Innovation with a Purpose: Celebrating 20 Years of SAP Indonesia

Vice President,
SAP SuccessFactors (Southeast Asia)

Published on
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Innovation is at the heart of what we do.

As we celebrate SAP Indonesia’s 20th anniversary, we take pride in being able to partner with companies that continue to send ripples of positive change across the industry and the global community. These companies have fully recognised what it means to go digital, and we hope we can lead more on this digital journey to allow them to create breakthroughs locally and even globally.

What we’re celebrating, therefore, is the success of all the innovation efforts we’ve sown with our customers. Not only have we streamlined their processes through platforms and solutions that meet their business requirements, we have also helped drive their people’s productivity and enhance the way they do business with their stakeholders.

For many of us, this is a great time to be in SAP Indonesia, with the country’s young consumer market and a new wave of enterprises pushing for their digital transformation.

Looking back, it occurs to me that innovation gains purpose and meaning only when you use it to create value for the community and its people. Remove it from this context of serving others and helping people improve their lives, it becomes a loose term that promises nothing.  The philosophy of value creation is critical and sustainable in innovation.

Innovation gains purpose and meaning only when you use it to create value for the community and its people. 

This is why SAP’s focus has not solely been on large companies and conglomerates; we have also extended our technology to governments and state-owned enterprises in our hopes of promoting transparency, fairness, and compliance in their operations.

We have our advocacy, too, the One Billion Lives Initiative, whose goal was to improve the lives of one billion people across the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region by 2020. In this undertaking, we invited proposals from across all offices in the region on how SAP technology could be used to make a sustainable impact on people’s lives, particularly in the areas of health and disaster management.

The number of submissions was altogether inspiring. We received over 170 concept proposals from the whole of APJ, and did it prove anything? Yes. That any idea, how big or small, can blossom into a visionary project as long as we use it to help the world run better.

That is value creation—it doesn’t mean just a new idea by itself; it has to address issues in ways that move people to action. Innovation must push people out of the status quo.

Indonesia innovation
Indonesia: The future is bright.

The core of innovation

Within SAP Indonesia itself, this is something that I continuously inspire my people to do. How do I align the organisational vision with their personal vision? How do I reach out to every single person in the company to ensure that nobody gets left behind? How do I enable a digital-ready mindset among those I lead, so that innovating can be second nature to them?

One thing is certain in all our experiences: innovation must come from within. And especially for us who are in the technology industry, every day should be an opportunity to learn something new. Which is why I try to encourage my people that no matter how busy they are, they must try to allocate one or two hours every week to learn something new, something interesting. If we don’t do that, it will always be an afterthought.

To innovate from within also means to make a deep and lasting connection with our customers. We cannot move forward if our intention alone is to make profits. As an organisation whose core purpose is to drive impactful changes in the global community, our aim should not only be limited to providing products and services for the market. More importantly, we should measure our success in terms of how we add value for our stakeholders. How do we step up customer engagement? How do we talk to the public about what else we can do to make their lives better?

To innovate from within also means to make a deep and lasting connection with our customers.

Helping customers along their journey

When we know how to fully engage with the needs of our stakeholders, that’s when we can come in and put to good use our technology expertise. For the past 20 years, that has been the stronghold of SAP Indonesia’s strengths. We have rolled out solutions that have helped enterprises be more transparent, efficient, and compliant. We have delivered services that helped businesses expand their local presence. We have helped customers along their digital transformation journey.

For example, SAP SuccessFactors is an innovative talent management solution that inspires people to be better in their work.  This allows companies to hire, develop, and lead their workforce to become better at creating value for their customers and partners.  On a macro-economic level, this obviously has a big impact on a country’s digital economy.

That’s what innovation is, after all—it is an ecosystem of people, products and services, and purpose. Lest we lose sight of our grand vision, we must remember to always ground ourselves in the evolving needs of our stakeholders. Are we seeing their needs the way they do? Are we adding value to them so they can be innovators themselves?

Simply put, our technological resources are only as good as the community we serve. We must ensure and drive technology to be in touch with our people and their deepest aspirations. Innovation is co-creating meaningful changes that address these needs and aspirations. It is using what we know to help people grow and lead better lives.

How delighted are Indonesians with their digital experience? Learn more by downloading this report.


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