After sifting through all my notes from sessions, emails, in-person meetings, the blogosphere and twitter, since Monday, here’s my net take on SAP, and the Sapphire event – the detailed version will be available to Saugatuck CRS clients in a Strategic Perspective to be published late tomorrow.
- SAP's future business builds on HANA; HANA is at least as key to SAP’s future as R/3 was to its past. And the HANA strategy is all about Cloud.
- SAP is making logical and expected moves to Cloud. Quite a bit of what has been announced or unveiled here at Sapphire has already been seen, expected, or is already in use. What we’re seeing at Sapphire is SAP’s coordinated, strategic position on everything Cloud and everything SAP – and SAP has made it clear that those are one and the same.
- The breadth and depth of SAP’s Cloud moves, however, are of such magnitude that they could have an effect on how we think of Cloud - similar to the effect that IBM’s entry into desktop/personal computers had on the business legitimacy of PCs and their associated applications and networking.
- What is most impressive about SAP’s approach to me is SAP’s strong emphasis on getting things done and delivered. A great deal of credit for this goes to Lars Dalgaard and the Successfactors team, which is Cloud-native and business savvy, not to mention driven.
- But at least equal credit must go to SAP leadership for recognizing the need for change, and for initiating and enforcing change from the top down in a manner that retains and, in cases, increases the value of existing investments by SAP, its customers, and its partners. It cannot have been an easy or simple series of decisions to install and foster the combination of personality, organization, and business approach that so fundamentally alters SAP’s trajectory.
But the bottom line is that SAP’s future is not about some generic or me-too strategy with the word “Cloud” in it. SAP is more “all-in” on Cloud than any other legacy IT provider at this point; company leadership has bet the future on widespread, common, and de facto business use of Cloud in all aspects, from core systems of record to lite mobile interactions. If SAP is to succeed, Cloud must be the core business IT worldwide. Soon....