The Encore – UPS: SAP Opens Industrial 3D Printing Early Access Program to More Customers

The opening of the early access program for the SAP Distributed Manufacturing application to new customers as part of its joint collaboration with UPS (NYSE: UPS)

The move bolsters SAP’s effort to make 3D printing and on-demand manufacturing an integral part of the digital manufacturing landscape.

The SAP Distributed Manufacturing early access program intends to provide discrete manufacturers, industrial 3D printing companies and service providers, materials providers, postal companies and global logistics networks with standard and scalable business processes for digitizing, approving, certifying and manufacturing digital parts in an end-to-end digital manufacturing process. The program is part of the SAP Leonardo IoT portfolio.

“At Moog we are both suppliers and consumers of additive manufacturing as a service,” said Gonzalo Rey, chief technology officer, Moog Inc. “Our collaboration with SAP is accelerating the development of the tools necessary to find the best candidates for 3D printing. As a service, these tools can help accelerate the adoption process for everyone.”

Beyond Prototyping

SAP is currently working with 30 co-innovation companies in the program, and is expanding the initiative to offer more organizations the ability to test and approve 3D printing before the anticipated general availability of the new application from SAP planned for later this year. Participating companies can explore opportunities to drive innovation by rethinking product design, optimizing manufacturing and logistics processes, and creating new business models. They can “right size” their inventory for slow-moving parts while meeting time-sensitive customer needs, take advantage of opportunities to easily produce unique custom goods, and improve production consistency with high-quality, low-cost certified parts.

“This SAP program is a perfect fit for us,” said Nikolai Zaepernick, senior vice president, EOS Central Europe. “It provides an ideal collaboration platform to merge supply and demand for the industrial 3D printing technology we offer. As a leader in this field, EOS contributes a wealth of deep and long-standing technology experience. The platform, on the other hand, enables us to integrate our technology into existing supply chains and production environments on the way to becoming an established way of manufacturing.”

To learn more about the next phase of the early access program and how to register for participation, interested companies can visit here.

SAP + UPS: Connecting the Shop Floor to the Front Door

This collaboration brings together two of the industry’s most trusted brands to advance 3D printing with digital supply chain solutions from SAP and the additive industrial manufacturing and logistics network of UPS. To advance awareness of the transformative potential of distributed manufacturing, SAP and UPS recently engaged industry leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos to examine how 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and emerging technologies in manufacturing and logistics will transform markets, policies and world trade networks. Replays of the session and interviews with panelists are available here.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and @SCMatSAP.


By: Nicolene Schoeman-Louw


An NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement, also referred to as a confidentiality agreement, in essence takes the notion of keeping a secret even further. It creates an obligation for privacy and compels those who agree to keep any specified information top-secret or secured.


NDA’s are most often used in negotiations. However, the principles of protecting confidentiality can be seen in a number of other agreements as well. For example, in employment contracts, director service level agreements and shareholder agreements. Its inclusion illustrates the need for protecting confidential information and intellectual property from within a business, continually and not just when negotiating with third parties and not only for a specific space in time. It also acknowledges that various role players may have access to confidential information and a breach could originate from multiple sources, not only during a negotiation.

In addition, intellectual property rights can be registered through the principles of copyright, trademark and patent. This does afford protection over and above any confidentiality provisions, and allows for a formal mechanism through which to deal with such contraventions.

Given that information is more accessible now with technological advances, it is important to understand the technology to the required degree to establish exactly where a breach could occur. To this end, data management and security processes are crucial.

So, intellectual property rights formally registered aside. Does an NDA afford the protection you seek? Well, yes, to a large degree but its effectiveness depends on a number of key considerations being included, that:

  1. The concept of what constitutes “confidential information” is suitably defined;
  2. There is no term on the protection of privacy and the exchange;
  3. The terms of use, processing, storage and destruction of the information exchanged must be suitably regulated.

The challenge remains however, if there is a breach, the enforcement of rights, whether in terms of an agreement or registered intellectual property rights, is often unable to compensate for the actual loss suffered. This means that if the agreement is breached and legal action ensues – were you really protected?

