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SAP Leonardo positioned as digital transformation catalyst

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SAP used its 2017 Sapphire conference to advance a concept, dubbed Leonardo, made up of a “toolbox” of its internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies whose purpose is to realise digital transformation at its customers.

The concept seems to be pitched more at business leaders, up to CEO level, rather than just at corporate IT. The supplier contends that it is also more than a portmanteau of software technologies because it is also a services play, involving other suppliers, such as systems integrators and consultancies, and also telcos.

SAP chief executive Bill McDermott (pictured above) told a group of Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) journalists at the conference last week that his own approach to companies or organisations that are trying to bring together “mode 1” IT – business as usual, core operations – and “mode 2” – in support of digitally transformative high-level strategy, is to start with a study of their strategy.

“It starts with their strategy,” he said. “I try to get deeply into that, using publicly available data, or their commentary. So, when I am going into a C-level meeting, I have a good feeling for what they are using, and for where they want to take their company.

“If you think about running a great operation in mode 1, S/4 Hana, the cloud line of business [software] we have for HR, sales and procurement is there. When you start talking about mode 2, you have to realise this is a team sport. C-level executives have to align.

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