The annual pilgrimage to SAPPHIRENOW is only a couple of weeks away from now. SAP CEOs have announced a five pronged strategy that includes mobility, analytics, database, cloud and apps.
Right off the bat – I am not a fan of this “5 market” strategy, given the “kitchen sink” approach. SAP just comes off as trying hard to be everything to everybody, and does not give the impression of having a value proposition that differentiates them. SAP has clear leadership in Apps and Analytics, and has a fair shot at databases. Cloud and Mobility are not in that league yet. Consequently, I am just looking for SAP to clarify its plans for mobility, cloud and database.
Nearly every time I have asked such questions, SAP has kindly responded to me with answers – usually GREAT answers. Sad to say, it was always under NDA and usually that did not get lifted in a useful time frame, and sometimes – like with HANA questions I asked in my blog – the NDA was NEVER lifted. So I hope this time around, SAP does the needful on that front so that I can share with you folks what I learn.
Yes we know HANA is the next best thing to …well, everything . We know it is fast for sure. So what more should SAP say and do?
1. Can SAP show during the keynote that it has great DR/HA features? As in - can Hasso/Vishal pull the plug on the box while keynoting and show us nothing will happen to the data?
2. Now that BPC etc runs on HANA – can Bill and Jim come on stage and show how they run their business on HANA? May be simulate an ops review with their team for 5 minutes on stage?
3. Has SAP figured out more business apps on HANA that make sense for broad customer base?
4. What is the current thinking of going after “we will be the number 2 DB vendor by 2015″ ? Is that still the goal? or like how Vishal explained in the San Francisco meeting few weeks ago – will SAP shift messaging to become the fastest growing DB vendor?
5. How will all the DB offerings work together – like IQ, ASE, HANA etc? Why should customers take SAP seriously in DB?
6. How many start up companies have come forward to use of the multi million dollar fund SAP announced in San Francisco event last month?
All eyes will be on cloud, especially with the SFSF acquisition. I saw Lars Dalgaard presenting at DKOM in Santa Clara, and he is full of energy, and is very different in approach from what I have typically seen of SAP executives. I am looking forward to how SAP makes use of his talent in the big stage. OK, so on to questions
1. What is SAP’s differentiating message for cloud? For being a relatively late entrant to the business – what does SAP tell customers to convey that they are not just a “me too” player in this space?
2. What does SFSF acquisition mean for SAP customers and SFSF customers? What changes for them?
3. Since we know Lars Dalgaard is the new leader for cloud, what does that mean organizationally? How does SAP ensure architecture and product consistency across all its offerings if Cloud has its own separate team?
4. What is coming up in near term as SaaS offerings from SAP that customers can buy?
5. As an outside coming in to SAP leadership team, what does Lars think of SAP’s cloud performance so far? What is his vision of how SAP should move forward in cloud, and with increased speed?
6. What is in it for partners and developers in the cloud business?
7. Will SAP’s cloud offerings on mobility be made free?
8. What is SAP’s strategy for collaboration with multiple products now in portfolio?
With Sanjay Poonen in charge, I do think mobility will be a great area for SAP going forward. SAP made some good partnership announcements with phonegap,Sencha etc which is all good. And now on to questions
1. What is SAP’s message to mobile developers? I think that message is best delivered by Sanjay Poonen, and I hope Sanjay does a keynote on this topic.
2. Having announced the storefront last year, how is SAP doing on that topic? How many apps are there ? how many have been sold ? How many are working on all devices?
3. Last year we heard developers have to make use of SUP if their wares have to be sold via SAP store. But with newly announced partnerships with Sencha etc – obviously that does not make sense anymore. So what is the story now?
4. HANA had a big VC fund announced by SAP. Will Mobility also have a similar fund?
5. Will mobility be a platform play or an apps play? or will SAP do both?
6. I know I am not the only one with this question – what is John Chen’s role at SAP now? I have hardly heard anything from him in public while SAP made announcements on DB and mobility. With the emerging focus on Asia, John is probably best used to grow the business there. But all the same – I am very curious on what is his role now.
If you have additional questions for SAP, pls leave a comment and I will try my best to find answers while I am in Orlando.