Displaying items by tag: SAP
Middle East e-commerce set to triple in value by 2020, research shows
Investment in technology and innovation in the online financial services sector is now essential in the Middle East, according to research on digital use and e-commerce in the region conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social. The findings show that in the UAE, 62 percent of people bought something online in the last month, a 25 percent year on year rise, and 47 percent of people made a purchase using their mobile in that period.
Research by Hootsuite, a platform for managing social media, and We Are Social, a global social media agency, confirms that consumers in the Middle East now demand online solutions that they can access through their mobile phones on social media platforms. Therefore, it’s essential that the online financial sector invests in the appropriate technology or risks being left behind.
Hootsuite and We Are Social recently released ‘Digital in 2017’, a report of social media and digital trends around the world, examining data from 238 countries. The report revealed interesting figures from the more affluent nations in the GCC, revealing that 99 percent of people in the UAE use the internet, 70 percent in Saudi Arabia, and 93 percent in Bahrain.
What’s more, the research shows that Qatar and the UAE have the highest social media penetration of any country in the world (both 99 percent), while Saudi Arabia has seen the highest growth in penetration with a 73 percent rise resulting in 59 percent of the Saudi population using social channels.
The research also reveals that of the 246 million people living in the Middle East, 60 percent (147 million) now use the internet, which is up 15 percent from 2016. In addition, 34 percent (93 million) are active on social media, representing a 47 percent year on year rise, and there are an incredible 312 million mobile phone subscriptions in the region.
On a global scale, the amount of web traffic on mobile devices has soared in recent years, with just over half (50.3 percent) now being accessed this way, a significant rise from 2013 (35 percent) and from the first figure recorded in 2009 of 0.7 percent.
The research revealed interesting findings on e-commerce, with 1.61 billion people buying online in 2016 (22 percent of the global population). This equates to a total business to consumer market of US$1.915 trillion in 2016, which is US$1,189 on average per person.
In the UAE alone, 62 percent of people bought something online in the last month, according to the research, which is a 25 percent year on year rise, and 47 percent of people made a purchase using their mobile in that period. In Saudi Arabia, 39 percent of people made online purchases, an increase of 57 percent from last year, and 33 percent of people bought online using their mobiles.
Real-time digital transactions will transform Middle East e-commerce by 2020, said Souq.com recently, the region’s largest e-commerce platform, when it confirmed a tie-up with SAP. In line with this prediction, the partnership between Souq.com and SAP will help accelerate real-time transactions to support the scaling up of Middle East small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and further drive the e-commerce market.
According to a recent report by online payment provider Payfort, the Middle East’s e-commerce market is set to nearly triple in value, from US$25 billion in 2015 to US$69 billion by 2020. Most of the Middle East’s e-commerce growth, the research shows, will come in a massive shift from business-to-consumer transactions in items such as mobile phones, clothes, and watches, to business-to-business items.
“The region is poised to become a key player in the global e-commerce market and today’s tech savvy and connected consumers expect access to everything wherever, whenever and in real-time,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO and co-founder of Souq.com, discussing the company’s partnership with SAP, which he says will “further scale up our platform and provide real-time, robust, and secure e-commerce platform for SMEs to grow exponentially and sell thousands of items effortlessly at one time directly to large enterprises.”
In late January 2017, US online retail giant Amazon ended negotiations to acquire Souq.com for a speculated US$1 billion. Amazon reportedly began discussions to acquire the company in November 2016, after the Dubai-based e-commerce site had appointed Goldman Sachs to find buyers for a stake earlier in the year. Souq.com’s current investors include Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers.
Amazon reportedly caught on to the rapid digital growth in the region and hoped to make a big footprint, hence its interest in acquiring Souq.com. The company was said to be looking to acquire all of Souq.com, which initially only planned to sell about a 30 percent stake. Souq.com runs on a similar model to Amazon, and became the highest-valued internet company in the Middle East after a US$275 million round in February 2016, according to Standard Chartered, which has invested in Souq.com.
