Last week I attended SAP’s Sapphire Conference in Atlanta. Some key takeaways from this year’s SAP Sapphire Conference…
- “SAP for Business Network Transformation” – SAP’s attempt to cultivate its ecosystem of partners to deliver a single solution to customers with SAP at the core. SAP is actually doing some interesting co-innovation projects with customers such as Colgate-Palmolive and the SAP Imagineering Fellowship. I will blog about Imagineering and some of the other internal projects later.
- Still Lots of Focus Around Duet – Duet still maintains top of mind status with industry and financial analysts. I am still not bullish on Duet. Its now been 3 years and little to show outside of marketing hype on both sides. They state 250 customer and over 400K user but yet I still have not spoken to one referenceable customer, or even user, for that matter. This year, SAP announced a “Duet appliance” in partnership with HP that is “deployable” in days.
- SAP’s Management Bench Strength – SAP went to great length to present a united front in the executives suites resulting from the departure of Shai Agassi, often showcasing newly promoted executives such as Jim Hagemann Snabe, Doug Merritt and Klaus Kreplin. Kudos to SAP on this one for bringing the bench to the forefront and acting quickly and aggressively to fill what was originally perceived as a large void with Shai’s departure. Jim Holincheck has a great blog post about this, and SAP’s job rotation strategy, from his conversation with Claus Heinrich, head of HR at SAP.
- Confidence in Execution – Lots of confidence from product development and sales that execution will continue. Strong growth with GRC (governance, risk management and compliance), continued hope for A1S, and SAP’s continued success navigating and resonating throughout the entire C-Suite, in part, is creating confidence. It also helps that Americas CEO McDermott seems to be in the right place at the right time.
- New buzz word, “Harmonization” – What is it? The perfect relationship between process, data, context and user experience with different applications, devices, platforms, etc. I’m sure we will here more about this in the future.
- What’s new with HCM? Nothing noticeable. I attended a customer presentation with Rio Tinto and a product strategy presentation. Underwhelming to say the least but the complexity of many of SAP’s largest customers should not go understated. HCM can be a challenge for SAP’s profile customer – large..complex…global. SAP seems to be executing with the HR+IT suite and HCM continues to have a nice growth trajectory for SAP. SAP is talking more about talent management (who isn’t?) but nothing extraordinary.