The Future of Intelligent Business: Movilitas Recap from SAP Sapphire

There were multiple experiences at SAP Sapphire in Orlando this year because we were back in person as part of the hybrid show. This industry event included sessions on multiple topics (many of which you can watch on-demand). It was a mix of keynote presentations and deep-dive workshops on SAP digital supply chain products and projects.

Sapphire - Experience Center

Movilitas sent a team to capture the hot topics from the show floor and educational sessions. Who did we have on the ground?

  • Upender Solanki, Managing Director, Americas
  • Mark Highhouse, Sales Director, Americas
  • Jeff Martin, Enterprise Account Executive
  • Ryan Negrinelli, Account Executive
  • Sebastian Haffner, Delivery Lead, Asset Management, North America
  • Zane Berry, Delivery Lead, Digital Manufacturing, North America

Let’s review what piqued their interest at the event.


An important topic for SAP has been sustainability in the supply chain. The company’s design-to-consume/operate focus provides support for building an economy that is more diverse, equitable, inclusive and resilient. This subject was reflected in sessions about supply chain visibility and traceability, as well as intelligent enterprises and assets, across industries such as Consumer (including life sciences), Discrete, Energy & Natural Resources, and Service.

It is about empowering the end-to-end value stream by leveraging Industry 4.0 technology to connect the entire enterprise for real-time insights. This data helps enhance the customer experience and reinvent production. Across multiple sessions, SAP showed how this information can answer questions such as:

  • How do you make forecasts more accurate?
  • How to you meet customer demands precisely?
  • What do you need to track carbon footprints?
  • How do you complete orders on time and cost-effectively?

Ryan Negrinelli noted that the sustainability-related sessions helped customers answer “how do we become a more sustainable company [or] produce and distribute our products in a more sustainable manner, but also how do we leverage the latest solutions to continue to reduce costs, and become more efficient?”

Smart Manufacturing

One way is by adding more intelligence to manufacturing and integrating operations more tightly with the supply chain. Many of the Industry 4.0 sessions had live demonstrations from the SAP Experience Center at Newtown Square (see the photo below) showcasing the digital thread spanning from planning to recovery. End-to-end lifecycle management encompasses intelligent products, factories and assets while empowering people to make informed decisions.

Sapphire Livestream - Newtown Square

Rakesh Gandhi, VP, Strategic Partnerships – Industry 4.0, Digital Supply Chain for SAP explored design-to-operate about Industry 4.0 for discrete industries. The session description was “The design-to-operate process spans intelligent product design and manufacturing handover, synchronized planning, digital operations management for manufacturing, omnichannel logistics, and the after-sales service of assets in the field as a single digital thread.” He showed shop floor to top floor connectivity which drew a lot of interest from attendees.

Sapphire Design-to-Operate

Movilitas’ Zane Berry captured details from other SAP Sapphire digital manufacturing sessions on how Industry 4.0 technologies are transforming manufacturing operations. For discrete industries, the design-to-operate approach is about integrating manufacturing into the supply chain by synchronizing planning for demand and production. The technology gives the supervisor the agility to deal with issues by adjusting schedules (drag-and-drop feature) and reallocating workers. These decisions are enabled in part by the creation of a cost matrix associated with changeovers and missed delivery dates. This information helps set priorities, and rebalance resources and tasks across the shop floor.

Other topics discussed were:

  • Building intelligence into products and processes
  • Enabling digital twins from connected data sources
  • Empowering your workforce to improve efficiency and quality through management by exception and multiple connected tools

For machine learning and automation, SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud (SAP DMC) allows you to bring your own models of good and bad products to pass/fail during the quality assessment phase of assembly. The solution has the capability to learn as operators log more results.

SAP spoke about design-to-consume for process industries. Speakers focused on tracing products through the entire cycle with a digital thread that connects sales orders to bill of materials (BOM) to delivery. The concept encompasses design to recipe formulation, intelligent asset management and omnichannel logistics.

Sapphire Design-to-Consume

Unique processes such as weighing, dispensing and mixing are easily managed in SAP DMC from work instructions to labeling to measuring the carbon footprint. Batch information is captured in SAP S/4HANA with full genealogy and ingredient tracking. While the product history report is generated by SAP DMC with an activity log and details on any nonconformance issues.

Lastly, the data can be connected to SAP Logistics Business Network (SAP LBN) for better recall management, raw material tracking, and locating when and where the material was used. This trail reduces the risk of counterfeit goods, allergy issues from mislabeled products, expiration issues and more.

Sapphire Design-to-Consume Process

At SAP Sapphire, smart factories and processes were shown to be part of an integrated resilient, sustainable supply chain.

Intelligent Enterprise Asset Management

Companies no longer work in silos and a well-coordinated collaboration between asset operators, service providers and OEMs becomes more and more important to achieve optimal asset health and performance. Additionally, the integration of data sources enables new business models and ways of asset collaboration. Furthermore, companies continue to evolve from a reactive to a more proactive and holistic asset management approach.

For those reasons, the Asset Management sessions were well attended and many case studies were presented to the audience. Based on the questions asked and attendee discussions, companies are progressing through SAP Intelligent Asset Management (SAP IAM) by starting with basic PM, mobility, and resource scheduling, to build a strong EAM foundation and then move to more advanced maintenance techniques like asset performance management and predictive maintenance, leveraging IoT scenarios and sensor data.

SAP Service & Asset ManagerUsing individual asset assessments based on factors like risk, criticality and cost/production impact, in combination with machine learning for failure predictions helps operations to “fix it right before it breaks to ensure optimal asset usage (ROI) and minimized maintenance costs,” noted Sebastian Haffner.

This information also helps power changes in business models, such as “asset-as-a-service” when a company rents an asset and the user pays by consumption vs. buying the equipment outright. This removes high capital expenditures while adding a revenue stream. A seamless handover of asset data helps companies meet safety and compliance regulations by automatically capturing the necessary information for reporting purposes. Technicians are provided with clear integrated procedures and documentation to complete tasks within government or industry guidelines.

Sebastian and Mark noted because of the continued integration between SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management (SAP ASPM) and SAP Predictive Asset Insights (SAP PAI), these two products are being consolidated into one solution (SAP APM). The new Asset Performance Management (SAP APM) will provide both asset strategy and performance management capabilities and sensor data visualization, failure mode management and breakdown prediction/maintenance recommendations.

With a shift toward people-centric technology, SAP is expanding its SAP Asset Manager to SAP Service and Asset Manager. This robust solution offers organization and access by persona, such as maintenance technician, inventory manager or service technician. These personas provide customized views and capabilities according to the selected user. It is hosted on SAP BTP mobile services.


Sapphire at Universal StudiosSAP Sapphire was not only about presentations. There were multiple opportunities to network and have some fun. We had three social events including a cocktail reception at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar. SAP invited attendees to Universal Studios for a relaxed evening and concert at the park.

If you didn’t get a chance to connect with us at the event, you can schedule a meeting with the team. We look forward to seeing you at the next show!