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Digitization can contain traces of having to

Of course, our high level of data protection is a great achievement and sensitive data does not belong in e-mails without encryption. But that is no reason to dispense with digitization altogether.
Marcus Sommer, Microsoft
May 28, 2020
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

I can hardly believe what I had to read in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) the other day: A doctor tried to report the confirmed Covid-19 case of a teacher to the responsible health authority by fax.

Exactly as instructed. His goal was to close the affected teacher's school as a precautionary measure and break possible chains of infection.

But unfortunately, all fax connections were overloaded that day and the notification failed, keeping the school open for the time being. The reason given was that sensitive data was involved. And that's why people are still faxing.

This example shows in characteristic form the disadvantages and even risks that occur when people are asleep when it comes to digitization. Of course, our high level of data protection is a great achievement and sensitive data does not belong in e-mails without encryption.

But we have many more secure transmission options available to us today than just the fax. Provided that they are ready for use when needed! Elsewhere, the SZ refers to today's possibilities of the Internet to navigate us through the crisis. But at the same time, there are always failures.

Digital transformation is much more than home offices, collaborative work on documents or spontaneous video conferences. These are good basics, to be sure. But only the sustainable and comprehensive translation of value chain processes into the digital world without media disruption leads to true digitization.

"Attention, this crisis may contain traces of must".is what we might say, in reference to a well-known T-shirt slogan. This is how we should also think about the conversion of business processes.

Sometimes you have to force yourself to be happy in order to reach your goal. And sometimes pressure from outside is also necessary. "In two months, we have experienced the digital transformation of two years," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the other day when reviewing the financial quarter.

I think the task now is to maintain this pace in digitization and, above all, to establish it in day-to-day business. We all know the usual New Year's resolutions: "From now on I'm going running" or "This time I'm really going to quit smoking"..

Most of them only last a short time - and it could be the same with digitization. As soon as everyday life resumes, profits are squandered because companies fall back into old patterns. We need to avoid that.

So how can we ensure current progress? To stay with the sports metaphor, we could take a coach, for example. Someone who drives, motivates, sets goals and moves forward with a clear vision. A partner who has experience and knows why the effort is worthwhile and how others have done it.

We have achieved impressive examples with some partners, not only through the Embrace initiative, of how digitization is enabling essential changes to business models.

Among the prominent customers of our partner Arvato are various examples of consistent digitization of products, services and complete processes.

For some customers, for example, existing market leadership in the core business is to be extended to include innovation leadership in the industry. In this way, new competitive advantages can be tapped.

Meanwhile, our partner Scheer uses its own solution to check the validity of booking data through AI or analyzes the increasingly complex individual business processes through process mining. In this way, actual processes can be visualized at the push of a button.

Embrace is an initiative with one primary goal: to accelerate SAP and Azure-based innovation in collaboration with our partners. So let's take the opportunity and jump on the bandwagon while it's going that fast! Otherwise, we will only see the taillights.

Marcus Sommer, Microsoft

Business Lead Azure Infrastructure at Microsoft.

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Work on SAP Basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. This gives the so-called Competence Center strategic importance among SAP's existing customers. Regardless of the operating model of an S/4 Hana, topics such as automation, monitoring, security, application lifecycle management, and data management are the basis for the operative S/4 operation. For the second time already, E3 Magazine is hosting a summit in Salzburg for the SAP community to get comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. With an exhibition, expert presentations, and plenty to talk about, we again expect numerous existing customers, partners, and experts in Salzburg. E3 Magazine invites you to Salzburg for learning and exchange of ideas on June 5 and 6, 2024.


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024


Early Bird Ticket - Available until 29.03.2024
EUR 440 excl. VAT
Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT

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Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.