Book Review – Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office, by Bill McDermott


Today is the 5th anniversary of this blog – just got that notification from WordPress, as I was finishing this book by Bill McDermott . It is a great read and there were plenty of little nuggets of wisdom in this book that I found very useful.

It is fascinating to read that Bill knew very early in his career that he wanted to be the CEO of a large company. Not many people I know – including many who are big company CEOs today – have had that realization of their destiny till much later in their career. Even before I read the chapter on how he met his wife and how great she has been as the CEO of his family, I knew he had a fantastic support system. For someone to have a career like him, that is a basic necessity . My own limited accomplishments in my career would not happened without the sacrifices and support of my wife. And consequently I could relate to his pain of dealing with his wife’s fight against cancer, and his elation when she successfully defeated the disease. I have never met Bill’s wife – but I look forward to meeting her one day, hopefully with my wife.

Bill is a sales machine and he is a master of corporate theatre – that is a good combination for a CEO. He is impeccably groomed at all times and the book clearly tells me that is his DNA. He feels comfortable in formal attire – and there are some former bosses at IBM I know who are like that. It clearly works for him – it is part of how he earns and shows respect. I can clearly see how this has influenced the people around him – for the most part, they are all impeccably groomed too.

His penchant for pageantry is something he is unapologetic about throughout the book. This is one area where I am not convinced that it is a sure shot strategy for success, especially at SAP where a lot of staff is of the non-sales type. SAP has an annual field kick off meeting and an annual developer kick off meeting. The former is all about luxury, the latter is all about frugality. To the best of my knowledge there is no equivalent of winners circle for the good people who build all the cool things SAP salesforce sells to get to winners circle. I would seriously urge Bill to look at that side of the house too. The solution might not be a winners circle for developers – but it is something for the CEO of a tech company to spend some attention on.

I absolutely love the emphasis he puts on developing people around him. He is all about team and helping remove roadblocks in their path . That is not some hollow talk – I know this to be true first hand. Towards the end of my tenure at SAP – I emailed Bill about something I needed to discuss with him. In the weird matrix that SAP is organized, I did not report into him. I was part of the engineering side of the house. In less than two minutes – I had a call back from Bill to get into a plane and go talk to him the next Monday. That meeting was amazing – I had his undivided attention and he offered two solutions and a follow up meeting to discuss how things were progressing. Couple of months later, I ran into him at Palo Alto – and he came and asked me for an update.

When I left SAP – he said two things. First he asked me if there is anything he can do to make me stay ( there was not , and I had already given my word to my new boss). Second he asked me to get settled at MongoDB and ping him back on how SAP can work with my new company. And when I pinged him back in a couple of months – he (and my great friend Steve Lucas) made the collaboration work, resulting in Lumira and Data Services now having interoperability with MongoDB.

Bill says in the book that when he took on as President of North America, he had a condition that Germany did not micromanage him from across the pond. I am glad that they did not. But this is an area where I think SAP is not letting Bill perform to his full potential. SAP organization is all about extreme checks and balances. There are three boards – managing board, executive board and supervisory board. Bill is part of the executive board, as are the heads of sales, products, support etc. I think Bill will be way more impactful in his job if he were a CEO in a more traditional capacity, like how IBM, GE etc operate. At this point – the one person who can decide across the board is Hasso as the chairman of supervisory board. And of course there is only one Hasso – there is not another person like him on the planet. But when he retires – I hope they give Bill a traditional CEO role.

Also – prior to Bill taking over SAP Americas, he says they went through 5 leaders in quick succession. It looks like that history kind of repeated after Bill moved to bigger roles at SAP too. Just shows what a hard job that is.

I enjoyed reading about the acquisitions of Sybase, Ariba, Hybris and SuccessFactors. While I think SAP significantly over paid for most companies it bought, and the integration with the mother ship was not smooth – I absolutely think they were strategic to SAP.

Sybase was acquired as a mobility company – but mobile business never really flourished at SAP ( I think SAP should have acquired a few more companies to have a meaningful shot at mobile business, and maybe they should have tried harder to keep Sanjay Poonen to run it ). But in the bargain – they got some very talented database people which helped the cause for Hana.

Similarly I do not think that SuccessFactors changed SAP DNA all that much – but SAP never would have become a known name in cloud without buying them. Ariba is an all around fantastic buy – and probably the most strategic amongst the four. Hybris, similarly is a pretty good addition to SAP’s portfolio. In all four cases- I appreciate how Bill trusted their CEOs upfront during the M&A process, even while knowing none of them will stick around.  It is a good reminder that business is always done between two people and not two companies.