There is no easy answer; from a legal perspective an agreement must be constructed to align expectations. If it is not, there will be no framework for compliance or enforcement in case of a breach. As such, it is vitally important that information is adequately managed and security protected to avoid breaches originating internally.  Externally, I recommend that a strategic exchange occurs in order to minimize the risks of breach. In simple terms, think carefully and construct adequately what you will share.


Simply put, a template NDA document will not afford the protection you seek. It must be custom constructed to suit the particular negotiation and purpose of the exchange and be coupled with a strategic plan underpinning the exchange. Internal confidential information also requires regulation and security measures in place.



Huffington Post: Aspiring female leader? Learn from the best!

By: Gina Harman

I have had the privilege of working with inspiring female entrepreneurs and leaders throughout my career, and these women have been instrumental in my own growth as a professional and as a person. I recently asked a group of accomplished leaders to share their advice for women who aspire to lead an organization or start their own businesses. I hope you gain as much inspiration from their insights as I have.

Who inspires you and why?

Esther Morales, Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council: I have the honor of meeting and supporting women in business, and women in pursuit of business, every single day. I am continually motivated by the creative, visionary women that I meet, as well as the 15 Council Members who direct our research and engagement work. They volunteer their time on top of their day-jobs to improve the business climate for women in our country. They inspire me not only because of their humor, kindness, and intention to empower other women in leadership, but also because they are committed to something bigger than themselves.

Stephanie Bush, Executive Vice President, The Hartford’s Small Commercial Insurance Business: My younger daughter, Caroline, is a daily inspiration. She was diagnosed on the autism spectrum when she was only 20 months old. We were told that she may never speak and may likely live in an institution. We immediately sought experts and engaged in an intensive therapy regime for several years. Today, Caroline is a very happy and sassy teenager. Not only did she learn to speak but she acts in a local children’s theater program, plays piano, takes archery lessons and earns grades that put her on her school’s honor roll. What she has overcome and what she manages every day inspires me, grounds me, and fills me with gratitude.

Lori George Billingsley, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca Cola North America: Growing up, I was inspired by Harriet Tubman and Helen Keller. I looked towards these two because of their leadership, courage and tenacity to overcome all odds. My parents are my inspiration as well. They instilled the discipline of hard-work, family first and the importance of bringing different people together to build community and work towards a common goal.

Becky Huling, Vice President, Customer Engagement Marketing, FedEx: The people who inspire me most are the female entrepreneurs I see every day in my role at FedEx. My team works closely with our small business customers to help them take their businesses to the next level and, over the years, I have seen women from all walks of life – from single mothers to immigrants from less developed countries to military Veterans – turn their passions into viable, profit-turning businesses. They have new and innovative ways of solving problems and stop at nothing to achieve their goals.

What are three words that you live by and that summarize your approach to work and life?

Esther Morales: Teamwork acknowledges that we are all interdependent, and that we each bring different strengths to a situation. Positivity must prevail. When I choose positivity over negativity, then all things are possible. Persistence, because failures are inevitable in work and life. I take every time that I’ve failed as a learning moment to grow.

Stephanie Bush: Conviction means having confidence in yourself and your abilities, focusing on excellence, and setting goals. Integrity means pursuing your goals the right way – no shortcuts, no easy answers. Curiosity means asking questions, learning from mistakes, taking feedback, and continuing to improve. I have the opportunity to work with small business owners who are living examples of how these three points come together. That’s inspiring to me.

Lori George Billingsley: I’m a Christian so I approach work and life through the lens of my faith. I try to organize my work and my life around my purpose and it’s how I filter any opportunities. I also try to inspire, be a cheerleader and encourager to everyone that I come in contact with. Helping others fulfill what’s important to them, fills me up.

Becky Huling: From challenging myself with new subject matter to being on the cutting edge of business opportunities, courage is key to pushing the status quo. Integrity is all about being authentic and always bringing your best self. And for me, setting and reaching goals is key. As a leader, helping others find their full potential, and reach and exceed their goals is what gives me the most joy in my role.


Click here to read full article.