However, Souq.com’s position in the regional e-commerce market is being challenged by well-funded competitor Noon.com, which is backed by UAE billionaire Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi’s Arabia Public Investment Fund. Alabbar promised to dominate Middle East e-commerce with the firm, which was expected to launch in January.
“We expect to become a world player but will concentrate firstly on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” said Alabbar last year at a press conference. His company Emaar was behind the construction of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai – the Burj Khalifa. Eventually, Alabbar expects the online retail site to reach Egypt, the most populous Arab state, by the end of 2017 or in early 2018.
IoT spending driving regional growth
Research by IDC (International Data Corporation) suggests that with e-commerce and cloud driving Middle East digital transformation, the UAE and Saudi Arabia – the two largest economies in the region – will spend a combined US$14 billion on IT in 2017. In particular, security spending in the wider Middle East, Africa, and Turkey will reach USD 2 billion in 2017, IDC adds.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) Internet of Things (IoT) market is forecast to defy the region's moderate economic outlook by growing 19.6 percent year on year in 2017 to total $7.8 billion, according to the ‘Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide’from IDC. This compares favorably to the healthy 18.1 percent growth seen in 2016, with IDC attributing the market's performance to the proliferation of digital transformation initiatives across the region as businesses and government entities strive to boost productivity and improve efficiency.
“The MEA IoT market is becoming increasingly competitive, enabling organizations to source a range of innovative digital solutions aimed at transforming business operations, improving the customer experience, and enhancing employee engagement,” says Wale Babalola, research analyst for telecommunications, IoT, and digital media at IDC MEA. “Indeed, IoT now offers a myriad of industry-specific solutions that can be easily deployed by organizations in a bid to stay ahead of competition.
"Numerous smart city projects are already underway across the region, and the propagation of such initiatives will continue to fuel IoT adoption by both public and private sector organizations," Babalola added. "Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the charge when it comes to smart cities, so it makes sense that these two countries will account for the highest contributions to overall IoT investment in MEA during 2017, with a combined value of more than $1.6 billion."
SAP and Souq.com partner to boost e-commerce in Middle East
Real-time digital transactions will transform Middle East e-commerce by 2020, Souq.com, the region’s largest e-commerce platform, announced in a tie-up with SAP. In line with this prediction, the partnership between Souq.com and SAP will help accelerate real-time transactions to support the scaling up of Middle East small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and further drive the e-commerce market.
According to a recent report by online payment provider Payfort, the Middle East’s e-commerce market is set to nearly triple in value, from USD 25 billion in 2015 to USD 69 billion by 2020. Most of the Middle East’s e-commerce growth will come in a massive shift from business-to-consumer transactions in items such as mobile phones, clothes, and watches, to business-to-business items.
The rise in business-to-business will be experienced primarily by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), selling large quantities of items such as office furniture, rooftop solar panels, and medicine.
Partnership with global technology company SAP and systems integrator NTT Data for the digital roadmap will support Souq.com as well as overall e-commerce industry growth. The core is an end-to-end enterprise resource planning solution that runs on the real-time SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.
“Souq.com enables regional SMEs to start and grow their online business using our solid technology platform, technical assistance, and market exposure,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO and Co-Founder of SOUQ.com. “SMEs on our platform have seen unparalleled success. In line with the region’s SME-backed e-commerce growth, the business-to-business market will be the next major digital economy growth driver.”
Ronaldo Mouchawar continued, “The region is poised to become a key player in the global e-commerce market and today’s tech savvy and connected consumers expect access to everything wherever, whenever and in real-time. This partnership with SAP will further scale up our platform and provide real-time, robust, and secure e-commerce platform for SMEs to grow exponentially and sell thousands of items effortlessly at one time directly to large enterprises.”
“Real-time is the driver of e-commerce – whether in completing transactions or identifying new customer shopping habits. This partnership promotes the sharing of global best practices, further solidifying SOUQ.com as the Middle East’s top e-commerce platform, driving the digital economy and embracing millions of more e-commerce sellers and buyers,” said Tayfun Topkoc, Managing Director, SAP UAE.