Now a few things I wish the book spent some coverage on. May be there is a second biography later that will cover all of these.

1. I did expect some light to be shed on the influence of Vishal Sikka on SAP – but there were just some passing references.

2. Since Bill is all about developing a generation of leaders, I wish he spent some time talking about succession planning. There are amazing leaders under him like Rob Enslin, Steve Lucas , Bernd Leukert etc who all have what it takes to be CEO – if not at SAP, then elsewhere.

3. One issue – perhaps controversial and hence why it is not covered – is diversity in senior executive leadership levels. I would love to hear Bill’s views on diversity and what he is doing at SAP to encourage diversity, especially at senior levels.

4. SAP has an unusually large portfolio – and honestly I don’t think there is anyone in the company who knows all the products that can be sold. I would have loved to hear his thoughts on portfolio optimization, especially since he has stated that inorganic growth is a must have. With twenty thousand plus developers – it is very easy to waste precious engineering fire power by spreading everyone thin across a wide portfolio.

5. Finally, what is it that Bill himself wants to do next ? I am sure he has a long innings left at SAP. But what after that?

All said, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read and the next time I get an opportunity to meet Bill, I am getting my copy autographed.

Book Review – The hard thing about hard things by Ben Horowitz

Yesterday night, I finally managed to read Ben Horowitz’s book . If you have not read this book – you should do so . It is brilliant. Barring a few places where I don’t share Mr Horowitz’s  views – I was nodding my head throughout , often with a smile or a sigh.

It is a jargon free book – which in itself is quite an accomplishment for a business book. This is a book for senior level management practitioners – although I am sure some MBA students will find it interesting too.

I have never been a CEO in my life – but I have worked closely with quite a few at my present and past employers and also at my clients. I did not quite realize what a lonely job it really is till I read the book. While the success of a CEO is defined by the team, the CEO has to make the hard decisions as an individual for the most part. If everyone starting out to be a CEO truly appreciated the loneliness of the job, I wonder how many will have CEO ambitions to begin with.

The key theme of the book is that there is no real recipe to success as a CEO, at least in a tech startup scene. Honest to god, if the book went into some “6 steps to be a great CEO” type explanation, I would have stopped reading it that instant. Horowitz comes across as credible to me instantly by saying there is no such recipe.

About 20% of Horowitz’s advice is original – I especially liked the good/bad product manager memo and differences between the working of a peacetime CEO and a wartime CEO. The rest is conventional wisdom that you can get elsewhere too. I usually tune out when I read oft repeated stuff – but this time I did not. And it is for a very simple reason – the book is written without the “6 steps” format. It has more of a “stream of consciousness” approach with many real life stories. It felt more natural. It might also be because my own blogging style is largely unstructured .

The book is definitely attractive for execs in a tech startup – CEOs probably will find the most value, but also general managers and people looking to move into the startup scene at a senior level. I am not sure if this book will offer as much value to non-tech company leaders, or those without heavy VC type financing. Not every CEO has the sheer will power or connections it takes to get a $29M company to an exit of $1.65B. So the specific applicability of the book to the larger entrepreneur ecosystem is a bit of an unknown to me.

Now to the four things where I think the book could have done a bit better

1. Right from the start, I noticed that Ben used “she” to describe the leaders . I immediately perked up thinking that here is finally a leader who has seen the value in having woman leaders developed in his company. However, I was quite disillusioned by the end of the book. He hardly has an example of an actual woman leader in the book . None of the people he called out as mentors are women. None of the people he called as his stellar executives are women (except one exception I think – Margit Wennmachers) . Even the fictitious names in examples he used were not women. It just looked as an explicit effort to come across as politically correct – which is awkward given the nature of the book which is anything but PC.

2. Ben points out correctly that there are challenges in getting a large company executive to function well in a startup. However he generalizes it to an extent where it comes across almost as if all big company execs fit a certain mould. I fully agree with the challenges he brings up – it is true that there are many big company execs who will fit the picture Ben paints . There are also plenty of big company execs who do well in startups. I would have also been interested in Ben’s views on founders who sell out to large companies but then don’t find success being part of the large company set up.

