Blockchain has been a strategic topic for SAP for several years as the technology has evolved from a thought leadership topic into solid use cases. Together with customers and partners, SAP hosted the “Outside the Block” enterprise blockchain summit in Berlin to present use cases and discuss what the future has in store for blockchain.
Today, cross-border and cross-company business and value chains have become the norm rather than the exception. Exchanging information in real time with multiple partners provides for a whole new set of challenges and explains in part the hype that blockchain experienced over the last couple of years. As a technology building on decentralization, blockchain requires multi-participant partnership and makes business beyond boundaries based on trust both a reality and necessity.
“At SAP we believe in this openness that allows ourselves, our customers, and partners to tap into the wisdom of the larger SAP ecosystem,” said Dr.-Ing. Martin Heinig, managing director of SAP Labs Berlin, as he opened the first enterprise blockchain event in Berlin.
“The days are gone in which the ‘Cold War’ was a fitting metaphor for the way companies shielded their knowledge and businesses,” said Heinig, referring to the once-divided city of Berlin as a location for SAP’s Blockchain Summit. SAP Berlin, together with sponsors Telekom Innovation Laboratories, Dell EMC, Camelot IT Labs, and Wipro, hosted more than 250 participants from 120 companies and 21 countries.
“Blockchain unfolds its potential only within a network of partners,” Heinig said.
Torsten Zube, head of Blockchain at SAP, added: “It empowers us to share data in a trusted way, in a more efficient way that we have ever seen before.” He recalled a recent conversation with an analyst: “‘Blockchain Winter is coming’ sums up the current expectations quite nicely. However, it is not the time to hibernate. The hype is over, and I see this as an opportunity to focus on what blockchain is originally about and what it inspires.”