Q&A with Tom Raftery, Global VP at SAP

MEDIA 7 | September 19, 2019

Tom Raftery, Global VP at SAP is an Innovation Evangelist, Futurist, and international Keynote speaker. Prior to joining SAP, Tom worked for a number of companies at Group IT Manager/CTO level, and as an Industry Analyst. Tom is a global thought leader and ranks among the top 10 Internet of Things influencers in the world. 

MEDIA 7: If I were to say to a bunch of people who know you, ‘Give me three adjectives that best describe you’, what would I hear?
TOM RAFTERY: 
I would like to think that I am a good communicator, maybe smart and hopefully generous. You will have to ask people other than myself though. They would be a better judge.

M7: What is the role of a technology influencer in driving environmental sustainability?
TR: 
The role of someone like me would be to raise awareness of the issues that are happening and potential solutions to them, particularly technological solutions. A lot of people are busy in their day-to-day lives and they might not be aware of some of the more pressing environmental issues that are happening in the world and that might impact them. So, raising awareness with people, of the importance of these issues, and the potential technological solutions to them is the role I think that influencers should be playing.


"Raising awareness with people, of the importance of environmental issues, and the potential technological solutions to them is the role that influencers should be playing."

M7: SAP is celebrating the 10th anniversary of strategic sustainability this year. What are the initiatives being taken by the company to help the world run better and achieve the UN sustainable development goals by 2030?
TR:
We are involved in a lot of different projects in this front. We work for example, with Vestas Wind Systems who are the only global energy company dedicated exclusively to wind energy. We help them with their backend systems to help optimize the delivery of windfarms and turbines to windfarms, so that they are keeping their costs down and deploying the windfarms with the highest efficiency. We work with Munich Re and the European Space Agency. Munich Re are one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world and for them, they need to predict, and try and mitigate the damage of natural disasters. We use data from European Space Agency to help Munich Re do that.

We work with Brazilian company, Stara who are an agricultural company. They manufacture agricultural equipment, and the work we do with them is what’s called precision agriculture. Precision agriculture means that we can help their machines be far more precise in things like spreading fertilizers, spreading seeds to make sure that the seeds don’t overlap, the fertilizer doesn’t overlap and you’re doing it row by row. You have to sow the seeds and spread the fertilizer very accurately to avoid an overlap. Because if you have overlap with fertilizer, it can reach toxic levels and damage the plants that you are trying to help. If you have overlap in seeds, you can have excess competition between the seeds and then you get reduction in yield. Whereas if you are optimizing using precision agriculture, you are massively reducing your inputs and you are maximizing your outputs. So, you are able to feed more people with less land and less resources which obviously, as we are reaching higher population levels year-on-year, this becomes more and more important.

We work with NGOs like this one in Africa, called Elephants, Rhinos and People which was founded to preserve and protect the wild elephants and rhinos in Southern Africa. We work with local people to make sure that it’s more profitable for them to protect wildlife than it is to be poaching wildlife. We put collars on elephants and rhinos with geo-tracking in them. We use drones, to track the elephants and rhinos and if they start approaching borders of the parks that might expose them more to poaching. We send off alerts and help move them back into places where they are safer. Since we started the initiative in that area, no elephants rhinos, or humans have been harmed since the deployment of the tracking.

We work with Swiss Federal Railways, the largest energy consumer in Switzerland and they are also an energy producer - they produce electricity. So, we work with them to help reduce the peak loads, the peak demand for electricity by flattening their load which then means, they don’t need to build extra generation plants, reducing their carbon footprint and making their organization more efficient.


"Making our workforce aware of what we are doing as our external constituents is important for our employees to feel engaged and part of something important."

M7: You have been on the SmartCitiesWorld Advisory Board. How does SmartCitiesWorld help in developing smart cities of the future?
TR:
The SmartCitiesWorld is a publication. It raises awareness of smart cities initiatives that cities can take to make the cities run better, reduce their energy requirements, reduce their footprint, increase their air quality, reduce noise pollution, and lots of different initiatives like that. So, as a publication, it’s primarily responsible for raising awareness and helping cities find better ways to increase quality of life for their constituents.

