SAP has opened Africa’s first ever SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL). With a strong focus on collaboration, the lab offers a hands-on environment for SAP to innovate jointly with software solution partners, system integrators and technology partners on current and future technologies. The aim of the lab is to increase competitive advantages, driven by greater efficiency and productivity on the African continent, with the ultimate goal to satisfy the demands of customers driven by digital transformation.
“Not only is innovation key to survival in today’s economy,” says Brett Parker, MD of SAP Africa, “but the speed at which you are able to transform is becoming increasingly critical. Far too often, great ideas are lost. Consequently, businesses are looking for smarter, quicker and more efficient ways to innovate.”
In the context of the digital revolution, the key objective of SAP Co-Innovation Labs is to provision a suitable environment, relevant technology and available expertise to assist partners and therefore, ultimately, customers, to transform good ideas into business-ready solutions, at a much quickened pace. Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit is well-known with rapid technology adoption such as mobile phones significantly enabling entrepreneurship across the continent.
“Co-Innovation links the innovative power of SAP and its ecosystem of partners to help our customers on the way to a true digital business,” explains Dr Tanja Rueckert, executive vice-president: LoB digital assets and IoT at SAP SE. “We are very happy to now be able to bring the proven model of the SAP Co-Innovation Labs to Africa.”
Since the inception of the first lab in Palo Alto in 2007, various SAP Co-Innovation Labs have already been established across the globe in the US East Coast, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, India, Singapore, China, South Korea, Japan – all of which boast interconnected operations, supported by cloud computing. Expansion of the lab network around the globe broadens the pool of talent working on solutions and brings a wide array of expertise and knowledge to the table.
“Collaborating with the SAP Co-Innovation Lab in Africa provided us access to a range of local and global skills we required to bring our vision to life for a truly integrated enterprise solution enabling unified business planning across technical and ERP domains in the Energy & Natural Resources Industry,” says John Megannon from MineRP. “With the completion of our SAP COIL Phase 2 project, we will have the first in a series of market-ready offerings available and have customers ready to adopt the solution.”
The launch is significant for Africa, says Rueckert. “Particularly for the of Internet of Things (IoT) we see greatest potential to help Africa on the way to digitalization and that is why we have recently announced to even increase our commitment in the future by bringing an IoT Lab to Johannesburg. We are committed to provide the Digital Platform, leveraging IoT, big data, a digital core, cloud computing and business networks to enable capabilities relevant to growth in Africa.”
Parker adds: “Africa is a significant source of innovation with global relevance. We are confident that the introduction of the first African SAP Co-Innovation Lab, with its ability to enable and, tangibly showcase the innovation and inventions by Africans, for Africans, will enable us to continue to improve lives through practical solutions, increase skills development. Ultimately the goal is to contribute to job creation by stimulating and driving entrepreneurship across the continent.”