SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2020 keynote suffers technical glitches, CEO outlines company's plan to help build "intelligent enterprises"

SAP's virtual SAPPHIRE NOW 2020 will feature executive presentations, product announcements, and expert discussions, if the company can overcome the technical problems that hampered SAP CEO Christian Klein's first-day keynote.

SAP CEO Christian Klein kicked off SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2020 with a what appeared to be a prerecorded keynote that focused on the company's plans to help businesses develop into "intelligent enterprises." Unfortunately, technical issues with the event website prevented the company from delivering his message completely as planned.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many annual technology and business conferences have been canceled or postponed. Others have attempted to stay the course with virtual variants. SAP chose the latter option for its annual three-day event SAPPHIRE NOW. In 2019, the event attracted more than 30,000 attendees, featured star-studded cameos from the likes of Sandra Bullock, Bill McDermott, Karlie Kloss, and was capped off with a performance from Lady Gaga. The first day of this year's event looked, well, different…

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Prior to the 2020 event, SAP launched a multi-channel digital network known as SAPPHIRE NOW Converge to deliver its keynotes, expert commentary and product announcements. Unfortunately for the company and those wanting to watch today's event, including yours truly, the site crashed and the video never even loaded. After numerous refreshes, SAP provided a link in the coverage platform and I was prompted to watch the keynote on Twitter.

By the time I was able to access the keynote, SAP CEO Christian continued unabated through his SAPPHIRE Now Vision keynote as part of a segment titled "How to Turn Our Biggest Challenges into Our Greatest Opportunities." 

In a statement posted on Twitter at 1:21 p.m. the company apologized for the technical issues and said the entire keynote would be available on-demand for those unable to watch it live.

1/ We profoundly apologize for technical difficulties with this morning's premiere broadcast. Due to very high interest in our program we ask you to access our show on @SAP Twitter and SAP LinkedIn.

— SAP (@SAP) June 15, 2020

SAP wants to help companies become "intelligent enterprises"

As previously mentioned, Klein's comments focused on SAP's strategies to help businesses develop into "intelligent enterprises." Throughout, he touched on a spectrum of SAP strategies and concepts to assist organizations weather supply chain disruptions, accommodate business continuity, and encourage new business models. Other solutions were focused on optimizing productivity and embracing automation. At the same time, these insights were generally anchored to central themes of sustainability and mitigating the effects of climate change.

A major component of the discussion was leveraging digital transformation, innovation, and automation. Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke joined the action to discuss the company's partnership with SAP. To hammer home the direct metaphor and tie-in with Porsche, SAP Strategic Projects Manager Estelle Berdel delivers her speech from a virtual automotive factory floor. Overall, Berdel illustrated the life trajectory of a product and demonstrates an automotive case study for building a sustainably focused circular economy.

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SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2020 coverage on TechRepublic

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW, originally called just SAPPHIRE, has historically been a platform for the software company to show off new products, outline corporate strategy and discuss industry trends. In 2019, the company announced the launch of its Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (IRPA), SAP Leonardo IoT, and more. We expect SAP to do the same as this year's event, just virtually. TechRepublic will bring you all the major news from the event as it happens, and hopefully the remaining days will be glitch-free.

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IMAGE: SAP