M7: How does SAP embrace an innovative culture in the company?
TR:
Obviously, as a technology company it is very important for SAP to embrace an innovative culture in the company and what the company typically does is, it spends a lot of money on research and development and it does a lot of communication internally and externally highlighting the innovative solutions that we have come up with for our customers. And making our workforce aware of what we are doing as our external constituents because it’s important for our employees to feel engaged and part of something important. And as a consequence, every time, every year, we run this survey internally on how happy our employees are working for SAP. And our rate of employee retention is extremely high.

It’s not unusual in Europe to talk to SAP employees who have been working for the company for 10 or more years, which in the technology industry is unusual. So, that’s how we embrace the innovative culture and we talk of the things that we do, we work closely also with our customers because we do a lot of co-innovation projects with our customers where we take our customers into our co-innovation centers and we talk through their problems with them and come up with innovative ways to solve any particularly gnarly issues that they might have.


"A lot of people are busy in their day-to-day lives and they might not be aware of some of the more pressing environmental issues that are happening in the world and that might impact them."

M7: What is your favorite part of working at SAP?
TR:
I started working for SAP in September 2016, so it’s just over 3 years ago now. And, prior to working with SAP, I had worked primarily with startups and small companies. I have never worked with a global mega vendor before. So, I was wondering what it would be like and I had my doubts, and if you would ask me in 2016, I would have said, “Yeah, I’ll probably last about three months with SAP”. But, three years later, here I am. And, a lot of that is down to the fact that the company is so big, and it has close to 100,000 employees, it means there are always people I can approach, if I need help in any country or in any industry. Because my role is across industry. So, if I need to talk to somebody who is in the transportation industry, I can just go straight to the transportation business unit and talk to people there. If I need to talk to people in the hospitality industry, same story. If I need to talk to people in the airline industry, the mining industry, the electricity industry, we cover all industries, we cover all regions globally. And, there’s a culture within SAP of helpfulness which is great. Apparently, it’s unusual. For me, it’s the norm if people bring up and ask me for help, I would say, “Yeah sure, absolutely, no problem.” And that’s the way most people in SAP are! You pick up the phone or send an email, and they are happy to help, no matter what. Apparently, that’s not the norm for big companies, but it is the norm for SAP which is great and that’s why I love working for SAP.  

M7: When did you start working, how old were you, and what was it?
TR:
My first job was when I was 14. I worked on a building site where I was a builder’s mate, helping raise the scaffolding on the building and also help ferry bricks that were delivered to the site from the ground up to the brick layers on the top floor. So, that was my first job.

ABOUT SAP

SAP is a global software application vendor. SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables our customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improves people’s lives.