Qatar set to enjoy the world’s most technologically advanced fan experience
In preparation for the mega sports events Qatar is set to host, and which are set to attract millions of visitors, the country is rapidly developing public-private partnerships for the construction of connected stadiums and the enhancement of national team competitiveness, youth development, technology and communications infrastructure.
Enterprise application software company SAP, German record football champion FC Bayern Munich and Qatar’s Aspire Academy have announced that Qatar is set to enjoy the world’s most technologically advanced fan experience thanks to the innovative use of real-time technology.
“Worldwide, we are entering the age of the Digital Fan. Football fans are passionate and want instant connections with their favorite teams on mobile apps and social media,” said Andreas Jung, Member of the Executive Board at FC Bayern Munich, one of the world’s most successful and valuable football clubs, with more than 400 million fans worldwide.
“Qatar has the opportunity to deliver the ultimate fan experience – from planning their trip beforehand, to providing exclusive media content, and ordering and delivering concessions to their seats.”
FC Bayern Munich has used real-time technology to react more rapidly to its 30,000 hourly fan dialogues through digital channels, keep players healthy, and deliver new products and services in response to fan demands.
Qatar’s Aspire Academy is also using SAP HANA, the real-time analytics platform, to drive youth development by sharing data from a network of clubs around the world with coaches, sports scientists, athletes, and management.
“Sports teams have long known the benefits of using real-time data during matches to enhance lineups and strategies. As the Middle East’s first youth sport academy to partner with a leading technology company, Aspire Academy is dedicated to using big data analytics to develop young talent in Qatar and enhance Qatar’s competitiveness,” said Ivan Bravo, Director General, Aspire Academy.
Driving innovation in sports thanks to real-time data analytics with the in-memory platform SAP HANA, SAP enables teams and organizations to manage players and engage more efficiently with their fans.
“Qatar’s vision and infrastructure puts it in an ideal position to deliver some of the most technologically advanced events. With the help of real-time technology, sports teams can deliver personalized and seamless fan experiences, proactively engage with fans on social media, and enhance training and performance,” said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board, SAP SE, Products & Innovation.
The Levant’s rising digital economy creates new opportunities for tech entrepreneurs
Startups in Jordan and the Palestinian Territories will be vital in driving the Levant’s Digital Economy and job creation for technology talents, SAP announced at the Start-up Focus Event in Amman, hosted by startup enabler and technology company SAP and supported by Zain Innovation Campus (ZINC) and USAID West Bank and Gaza through its Compete Project.
Technology is a cornerstone of diversified economic growth for both countries, with their national development plans calling on leveraging technology to drive job creation for highly-educated entrepreneurs. Jordan’s National ICT Strategy, for example, aims to more than double ICT investment to US $ 450 million, increase ICT revenues to US $ 3 billion, and create more than 4,000 jobs by 2017.
Startup Focus, which was launched in the Middle East in 2015, is now helping eligible Jordanian and Palestinian start-ups, whose product ideas are based on Big Data, predictive or real-time analytics solutions, to accelerate the development of their solutions, and assist in bringing their solutions to market.
“Tech startups can drive Jordanian and Palestinian diversified economies, and Zain is committed to joining forces with global and local partners to activate and ignite the Levant’s startup ecosystem. By providing innovative entrepreneurs with hands-on mentorship and guidance, we aim to make their startups profitable, change daily lives and businesses, and drive the region’s Digital Economy,” said Ahmed Hanandeh, CEO, Zain Jordan.
“Emphasizing that entrepreneurship is of paramount importance to the regional economy and society, USAID is pleased to support initiatives like SAP Startup Focus, which drive the creation of an entrepreneurial eco-system in the West Bank and Gaza and beyond,” stated Jonathan Kamin, Acting Mission Director of USAID West Bank and Gaza.
