SAP helped a client secure 500 hospital beds in just 30 minutes — and it shows the power of digital transformations in helping companies respond to the coronavirus pandemic
At 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, SAP Vice President Richard Primm got a text from a client asking him for help with finding 500 hospital beds. Primm used SAP's Ariba marketplace to connect the company with a vendor within just 30 minutes, a startlingly fast timeline for such an in-demand product. It's just one example of how digital upgrades are drastically changing how companies can respond to crises like the coronavirus pandemic. Follow all of Business Insider's latest updates on the coronavirus here. Click here for more BI Prime stories.
Sign up here to receive updates on all things Innovation Inc. At 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Richard Primm, a vice president at the German software giant SAP, received a text message requesting the seemingly impossible. Heath Layfield, the chief digital officer of Ram Tool and Supply, was seeking 500 beds for a temporary hospital that the Alabama-based construction company was helping build outside New York City to treat patients with the coronavirus. At first, Primm told Business Insider, he doubted it was even possible, given the rush across the US to find such products. "My initial thought was: There's absolutely no way if you gave me three months that I would be able to find this," he said. Then he turned to Ariba Discovery — SAP's global, cloud-based marketplace that's available for free to both buyers and sellers during the crisis. He started with a simple search term: hospital beds. And surprisingly, up popped Joerns Healthcare, a medical-equipment supplier and a client of Primm's. It was one of the few vendors nationally that had the capacity to help out. Within the next 30 minutes, Primm had executives from the two companies connected. Ram Tool and Supply ordered the beds that night, and they are expected to arrive on Monday — a startlingly fast timeline for such an in-demand product. "Completely improbable. It just was jaw-dropping to me that this happened," Primm said. Digital platforms are powering the pandemic response That's just one example of how new digital platforms are changing the way companies are able to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. There are many obvious cases, like more corporations pivoting to online chat tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams — as well as broader use of videoconferencing platforms like Zoom. But some are less clear to the public eye. Cloud-based platforms provided by firms including SAP now allow businesses to get a holistic view into different aspects of the enterprise — like human resources and regulatory compliance. For many, it's the first time they've ever had such visibility. Others, like systems offered by Honeywell, let companies increase the efficiency of their products. One of the industrial-software giant's systems, for example, autonomously controls energy consumption in buildings, based on factors like the time of the day and the weather. Such insights can help lead to significant cost savings. And it's one reason why the pace of adoption could quicken as a result of the outbreak. "When times are good there are always many things you can do. When times are tough, you have to extract that extra value," Que Dallara, the president and CEO of Honeywell Connected Enterprise, said. Digital tools could also be a major differentiator between the companies that come out of this pandemic on solid footing and those that will struggle to sustain operations amid the expected economic downturn. New technology helps organizations "create an edge over the digital laggards. And that wedge is going to be driven further as companies struggle to meet the new efficiency thresholds that [others] who are successfully deploying technology have been able to meet," Jonathan Lang, an analyst with global research firm IDC, said. Better supply-chain management powered by tech In the past, many companies had a fragmented view into their supply-chain operations. That made replacing partners or bringing in new ones a time-intensive process that required humans to do much of the grunt work. Now corporations can employ platforms like enterprise-resource planning (ERP) systems to get an end-to-end view of their suppliers. And machine learning is helping to automate many of the tasks that employees once had to manage. For example, if a business needed to quickly source new providers or replace those that may have shuttered amid the outbreak, software from SAP, Oracle, and others could automatically suggest vendors that fit certain criteria, including those that are close to existing partners. Take Bumble Bee Foods, a San Diego-based provider of tuna, salmon, and other products that is expecting a surge in demand over the coming months as consumers remain quarantined at home amid the pandemic. Managing those fluctuations is much easier with new digital supply-chain tools, according to Bumble Bee Chief Information Officer Tony Costa. "We can adjust production to minimize supply chain constraints," he said in an emailed statement. Also, digital investments from Campbell Soup have helped that company better manage inventory and oversee the supply chain during a time of unprecedented demand for its products. And many pharmaceutical giants and medical-device firms already use ERP platforms to manage operations. Those systems can support efforts by manufacturers to quickly ramp up production of a coronavirus vaccine once it receives federal approval. Crises like the pandemic have "a catastrophic impact on a company's plan, their business plan, their supply chain," Jeff Harvey, a chief customer officer at SAP, told Business Insider. "To be able to react in 24 hours, or in a matter of hours ... that's the capability that exists now with these platforms." SEE ALSO: A software CEO who helped CIOs weather the Great Recession shares 4 steps tech chiefs need to take right now to manage through the coronavirus pandemic Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Taylor Swift is the world's highest-paid celebrity. Here's how she makes and spends her $360 million.