3. While I like the part of taking the hard decisions on hiring and firing employees and executives in an objective way , I was surprised that the cascading effect on their teams was not called out. Top sales teams are built on extreme loyalty – reps follow great sales managers across companies. If you hire a great sales VP, you also get a bunch of good reps in the bargain. If you fire a VP of sales, then you should also expect an attrition of reps. Same thing with engineers – developers like to work with smart developers. So if you lose your star developer – especially one that is looked up on by ecosystem as a super hero – it affects your ability to hire great ones.

4. Both the IPO and the sale to HP seem to have been done with the help of a genius VP of business development, John O’Farrell . However the book does not give any insight into finding a great VP for BD, or building a world class BD team.

I am hoping that in his next book, Mr Horowitz will go into some detail on all these topics and many others that did not fit into this book.

All said – it was an enjoyable read and I do recommend the book highly. In fact I am thinking of ordering a few copies as Xmas gifts to a few friends.

Security in India urgently needs transformation

Over the last week, I have spent my time traveling across India with my team visiting MongoDB partners . It is amazing to see how much SI industry has changed , and also how much has not changed . More on that in another blog post at another time .

The one thing that consistently was a pain in the neck for me was the security process at companies , hotels and airports . It is the most cumbersome , inefficient and ineffective process one could design .

Let’s start with hotels . Hotels in India take security seriously from the looks of it – and after the terrorist attack on Taj in Mumbai , it is understandable that they stepped up the effort . However the mechanics of the exercise is where it is borderline stupid . When a car carrying a passenger arrives at the gate , they search in the trunk of the car and under the car – but not inside the car . What happens if a bad guy is holding a weapon in his hand while sitting inside the car ? Nothing – he will make his way to the hotel .

In some hotels they have sniffer dogs checking for explosives . It is clear to me at least that these dogs are over worked and most probably have no drive to find anything half way through a long shift . I do appreciate the opportunity to pet those dogs on my way in whenever I can .

Then there is a metal detector when you get into the hotel lobby itself . I watched multiple people walk through it with their wallets and phones in their pockets and the thing never beeped once . What exactly is the point here ?

Moving on to large enterprises – many of them huge multinational companies . They have armies of security personnel and access to technology . Yet the process to admit a visitor is nearly 100% manual and ineffective . They write visitor info in thick ledgers – often multiple ones which clearly can’t be fully reconciled easily or at real time if there is a breach . These companies one way or other are at the forefront of “digital transformation” , “big data” and “internet of things” movement today – and hence they should have no problems fixing it . I suspect there are legal issues that are beyond their control that is stopping them . I really hope that this issue is taken care of swiftly – it will not only improve security , it will also tangibly improve customer satisfaction . What is more – if they can design an elegant solution, they might even be able to sell it to others for a profit .

And finally there are airports . Honestly Indian airports seem to have the best security of all places I have been to . The only sore sight here is the sheer number of people needed for a single task . Just to board a small regional jet in Bangalore , I counted more than twenty young people at the gate with walkie talkies and multiple printed documents . That is roughly the job of three people elsewhere . It is not an IT problem – it’s a management problem . Fix it please

That apart , everything else has been fine and dandy in India so far .

MongoDB global consulting services – lets get started

Yesterday , I took on the responsibility of leading the charge for MongoDB’s consulting services , in addition to my role as the leader of global channels and BD . As I broke the news to my friends and family, the most common response was “we knew you would be back in consulting sooner than later” :)

I grew up in consulting – from TCS in late 90s till IBM GBS a few years ago . I have seen the good and bad of consulting and I left it for a technology job mostly because I thought there wasn’t a lot more value I could add as a consulting guy after all those years . The travel schedule for consultants is kind of brutal too – and that played a role in my decision too .

So what changed my mind to jump back into consulting with both feet in ?

Services business for me has exactly one KPI – outrageous success for our clients . Services is not a transactional business for me . We aim to be trusted advisors and partners for our clients . And that is essentially what I mean when I say “we don’t have customers – we have clients”.

Here is the short answer – MongoDB in 2014 gives me the same energy to jump on a plane at 4AM every week , that I used to have as an SAP consultant in late 90s. It checks every box for me of what an interesting and challenging leadership job should be .

And here is the much longer answer :)

1. My Gang

Our consulting team has some of the the smartest people one can work with . My daughter has a favorite short that says “I got mad ninja skills and stuff” . As I learned more about my new team – and as I spent time talking to Richard K, my consulting director – the visual I had in mind was standing in between a lot of people wearing a similar Tshirt :) .

