Last week I started an exciting new venture at SAP, a fellowship for the Talent Marketing team under my mentor, Carmen O’Shea’s leadership, focused on attracting, engaging and retaining talented employees.

A fellowship is one of SAP’s greatest benefits and one of the perks that got me excited about working at SAP in the first place. It is sort of like an exchange student program, where you can work in a different team, on initiatives that could be completely unrelated to your current job. I am really excited to apply my marketing and communications expertise to better engage and develop our employees during the next six months and what more exciting way to kick things off with a heart to heart session with the North America SAP Graduate Academy.

This 10 month, cross-functional rotational training program is a combination of Undergraduates, Masters and MBAs who aim to create a DNA Shift in our organization with positive top and bottom line results by bringing in new skills and competencies to drive innovation. Since its inception in 2011, The Graduate Academy has hired nearly 100 early talents into the business and maintains a 96% retention rate. The program is comprised of four individually-tailored job rotations within Sales Support, Operations, Services, and other professional organizations. Interspersed within the job rotations are classroom-based and online learning as well as strategic projects. From week one, Associates are paired with seasoned mentors, former Associates, and coaches to support their ongoing professional development.

It is no secret that Millennials will comprise the majority of our workforce in 10 years, so recruiting and retaining Generation Y employees is key to our success.

We brought Associates from 5 major North America SAP offices: Atlanta, Chicago, Newtown Square, Palo Alto, and Boston together in a creative session where we applied design thinking methodology in discovering their pain points and generated ideas for making SAP the ideal work place.

I have summarized our key leanings from our session in four key segments and invite you to watch the video to learn what the graduates had to say about each. I feel that these insights apply to any company and not just SAP.


Millennials expect new innovative ways of engaging with potential employers and recruiters. They expect companies to dedicate appropriate Marketing dollars to showcase the novelty behind their products and services. Many expressed that an essential part of recruitment should be focused on showcasing why the specific roles would be appreciated, what kind of opportunities the candidates would have to give back to the community, and how they can be leveraged in SAP’s efforts make the world a better place.

Seamless onboarding

The Millennial value relationships, they want to know their recruiter will care to follow up with them and ensure they have a positive experience once hired and all the way throughout their career. Many of the Graduates expressed the current process at SAP leaves much to be desired for: often there is a disconnect between the recruiting team and onboarding teams, the communication flow to the candidates is not fluid and lacks consistency.


Many of our graduates expressed the need to see more interaction from Sr. Management. They feel that SAP would benefit from regular networking opportunities in a more casual setting, and many asked for these opportunities to include alcohol and snacks.

Career Development

The Graduates put much focus on their desire to receive mentorship, growth opportunities, and transparency in receiving feedback from their managers and peers. Many expressed how they would put global citizenship above professional recognition, but everyone expressed how they would want to work on impactful projects, and would like SAP to provide them a clear path for their career growth.

By the way, here is a fun quiz you can take to let you know how millennial you are, check it out and let us know your score in the comments!

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What is the SAP HANA Marketplace?

On March 5, SAP announced the SAP HANA Marketplace: an online app store where customers and developers can try, buy, and deploy SAP HANA applications. There are currently more than 75 applications on the marketplace and we plan to have more than 500 apps by the end of this year.  A low-touch, self-service marketplace is an essential requirement for transforming SAP into a cloud company.

One important step to bring SAP HANA to everyone is the new subscription pricing options for the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). At the March 5th press conference, Vishal showed in a demo how easy and affordable it is to buy the newly announced SAP HANA Cloud Platform from SAP HANA Marketplace. In the demo, Vishal showed buying and getting access to a 128 GB SAP HANA infrastructure service (starting at $1,595 per month), in less than thirty minutes. Such a fast deployment of SAP HANA is critical to drive its mass adoption globally. This new and easy buying experience is available for applications being developed by SAP and its partners (Startups, ISVs, SIs).