“This partnership is integrated with USAID’s objective to develop and enhance the Palestinian ICT sector by helping Palestinian companies grow and increase their competitiveness, thereby enabling them to enter regional and international markets and attract global investment.”
Selected Palestinian and Jordanian start-ups now have the chance to develop their solutions on the SAP HANA real-time analytics platform, receive free support from technical experts to help them bring their ideas to life and make the best use of the SAP HANA cloud platform.
Participating start-ups have access to a community network of entrepreneurs, partners, investors, thought leaders and industry experts. Once validated, start-ups can pitch to SAP’s ecosystem of more than 335,000 customers worldwide.
“Jordanian and Palestinian entrepreneurs are among the best and brightest in the region, and SAP’s Training and Development Institute has seen strong success in developing youth in the ICT sector. Now we are advancing our commitment to digital transformation and upskilling local talent by helping to bring the most game-changing local Big Data analytics solutions to a global marketplace,” said Marita Mitschein, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, SAP Training and Development Institute.
Worldwide, Startup Focus has engaged with more than 3,750 start-ups across 59 countries and 22 industries, bringing more than 225 of their validated solutions to market since 2013.
Saudi university becomes first in region to establish SAP Next-Gen Hub on its campus
King Abdulaziz University is driving Saudi Vision 2030 goals of youth empowerment and innovation by becoming the Middle East and North Africa’s first educational institution to establish a SAP Next-Gen Hub on its campus. The Next-Gen Hub, part of SAP University Alliances Global Academic and Innovation Network, will allow for KAU students and faculty to engage in innovative research initiatives and projects in collaboration with SAP partners.
Students and faculty will be able to learn and work on real world problems and platforms with industry leaders, and connect with SAP’s 320,000 global customers. Demonstrating the need for innovative skills, cloud, statistical and data analysis, and data presentation all rank in the top 10 most-needed employer skills, according to a recent LinkedIn survey.
“We are proud to bring the SAP Next-Gen Innovation Hub to Saudi Arabia, the first of its kind in the whole MENA region. This indeed demonstrates the commitment of the KAU leadership to lead Saudi Arabia towards its 2030 Vision and becoming a knowledge-based economy. The Hub we believe is an important milestone in making Jeddah a smart city and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a smart nation,” said Dr. Amin Noaman, Vice President of Development, King Abdulaziz University.
KAU will benefit from SAP ecosystem events, including design thinking workshops, coding and networking events, and coding competitions called “hackathons” to crowdsource innovations.
“The High Performance Computing Center at the King Abdulaziz University is aiming to accelerate innovation in Saudi Arabia through academic, industrial and government partnerships. The establishment of the KAU-SAP Next-Gen Innovation Hub would allow KAU to leverage SAP’s long-standing enterprise software leadership for mutual advantage with a far-reaching impact on Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Iyad Katib, Director of the High Performance Computing Center at King Abdul Aziz University.
SAP Next-Gen Hubs are part of the SAP University Alliance program, which partners with more than 2,900 educational institutions in 105 countries.
“It is fitting that King Abdulaziz University, one of the Arab World’s top-ranked universities, is the region’s first Next-Gen Hub. King Abdulaziz University is demonstrating global best practices in driving public-private-academic partnerships to empower youth, preparing them for successful careers and link to innovative digital hubs. SAP is committed to helping to seed disruptive innovation in the university setting, with the Saudi leaders of tomorrow driving Saudi Vision 2030 transformation goals,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia.
The Next-Gen Hub will be linked with SAP Next-Gen Labs in innovation centers worldwide, where industries connect with students on developing projects. King Abdulaziz University students and faculty members will also be able to tour global innovation hubs such as Berlin, New York, and Silicon Valley to learn about Digital Economy innovations.
“King Abdulaziz University’s Next-Gen Hub will provide an innovative platform to enrich the learning experience for students, who will be exposed to thought leadership and entrepreneurship, and gain global hands-on co-innovation and research across fields such as educational technology, exponential technologies, and machine learning,” said Wissam Kadi, Director - Middle East and North Africa of the SAP Education Network for Digital Transformation and SAP University Alliances Program.