I would love to work with them and see them grow to great heights as we make our clients transform their apps to a modern paradigm .

Yes I am hiring – if you are an expert in building apps on MongoDB and/or operating database clusters in complex landscapes , and love to work closely with clients – we should talk . Leave a comment below with your linkedin profile and I will be in touch if there is a match .

2. The Client

Vast majority of apps that enterprises use today run on legacy RDBMS technologies . It is not because those legacy technologies are the best suited for those apps – mostly it is because there was limited choice at the time these apps were built . Policies and procedures that exist in IT shops were formulated to suit the needs and cover the deficiencies of these old technologies .

Many clients pay a lot for that choice today . They pay a hefty maintenance bill every year . They are stuck with apps that can’t change fast enough because of rigid relational schemas .

I believe we can show customers a better path to success . At least 70% of apps can work better on a newer database like MongoDB – with way more agility and much less cost . My team can do that assessment quickly and we can partner with customers to do the redesign of those old applications and creation of those new modern applications that will grow with your changing business needs .

If you are a company with such applications – and would like us to take a look at modernizing your applications – we should talk . Shoot me a note to vijay at mongoDB dot com .

I should make myself very clear here – I don’t hate SQL at all . I am as big a fan as the next person and have spent a lot of time developing on relational databases . If you want to run SAP ERP – by all means use a relational DB. It is optimized for that workload .

I won’t ever tell a customer to rip and replace a legacy technology unless there is a tangible outcome . I would also be the first to tell them if SQL is the better way to go for their given use case . Old relational technologies also have more tooling built for their stuff – and I expect customers to have some inertia in moving away from what is familiar to them .

3. The product

MongoDB is no doubt a hugely popular technology – a database that gets downloaded tens of thousands of times a day . I don’t need to convince clients to use it – they already love it . I believe that most of what my Gang needs to do is to show them the “art of the possible” on development , operations etc .

It is also a technology that is rapidly advancing . Who better to help our customers and partners with these innovations than our services experts ?

4. Our partners

We have more than 700 partners today – and my channels Gang and I are committed to their success in helping our customers successfully transform . Every partner I have spoken to so far have assured me of their full support in working closely with our services team on customer engagements . They are seeing the customer pain daily of working with legacy database technologies . Together we can partner with customers to build applications that suit the needs of today and tomorrow .

MongoDB also has a great ISV program . We want to be a great database for building modern applications . Anything that is not core to our database – we partner heavily . We work with a spectrum of enterprise vendors like IBM and SAP to tiny startups who have great products that interoperate with MongoDB .

We codevelop solutions and we go to market together . For example – our hadoop connector is certified on Cloudera , Hortonworks and MapR . If there is a heavy analytics workload that needs to be triggered – we offload it to hadoop (or a Datawarehouse like teradata ) rather than try to do it inside our database .

Another example is Adobe Experience Manager which uses MongoDB as a database option . We work with Adobe and our SI partners to help mutual customers succeed . This commitment to interoperability is crucial to customer success and something that our consultants hold dear to their hearts .

That is it – can you tell I am excited ? :)

Happy birthday Keralam – there is no place like home

November 1 is the birthday of my home state of Keralam – a place we lovingly call God’s own country.

I was born and raised in Trivandrum , the capital of Keralam . And to me – there isn’t a place more beautiful than Kerala on this planet . I am generally quite happy with my life with very few regrets , but the one thing that I hold myself as an abject failure is my (perceived) inability to make a decent livelihood while staying in Kerala . For record – It’s where I want to spend most of my retired life .

In school – Malayalam was my favorite subject . Its a language spoken only by Keralites , which in the grand scheme of things is not that big a population . Yet the quality of literature is astonishing . I don’t have the literary abilities of Changampuzha – but I have the same romantic notions of the language that he did . I am fairly sure the poet was rather high on alchohol and/or drugs as he penned these lines and most of his work in general :)

I have a pretty good collection of Malayalam books with me . Every year, I pick a few and read them again – it’s fascinating how much more enjoyment I get reading them again as my own life experiences become more varied with time .

I have often wondered why something that has failed the world over like communism found roots in Kerala . The novels and dramas of the time give me a good idea of how the movement gained prominence and became deep rooted in our psyche .

