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Skills shortage puts SAP projects on hold

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Business demand creates double whammy on recruitment pressure

Skills-related issues have hit a quarter of SAP users, in some cases putting projects on hold, according to a survey of companies in the Americas.

Research released by the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) shows that 26 per cent of organisations see skills in supporting, developing, and upgrading SAP systems as their number one challenge in working with the technology.

A quarter of users loyal to the German vendor said skills problems were holding up projects.

Geoff Scott, ASUG CEO, told a webinar last week that the combination of skills shortages in businesses and their technology teams created a vicious cycle of driving the demand for new tools and technologies.

“Business functions come and say, ‘Hey, I need to have all these things done.’ And technology teams say, ‘Well, I don’t have the same skills I used to have.’ And I think it creates a major disruption inside many of our member companies,” he said.

Skills were also a major issue for SAP users looking either to migrate to or support S/4HANA, the latest version of the tech giant’s ERP software based on an in-memory database.

“We are going to feel the pinch of that skill gap. My word of caution is that as you think about moving to S/4 if you have not already, the ability for you to plan that migration may hit some turbulence related to skill gaps with your external partners. That’s something that you absolutely positively should consider,” he said.

While technology issues were the greatest concern in the research overall, broken down, only integration problems were more cited than staff turnover and maintaining knowledgeable staff.

Of those with integration problems, 28 per cent said they were causing data errors to spread, 17 per cent said they were affecting the compatibility between SAP and other applications, and 17 per cent said it meant they were unable to keep up with new technologies.

One respondent said: “Changes made in SAP and Salesforce that do not get reflected in the other system are causing data inconsistencies.”

Overall, the majority of SAP users were increasing their spending on the technology. Fifty-two per cent said they were increasing spending, up from 46 per cent last year.

However, the proportion of users saying they were cutting spending on SAP also rose from 5 per cent last year to 8 per cent in 2022. The number of organisations making the same level of investment fell, according to the ASUG research.

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Future Of Work

Didier Chincholle Discusses Ericsson Design System (EDS)

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It was one fortunate moment when I got the chance to meet with Didier Chincholle, Head of Experience Design at Ericsson Digital Services

We started our discussion by talking about their award-winning Ericsson Design System (EDS) and also conversed about two prestigious global design awards Ericsson were awarded in both 2018 and 2019 

  • the Red Dot Awards for Brand and Interface Design in 2018
  • the iF Design 2019

Later Didier’s shared his thoughts on what makes a good design system, their brand goal ‘the quest for easy’ and how much has this affected their design system and what type of things were taken into consideration, and some significant tips and advice on how organisations can approach launching their own Design System. 

Didier even told us what the Ericsson design system is, the characteristics of a good system design, and then we talked about where it accommodates in the business. 

I further discussed with Didier that as seen there are still some organizations that are resistant to investing in some form of design thinking and the reason is they think that it’s potentially a nonessential investment that maybe someone else will fix for them. However, as observed, Erikson’s been capable of showing very technically and commercially that the investment you’re creating and the implementation of the Ericsson design system is reducing the design time, you’re competent of rolling out new functionality in a very seamless way, and you’re capable of reducing that time to market. 

To get more details, check out http://j.mp/ericssondigitalawards2019 

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AI

Bosch Connected World, For Twice Experience

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Bosch Connected World Event 2019

I was highly impressed when I first entered the BCW19 in Berlin while letting the Bosch Connected World #BCW19 dusts down a bit. Attending the opening keynote by Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board at Bosch in the event was a lifetime moment for me.

First, you can observe from the very earliest impressions of mine and then Kevin Jackson’s, we’re super excited. Also, check out my full-length live stream of the opening keynote by Dr Volkmar Denner here on Twitter live, also known as Periscope ( pictured here ).

It is not easy to stay suave while surrounded by the coolest connected devices, but I believe I’ve recovered some of my naturally calm demeanour. When I passed by the main entry gate I noticed one of the largest IoT “devices” , an enormous bright orange machine. It had more “connected things” than my whole household of gadgets.