Press and analysts have welcomed these new announcements resulting in 24 total articles that reached approximately 45.1 million readers. They also generated 2092 tweets resulting in over 6 million impressions, and of course the questions are rolling in.

For all those who have more questions. We thought we would provide a comprehensive FAQ that will evolve as we journey through this transformation.

We would love your impressions of SAP HANA Cloud platform and SAP HANA Marketplace, and welcome your feedback.

Related media:

HANA on the Runway?

HANA on the Runway? Hard to believe, but SAP recently hosted a panel discussion on the topic, “How does Fashion and Design matter for company, product, career & your personal brand?” at our SAP Labs site in Palo Alto. Leveraging the most fashionable app on HANA, My Runway, the event also included SAP’s very first lifestyle and interactive fashion show (What a way to shake up the Labs)!

My Runway Fashion Show

Welcome and introductions

My Runway Fashion Show

Our interactive Fashion Show starring My Runway Fashion Ambassadors


My Runway Fashion show

Backstage sneak peek with our Fashion Show Coordinator, Yolanda Wright


As each model showcased the beautiful collections by our Fashion Ambassadors, www.dosanjhshroff.com, the audience participated in real-time by commenting on the collection, sharing their favorite pieces with their social circles, or simply adding items to their Wish List. As the My Runway Fashion Ambassadors went around the room encouraging all attendees to download the app, you could not help but notice the power of HANA in an entirely brand new “fashion.”

My Runway Fashion Show

Fashionable ladies at SAP

My Runway Fashion Show

Here with Marcelle Parrish, Head of Business & Strategy at eBay Fashion and Beatrice Pang, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer at ModeWalk


Since its launch in the U.S. in early May, My Runway has ignited interest amongst the “technology enthusiasts” for its use of HANA’s Analytics and Calculation Views to support real-time consumer insights – processing huge volumes of consumer data about products fashion enthusiasts “Like,” share, and discuss.

But, My Runway is also attracting a different audience for SAP – consumers and fashion enthusiasts. Fashion brands are beginning to take notice of how the platform provides fast data indexing and search capabilities that can create valuable insights. Fashion trendsetter Tory Burch has beeb in dialogue with SAP evaluating various solutions, and Mike Giresi, the Chief Information Officer, was one of the most popular panelists on the discussion.

My Runway Fashion Show

Barbara Holzapfel, Senior Vice President at SAP, was the panel moderator.

My Runway Panel Discussion

From left to the right: Mike Giresi, Chief Information Officer Tory Burch – Nola Weinstein, Executive Editorial Director Glam Media, Inc. – Beatrice Pang, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer ModeWalk – Barbara Holzapfel, SVP SAP – Marcelle Parrish, Head of Business & Strategy eBay Fashion – Vineet Buch, Head of Shopping Search, Google.


With My Runway release 1.6.5 (just released to the app stores) users are able to:

  • Receive alerts when their Wish List items go on sale
  • See products on sale in one spot
  • Add friends easily with one tap
  • Collect points and win prozes faster by increasing their number of followers

My Runway 1.6.5

Fashion brands are able to:

  • Gain real-time consumer insights based on analysis of big data
  • Deliver an engaging, personalized experience
  • Become a responsive enterprise

Future plans for My Runway include an in-store mobile client solution that will allow sales associates to identify shoppers, what they previously bought, and what they want today. The team is also working on a Merchandising solution to correlate My Runway analytics with store sales data to provide new insights.

Meanwhile, we are enrolling more brands interested in co-innovating for new shopping and real-time data analysis capabilities. If you are interested in learning more about My Runway or co-Innovation program, click here.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about My Runway.

Finally if you missed HANA on the Runway, check out our photo gallery and a short video from our last event, or watch the entire livestream.

HANA will be visiting the San Francisco Art Institute next, participating on an exciting panel with America’s Next Top Model, Naima Mora, hope to see you there!