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SAP’s other co-CEO, Jim Snabe, took over the keynote reins on Tuesday morning at Sapphire Now and ASUG Annual Conference 2012. The speech was a short, revealing history lesson that told the technology story of where we (and SAP) have come from and are today. The big news related to SAP’s embrace of the cloud, with Snabe predicting that “in five years, everything will be the cloud.” You read that right.
Of course, “everything” is a very broad term, and long-time on-premise Business Suite customers might be wondering: “Really?” But Snabe went on to note that in addition to the cloud, everything will be mobile and everything will be in main memory (the pitch for HANA). “Those who defend the disk age,” he said, quoting a famous physicist, should remember that “the stone age ended not because we ran out of stones.”
Snabe then invited up Lars Dalgaard, the outspoken CEO of SuccessFactors and SAP’s “chief cloud officer.” Dalgaard enthusiastically and formally introduced the crowd to SuccessFactors, offering a decidedly non-SAP point of view on several occasions. SuccessFactors applications, he said, “are not just designed for the power user. We design for every party in your business.”
Dalgaard provided an overview of SuccessFactors’ product portfolio and customer base, and told the story of how, in-house, “SuccessFactors is a 100 percent cloud company”—and that now includes Business ByDesign, according to Dalgaard. He’s charged with leading a team of 5,000 dedicated cloud employees within SAP.
The cloud news from Day 2 included the announcement of SAP’s four new cloud lines of business to manage people (HR), money (Financials), customers (Sales) and suppliers (Sourcing). As Dalgaard noted, SAP will deliver its multitenant cloud solutions as a loosely coupled suite of best-of-breed applications in those four areas.
Mobility is also going to be central to all of SAP’s cloud efforts—on an iPad, Dalgaard demoed his “dream apps,” which looked very cool, intuitive and fun to use. As to future OnDemand apps that SAP will deliver, he said of his “law” to his development team: “I don’t even want to see it if it’s not on a mobile device.”
ASUG Annual Conference rolled on, with hundreds more informative and educational sessions. In the ASUGNews.com Broadcast Studio, which is right on the show floor in the heart of the ASUG Lounge, we interviewed dozens of ASUG and SAP newsmakers on Monday and Tuesday. And we’ve got much more planned for Wednesday. So be sure to check out ASUGonline for all the keynotes and live ASUGNews.com interviews.
Some other early reviews and roundups of the event that are worth a read include:
Vijay Vijayasankar, IBM employee and SAP watcher, writes about what SAP customers (up on the main stage with co-CEO Bill McDermott during a roundtable discussion) were talking about: “It is rather ironic that despite Bill [McDermott] talking mostly about new generation technology solutions, customers are still only exploring the Business Suite, which has been around for a while.” ... Dennis Howlett on ZDNet also noted that trend in his review: “Curiously, all the customers were talking about ERP.” ... And Michael Goldberg on DataInformed.com profiles some early SAP HANA adopters.
Tweets of the Day
@chinamartens: Snabe: I predict in less than five years everything will be cloud #SAPPHIRENOW <Hard to imagine SAP saying this even a year ago.
@jeffnolan: “the metabolism of the world is speeding up.” great quote by Don Tapscott #sapphirenow
@jeffreyfkelly: Snabe - SAP’s 40th birthday present to itself: SuccessFactors #SAPPHIRENOW
@timoelliott: #sapphirenow Sign of the times: #SAP existed for 7 years before it owned a computer…
@SAP_Jarret: Some new #‘s for #SuccessFactors 15.6M, closing in 500M 2012 billings, 34 languages & 168 countries #sapphirenow