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The supply chain for traditional meat is buckling, and plant-based alternatives from companies like Impossible Foods...The supply chain for traditional meat is buckling, and plant-based alternatives from companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are filling the void.
This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence Digital Health Briefing subscribers earlier this morning. To...This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence Digital Health Briefing subscribers earlier this morning. To get this story plus others to your inbox each day, hours before they're published on Business Insider, click here. Rx.Health — the digital health startup spun out of Mount Sinai Health System — has crafted a telehealth toolkit to help connect docs from US hospitals with digital solutions that could help them better prepare for and contend with the coronavirus pandemic, MedCity News reports. Rx.Health's digital health hub includes digital triage platforms, tools that help spot high-risk patients, and platforms that enable virtual consultations and remote monitoring. Rx.Health usually charges hospitals a fee to use its platform, but it's temporarily waiving those fees in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Telehealth has been lauded as a potential balm to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the US — but traditional health firms may need outside help to facilitate implementation of digital tools: Telehealth adoption is set to skyrocket as the coronavirus has more patients seeking care from their homes. Public health officials are touting "social distancing" as a means of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and government organizations including the CDC are encouraging patients to seek medical treatment and advice virtually. Because many patients will have no other choice — and because traditional provider firms are lengthening their lists of virtual offerings amid the pandemic — we expect to see the needle move on telehealth adoption, which has remained meager among US adults. Even within the first couple of months of the virus' existence in the US, telehealth firms are seeing impressive growth: California-based PlushCare reported a 40% uptick in appointments since December — compared with the usual 10% spike in visits during flu season. US hospitals are prepping to become inundated with patients as the coronavirus worsens — so they'll likely need the help of digital health firms to implement effective tech solutions that could ease the burden. Hospitals nationwide are preparing for the number of potential, severe coronavirus cases to outpace the number of hospital beds in intensive care units (ICUs) available, according to The Boston Globe. As they prep to contend with this crisis, it may prove difficult to simultaneously instate novel telehealth programs, especially for smaller hospitals that may not have a strong tech infrastructure in place. And products like Rx.Health's — which streamlines the process of wading through options — will become more need-to-have to help facilitate tech implementations for a workforce that's already stretched thin. The coronavirus is opening up partnership opportunities for digital health firms and health systems — and we think these relationships will last beyond the pandemic. Rx.Health is acting as an intermediary between digital health companies and hospitals, partnering with digital health providers that want to get their products into the hands of doctors: For example, it tied up with Redox — a startup that seeks to speed up the sharing of patient health records — and clinical voice assistant company Suki — which has shown to slash time associated with note-taking, an onerous admin task for clinicians. Landing on Rx.Health's toolkit should pave the way for digital health firms to forge ties with overburdened hospitals that turn to these solutions for relief amid the coronavirus crisis — and these partnerships likely won't get shelved after the pandemic dies down. Telehealth companies, especially, could be slated for continued uptake, considering the coronavirus has had private and government-sponsored insurers modifying virtual care reimbursement and access policies. Want to read more stories like this one? Here's how to get access: Business Insider Intelligence analyzes the healthcare industry and provides in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. >> Check if your company has BII Enterprise membership access. Sign up for the Digital Health Briefing, Business Insider Intelligence's expert email newsletter tailored for today's (and tomorrow's) decision-makers in the healthcare industry, delivered to your inbox 6x a week. >> Get Started Explore related topics in more depth. >> Visit Our Report Store Current subscribers can log in to read the briefing here. Join the conversation about this story »
Goldman Sachs just announced its first partnership for transaction banking as it looks to build a new $1 billion business moving money around the world
Goldman Sachs has announced a partnership with SAP to offer cross-border payments functionality on the German...Goldman Sachs has announced a partnership with SAP to offer cross-border payments functionality on the German tech giant's Ariba Network, which matches corporate purchasers with their vendors. The partnership is the first to be made public from Goldman's nascent transaction banking business, which it began building just 13 months ago. Goldman can offer one-click functionality and transparent prices thanks to the way it built the business, using APIs, based in the cloud, with a digital-first mentality. Goldman has been looking to build stickier sources of revenue to lessen a reliance on more episodic investment banking fees such as those from its underperforming trading arm. