SAP customers saw that their long-time enterprise applications vendor was chock-full of bold announcements this week. It started with the news that SAP’s North American president, Bob Courteau, had resigned his position. That was followed by an ultra-hyped Palo Alto event where executives declared “SAP is a database company,” and that it was increasing HANA learning opportunities for developers as well as “opening up the mobile development channel.” Media members and analysts processed the news and offered up their own assessments, including: SAP Database and Mobility Strategies: Genius or Madness? and SAP to Oracle: “I will drink your milkshake.” (Still not exactly sure what that one means.) The week ended with a preliminary Q1 earnings call that explained SAP’s “sales-execution issues in North America” that “had nothing to do with customer demand in general” and has lead to “leadership adjustments,” stated SAP’s top executives. That said, SAP’s leaders remained resolute in their guidance for the rest of 2012. “The business is totally on track,” assured co-CEO Bill McDermott. “North America will be back on track in Q2.”
In other news, Microsoft reminded the rest of the world that it, too, is an in-memory database player, writes Mary Jo Foley on ZDNet. And Brian Sommer tries to make sense of software vendors’ “multi-tenancy” claims. (Now if only the vendors would play fair.)
On SCN, Tobias Hofmann bemoans the complexity of SAP’s developer programs as compared to Oracle’s or Microsoft’s. “Compared to the other vendors, why is SAP making this so hard and only offering a very limited subset of their portfolio?” he asks. A great comment thread follows. (Also see Ethan Jewett’s pros and cons regarding SAP’s developer outreach programs.)
Also on SCN, Jarret Pazahanick wrote about an apparent case of SAP consulting fraud—disturbing indeed.
I examined SAP’s fledgling “re-invention” from ERP vendor to database star and how Madonna could probably help the cause. And if you’ve got questions about HANA (i.e., is it for my company right now?), then this research report will likely answer most all of your immediate questions.Quote of the Week
Nobody who runs a company gets up in the morning and says, “I’ve got to have a giant, refrigerator-sized database to solve my business problem.” They wake up in the morning and they say, “I have a business problem and I need a business application to solve that problem.” Applications drive demand for databases, not the other way around. We build the applications. We build the database. And we will win in this market.
-Steve Lucas, SAP EVP and general manager of database and Technology, at this week’s event
I Did Not Know That…
AppHaus is the name of the internal SAP “startup” that is “creating cloud and mobile applications suitable for mass adoption.” You might have heard about its first product: Recalls Plus. [Source: Bayforce.com]
Tweets of the Week
@oswaldxxl: Just explained the concept and promise if #HANA to #realwife. Her response? “Why isn’t everyone using it?”@golasalle: @vsikka #SAP not concentrating at Number 1 vs Number 2 in DB Vendor world…it’s about bringing value to customers and new tech.@furrier: Converting from other databases is very expensive and potentially risky - why should a CIO consider such a move? #database #sap #bigdata@merv: #SAP Sikka to @jonerp - plan to change the “19th century process” of working with developers. “They are at the heart of the transformation.
@jonerp: Folks I’m sorry to say we lost some kittens during Steve Lucas’ talk. #buzzwordsthatkill #SAP #gamechange #meow@rwang0: MyPOV: A complete #SAP #Mobile platform is still too expensive when compared to piecing together best of breed. At times 3X more@gpmyers: To the tune of Paul Simon’s “Slip-Sliding Away”, I’m hearing “SCP-ing Away” in my head.