The aviation and transportation sector greeted us with the Volocopter ( a world-leading world of fully manned urban mobility “air taxi”), the largest drone I have ever seen, not to be outdone by the #IoT monster machine loaded with “connected things” from the agriculture industry.

Here is the list of key themes of “Connected Things”, the bosch connected world event was all about:

The entire bosch connected world 2019 event felt like an IoT and Connected “things” substantial hits tour:

  • Connected devices in automotive have a huge scope, not to mention the mammoth growth predictions. (check out my video interview with Bernd Heinrichs) Oh, and not trying to rob an eScooter even though I wanted one, or the eJaguar…..You walk away from such a believer in #ConnectedMobility
  • In Connected Home, there is no shortage of rabbit holes where one wants one of everything while at the same time analyzing the market impact to predict winners.
  • Parking! Not only the self-parking car also the community-based parking projects and parking fine avoidance
  • Seeing the #IoT explosion in person — so many collaborators and partnerships and think tanks and use cases (watch my chat with Mike Mansuetti – pictured below)
  • The massive scope of works in connected agriculture, from the machines to the #sensors of DeepField Connect to “smart spraying” lessens herbicide usage. 
  • The Volocopter air taxi 
  • The monster of opportunity that is Bosch Rexroth – check out Kevin Jackson’s impressions of their 3D printing
  • Innovation enablers like their Bosch XDK Cross Domain IoT Development kit – a programmable sensor device and a prototyping platform for IoT
  • Far more particular, feasible & actionable air pollution monitoring for urban centres.
  • Moreover, the most brilliant HACKATHON ever

Well, this is not only about #Things. Before the bosch connected world event even started, the greatest news was about #Carbon footprint and Bosch’s unprecedented commitment to be carbon neutral across ALL of their facilities, employees and activities, along with their long-term buying agreements with investors in new renewable energy generation facilities. They are trying hard to get humanity to come to grips with our car habit and the scope of change that we each, as individuals, need to own. 

And undoubtedly, Bosch is not for profit. The difference in approach is substantial. There is so much done for the sheer interest of technology and people and so much fun taken in getting it to life; it’s tangible. When such brands converse about trust, it rings true. And the chairman and president of their board? CEO of Ottobock, Professor Hans Georg Naeder, the world’s leading manufacturer of prosthetic limbs.

The Bosch IoT Suite – Bosch’s core #IoT platform – is expressly built to connect across brands, across verticals and a fantastic range of applications. “Broad” and “open” don’t even start to cover it. They also spent a lot of time and energy on the significance and following steps around security for connected devices, vehicles, and services

In order to understand what I am saying, explore their startup kitchen,  the Bosch IoT Academy and the Calponia project shared online service for automotive engineering: Outstanding thought leadership. It made me feel that even Mariya Gabriel, the EU commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, was there in person.

The essence and theme of #LikeaBosch were everywhere, and it felt genuine. Of course, having Shaun, the incredible LikeaBosch man “Shawn” himself ( pictured below ), there at the event was sufficiently fun.

It has been a remarkable campaign to watch, and I hope Bosch continues with it. They are trying no less than cultural change. They contribute to technological advancement in various ways, and the brand truly deserves additional attention. 

Kevin Jackson and I caught up after the event,  and we shared our thoughts on the same. Check out our conversation here – and the event’s Twitter moment is a wonderful recap too. 

My sincere gratitude to all at Bosch for including me in Bosch Connected World 2019, particularly to the experts who made time to talk.

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AI

Current AI and Mobility Industry Trends with Nik Scharman

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I caught up with Nik Scharmann, Project Director, Economy Of Things with Bosch, while I was in Berlin, to chat about the Bosch Connected World 2019, his role working on Distributed Ledger Technology, current trends in the Connected Mobility industry, AI, ML, the Bosch Centre for AI his insights on where we are heading over the next 12 to 18 months and beyond. For more info visit https://bosch-connected-world.com/

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