How best practices helped the Wright Brothers fly to the cloud at SAP TechEd && d-code

October 23, 2014 Andreas Muno

Have you ever wondered why the Wright Brothers were the ones who succeeded in taking off the ground and fly like nobody before them? Were they just the lucky guys who stood on the shoulders of giants? Or was there something in their approach to flight that was a competitive differentiator? Elvira Wallis, SVP of Solution and Knowledge Packaging (SaKP) at SAP shared her perspective at TechEd on Tuesday night, at the SaKP event "Fly to Cloud 9 'till 9".




Wilbur and Orville Wright weren't the first to try. All the way back in the mythical days of Greece Icarus donned wings made of bird feathers and wax, and escaped captivity. But he lacked the right equipment, experience, and practice to sustain his flight - as he got too close to the sun the wax melted and Icarus fell from the sky.


By the end of the 19th century, a number of attempts had been made to master the art of human flight, but one man stood out as he studied the flight of birds, built his own gliders and mastered over 2000 successful glides that he meticulously recorded, Otto Lilienthal. The Wright Brothers got were drawn to flight ever since their father brought them home a toy helicopter in 1878. They built kites for fun, but only Otto Lilienthal’s deadly accident while trying to fly a glider in October 1896 reminded the two bicycle mechanics that they wanted to fly too.


The Wright brothers began studying Lilienthal's methods as well as the methods of birds' flights and they researched what others had attempted before and how. And based on those data points, they experimented, and wrote down their results, just as Lilienthal did, in a scientific manner, honing their skills, and their methodology, and their flight apparatuses. Until, on December 17, 1903, 111 years ago, at Kitty Hawk, after more than 7 years of failing and improving their heavier than air machine, they took off four times to the first controlled, sustained powered flights in history. 


Finally, a dream of mankind had become reality. A transformative innovation, the airplane, was born.

They did it, they found the formula, the exact right combination of best practices to create a machine for humans to fly. And they achieved it not with luck or by chance. They had to gain experience as engineers, use scientific methodologies, tests, trial and error…


And the Wright’s best practices became globally adopted standards, successfully replicated, copied, and refined again, a platform for further innovations, leading to the safe commercial airplanes of our times.

It took the Wright brothers more than 7 years to engineer a machine for many to fly to the clouds. Like the Wright Brothers, Wallis stated, SAP took some time to assemble and hone and test their methods, making them as scalable as possible to make it simple for customers to take off.

But SAP, she claimed, wants customers to realize their dreams, and to innovate, faster than in 7 years. SAP wants customers to get a competitive edge a lot faster. Enable them to transform their business, a lot faster. That’s why SAP packages best practices into rapid deployment solutions for customers.

Implementing our Rapid Deployment Solutions in the cloud may only take you a few weeks, or just a couple days. Or even just hours or minutes to get started with pre-assembled RDS for your proof of concept in the cloud. 

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