An innovation celebration: SAP Quality Awards 2014 kick off in Germany

The 2014 SAP Quality Awards have kicked off at the SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, and the word of the day is innovation.

ITProPortal has been on the ground at the prestigious event that celebrates the very best in software implementations. The awards were developed to celebrate customers who have excelled in the planning and execution of their SAP software.

Nominated for the innovation category is the Essex County Fire & Rescue Service, which has used SAP's business software to join up its people systems and optimise its operations.

It is also nominated in the medium implementation category and faces some strong competition from other EMEA organisations, including Service de Santé des Armées of France, supported by Sopra Group.

Event guests were treated to a lecture from Professor Andreas König of the University of Passau who, amusingly at a conference that awards quality management, refuted the idea that quality was the number one driver for business growth.

König highlighted the need for firms to be "strategically sensitive" and cited the case of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, who allegedly had the idea for flatpack assembly while observing a man cram furniture into a Fiat 500.

Aided by business software such as that offered by SAP, he argued that companies should develop strategic understanding at the bottom level of the organisation and stay in touch with the world at the top.

German multinational SAP makes enterprise software that offers CRM, analytics, people management and other services to firms large and small. The cloud-based SAP HANA houses real-time analytics and big data warehousing.

The result will be announced at 3pm this afternoon (GMT).