Tech Crunch writer, Brian Heater, introduced us to the earphone set that is also a charger for your phone. Now, if you’re a fan of Apple products, and have an iPhone 7 or above, you KNOW you are as irritated as I am that Apple has done away with the separate (and standard) headphones outlet. If I’m on the go all day using my phone for conference calls and have my headset plugged in, then I’m not charging my phone. Eventually, I reach that conundrum where I need to charge my phone and can’t use headphones at the same time.  

So this begs the question: why doesn’t Apple provide all the functionality I feel is so critical? Why do I have to go to a separate supplier / developer for a solution?

This question also arises every time I speak with customers about SAP SuccessFactors software. I want better org chart functionality – why isn’t SAP investing in this? When is SAP going to give me functionality to manage variable compensation payments.


Today, innovation comes from many different people and places. Companies like SAP and Apple are focusing their resources on perfecting a core set of products. And we – as consumers – do expect those basics to function flawlessly. Then there’s that assortment of other things that we would each like to have.  How does a software company prioritize development? Innovation can occur more rapidly if there’s more talent contributing. But do all those contributors have to be your own employees? 

Instead of expanding and creating an overly costly product for a few, they create a product for the masses. And then they open the doors to innovation.

The very thing that has accelerated innovation that we all enjoy today is this open innovation platform — the ability of individual developers to create solutions that can be easily used with hardware or software we already own.  As consumers, we all came to realize the benefits of this when Apple’s App Store launched in 2008. Before long, our smart phones became cluttered with for application icons for everything from chatting, to social media, to banking, email and documents.

SAP has adopted that open platform approach too. It benefits consumers. It gives us more options for solutions that may be unique – or have unique design needs – for our businesses. This provides infinite options for us to expand our standard cloud HR system. Today’s SAP App Center has over 150 apps for HR alone., but the number is continually growing. Partners – working on the SAP Cloud Platform – are continually developing custom solutions to meet customer needs. And then those custom solutions become available to all consumers thru SAP App Center

This is technology today. It is not “spoon fed” to us. The truth is that the possibilities today are endless. And our active involvement in identifying needs, finding solutions, collaborating with developers creates this “free enterprise” notion that allows us to have it all or as much as we want or need. 

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