Dubai’s vision is driving innovative Smart City leadership, says SAP CEO
Dubai is a global leader in using digital initiatives to deliver Smart City projects, the CEO of the enterprise application software firm SAP, shared during his recent UAE visit. “Data is the currency of the 21st century - everything revolves around it. The insights we gather will help us shape a vision for where we must go,” he said.
“How do you make people happier? How do you make societies more successful and our environment more sustainable? This is where the world is going and technology will lead us. Nobody knows that better than the leadership in Dubai,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP SE, at the Dubai International Project Management Forum, organized by Dubai RTA, DEWA, Emaar, and PMI.
In the Internet of Things era, sensors and mobile devices are creating data to be analyzed to save time and costs, and enhance efficiency of citizen services and staff productivity. Dubai’s leadership has adopted future government innovations, such as online and mobile citizen services.
“Having delivered record-setting mega-projects, Dubai has the vision and experience as a future government leader to ensure that mega-projects such as Smart Dubai and Expo 2020 are delivered safely, on time, and on budget,” said Tayfun Topkoc, Managing Director, SAP UAE.
Real-time dashboards can provide governments with instant insights on the effectiveness of citizen services, providing more informed decisions that can enhance quality of life across key industry verticals such as banking and finance, education, healthcare, hospitality, transport, and travel.
“Dubai’s leaders understand that cities are increasingly run like data-driven businesses, with future government tools enabling citywide visibility and efficiency, economic competitiveness and citizen happiness, and empowering youth to be leaders in the Digital Economy,” added Tayfun Topkoc.
NTT & SAP Team to track buses, and drivers
SAP and NTT say they are expanding their established partnership to develop IoT systems for the transport industry. Their initial project will combine vehicle-monitoring systems from SAP with driver monitoring technology from NTT.
The two companies have developed a solution that combines SAP’s Connected Transportation Safety (CTS) system, which collects and analyzes vehicle related data, with NTT’s hitoe sensing fabric — jointly developed with Toray Industries — and an NTT IoT analytics platform. This provides driver’s biological data including heart rate and mental fatigue estimate.
The project aims to provide more accurate and real-time information about vehicle and driver. SAP and NTT will conduct a field trial from October 2016 in conjunction with Keifuku Bus Co in Fukui, Japan. They say they aim to have the service operational from January 2017 and to subsequently roll it out in the United States and Europe.
hitoe, according to NTT “is a functional material capable of measuring biomedical signals to obtain, for example, a person’s electrocardiogram or electromyogram.” It was developed by applying NTT-developed conductive fiber technology, in which fiber material is coated with a conductive polymer, to a nanofiber material developed by Toray Industries. Use of nanofiber, NTT says, “improves adhesion to the skin, thereby facilitating stable measurement of biomedical signals.”
Also, NTT says: “high conductivity and durability have been obtained in hitoe material by filling the gap between nanofibers with conductive polymer using Toray’s advanced high-order processing technology.”
This co-innovation effort started in Palo Alto, California and has been led by NTT Labs and SAP Labs China. SAP and NTT Group say they intend to continue co-innovations in various areas with new technologies and expand the partnership globally. Their initial focus will be cloud based IoT services and Industry 4.0.
The two companies say they are also accelerating their collaboration around private managed cloud solutions such as SAP HANA enterprise cloud leveraging NTT’s global data center network around the globe.
SAP will contribute to Saudi Vision 2030 enabling real-time technology across sectors
Some of Saudi Arabia’s largest organizations recently announced that nationwide digital transformation will be essential to accomplish Saudi Vision 2030’s six-fold growth in non-oil revenue to SAR 1 trillion by 2030.
Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan aim to grow non-oil government revenue from SAR 163 billion (USD 43 billion) in 2015 to SAR 1 trillion (USD 266 billion) by 2030. The share of non-oil exports in the non-oil GDP is set to triple from 16 percent in 2015 to 50 percent by 2030.
