clients on board.

*this is part of a more detailed paper and above text is just a general introduction.

For another example of history influencing modern SAP concepts, read our thank you to Mr. Brunel.