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CrowdStrike (Nasdaq: CRWD), a leader in cloud-delivered protection of endpoints, cloud workloads, identity and data, today announced the new CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider (CPSP) program. The CPSP program will help service providers unlock broader value-added solution bundles, enhance profitability and expand their routes to market. In addition, CrowdStrike is establishing a new Elite tier (currently invitation-only) that incentivizes CPSP partners with campaigns, capabilities and expanded market opportunities. Adversaries move fast, and service providers need technologies that drive predictable and scalable security and business outcomes for their customers. Purpose-built in the cloud with a single lightweight agent, the CrowdStrike Falcon platform enables partners to rapidly deliver solutions spanning endpoint security and XDR, cloud security, identity protection, data protection, managed threat hunting, security and IT operations, threat intelligence and log management at scale and without friction. The CPSP program will: Offer flexible choice of solutions aligned to a customer’s business needs: CPSP partners can choose to incorporate CrowdStrike package bundles or individual Falcon platform modules into their security offerings to their customers. Provide opportunity to enhance profitability with new incentive structures: CPSP partners will have a variety of discount options including: CPSP partner discount for specialized package bundles and add-on modules, powered by the Falcon platform. Volume-based discounts for CPSP package bundles, which enable partners to accelerate their speed to market with industry-leading CrowdStrike products. Optimize go-to-market with new Elite tier: Elite CPSP partners are incentivized with new value-added bundles, new discounts, additional partnership and technical support, enhanced go-to-market support, executive sponsorship and unique CPSP-focused partner campaigns to help increase customer satisfaction with advanced security capabilities. “Partners love the value that they get from the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, as it provides the highest level of protection for customers and is easy to implement and manage. We wanted to make sure that service providers got additive value when introducing the CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider program. To that end, we developed the CPSP program in partnership with GSIs, MDR vendors, MSPs, MSSPs and Telcos to ensure we were meeting their needs and empowering them to grow their businesses,” said Michael Rogers, vice president, global alliances at CrowdStrike. The CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider program recognizes and rewards partners who are committed to uphold CrowdStrike’s mission of stopping breaches through the delivery of their services underpinned by the Falcon platform. Elite CPSP partners for the CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider program include: Cyber Defense Labs, Deloitte, eSentire, Marco Technologies, Orange Cyberdefense and Sirius. Elite CPSP Partner Quotes Robert Anderson, Jr., Chairman and CEO at Cyber Defense Labs: “As cyberthreats keep evolving and getting more complex, companies require specialized expertise in cyberattack prevention. Combining CrowdStrike’s world-class, advanced CrowdStrike Falcon platform with Cyber Defense Labs’ comprehensive cybersecurity solutions and world-class service enables us to stop breaches in real time, as well as maintain our forward-looking approach to protecting organizations from sophisticated cyberthreats they face today and in the future.” Curt Aubley, MXDR by Deloitte leader and a Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory managing director, Deloitte & Touche LLP: “Helping our clients achieve meaningful cyber resiliency outcomes is important—and our Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR) by Deloitte platform can help clients benefit from a broad offering of XDR services and solutions. By combining our industry-leading security capabilities with innovative technology from our alliances such as the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, we can assist clients with their current and future cyber needs. As such, we’re excited to collaborate with CrowdStrike further and be named one of their Elite CPSP providers.” Kurtis Armour, VP of Product Management at eSentire: “eSentire is proud to be an Elite CPSP partner and one of its leading Managed Detection and Response partners, securing the critical data and applications of more than 650 mutual customer organizations globally with 24/7 multi-signal MDR. As a result of being powered by CrowdStrike, we can protect organizations where they are targeted most – across their endpoint, network, cloud and identity data sources. No matter where their data or users reside, security leaders can trust in eSentire to deliver the added value of 24/7 threat hunting, investigation, containment and remediation expertise – all with a Mean Time to Contain of just 15 minutes.” Mike Burgard, CISO of Marco Technologies: “Marco prides itself in providing best-in-class services to our clients. One of the ways we achieve this is by powering our services with the CrowdStrike Falcon platform. The CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider program allows us to expand our security services to adapt quicker to changes in the industry and ultimately better meet our client’s needs.” Benjamin Serre, Chief Development Officer, Orange Cyberdefense France: “SMB customers are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks and need cybersecurity solutions that constantly adapt as the threats evolve. We are delighted to have chosen CrowdStrike for our managed services Cyber Protection. Combined with the Orange Cyberdefense expertise, especially pro-active hunting, it provides them with the next-generation of cybersecurity services.” Tom DeCoster, Vice President of Managed Services at Sirius, a CDW company: “Joining the CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider Program recognizes CDW’s proven track record of helping Customers achieve their outcomes. By harnessing the power of the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, we are able to help customers meet their security needs with unrivaled speed and reduced complexity.” Robert Anderson, Jr., Chairman and CEO at Cyber Defense Labs: “As cyberthreats keep evolving and getting more complex, companies require specialized expertise in cyberattack prevention. Combining CrowdStrike’s world-class, advanced CrowdStrike Falcon platform with Cyber Defense Labs’ comprehensive cybersecurity solutions and world-class service enables us to stop breaches in real time, as well as maintain our forward-looking approach to protecting organizations from sophisticated cyberthreats they face today and in the future.” About CrowdStrike CrowdStrike (Nasdaq: CRWD), a global cybersecurity leader, has redefined modern security with one of the world’s most advanced cloud-native platforms for protecting critical areas of enterprise risk – endpoints and cloud workloads, identity and data. Powered by the CrowdStrike Security Cloud and world-class AI, the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform leverages real-time indicators of attack, threat intelligence, evolving adversary tradecraft and enriched telemetry from across the enterprise to deliver hyper-accurate detections, automated protection and remediation, elite threat hunting and prioritized observability of vulnerabilities. Purpose-built in the cloud with a single lightweight-agent architecture, the Falcon platform delivers rapid and scalable deployment, superior protection and performance, reduced complexity and immediate time-to-value.

