The SAP Sapphire NOW event in Orlando has come and gone and Jitterbit was on site with one of our biggest partners. During the week, over 6,000 attendees and partners learned about the future of the world’s fourth-largest software company. Below are our takeaways from SAP Sapphire 2014:
- As of May 21, 2014, SAP now has one CEO, Bill McDermott. Counting on faster decision making, McDermott told reporters that ‘having product road map, sales and personnel actions dealt with by a single CEO lets SAP make quicker decisions.’
- SAP lost their chief technologist, Vishal Sikka, who lead the development of HANA, SAP’s big in-memory database product, which the company has up until now seen as a foundational technology. Sikka was seen as a potential candidate for CEO down the road. Could this indicate a power shift at the board level?
- Hana Cloud Integrator. An announcement of SAP integration for the cloud, HCI connects individual SAP components while supporting SAP processes. The HCI and NetWeaver PI teams are now combined, leaving HCI as SAP’s middleware solution going forward. As of now, SAP HCI does not have connectors to external applications and may look to partners to build them out. It’s a step in the right direction for SAP but questions about how broad their integration offering will go remain.
- SAP is simplifying. Like the move to a single CEO, SAP wants to shed it’s reputation as overly complex software. Bill McDermott addressed this, saying “complexity is the most intractable CEO issue of our time” and that “72% of a company’s money goes to maintaining the status quo of hardware and services that don’t move the needle”. This was part of a talk on SAP Fiori, their new, simpler user experience and their renewed focus on moving software to the cloud in order to compete with Oracle and salesforce.com. Like the move from mainframes to PC’s, moving to mobile and the cloud is not a simple process, so we wait with baited breath to see SAP demonstrate results.
Though SAP did not announce any major new products, this year’s Sapphire NOW clearly showed a new direction for the software giant. Between making their products more mobile accessible and cloud-based while supporting existing enterprise clients and their customizations, a new-‘ish’ CEO, and the loss of their chief technologist, SAP has much on their plate to accomplish before the next Sapphire NOW event.
Of course, Jitterbit is already simplifying the otherwise complex world of SAP, connecting the behemoths’ on-premise ERP and CRM offerings to the rest of the world, be it Cloud, Social, Mobile or Internet of Things apps.