This Week at SAPPHIRE / Monday May 14

This week during the ASUG Annual Conference and SAP SAPPHIRE program, I will be providing a summary of key announcements, trends and discussions each day. For more detailed information and analysis please refer to the content links that will be updated and added into this post and at my SCN blog.

On the heels of last week’s enterprise HANA announcement, SAP has not let up on the gas for companies looking to move their business to big data and cloud computing. The new notion of BYOL (bring your own license) creates a theoretical space where organizations can mix and match their application and data needs, from small to large and from on-premises to cloud based platforms.

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When it comes to cloud platforms, SAP has come a long ways from its announcement one year ago about the acquisition of SuccessFactors, but much work to integrate a fully portable topology from mobile, to cloud to on-premises remains. Over the past 12 months SAP has added both Syclo (mobile field management) and Ariba (cloud and mobile purchasing and supply chain) solutions to their brand. While the cross-customer opportunities abound, the integration work has yet to be defined. Syclo representatives were casual in their conversation around the 12-month initial platform integration work that lays before them during pre-conference partner day sessions, while SuccessFactors executives were touting the ability of the cloud based talent management solutions to out-perform and out sell previous versions of SAP (pre-acquisition) that “customers hated.” (I was always taught that “hate was a strong word growing up as a kid.”) While the technical integration work will be hard and will take some time to get right, the cultural integration will perhaps be the toughest slog.

Ariba is an interesting play. Years ago the automotive industry gave Ariba strong push into reverse auctions and VPN purchasing models. Today, SAP brings on 12 million from the Ariba platform. This could be one of SAP’s biggest opportunity for customer out-selling our its biggest opportunity squandered. Taking the SAP message of “fast, secure, in-memory, social, mobile” computing into that population will be a bit like Moses convincing the Hebrews to dump the golden calf. But it’s a subscriber focused customer base, similar to SuccessFactors customers, who are accustomed to writing smaller checks (and in some cases bigger checks) more frequently. Subscriptions as a percentage of revenues could potentially rival the annuity of enterprise maintenance revenues over time. That’s big money that takes pressure off of an enterprise software sales force that increasingly faces customer price pressures and financial risks of large on-premises implementations.

Another shift that SAP will take on in the Americas is a shift in go to market partner indirect sales strategy to a geo-regional approach in NA. SAP President Americas Cardenuto stated market unit partner governance models which drove indirect sales revenue to 40% of sales in Latin America would be applied in the US and Canada. Will this work and drive indirect sales revenue to that level? Hard to say, however SAP does need its partner network to drive indirect sales much like it has for Microsoft over the years.

Up next today … Duet Enterprise showcased at ASUG News TV at 2PM ET US and a quick check in with my friend and host of SAP Radio Coffee Break with Game Changers, Bonnie Graham. Unfortunately no home made Irish cream today (but you can still find my recipe in this blog).

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Filed under Big Data, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Cloud Readiness, Innovation, Mobile Society, Strategy, Technology

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