More than the “serious” stuff – it is the sattire and humor that has stayed with me . “Sanjayan” is on my all time favorite list when it comes to stuff that makes me laugh out loud and think deeply at the same time . Those essays are a league apart – and have definitely influenced how I view society.

That said , the king of sharp wit , humor and sattire was Kunjan Nambiar . He used fairly simple language and the context of stories in Hindu holy books – and generations of Malayalam readers have been his fans . I am sure that will continue for many more generations – his brand is timeless . I use his parts of his poems – usually translated to English – in many a situation where a little humor could help calm down someone at work .

Like these words that Hanuman used to calm down a pretty worked up Bheeman

Not that it helped – Bheeman was not convinced and explained what I think of as “the original definition of Catch 22 ” . In Bheeman’s view , Hanuman ought to be killed for being such a nuisance . But killing such an old defenseless guy will give a bad name in society for someone like Bheema . On other hand if he is not killed – Hanuman will continue to irritate Bheeman with his wise cracks . Quite the dilemma :)

There were some serious philosophers too that impressed me . The one that comes rushing to mind is Ramanujan Exhuthachan who penned the Malayalam version of Ramayanam , in a very creative way . It is as if it was narrated by a beautiful little bird . Here is a snippet on the folly of chasing material benefits as explained by Raman to Lakshmanan .

Enough with the language itself – what else comes to mind ? Of course the food ! Whatever the research says about carbs being bad – I hold “Sadya” as the ultimate balanced feast a man could eat . How many dishes can hold its own against a classic biriyani ? And is there a dessert more delicious than palpayasam ?





Kerala was the original spice capital of the planet . Vasco de Gama found his way there to trade spices . It did not end well for Kerala , but the western culinary world got a real good blessing in the process . Many of my friends love Indian food already – but they base that opinion on the chicken tikka masala served in Indian restaurants. For the record – that is not authentic Indian food , and we don’t cook that stuff at home. How I wish there were a lot more Kerala restaurants in US and Europe . It’s my dream – a dream shared almost by every non resident Mallu – to start a chain of restaurants in US that serve Kerala cuisine exclusively some day.

Kerala has a lot of good things going – almost 100% literacy , highest ratio of women to men in the country , great universities ( my grand dad , dad and me went to the same university ) , lowest corruption in India and so on . It also has some deep rooted problems – like the extreme activism by unions that has completely killed off most industry . Irony is that while mallus love to join any random strike in Kerala – I used to pray for strikes while in college – they are completely happy to work hard once outside Kerala . So while Kerala has no industry to claim fame , it can boast of a lot of inflow of money from ex-pats .

There are plenty of missed opportunities too . It is naturally beautiful – plenty of greenery , beaches , great architecture etc . However , while it has improved a little , Tourism as an industry is still largely an amateur game . Kerala doesn’t value private sector all that much . People mostly sit back and expect government to solve all problems .

Another harsh reality is that public hygiene is constantly coming down . The state badly needs infrastructure for things like garbage disposal – and the citizens need a culture of not littering . Again – it’s a problem that can be solved if public and private sector comes together . But that is against the grain for our culture – we do expect government to solve it .

Despite occasional problems – religious harmony is pretty good in Kerala compared to many other places I know of . Hindus , Muslims and Christians live peacefully there . Right in palayam – roughly the downtown area of Trivandrum – there is a big mosque , a big church and a temple all next to each other . The Hindu temple practically is next door to a fish and meat market . I went to a Hindu primary school , a catholic high school , a Muslim engineering college and a government run business school . I have never had a problem with another religion in Kerala – and I hope it stays that way for ever .

I think I have rambled way too much on this – totally got carried away with all the nostalgia . Hopefully I will be there in Trivandrum in couple of weeks for a short visit

Where does IBM go from here ?

As always – all of this is just my personal opinion here .

As a former IBMer, I was absolutely delighted to see that the IBM CEO finally said last week that the company is letting go of its 2015 EPS strategy. The best time to do that was the day she took over as CEO, but better late than never.

It was a ridiculous goal to begin with. The board and the previous CEO Sam Palmisano did not set Ginnie and the company up for success with this EPS of $20 by 2015 goal. I don’t know too many employees or executives in the company that truly believed this goal was achievable. IBM is like the military in many senses – it is a command and control style organization. So when the marching orders came, people shook their heads and then dutifully went out to try their best to make it happen. If there was a corporate equivalent of a death march – this would surely have made the shortlist.