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Goldman Sachs just announced the first partner for its fledgling transaction-banking business, inking a deal to handle cross-border payments for clients of SAP, the German enterprise tech giant. Goldman will help customers of SAP's Ariba Network to pay bills in 125 currencies, offering them one-click functionality and a transparent fee structure, according to a statement and interviews with senior executives at both firms. The tie-up is the latest evidence of Goldman's attempts to redefine itself as a commercial bank. The company has been looking to build stickier sources of revenue to lessen a reliance on more episodic investment banking fees such as those from its underperforming trading arm. The strategy – which also includes a digital consumer bank, a mass market wealth management offering, and a credit card – has elicited widespread skepticism from investors and analysts who question if the firm can successfully pivot its 150-year old franchise. In transaction banking, it's going after a business that's been dominated for decades by the likes of Citigroup, HSBC and JPMorgan. And yet Goldman CEO David Solomon expects to generate $1 billion from the business by 2025. He wants to have $50 billion in deposits on behalf of clients. A new middleman In partnering with SAP, Goldman is stepping into the middle of an Ariba Network that connects corporate purchase officers with the vendors that supply them goods and services. In doing so, it's significantly simplified the user experience, according to Hari Moorthy, the Goldman partner who runs the business. "With the click of a button, we take a direct integration with Ariba to process the payment and process the FX in one singular transaction," Moorthy said. "The client gets complete transparency on where is the payment and how much they have paid for that service. We do the whole thing in one single process." Sean Thompson, an executive vice president at SAP, explained how that integration is different than how it's been done in the past. "Historically that has meant that treasuries had to do their own system and they've had to do what I call the swivel-chair integration, which is a human being that's sitting in a chair going from one system, swiveling over and entering information into another system," he said. And yet, Goldman's competitive advantage is probably its ability to offer its expertise in financial markets to lower prices for converting payments from US dollars into other currencies, according to Thompson. "The special sauce is their intellectual capital in how to drive down the cost of cross-border payments and foreign currency hedging," said Thompson. "That results in a lower cost of doing cross-border payments." Goldman joins a growing list of banks offering their services on SAP's network, including Standard Chartered's trade financing, and the ability to use credit card rails through Barclays and Discover, Thompson said. Ariba facilitates tens of billions of dollars in cross-border payments each year, a chunk of the more than $3 trillion in transactions that cross the platform. Friday meditation sessions spur innovation Goldman and SAP have a relationship that traces back decades to the firm's founding in the early 1970s, according to the bank. More recently, Goldman represented SAP in its $2.4 billion acquisition of Callidus Software in 2018. Goldman is also a big customer of SAP's technology. Ryan Limaye, a partner and co-head of global TMT banking, helped make the introduction to SAP's top execs, according to a spokesman. While the SAP integration is a bespoke arrangement, Goldman has built the business so it can do many customized solutions for different clients relatively easily, Moorthy said. That's enabled by some of the very same techniques that Goldman has used elsewhere in the company to gain digital advantage – services built and hosted entirely in the cloud, driven by application programming interfaces, or APIs, and designed to be digital-first and nimble. Moorthy has overseen a relatively rapid build out, growing a team of roughly 320 employees within Goldman Sachs' investment banking division just since the end of 2018 when he joined from JPMorgan. He reports to division co-heads Gregg Lemkau and Dan Dees. Like some of Goldman's other digital-first efforts, Moorthy has been allowed to foster a culture within a culture. Every Friday, he hosts a meditation session for his staff on the 27th floor of the bank's Manhattan headquarters. A practitioner of 27 years, Moorthy credits the meditation sessions with helping his team to come up with ideas. Years ago, when Goldman was building its digital consumer bank Marcus, execs credited weekly standing huddles, relaxed dress codes and writing on the walls with bringing a more relaxed vibe to the larger Goldman population, known for its stuffy shirts and white-shoe roots. Goldman was the first client of the fledgling operation. Between last July, when it was turned on for Goldman, and today, the firm has processed more than $5 trillion in payments. It's on pace to save the firm something like $100 million by not having to pay fees to other banks. The bank disclosed during its investor day in January that it was already working with 20 clients. All told, US large corporations spend about $70 billion each years on these services, Moorthy said. And they're looking for some new service offerings. "The number one feedback they had given us is make it simple, make it easy, make it operationally less manual and make bank fees and costs transparent," Moorthy said. "Which implies none of those are true today."SEE ALSO: Goldman Sachs just unveiled hundreds of slides laying out the future of the company. Here are the 10 crucial slides that show how it plans to transform into a bank for everyone. SEE ALSO: Goldman Sachs has lost at least 54 partners since David Solomon became CEO. We're keeping a running list — and compiling details from insiders about how the exits are being celebrated. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: WeWork went from a $47 billion valuation to a failed IPO. Here's how the company makes money.