Villanova Tech Trek to SAP Next Gen Labs in NYC

On Wednesday November 1st, Villanova University undergraduate and graduate students had the opportunity to visit the SAP headquarters at Hudson Yards in New York City. Students spent the day in SAP’s Leonardo Center where they were exposed to a variety of emerging technologies.

Blockchain, Machine Learning, Cloud, Big Data, Data Intelligence, Internet of Things, Analytics – today, there are many promising breakthrough technologies with the potential to help businesses run smarter and more effectively. The question is not whether these emerging technologies will change the enterprise landscape; the question is how to best integrate these technologies without interrupting current business operations.

SAP Leonardo is a holistic, digital innovation system that works with businesses to innovate, seamlessly integrate, and scale future-facing technologies and capabilities into the SAP Cloud Platform – a platform that touches 70% of the world’s transactional data annually. According to SAP CEO Bill McDermott, “SAP Leonardo will unlock the full potential of the intelligent enterprise.”

SAP’s Leonardo Center is the physical embodiment of the company’s mission to integrate emerging technologies into existing enterprise. Currently, SAP has Leonardo Centers in New York, Paris and San Leopoldo; however, the company announced on November 2nd that it would open eight new Leonardo Centers across the globe. The innovation hubs will be located in Berlin, China, Johannesburg, Moscow, Seoul, Singapore, Silicon Valley, and Tokyo. The next Leonardo Center to open will be in Bangalore, India.

United Nations 17 Goals for Sustainable Development

The day started off with a tour of the Leonardo Center and a presentation by SAP’s Next-Gen team. The SAP Next-Gen program is an innovation platform for the SAP ecosystem enabling companies, partners, and universities to connect and innovate with purpose. The mission of the program focuses on the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The seventeen goals include No Poverty, Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities, Climate Action, and Gender Equality – just to name a few.

Other SAP employees spoke to the importance of analytics used to improve business operations; specifically, the SAP HANA platform. SAP HANA is a universal data management platform with the ability to perform advanced analytics (i.e., predictive analytics, spatial data processing, text analytics, text search, streaming analytics, and graph data processing). Its primary function is to store and retrieve data as requested by other applications.

Jim Dicso, CEO of SundaySky, wrapped up the speakers segment of the day by talking about his company’s personalized video and SmartVideo marketing platform. SmartVideo combines the power of video with personalized storytelling in order to more effectively connect with, inform, and engage consumers in real time. 

As is the case with most Villanova-hosted trek’s, students had the opportunity to network with local alumni at the conclusion of the event. The Villanova alumni network is vast and always willing to help members of the Wildcat community.

For more information about Villanova-hosted treks and events check out the Villanova ICE Institute website at