Saturday, February 13, 2010

New oil to SAP engine?

First quarter of calendar year 2010 and especially beginning of February will have significant impact on SAP’s future as a company. On Feb. the 7th SAP announced that is coming back to co-CEO structure and new co-CEOs are Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe. Effective immediately Léo Apotheker stepped down as sole CEO due to discontinuing of his contract. Moreover Vishal Sikka (Chief Technology Officer) joined SAP Executive Board. Couple of further thins happened as well. SAP Supervisory Board requested that Hasso Plattner (SAP Co-Founder) continues to be a part of SAP by acting as strategic advisor to new SAP co-CEOs on technology and product development.

What is a background all of these? Apotheker as none techie person was completely unpopular within companies. He made couple unpopular decisions during his less than one year tenure as CEO. He increased a maintenance fee that was heavily critiqued by SAP user groups around the world and by analysts. He laid off employees as for first time in company history as his response to financial crisis. New hot trends on market (cloud computing, SaaS software) are not followed by SAP as their customers would required. This is a case of Business ByDesign which is still not available for customers in wide range. Some SAP products (SAP PI) have not been advised to be used for strategic projects by IT analysts as their future is unclear. There was no clear strategy in product road-maps within portfolio.

What can SAP hope in future under co-CEO management? To restore customer confidence, to make clear decision across products, move and act faster in area of could computing and SaaS software. Here SAP could possible by some niche vendor to make huge progress there. ORACLE as the biggest competition has now in their hands hardware vendor (SUN Microsystems). We will see how market will accept this but they are able to coma with complete solutions comprised of hardware and software as well. In conjunction to this some analysts say that time when SAP will be acquired by some other company is approaching.

It will be interesting to observe if this new oil will fuel SAP engine to full throttle or not.

Read more at following pages:

- update 06/02/2010 -
The new co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe wrote an open letter to SAP customers. Within this they ensuring customers about investments they have made in SAP is protected and valid. More SAP accelerates the pace of the innovation of solution delivery in terms of On Demand, On Premise, On Device, and in the Orchestration IT environments. In addition they ensure that SAP's global customer base is among their greatest assets. See full letter here.

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