The Encore – BMO: A Framework for Risk and Female Entrepreneurship

BMO commissioned a 2 year independent study in partnership with Carleton University and The Beacon Agency, with an objective of examining how women entrepreneurs evaluate risk differently from men, and the impact of those differences on business and the Canadian economy. The study included interviews with 100 entrepreneurs across Canada, engaged key Canadian leaders in business and government on questions arising out of the research, and reviewed global literature.

Overall, the findings of the research reveal that women entrepreneurs are not risk adverse, but risk aware. To grow and build their business, women entrepreneurs:

  • make decisions that require risk to grow and build their businesses;
  • take a relationship and longer term approach to business;
  • take a holistic approach to calculating risk-based decisions;
  • want support and advice from their bank at an earlier stage of their business cycle.

The research includes opportunities for business and the Canadian economy resulting from women’s approach and attitudes about risk, as well as recommendations focused on understanding how women approach risk with clear actions for government and industry to make a difference.

Click here to read more.

Pacific Standard: Cristina Flores’ Presidential Aspirations

Flores, who is on our list of this year’s most exciting young thinkers, is focusing on empowering women and Latinos in the United States.

Like many kids, five-year-old Cristina Flores dreamed of becoming president—but while most of us outgrow that Oval Office dream, Flores hasn’t. In fact, at 26, she already has four years of experience working for the White House.

She started there interning in the Office of the First Lady, helping Michelle Obama plan more than 30 White House events, including those surrounding her husband’s second inauguration, as well as various press conferences. Then Flores was a Running Start Star fellow in Congress, attending hearings on Capitol Hill and drafting legislative memos about issues like immigration and women’s rights. After that, Flores was the White House’s associate director of Hispanic media, a job that involved making sure that the Obama administration’s efforts were reaching the Hispanic community.

Flores was also part of the White House’s advance team, working directly with Joe and Jill Biden—”two of the best people in Washington,” she says—providing them with logistics support, helping them shape strategy, managing their press relations, and acting as a liaison between them and other government agencies.

Incredibly, Flores has held an additional full-time job throughout all this. Today she is the National Women’s Business Council’s marketing and engagement manager, overseeing the federal advisory council’s communication and digital media strategy, as well as engaging with all its stakeholders, a role she has held since 2016. She started as an assistant in 2014, overseeing its $1.5 million budget, and kept getting promoted.

She helps the non-partisan group conduct research that’s relevant to women entrepreneurs, then communicates the results of that research to Congress, the White House, and the Small Business Administration; the council’s goal is to influence policymakers to enact laws that are friendlier to female business leaders.


Though Flores lives in D.C., she grew up in the border town of Weslaco, Texas. “It’s a place like no other, where two countries unite,” she says. “I felt part of both yet neither country.”

“A lot of people speak of the border without ever understanding or knowing what it’s like there,” she adds. “I’m proud of where I’m from. I find it a privilege that I was able to live where two countries unite, because it really changes your perspective.”

Her parents emigrated from Mexico with a sixth-grade education; neither spoke a word of English. Flores is one of five children, and her parents, she says, “came to the U.S. to give us a life of unlimited possibilities. They raised me to remember that anything is possible. They taught me what it means to have an American dream, and now I’m creating my own. Their hard work, dedication, commitment, and love have brought me where I am today.”

Like her parents, Flores didn’t speak any English until she was in school. “My first language being Spanish made me work twice as hard,” she says. “I have always felt that I had to prove myself and show that I didn’t fall into the stereotypes that come from where I’m from or what language I spoke.”

Click here to read more.

Payments Journal: Fenella Kim Executive Spotlight

Executive Spotlight Series with Fenella Kim from Reliance Star Payment Services

Can you tell me a bit about your company and its role in the payments industry?
Reliance Star Payments is a fast-growing national merchant services provider working across multiple industry in both private and government sectors. Our comprehensive electronic payment processing and acceptance solutions include credit, debit, gift / loyalty, check conversion, ATM sales and service, cash advance, remote deposit capture, mobile payment, e-Commerce gateways and more. We use consultative approach and tailor solutions to meet the needs of all sizes and types of merchants, plus deliver outstanding multilingual customer support. We’re proud that our firm has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and is a certified Minority Women Owned Enterprise (MWBE).

