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‘Video cockpit’ to boost Germany in FIFA World Cup

SAP has introduced technology innovations to the SAP Sports One solution to help the German national football team play at peak performance during the World Cup in Russia.

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SAP and the German Football Association (DFB) co-innovated the video cockpit and player dashboard to respond to the team’s evolving need to analyze and share relevant match data efficiently, putting them in the best position to win.

The video cockpit is a content hub that merges copious amounts of the team’s live-play videos with match and training information from a variety of sources. This enables the DFB match analysts and coaching team to quickly identify patterns and tendencies and craft strategies to address opponents’ potential weaknesses. Using the player dashboard, team coaches and analysts can provide players with easy access to personalized information and videos from their mobile devices in real time. The video cockpit and player dashboard represent the latest features of SAP Sports One, a solution that helps sports teams and organizations digitalize performance management by coordinating all administrative, training and team management, scouting and medical processes.

“We have an incredible amount of data at the German national team that we need to process and share in real time with the trainer, the players and the analysts,” said Oliver Bierhoff, general manager, German national football team. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning play a significant role in football and are an essential part of data analytics. Our experts and the ones from SAP are working on these topics together. We aim to gain a competitive advantage by using the latest technology innovations and we’re glad to work with SAP as the best partner for that.”

The DFB was among the first to recognize the impact that data and real-time insights could have on football.

“The tactical aspects of soccer have become increasingly important in recent years,” said Christofer Clemens, head of scouting and match analysis, German national football team. “This means that coaches, assistant coaches and match analysts are putting more effort into observing and analyzing the various data sources of a game. It is a logical step to use technological innovations – especially from the fields of data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning – to simplify and accelerate certain processes. Using the new functionalities of the SAP Sports One solution – video cockpit and player dashboard – allows the match analysts to prepare the coaches and players even more efficiently. Additionally, the players receive tailor-made information packages for upcoming matches.”

Since 2013, the German national football team and SAP have transformed the team’s use and processing of data to enhance player performance. Working together, they created innovative solutions that turn vast amounts of data into unique, real-time insights, providing a competitive edge in training and match performance.

“As the reigning World Cup champion, the German national football team is at the forefront of the digital transformation across football and among the first to recognize that data and real-time insights can have a powerful impact on the field of play,” said Stefan Ries, Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Since 2013, the German national football team and SAP have transformed the way the team captures and processes data to inform and enhance player performance. The new SAP Sports One features, video cockpit and player dashboard, make the job of the coaches and game analysts easier, as they have direct access to the information that is essential for the team to win.”

In 2014, SAP developed the SAP Match Insights solution, offering greater insights into team performance on the field, and the SAP Team One mobile app, a mobile application that helps players and coaches communicate and share information more easily. In 2016, SAP introduced the SAP Penalty Insights Web application and the SAP Challenger Insights mobile app, two prototypic technologies providing data-driven insights into opponent tendencies and formations. Using SAP solutions and the resulting insights as an integral part of its training and preparation, DFB has won various international titles, raising its performance on the world stage.

Outlook to the Future: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Technology

Looking ahead, SAP and DFB are already working on solutions to strengthen the development of the next generation of German players. Artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities in match analysis have been identified as key priorities by SAP and DFB. For example, in the near future team officials will be able to identify more easily and quickly complex match scenes and opponent tendencies based on pattern detection and positioning data. As an official partner of the DFB Academy, SAP will continue to contribute its technology expertise by creating training solutions for players and coaches, helping the team in the areas of talent development and player scouting.

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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