Editor’s Note: This piece is sponsored by the SAP Innovation Awards.

In the enterprise software world, innovation doesn’t have to come from the vendors—sometimes customers and partners can build on vendor-provided platforms and create the next big thing. That’s what SAP is looking for with its SAP Innovation Awards 2018—formerly known as the HANA Innovation Awards. In submissions for the award, which can come from customers or partners, SAP asks for innovation driven by SAP HANA, SAP Leonardo, SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Analytics, and SAP S/4HANA.

“What’s truly amazing about this program is the innovations we’re seeing from customers and partners,” says Diane Fanelli, SAP SVP & GM of Global Channels & Platform Go To Market. “We appreciate learning about what they are doing and how they are innovating. We want to tell the world.”

The SAP Innovation Awards are a way for SAP to recognize customers and partners that are finding new ways to use SAP technology for successful business and IT outcomes. Winners are awarded with a ticket to Sapphire Now and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando, where they will be recognized in front of their industry peers. Also, $2,000 will be donated to a charity of the winner’s choosing from a list of charities vetted by SAP.

Customer Innovation

Mercy Health has won an SAP Innovation Award twice for its work in business intelligence and analytics on SAP HANA to address challenges in surgery and perioperative services, as well as the hospital pharmacy. For Mercy, the support from SAP and the push for the award helped speed up its innovation process, according to Jamie Oswald, Manager of Data Analytics and Engineering at Mercy and an ASUG Volunteer, who spoke with SAP in December.

“We had many phone calls [with SAP] where I said, ‘you know, this is what I did, how do we frame that?’ They would come back and ask questions that I hadn’t thought about that in turn helped me turn around and tell that story of our success and tell our impact internally.

So, this process helped me drive forward more of these initiatives going forward. Like in nursing, for example, we had a $4.3 million dollars in labor cost savings using the same methodology that we used to address surgery and perioperative services.”

Last year, surgical instrument provider Aesculap won an SAP Innovation Award for creating new business models through app development on SAP Cloud Platform. Benefits of the project included improving safety and quality of surgeries by tracking every instrument used and simplified user interfaces that allowed end-users to do their jobs faster. Check out this e-book for a deep dive into selected 2017 SAP Innovation Award nominees.

How to Get Involved

The deadline for the 2018 SAP Innovation Awards is March 2 (submit here), so if an organization has a project that is ready to share, it can still get it in under the wire. If that’s too short of notice, it’s never too early to start thinking about the 2019 awards. Submissions will begin again in October—so plenty of time for customers and partners to think about how they are innovating with SAP.

For more information visit www.sap.com/innovationawards or email sapinnovationawards@sap.com