What has made you into the business leader you are today? My leadership style continues to evolve as my business grows.  I have gained incredible knowledge and insight from the other women entrepreneurs encountered through the Women Presidents’ Organization, a global peer advisory group I joined in 2013. We meet monthly and together, with the assistance of a professional facilitator, we address issues. This unique forum is invaluable and has provided tremendous support and guidance in addressing a number of leadership and management issues from personnel to vendor sourcing, office space, creating a positive company culture and more. For the times when there’s uncertainty about an impending decision, I can actually get feedback and opinions from other experienced CEOs who are in similar situations or been through similar situations.

Striving toward entrepreneurship was instilled in me at an early age. Growing up in Asia, my parents always said, “whatever you want, you need to go and earn.” I took that literally and started working at age12 in a local business after school and weekends. After college graduation, I realized that I wanted to determine my own destiny. These early experiences eventually lead to starting my own business at the age of 14 in education and then my 2nd business in the payment industry.

Being multi-lingual (Fenella Kim speaks 5 languages – English, Cantonese, , Mandarin, Hokkien-Min Nan, Indonesian- helps me to relate to and understand others who come from different cultural backgrounds. It can improve business transactions, particularly on a global scale.

What was one of the biggest hurdles in scaling your business? One of our biggest challenges is in finding and retaining talent. As a smaller company, it’s more difficult to attract qualified personnel because we are in direct competition with well-known global companies that work in our industry. Yet, there are many benefits in employment at smaller companies like ours. We pride ourselves in paying more attention to employees and our clients. We encourage each of our employees to receives certification training as a Certified Payments Professional (CPP). This designation instills trust in us among our clients but also demonstrates our investment in employees.

What industry trends do you see?
The speed of payment transactions continue to evolve and quicken as new technology becomes available. Ultimately, consumers are looking for the ease of doing business- both purchase and payment – on demand, and want a seamless customer experience no matter when and how they pay, particularly on mobile devices. Developing a mobile system that combines functionality which integrates with the payment and mobile wallet is paramount as are the abilities to track loyalty, rewards, spending and inventory. Data analytics continues to be one of our most powerful growth tools.

What is the biggest business mistake you wish you never made?  In the past, I tended to make decisions too quickly, so my advice to others is be pragmatic and also cautious. Never conduct business based on a handshake. Always have a legal contract in place and engage an experienced attorney to review it. Through running my business, I’ve learned that having a team of professionals in place, a team of individuals who work and collaborate together, is critical.

What is the biggest opportunity for women entrepreneurs in the banking/payments industry today?  Our industry continues to be male-dominated. Women have enormous opportunities in STEM-focused fields to make a unique mark. Since so many of us juggle work and family, women tend to be more detail oriented. This allows us to pay more attention to and deliver what clients want.


The Encore: Walmart – Looking Ahead in 2017

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer with nearly 1.5 million associates in the U.S., discussed company plans to create American jobs and invest in local communities across the country. The investments in the coming year will support an estimated 34,000 jobs through continued expansion and improvement in the company’s store network, as well as e-commerce services, while providing specialty training for more than 225,000 of the company’s frontline associates. The company and the Walmart Foundation, in conjunction with The U.S. Conference of Mayors, are also announcing grants through the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund to advance sustainability and innovation in textile manufacturing.

 “Walmart is investing to better serve customers,” said Dan Bartlett, Walmart executive vice president for corporate affairs. “With a presence in thousands of communities and a vast supplier network, we know we play an important role in supporting and creating American jobs. Our 2017 plans to grow our business – and our support for innovation in the textile industry – will have a meaningful impact across the county.”

Walmart is planning $6.8 billion of capital investments in the U.S. in the coming fiscal year, which includes construction and remodeling of stores, clubs and distribution centers, as well as the expansion of new services such as Online Grocery Pickup. Walmart’s fiscal year begins Feb. 1; the company’s capital plans were first shared in October. Bartlett discussed the company’s investments in job creation and associates — and announced Innovation Fund grants to support the U.S. textile sector — at the 85th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about Walmart’s commitment and 2017 goals, click here.