PALAIS BIRON NR. 25 | SOMMER 2017 57
When Steve Jobs took over again as
Apple’s CEO, he seemed to accomplish
a lot in his first year. However,
he brought technology with him from
NeXT, where he had been CEO for a
decade. The groundwork for the revolution
had to be laid long before it can
Disruptive, exponential innovation
inside a big company is hard without
a crisis. The conventional wisdom
(business incubators, accelerators, etc)
is that innovation must happen at the
edges. But particularly at a German
company, you need to be connected to
mothership or your innovation will be
A few years ago, I started an experiment
in disruptive innovation inside
SAP. Digital commerce with low
touch buying. Allowing anyone to buy
from SAP for less than 1000 euro and
be live in less than an hour. Not the
SAP you would expect.
One of the most important factors
for success was a mindset shift. The
definition of success couldn’t be profitability
or even revenue or bookings.
Instead it needed to be growth. In our
case, growth in the number of paid orders
that require no human interaction.
The understanding that 1000 orders at
1000 euro each are as important as a
single one million euro deal.
Of course, it requires more than just
mindset change. We need to accept credit
cards and have digital contracts and
many other changes. By adopting the
growth mindset and involving others
(those that might naturally have been
considered corporate antibodies) early
on, we have now found tax, audit, legal
to be some of our biggest advocates.
Over the past two, three years, we’ve
seeded multiple things that have spread
out across the company: Data as a Service,
SAP’s intrapreneurial program, exponential
thinking – helping bringing the
mindset of abundance to our company.
Is change possible in a large company?
Of course! The only constant is
Is revolutionary change possible in
a large company? I believe so but only
time will tell.
Jonathan Becher serves as SAP’s chief digital officer, driving SAP’s growth by identifying
new business opportunities based on changing customer expectations enabled
by the digital revolution. Since 2015 he had been helping to bring the digitization of our
personal lives into our professional lives by incubating new business models like digital
commerce and data services within SAP.
From Spring 2011 until November 2014, Jonathan served as SAP’s chief marketing officer
(CMO). In his role as CMO, Jonathan increased the revenue generated from Marketing
by 80 percent and amplified Marketing’s return on investment by 50 percent. Jonathan
was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s most influential CMOs. He is the
Board Chair for the Churchill Club, Silicon Valley’s premier business and technology
forum, and a Board Member of Pixlee, the leading visual platform for user-generated
constant is change