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CHANNEL PARTNERSHIPS

Faye Launches Partnership with Asana to Expand Project Management Solution Offerings

Faye | September 23, 2022

Faye, today announced it has joined Asana Partners, expanding Asana’s global Channel Partner network of trusted providers offering professional services to ensure success with Asana. Asana Partners help companies of all sizes enhance and advance their digital transformation efforts, enabling them to deploy with confidence, learn from experts and gain access to custom solutions. Featuring partnerships with industry leaders, Asana’s global Channel network connects customers with leading solutions, reseller, and systems integrator experts in 75 countries to eliminate information silos and help organizations coordinate their work with clarity. Hand-selected for their capabilities in enterprise software and change management, partners offer professional and technical services to ensure success for distributed workers, from deploying Asana to setting up workflows to building custom solutions. Undergoing a rigorous certification program, partners offer training and resources covering a wide range of needs and skills, across teams and time zones. From planning and prioritizing projects, to setting goals and staying aligned, Channel Partnership organizations fast track their digital transformation efforts. Through this partnership, Faye is able to help clients implement, set up, and customize their Asana software and workflows, train and onboard employees to the new platform, and even integrate Asana with other critical technologies in their tech stack like CRM or CX software. By partnering with Asana, Faye enables their clients to move faster and coordinate work effortlessly, no matter where their employees are located. “The Faye team is excited to be a part of the Asana partner network,” said David Faye, CEO at Faye. “The Faye team is excited to be a part of the Asana partner network,” said David Faye, CEO at Faye. “At Faye, we make the best software in the world even better, and with our Asana services it’s no different. We are excited to help our clients take full advantage of the Asana platform with our skilled configuration, implementation, and integration services. This partnership further enables us to drive efficiency, automation, and simplicity in our clients’ tech stacks.” “We’re thrilled that Faye has joined Asana Partners, expanding our global Channel Partner network to help our customers accelerate their use of Asana and achieve success, whether they’re collaborating in-person or remotely,” said Mary-Patton Eisen, Global Head of Channel Partnerships, Asana. “Our trusted Channel Partners, including Faye, are enabling our customers to unlock more value from Asana by providing them with a single platform for distributed work that enables them to move faster and coordinate their work seamlessly, no matter where they are located.” Asana helps more than 131,00 paying customers and millions of free organizations in over 200 countries orchestrate their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. Leading companies rely on Asana to manage everything from company objectives to digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns. For more information about Asana Partners and how it can benefit your business, visit: https://asana.com/partners Join Faye and Asana on September 27 at 9:00 AM PT at our webinar, Connecting Asana & Office365 to Reduce Your “Work About Work”: https://fayebsg.zoom.us/webinar/register/9516637756665/WN_69U2x3lQTZadR6H9L8v3EQ Original press release can be found here About Faye Faye is a global leader in software strategy, deployment, integrations, and ongoing management for mid-market to enterprise organizations, working with customers in over 25 countries to integrate SugarCRM, Zendesk, Salesforce, HubSpot, Asana, and more into complex tech stacks. An Inc. 5000 award winner nine years in a row, Faye is an experienced CRM, CX, and bot advisor, trusted by customers and channel partners alike. They were recognized as the 2022 SugarCRM President’s Club Partner of the Year and as the 2022 Zendesk Vertical Solutions Partner of the Year. Faye offers a variety of Asana services including implementation, training, and ongoing management. For more information about Faye’s Asana services, visit: https://fayedigital.com/asana/

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