South Africa has become home to enterprise application software firm SAP’s seventh Co-Innovation Lab, or ‘Coil’, aimed at promoting innovative, locally relevant solutions through the unification of different ideas, tools and technology.
The new lab, ceremoniously opened in Sandton, on Wednesday, offers a collaborative ecosystem for software solution, system integrator and technology partners, among others, to bring skills together and stimulate creative thinking in a hands-on environment.
“Not only is innovation key to survival in today’s economy, but the speed at which you are able to transform is becoming increasingly critical. Far too often, great ideas are lost. Consequently, businesses are looking for smarter, quicker and more efficient ways to innovate,” SAP Africa MD Brett Parker told attendees at the launch.
The fostering of co-innovation and the streamlining of collaboration between partners and customers to effectively “transform good ideas into business-ready solutions” is expected to increase competitive advantages and support digital transformation at a much faster pace.
SAP senior VP and head of Internet of Things (IoT) strategy and innovation Dr Hans-Jörg Stotz noted that innovation emerges from the collaboration of an array of expertise and knowledge. He added that the new lab would unlock an environment that would surpass current information technology structure and leverage the global network of SAP to build new solutions for IoT.
“Disruption means you need to think differently. Disruption means that you need to change your processes,” he said, adding that innovation comes from different ideas coming together and doing something unexpected “because different people have different perspectives”.
Meanwhile, Coil also presents an opportunity to develop into Africa’s first dedicated IoT lab.
SAP’s first Coil was established in Palo Alto, on the US west coast, in 2007, expanding to the east coast of the US, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, India, Singapore, China, South Korea and Japan.