In line with Saudi Vision 2030, many of the Kingdom’s government organizations and conglomerates are accelerating their digital transformation to drive innovation and jobs for Saudi nationals.
“Saudi Vision 2030 is a milestone for nationwide digital transformation, with public-private partnerships driving innovative new business models and solutions in the Digital Economy,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of global enterprise software company SAP.
“With highly talented Saudi nationals and advanced technology infrastructure, the Kingdom is set to leapfrog established economies to become one of the worlds most innovative, from government to SMEs.”
With half of the Kingdom’s population under the age of 25-years-old, the Saudi Arabia’s government is playing a key role in supporting the Saudi national workforce participation.
“Synergy between the public and private sectors is essential for delivering on the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, and supporting the millennial workforce of the future,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia.
“SAP is working closely with the Kingdom’s public and private sector innovators to adopt real-time technology across government services, aviation, utilities, manufacturing, and banking to transform daily lives and business models.”
Supporting the Saudi workforce of the future, the SAP Training and Development Institute counts 35 University Alliance Partners that have trained thousands of students and localized products in Arabic for the Saudi market. As a result, SAP has generated an “in-country” value of USD 31 million in skills and knowledge in the Kingdom since 2012.
Apple partners with SAP to increase its commercial reach
It’s no secret that Apple wants to get more of its products into the commercial realm. To do so, Apple recently announced a partnership with SAP aiming to bring iOS to SAP’s enterprise customer base. The broad partnership comes almost two years after Apple signed a similar deal with IBM, the multinational technology and consulting company.
Undoubtedly there are similarities between the two deals that Apple has signed with both IBM and SAP. While it’s natural to notice the similarity between the deals says Steve Lucas, president for SAP’s Digital Enterprise Platform, he also feels that it’s important to highlight the differences which make the two deals separate and unique.
Regarding the deal between Apple and SAP, Lucas says SAP is predominantly a software enterprise company which has built a cloud platform to access all of the software it has developed, whether its core ERP product, SuccessFactors or Concur. SAP having this core, according to Lucas, is what differentiates the two companies (SAP and IBM) and the subsequent deals with Apple.
However, the similarities between the two deals are intriguing. For instance, both IBM and SAP have worked closely with Apple to bring its unique design-sense to its projects. According to Lucas, the main objective of both partnerships is to “revolutionize” the way people can work on their iPad or iPhone. A partnership with SAP could help Apple to achieve its goal of grasping a greater hold of the enterprise market, helping Apple to solidify its enterprise position and drive the company’s hardware sales inside companies that traditionally rely on Microsoft and PCs.
The popularity of premium Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad means that Apple devices are continuously entering the workplace, which has forced many companies to accommodate Apple requirements including building custom apps for them. Combining this with digital transformation initiatives within large organizations means that these companies need a deeper understanding of iOS devices and how to use it to drive the transformation. That is where SAP steps in.
The company has reportedly announced several programs that will help to push iOS to its customers beginning with a new set of apps for the iPad and iPhone which take advantage of data stored in SAP tools. SAP is also providing an iOS SDK for SAP HANA (memory database product) which will allow for companies to use apps that SAP is building, while also giving them the opportunity to build their own custom apps sourcing data stored in HANA.
“We are approaching the building out of these apps entirely differently, largely due to the way Apple thinks about app design,” said Mr. Lucas in an interview with Tech Crunch. “I believe firmly they will fulfil the mission of revolutionizing work on iPad and on iPhone.”
Similar to Apple’s deal with IBM, SAP is providing an educational component to its relationship with Apple, offering SAP Academy for iOS as training ground for SAP programmers to learn how to use HANA iOS SDK. Mr. Lucas said that his company is very committed to the educational effort as part of the partnership – an aspect that the company hopes to continue to develop into the future.
