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Berlin to go, english edition, 03/2017

  • Text
  • Digitization
  • Berlin
  • Digital
  • Innovation
  • Startup
  • Innovative
  • Printing
  • Fraunhofer

NETWORK “ BERLIN HAS A

NETWORK “ BERLIN HAS A TOUCH OF THE BARBER OF SEVILLE ” Isabella Groegor-Cechowicz, Global General Manager Public Services at SAP, on innovation, Berlin as a “Future City” and complex operas Isabella Groegor-Cechowicz, Global General Manager Public Services at SAP FRAU GROEGOR-CECHOWICZ, SAP HAS 19 LABS IN 16 COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE OPERATING AS R&D FACILITIES WHERE SAP PRODUCTS ARE DEVELOPED AND ENHAN- CED. ONE SUCH LOCATION IS HERE IN THE GERMAN CAPITAL. HOW IMPORTANT IS BERLIN AS A SITE OF INNOVATION? Our labs employ 86% of all SAP staff in the field of research and development. These labs are very strong centers of innovation, and each one of them is found at a strategically chosen site in a global hotspot for innovation. The Berlin lab is a more recent part of that. As a German software company, Berlin is naturally important to us. We have access to highly qualified employees here, and the digital focus at universities is an advantage. Berlin also has an unbelievably active international startup scene. WHAT IS THE FOCUS AT THE BERLIN LAB? All of our labs are closely networked internationally, which helps grant Berlin greater visibility. Our Berlin lab has three locations, each with a different focus: in Mitte we focus on our HANA platform, that is, on database technology and all processes connected with it, but also on the Cloud. The SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam deals very strongly with forward-looking technologies, such as machine learning and blockchain. At our third location, in Schönefeld, the team is working on “Sports and Entertainment,” which is a relatively new theme for us. Many athletes are now using our applications. For example, as an enthusiastic horse rider, I know that Ingrid Klimke uses our software in her training. SAP’S BERLIN LOCATION HAS LONG SINCE BEEN A STRONG INTERNATIONAL COMPE- TITOR. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO YOUR LABS IN SILICON VALLEY, SHANGHAI, MOSCOW AND HO CHI MINH CITY? Those labs all have very different environments, which makes it hard to compare them directly. Silicon Valley is no doubt by far the largest IT cluster in the world. It is also home to the top IT companies in the world. Shanghai and Moscow are national hubs for top talent and have a huge market at their back. For its part, due to the sheer size of the country, Vietnam is already an upand-coming market that naturally has a strategic importance, but doesn’t have the sheer numbers found in high-population cities, such as Shanghai and Bangalore. In general one could best compare the Berlin lab with the lab in Paris, especially with regard to the ecosystem of clients, partners, startups and university scene. This integration is very important to us everywhere. In this sense, we find ideal conditions in Berlin. You can see this, Photo: SAP 30

for example, in our DATA SPACE. We’re also eager to work on further synergies with Berlin Partner member companies and take a closer look at what else is possible. WHAT CAN WE STILL LEARN IN BERLIN IN THE REALM OF PUBLIC SERVICES? With regard to the concept of the “Future City,” Berlin has plenty of room for improvement. The first thing is to transform the city into a smart organization, that is, to figure out how to optimize processes and public services. In this realm, other countries are way ahead of us. The other thing is the Future City as such; in this realm, we need to take a holistic approach. There have been isolated efforts here, such as automated driving. But in the long term, we will have to take on a holistic strategy. Here, too, other cities, Shanghai, for example, or Dubai, are way ahead of us. WHAT WILL A TRIP TO AN OFFICIAL GOVER- NMENT AGENCY LOOK LIKE IN 15 YEARS? In ten to 15 years, we might have only faint memories of what it was like to have to visit an official government agency. We’ll most likely be doing almost everything online. And if something needs to be printed, we’ll probably send out a drone to take care of it. YOU’RE AN OPERA FAN. IF BERLIN WERE AN OPERA, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE? (laughs) That’s a good question. It would definitely be a complex opera, perhaps Tannhäuser. Tannhäuser is a wanderer between worlds, and this applies to Berlin too. My husband is a fan of Götterdämmerung; it’s pretty heavy stuff, but there’s a happy end. Berlin also has a touch of the Barber of Seville: lively, witty, young, dynamic. But I don’t want to say for sure. If Berlin were an opera, it would be one that has yet to be written. In that case, it would be a mixture of Tannhäuser, Götterdämmerung and the Barber of Seville. More information: www.dataspace-berlin.com According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death throughout the world. That’s why we’re investigating treatments to manage heart failure, as well as prevent myocardial infarctions and strokes. Which heart patient wouldn’t love to benefit from that? To find out how our innovations are helping to change lives for the better, visit www.bayer.com/cvd1902. 31

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