SAP Turns the Page, But We've Already Read the Next Chapter

4 minute read
Virginia Backaitis avatar

CEOs Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff, of Oracle and Salesforce, respectively, may not be feeling anxious this week. But maybe they should be. After all, there’s a calm that neither being the world’s highest paid CEO nor Satya Nadella’s newest BFF can bring.

Especially when the competition is about to change the game on you. And that’s precisely what will be happening at Sapphire Now, SAP’s user conference in Orlando, Fla. this week.

Granted, the fact that something big is about to happen at SAP shouldn’t come as a surprise. There have been plenty of clues, including the notable departure of visionary Vishal Sikka. And now another senior exec, Peter Graf, announced he has parted ways with the company, too.

The Shape of Things to Come

There was also news (much of it neither denied nor official) of pending layoffs, even as SAP insisted it would end the year with more employees than it has now.

Anyone who has watched enterprises over the past decade knows this translates to retooling —which more often than not means parting ways with workers who don’t have experience using the new tools and hiring those that do.

SAP probably won’t like that we articulated this last part (and we’re not saying it specifically about it). But it’s the way businesses in this new age operate, even if they’re European and have to play by different rules. It is, after all, a global economy.

But we digress…

While we’d love to spill the beans and tell you exactly what’s going to unfold this week, there is this embargo that we agreed to. Even so, we found a few clues that we can share because they’ve already been covered elsewhere.

SAP is Cozying Up with VMWare

If SAP and VMWare were obvious and willing partners, they would have been in bed long before now. But as can’t be said often enough, the cloud changes everything. You need lots of partners not only to compete, but also to survive.

Why have SAP and VMWare hooked up? While both VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger and SAP CEO Bill McDermott focused on how the ideal benefited their customers when the announcement was made at EMC World last month, there's something else. They need (or want) each other’s customers.

Learning Opportunities

Almost all Fortune 500 companies, for example, reportedly, run VMWare somewhere — and it’s probably safe to assume that many of them would benefit from SAP HANA’s (or another vendor’s) analytics capabilities. In addition to that, SAP’s future customers who won’t want to move to the public cloud, and/or don’t have the resources to install and maintain SAP, will be able to reap public cloud-like benefits by leveraging VMWare.

VMWare customers, on the other hand, might benefit from having more business and analytics tools at their disposal.

Listen Up Mr. Ellison

At EMC World, a VMWare executive said running the SAP products on VMware could save as much as 30 percent of normal costs.

Not only that (listen up Larry) but EMC has also published studies which indicate that that Hana, on a cloud-based system, can outperform Oracle by a factor of four.

Jiving with SAP JAM

If you’re not already familiar with SAP JAM, it’s a social layer that reaches the touch points where work gets done — whether it’s in your business applications, on your network, or your device. Last year SAP released something called “work patterns” a series of pre-configured work experiences designed to drive company-wide and functional KPIs such as customer engagement, account management and selling, customer service, learning, and mentoring.

This week, SAP will announce that SAP Jam has surpassed 15 million subscribers, one of the largest subscriber bases in this market category. While we could tell you all about it, a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth 10,000. Check it out:

Want to know more about what’s being announced at #SAPPHIRENOW? Keep reading CMSWire.