All in all, it’s an optimistic partnership between Apple and SAP. The two companies coming together might seem strange at first, but so did the partnership between Apple and IBM back in 2014, which by the end of last year, had seen the creation of 100 apps – a number that is increasing steadily. This is what SAP hopes to gain from its partnership with Apple: more apps. The apps and the SDK are not yet available, but they should be available later this year, according to Tech Crunch. Mr. Lucas said many of the apps are still in progress, but not ready to be implemented yet.
Unlikely partnership formed between SAP, Etihad Airways and City Football Group to share technology breakthroughs and business best practices
Three leading companies in the sectors of sport, aviation and technology recently discussed their knowledge-sharing partnership in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, that has spurred business innovation and given them a competitive edge.
City Football Group, the company that operates football clubs including Manchester City FC, has partnered with the Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways, and the German software and technology giant SAP to share their latest breakthroughs on everything from technology and R&D to business best practices and customer experiences.
At a conference held in the UAE capital, delegates were given an exclusive insight into the benefits of what at first seems an unlikely marriage of companies across diverse sectors. The event, called “An Evening of Innovation,” was hosted by CNN anchor John Defterios and held in the Etihad Innovation Centre.
Top executives from City Football Group (CFG) revealed that their partnership with SAP could help to bolster cutting edge technological methods of scouting players, developing tactics and analysing player performance – even preventing injuries. CFG’s alliance with Etihad, meanwhile, has driven innovation in areas including fan relations and loyalty schemes.
Representatives from SAP and Etihad Airways disclosed how they have benefitted from the partnership, especially to strengthen their position in new markets such as China.
“If you’re not innovative and don’t have the right partners, you’ll get swamped in this business,” said City Football Group’s Tom Glick. “If you just try to do things the same way as your competitors, you are playing catch up. We have to do something original in terms of recruiting players, appealing to fans, and driving revenue, enabling us to win trophies. Our partnership with SAP and Etihad Airways is a crucial part of taking an innovation-based approach to achieving our objectives.”
The event featured an impressive line-up of speakers who flew in from around the world to share insights into how the partnership facilitates innovation, resulting in a competitive business advantage.
Ed Sulley, Head of Research & Innovation, City Football Services, explained the link between innovation and the success of CFG clubs Manchester City FC, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, and Yokohama F. Marinos.
City collate and access real time data on a huge number of players, as well as thousands more being scouted throughout the world, he said. The technology helps coaches to measure player performances through live tracking, to assess the prospects of emerging players, and to analyse the impact of variations in tactics. It can assess rehabilitation methods to help players get over injuries, allowing the clubs to apply the most successful recovery techniques. CFG is working closely with SAP to find new and better ways of analysing and receiving that information quickly and effectively.
Turning to CFG’s relationship with Etihad Airways, Mr. Glick said: “Etihad Airways has been inspirational for us in the way they’ve reimagined aviation and air travel. As a group of football clubs with fans all over the world across different timezones and cultures, we are benefitting from understanding Etihad’s innovations in customer service, loyalty and membership programmes.”
Robert Webb, Chief Information and Technology Officer at the Etihad Aviation Group, said: “SAP’s cloud-based software solutions including SuccessFactors, Ariba and HANA are important tools which will embed world class technology across the airline. They will enable Etihad Airways to recruit the world’s best talent as well as support operations in HR, Finance, Procurement and Supply Management.
“Boosting innovation through strategic partnerships is key to our journey and it’s something we live and breathe as an organisation – in terms of the product, service and the hospitality experience.”
Steve Tzikakis, SVP and General Manager, SAP, South Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “In an increasingly globalised and hyper-connected digital economy, sports and aviation are among the most innovative industries using real-time insights to enhance business competitiveness, the customer and fan experience. City Football Group and Etihad Airways demonstrate the UAE’s global leadership in adopting the latest digital innovations. We are proud that through their co-innovation with SAP, they are able to focus and reimagine the passenger and fan experience.”
The event took place at the Etihad Airways Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi, a new state-of-the-art facility comprising two fully-equipped meeting, project management and research rooms with high-tech audio-visual and IT equipment, as well as an auditorium intended for lectures from global experts in design, service, marketing, and guest experience.