SAP Africa has opened its Experience Center in Johannesburg, the first of its kind in Africa and one of only a handful of similar centers in the world. The formal ceremony was conducted by Tjaart Malan, Head of Digital Business Services at SAP Africa.
SAP developed the Experience Centers as a physical innovation space for creating and showcasing innovations using the end-to-end SAP technology portfolio, as well as the lines of business, industries and markets SAP serves. The dedicated, state-of-the-art innovation space is intentionally designed to help customers reimagine their business stories while enabling them to innovate on behalf of their customers and employees.
The first Experience Center was launched at the company’s global headquarters in Walldorf in June 2019, followed by Centers in Tokyo, Copenhagen, Den Bosch and New York. Others will follow in 2020.
Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, said the Experience Center is a showcase for how African organizations of all sizes will rise to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “By engaging in a richly interactive physical innovation space, African organizations can accelerate their business transformation efforts in an immersive setting that makes their digital ambitions a reality. We welcome all our partners and customers to use the center as a space for unbridled innovation as we enter a new decade of challenge and opportunity.”
Smith said public and private sector leaders across the continent are realizing their ambitions through the innovative use of technology. “From Cape Town to Kinshasa, Lagos to Nairobi, African organizations are using technology to unlock the continent’s immense potential. By creating a physical hub for highly relevant and tailored discussions, demos and workshops around specific innovation challenges and opportunities, it is our hope that this new center accelerates digital transformation across the continent. The center will also help organizations unlock intelligent enterprise capabilities that will improve their ability to solve key business challenges and thrive in the 21st century.”
Joachim von Goetz, Global Head of Experience Center Strategy at SAP, said the Experience Centers combine 40 years of knowledge and best practices with the latest insights from the Experience Economy to deliver an industry-leading customer experience. “Customers can experience relevant showcases and demos tailored to their specific business, industry or market. Taking customers on a journey of – Meet, Inspire and Engage – the SAP Experience Center caters for individual customer visits and can be very quickly tailored to their needs. This makes the experience deeply personal and highly relevant.”
The SAP Experience Center gives customers an opportunity to experience how the latest SAP technologies including blockchain, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence can transform their business models. For the opening, this was brought to life by engaging demos like the Intelligent Coffee Experience, Intelligent Asset Management and Intelligent Theme Park. Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet with technology and business experts to help them at every step of their digital journey, or even kick off their journey with a facilitated design thinking workshop.
Smith believes the opening of the Experience Center heralds a new era for innovation in the African SAP ecosystem. “Africa has a rich heritage of innovation. Our customers are already doing amazing things with our technology, bringing our vision to life by helping the world run better and improving people’s lives. Previously, our customers had to travel abroad to visit SAP Executive Briefing Centers or Design Thinking Universities, but now we can offer all of this and more in one space, and on home soil. I am extremely excited about the opportunities this unlocks,” he said.
The Experience Center is located at the company’s headquarters in Woodmead, Johannesburg.