There are only three ways in general to boost EPS

1. Cut cost
2. Increase revenue
3. Buy back shares

IBM tried as hard as they could on 1 and 3, but doesn’t look like they did much on 2.

For sure – IBM has a LOT of management overhead. Between all the companies I have worked for and have consulted to – I don’t think there is a more matrix management oriented company than IBM. When I had my first quota carrying role at IBM, I remember five or ten people (most of them I did not know ) would check in to see if I am on track to close a given deal. Most of them just managed spreadsheets . This is just the sales side of the equation. Similar kind of overlay functions existed in every part of IBM. So, yes – Sam absolutely was right in assuming that he can cost cut his way to EPS nirvana just by firing people if nothing else worked .

Unfortunately – that is not what happened, at least as far as I know. The top heavy organization more or less continued to exist – probably because they were the decision makers. Instead the people who got cut were the ones who were paid a lot less, and who actually had skills to do actual work. Well eventually some of the top management also got their pink slips – but more of a too little too late case.

The double whammy of a result is there for all of us to see – revenue going down all the time for last several quarters and then later profit stopping to go up .

IBM did try to buy back shares as a way to boost EPS . (IBM also pays a good dividend every quarter ). It helped for a while – but then that is the money that did not get spent on buying companies or reinvesting back in its own business . This is money that could have resulted in new revenue , but that is not the path IBM took. I don’t have the exact math – but I think IBM spent probably four or five times the money they spent on M&A on share buy backs .

So now what is next ? How will IBM regain its glory ? Here are a few thoughts that I wish IBM Management will consider

1. Minimize the management over head . There is absolutely no way to justify 10 people checking in on every deal .

2. Sell off aggressively every part of the business that is low value . I would start with hardware and consulting – both have low value parts . What is low value for IBM might actually be what another company might need to grow . Like say consulting – there are multiple indian outsourcers who might do well to buy parts of IBM services business to move up their value chain

3. Bring back “respect for the individual” as a core value . Start treating employees on par with the customers and shareholders . Employees are the ones who need the most attention now . Take care of them , and they will take care of customers better . And that will take care of shareholders a lot better over the long term than buying back shares . It’s the sustainable model unlike the last attempt

4. IBM has an amazing leadership training program – I know that first hand . And it has more leadership bench than most of its peers . What is missing is that such enablement is not there lower down the ranks . If IBM needs to be a powerhouse in IT again – the customer facing organization needs the kid of leadership training and attention that executive ranks get .

5. Put the best sales and technical teams possible on cloud , big data and Watson . There are plenty of good people in IBM who could be retrained on these areas. And there are experts who can be – and need to be – hired . For existing business, automate everything repeatable like crazy . Make delivery excellence truly mean customer success as much as profitability .

6. Set realistic expectations with employees , customers and the street . Set stretch goals – IBMers can meet and exceed stretch goals . Just don’t venture again to the realm of impossible targets .

Despite all its current troubles – I am still an optimist on IBM returning to its past glory . There are three things that make me an optimist on IBM’s future

1. IBMers – past and present – are a special breed . I have all the confidence that the good people left in the company are as good as any in the industry to make the turn around possible

2. IBM has a brand value that opens doors at customers across the globe . IBM needs that brand to sell more cloud , Watson and bigdata solutions to customers .

3. Through thick and thin, IBM has invested billions of dollars on research . The time to plant a shade tree was in the past and IBM got that right big time . That has already paid back IBM many times in past and I am fully confident that it will continue to do so .

As they say , Once and IBMer , ALWAYS an IBMer !

Logo changes

Yesterday someone mentioned that SAP changed its logo again . Dennis Howlett even posted a blog saying he loved it .

Den says the logo looks masculine , gold is an unusual color (to me it looks like an orange not gold ) and will get more attention and that the cross bar of A looks more like a smilie now . I don’t disagree with any of that

What I don’t understand is – what is the outcome SAP expects from this logo change ? Will it make more customers click on SAP digital content? Will there be more leads for SAP ? How does this change connect to Bill’s theme of simple ?

Logo does look beautiful and I want to congratulate its designer . Personally I preferred the old Blue , but that is just my taste . But I have no idea how it adds value to SAP or its customers . Would be great if a marketing expert could explain it . I am not saying this is a bad logo – just that it has picked my curiosity seriously . It’s a non trivial undertaking for a company like sap to roll out a new logo . I am just looking to understand the rationale of doing this .